Monday, April 24, 2017

No big deal?

God individually gifts us.

But we might not even realize it.

Nate was struggling with a writing assignment the other day, and I offered to help. I sat down and popped out several hundred words while he prepared our steaks to grill and tagged him back in.

He worked while the meat cooked, and then after dinner I tagged back in and reached the necessary word count pretty quickly.

When I said the assignment was done, he just looked at me quizzically.

"What?" I asked, eyebrows upraised.

"I can't even comprehend," he said.

To me, writing is no big deal. I can write a press release in a solid 10-20 minutes, and I've heard from co-workers that it would take them two hours to put together. When I finally find a topic, a blog takes minutes to whip together --- although thinking of a topic can be a little slower going.

I don't really understand when people think it's cool that I can write so quickly. To me, it's no big deal. That's just the way my mind works. I can't speak worth a darn off the top of my head, but if I can just write it out it flows from my fingers.

What's no big deal to me is a big deal to other people who are gifted in a different way.

For instance, my husband is a logical thinker, and he would rather write a paper that is a structured debate with concrete ideas. He would rather think through science or mathematics. To me, that's just incomprehensible. Ick.

What I stare at confused and what takes me hours to understand, he gets in minutes. What takes me minutes to write takes him hours.

It's so interesting in marriage to see the differences that God creates in people that seem so similar. Nate and I have always known we're different, but our values, the things we enjoy, the things we dislike have grown very similar. Yet, we're still completely different people blessed with completely different gifts.

And it's nice to have someone else point them out once in a while. What I think is no big deal is truly a gift from God, and I should cherish that. We should call that out in others as well so they can see how God has worked in their own lives.

No big deal? God thought it was a big deal when he created me. I'm thankful for that, even when I overlook it.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Do I really want to be hospitable?

In a sermon a few weeks ago, the pastor was talking about how we are to love people in the community.

There is a difference between hospitality --- opening your home and heart to strangers --- and fellowship --- opening your home to friends and family.

In the sermon, the pastor mentioned that we should not only be hospitable out of obligation but that we should do it because we genuinely care about strangers and want to be with them, want to listen to them, want to spend time with them.

I struggle with that.

I struggle with the desire to want to be with people. I am an extremely introverted person, and although I have the ability to converse and spend time with others, there are very few people that I truly want to spend time with.

There is a person who used to volunteer at my work, and I always felt like I should befriend her and try to take care of her because her family isn't around. She is a coarse-type person but I know that she just needs some love.

Every couple of months, I try to call her and see if she needs anything and if I can bake her something. I called her on Saturday and left her a message inviting her to our Easter service and called again on Sunday but she didn't answer.

The thing is, I'm not sure I really wanted her to accept. I would have gladly brought her dinner, but did I want to actually sit down and chat? Not really. Did my heart pound at the thought of talking to her on the phone? Yes.

I know the right things to do most of the time, and I try to do them because I know that's what God wants, but as for the desire to spend time with people who I don't know all that well, it's just not there.

So where is the line of doing what's right and truly wanting to do it?

I guess it's the heart.

I truly do care about this woman, and I want her to know that. Maybe it doesn't take me sitting down and talking to her. Maybe it's enough to just reach out and know that I'm here.

Oh the struggle of an introvert. I guess God created me the way that I am. I pray he can do something with this self-centered, quiet mess.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Easter Thanksgiving

I am a bit behind in life.

The laundry piled up. The cleaning was put off. Church work that I volunteer for was sitting un-looked at on my computer.

So this morning, I started to dig through the list. I was reading through a church sermon that Nate and I missed while out of town. It's on materialism, and the importance of us enjoying the blessings that God gives us. It's interesting.

I think it strangely applicable to this time of year. At Easter, isn't it all about appreciating what God has given us. From the saving grace of Jesus who died on the cross and rose again to save us from our sins, to the cherished life we have after finding our Lord, to celebrating this time with family --- Easter is a time of thanksgiving just like Thanksgiving.

I am so thankful for what God has given me and my family, so I thought a thankfulness post might be the topic of the day.

1. I'm so thankful for a husband who doesn't look down on me when I don't get my work done when we get busy. Yes, the laundry piled up and the cleaning was put off. There were days that I didn't cook dinner and my usual baking was not completed. But not once did he make me feel bad that when I did have a free moment I sat down and relaxed. In fact, he encouraged it. What a blessing he is for giving me the freedom to be me, to relax, to enjoy life and not get caught up in what isn't done on the list.

2. I decided to not go back to teaching dance next year. What had started out as a joy still had joyful moments but had turned quite stressful. I would lay awake at night second-guessing everything I had done wrong when talking with the kids. I rarely do that for my regular job. I have confidence in what I do at work. I love my job. I'm thankful that my full-time work is happy, fulfilling, fun and relatively worry-free.

3. I'm so thankful for a bright future that has all my hopes and dreams in view. I have all I need, and I am completely content. When I was a kid, though, I had a dream of having an acreage with animals and raising my kids in the country. We are certainly on our way to recognizing a dream that I never really thought would happen even though I hoped it would. We are so blessed to have all our hopes and dreams in sight.

4. I'm thankful for times of year like Easter that make me remember the importance of life and what we are to concentrate on. In busy times, I often put off reading the Bible and praying. I'm too busy. That's a terrible way to live life. I'm glad that holidays and worship services keep me grounded and remind me of who I am to be living life for --- it's not me, it's Him.