Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

lent – to fast or not to fast

Today is the beginning of Lent. Lent is a time of reflection and preparation for Easter. Giving up something for Lent is meant to help us remember Jesus’ wilderness experience and His sacrifice. This is considered a type of fast.

40 days of Lent
The number 40 shows up in the scriptures often. Here are a few:
Noah and the ark – It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. (Gen 7)
Moses went up into the mountain for 40 days. (Exodus 24)
The spies were sent out to check out the land for 40 days. (Nub 14)
Wandered in the wilderness for 40 years (Number 32, Acts 7, & 13)
Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days and 40 nights. (Matthew 4)

If you count the days, you will see that there are more than 40 days until Easter.  Sundays are not considered fasting days.  Sundays are considered feasting days.

Whether you decide to give up something during this Lent season or not, I encourage you to ask God if something is out of balance in your life. Balance in a Christian’s life is not about everything being equal but about being in line with God’s Word and will. It is God who brings balance to our lives. It is God who gives purpose.

 

John 3 30

til next time,

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March 6, 2019 Posted by | ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the elusive balance

“Sooooo, how do you know when you’ve achieved your balance?”  (A question from the comments on  my last blog.)    It certainly seems like with the hustle and bustle of the day, the expectations of family and friends, along with cramming too much into our schedule, we are left with very little room for balance.   Everywhere I look the response to “how are you?” –  is – “busy, or tired, or crazy” – you get the picture.  You’ve probably said the same thing.  I know I have.

The oh so elusive balance. 

I do think that attitude and balance go hand in hand.  Sometimes it is not my activities that are out of whack, but it is my attitude.  I could drop everything, but if I maintain a bad attitude it won’t make much difference.  That said I am not going to address the whole attitude issue here.  Let’s for the sake of this topic say that my attitude is not the problem, but I am exhausted and out of balance.

Jesus is the example that I look to.  How did He do it?  One thing I see very clearly is that He did not let others dictate His schedule.  He did not leave us an example of constantly rushing from one ‘great’ thing to another then another.   What He did do was to regularly go off to a quiet place and connect with God the Father.   He made Himself  approachable and willing to be inconvenienced.  Yet He didn’t drop everything and run because He knew that God had a plan and things happen for a purpose.   He walked in obedience.

My life at times looks like a paper that has had the margins removed, is single spaced and is filled from top to bottom.  I once printed that out for a sermon I preached on ‘wiggle room’.  Try printing something that is filled from side to side, top to bottom, single spaced and see how easy it is to read.  Yet, we live like that sometimes. 

Wiggle room — no it is not a place where little kids can jump around and have a good time 🙂  It is time in my schedule that allows for the unforeseen and gives me time to regroup.  It means that I keep some space in between things.  I’ve called it other things –margins, breathing room, down time, to name a few.   If I find myself coming and going while barely meeting myself in between then I know that I have removed the wiggle room from my life. 

When I remove the wiggle room from my life  it is not long and I am near exhaustion and wondering just what is God thinking??  Why is it that things are piling one on top of another? It is then that I am reminded that God is probably thinking something like this:

“Gloria what are you doing?  Who is in charge of your schedule?  It is not my plan for you to be always on the go.  Come to me and I will give you rest.” 

He wants to lead me beside the still waters, but I can be so busy that I refuse to allow myself to be led.  Oh, I don’t knowingly refuse, but I refuse none the less.  Usually, it is because I am too busy to recognize the still small voice calling to me to ‘come away to a quiet place’ or ‘it’s time to make a schedule change’.    I may not recognize it because after all I am so busy because I’m doing it:  for God, because of my love for God and people, because it has to be done, because it is expected, because it is important, because I said I would — sometimes it is for all of the above.

Balance when it is working in my life looks like this.  Wake up refreshed because I have given myself adequate sleep. (this is the first thing to go out of balance)  I have allowed myself time to connect with God to receive from the Word spiritual refreshing. (even on crazy days I still connect with God because I might as well stay in bed if I don’t)   I am on time because my life is in balance and I have allowed ‘wiggle room’.   I have something to offer people because I am not focused on how ‘stressed’ or ‘tired’ I am.  I make time to do something I enjoy.  I make commitments and keep them because I don’t over commit or under commit (both are wrong) and I have a sense of purpose in my life because I am walking in obedience.

There is so much more to say about the elusive balance but I need to get off of here now or else it will use up all my ‘wiggle room’ for this morning.

til next time

February 20, 2009 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Always a challenge

It seems that the older my boys get – the more competitive they become. 

Who is:   the fastest,  the strongest,  the one that can run the farthest,  the one most toned,  who can do the most _______  fill in the blank.  They can turn anything into a competition.  And if there happens to be an audience so much the better.

I was thinking about how sometimes we can look at things thru the eyes of what others are doing or have.  To be content with where I am, while yet striving to make the improvements that I can make – this is at times a challenge. 

I am a pretty driven person.  Learning to let some things drop off my radar is a challenge. 

I grew up in a home where my mom did it all.  Truly she was super woman before women’s lib ever came about.  She worked full time (plus during peak seasons – overtime) and kept such a clean house you could eat off the floor.  She hates it when I say that, but it is true.  She also entertained, was a gracious host and had the house back in order before going off to bed.  Can you say Wonder woman???

My house, well let me think, when was the last time I mopped the kitchen?  Does cleaning up doggie vomit count?   And don’t even get me started on the whole ‘spring and fall cleaning’ – yes my mom did that too – how I have no idea. 

The challenge to keep up my house is always there, because after all I’m the pastor’s wife and certainly my house should be in tip-top shape  (fishbowl anyone?).  This was way too much pressure.  I finally decided that it was more important to me that people feel comfortable and welcome than they see a spotless house.    Letting go of what others think – that is a challenge.

I’d hire a cleaning lady but I’m told that is not in the budget.  Go figure. 

Finding balance – that is the key.   De-cluttering has helped me a lot.  It is amazing how things can pile up.  Getting the boys to pick up after themselves was necessary for them and for my sanity.   

Curt also helps around the house.  This is a challenge of a different kind for me.  I would rather he not feel the need to help around the house.  I know that he is pressed for time also.   Yet with both of us working it does make sense.   I look forward to the day when I give up one of my jobs and then can take back my house.  There is painting and refinishing that I would love to tackle, but not now.  And maybe I would get at that spring cleaning!?! 

It is a challenge to know how to effectively plan our days.  To have a good balance of work, fun and relaxation. 

til next time

June 24, 2008 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, twins | , , | 2 Comments