May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 (NIV)
It’s been a long week, and I’m trying to keep from pulling my hair out. There’s a lot going on. It’s been hard to keep my focus on what’s important. Here are some of the things that threaten to distract me.
1. March means it’s Heritage Days and I am busy with Walking Tours, Open Houses and other special events to celebrate and educate our community’s history. Trying to do my regular job in the middle of all these extra events is difficult. I have also become dependent upon an electronic calendar instead of a paper one and with so much time away from my computer, I am afraid I will miss something important.
2. Our county animal shelter added a satellite branch downtown next to the county courthouse. County employees and the general public can come down and “check out” a dog to take on a walk on their breaks or lunch. They wear cute bandanas to signify that they are available for adoption. Several times in the last few days, I have seen an adorable black and white puppy learning to walk on a leash. It is all I can do not to rush over to the adoption center and take her home with me. I do not need another dog. I do not need another dog. I do not need another dog.
3. Speaking of dogs, I am still negotiating for insurance. We have not been able to secure liability insurance yet due to the horse and those bad Dobermans. Can you imagine if I added a pit bull mix to the lineup? The search for insurance is about to break me in a way that nothing has in a long time. I am frustrated, angry and sad all at the same time.
4. My boss and her assistant are out with the flu so I am on call to help in their department. I have my bottle of hand sanitizer and a can of Lysol to take with me when I go to their offices. I cannot afford to be sick right now.
5. Parenting adult children is hard work. I have always ricocheted between hovering and ignoring and now more than ever, I feel like a ping pong ball. Should I help? Should I stay out of it? Should I give advice? Should I keep my mouth shut? And I thought potty training was hard. I teach a Bible class for young moms, and I tell them that learning to let go begins at birth. At least then, I was two decades younger and still in the fog of post partum depression.
6. Even though I have been trying to cut back on my consumerism, I continue to get tempting e-mail offers and catalogues by snail mail. I have not been bringing the catalogues home, but dump them in the post office recycle bin. I delete or unsubscribe to the e-mail offers. Still, there are some good bargains out there and some pretty things that I want, but don’t need. I am trying to resist temptation by sending the money that I have pledged to some ministry groups as soon as I get my paycheck. That helps me keep my perspective and makes sure I don’t spend the money I intended to use to help others.
7. It is Girl Scout cookie season in my community. Before I went to Guatemala, I ordered ten boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Upon my return, I was in a new state of mind, trying to curb my eating. I shoved the boxes in the freezer. Out of sight out of mind, I hoped. Youngest son has been kindly taking care of the problem for me. I think we only have one box left!
Through it all, I keep trying to remember what really is important. In the midst of all these situations, temptations and stresses, my calling is to glorify God with my life. To point people to Him. Even when I make a mistake and have to start over. Even when I have to confess my fears and say, “Yet, will I trust Him.” And in turn, He will give me joy and peace.
(Don’t give me complete credit for the felted piece above. Vicki made the vessel, I just embellished it.)