Thursday, March 20, 2014

What "they" think...

For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Many people may not realize this about me, but I am a chronic people-pleaser. Even the thought of someone being upset with me is almost unbearable - like stomach-in-knots, heart-racing, on-the-verge-of-tears unbearable.

Yesterday, I heard through the grapevine (because that's what happens when you live in a small town) that someone has felt the need to vent (aka gossip) about me and my husband to many other people around town. Now, I know that with me being a teacher and my husband being a pastor, our lives are VERY public and a lot of people know us or at least they think they do. Hearing about Ms. Talks-a-lot and her conversations yesterday really got to me. Yes, I felt the knot in my stomach, my heart racing, and tears actually fell. 

But over the fifteen minute drive home, God spoke to me...

You see...People may know our names, they've seen us around town, maybe they've sat for one of my husband's sermons or I've taught one of their teenagers. But do they really know us?? 

God reminded me that he KNOWS me!! He sees my heart when I pray for my family, my students, my church, my co-workers, and my community daily. He sees when I sit with a student hours after the final bell of the day helping him to write a paper that determines if he will graduate or not. He is there when the teenage girl talks to me about a pregnancy scare because her mother isn't in the picture. 

Why am I so concerned about what other people see or don't see on the outside when God sees EVERYTHING about me! Shouldn't I do all I can to please Him and Him alone? 

Father, I pray that my focus is on pleasing You, not other people. I pray that You give me that peace as I know You see my heart! Thank you. In His name, Amen.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Not Again!!!

It's about time I put a new post on this blog of mine. I've been MIA...again!
Several weeks ago, Steven and I were taking the boys to buy some new tennis shoes. (It seems like we have to make this purchase every three months.) While in the car, I asked Titus (now two and a half) about his day at daycare. He spent the next few minutes laying out every detail for me. He played with play-doh, read a book, colored, and played outside. He explained that while outside, he would pick up the rocks and throw them into the air letting them land on his head. He ended his story with one stomach-turning statement -- "And there's a rock in my ear, Mommy."
I looked over at Steven, and he looked back at me. Only two words came out of my mouth, "Not again!" (Click here to read about when Keaton put a rock in his ear.) We arrived at the shoe store, peered into my child's tiny little ear, and there it was -- a little brown rock. Following the instructions of both the ENT and the pediatrician, we watched him that night and brought him into the doctor the following day.
After the incident with Keaton and the rock, I told Steven that I would NOT go through this one alone. The three of us dropped Keaton off at school, and I spent the whole 45 minute drive to the ENT's office praying that things would be easier with Titus than they were with Keaton.
The doctor examined my baby's ear and said the words I've already heard from him once: "There's a rock in his ear." His nurse brought in a bottle of warm water, and Titus sat in Steven's lap while I sat across the room waiting for screaming and crying that never came. It only took a little squirt of water, and POP! the rock was out. Titus never squirmed, squealed, or squalled. Even though I braced for the worst, the experience was no where near as traumatic as what I went through with Keaton.
Once we left the doctor's office, the afternoon turned in to "Titus Day." Our little one had something he rarely gets: Mommy and Daddy all to himself for an entire afternoon! We had lunch, played, and just enjoyed being with him.
Now you know, I always try to seek a blessing in the stressings of my life. So, I asked myself what is God trying to tell me with this rock in Titus's ear? I already had this lesson once. Then it hit me, I was focused on the rock, and not the "Titus Day" we were able to enjoy because of the rock. See, we all have these metaphorical rocks in our lives. Illness, financial struggle, stress at work -- the list goes on and on. Often these little rocks are God's way of getting our attention so that He can have us to Himself for a while. Perhaps if we focus more on Him and have "God Time" more regularly, these rocks will be just that -- rocks. They won't be the mountains that we see because we are focused on the stressings not the blessing of having a God who is big enough.