Friday, November 16, 2012

You Can Count on Me!

I have always considered it a pet peeve of mine when people agree to do something and then fail to follow through.  It even irritated me when it was that super sweet, pure intentioned mom who volunteered for everything and got most of it done (very haphazardly and somewhat chaotically) but with a completely joyful heart.
I always said  - do a few things and do them well!  Don't say yes to everything and then do them all half way.  God wants excellence from us!  I guess you can tell I am a Martha and not a Mary, huh?  My parents instilled in me a work ethic that is a tad on the insane side and always stressed keeping my word and finishing what I started.  Good things.

Until we moved I was very much a "commit-to-something-and-stick-it-through-you-can-count-on-me-to-get-it-done" kind of girl. I think I have joined and quit more things this past year than I have in my past ten years. That's embarrassing for me to say for some reason.  It makes me feel kind of bad about myself.  I don't want to be someone people aren't sure they can count on!  Although I am still acting with integrity and talking to those I need to when coming to the conclusion that I am 'in the wrong area' instead of just dropping off the face of the earth and leaving them hanging for months.  I am starting to see though that my view, my pet peeve, was very rigid toward others - did I ever know what they might be wrestling with inside and in their lives?  I'm certain that their intentions were genuine...just like mine have been.  I am assuming that I am just trying to 'find my place' here but I am sad to say that I am not doing a very good job always asking God's opinion before I act.

Three weeks ago I saw a rare opportunity to volunteer at Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Of course, my first thought was - wow, that is amazing to get in there amongst those ladies.  I jumped on it.  I did not pray about it to the extent I should have.  I wanted to get involved because of where/who it was - not because I was feeling called to go there.  Ever since I went in I have not been able to shake a sick feeling in my belly every time I thought about going in.  Yes, I was nervous about a new place - but I'm pretty used to new places now.  I started praying and asking God to please make it clear and give me peace if I'm in the right spot.  I sought counsel from friends and continued praying. That peace did not come.  It did bring me peace however, to let them know this week that I had made a mistake.  I'm not sure what God is doing.  Where He wants me.  But I know that my motives were not about serving Him in this decision.   

The women at  Proverbs 31 were very understanding and even offered me a different way to serve in the back room that is more my style than answering the confusing phones.  At this point, I begged God to part the fog and make it clear for me.  I want to do only what He wants me to do.  I sat still before Him.  Then I was reminded that if I want to serve a day a week there are opportunities at my church and community.  I then felt very much at peace telling them that I don't think I can do it right now.  I feel good about obeying Him, but my flesh still wants to be 'associated' with that ministry. 

There's been other opportunities here that I/we have taken and have much peace about after I/we did pray.  You would think that after I have spent several years now praying for His will and His plan and His guidance in my life, that I would not jump ahead of Him in these decisions.

Lessons learned (hmm..I think some of these I've 'learned' before?):
  • It is okay to not answer immediately when an opportunity is presented.  If it is what God wants for me - it will still be available if I wait until I know He is leading me there.  
  • Pray consistently about how He wants me to fill my time.  
  • Surrender completely to His plan for me.   
  • People can still count on me!  They can count on me to obey God - which is better than following through on something He didn't really lead me to in the first place... 

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