Ultimate Joy

Archive for September 2011

We all have them in our lives…people who get on our nerves.  They may be people we see every day – a coworker, a neighbor.  Or they can be people we’ll only meet once in a lifetime.  God puts them in our path to teach us and train us about humility and a whole lot about patience and love.

This first week in California has not been what anyone would mistake as a stellar week.  Living out your dream comes with a price.  Since arriving, my price has been dealing with various repairmen.  Our garage door collapsed about the third time we raised it; the very first time my car would have been put in the garage.  Unable to use the door, I’ve dealt with two insurance companies and several repairmen in an effort to get it replaced.  These activities are way out of my comfort zone.

To strengthen me even more, God upped the ante.  And I failed miserably.  The home inspector we hired prior to purchasing the house missed some key flaws with the garage door.  I called his company to complain and he called me back.  The frustration and anger that had been building over the week exploded and we ended up in a very heated screaming match.

When I finally clicked off my cell phone to end the call, I was shaking.  Tears started soon after that.  Calmness didn’t even enter my spirit for a couple of hours, but when it did, I heard God’s instruction loud and clear.  Somehow in the midst of all my anger, I had forgotten that He was in control; that He would see me through this minor bump in the road.

Galatians 5:22 -23 states: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” My shouting match was proof that I was a flawed Christian – because in the richness and beauty of God’s strength, a garage door is a trifle.

The only way to live the fruit of the Spirit is to hold tightly to His grasp and not let go.  I had the opportunity to quiet my spirit prior to talking with the home inspector.  I didn’t.  I was more like a bull in a china shop, and the result is that I trampled on the feelings of another individual.  One that God loves, one that matters to Him.

That moment on the phone could have been so different had I but risen above my anger and let God chose my words.  Making a difference in your world isn’t always about some huge, significant feat.  It is the little things that bring on change.  Like checking your anger at the door when someone tramples on your nerves.  Or being kind when you’ve been hurt.  Answering God’s call with a leap of faith when He asks you to display gentleness and self-control.

When we take life too seriously, our negative emotions implode into our relationship with God.  It is only by resting in His arms – in trusting that He has a purpose in all our messes that we can lay down our worries and receive His peace.

Let God handle life’s difficulties. Learn from my mistake…just breathe in His love and His grace.

I wear many hats in my life:  Wife, friend, blogger, writer, singer, pet owner.  But there is one hat that I’ve worn too often in the past weeks – workhorse!

I wish I could say that my move to southern California is complete.  While I have a physical address in the Golden State, it isn’t “home” yet.  Not by a long shot!  It lacks that comfy, peaceful feeling to luxuriate in.  My house is filled with boxes, bags and furniture that hasn’t quite yet been placed in the perfect place.  And while I relish the fact that when you have moved into a new home it is the one time you can show your house when it is a complete disaster, I miss wanting to rush home just to savor its coziness and tranquility.

For those of you planning a move soon, let me give you one piece of advice – pace yourself!  Develop a rhythm your body can tolerate and be sensitive when you try to go beyond.  Richard and I broke that rule many times this past month because of several interruptions to our packing schedule and then, while unpacking, only having him here such few days.  As a result, I ache in places I didn’t know even existed and I’d love to lay down for a long winter’s nap.  Only problem – too many boxes still clog the living room, bedroom and hallways of my new home.

Despite the rush, we’ve invited the most important person into our new home:  Jesus Christ.  Even before we left the driveway of our old home, His name was on our lips and His peace was in our hearts.

Isaiah 43:19 says, “See, I am doing a new thing!   Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?  I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”  I recognize Christ doing a new thing in my heart and in my life.  A spring of audacious excitement wells up in my soul.  Yet, I still must make my way out of the box-strewn wilderness of my new house.  And with God’s help, I will.

For more than all else, I want my house to glorify Him.  I want it to be a haven for my friends to visit and find rest.  I want it to be a place of humility where I can serve my God and others.  I want it to be the place where healing, forgiveness and life take place. I want hope to shout from the hallways and love to encircle all those who enter its doors.

So excuse me while I put on my superwoman cape, become the white tornado and try to bring some order to an utterly chaotic place.