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Posts Tagged ‘relationships’

 

Relationships can be hard. They cause you to be vulnerable. They cause you to trust that someone else will accept you imperfections and all. That they will be there, even when you blow it big time. That they will forgive you when you cause them pain. Relationships cause you to forgive when that someone else hurts you. Relationships cause you to open up your heart to the best and the worst in someone else and know that the relationship can withstand the tests of time. Relationships are not easy for me. I usually run before I can get to close. Other than my kids, grandkids, ex-husband and his wife, I have no other close relationships. I have no close friends, because I am afraid of opening myself up to that level of vulnerability. I am afraid of being judged. I am afraid of being rejected. I am afraid of being abandoned.

God is calling me into deeper relationship with the Sisters of Providence. I have tried to run from this relationship in the past, but God keeps me here. I have so much to learn from the Sisters and I have so much to give.

I do not make commitments lightly. For me, a commitment is a dedication of oneself to someone, a community or a cause. Honestly, I have made commitments and have backed out because of my fear of failure. I have made commitments and then have run because those commitments involve relationships.

In this process of becoming a Providence Associate, God is molding me and shaping me into something beautiful. It is sometimes painful though. During my time with God this morning, He spoke these words to my spirit, “Until you are fully committed, I cannot use you here.” These words broke me. To know that I am standing in the way of God using me fully breaks my heart. I have fought for so long to be away from this place that is called Terre Haute that it has become second nature. The grass is always greener in another city, or another place. God cannot use me until I become fully committed to being here in Terre Haute and to the Sisters of Providence. God also spoke to me through my daily Bible reading; Proverbs 12:11 Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense. There are times in our lives when God has to be real with us or we may never get it.

The questions I have to ask myself are: am I ready to fully commit myself to the Sisters of Providence as an Associate? Am I ready to fully open myself up to that vulnerability that comes with building close relationships? Am I ready to open up my heart and share myself, imperfections and all with these Sisters that I love? Am I ready to trust them with my heart?

YES! I am ready! Every day is a challenge. There are times when I feel that I have shared to much and I want to run. There are times when I don’t get the reaction that I was looking for and I take it as rejection, so I want to run. My challenge is to allow those times to draw me closer to the ONE who loves me UNCONDITIONALLY and allow Him to mold me as I learn to be vulnerable.

There was one other impression that God implanted on my spirit today. God wants me to quit trying to plan my life around the needs of other people or my need to want to be around certain people in my life. I am to put HIM first. I have to be fully committed to God first. I am guilty of this. Unintentionally, I have tried to shove God into my need to be closer to so and so. It doesn’t work that way. I have to be fully present and fully committed to God and what is in my life right now. I have to stop trying to run away and focus on those who are in my life right now. Okay, I’m listening God.

I am excited and scared to see what is around the corner as I fully commit myself to God and as I fully commit myself to this relationship with the Sisters of Providence. But, I am ready. The Sisters have opened up their hearts and their community to me and I am ready to trust them with who I am.

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community

 

 

 

Acts 2:44-46

All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.

In the last few years, there have been many intentional communities springing up all over the United States. Neighborhoods, where residents form a community to support and encourage the residents in that community. When I first heard of these communities, I thought it was a strange idea. As I researched some of these communities around the U.S. I realized that these Christians are living a modern day version of the Church of Acts. These contemporary communities are simply newer versions of monasticism and religious orders that have been around for many many centuries.

I have been blessed to work in the Mother house of the Sisters of Providence and in the 3 1/2 years I have worked there, I have learned much from these women about community. They are united by their charism of love, mercy and justice. They work and live together to better the communities in which they live. Do they always get along? No. Sometimes they disagree, but they accept that they each have their own opinions and personalities and love each other anyway.

Jesus and His disciples formed a community. The Israelites formed a community as they wandered the desert. The early Christians formed a community. The early religious formed communities, as they formed monasteries and convents. Saint Francis formed a community and there are still many Franciscan communities alive today in honor of him. Saint Mother Theodore Guerin left her home in France, made a new home in Indiana and started a community of women who live and work to better the communities in which they live.

For most of us, building community starts with the church. This can be difficult in some churches, where everyone comes together for a couple of hours of Sunday and forget each other the rest of the week. Many churches are trying to build community by starting small groups of like minded individuals. These groups meet once a week and usually stay connected enough to bond and help support and encourage each other. Catholic churches are known for having daily masses so that Christians can meet together daily in the Temple courts as the early Christians did.

Another way to build community is in the neighborhood that you live in. Start a neighborhood Bible study and invite your neighbors. I have written a blog post on community transformation. To read that post, click here.

We see community all throughout the Bible. It is so important for us to have those people in our lives that share life with us. We need people that will go through the ups and downs of life with us. God never intended for us to go through life alone. He made us to desire that contact with one another.

I know sometimes it is hard to push ourselves out there and let our guard down long enough to build relationships. What if we get hurt? I get that. Believe me, I get that. I’m the one with an avoidant personality. Even I know that God made us to do life together and as hard as it is for me to push myself out there, I have to, because God did not mean for us to do life alone. If He had, He never would have made Eve as a companion for Adam. He wouldn’t have had to. Adam would have been fine on his own.

My challenge to you:

Go out, get involved and build a community. Don’t let fear keep you from connecting with other people. Trust God and start building relationships that may last you the rest of your life. You’ll be glad you did!

 

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moon-night1

 

As I was laying in bed last night, waiting for slumber, I heard the sounds of giggling coming from Kiowa and Cree, in the next room. As I listened to the soft banter and the childlike giggles of my 18 and 16 year old daughters, I was reminded that, as much as I delight in these daughters of mine, even more so does my heavenly Father delight in me. In my journey of parenting 5 children, I have shared the joy of achievement with them and I have shed tears of sorrow with them. I have laughed with them, wrung my hands in frustration and even yelled in anger. Through all the emotions of parenting, I have loved them deeply and always will. Through the emotional highs and lows of parenting my own kids, I have been reminded of God’s tender mercies in parenting me. I have been reminded of how God deals with me when I frustrate, disappoint and even anger him. He is always tender in his discipline, gentle in his rebuke and even when I have to suffer the consequences of my own actions, I know my Father in heaven loves me so much that he has counted every hair on my head. He convicts my spirit firmly, but is careful not to wound my heart.

My question to myself when disciplining my kids is, “is this how God disciplines me? Am I showing the same gentle correction to them that God has shown me?”  I don’t ever want to wound my children’s hearts. I want to encourage them always, even when having to discipline them. I am tempted to tell the girls to go to sleep, but decide I would rather fall asleep listening to the giggles in the night.

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