Monday, October 15, 2007

How it went -- and a question

My time alone on Saturday was great. It was a lot longer than I had expected (6 hours!), and I got tons done at home. I vacuumed every inch of the house, did a gazillion loads of laundry (including washing our living room curtains, which I've wanted to do for eons), washed the floors, organized my office, plus had time to watch several episodes of "The Office" and start reading Harry Potter 7. I will admit that I panicked when A and R were leaving, thinking that something bad was going to happen to them (the ultimate in guilt - So, you wanted a break, huh? Well, selfish woman, you'll never see your boys again! Mwah ha ha!). But I said a quick, desperate prayer asking God to protect them and bring them home to me safe again. And, after four hours of wonderful aloneness, I was ready for them to come home. I missed them. So, I had my break and then was ready to appreciate my guys again. I'm very thankful for the time I had. A and R had a fabulous time at the party, too. R found lots of kids to play with, loved setting off rockets, and even danced to the band. And, A got to hang out with his old friends for a long time. So it was great for all of us!

Now, on a completed unrelated note, I've got a question for all of you: How do you balance listening for God's voice and discovering his plan for your life with taking risks and action? If you don't get a loud and clear answer from God in a situation, how do you move forward? A lot of my devotions this year have talked about following God's plan for your life, but others have talked about taking risks and not just sitting still and waiting for things to happen.

I wonder how much I've missed out on lately because I've been waiting for God to tell me what to do. I don't mean that I've missed out on tons of fun or anything like that. What I mean is - what if God is waiting for me to take a chance on something (new job, new church, etc.)? How do you know when to act and when to wait?

I don't tend to do anything without thinking it through ad nauseum (or buying a book to tell me everything about it first). And, I'm the same way with God. I tend to ask him to show me the way and, in the meantime, I just keep doing everything the same. If I don't hear God telling me to change or make a move, does that mean he thinks I'm already doing the right thing? If you get a strong urge to do something, how do you know when it's just you/your own desires and when it's God giving you a nudge?


Suztash said...

Sweetie, you are in very good company. These questions, I'm sure, have been asked for millenia by zillions of believers. One thing that came to mind as I read your blog is the verse in Isaiah that tells of the coming Messiah...that He will "gently lead those with young"KJV. God knows what you've got on your shoulders already. Perhaps He isn't giving you any big nudge in any certain direction because you're already doing what you should be doing. Rest in Him....don't be anxious. Besides, He's given you a wonderful mind and wisdom to boot. He is your shepherd and will truly let you know when you need to make changes. His changes very often are the gradual kind. He "gently" leads. God bless. Love you

Johanna said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed your time-and I know what you mean about the panic, I'm still afraid to let any hand but mine buckle the kids seatbelts, even on days that I would like to lock them all in the dog's crate.
Your question- struggled a lot with this in the last few years, because I don't really ever hear a clear voice.I have even tried to let the bible fall open and randomly reveal the answer, but it always falls open to"and Methuselah begat...."or something equally helpful. I have one book where a priest describes counseling a young mother of 2, who feels compelled to start a soup kitchen ministry but is afraid to leave her kids, and the priest points out that this woman didn't feel that just caring for her children "was enough" for God.I know for myself, very often when I think I am being led in a certain direction, it does turn out to be the path of my own desires, which I turned into God's will in my own mind.Not encouraging, but this part might be; when I've been way, way off, a giant hammer didn't come down and flatten me and the kids.Instead I was pretty much allowed to go throwing all my efforts into whatever new direction I wanted to go in, and it seems like if it was not what God had planned for me,I simply failed, no matter how hard I tried or how sure I was that it was right.And I think I've ended up exactly where He wants me.Like a dog that runs full speed to the end of it's chain every single day and gets yanked back, while it's master sips his coffee and sighs, hoping the dog will remember where the chain ends, someday.I REALLY wish I was one of these people I hear on the radio that have very detailed conversations with God about everything including which socks to wear. I don't doubt there experiences, I'm just a little jealous that I hear nothing about BIG STUFF, and some other dude can ask and get a clear answer on what pants to wear on Friday.

Kansas Bob said...

I think tha God's will is all about living from your heart.. a pretty scary place for some. I posted about my experiences in this area here.

Trish Ryan said...

Some of my most frustrating times are when God isn't necessarily telling me to do anything. I like to get moving toward new things, but without a clear push from God in a particular direction, there's really no place to go.

I wouldn't worry that you're missing anything--God made you, so he knows you pretty well. When he wants to get your attention, he'll put a banner or a song lyric or an impression you can't shake in front of you and it won't go away until you do something about it.

shaun said...

Kristen ,
I can speak from some experience here. One of the hardest things for me to endure earlier in my walk was the silence of God. There are times when it doesn't even seem like God is there at all. I felt that way when I was first in prison. When I was waiting to go,I was built way up spiritually feeling very close to the lord then The first time that I was in a real prison and the huge steel door slammed shut with the darkness that ensued , I felt all alone for the first time in months .
Before that I was encouraged every day, I had an awesome prayer life (so I thought)and there were people around me who would continually encourage and lift me up.
all this time in God's presence , then ; SILENCE, NOTHING , NADA, ZILCH.
What I have learned through that is , God will Speak to you in the most still, quiet and intimate ways and then sometimes He doesn't.
The times when you hear nothing, those are the times when God is teaching you patience when He is showing you how to trust him.
I think that asking him about your socks is over kill , and there is nothing wrong with waiting for God to speak about major life change issues. But I don't believe that God intends for us to sit paralyzed while our lives race by us either. I am not a very good example, I know I screw things up all the time.But I do know this .
"And we know ALL THINGS work together for good ,to those who love God , Who are the called according to his purpose". (ROM.8:28) In the immortal words of Forest Gump,"That's all I've got to say about that".

LEstes65 said...

That's an amazing question. I can only tell you what I've done. I ask God for guidance over and over and over. I ask my friends to pray for it, too. And sometimes, when I don't get that blinking neon sign from God? I take a step of faith. Because I figure, if I've tried my best, and I take a step in the wrong direction? God's gonna let me know.

That's how it was with moving to Austin. There were way too many things pointing to both Boston and Austin. In the end, I took a leap. God honored it with an amazingly easy move, great neighbors, great doctors, great schools, etc. There are those that have suggested I made the wrong decision as my marriage fell apart soon after. But I'm not convinced that was God's message. Too many things confirmed my decision.

But if you keep asking, and you take a step out in faith? God will either support it or show you that you need to try another path. It's not always all or nothing. God's good like that.

You rock.