Saturday, January 01, 2011

A happy New Year...

Wow... it's a new year. Already!

When I think about what to write here, I'm a little unsure. Reflecting back, if I were to be totally honest, the last couple of months have been a roller coaster in my head and heart.

First, a few months ago my family and I headed to Walt Disney World... a bucket item list for me that a year ago I wouldn't have dreamed was possible anytime soon. Good friends blessed us with an amazing place to stay, and we had a ball. Jason had never been, and it was fun to be so delightfully exhausted all together. I'm SO grateful we had the chance to go!

The last couple of months have been a real spiritual battle in my own heart and mind. I've not struggled with depression before... but considering I'm not one who cries often, and I've cried more in the last few months than I have in the last few years, I'm thinking that's what might be going on. I've always valued facts over emotions. But I'm learning that when the accuser takes 'facts' and twists them in your mind, that can create a lot of emotion. :-)

I'm recognizing that the last two years, specifically with homeschooling, have held immense change for me, and walked me into an area where I'm most uncomfortable. So I've retreated. Isolated myself. Been afraid to fail, and sure I wasn't going to succeed. I took every possible sign to prove myself right in those thoughts, and been nervous at any point in which my suspicions might be exposed to anyone else with out me stating it first.

It's miserable. Downright miserable. Did I say miserable?

Terry had a quote recently that struck me: "As long as self has the stage, fear has an audience."

I'll be honest. I keep asking God to take away this struggle. Either show me another way to school my children that will meet the needs homeschooling HAS met, or make me good enough to keep schooling them without stress and worry all the time that affects them. And He clearly has given me signs that He CAN do either one... I couldn't miss it! Nor could I miss the sign that He isn't offering the changes right now. I'm guessing He has a reason for that. :-)

What He is offering... is Himself.
I haven't wanted that, though.

I've wanted a new, improved, me. A me that can ________________. A me that doesn't _______________. And if along the way, I could also______, and __________, and not ____________, that would be great too. Oh and could I also have back some opportunities do to things that make me feel good about myself? And that other people would commend me for? If facebook were to summarize my year in prayer, I'm afraid it might have ME all over the picture. Hmmm.... guessing there's a connection between that and the depression, too.

Last night, my sweet husband gave me 7 hours to myself while he and the kids when and played. The house was clean, all chores done... no to do list or distractions to keep me from just relaxing. So I spent some time reading and listening to some messages that God had arranged for my heart to be ready to hear. It takes so little of His word and work to bring such renewal...and reminds me why He calls me to prioritize time for this!

New Year's resolutions are fresh on everyone's minds. There are lots of plans to do things differently this year, and I'm no exception. But I want to take the "me list" out of the equation.
I want be watching for God's plans... and to respond with a trusting heart that focuses on His power to accomplish whatever He calls me to, and a thankful heart that knows He will not remove my weaknesses just because I beg Him too. It may be that "My grace is sufficient for you" is His answer, and my thoughts and prayers need to refocus on the power He has always had to be God over the world and over my life.... and my sin.

It's my hope that confessing the self-centered nature of my heart will be the first step out of the pit, and back into the world where God is working all the time and inviting me to participate in His amazing work. It will be a happy new year because the Gospel still exists for all, including me, and THAT is the GOOD NEWS that I'm invited to start each day with.

So I think I will. :-)


Danna said...

Thank you for sharing~I can definitely relate and say a hearty AMEN to all that you said! Thanks for being a sweet friend to Doug and me. We love you guys so very much!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR, my friend!

Anonymous said...

May God renew you daily! May he give you the strength and trust as he leads you on the journey he has for you! I've heard it said that homeschooling is like putting your family in a crucible... we are being refined moment by moment and as a family we see each others weaknesses. Sometimes I feel it is a bad thing for my kids to see so much of my weaknesses but I am certain that this is the road God has for us and that he will use all our experiences to make our family more like Him. Love you! Leah Rader

Anonymous said...

Oh, Heather!!!! I don't know how God does this through you, but you are always able to put into words, beautifully what my heart is dying to express!! I share your struggles, fears, and joys that His grace in indeed sufficient for me! Thanks so much for sharing! Love you soooooooooooooooooooo very much!!!!

Jeanne Priest (I can't remember my blogger ID or password!)

Tammy said...

Heather, thank you so much for putting your heart out in words that I can SO relate to!

Satan is such a jerk and liar. I often shake my head at myself for being so gulible to his obvious tactics!

You are not alone in your struggles and God has put a family of people around us all to relate, to love us when we don't love ourselves, to show Jesus to us with their words, hugs, actions...You are such a wonderful child of our Father! Value yourself as He values you and His Grace WILL be sufficient.

I love you dearly, my friend. You are precious to my heart! Thank you for all you do! Thank you for your humility! Thank you for using the gifts God has gifted you with! You are a blessing to me!

PS Thank you for giving Theresa a tip for working in an area she loves! Told you you are precious!

Jill said...

Heather, I am just now catching up on some of my blog reading and as always, I am touched by what you write! I love your openness and honesty and I hope it helps you to know that you are not alone in your struggles! I hope this New Year brings many great things to you and your family and that your spirits are lifted soon! Love you!