Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thoughts...

I'm sitting here, frustrated by my slow internet speed.

The only two pages working are my blog and "google reader."

Maybe that's a good thing - when 50% of my internet choices are "blog," the chances that I'll pick "blog" rise that much more.

I'm sitting here, wondering why I've been so snappy today. My younger sisters deserve better than that.

This internet is still bugging me. How long can those "loading" circles go 'round and 'round like that?

I'm sitting here craving cinnamon rolls. I've been in the mood for cinnamon rolls for about a week now. I think of them almost every night, wishing we could have them for breakfast tomorrow. But I never think of it when I could make them. (I suppose I could start them at 8:00 at night, or even 10:00 at night....but...)

I'm sitting here thinking about puppies, and bunnies, and cute little things. My two younger sisters just got baby bunnies. My older sister just got a puppy. I want a puppy someday! ...Or maybe a house rabbit. A nice, friendly, big one.

Why are these two pages the only things loading? Is my computer insane?

I'm sitting here wondering about people. What does your favorite food say about you? If your favorite foods are soda, chips, pop tarts, and pizza, what does that mean? If your favorite foods are cheese, pie, fries, and ham, what's that mean? If you love tacos, ice tea, and chicken, what does that mean? What does it mean if I love granola, nuts, raisins, peaches, and chocolate?

What about your dislikes? Am I weird if I can't stand hard candy, soda, and pop tarts? Am I strange if I don't get excited about soups and goulash? What if I LOOOOVE sweet potatoes, broccoli, and eggs? (Separately, of course.)

Enough food talk. You'd think I hadn't had supper yet, but I did. I had a very good supper of shepherd's pie and green beans, with ice cream for dessert. I also had a very nice lunch...which was too short...because we were rushed...but I won't go into that.

Those pages better load soon, before I start typing too much crazy stuff on here.

I'm sitting here sorta-kinda working on a sewing order. THIRTEEN pairs of mens' dress pants, to be altered. Buttons sewn on. Clasps moved. Hems done. All that stuff. I have 4 completely done, 4 ready for machine work, 4 still needing hand-work done, and one in-progress. I don't like this job - I keep putting it off. I'm proud of myself, for working on it today.

Why can't Daddy fix this? Can't daddies fix everything?

I'm sitting here wondering if I should share my latest recipe -

Wait. I wasn't going to talk about food, right?

Right.

I'm not hungry - really. I promise. I'm not the slightest bit hungry. Why am I thinking about food so much?

Must be stress. I think of food when I'm stressed. If you see a picture of me, someday, where I look like a small blimp (or even a big blimp), you can assume I got into a very stressful situation and didn't get out of it for several months.

Even minor stress - like computers mal-functioning - is stress.

Wait. Whoever said computers misbehaving is minor stress never met my computer. My laptop is infamous in my house (and I mean infamous) for its strange and slow behavior. It's gotten to the point where everyone cheers when I tell them my computer logged on in under five minutes. I've been known to shout at my computer, cry at it, scream at it, and literally pull my hair because it won't load things fast enough. And, no, we don't have dial-up. And, yes, I consider myself pretty patient...to a point.

What do you do when you're stressed? I'm very familiar with stress - we've had many chats. My body reacts very violently to even slight stress; my face breaks out, my eyes get blood-shot, I can't sleep, my muscles won't relax, and I get tension head-aches. I also notice myself eating even when I'm not hungry, refusing to go to bed even when I'm tired, and withdrawing from reality by doing things like reading a book or watching a movie.

Does suffering from stress mean I'm a bad Christian? I've often wondered that. It seems that someone who knows the secret of "casting all their care upon Him," would never be stressed for a moment.

...Of course, if you're in the middle of being stressed, the thought that you're a bad Christian doesn't help much. If anything, it adds to the downward spiral.

But does it mean you're a bad Christian? I've really wanted to know.

I think I know a little bit of the answer, now. It's come from going through a lot of stress, listening to a lot of godly people, and doing a lot of reading in God's Word.

I know almost everybody accepts stress, and we say "everyone has it!" but I'm going to be different and say that I don't think God intended Christians to live a stressful life, any more than He intended us to live a sinful life. Do we have stress? Yes. Do we sin? Yes. But we don't have to live a stressful life any more than we have to life a sinful life.

So, what causes stress?

Sin.

Gasp! She said it! She called stress a sin! You're not supposed to blame stressed people - you're supposed to have pity on them!

I know. But listen - what causes stress? Impatience. Anger. Worry.

Like right now - I'm sitting here, impatient at my computer. I'm angry that it won't work, and I'm worried it won't work before it's time for bed, and I won't get any of the things I wanted to do done.

If I'm stressed about the mountain of things on my "To Do" list, I'm worried about what will happen if I don't finish it in time. I'm angry at people or circumstances who keep me from getting things done.

Worry. Anger. Aren't those things sins?

Now, I do think we should have pity on stressed people. (Oh boy, do I believe that, when it's me who's stressed!) Lots of stress is caused by worry, and worried people often don't even realize that worry is wrong. But it is.

We have a Father who loves us. He's promised to take care of us. What am I saying? He's ALREADY taken care of us! We know that everything He puts into our lives is for our good and His glory. ...But do we act like we believe that, in the nitty-gritty details of life?

Oh boy.

I am soooooo convicting myself. Why do I have to be blogging this conversation with my conscience?

Long lines at the store are in His plan.
Traffic jams didn't catch Him by surprise.
Unexpected chores were put into our schedules by His hand.
He knows about those responsibilities we said we'd do because we believe God wants us to do them.
Younger sisters asking us for help are often His voice, telling us to serve freely.
Computers that run slow are His hand directing our time.

Yikes. This is hard.

You know why it's hard?

I'm forgetting how much He loves me. Why am I worried about the future when I know Who holds the future? Why am I worried about failing when I know Who will love me anyway? Why am I worried about the time when I know Who plans my schedule?

This is a hard blog post to write. ....Because I know it's true, but I'm not sure I can live it out. I'm still working on this spot in my life. I need to surrender it, but it sure is hard to let go. It's hard not to want my own way.

But His wondrous love keeps coming back to mind. His faithfulness. He's always been worthy of my trust. The thought that He cherishes me just about breaks my heart.

I don't know why I want so much to hold on to stress - such an ugly, painful thing. I don't know why I want to be stressed. To let go and trust sounds so nice and relaxing, but it's so ....so awful hard to do! So unnatural. It's mine, this stress I feel. I want to hold onto it with childish hands and say "no! mine!" I want to scream at my computer. I want to be angry that I can't do what I planned to do with my evening.

But He picked this.

I know He controls the winds and waves - computers are a small thing in His sight. And He could easily make mine behave.

But, for some unexplained reason, my blog page is working, and my "fun" pages aren't.

He picked this.

And He loves me.

He loves me.

He loves.

How can I stress?

6 comments:

Erela said...

I don't think anger in itself is a sin. I think the sin comes from what you do with the anger. Like, if you see an injustice that makes you see red and you decide to start a cause to prevent it from happening again that's a healthy channeling, but if you go all ballistic postal worker on the inflicter of the injustice that's going into sin territory - just a tad.

If you are angry at people that are preventing you from getting things done, it could be a sin -especially if you stay that way and dont examine where the anger is coming from at heart. But I think if you are able to see that its misplaced feelings of loss of control and you take steps to rectify it you are okay?

as for poptarts and soda - who in their right mind can stand them? yuck.

;)

Amber said...

Dear Erela,

You reminded me that I need to verify a few points on this lengthy post. :)

#1 - Stress is most definitely not a sin - I just think that in many cases (not all) it is caused by sin.

#2 - You are right - not all anger is a sin (Eph. says "be angry and sin not"). I was talking about sinful anger, at people and circumstances God has purposely put into my life, but I forgot to clarify that point. :)

#3 - My main thought in all my rambling was that to "stress out" over things beyond my control, or because things aren't happening the way I want them to, is a sign of selfish worry, and an indication that I don't REALLY believe God when He says that all thins work together for good, for them that love Him and are called according to His purpose. However....because I was in the middle of "stressing out" at my computer, I'm afraid my blog post was a little "ramblish" at times, straying from the main point, and I apologize. :)

Thanks for the comment!

Katie M said...

Amber,

I really enjoyed reading your post! Not only do I know how it is to have slow internet (:-P) but I also am one who react very badly to stress! :-/

Your post was a great encouragement and reminder to me, thanks so much for blogging! I look forward to reading more in the future!

~ Katie

Anonymous said...

He, He, He, He , He! Please tell my how you know God is male and not just perceived as male because of the exalted positions males have been in since antiquity. I don't understand how you can listen to a book which blatantly says that women are inferior.

Amber said...

Dear Anonymous,
First of all, welcome to my blog. I'm glad you felt at home enough here to post a comment that differs in viewpoint from mine. :) I'll try to answer your question, trusting that you asked it really wanting to know what I think.

I know that God is male because the Bible constantly refers to Him as such. He is not a "man" in the sense of being "huMAN," but apparently there is something about His nature that is discinctly male rather than female.

You asked how I can listen to a Book (the Bible) which teaches that women are inferior. I think this question is really what is bothering you, isn't it? I mean, it would be okay for God to be male so long as He didn't hate females, right? But to think of God as prejudiced and anit-female...well, of course that would make a person hate hearing God refered to as "male."

Well, I've been reading the Bible for a long time, cover to cover, and I can't agree with the idea that the Bible calls women inferior. Nowhere in its pages is that idea found. On the contrary, the Bible contrasts strongly with many other religions and worldviews that teach women are secondary.

See, for example, Galations 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." In God's eyes, males and females are equally valuable.

The idea that you may be referring to, or have heard others refer to, could be "male headship." This is something the Bible does teach - an order of roles. It teaches that governments are over citizens in authority, parents are over children in authority, and, yes, that husbands are over wives in authority. This simply means that in ANY group you must have a leader, a place where "the buck stops," (otherwise you have anarchy). And God has designated husbands and fathers in that role. It doesn't mean ALL women must submit to ALL men. It just means God has given everybody someone to submit to - even men. They have authority over them too.

God loves and values women just as much as men. He loves and values children, too, yet He tells them to obey parents. Is is so hard to say yes, I'll obey the one man God wants me to obey? It's not like He's saying "Let ALL men everywhere walk over you." He doesn't even intend for your own husband or father to "walk over you" - He expressly tells husbands "love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER"! What love that is!

I hope that answers your question. I can listen to the Bible because I see LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for me written all over its pages. I hope you will come to see that love, too.

Thanks for commenting.

Amber said...

Dear Anonymous,
First of all, welcome to my blog. I'm glad you felt at home enough here to post a comment that differs in viewpoint from mine. :) I'll try to answer your question, trusting that you asked it really wanting to know what I think.

I know that God is male because the Bible constantly refers to Him as such. He is not a "man" in the sense of being "huMAN," but apparently there is something about His nature that is discinctly male rather than female.

You asked how I can listen to a Book (the Bible) which teaches that women are inferior. I think this question is really what is bothering you, isn't it? I mean, it would be okay for God to be male so long as He didn't hate females, right? But to think of God as prejudiced and anit-female...well, of course that would make a person hate hearing God refered to as "male."

Well, I've been reading the Bible for a long time, cover to cover, and I can't agree with the idea that the Bible calls women inferior. Nowhere in its pages is that idea found. On the contrary, the Bible contrasts strongly with many other religions and worldviews that teach women are secondary.

See, for example, Galations 3:28: "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." In God's eyes, males and females are equally valuable.

The idea that you may be referring to, or have heard others refer to, could be "male headship." This is something the Bible does teach - an order of roles. It teaches that governments are over citizens in authority, parents are over children in authority, and, yes, that husbands are over wives in authority. This simply means that in ANY group you must have a leader, a place where "the buck stops," (otherwise you have anarchy). And God has designated husbands and fathers in that role. It doesn't mean ALL women must submit to ALL men. It just means God has given everybody someone to submit to - even men. They have authority over them too.

God loves and values women just as much as men. He loves and values children, too, yet He tells them to obey parents. Is is so hard to say yes, I'll obey the one man God wants me to obey? It's not like He's saying "Let ALL men everywhere walk over you." He doesn't even intend for your own husband or father to "walk over you" - He expressly tells husbands "love your wives, even as Christ loved the church and GAVE HIMSELF FOR HER"! What love that is!

I hope that answers your question. I can listen to the Bible because I see LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for me written all over its pages. I hope you will come to see that love, too.

Thanks for commenting.