Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

busy, tired, calm, peace???

What is your answer to the question – How are you?  It seems the most common answer is busy or tired.

Do you find there is more to be done than time or energy to do it?

Are the primary emotions you are feeling frustration, anger, or dread?

Are you excited about a new project only to quit half way through it?

When it is time to fulfill a commitment you made, do you find that you dread the thought of it (It is fun to say yes and have others happy with you but at what cost later?)

still waters

 

He leads me beside still waters —who is doing the leading in your life?

When my ‘waters’ seem anything but still, I need to ask myself who is doing the leading?  Then I either need to say “Jesus take the wheel” or if He is at the wheel then ask Him to calm the storm – the one raging outside or the one raging inside.
It can be so easy to shift my focus to the raging waters instead of to the One who calms those waters. It seems that on any given day there are always things that ‘must’ be done. Resisting the temptation to take back the wheel is crucial to still waters and green pastures.

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He MAKES ME lie down in green pastures;
He LEADS ME beside quiet waters.
He RESTORES MY soul;
He GUIDES ME in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

til next time

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July 6, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

what did Jesus do?

If we are not mindful, we can get sucked into the hurry, hurry, schedule packed, pulled in many directions, life going round and round in circles leaving no room for the unexpected. Yet, the unexpected happens.

Jesus is leaving Jericho heading to Jerusalem. It is 17 miles. Before leaving he told his disciples what would take place there. (Death and Resurrection)

As he left Jericho, a great crowd follows him. Two blind men are sitting by the road. When they heard who was passing by they began to cry out to Him. The multitude tried to quiet them. They got all the louder. “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David.”

What did Jesus do?
Matthew 20:32 -33 “So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him.”

V 32 He stood still, and called them – even though He was on His way to Jerusalem, knowing what was ahead – he stood still. He met them in that moment.

What Do We Do? Are we willing to stop, stand still and do good? Do we take time to help? Once you start to pay attention to the opportunities, you will find them everywhere.

finding the smooth rhythm of grace,
til next time,

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April 13, 2017 Posted by | ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

today……………….

Would you classify your life as busy?  Maybe too busy?

Do you find there is more to be done than time or energy to do it?

Are the primary emotions you are feeling frustration, anger, or dread?

Are you excited about a new project only to quit half way through it?  (I remember an afghan that I started in high school and finally finished it 10 years or so later – only to  get rid of it because the colors were horrible. Lesson learned.)

When it is time to fulfill a commitment you made, do you find that you dread the thought of it?  (It is fun to say yes and have others happy with you but at what cost?)

Do you feel your worth is wrapped up in what you do?

still waters

He leads me beside still waters —   who is doing the leading in your life?

When my ‘waters’ seem anything but still, I need to ask myself ‘who is doing the leading?’ Then I either need to say “Jesus take the wheel” or if He is at the wheel then ask Him to calm the storm – either the one raging outside or the one raging inside. It can be so easy to shift my focus to the raging waters instead of to the one who calms those waters.  Seeing all that needs to be done can cause me to take back the wheel.

Yes He leads me beside still waters and sometimes He even makes me to lie down in green pastures. Why does He ‘make me?’ Because I can tend to be task orientated.

I have a list of things that ‘must’ be done today.  My knee is not cooperating.    I was a bit frustrated because I made choices this week-end that should have helped.  We didn’t take in the parade or fireworks.  I did have my foot up and iced it, but this morning it is demanding rest.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures”

Last summer I spent the entire summer taking a 20 minute bath 4 times a day for a very painful issue.  Now that will put a halt on any to-do list.  This morning it hit me.   (Don’t you just love it when God has to bonk you on top of the head because you just wouldn’t get it any other way?) I need to take that time (20 minutes/4 x’s a day) to ice and prop up my leg.  Maybe then I will get the numbness to go away and the swelling to go down.  You think?  Sigh — but who has time for that.

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”

I was also reminded this morning that part of what I feel compelled to do (and yet am not doing) is increase my reading.  Twenty minutes four times a day will help with that.

I am in need of calm waters and green pastures.  God has provided them for me.  Will I take advantage of them?

The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He MAKES ME lie down in green pastures;
He LEADS ME beside quiet waters.
He RESTORES MY soul;
He GUIDES ME in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3

Today I purpose to slow down – which is a good thing as I don’t seem to have a choice.   I do choose to  notice the beauty around me, relax in the green pasture, and enjoy the gift of today!

What about you?

looking for the fingerprints of God – they are everywhere! Lord open my eyes!

til next time

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July 6, 2015 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, ministry, pastor, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

living life on the fast track

So sometimes it seems like life is similar to a snow ball that starts at the top of a great big hill and then begins to journey downward.  It gains speed and gets bigger as it rolls downward.  The bigger it gets, there just seems to be no stopping it. 

