My retreat time with the ladies of Searcy UMC was lovely. I showed up barely knowing two women there and left having about 70 new sisters. I cannot even begin to tell you how wonderful it is to be welcomed, coming as an outsider to a group as if I had been there my whole life. The speaker on Friday night was a lady named Pat Johnson. She and her husband, Larry, co-pastor a Baptist church in Bald Knob, and this woman is fueled by the Holy Spirit. Wow! She blessed marriages, prayed for healing and was a mighty vessel for the Lord. Then on Saturday, we heard from one of the ladies I knew, Nancy Scott. Nancy spoke on standing firm on your faith or you won't stand at all. It was just what I needed to hear, just where I needed to be. Then I came home.
I have got so much going on that it blows my mind when I looked at it all. I think my problem is I don't have a full-time paying job, so I think I have all this time to do whatever I want. Mind you, it all seems very important and needs to be done in some way or another. It's that I'm taking a class online and getting ready for another one at the end of October, handbells, choir, Bible study on Monday evening and Thursday morning, Dinner for Eight, bunko, Arkansas games to work at, Coldwater Creek too. Oh, and I have to teach Sunday school this week. Then I look at the house, laundry, grocery list and yard, and I just about lose it.
In fact I did lose it yesterday. I started in the backyard after I started the laundry. Now we have too many trees in this yard, and the leaves are about to cover us up. There is also a wild walnut tree that throws its nuts all over the place. Well, before I can mow, I have to rake up the leaves and nuts. Five hours and 15 bags later, I'm ready to start mowing. Then I started thinking about how much I really dislike this house with this yard attached to it. I also felt like I fit better with the ladies at the retreat than I do at this church. In fact, I felt more welcomed there. I'm mad at Alex for hearing his call to be in full-time ministry, for making me leave Durango, where I was growing just fine. I'm mad and want to go off and eat worms, but I can't get to them for all the leaves and the stupid nuts, and if I could, the moles have probably already eaten them. I stop the mower and just start to cry out to God with really big tears coming out of my eyes. "Really, God? Really?"
I live through my day of hate and get up this morning to cook breakfast for Alex as he rushes off to his men's Bible study that starts at 6:30 a.m. I can hardly move, because before I even started my day yesterday, I went for a run, and my butt down is now so sore that I almost can’t get out of bed. But I do. I get my coffee and sit down to do my devotion, and guess what I read: Finding Contentment. Oh joy. Contentment means accepting things the way the are—in other words, not wanting anything more or different." Aaaaaggghhh! OK, what else? Submission and trust are needed for such a lifestyle. I would prefer a handgun and a club. Surrender our will to God's. And what else? Don't hold back on me now. Trust God to oversee our specific situation. Man! Why is it that I can't seem to get away with anything any more?
OK, so what have I learned from all this? That God is God and I am not. I don't see the big picture like He does, and I need to be OK with that or what's the word? Content. Lord, help me with changing my contempt to contentment. NOW!