Good morning all, and what a lovely day it is. I have decided that my early morning coffee hours, before everybody gets up and the phone starts ringing for the day, is the best time of day for me to blog. My plan, when planning my routine for the school year, included a very early morning walk with my dogs before anyone got up….but that has not worked out. I am just having too much trouble getting everybody at my house on board with the nighttime routine….which leads to less than efficient mornings. My intention was to get up, walk the dogs while the coffee is brewing, and then come back and make breakfast and get everyone else up, get them out the door for the day, and do my Bible study/coffee/ quiet time. There are a few drawbacks to this plan, the most oobvious being that by the time they are both up and out the door, I am long since done with coffee time,and this is the time of day when the distractions begin…be it the phone, dogs, chores, whatever… It seems to me to be much more prudent to switch these times of day around.  Coffee time in these wee hours when it is still dark (and therefore a tiny bit scary to walk my dogs, especially across the river), makes more sense this time of day, and how logical would it be to walk my dogs when the boys are up…It makes sense, i am already out at the bus with my dogs, and all bundled up and ready to go. today I made a decision to rearrange my am schedule a bit and see if I can’t get those dogs on a consistent routine.

I am trying so hard to establish a routine, but it just seems like there is always something. Everyday seems to have a monkey wrench thrown in. Either school releases early, or dad goes in to work late…Maybe a friend needs a last minute babysitter, and I have to drop my plans for that…whatever the case, it feels like I am constantly throwing my routine out the window for one cause or another, and it is driving me nuts.

I have been emotionally drained in the last week. I have noticed, that the more I appreciate the blessings in my life, the more stable and content I become with my life, the more unhappy people around me seem. I don’t really think they are less happy but I am more content and able to see small blessings much more readily. I have heard so many people complaining about their lives this last couple of months. It makes me quite sad really. It makes me sad to see the state of people. There are very few people who seem really content. Even the people I notice at church, who always seem positive, I realized were doing a whole lot of complaining with smiles on their faces.

I have faced old demons this week, and new ones too… I have decided that I have a responsibility to tell the ladies at Bible Study how I felt when I left last week, and that is going to be hard because I admire every one of those ladies as my elders..wiser and more experienced Christians, but I really feel like this week, they lost something in translation… I often feel as though Christians who were raised as Christians, and have known no other way, have such a different perspective than Christians who had to find their way to The Lord the hard way. I think that Christians who have never known a life without Christ have a harder time finding compassion sometimes. I find that the world is a lot more black and white, and a lot less gray to a lot of them. I do not mean this to be any type of insult…In my Bible Study…there are six women. two of which grew up without Christ,and found Him later, and four of whom have known nothing else. I find that the four who have known nothing  else are a lot more likely to jump to a black and white answer, and the other one who had to find her own way, spends a lot of time nodding in agreement with me as I try to explain to these ladies a different perspective….this week no one was listening and there was a lot of justifying and enabling what appeared to me to be some very non-christian thinking. Remember that these are women I look up to and admire. Some of the things that were said were pretty judgmental, but the thing I noticed most was that the entire time we sat there talking about Philippians 1:9-11, and how to use discernment and sharpen our tools and overflow our love, we were seeing a whole lot of the opposite. I felt like there was a lot of taking away of tools rather than sharpening them…even a little name calling! Whats up with that ladies…are we having a rough week or what? Lets just say it will be hard to confront them, but I think they should hear how I felt when I walked out of that study. Bible study usually lifts me up. Tuesday i walked out feeling confused and judged. One of the ladies even went so far as to say a “slang” phrase without thinking twice or looking up at who was in the room with her. Had she thought about how that comment would have affected me, I doubt she would have ever said it. It was condescending and judgmental and it hit home in a way that she would have known was pretty personal. In fact, knowing what I know of her family, I wonder how her husband feels when she says that, considering that he was not raised in a Christian home and had to find his own way to Jesus as well, this Bible Study is different. We usually have a Beth Moore or some other woman’s small group Bible study to follow. This time we are just doing an individual study with Journals and  leader. I don’t feel like our leader is discerning enough to lead this study. feel as though she needs the perspective of a more mature Christian leading the way. I love and respect her, but it is clear by the amount of discomfort in her life that she is not in a position to lead other people to greater clarity. I noticed instead of growth, I saw a lot of building each other up and confirming it was ok to be stuck in those ruts…Ugh!

I made a big batch of banana bread yesterday, and some dog treats. I am slowly getting back on track, but it has taken over a week since the news of my little friends cancer for me to start to focus on anything productive. It is nice to be back at it and trying to get on track. I am having trouble staying focused but it is getting better, and now the family is waking and it is time for me to wind this down. Until next time…

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