Living Life in a Fish Bowl!

Gloria’s take on life.

this is what they meant??

Prednisone you are not my friend.   You’ve been responsible for a flood of tears.  You bring with you weight gain but even worse than that you mess with my emotions in a way that I have never before experienced.   You had better be worth it.   (I go for a stress test Wednesday.  That will be interesting as the meds are kicking up my heart beat just walking.)

I  have always had a wide range of emotions.  I feel things strongly.  When I get excited, I almost always talk louder and faster.  Some, who don’t know me, think that this means I am getting angry.  No, getting loud is not synonymous with anger.   I used to try to subdue it but then people would ask me what is wrong?

(I now embrace the excitement but try to be aware if someone is misinterpreting my voice raising.    This recently happened when we were having a discussion about women ministers.   This topic is near and dear to me.   I feel very strongly about it.  There was a time when someone’s disapproval  and lack of understanding of scriptural context would get under my skin.  Funny thing is then I didn’t say anything.     Now I recognize the responsibility to speak up –   to educate – to point out that God’s Word does not contradict. I am not mad at the person for being misguided.)   Ahh a topic for another day.

So a few days ago my Dr. put me on a steroid to bring my sed rate down from a much elevated level.    I was warned by many that it messes with your emotions.  Even knowing that did not prepare me for Godzilla.

I have reminded myself that I am a child of God.    I reminded myself that I do have the fruit of the Spirit operating in my life.   Knowing that I am devoted to God and it is my desire to follow Him – I quoted the scripture “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”  (Matthew 12:34)  

I pray  — Oh God break my heart for what breaks Yours.  Help me operate in the compassion that comes from You.  Help my words be kind.  Help me build up.  God, I NEED YOU to be kind through me….”

I also cleared my schedule today – a rarity for me.  I told my husband this would be a really good day for him to use the church office.  I was not doing people today.  I love people and that is why I was not going to leave the house.

I asked God what I should do.  How was I going to get through the next 11 days – til my follow up appointment.  Starting tomorrow I cannot clear my schedule.  Come Thursday I leave with a large group of women (that I love dearly) for a 2 1/2 day retreat.  Sitting there with God this morning, that scared me.

Weird as it sounds, I felt impressed to get on facebook.  I was thinking – ok I can distract my emotions with that for awhile.  First thing I saw, upon scrolling, was a song a friend had posted.  I remembered that song from long ago.  I listened to it and it was as if God was all over that song.  I thanked my friend and got offline.   I sat down at the piano and began to play the song – over and over and over.

 

 

I don’t know how the next 11 days will go.  How often will I need to apologize?   I don’t know if I will pass the stress test.   I don’t know what is ahead health wise after my follow up appointment.

What I do know is that God loves me.  God loves you.  His grace is enough.  In my weakness He has proven Himself strong EVERY SINGLE TIME.

If you see me, yes, I could use a hug.  Yes,  I will need grace.   Yes, I really am trying to keep Godzilla buried.   I apologize ahead of time and will do it again later as needed.  Please be understanding and please pray for my husband!!

Honey, I know you will be reading this.  I am soo glad that you are going through this with me.  I know your heart.

til next time

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March 25, 2019 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, living in a fish bowl, Pastor's wife, relationships, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

a smile on my face

I was looking for a verse on hope today.  The Bible is filled with them.  God is a God of hope.  No matter how difficult life may become, we have hope that God will turn it around.   It is a promise.  Romans 8:28

As God so very often does, He gave me so much more than just one scripture on hope.    For today’s blog I am going to just let the scripture do the talking and thank God again for His Word that breathes freshness into my life.

“Fixing my eyes on God — soon I’ll be praising again.  He puts a smile on my face.  He is my God!!”

A white-tailed deer drinks
    from the creek;
I want to drink God,
    deep draughts of God.
I’m thirsty for God-alive.
I wonder, “Will I ever make it—
    arrive and drink in God’s presence?”
I’m on a diet of tears—
    tears for breakfast, tears for supper.
All day long
    people knock at my door,
Pestering,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

These are the things I go over and over,
    emptying out the pockets of my life.
I was always at the head of the worshiping crowd,
    right out in front,
Leading them all,
    eager to arrive and worship,
Shouting praises, singing thanksgiving—
    celebrating, all of us, God’s feast!

