Monday, January 21, 2013

Satisfied, by M

It's hard to believe that my last update was the day after Christmas... the holidays seem like light years ago! Time is flying these days!

While I'm grateful for all of the things going right now, it's also been, hands-down, one of the busiest and most stressful seasons of my life so far. Some days I literally can't even imagine what I did with my life before I had all of these added projects happening in my "free time." This craziness has caused me and my fiance to take a hard look at our schedules recently... it was really becoming too much to manage and we found ourselves sacrificing time and priorities that we know are too valuable to lose... time with friends, and more importantly, time with the Lord. It got me to thinking... how could I possibly de-prioritize something that I know is so important?

At the same time, I found myself reading through the book of Hosea. Lest you think I'm some Bible scholar who regularly peruses the minor prophets, I should admit that, honestly, I had been reading Daniel (which is very interesting and a great read) and when the book ended, my motivation went so far as to just keep reading what was next... which brought me to Hosea. I did do a very brief study of Hosea approximately 5 years ago with my college Bible study, but my knowledge of or interest in the book is pretty limited beyond that. I knew the whole metaphor thing (that being that God asks Hosea to take the prostitute Gomer as his wife to illustrate to the Israelites that they have been unfaithful to the Lord their God in the same way) but compared to the fiery furnace and lion's den sagas in the book of Daniel, Hosea just wasn't very captivating.

However, something that I've started to do recently is ask God to highlight something important in the scripture I'm reading. I send up a little prayer and hope with confidence that He'll bring something to my attention that I've never noticed before... even in books of the Bible like Hosea. So, I did that as I was reading through it and eventually I came to chapter 13, verse 6:

"When I fed them, they were satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; then they forgot me."

Of course, in this passage the Lord is speaking through Hosea about the Israelites. However, as I read that verse and let it sink into my heart, I realized that He is also speaking about me. Part of the reason that it's been relatively easy these days to de-prioritize my time with God is because I am satisfied right now. I have my family, my friends, a wonderful fiance, a job, health, financial resources, etc, etc... I am in a season (and don't get me wrong, I call this a "season" specifically because I know it does not last forever) where God has "fed" me abundantly. And, yet, thousands of years later, I am among those who have "become proud" and "forgotten" Him. Oof.

I love how direct God is in this verse... "they were satisfied... they became proud... they forgot about me." He anticipates our human tendency to receive blessings and then internalize them as something that we did or something that we control or something that we deserve. We sure are ego-centric aren't we? And yet, I find that to be true of myself. All of a sudden I'm in a stage of life where I don't find myself desperate for God because, in all honesty, many of my needs are being met by my current circumstances. I've "forgotten" God because most days, I'm not aware of my need for God. I am aware that I am full... not aware that I have been hungry. That is dangerous territory.

So, my prayer for myself and any others who may find themselves "satisfied" is that we do not forget who feeds us. My prayer is that we don't put our confidence so much in the gifts as in the Giver Himself.  As my pastor said a few weeks ago, why put our hope in riches (blessings of all kinds) when we can put our hope in He who richly blesses? Seasons will come and go, but the provision of the Lord will last forever. Let us not forget!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


So, M has been harassing me to write. And I can't blame her for that-- the purpose of this blog is supposed to be two sisters giving two different perspectives.

That said, after years of "having" to do certain things (mainly school work), I sometimes struggle to do things that I know I don't really HAVE to do but that others try to convince me that I have to do. I think this comes from many, many years of M telling me what to do all the time. She was (is?) definitely the bossier twin.

I've also struggled with feeling like I can't write here unless I have something "worthy" to say. I sometimes feel like my posts have to be enlightened and spiritual, and unless I can come up with a good "lesson" for the experience, it doesn't seem worth writing about.

I'm going to try and get out of this thought cycle, both because I do like to write and I've made somewhat of a commitment to write here, but also because I know that some of the most impactful blogs that I read feature mundane, straight-from-the-heart type of stuff.

Anyway, I've struggled a little, since moving to Nashville, with feeling purposeless. I don't think there's anything in particular that's making me feel this way. Rather, I think it's the lack of something (anything?) that's causing this general feeling. For years and years and years there was an obvious next step to work toward- a standardized test to master, a first kiss to anticipate, preparing for college and graduation...and even after that, making it through the 2 years of T's investment banking commitment, planning the wedding, moving here.

And now... things are good. We have good jobs and good health and a house and friends and warmer weather. But there's no next step. Obviously, having kids is the real next step, but we won't be headed down that road for probably two years. So for now, it kind of feels like I'm treading water. Like I'm in a holding cell, waiting to see what happens next. And I know that I DECIDE what happens next. But I'm not even sure what I want to happen next, and I'm not even sure when "next" will arrive or when it should be ushered in or what it will look like. I'm also not sure that it's healthy to always desire more and more and more than you have. What's the balance between striving for more and being content with what you have? I'm not sure.

Some days it feels like my car has stalled on a freeway. That after years and years of gaining momentum for bigger and better and newer and more exciting things that I've broken down in the land of routines,  of working and sleeping, working and sleeping, traffic and never knowing what to eat for dinner and laundry and more laundry. And why am I here when I don't even have kids yet?! Aren't these supposed to be my roaring 20s? Why am I not out dancing on tables or something?

So, that's where I am. Trying to find purpose and contentment in the here and now even if I can't really identify a larger goal that these actions are necessarily bringing me toward. Anyone else out there feel like this? Like you're treading water til you decide what the "next" will be?