Wednesday, May 7, 2008

"Stuffed" To The Gills

I spend a lot of time saying that "life has picked up" or "life has gotten going and I'm busy again" ... but lately I've been thinking about fruitfulness in the biblical sense. Busy isn't everything ... and so often we find ourselves busy, running around all the time, stressed beyond belief, and in truth we aren't accomplishing anything more than a really good night's sleep.

But I don't want to be busy. I want to be fruitful. Have you ever heard the song, "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me? Check it out, it's worth it, and if you're a believer in Christ who hasn't heard the song, trust me, you'll love it. Because it's true ... none of us can say what we'll be like when we're face-to-face with Heaven, with Jesus, and having him check us over and say, "Remember that thing you did that was so awful? Why'd you do that? It was pretty dumb, you know." Or worse, "Hey, remember all those people who never came to know me through you? If I'm such great news, you should have been singing praises, shouldn't you? But you didn't, and because of that, you never really came to know me, either, and My Father has no clue who you are. Sorry ... Next!"

I can't say how it'll be for me, because there's a lot I've done in my life that I'm sure I shouldn't have. And there are lots of times when I could maybe have spoken the Word to someone and led them to eternity with Christ. But didn't. Maybe I was scared? Maybe a little too shy to just jump out like that? I don't know. But it's the kind of thing that shouldn't happen. When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well who'd been quite the sinful woman in her life, he spoke to her kindly and in a forgiving manner. He made her feel forgiven, accepted ... changed. And she didn't just quietly walk home smiling over her good fortune to have met a nice man that day at the well. No, she went back to town all but singing his praises. She told all of the town about him, and many came to him that day because of her. Sure, some of them only thought worse of her, I'm sure, "Crazy lady, thinks she's just fine now that he's been here. But look at all she's done! What a wreck she is ..."

But some souls were won that day. Because she stepped out in a town that had rejected her, and spoke of Christ's ways. Talk about fruitfulness.

But that wasn't what I meant to say ... I wanted to talk about how my life has been busy lately in a new way. Not just busy, because I've got cleaning to do and a daughter to raise and a man to feed. But fruitful?

Maybe. It's a whole different kind of busy for me lately, one that doesn't make me feel rushed, or worried, or frustrated. I'm feeling rather fulfilled in my life lately. So that's why I haven't been here, just enjoying that, I suppose. Then again, I'm supposed to be using this blog to clear my head, to work out my thoughts, to de-stress ... to spread the Word? I don't know ... but here I am.

My family's garden is still going well ... we've got quite a bit coming up out of the ground now! There are still the beets, they aren't near ready for harvesting yet, and in fact I'm a little worried about them ... something has been nibbling a bit at the greens, nothing big like a cat or rabbit or anything like that ... but some sort of bug that remains unseen and yet has riddled my greens with little tiny holes. We shall see what comes of that. The broccoli is still doing great, I've got a few little mounds that seem to be little strawberry plants (talk about miracles, we didn't think we'd get anything from those, LOL), something that is possibly carrot sprouts (but I'm not sure yet ... could be weeds), little bits of lettuce are coming up, and it turns out the okra wasn't okra. It was a weed, but now there are official okra plants sprouting ... I think. Remains to be seen, I guess.

Also, I have gotten my tomato and pepper plants in the ground, so we'll be watching to see what happens with that!

Beyond the garden, I've joined the choir at our church, Fiance is working with the tech squad to produce television broadcasts and such (which can also be viewed here), and things are going well there. I've learned a lot, and that brings me to the "stuff" I really wanted to post about.

Last Sunday morning was my first actual choir practice, and I found myself really having a good time. I got to know several of the women in the church that I hadn't yet connected with (I can add those to the ones I have connected with ... I really love it there. It's like home.), such as the media pastor's wife (he's the guy in charge of all the tech stuff, recording, mikes, cameras, sound, and beyond that he's the choir director and lead male vocal. Sings like an angel, too), and several others. Well, after the practice and before the actual service, Phil (that's the leader) stood with us and led a prayer, both for the pastor, and the community. Phil was really in force that day, praying for one of the families connected with the church who had lost their son in a car accident just weeks before he was to graduate from high school. Several people in the choir who had known the boy were in tears; he was apparently a great asset to the teen community, and his loss was greatly felt among those who knew him. But from there, Phil moved on to minister to us about our "stuff."


Yeah. "Stuff" that can weigh you down in life. Financial "stuff", family "stuff", parenting "stuff" (he's teen twin girls), friend "stuff" ... just "stuff". We all have it. We all have to deal with it. But we all should also remember that that's what the cross was for. It's a place to lay the "stuff", to let it go. Every little bit of "stuff" is another opportunity to lay your fears and worries at the foot of the cross, to give all that "stuff" to the one who said, "Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Accept my teachings and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit, and you will find rest for your lives. The burden that I ask you to accept is easy; the load I give you to carry is light."

When Phil talked about that, about "stuff" and how we are called to let it go, and to trust in God to clean us up, to heal us and to use us in spite of our "stuff", I was really moved because I find myself so often "stuffed".

Like right now. My life is so full right now, and not just with the good.
  • We're still trying to catch up on bills from when Fiance was out of work. We're thinking that we'll get there soon, and we're planning to be able to fix the broken piece on our car soon so that we can get decent gas mileage again within the next few weeks ...
  • I'm knitting and crocheting up a storm, something to ease the fear, something that gives me peace and time to think ... and something that comforts me in my faith and in my efforts to line up with that Proverbs 31 woman. (Proverbs 31:10-31, check out verses 13, 22, and 24 especially in regards to this comfort I have, LOL)
  • But we also have our daughter's heart surgery coming up on the 11th ... it's like a huge cloud looming over us. The complications from this are many, several of those possible complications are fatal, and many of them have to be carefully watched for since the hole in Teenybop's heart is so big. Prayers that the hole will shrink, or even miraculously disappear are plentiful.
  • Also, because of the surgery, my grandmother will be coming up to help out with the house during that time so that I can better concentrate on my daughter, to be a moral support to me ... and of course, to possibly say goodbye to her great-grand-daughter.

Obviously, we're quite "stuffed". But for our family, this is just another opportunity to trust in our faith, to lay our fears and worries on Jesus who intercedes for those who believe in him. To trust that she will come out of this and be better, stronger, and that there is a purpose still here for her to accomplish before her time is up.

Because she is still a seedling who has yet to have a chance to be fruitful.