Monday, January 10, 2011

Searching out God's will.

I need a mentor.
Honestly I can lay awake interpreting, classifying, juggling, mulling thoughts.
We've been in a message series about the Holy Spirit. I've been loving it.
But I asked a question about a verse.
The question is How do they know?
I'm not asking for historical proof or evidence, what I'm asking is How do they know that they have interpreted it right?
I mean, some things in the bible are more literal then others.
I am a literal person.
I am a person driven by truth. I must find the truth about something and once I do, I'm good. If I can't, it drives me crazy.
I literally have a list of questions.
Some people keep lists of what they need from the store, yes, I have one of those too. Some people have a prayer journal, yep, got one of those too.
I have a journal that I keep my questions in.
Over time some of them get answered, some of them may never be answered until I have passed on.
And maybe some things I am just never meant to know.
Do you think that God keeps secrets?
I mean, Do you think there are some things He'll never tell, or somethings we just can never understand because after all we are human, He is God and well, our brains just aren't the same.
Or will we get to Heaven and suddenly every question our hearts have ever asked, both spoken and unspoken we'll simply, immediately know the answer to?
If you haven't guessed by now I am philosophical. I think deep. I go places that are not for the faint of heart.
There have been many times my husband has sighed at me and said "NO, I really DON'T think about it."
And my reaction is always the same: "What do you mean you don't think about it?"
My brain is obsessed with thinking about it and he's telling me sports scores and work are really all that he cares to think about.
The reason I decided to name this blog Interpret Sass, was because, I can be a sassy little brat with my speech. I must interpret all the thoughts and ramblings in my own head. I speak my mind. I say what I think, I am truthful. Have I spoken white lies, yes, to avoid hurting someone, starting an argument, and biting my tongue (example: Child dresses themselves, they don't match, look like a mess and yet you want them to grow their independence. So when you are asked "Do I look okay?" I will answer "How do you feel? You look fine."
Or you are at someone's house for dinner: they serve something you didn't like are you going to tell that person "Um, I did not like dinner, but hey, thanks for having me."
No, your going to sit there enjoy the company and tell them you had a nice time, even if you have to stop at McDonald's on the way home.
The with holding my tongue is the hardest, but I'm determined not to shout out the truth in a moment of being "right".
So where is all this coming from?
I was woken this morning by a nagging. My daughter asked me something yesterday that I kinda blew off. I didn't want to get into it all. I was convicted about my own feelings about it; and instead of having the conversation then and there when she wanted answers, I took time for myself to think over how I wanted to give those answers and what the answers themselves would be.
Gosh, kids hit ya with hard questions and out of no where!
As I prayed my way through it one of the prayers was "Lord, I need direct contact. If it is your will that we move forward with this..."
So this is the meat and potatoes of it.
Is this question, this stipulation, I guess, is it WRONG? Am I WRONG to ask it this way?
Am I being prideful by saying; I kinda think this is your will, but if you do it this way I'll know for sure.
Because this week we learned that Jesus spoke through a donkey to send a message, He speaks through pastor's all the time, maybe this was Him speaking through my daughter and that should be all the "proof" I need. What if she's jsut asking questions, hard questions, because she is looking for an answer.
Here's the background:
This has been a battle since before I married into my husband's family. It felt to me like they got together over everything. Now that the family has grown with more children, there are even more parties. It is extremely one-sided. We are expected to show up, however when we have something to celebrate a great portion of them don't come. It was brought to my attention that a birthday is this weekend. Nobody emails me, phones me, texts me...I'm not hard to find. It is passed from one mouth to another to another and I'm suppose to feel joy attending, when; though we are WELCOME, we weren't actually invited by the host(tess).
I know I have issues here. Plainly.
But when I host something, I send out invitations through the MAIL, not an evite, not a mass holler across a room full of people, sometimes it IS with a phone call. My point: I talk IN person to a PERSON about the PERSON we are having the celebration for. It's called personal relations.
Many times when we've gone in the past it's a :Who can out do the last person's thing...
It feels more like it's about the adults out-shining the kids and when the focus IS on the kids, it's when it's present time and the excess is INSANE, not to mention the who bought the best present.
We stopped going the moment my daughter said to us "Why does Emma get all those presents for her birthday, she's not even looking at them?"
I'm not cheap, I'm thrifty and watching a child cast aside a gift that was thoughtfully picked out for her, because it wasn't the biggest or she has 20 other what point do you say enough?
Another example of one-sidedness: I threw my husband a 40th birthday party. He didn't want anything fancy, he just wanted to celebrate his day with friends and family. The party was set for an afternoon, food was lovingly purchased and prepared for all those invited, a huge part of Rob's family did not show up until an hour AFTER the party was to be over (2-5), it wasn't that big of a deal because many friends stayed, I hadn't put food away...they came for 10 minutes, then they had to leave to make dinner reservations. I could not believe it, invitations had gone out in secret a month ahead of time. I was appalled by their lack of courtesy, by the food wasted, the selfishness of their actions, and just because they don't RSVP doesn't mean they are NOT coming; none of these same people RSVP'd for our wedding.  These same folks invite and expect us at their celebrations but never seem to feel the need to come to ours. Breaks my heart.
