Friday, June 24, 2011

Hello Ladies...It's Been a Long Time!

Welcome back to the Tigerden. I've been MIA for awhile and, to be perfectly honest, today's post is sheerly by force and disciplining myself to do it. For one thing, I don't really like to join up unless I think I can make it around to visit all of you (it is the least I can do, really) and I cannot promise that this weekend. But I miss this like I'm gonna try. I'm also gonna try to be short, cause I have tons to do...but if you have been around much, you know that brevity is not my strong suit.

I mentioned last time that summer had been busy for us and that hasn't changed a bit...I don't foresee looking back on this season and remembering the lazy days of summer.

In fact, that is a big reason that I haven't been around. Well, that and the Casey Anthony trial that has me completely mesmerized...but I digress. That is also something that I have been struggling with and am trying to work through this summer. You see, and may remember, that it was last summer that I read a book that changed my entire perspective on things. It was the book "Radical" by David Platt. I am still changing and reevaluating as a result of that book (and, I feel the need to add, my subsequent time in scripture and prayer). Anyway, while I do not feel the need to earn my salvation and understand grace through faith. I have also come face to face with the fact that, if I am a christian I should be devoting myself to spreading the gospel, to reaching the unchurched and to ministering to those around me.

I confess, for many years my standard answer to this dilemma was..."my family is my ministry" and while that idea is good, I realize that I am deceiving both myself and my family. Nothing has done more to show me that than our time at an apartment complex where our church has a ministry. This year, I have seen how I have closed my eyes to the need right here around me. Precious children who live right across the street from a church and have NEVER heard the name of Jesus. Teenagers who are completely shocked when they hear stories about Jesus feeding the five thousand or walking on water. People, in the Bible belt, surrounded by christian people who have no idea Christ (or anyone else) loves them...not for their body or their drugs or their "stuff", but because they are. An entire complex of people that are lost and dying and DO NOT EVEN KNOW IT! It is sobering.

And so, my perspective and my priorities have changed. And that is good. However, the place I am struggling with is this. I am an introvert. While I enjoy being around people and laughing and having a good time, it is draining to me. I NEED my alone time. I NEED quiet moments away. I'm not sure someone who isn't an introvert can quite understand how draining it can be to just socialize...but that is me. This summer, I haven't had that alone time. My kids are home all the time demanding attention, I am trying to help with a sports camp this summer, participating in and planning VBS's, trying to have children's friends over, and keeping up with a few of the children from the apartment complex while we are on summer break. In addition, my nephew is staying with us for a couple of weeks and I am trying to plan and prepare for our trip to Idaho to visit with my family. While all of these things are good and I can't imagine what I could possibly give up, they have left me exhausted. In fact, yesterday I lashed out at poor dancer just out of the need for quiet alone time. Even getting on the computer and reading blogs is such an effort for me right feels like work, and so I have spent almost no time doing that.

However, yesterday, I read a blog I haven't read in weeks and the writer summed up what I am feeling. I have lost my ability to dream. I can think, I can plan, I can look at all that is undone before me and fret about choosing and ordering next year's curriculum. I can freak out at how I cannot afford next year's curriculum. I can think about how I totally need a job to pay for curriculum, but I am just too exhausted to even contemplate adding something else to the to-do list. I can think of ministries that are needed and organization that needs to be done...but I cannot dream, I cannot plan, I cannot even think of things to write (which you may disagree with as you look at the length of this "short" post). I have completely lost my blogging "mojo" and am completely without inspiration when I try to sit down and write. That makes me sad...because it is something I used to enjoy so much and I feel that I am losing a little piece of me. I am hoping it is just a season and that soon I will find that passion and fun again.

But for now, I guess I am just hoping that some of my sweet company girl friends would just say a quick prayer for me. That you would forgive me for not being around much and know that I do miss you. And if you have an extra moment, that you would pray I could find that balance. That I would be able to begin dreaming again and that I would learn to minister and reach out but also allow myself that time to be alone and recharge, cause like it or not, that is how God made me!

