Monday, June 20, 2011

Wah, Wah, Wah!

I detest whining. It's so annoying and just gives people an excuse not to do something. Most whines begin with the word "But..." and are followed by lots of "I can't" declarations. When my children were young and into whining, I tried to quickly shut them down with "I don't hear you when you whine. Try again and this time talk to me." It usually worked.

Today, I realized I'm a whiner about something. Just typing that gives me the creeps. I hate to admit this, but as I read the scripture for my daily prayer time, it slapped me. I'm whining that I can't do something God has repeatedly told me to do. Not run for office, go into missions, or fast for months. No, it's something I love doing. He told me to write.

So, why the whining? Because I'm afraid.

You see, I'm afraid I'll fail at this. That I'm not "good enough." Who do I think I am to attempt this? Who in their right mind would spend time reading what I think? I'm limping along with it, trying to spend time writing and hoping to finish a project and slide in under the radar achieving moderate success. Success that would validate my effort, that would satisfy God. All the while, wondering if I really have what it takes.

Have you struggled with something you think God's told you to do? Are you supposed to use a talent, maybe one that you're not sure is all that stupendous? Are you running to Nineveh to catch a fish?

Today, I read 3 verses from Exodus. Sometimes, God only needs six words to convict me. Moses was whining to God. Knelt down, shoeless and stunned, he managed somehow to move into whining and uttered,

"O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”  (Exodus 4:10 NLT)

Did you catch them? "I'm not very good with words." I'm not very good. Do you ever think that? Do you say it to God when he asks you to do something? You know what? You're right. YOU aren't very good, nor am I. But, God is and he went on to tell Moses the same thing he'll tell us:

“Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord?  Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”  (Exodus 4:11-12)

Well, that takes care of the whining about what to write, doesn't it? I think I'll post this verse over my desk. But, I'm still not full of confidence. I worry that if I gain great confidence, I'll become prideful or arrogant over something that doesn't warrant it.  Maybe a good piece of writing, but nothing on the Best-Seller list. Won't I look silly! 

I moved on to my next verse for the day:

"We are confident of all this because of our great trust in God through Christ.  It is not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own. Our qualification comes from God." (2 Corinthians 3:4-5 NASB)

I think my Parent is saying, "I don't hear you when you're whining." 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Rainy Day House

     I read a quote today that seems fitting as I sit in my office listening to thunder roll across the morning sky.  (My companion, Woody, seems undisturbed!)

"Walking through puddles is my favorite metaphor for life." (Jessi Lane Adams)

     It's been years since I stomped in puddles during a summer rain. When the thunder ended, Mom would send us out with instructions to jump in as many puddles as we could find. There was something about getting the nod from her to drench ourselves with abandon that made it more exciting! Maybe I should invite the 6 year-old neighbor to join me later.

     Now that the Kentucky Monsoon Spring has abated for several weeks and the record breaking heat early in June baked us to clay, I'm ready for a rainy day. What, you say? If you look back a few posts, you'll find me whining about gloom. But yes, being the fickle woman that I deny being, I am loving being inside my cozy office with the rumbles outside.

     I've always wondered if I was born on a rainy day. There's something secure about being inside, safe and dry with warm lamplight glowing and some Campbell's soup simmering for lunch that makes me feel... loved. Having a safe "harbor" in the storm and being cared for by people who love me - can there be anything better?

     Childhood rainy day memories are good ones. I remember neighborhood friends at the door with red rubber boots slipped over Keds and dripping umbrellas on hurriedly spread out newspapers on the floor. We'd open the legs to a wobbly card table and spread out the monopoly board and distribute paper money. (Who would get the the Scotty dog or top hat as their token?) Hours of board games moved into fort building with blankets topping the card table as well as footstools pushed into rows to form tunnels. The search for batteries ensued for flashlights, as we pretended to be pirates in caves. Imagination at work. Sadly, something that isn't given much notice today. Adventure would be interrupted with soup and hotdogs followed by a "rest time" with comic books. We'd read about Beetle Bailey, Little Lulu, Casper, and SuperMan until they inhabited our dreams. Ah, to be back in the rainy day house. Safe, secure and loved.

     Ah...but I am.  :)