Sunday School on Saturday

And now, another break from my normal posts in which I give an overly detailed explanation of every feeling I have ever had.

The other day, I realized that I wasn’t trusting the Lord’s hand in the Sunday/Saturday School class that I was going to start.  Instead, I “decided” that the thing to do was to wrack my brain trying to come up with exactly the right words to say, in hopes of ensuring that none of these little ones would be led astray.  Ever.  For the rest of their lives.  As a result of my perfect teaching.

I’m pleased to report that I was convicted of this faulty thinking before the time actually came to teach the class.

So…the class:

I had four boys, aged four to eight years old.  The four year old was kind of all over the place and not really paying attention.  The other three were great, for the most part.  As I’d mentioned before, they all been in Sunday School before, so they have a decent grasp of the Bible.  And they seem to have figured out that, when all else fails, the correct answer is probably “Jesus.”

The beginning was a little shaky, but then, I started with a children’s catechism that I’d found.  We started with the first two questions and worked on memorizing corresponding Bible verses.  That took quite a while, but they seemed to enjoy it.  By the time we got around to starting the actual lesson, it was time to wrap it up.

A low-light and a highlight from the day:

Low-light – At one point, one boy said, “You know, I’d prefer to go out and sit with my mom.  I just said that I wanted you to teach us, so that you wouldn’t be sad.”  Ouch.  At the end, each of them prayed.  One of his prayers was that God would help him like Sunday School.

Highlight – The study that I was going to teach was called “Moses’ Dream vs. God’s Dream,” from the website, Ministry to Children.  The first step was to ask the children what their dreams were.  The first two boys, who grew up in Christian homes, mentioned owning a horse and being a soldier.  We got sidetracked, and the other boy said, “You didn’t ask me what my dream is.  I want to tell my dream.”  So, I gave him a chance.

He said, “When I grow up, I dream to read the Bible and know the Bible.”  Mind you, this child grew up with non-Christian parents.  His mother starting attending church about year ago, and got baptized recently.  Needless to say, my heart melted.  I hope this boy wasn’t saying that just to make me happy, cause it seemed so sweet and sincere.  Again, that’s something I will have to leave in the Lord’s hands.

First Blog Swap – Six Reasons to Rejoice that Christ is Enough in Our Suffering

I’m excited and honored to participate in my very first blog swap with Michelle Lesley, a Christian author whose writing is encouraging, and more importantly, theologically sound.  Up until now, I haven’t written much about theology.  Let’s say that I try to exercise great caution when I recommend someone’s teaching to others.  Michelle’s writing has encouraged me and challenged me; and I hope you will have a similar experience!

christ-is-enough

Michelle’s post, Six Reasons to Rejoice that Christ is Enough in Our Suffering, really spoke to me, as an Highly Sensitive Person.  It serves as a wonderful reminder of the hope we have in Christ, even in the midst of deep pain – especially when we seem to feel this pain with greater frequency and intensity than most.

Be blessed by Michelle’s post, and be sure to follow her!

Thinking and More Thinking

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭10‬:‭3-5‬ NASB)

Taking thoughts captive.

Not exactly my strongpoint. I imagine that it’s not the strongpoint of too many other HSPs out there. However, as a Christian, I have the power of the Holy Spirit, by which I can overcome.

Tonight, I had started on a downward spiral. Really, it’s been a spiraling kind of weekend, because of a few pieces of bad news that I had received.

I recognize that my tendency to overthink often gets my brain tied in so many knots. Those knots are so difficult to undo! Not only do I retrace my steps and consider sins that the Lord may be now disciplining me for, but I also spend time thinking about how He might be allowing my current difficult circumstances to take my life into further despair.

This is not how God has called me to live my life!

He has said that I can do all things through Christ’s strength. Philippians 4:13

He has said that I should not worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow has enough worries of its own. Matthew 6:34

He has said that I must forget what is behind and press on toward the goal – that is, eternal life and Christlikeness. Philippians 3:14

I don’t mean to say that I will never have trouble. Or that I must not learn from my mistakes. However, I must not get bogged down in trying to figure out God’s mind and his plans.

God gives us what we need for each day. He gives us a lamp for our path, not a floodlight. There is such a level of trust required! Second-guessing and trying to become omniscient is not really a display of trust.

Again, it is a real struggle for me not to overthink. But knowing that my thoughts are more than likely irrational is a definite help in digging myself out of the pit of obsessive thinking.

Sometimes, I do need the help of a friend – as I did tonight. I needed someone to tell me, “Hey, these thoughts are not from God. You do need to work on some circumstances in your life, but the nighttime is not the time to do it.” She mentioned that our thoughts tend to take us more into a frenzy at night. How I can attest to that!

She reminded me that God’s mercies are new every morning. At that time, I will hopefully be able to see more clearly.

