Monday, May 9, 2011

Day 10: Hearing God through Circumstance & Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria, whether it's your first time here or your 25th.  Basically, we are a community of women that seek to encourage, support, love each other with our words.  It's a fun party and I love hosting you here each week.  If you would like more information about this community, please click here.  Just a note:  Please don't feel that you have to visit every single person that links up.  We are all on a time budget.  That being said, I do invite you to pray and ask God which blogs to visit simply because there may be words for you left in that place or words that God has given you to share to those specific people.  Blessings to everyone!
Jen Final
Today I'm combining my SDG post with the next 31 Days post for reasons of sanity and the fact that today's focus is really part of my current journey.

Last week, my husband and I had a bit of an argument that was touched off my the fact that um, I've been a bit...impatient, short-fused, demanding, etc.  What a sweet guy -- there is a word for this type of temperament, but he is much to kind to use it. 

Anyway because of said argument, the door was open for God to speak through the circumstances that I am currently in and gave me a pretty big revelation.  Let me back up just a bit to tell you that I am the Assistant Director of Christian Education at my church and I am in charge of getting all the supplies for VBS, which this year is hosting 240 children.  At the same time as this, I am also having to carry out all my other responsibilities of the job.  And still, at the same time as this, I was asked to participate in the 31 Days to...series, Soli Deo Gloria tripled in size, I got a staff writer position at Blissfully Domestic, and I've been writing guest post after guest post. I say NONE of this out of pride or boastful thoughts, but simply to set the stage for God's conversation with me last week.

Me (to my husband):  Why would God give me all of this at the same time?  Clearly, He would know that I wouldn't have the best reaction to feeling this overwhelmed and anxious.  Really, what was He thinking?

Craig:  (insert something really profound that I can't remember here that lead me to the following conclusion)

Me:  Oh my.  Maybe I wasn't supposed to pick up all the extra jobs at church.   I never asked Him.  I just saw the need and try to fill it.  And truthfully, maybe I was a bit motivated by the extra money.  And so maybe He's letting me live with the consequences of stepping outside what His best way is.  Is He just going to abandon me in this place where I can't do it all????  (Insert lengthy bawling session)

My conclusions:
  • I think God is showing me how this ministry at Finding Heaven and s(He) Listens is the path that He wants me on.  It seems to be increasing in size and I find pure joy in being a part of it.
  • God is showing me that I cannot handle this ministry while working at my church, raising two kids, paying attention to my marriage, running a household, and taking care of my own needs.  Others may have that capacity.  I do not (clearly).
  • God will NOT abandon me during this crazy time period, but if He didn't allow me to experience how stressful the combination of all these activities in my life can be, I would simply think that I could handle it and I would miss the fullness of the journey that He has for me.
  • Just because I see a need does not mean that I need to fill it.  I must stop cramming my square peg of a self into all the round holes.  This type of cramming does not lead to a peaceful or graceful life.
Challenge:  Has God spoken to you through the circumstances of your life, either pleasant or unpleasant?  Sometimes we just chalk things up to stress or coincidences, but maybe God is actually using these events to show us something, or to help us come to a realization.  Can you step back from the situation for a moment to see if He's speaking through this? 

Praying that you will find encouragement, opportunity, and blessings through these amazing gals below...(Link will be live until Wednesday night.)

28 comments :

  1. Oh, girl. You sound like you are carrying around 5 pounds of stuff in a 10 pound bag. I've been there and I know it often ain't pretty!

    Don't you love how He teaches us? I, for one, am one that must learn these lessons in the same way so please don't feel alone.

    Congrats on getting a BD writing position! YAY!

    It sounds to me like you are learning and gaining wisdom and that is so pleasing to Him...

    OH - I remember someone telling me once that when we say "yes" to everything, we are taking away an opportunity from someone else who really might learn,grow,and shine in that role.

    I love looking at it like that for He will provide for every need.

    Good for you, sister!

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  2. Hi Jen! I so relate to this post that you just shared...it is much how I have felt the past month. And as a result am being more intentional about my yes and my no. Some things are important and so good, but will go on without me and that is ok.

    I am excited to be working on my project for you!

    love, jodi

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  3. First, I just adore all the doors He is opening for you. It is so exciting.

    I must say sometimes I forget to consult Him and just do...only to find myself overwhelmed. And realizing...it was my choices that put me there. Always an ouch moment.

    Beautiful post that opened my eyes a little more.

    <3

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  4. Jen, I'm tired just reading all you're trying to do, all with your heart so in the right place--trying to meet needs. I think you are wise to look at ways to prioritize and find out which of these good things are God's best things for Jen. If you've already seen it, my apologies, but just in case it might encourage you, here is a link to a post of mine about How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty (http://upthesunbeam.blogspot.com/2011/02/how-to-say-no-without-feeling-guilty.html). I share it because I wish someone had taught me this when I was your age!

