Wednesday, December 14, 2011

34 Days of Worship ~ Emotional Maturity

Proverbs 14:30
A sound mind makes for a robust body,
but runaway emotions corrode the bones.
     Even though I know better, I have to admit that there are times that I completely deal in emotion. I whine (mostly internally, because I don't like to complain verbally) about how I feel like blah blah blah is wrong, or unfair, or taking too long, or hurting my feelings, or stupid, or frustrating, or scary, or stressful, or nervous-making or whatever. I pout, and/or get an attitude because some external need is not being met, and it's causing an uncomfortable internal longing.

     It's almost humorous to me to admit this, because I'm the first mother in town to remind K that, "I don't care how she feels, she'd better (fill in the blank)!" And I know that as our "heavenly" parent, God must be just as frustrated with us, when we lament to Him about how we feel let-down. How we're disappointed. How we're angry. How we're tired. How we've been used and abused and put-upon. How we feel lonely. Unloved. Unworthy. Impatient. Misunderstood. Taken for granted. I mean, God gave us emotions and feelings. In all of His all-knowingness, He certainly could've chosen not to burden us with these things, but He didn't. So, emotions do serve a person. They allow us to connect with one another, and I'm sure, help to put us on the path to our purpose here on earth.

     I mean, I'm not a big fan of animals. If everybody was like me, there wouldn't be any on the earth. So, thank God that He gave some people the feeling of compassion for hurt hamsters, and lizards that aren't slimy, but are supposed to be. Listening to people lament about their problems month after month, year after year would drive me to a.) drink b,) say something really mean c.) stop paying attention. But others were called to be counselors/psychologist/psychiatrist and they have a compassion for people who can't work through their issues without some guidance. God is MARVELOUS. He orchestrated all of this.

     So, God definitely has a plan for our emotions/feelings. I think the problem is that sometimes, I tend to...linger. Like, I've known that K's tuition has to be paid in full by 4/15/12 in order for her to participate in all of the senior activities at school. I've known this since freshman year, but more importantly, I went into this school year knowing this. And I've had a rough plan for how the hubby and I would get this done. It's been a challenge since I left my job last year when I was preggers with K2.0. So, we started this year off in arrears, but still, I've had this rough plan in my head. Well, lo and behold another parent that I'm friends with called me the other day to "chat." She opened the chat with, "You know we have to be paid up by 4/15/12, right?" ever since then, I've been consumed with how we're gonna get caught up by then. I've been fearful, and snapping at people. I've been nervous and even somewhat down about coming up with this money. Why? This wasn't news to me. I was well aware of the financial deadline.

     So, then I started constantly telling God about all of my problems. How I don't have this money. How K won't be able to graduate. How Christmas is gonna be a bust. How I'm not pregnant. How the hubby is being stingy with the loving. How my feelings are hurt, because the hubby isn't tackling me for sex (like he used to). How I wanna be pregnant. Blah Blah Blah.
And the Lord is like, "seriously, Mrs. Mocha? After I hung the stars and laid the foundation? After I sent my son to die on Calvary?After I breathed breath into your mom & dad, who in turn breathed breath into you? After I gave you a good, loyal, hard-working, faithful, caring, funny, sweetheart of a man as a husband? After I've given you not 1, but 2 beautiful children, both with medial conditions that haven't affected them in the least? After I've let the girl have three fabulous years at the school you knew you could barely afford the day you enrolled her? After you've never not had a place to live, or food on your table? After I've given your husband that position in the company and he's one of the FEW who doesn't have a corresponding degree? Come on, Mrs. Mocha. Seriously?"
And foolish me, I'm like, "yes, God. Thank You for all of that, but I still don't have these things that I consider important."
 Then God deals with me, the same way that I deal with K. "Mrs. Mocha, you can't want to be treated like a big girl, and still be a baby, too. You'd better appreciate what you have, and stop crying in my face about how you feel. How you feel has nothing to do with it."
And I go, "but God..."
And He goes, "This conversation is over!" The same way that I say it to K.
And I sit with that for a while and sheepishly realize that He's right. How I feel has nothing to do with it. I need to do what I need to to, because it needs to be done. If I only did what I "feel" like doing, I would spend my days watching t.v., eating cheesecake brownie ice cream and surfing the web. That doesn't get the job done. And since I work for the kingdom, I need to make sure that I always put my best foot forward, and that my works represents the One who sent me.