Like a Screaming Kid at the Store

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:3-5

I spend a lot of time with people from a culture where saving face and not offending or inconveniencing others are the most important things a person do. How many times has someone told me, “I have to buy that for her, or she will cry,” or something very similar.

Though I don’t have children of my own, I did grow up in a culture where parents don’t necessarily bow to the children’s wishes. So, I often mention to these other parents that if the child knows that she must only cry, in order to change the answer from no to yes, she will do that for everything.

(I don’t want to get into whether or not I should offer unsolicited parenting advice. It is what it is, and I’m just using it as an illustration.)

Just a moment ago, I was reading another Christian blog. The blogger was writing about the Gospel message and its sufficiency in a believer’s life.

It is no secret that I deeply desire to be married, and feel very disappointed that I will be 40 in less than three months, but still single. Though I will not sin in order to have a relationship or to get married, I am concerned over the idea that marriage may be more important to me than my relationship with the Lord.

The blogger also cited the verse above about God being the one who gives us all comfort. This made me pause a moment. I had to consider whether I turn to God in my disappointment over still being single.

Do I turn to Him and allow Him to comfort me, just because of who He is?

Or will I only be comforted by Him, when (or if) He answers my prayers for a husband with a yes?

Like the child in the store, will I just scream until I get what I want? Or will I calm down and trust what my Heavenly Father has in store for my life? Up until now, I think I’ve mostly just been screaming.

Don’t get me wrong: my desire to be married to a godly man, with whom I can serve the Lord, has not diminished in the past 20 minutes. I do hope, however, to be able receive the comfort and love that He so freely gives me. I want to accept Him for who He is, not for what He can give me.

New Year’s Eve Revelation

i started this post on New Year’s Eve, but was not satisfied with it. Truly, I still am not satisfied. However, I have not posted nearly as much as I’ve wanted to. So, here is my somewhat incomplete offering.

As I have done for the past several years, I took some time today to pray and reflect on my year with a journal entry. Usually, the entry turns out to be a list of events and changes (and more than likely, heartaches) that occurred during the year.

This year, as I writing, I noticed something different. I wasn’t describing events. I was describing lessons learned. I was charting my growth in the Lord.

This, in and of itself, became another evidence to me that God is with me and is growing me.

True, there have been many instances of deep, deep pain. (Happily, very few of them were romantic.) Still, God has revealed so much to me through this pain. Unfortunately, most of what has been revealed to me have been areas in which I have sinned and fallen short.

Later today, as I was driving, I was listening to a call-in radio show. The host was asking listeners to call in to share praise reports and give glory to God for what he had done in their lives in 2014. I started thinking of all of the ups and downs of my own year.

I thought about how every year has come and gone and has never transpired in a way that I could ever predict.

Still, through all of that, God has been there. He has been right beside me.

Today, I realized that I’ve always imagined the Lord as looking down on me from afar. I’ve (unintentionally) imagined him caring and directing what happens in my life, but also being detached in some way.

When I realized how wrong I am about that, I felt a new excitement. I felt a new motivation in my walk with God. Realizing that he is walking beside me through everything helps me know that I can handle everything! Sure, it might be through a flood of tears, but I recognize even more the extent of presence and power in my life.

I truly dislike falling into cliched-sounding statements, but fear that I have. Still, it’s very exciting to me to have finally grasped something that I have always known, but apparently have never truly apprehended.

Post of December Past (see what I just did there?!)

If you’ve made it past my lame title for this post, thank you. Currently, I have two blogs. Really, I have more than two, but I want to keep them separate.

Anyway, I’m hoping to the two which fall under the username “Mi Pwin.” That would be this one and Mi Pwint.

(Don’t follow Mi Pwin, by the way! I don’t plan to really post there anymore!)

When I started that one a few years ago, it didn’t really have a specific target, like this one does. When I started this one, my target was very specific: my experiences as a Christian who is a Highly Sensitive Person.

Well…I’m ready to meet in the middle. I want to keep a focus on HSP, but also want to share some other topics: life, spiritual growth, the mess that runs through my head quite regularly.

Without further ado, I’d like to share a post from almost three years ago. This was from December 28, 2011. It’s interesting to read this and see what has changed, and be slightly disappointed over the things that haven’t, but really need to.

I was about to name this post “Slack-tacular,” but I realized that one of my other recent posts was called “Slacker.”  Don’t want to create such a negative trend, when I would like to become a more positive person!

So, Merry Christmas, fellow Pressers!!  I hope you enjoyed a refreshing time of reflecting on Emmanuel, God with us, in recent weeks.