I totally did not know that this was going to become a whine-fest, but thanks for letting me unload on you poor, unsuspecting things. I hope everyone has and incredible, blessed, and RELAXING weekend! Don't forget to check out Home Sanctuary for more Coffee Talk!


Katharine said...

I will be praying that you are blessed with some alone time to recharge, and have your spirit filled again with all the things that you need for dreaming,hoping, inspiration and loving! I know this may sound like a cop out, but it's not: Ask the Lord for one thing, one person, one ministry that comes out of who you are in Him and not out of obligation, or "should do" Just one. He will be faithful to provide you with the balance you need, and there is joy and peace in putting your hand with His in all that He is doing!
Oops sorry, this is long! I hope your week is wonderful!

Kelly C said...

Star, I relate so much to everything you said being an introvert myself but always having my hand in so many things and activities. I have taken the following verse to memory in my attempt this year to get that balance I long for as you do. I think you will know this was written to Martha but it is me all over: "you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary." Luke 10:41-42 NASB Yikes...Only 1 thing is necessary. I hope this helps. It has helped me.

Joywriter said...

I'm with you, Fellow Introvert, though I have never been as involved in others' lives as you are! Don't worry about reading everyone else's blogs... let us lift you up. I can tell you, it IS just a season. Katherine is right -- one God-given ministry is enough. Praying for rest and fresh "batteries" for you.

Ashley Pichea said...

I love reading how God is challenging you and how you are responding! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us this week!!

Kelly C said...

I just wanted to add how much I appreciate you sharing how God is touching your heart and challenging you. I was just commenting in a Bible class how watered down I feel everything I do is. I look forward to seeing how you accept God's call and how it will encourage others to do the same.

"Say What?" said...

Praying for you! And praying that you realize that your alone time is crucial. You don't have to save the world. God has everything in control. You have to put Him first, but sometimes it's ok to put yourself next.
I've had to learn the hard way that in order to have the day God intended me to have, I have to go to bed at a decent hour, just so I can get up before everyone else and have my alone time.
I can sense your tiredness through your post and I want to just reach out and (hug) you. I pray peace and comfort over you. May God guide you to the place you need to be to find quietness.

*visiting from Coffee Company Girl. I'll be checking in on you in the future.

Anonymous said...

I was going to say that we introverts should start a group, but that just wouldn't make any sense. =p

I have not read this book, but it sounds like it is related to what you are talking about... The book is The Missional Mom by Helen Lee. She is a homeschooling mom of 3 young boys.

LydiaCate said...

((HUGS)) Wish I had the magic words for you to make it all be okay. I guess my encouragement would just be to keep the Lord in your main scope of vision. He knows your heart, your circumstances, your struggle, your passion, and everything else. I'm having to work minute by minute lately to walk by faith and not by site. The things that surround me now I could allow to consume me, but I know better...Our God is so big and so very capable to handle all He has allowed to filter into our lives. I do hope somehow your summer allows you some down time at some point. Be blessed sweet friend!<3 LydiaCate

Danyelle said...

"I'm not sure someone who isn't an introvert can quite understand how draining it can be to just socialize...but that is me."-- I could not agree more with that statement. I hope you can find your balance and continue to do the good you want to and still be good to yourself.

Lea also known as "CiCi" said...

Oh, Star, I'm just now getting around to doing a little "blog visiting." I so understand what you are saying and agree with you 100%. I've been staying in a hotel this past week all by myself and really enjoying it. It is a nice reprieve after the overwhelming days I've been having. I know you will get to the other side of this and the Lord is going to continue to use you in the days ahead. Blessings my dear!

secondofwett said...

Oh, I can so relate....I need to be able to go in my room, close the door and have no one, absolutely no, including my dogs bug me for at least half an hour each day. I revel in early morning after hubby leaves for work and the teens are still sleeping. Bliss! I am also the person that would rather blend into the shadows rather than be in the spotlight...I can really understand the difficulty in approaching others....maybe I should read that book too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for stopping by. It has been a full summer, hasn't it? I hope you are doing well, and getting geared up for the school year ahead. I haven't blogged much about it, but we are doing a 'homeschool experiment' of sorts this year with Melody. We'll see how it goes. Any words of wisdom you can impart? =)