Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fear...It's So Destructive

There are days where I feel really lovable-not many, but some days. Then there are days where I just sit and wonder, "Does anyone like me?" I am definitely opinionated-that can bite people. I am definitely a driven person-that can make people feel uncomfortable. I am motivated by Christ-that can either encourage people or make people think I'm weird. I feel as if I am usually going against the flow, not in rebellion, but in my conservative views. And I find myself so consumed with the things going on in my home or church that I don't make time for what's going on in the world- some find me dumb. (I find me dumb too). 

So, what is it about me that would make anyone be my true and dear friend?

Most of my friends are pretty much different than me and I wonder why they are holding on to this relationship. What am I offering that keeps them near?  I really am wondering about this today.

I have recently been challenged to confront a person I had to work with. I am usually fine with confrontation, but when asked to confront this particular person everything in me dropped out. This person is so abrasive and soooo opinionated, and might I add-stuck in her ways that I thought, "What's the point in confronting her she'll never change."  It wasn't in a mean way-it was in a scared way. I am actually afraid of this person. Which I didn't realize that anyone could do that to me anymore.'s so destructive. I have found fear motivating me to do the saddest things:

1.I have come to see that over the years I have avoided confronting people who hurt me truly because they make me feel scared.
2. I see now how I've backed away from friendships in fear that I might get hurt again.
3. I also see now how much of my life, particularly the last seven years, I've lived in fear. For example -if someone was very different from me I just avoided any sort of friendship in fear of getting hurt. I knew hurt was inevitable, so, I thought, "Why even try?"
4. And lastly, I've been so afraid of being wrong or shown up as not good enough that I pulled away from people who might detect my weaknesses.

I know that I've been tremendously hurt in my life, but to still be living in fear is so disappointing. I thought that I had grown more than this. Living in fear? Yuck.

Lord, heal me. Fill me with your perfect love to drive out all fear. Forgive me for cowardly hiding behind fears and lies instead of facing my fears. Forgive me for passing up friendships that I could have had. Friendships that could have challenged me, or encouraged me to grow closer to you.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Missions Mom

So, I'm a stay home mom. I'm a homeschooling mom. I have a faithful husband and six children. I'm busy.

Too busy for missions? Too busy for ministry? No. Never.

I don't know what it is about me that just won't quit. I'm like the energizer bunny. No matter what I have going on in my own personal life-I have to minister. It's not a need to be filled. It's not to look good. It's not to please my pastor. It's just that I know that God has given me certain gifts, talents and there is a need in the church. I can't sit idly by and not help. I mean -I can sit still - if I'm not called to help, but when I feel like God is asking me to do something-I cannot say no.

Funny story : I was newly pregnant and was asked to be the VBS director. I had never directed a VBS before. Had never even attended one as a child. but my husband and I really believed God was indeed asking me to do it. When HE leads me, He gives me the vision, strength, wisdom and ability to do it.

Now I know some people would say "family first." and yes, my family does come first, but they are not to be everything either.

In being a part of different ministries over the years while raising children-I've learned a few things:
1. God comes first. If He says do it, just do it.
2. Know that God will give you the wisdom on how to get the laundry, cleaning and cooking done.
3. Know that God will give you wisdom on how to train your children to help you so you can go and minister.
4. Have your children a part of the ministry. Allow them to see you serve and they will have a heart to serve.
5. Allow the ministry to change you. it has changed me. challenged me. I am not the same person I once was.
6. Never stop serving. see the big picture. Christ was all about serving. If we're faithful in the small things, we'll be trusted to do the big things. and I want to do big things for Christ.

I cannot even wrap my brain around not serving. how do you not serve? How do you not help?

Open the Doors and Let the Harvest In.

I just finished directing a week of VBS or Vacation Bible School. I worked on it from November to June and now the week has come and gone. What's it for? Many people asked me, "Why do you have to spend so much money on VBS? Why can't you do it the way we did it in the '60's? Why does it have to be so complicated? Why do we need so many workers? 

I guess my view of VBS is not theirs. I see VBS as a missions trip where don't have to travel. The Lord said to me, "Ellie, I want you to stay, open the doors and let the harvest in." Amazing! They come to us! No door to door knocking-I did that in New York-and man, was that ever hard. No "four spiritual laws" as you're walking down the street. Just open the door and the harvest will come.

As for those that already know Christ- I believe their walk will grow even deeper. They're hearing the Bible stories, and seeing Christians in action. They also get to see that God can be known to them in laughter, dance, singing, games, etc. God cares about them having fun. I think too many of us grow up thinking that Christianity is soooo serious. Why can't it be fun?

I am amazed that God used ME. I directed VBS! I did something for the Kingdom. I'm truly amazed.