    Praying for Holy Spirit clarity as you consider how to move forward with Him--you're doing a great job!

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  5. So I'm going to be a sort of dissenting voice here and say you absolutely have to learn how to slow down. Work on one thing. Focus energy on obedience to a single task, a single call. Don't step back from church work and then fill up all that space with a hundred other commitments just because you can. Busy is what you do. But there's a kind of industry that's a distraction from going deep and getting still and doing some real interior work. Make sure your activity isn't that.

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  6. Perfect timing. My link-up says it all! Thanks for being real, Jen.

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  7. Tough, but oh so good, lessons.

    Thanks for being our hostess.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  8. Oh, I can so relate to this. My post I'm linking up with is about this very thing-the journey He has me on right now, and this journey requires me to get rid of some things-and it's hard.

    Praying for you as you navigate through this busy time, that you will know exactly where He is leading you.

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  9. Uhm - yes! And thank you for pointing it out. I am also going through a busy season (thanks to me saying "yes" to so much) and I'm trying to sort it all out. Trying to make the right moves and trying to listen to what God wants me to do. Thanks for this great reminder. I'm blogging more about it later this week. You've given me more food for thought!

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  10. That last bullet...that's the one that's yelling at me. You got my attention, girl.

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  11. OH, dear Jen, I absolutely get so frustrated with God when His way of showing me, was teaching me to say NO! He had a lot of years of putting up with me running like a crazy person and FINALLY it clicked. And now I say "no" all the time! ;) At least after I check with HIm first, which is where He wanted me all along.
    Great post!

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  12. As a fellow square peg crammed into round holes, I hear you sister :)

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  13. oh, i too struggle with saying no. but i'm learning (ever so slowly) that i don't have to fill every need.

    thanks for your honesty! And i'm so excited to see how the Lord leads you & this new ministry.

    -Mel

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  14. "if He didn't allow me to experience how stressful the combination of all these activities in my life can be, I would simply think that I could handle it and I would miss the fullness of the journey"....true wisdom...I'll be pondering this one Jen

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  15. Oh, Jen. I know the stress must be building, but you are on the path. You want confirmation that you are doing the right thing? Look around.

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  16. Jen,
    I love the conversation you had. Ha. I can SO relate to it. Your conclusions are important for me to read for myself too. Still trying to figure life out…all for God’s glory!

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  17. I find that one of the best ways God leads me in saying "yes," "no" or "yes, but..." is to consider my motivation in my answer.

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  18. today is Jen's birthday everybody!!!

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  19. well happy happy birthday to you! You are right He will never abandon you and yes He has spoken to me through my circumstances...so much like Israel I am. Your hearing:) praying He is meeting you right where you are today...surrendered to Him ... He will continue to lead you. I hear what your saying...I am so behind on my little world and I am telling myself today that I can only do so much and I let the rest go..otherwise I am miserable and so is everyone around me. Love you...what do you have planned for your birthday evening?
    xo

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  20. Happy Birthday Jen...I'm sorry for the double link up...I was having linking issues this morning.
    Margins--praying that somehow you'll be able to give yourself the gift of margins around the edges of your paper...
    I always appreciate (and can relate to) your words...

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  21. ugh!! I can't get the linky to work!!

    I love reading and following and praying you on this journey. :)

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  22. Been there, done that. Am there, am that. I recently had a similar revelation when I realized that I was distracted by my serving at church and forgetting to do the things that really matter. http://journeytoepiphany.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/busy-about-my-fathers-business/

    Congrats on all your opportunities. May God clearly lead and direct you!

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  23. I have a friend who threatened years ago to take me to a tattoo parlor and have the word "NO!" indelibly imprinted on my forehead! And she was right to threaten it. I am thankful to better understand the boundaries and seasons that help my life be filled with more Peace. He actually makes us MORE fruitful when we do only what He gives us to do. I had a hard time learning that--still am learning it! :)

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  24. Bullet 3 is written just for me (and bullet 4 too). You are ALWAYS a huge encouragement to me, Jen!

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  25. Step back -- that's so often what I need to do. My hubby said to me once, "Just because you CAN do it doesn't mean you SHOULD do it." Perspective, perspective.

    An honest, encouraging post, Jen.

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  26. I could never cope with all that you do. Everything I do would fit on a square the size of a postage stamp. I'm intentional about this. I try to only do what I'm made to do without using "limitations" as an excuse to not follow God.

    You are working the problem girl. Good on you for that. Keep learning.

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  27. Oh, how I've been there, done that. And I go around the same mountain time and again. Makes. Me. So. Um. Impatient, short-fused, demanding. :)

    I cannot do all things! I wrote about it over at Godly Gals last year.

    http://melissamashburn.blogspot.com/2010/04/godly-gals-sandra-king.html

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  28. Jen, I'd seen your button around the Web, but I just actually discovered you at Deidra's place and learned about your community here, and what it's all about. I've got a feeling I'm going to be back!

    So lovely to meet you!

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