Saturday, March 23, 2013

What is the biggest influence in your life?

Since we moved to Eugene, Oregon, I have found myself to be feeling a bit lost at times. We have been through a very big change, so I suppose that is a natural feeling. And since we didn’t move up with jobs in place, there wasn’t really much to structure our days besides the things we impose. I am an active sort of person, and I like to live with a sense of purpose. Sometimes I envy those who seem to content to just live one day at a time, but I have never been like that. I always like to have a goal, a plan, something to accomplish and something to look forward to. We came to Oregon because we knew that was his calling for us, and that it had something to do with our new church, North Eugene Faith Center, and something to do with my family - most of whom live here in Eugene. But that was about all we had. No specific goals, no plan, nothing concrete to accomplish, and not much to look forward to (that was sure to happen), other than spending time with family. This is not where I like to be.
I wrote a few rather depressing journal entries, which thankfully I did not post on the blog... you really don’t want to be depressed too, right? 
I asked a lot of questions. Why are we here? What is your plan, God? Where should we look for work? How can we situate ourselves for whatever it is you called us here to become or to do? 
I made a lot of requests. Please keep us healthy, since we don’t have health insurance - you are our only option! Please provide for us. Please help us make friends. Be with me when I am lonely. Help me be a good mom, and guide my children through this transition. Help me focus on the positives, be thankful, keep your faithfulness in mind... 
He has been faithful, and answered prayers. We still have many unanswered prayers and questions. We are still making adjustments. We are thankful Domenick has a job, even though it is not a perfect one. I am thankful for some training I have received, and some books I have read that have given insight and godly perspective. I am very thankful for my family - both immediate and extended. I am thankful for their encouragement and support. I am thankful for some closed doors to jobs I have applied for, and thankful for the possibilities that still exist. I am thankful for all the time I spend with my kids.

Still, I sometimes feel lost. I think this is a “being” and a “learning” season instead of a “doing” season, and I’d prefer to do! As I have been praying about my lack of motivation, my frustrations, my questions, my lack of discipline in certain areas of my life, I felt God ask me a question:

“What is the biggest influence in your life?” 

I would like to say it is God. If that were true, would I still feel purposeless, uninspired, unmotivated, and undisciplined? I think probably not. I know it when I look at my time. I am not devoting that much time to him, to his word, to worship and prayer.

The last few months in California were so busy with the holidays, packing, seeing friends, finishing things... I knew once I got to Oregon I wanted to make sure to be more disciplined in my time spent with God. I wanted to exercise more, and I felt I should devote some time to fasting and prayer for our roles at the church and in Eugene. I confess, I have not done any of those things. Oh, I have read my Bible and such, but not daily. I am not worse than I used to be, but I am not better. I want to be better. I NEED to be better, or I will not survive. But I can’t seem to do it on my own. Would you like to do it with me? It’s too late for Lent. But Easter is supposed to signify new life, right? So maybe we can start after Easter - start together. 

A few years ago I wrote a guided journal. Read about a chapter of the Bible a day, and journal it. Since many people aren’t used to really studying scripture, I provided a little background and some questions to consider to get to the heart of the passage. The selections are chosen to provide an overview of what I feel all Christians should know, but most don’t. I have used it in small groups, and I’ve thought about trying to publish, but for now, I would love to have some friends read and blog it with me. I can post my insights, and you can read and post yours. Since I am goal oriented, I know a specific goal, with accountability of my online community, would help me get back on track. And, being online, you can go at your own pace, reading as little or as often as you’d like. I’ll probably try to post a few times a week, starting April 1, and read other thing in between. You can start whenever you’d like... email me and I will send you a reading list. Let’s see what changes in life when we allow God to influence us more.

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