Now Butter is asking, because she overheard the invite, why aren't we going?
I've been asking myself that question... is it my pride that's keeping us from going?
I just am a believer in; you treat people how you want to be treated. You set the example of how other's treat you. If you act cold and fake around someone, how do you think they are going to respond to that? Will they want to come to your house? Will they feel comfortable around you?
I get around these people and I just stand there, like I'm outside the store window looking in.
I used to try and talk with each of them, start conversations but after having someone walk away from you in mid-conversation on several different occasions, you kinda wonder if they even want to talk to you.
When it comes to invitations it always comes through someone else, never directly to me: The wife, the one who manages the calendar, the one who coordinates the schedules.
Have you ever asked a guy something? What is one of his top responses?
"Let me ask my wife. Talk to my wife. I'll let you know after I talk to my wife."
What's the number one reason guys get in trouble from their wives?
Not talking to them.
When I make plans, I don't approach their husbands, even though they talk to me and I feel 99% more welcomed by them, no, I make it a point to tell the women, the schedulers.
I want to do God's will in this. If we are meant to get back into going, even if it's for the kids and their realm of family, I'll do it. I don't want to go someplace I am not wanted, enjoyed or invited. I don't want my children to feel ignored or unwanted.
If these people treated me differently, I wouldn't have a problem taking an invitation from word of mouth, but it feels like we're the after thought, why should we put importance on "family" when others clearly do not?
 If you want to put a label on us and call us family, then maybe you should ACT a bit more familial.
Could the same be said for me? Absolutely.
I do treat them in a familial way, the way they have set the guidelines for.
I send them each Christmas cards. I invite them to things we ask all family to. I even have gone so far as to comment on their facebook status, which they do not do on mine, only one of them excepted my friend request. So, maybe I'm bitter, I don't feel bitter, I don't feel like I haven't forgiven, I feel sad.
I feel like they are missing out on being apart of our lives, like we want family to be.
I can't make them CHOOSE us.
But what I can do is set an example for my children: If some one doesn't treat you the way you want to be treated, you don't have to be around them. Even if that someone is family, sometimes family can be the cruelest to you. Family is not a "pass" to treat you like crap, it is a gift that some choose not to appreciate.
Jesus tells us to love one another, not show up and be treated like your invisible. Some times the best way to love people that hurt you is to leave it alone, forgive them and move on.  Jesus didn't hang out with the people that didn't like him, He went out and found people that wanted to know him, wanted to hear his message, that believed in him through knowing him. Did he confront those that didn't like him? Yep, he tried to teach them, but in the end it was up to them whether they wanted to believe in him or not.
Just like it is up to Rob's family to except and embrace me or continue to treat me like an outsider.
I can clearly remember the day I met them. Rob was so excited for me to meet them, I had heard nothing but good things about them. Imagine then my surprise when upon introduction they looked me over and proceeded on with their conversation as if I wasn't even there, no questions about who I was, what I did, where Rob and I met...nothing. In the times I tried to ask about them, I was rebuffed, ignored or interrupted. I felt like Rob's compassion for these people was completely one-sided. Time has only given me truth to that statement.
We all have issues with family, some bigger then other's.
I want to live a life that is compassionate and following the direction of God. If going that way and someone else is going another, isn't it at that point that you must turn and keep going or do you keep stopping, going back, seeing if they've changed their mind...or do you keep your head up, eyes on God and pray that in the end both your roads brought you to the same place?
If you have a thought about this post, please share it with me. I am open to your opinions.

1 comment:

  1. Sara, family can be so hard. I really don't know what you should do...but I have two thoughts that come from my own experience. First, my brother and SIL very rarely remember my kids birthdays. We live in different states but I can count on one hand how many times they have sent gifts. My SIL NEVER is the one to send it. she makes my brother take care of his family. I think that is weird, but it is how they do it. Anyway, i have gotten my feelings hurt over the years, but I have decided that I will ALWAYS send their children a gift. My Aunt was the biggest influence in my life and led me to Christ...I want the opportunity should it come up to be that to them. So, I do all I can to be a good Aunt to my niece and nephew. Second, I feel like God calls us to go the extra mile to show His love to others...however, I don't feel he calls us to be door mats. I agree with you that you can treat others nicely, but choose to not be around them. I guess what I would be praying is...Lord, what will bring you the most glory? What will show my children the best example of being your hands and feet.....and see the the HS places on your heart.

    Praying for you!


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