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.

When my soul is in the dumps, I rehearse
    everything I know of you,
From Jordan depths to Hermon heights,
    including Mount Mizar.
Chaos calls to chaos,
    to the tune of whitewater rapids.
Your breaking surf, your thundering breakers
    crash and crush me.
Then God promises to love me all day,
    sing songs all through the night!
    My life is God’s prayer.

 Sometimes I ask God, my rock-solid God,
    “Why did you let me down?
Why am I walking around in tears,
    harassed by enemies?”
They’re out for the kill, these
    tormentors with their obscenities,
Taunting day after day,
    “Where is this God of yours?”

 Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.  Psalm 42  MSG

2015 begins tomorrow.  What will it bring?  Whatever comes your way, rest in the hope and promise that God is holding your hand!

new yearIf you have a moment, listen to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman.  It is how I am ending 2014 and starting 2015!!

til next time

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December 31, 2014 Posted by | ministry, spiritual reflections | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

the unexpected does not take God by surprise

Memorial day weekend life as our family knew it – changed.   For awhile I just kept hoping that I would wake up and realize it had just been a bad dream.  After a few days, I had to accept the fact that it wasn’t a dream.  Yes, it took me a few days.  Sometimes you just refuse to accept what is and denial becomes your friend.  However, denial is not a true friend.  Truth is.

You realize that whatever happens things will never be as they were.  You life has been altered.  The mountain now stands before you and pray as you might – God is not removing the mountain.   However, He is holding out His hand because  He is going with you over it.

Now I am firm believer that God can take something broken and make it better than it ever was.  He is in the restoration business.   He will turn even this most difficult thing around for good.  How?  I certainly cannot see it now.  It is with eyes of faith that you move up the mountain.  On the other side of the mountain, as  I (we) hold on to God, I (we) will be stronger, more like Christ, and my (our) faith will have taken a huge step of growth.

I am not  going into the details, but I know that as Christians, we all face situations that deeply change us.  Choices others make that impact us with great force.  How we choose to handle that says a lot about our faith.  Sometimes our faith is shaken but God’s love for us is right there and whether we ‘feel’ it or not, He is wrapping us in His arms of love.  He is cradling us and singing over us like a mother soothes her baby.  (Zeph 3:17)   He offers peace that goes beyond our understanding when we lay our requests at His feet with thanksgiving in our hearts for who He is.  (Phil 4:6-8 )

I have cried.

I have immersed myself in the Word.

I have prayed and prayed and prayed and continue to pray because each time I pray I am communicating with the One who sees all.  In prayer I remove my hands from the situation.  God reminds that He has a plan.  So I pray – asking Him for wisdom and strength.  Prayer reminds me that He is in control.

I have pleaded.

I have confronted.

I have cried.

This morning God’s Word leaped off the pages to me.  It is the reason for this blog.  I want to share some truths from His Word so that if you, like me, are in a life changing situation you may rejoice along with me that God’s Word is breath to us.  My daily bread, His very Word spoken to me.

 

Psalm 26:2-3 (MSG)

    Examine me, God, from head to foot,
    order your battery of tests.
Make sure I’m fit
    inside and out

    So I never lose
    sight of your love,
But keep in step with you,
    never missing a beat.

This is a great place to start.  Take a moment and ask God to show you if there is something in you that needs to change and then ask for His help to change.

Psalm 26:12 (NASB)

12 My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.

Praise is a weapon of warfare that tears down walls.

Psalm 27:1-3 (TLB)

27 The Lord is my light and my salvation; he protects me from danger—whom shall I fear? When evil men come to destroy me, they will stumble and fall! Yes, though a mighty army marches against me, my heart shall know no fear! I am confident that God will save me.

Let your faith arise and your enemies will scatter.  (Psalm 68:1)

Psalm 27:4-5 (MSG)

I’m asking God for one thing,
    only one thing:
To live with him in his house
    my whole life long.
I’ll contemplate his beauty;
    I’ll study at his feet.

