Friday, May 2, 2014

Lessons I am Learning

Lessons I am learning during this 'season' of my life:

The dread is often much worse than the reality!!  We fret and worry and wonder about what we would do “IF” such-and-such happens…and dread it!!  Worry about it.  Make futile plans.  The dread becomes a thorn and the focus and robs us of the joy of anticipating the grace that God provides just when we need it.  “…(Dana, Dana or insert your name here) Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary…” Luke 10:41-42

It is good to make plans…but even better to be willing to be flexible when those plans are interrupted.  I had ‘scheduled and planned’ about 10 days in California with my dad….and those 10 days have grown into many weeks.  I did not return home when I had “planned”.  My calendar was full of speaking events, work, church activities, leading Bible studies, family, etc. yet those ‘plans’ were redirected by the Lord and He redirected my steps.  “The mind of man (Dana) plans his (her) way, but the Lord directs his (her) steps.” Proverbs 16:9

Priorities can change in a second.  Each of the commitments I had on my calendar for the months of April and May were important.  Good.  Necessary.  We can prioritize our days, our weeks, and our lives…and in an instant those priorities can change.  “I have directed you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in upright paths.” Proverbs 4:11

Giving much grace is a gift.  Oh how grateful I am to five women’s ministry leaders who gave me much grace when I needed to let them know I could not speak at the event that they had spent much time praying over and planning.  Each one was empathetic and understanding and did not make me feel guilty….I do that really well on my own.  I pack my own bags and go on lengthy guilt trips without any help!  I want to give much grace….freeing up people to do and be what God wants them to be.  “Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that is will give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29

Miracles happen every day and most of the time I miss them.  I was brought to my knees and to tears when I realized the protection God placed over my unbelieving dad and me and untold others….he was driving around with a huge tumor in his brain….in California where there is LOTS of traffic….and there was no car crash!!  Amazing.  Miraculous.  Grateful.  “The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear Him, and rescues them.”  Psalms 34:7

Don’t let hurtful words affect you.  Do you know what Rain-X is?  It is a product you put on your windshield that makes water miraculously bead up and roll off.  It is an amazing invention and, seeing it in action, I thought…’that is what I want the hurtful things people do or say to do to my heart and mind….roll right off!!  Not penetrate or affect me!’  I must pray for some holy Rain-X as my dad says and does things he normally would not say or do.  “…whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is of good repute, … dwell on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

Sleeping on the couch isn’t all that bad.  As I was preparing to visit my dad, one thing was a concern…since he now is living in a one bedroom apartment (as opposed to the 2 bedroom house) where was I going to sleep?  The answer:  the couch…and I was not really excited about the prospects of that.  Over and over again I am seeing the grace of God….He enables us to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done and how it needs to be done!  “Do all things without grumbling or disputing.”  Philippians 2:14

Oh the lessons I am learning….

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