Vacations are a great way to put the brakes on that giant tangled snowball.

Ah, but making it until vacation can be tough.

Then there is the anticipation  that can derail a perfectly good vacation.  Did you know that one’s  expectation can easily reach beyond the scoop of reality.   For that matter just the reduction of stress can cause a whole host of new problems. 

However, long about the end of January I began talking with Curt about getting away.  Between the whole menopausal issues and just plain too stinking busy I wanted a get a way. 

Oh I got one – Curt’s father died and we spent a week a way.  Be careful what you say.  I wanted a break not a stress induced coma!  Praise God that He is there to help. (I did some blogging on that – check it out by clicking here)

Two weeks ago (one weekend before vacation) we find ourselves headed to a little blip in northern MN for the burial of Curt’s dad’s ashes.  The cemetery is connected with the church (which is literally in the middle of nowhere) and they don’t do digging in the winter – thus  the trip in the summer. 

It was truly beautiful country.  We certainly saw a lot of it.  We were in the van for 25 hours in less than a 72 hour time frame.  There were times that we really really wanted to be done driving.

We packed as much as possible in what few hours we weren’t riding in the van.  Friday night we had supper with Chris, Galina,  my sister, her family, and  my mom.

          fuddruckers

The high light was getting to spend Friday night at Chris’ apartment.  We picked up a  movie at Red box.  I promptly fell asleep.  It was just like home.  I loved it.   Here is Chris and Galina in his apartment.

               chris apartment

Curt and I had a few short moments to take in the beauty of the northern woods.  Curt did the grave site service.  I am so very proud of him.

We all took a trip to the old home place.  It was really neat to traipse around – that is until Kristen found a tick on me.  Yup I was so done 😛  What was I thinking?  The grass was knee high and perfect for ticks.  Found another one on my leg as we were leaving.  Oh I hate ticks!

Here is Grandma and grand kids in front of the farmstead.

         grandkids

On the return trip home we picked up Galina and had lunch at Ruby Tuesdays with her family.  The first of many lunches I am sure 🙂

It was a very full weekend!

Then it was work one more week during the day and go hither thither and yon each evening.   Our life as a ministry family has certainly never been boring. 

At last it was vacation time.  More on that week later – I’ll just say for now that it was great!! 

We got home from vacation on Saturday and as all Pastor families know – Sunday is the busiest day of the week.  I do think that next year I will try to not plan the church picnic on the Sunday we get back.  🙂  Although it was a very relaxing time.  It’s just that I am not unpacked nor ready for work tomorrow.  Life rolls on……

life on the fast track — have to remind myself that life is really about the journey 

til next time

August 2, 2009 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, menopause, perimenopause, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 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

how’s life?

What word/words would you use to describe your life?  Here are some words to think about: busy, stressed, rushed, agitated, frustrated, or could it be content, peaceful, joyful, exciting, abundant etc.

All of those words, at one time or another, would describe my life.  It’s a New Year and that always causes me to do some personal reflection.  What words describe my life right now?  Am I ok with those words?

Jesus came to give us the abundant life.  Abundant – more than enough.  He was referring to a life filled with all the goodness of God.  He is more than enough for whatever I face.  However, some days the abundant in my life would be described as more things to do than I possibly have time for.  I would find myself with an abundance of demands.  Yet this is not the abundant life Jesus was talking about.  He said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

I spent New Year’s eve with our youth group.  It was fantastic.  youth-overnight-021youth-overnight-036I am still amazed at how much fun it was.  Fun, now there is something that can get pushed aside in the hustle and bustle of life.  I was reminded that fun does take energy.  It can even be work.   Ah, but laughter follows the footsteps of fun. 

When was the last time you laughed?  For me it was this morning.  Our dog is truly living on borrowed time.  She is so naughty and adorable at the same time.  At least I am seeing some humor in her.

Last night Steve preached on God having a sense of humor.  All I have to do is look at some of the animals and I see plenty of humor.  The fact that Steve’s power point on God having a sense of humor didn’t work was also very funny.  🙂 

Some days just reflecting on what I have done can cause me to join with God in laughter.  I think that sometimes I am guilty of taking life way to serious.  This can rob me of peace and contentment.

How’s life?  Many years ago I started asking my friends this question instead of how are you?  It was a reminder to me and them that life is so much more than just how I am today.  Life is good!!  Sure it can be difficult, but there is nothing like the peace that God brings when situations come up.  Being a follower of Jesus Christ is exciting.  Each day is a new day to witness the wonders of God.  (That is if I am not to busy or rushing around trying to do way more than I should)

Psalm 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made, Let us rejoice and be glad.”  I choose joy.  I am learning how to slow down in this fast paced world.  Some days are easier than others.  I am learning how to enjoy today because today is the day the Lord has made. 

So how’s life?

til next time

January 5, 2009 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments