“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Honestly, I don't want to blog today.
Okay, that's a lie.

Wave Spray at Monterey
Judge not, that ye be not judged.
Matthew 7:1 KJV

Honestly, I don't want to blog today.  Okay, that's a lie.  I actually do want to blog, but something light-hearted like "As of Late" and have it focus on our recent trip to see Anthony run the Boston Marathon.  I don't feel like blogging what I feel compelled to blog about, because the words are all clogged up in my head.  And I don't know how to write them down and it's all a jumble.  But I feel compelled... and the Lord has placed two words in my head lately.  One word being obedience.  And the other word being unconditionalUnconditional obedience.  Great. 

And it's not that this post is about unconditional obedience.  It's just that I need to be obedient to God's compulsion upon me to write it.  I'm not sure if it is for any reason except for me to show that I truly am being unconditionally obedient to the Lord.  So, here it goes.

I just started the Bible Study Jonah by Priscilla Shirer.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Bible, there is a book in the Old Testament about a man named Jonah.  It is squeezed in between the books of Obadiah and Micah.  Yes, if you have seen the Veggietales DVD about Jonah... this is the book the DVD was based upon.  (Okay, minus the talking vegetables and all the discussion about cheese curls.)  Anyhoo... the main idea of Priscilla Shirer's study is that Jonah's life was interrupted by God.  And our lives are interrupted by God.  But instead of looking at it as undesirable interruptions we would benefit by viewing them as divine interventions.  What may look like God interrupting our life is actually God working out His plan and our future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Here's what I don't want to tell you... So far the study hasn't really resonated with me.  Which makes me nervous because I have spoken to my other Bible Study gals and they have been blown away by it.  They are soaking it up.  And so I am wondering... what is wrong with me?  True, it has only been the first week.  I have seen two of the videos.  And Priscilla is right on with what she is talking about.  Totally.  I see this in how God is most definitely weaving the women even at my own Bible Study table.  But the application part of the study... for me personally, isn't hitting it.

And so I wonder if that is because I have done other studies like Experiencing God by Henry Blackaby that have already taught me about how to look where God is working and join Him there... so that I don't see interruptions... just God at work?  Trust me.  Not being holier-than-thou right now.  I am just talking through this... I am just hard pressed to find the interruption right now.  I know I have them. 

And so I asked God to show me what is the current undesired interruption in my life that I should be looking at as a divine intervention.  Ugh.  Again, it would be easier to just be disobedient at this point.  No.  Not really.  So, of course, He showed me.  He answers prayers like that.  And He loves that we trust Him enough to pray to Him like that.

Here it is...  My divine intervention which is being camouflaged as an undesired interruption is...  I am currently being over-critical.  No, really.  More than normal.  Hyper-critical.  Too critical.  Of myself.  Of you.  Of my family.  Of Bible Studies.  And especially of Boston AND Portland toll-booth operators.  (Okay, I'll maybe tell you that story later.  Maybe not.) 

Most likely my current tendency towards my criticalness is due to my Thyroid medication.  (My endocrinologist keeps me hyper-thyroid so any thyroid (cancerous) tissue cannot grow.)  Lucky me, I get to toggle between depression and hyper-criticalness.   I do not offer my medicational discrepancy as an excuse, but as a cause. 

What I am gleaning from all of this... I can look at my critical-craziness as an annoying interruption or receive it as a call to an even deeper reflection.  Perhaps I am being overly critical... but what about?  What things are currently driving me crazy and why? 

Perhaps there could be some discernment in what I call my criticalocity.  But I normally couch my critical thinking with love and grace.  And that is not happening right now.  My criticism is raw and uncensored.  That is why my blogging has been minimal.  And some of my conversations, too.

Well, let it not be said that I fear meta thinking.  It can be a downfall for some, but for me... it is a way of life.  All of this to say, that I am embracing my critical-spirit... asking God to coat it with His Holy Spirit... and begging of Him that I not have to write another post like this...

Siesta Scripture Memory Verse #7 
p.s. I made up a couple of the words in this post.  It was just kind of fun for me.  Sorry if it bothered you. :)


Sherrie said...

Hi Sheri,
I am so glad to see you be so real and raw with the ladies here...I am so glad to be able to say..."you continue to teach me in ways you will never know." I am glad you blogged today, it was perfect...so what if you are being more critical than normal...you are genuine and "if God brought you to it, he'll bring you through it." We missed you--and are glad you are home.

elizabeth embracing life said...

A couple of years our church was prepareing for the upcoming bookclub. Everyone RAVED about the book. Me, it was way to simple. I read in less than two hours. I begged God to show me what I was to learn, and you know He did not answer that prayer before the bookclub started. But He showed me over the next 12 weeks through the hearts of others what I would learn.

You are brave to write.

rooney said...

how timely this is, sheri. God works through you to reach and teach others, myself included.
thank you for being unconditionally obedient to write today.

love ya, siesta!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Catching up with you tonight... I've been in a blogging slump as well. I have stuff that comes to mind and heart, then easily departs before I take the time to pick up the pen.

I did Priscilla's study last fall... had to postpone its beginning because of my chemo starting. You can imagine how I felt about "divine interventions." I thought it was a solid study, and some of the video teachings hit me more deeply than others.

As to a critical nature, I'm going to tell you something... just prior to attending our Maundy-Thursday service this evening, I asked God to (again) help me with my critical spirit. It's been running at full tilt lately, and it's wrong. Not only am I miserable, but so is everyone else around me.

I love you sweet friend, and I'll say an extra prayer for you this night.


Patti said...

I have totally felt that way with bible studies in the past and it's frustrating. This study is resonating with me but not in a way that I thought it would. Maybe this is a season for you to encourage and help us ladies navigate through this study and the Lord has mystery's to reveal to you in your own quiet time? It's hard to be excited about a study that just doesn't seem applicable though. Love you friend!!

Cynthia said...

What a beautiful post. You had me at,"Hello". I grew up with a family member who was very critical and insisted I was unteachable if I didn't received their constant berating. It taught me to embrace Grace, for myself and to give it to others.
I admire the humble, transparent heart of the ones who seeks to grow more than they seek to look good. The Real Ones. My heart can spot them a mile away, they look a lot like Jesus.
I have Hypothyroidism I was curious to find out the side effects...Thank you for sharing,.

Laura said...

Thank you for your courage to be so honest in this post. It's a good reminder to me that sometimes God calls me to do or say something when I'd rather not. But He's asking for my obedience which doesn't always happen easily!

teri-free2bme said...

LOL!!! Enjoyed reading what's on your heart and you "talking through" in this post. Authenticity is very much appreciated!!! I participated in Jonah- A Life Interrupted: last fall at my church and Believing God a number of years ago. Both good studies on different levels. I TOTALLY AGREE... "Unconditional obedience"... no matter what.

"criticalocity"... I like this word... (no criticism here) : )

Blessings and Happy Easter!!!

Ms.Daisy said...

Thanks for stopping by and saying "hi." I hope you have a blessed Easter with your family.


gideonmommasita said...

Love, Love, Love that God answers your prayers that way. God made you who you are, he understands and will complete the work in you...in no other person and am I more certain. Your faithfulness to seek God's face in your God given personality is beautiful.