It has been lovely, to have several days off – both before and after Christmas.  I should like to have more such vacations throughout the year.  The Europeans really get it right with their liberal amounts of vacation time.  I’ll bet people are so much more productive in their jobs.  I wouldn’t mind working long hours for a several days, then being off for 3 or 4 days.  With 2 days, you barely get time to catch your breath before it’s time to start getting back to work.  So, this current vacation has been all about catching up on the chores I don’t have time to do when I’m working.  It kind of makes me sad to think that the next time I’ll be able to clean really well again is when I have a vacation.  Or the next time I want to kill a weekend.

(I had no idea that this post would take this direction.)

As I gripe, I think of how the Lord gave us SIX days in which to do all of our work and ONE to rest.  So, technically, we get a good deal by having two, whole days to rest.  Man.  I guess I have to quit complaining now.

Lord, please give me the strength and energy to live the work-rest pattern that you have planned for me.  And the grace for when I mess it up anyway.  

In this New Year, I really want to focus outwardly much more than I usually have in the past.  That will require MUCH more energy than I currently possess on any given day.  Earlier, I’d asked the Lord to help me with my diet and change the types of foods I crave into healthier choices.  I should have post-dated that prayer till 2012.  I mean, come on, people: it’s Christmas!!  It’s cake, egg nog, cake, chocolate, cake, party time.  Did I mention cake?  I know that you can (and should) also make healthy choices when social gatherings abound.  Yeah, right.  Maybe by next Christmas, I’ll be so used to my amazing new healthy way of eating that this won’t even be an issue.

I did eat lots of fruits and veggies at a party today!  Yay! Then drank sweet tea with dinner.  Boo!

This will really be a baby-step type of deal.

For me, this isn’t an issue of losing weight.  It’s an issue of wanting better control of the mess and chemicals that go into my body.  I’m sure that all of those things counteract anything healthy I consume, which makes me sick more often than I’d like to be.  Also, it’s a matter of discipline.  I am somewhat of a slave to my taste buds.  The problem with that is that, well, we should only be slaves to Christ.  Also, if I get it into my mind that I want Wendy’s, pizza or whatever tasty treat, nothing else will do.  Especially not some boring stuff I whipped up at home.  (Not that everything I cook is boring…) And, while I’m pretty happy with my weight right now, I know that my metabolism has slowed down slightly, and will continue to do so as I get older.

So, yeah. This was supposed to have been a reflection on Christmas and an update on my wonderful (not really) adventures of the past couple of weeks.  I also had wanted to share my heart on some stuff.  Instead, you got – this.  That will come soon.

HSP High and Praise Report

I can’t sleep! I am full of energy and wide awake. I’m in bed, but not the slightest bit inclined to fall asleep.

There is a wonderful reason for this, though! This evening, I went to a bible study within a particular immigrant community that I spend time with. There was a guy there, who the last time I saw him was at a community event. He was beyond drunk and was hitting on me. It was creepy, not just annoying.

Tonight, however, he was there as a brand new, baby Christian! I had heard there had been someone to come to faith in Christ recently, but didn’t know who it was. Since I knew the story behind it, I easily put two and two together.

He had such a peaceful countenance tonight. He seemed to be listening attentively. Actually, he used to be in religious service in a different religion. Someone else from that religion, who became a Christian a couple of years ago, brought him tonight; his first time to ever be in a church setting.

Secondly, there was a girl that sat beside me who seemed to have a kind of breakthrough. Not a breakthrough driven by loud, emotional music. But a breakthrough of the mirror of the Word of God held up to her and her seeing her reflection.

The talk was on different types of “Christians,” from nominal to truly born-again. He divided them into four groups. As he described the groups, she said to me, “I think I’m in the wrong group.”

Oh, this blessed me! This was a statement of contrition. I pray that this evening ends up being a turning point for her! Please pray for me to have grace and wisdom to guide her, as the Lord would see fit.

What does that have to do with my sleeping? Well, in true HSP fashion, I’m just totally overwrought right now. I can’t calm myself down and just go to sleep. This happens somewhat regularly, if I’m excited or nervous. The physical response lingers long after the information has been processed.

Why can’t we just put a lid on these responses, once they have served their purpose?!

I have a very long day ahead of me tomorrow. Hopefully, it will be another day of seeing God’s work in people’s hearts and lives. At this rate, I just don’t feel close to falling asleep at all.*

Do any of my fellow HSPs ever experience this?

A Letter to My Face

Dear Face,
I am really trying to rejoice in the Lord, even in the midst of very difficult circumstances. Heart can praise Him and make music to Him. Even Voice can speak of His wonderful works. To be fair, Voice is not doing a great job either. With every word, Voice pushes a few more tears over the brink.

So, Face: I really need you to get on board with everyone else! Your drooping eyes and frown are not doing much to conceal my pain, nor bring glory to my God. And you already know that when people ask how I am doing, I’m inclined to tell the truth. Please, for the sake of everyone involved, could you make some sort of effort to look cheerful, without coming across as totally fake?

I thank you in advance for your prompt cooperation.
Sincerely,
Highly Sensitive Christian