That’s the only quiet, secure place
    in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
    far from the buzz of traffic.

Take the time to be still and know that He is God.  (Psalm 46:10)

Psalm 27:11-14 (MSG)

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
    direct me along a well-lighted street;
    show my enemies whose side you’re on.
Don’t throw me to the dogs,
    those liars who are out to get me,
    filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I’m sure now I’ll see God’s goodness
    in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
    Take heart. Don’t quit.
I’ll say it again:
    Stay with God.

When the waves come crashing in – hold fast to the life raft that is Jesus Christ.

Psalm 28:6-9 (TLB)

Oh, praise the Lord, for He has listened to my pleadings! He is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trusted in Him, and He helped me. Joy rises in my heart until I burst out in songs of praise to him. The Lord protects his people and gives victory to his anointed king.

Defend your people, Lord; defend and bless your chosen ones. Lead them like a shepherd and carry them forever in your arms.

The Lord is my shepherd…… (Psalm 23)  Yes, He will carry me (you) when the journey up the mountain seems to be more than I (you) can handle.  In my (your) weakness, He is strong. (2 Cor 12:10)Our God is not some far off God, but He is right there with us. (Heb 13:5)  God is an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1)

Psalm 29:3-5 MSG)

God thunders across the waters,
Brilliant, his voice and his face, streaming brightness—
God, across the flood waters.

God’s thunder tympanic,
God’s thunder symphonic.

God’s thunder smashes cedars,
God topples the northern cedars.

Never forget that God is powerful.

Oh that we would remember that our God is powerful!  He is mighty to save!  He is victorious!   Nothing is more powerful than our God!  He is not limited by those things that limit us.  Nothing is impossible with our God! (Luke 1:37)

Psalm 30:11-12 (MSG)

11-12 You did it: you changed wild lament
    into whirling dance;
You ripped off my black mourning band
    and decked me with wildflowers.
I’m about to burst with song;
    I can’t keep quiet about you.
God, my God,
    I can’t thank you enough.

There it is.  Whatever is going on in your life at this moment — the greatest weapon we have against the enemy is to praise God!!  To lift our voices and declare that He is worthy of praise in our very darkest moment.  Giving God thanks because His love is poured out on us, His peace is available, and He is working on our behalf.  He  dwells within us, and He is greater!!  (1John 4:4)

Philippians 4:6-9 (MSG)

6-7 Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

8-9 Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

 

Well there you have it – what has been happening in my fishbowl.

til next time

 

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June 12, 2014 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, relationships | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

how many times?

It’s been four weeks.  (click here for the part one)

I have been in enough pain that I  decided  to go ahead with the procedure.  I had hoped, I had prayed, but the pain is still intense.

My family doctor thought they would do the first procedure.  It is the least painful and has no side effects. My situation does not fit that.

The second procedure  is a staple procedure that is less evasive.  The potential for infection, leakage, bleeding, and pain is minimal.  Recovery time is three days.  (I am back now because the first specialist was uncomfortable with doing the staple procedure and was passing me on to the next specialist.)

Deciding yes was no easy thing.

The exam is completed and I am ready to agree to move forward when he comes in and tells me that option number three is what he recommends.

What?

What happened to two?

I thought you didn’t do three anymore?

Because of my fissure he can’t do option two?  Instead he brought out the pictures and showed me what he would be doing.  He then told me that they no longer stitch up the incision but leave it open.  He says it heals better that way.  The area will look awful and it will take four to six weeks to heal.  There are risks and complications associated with this procedure.  He will actually be doing two surgeries at once.  If he only did the first one, I would be back in his office in three days screaming.  Oh and as it heals, it will be way more painful than anything I have currently experienced.

I am not ready to make this decision.  I tell him I can’t imagine hurting more than I already do.

He tells me we can go four more weeks.

There is that sentence again.  Four more weeks.  What is it with four more weeks?

I am indeed in between a rock and a hard place.

It was deja vu all over again.  I really am beginning to hate elevators in doctor buildings.

The door closes and I cry.  All the way to the parking lot I cry.  It doesn’t even matter that people are passing me.   Tears are falling.

