Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Challenges Are Just Opportunities

I don't know how many times I have heard this in varying forms from all of those happy, smiley, life hands you lemons make lemonade people.  And I wanted to smack them.  A bad day is a bad day.  Someone yelling at you is just a mean person.  Obviously, despite a cheery exterior most of the time, I let negativity get a hold of me often.  I'm trying to change that.

Challenge 1: My last blog post.  I vowed to do something for myself to get active.  I put forth best and worst scenarios thinking in my mind that the "at worst" would be my best.  I proved myself wrong.  I've been running.  Go ahead, gasp!  I gasp at myself every time I lace up my hot pink shoelaces at 5 am.  I am now a runner and it's really awesome.  I'm proud of myself simply for doing it.  My dad ran with me for the entirety of the C25k program and I'm proud to tears of him too.  I have a drive now to keep going.  I actually enjoy it and I enjoy that it's "me" time to spend with myself (or my dad).  It's not a challenge anymore - it's an OPPORTUNITY to run faster, go farther, and get healthier.  It's also motivation when I have to do something I don't really want to do.  I just tell myself "Hey!  You ran 2 miles this morning before most people got out of bed and mostly uphill!  You can do this like it's nothing!"

Challenge 2: Money!  Isn't money always a challenge?  It shouldn't be.  This OPPORTUNITY is really a multi-parter.  We've been attending a new church for a couple of months now and really really like it.  Recently, God has been calling me to take a look at myself and my selfishness because we haven't been following His commandment and tithing.  As the family financial guru who writes the budgets and manages the bills I just kept telling myself that we couldn't afford it.  Oldest cop out in the book.  Really!  I'm pretty sure there's a scripture that talks about someone making some kind of lame excuse like that and then getting plagued by locusts.  Old Testament I think.  Anyway, yesterday I took a look at our bank account, saw some things that made me freak out, checked our credit card bill, freaked out again, and went on a mission to fix it.  And the whole time, God was back there saying "Hey, can you fit Me in there?"  I mean, how do you say no to God?  He's God for crying out loud.  So I took a look at it and fit it in.  Sure, it took "sacrifice" that wasn't really true sacrifice.  It was sacrifice of comfort and cushion - not real Abraham-take-your-son-to-the-hill kind of sacrifice.  I'll be honest.  When I figured it out I was pretty ashamed of myself and our family for ignoring a basic calling from God.  He isn't asking us to pick up and move to Zimbabwe on a mission and live in a tent.  He isn't asking us to sell everything we own and live like Him.  He simply calls us to further His word and His work by giving back a tenth of the income He blesses us with.  How can I know that and ignore it and then face Him when I get to Heaven?  All that said it makes me realize just how far from Him I truly live.  I mean, I pray (most) every day.  I have a strong faith in my salvation and what God and Jesus did and sacrificed for me to have that salvation.  We've gone back to church and feel like we've found the place where we want to stay.  That's about where it ended.  I don't spend time in His word.  I pray to Him for help and I thank Him for my family, my salvation, my home, my daughter, my job, my food.  But I feel like I only bring Him in where I feel like He fits instead of in EVERYTHING.
Psalms 24:1 — "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it."

So, if He is in EVERYTHING already, why am I leaving Him out?  So, I'm working on that.  All of that.  It's a journey and I've been praying A LOT!  Pray for me please, I need it!  I have an OPPORTUNITY to be closer to God - how can that be a bad thing???