Monday, December 12, 2011

35 Days of Worship ~ Grace

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”
Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities,
that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

     There's been a lot going on with me as of late. Of course, there's a lot going on with most everybody, and I do realize that. Still, that doesn't lessen the weight of the things in my life that are happening. I've been a little bit of a "funk" ever since November. Actually, ever since I got my period in November. Normally, when I get my cycle, I think to myself "many are the plans in a man's heart, but it's God's purpose that prevails." I was all prepared to think that last month, too, but I think the holiday through me for a little loop. So, a "funk" was gonna come. However, I don't think the "funk" would have been as "long-lasting" if I hadn't received news from a friend that she's pregnant.
     Now, generally I'm not one to begrudge a friend (or a stranger even) a pregnancy. I mean, I've had two of my own, and think every woman who wants to have children should be able to do so. Also, I absolutely DESPISE it when I see/read people "hating" on others for getting pregnant. But this announcement really stung for a couple of reasons...
  1. This friend is older than me (which should probably give me hope, as opposed to giving me "pause").
  2. This friend has been trying for a fraction of the amount of time that I've been trying.
  3. This friend wasn't even sure that she wanted baby #4, until I mentioned that the Hubby and I were trying for baby #3.
  4. The last time she announced a pregnancy to me was in February of 2010. 5 days later, I got my BFP. So, everything was all good. This time, she announced a pregnancy to me and I cycle. Everything was all JACKED!!!!!!
     I have to admit, #4 was probably the biggest kicker, and the main reason for the "funk." I have tried to move passed this disappointment with diligence, commitment, and fortitude. But it has been soooooo hard. Several times, I have thought about just throwing in the towel and forgetting all about the elusive baby #3. I mean, the hubby is barely on board, K is graduating high school in May 2012, the baby is getting older and I feel like I'm not enjoying anything about this process whatsoever (outside of the OUTSTANDING sex hahahahahahahahaha).

     So, I had the one billionth conversation with the Lord about this "TTC" thing. I pleaded my case to the Lord. I begged. I ran down my resume. I reminded Him of the times (rare though there they were in this human vessel) when I was obedient. I talked a good game. I smiled through the pain and disappointment. I laughed, and continued to live. But inside, deep, where only He can see, I was very much bruised. And sore. And discouraged. So finally, He said, "Mrs. Mocha, my grace is sufficient for you." And a weird thing happened, I agreed with Him. He was right.

     I thought back to all of the times in my life when I wanted to give up. Like when the money didn't come through for me to go back to school after my first year of college. Like when the medical personnel gave me the diagnosis for my daughter. Like ( 5 years into marriage) when I knew that I had to leave my husband. Like when we just couldn't afford parochial school for K anymore, and she had to transfer to public school. Like (10 years into the marriage) when I knew I had to leave my husband. Like when the hubby got laid off after 13 years at the company, 9 days before I found out I was expecting K2.0. Like when the medical personal gave me the diagnosis for my son. And I remember how everything worked itself out. I remember how God's grace sustained me. How's God's grace nourished me. How God's grace kept my mind, and didn't allow depression to swallow me whole.

     God's grace has allowed me to have a Mariah Carey "Shake it Off" mentality. it doesn't happen instantaneously. Bad situations present, and I don't break into song. Sometimes, I allow myself to fixate on problems, and stressors, and unfortunate circumstances, but I don't stay there too long. God's grace gives me my swag back after a while. God's grace reminds me that He's working behind the scenes. It reminds me that He's never forsaken me. It reminds me that I can have a faith that might appear cocky to some. But it's not's me boasting about my infirmities, that God's power might rest upon me.