Many thoughts run through my head.  Some of them I speak out to my husband.  I recognize they are not helpful thoughts and I just cry.

I believe God could heal me.  I don’t understand why He hasn’t.  Yet who am I to understand the ways of God.

 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.
 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways
And My thoughts than your thoughts

Isaiah 55:8-9 (NASB)

It dawns on me that our motorcycle trip is in jeopardy.  Short of a healing, there won’t be one.  I cry some more.

My husband is my rock. He believes it will get better.   I am grateful I have him to face this with.  I am grateful for his optimism because mine seems to have been crushed.

“How many times have You heard me cry out God please take this?  How many times have You given me strength to just keep breathing?  Oh I need You, God I need You now.”

Why are you down in the dumps, dear soul?
    Why are you crying the blues?
Fix my eyes on God—
    soon I’ll be praising again.
He puts a smile on my face.
    He’s my God.” Psalm 42:11 (MSG)

click here for part 3

 

til next time

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June 2, 2014 Posted by | just thinking about stuff, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

falling tears

I am passionately in love with the One who first loved me –  Jesus Christ.  I hunger and thirst for righteousness (Matthew 5:6) knowing that as I seek Him, His Spirit fills me to overflowing.  He wants all of me and I freely give my life to Him each day.  I strive to daily  lay  down my will and wants,  pick up my cross, and follow the One whose  plan for me is  filled with purpose.

This morning found tears running down my cheeks as the worship band played a song I did not know.  Tears?  Yes tears.  You see it doesn’t matter if I know the song.   What matters is that I am singing to the One who gave His all for me, knows me completely, and  loves me with an unending love.

Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst.  (Matthew 18:20)

Sometimes all I can do is stand in His presence and let the tears flow.  It is an outward demonstration of an inward connection with the Living God.

There is something special about joining together with others to sing praises to the One who created the universe and holds all things together.   (Colossians 1:17)   Giving thanks to the One who works all things out for my good (Romans 8:28) and coming before Him with singing (Psalm 100:2) changes me.

Yes, I cry in church.

I often have tears in my eyes during worship but I have also been known to shed some tears during the preaching of the Word.  And of course tears can show up during prayer time.

Years ago, I used to wonder what people would think.  I used to try to hide my tears.  Somewhere along the way I decided that tears were a natural response, for me, of the presence of God and that stopping them was close to/ if not quenching the Spirit in my life.

My tears are a sign of my surrender.  My proclamation that God has all of me and I am not ashamed of that. (Romans 1:16)

There are tears of joy, tears of love, tears of hope, tears of laughter and yes sometimes even tears of pain.  Tears of pain in the presence of a Holy God quickly turn to tears of renewed hope and fresh faith.

For me tears are a sign  that my heart is tender towards God.    Without Him I am nothing.  (John 15:5)   In my weakness, He is strong.  (Hebrews 11:34, Ephesians 6:10)

So if you see tears falling down my cheeks, rejoice for God is my everything and we are just communicating.

til next time

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November 17, 2013 Posted by | living in a fish bowl, ministry, Pastor's wife, spiritual reflections, Woman Pastor | , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

listening

A friend was in tears today.   Sometimes life is hard.  Sometimes really hard.  What could I do?  What could I say?  

Why is it that I feel like I HAVE to do or say anything? 

So I listened.  She cried.  I listened some more.  Her pain was raw.  My heart hurt for her.  I validated her emotions – sometimes that is really all one can do. 

Yet I did understand.  In fact, I understood more than she would know.  Sometimes life hurts.  Sometimes there are no answers.

Sometimes people we count on aren’t there.  Sometimes those we think are with us are really only looking out for their own interests.  Sometimes people let us down.  Sometimes we let others down. 

She apologized for unloading on me. 

Why is it that we feel the need to apologize when we have turned to someone to unburden our load? 

Why is it that we think we must be able to handle all things well or there is something wrong with us?  

Why is it that we push people away when what we need is an understanding ear and a prayer?

A friend was in tears today.  I listened. 

til next time

November 14, 2009 Posted by | relationships | , , , , , , | 6 Comments