Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Wind Blown

Hi.  My name is Janelle, and I am a life that is changed.

A while back, my husband acquired a Chevy Metro; it earned the name "Dimples" because it had dents in every panel but two (it had previously been in a roll-over accident).  It had very few miles and didn't cost very much to fill with gas and got great gas mileage; Clint got it for a great price and thought he would drive it for work on days that he didn't need to take his big truck that he calls "Clifford."  Sidebar: Clifford is a red 4-door 1-ton pick up with a long box - it's big; even the little boys at church know it and call it by it's name!

Anyway, Clint didn't end up driving Dimples very much; it wasn't really a car you wanted to drive on Iowa roads during the winters and he also needed Clifford most days to pull his trailer. 

So, I ended up driving it when I could...until a car ran a stop sign while I was driving home from work.  I couldn't stop quick enough and I t-boned them; Dimples didn't fare too well; I picked up the parts, including the front bumper, put them in the back seat, and limped it home.   I learned some things from my time driving Dimples though.

Last week one day while driving home, it was a fairly windy day (like most are in the midwest); my "normal" car is quite heavy and so I don't get tossed around too much.  Having driven Dimples for as many days as I did though, I looked at the tops of the trees blowing back and forth and thought about how I would have been fighting to keep that little car on the road - and it would have been so noisy inside.  And then meeting a big truck and feeling like you are getting sucked in and having no control?  Wind blown!

I started thinking about how the disciples felt when they were out on that boat in the middle of the night when the wind started blowing and the waves started getting bigger and bigger tossing them all about (Matthew 14:22-34).  I can imagine it was scary; then they thought they saw a ghost coming toward them but fortunately, it was Jesus, walking, yes, WALKING on water!!  Jesus called out to his disciples and Peter, one of his disciples, said,“Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” (vs 28 NLT).  Peter actually got out of the boat and walked on water.  But when he saw the strong winds and the waves he got scared and started to sink; but Jesus was right there and grabbed his hand and kept him from sinkin and said “You have so little faith.  Why did you doubt me?” (v31)  When they climbed in the boat the wind stopped.   

What strong wind and big waves are you in the middle of? 

Maybe a child who isn't living in God's will.
How about a child who is not being responsible or accountable to his school work.
Maybe there's a situation with a friend or parent.
How about a serious health concern.
An issue with your job that you don't know how to handle or deal with.
Or a child that is in a relationship that isn't safe and you worry that she is going to get hurt.
Maybe financial problems.
Possibly a loss of a job or you or someone you love has been laid off.
Or maybe... (insert storm)

I was talking with a friend last week about one of my "storms" and she asked me if I could see God in that situation; I thought for a moment and replied, "no, I can't, but I know he's there." 

Do you have faith that Jesus will show up and calm your storm?

I do! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God Said.

Hi.  My name is Janelle and I am a life that is changed.

I'm in "that" place right now; waiting to hear from God.  Wanting to know what his plan and hoping I'll hear what he says.  Really, I'm hoping and praying I'll hear what I want to hear but more afraid that I'll hear him tell me something I really don't want to hear.

It's the middle of the night - I want to be sleeping but here I am posting on a blog that I haven't "touched" in many months. 

WHY?  Good question. 

I know the obvious reasons for not being able to sleep: extreme discomfort associated with a little disease that I have; a mosquito bite on my foot that I started to itch...

But is it more than that? 

I have this decision, a choice, to make; and I've been asking God to speak clearly to me and when he does speak clearly, to "make a path."  I know it's a lot to ask, but he says that he wants me to ask, so I do.

As I'm laying in bed, itching, hurting and getting irritated with the blissful night of sleep my husband is getting; and thinking about all the reasons why I need sleep, but also praying, I think God said, "I need you to walk."

The meaning of that, for "joe" reader, is not significant; but for me it could be.

Could be?  Dumb right? 

How do I respond?  Do I ignore him (like I have been for quite some time); do I say "what did you say?"; do I have the courage; do I possess the strength; do I trust him enough?

Do I believe what he said?

I know that God has me on a journey; and even though I don't know what his plans are, I'm willing to be patient and search out what his will is for me.  To be patient, to pray for courage and strength and to learn to trust him more so that when that time comes, I'm ready.

Monday, January 18, 2010

You're Not Alone

Not too many years ago I had a few dreams: sleeping in, a day to myself, quiet car rides, being able to pick my own TV show to watch, being able to listen to the music as loud as I want to...I've always been quite independent and so to be able to have some time to myself was extremely appealing.

There were a few years when life for me was really crazy; in one year, we bought a house and moved to a different town, I started school we got married and we had a baby.

I started school part-time 30 miles one direction from where we lived while I continued to work about 35 hours in a town about 30 miles the other direction. I worked two nights a week and Saturday's and on one of those days, I left my house in the morning to be at an 8:00 am class and then a couple of classes later, drove to my job and worked until 9:00 pm. It took me three years to get a 2-year degree.

If that wasn't enough; we had another baby during the time that I was in school-all part of the divine plan!

Life was so busy; my husband and I had six kids together and we weren't even 30 years old. At times, it felt like I was spinning out of control; I can remember wondering if I was ever going to have a clean house (I still do, by the way...) because of all the toys, dishes and little clothes that needed to be washed, folded and put away.

Fast forward to today.

Our oldest is now 23 and our youngest is 12; we also have a 14-year old at home so I have a lot responsibilities yet and they "need" me a great deal. But obviously, their need for me has changed over the years and I find myself with more free time to do the things that I enjoy.

On top of that, the church we attend made the decision a few years ago to build; so far, most of the labor has been donated by people within the church. Since my husband, Clint, is a contractor himself, he has been putting in a lot of time at the new building. Every Wednesday night and Saturday along with some Tuesday nights, almost without fail, you will find him at the new building along with some other faithful volunteers working hard to get the project completed. On top of that, there are times when he makes "runs" to Menards or Home Depot (he hates this I'm sure) to pick things up for the building project on additional nights.

More time for me.

I've always enjoyed my drive to and from work; 40 minutes of time to myself to listen to music or a podcast or just silence. It's been a bit of a sanctuary for me for a long time.

I love nature and especially lately with all the beautiful snow covering the ground and the frost on the trees. But I've noticed that with all the snow that everything in the countryside seems to alone; even alongside something else, a tree, a fence, a barn or a road seem secluded because of all the white snow.

I feel that way a lot lately; my drive to and from work seems lonely.
I miss having Clint around too; and it's taking it's toll.
The things I've enjoyed and depended on have "let me down" from relationships to my dreams to people to my job.

One thing that stays the same is my hope, Jesus Christ. Hebrews 13:8 says "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

(I tried adding a video and couldn't: if you want to watch it go to YouTube and search Meredith Andrews "You're Not Alone" - I couldn't even get the link to work...!)