Journal Entry January 24, 2011

All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us. – J.R.R. Tolkien

What do I do with this time I’ve been given?

How can I be a good steward of my time?

I must learn how to budget my time like I need to learn how to budget my finances because I am called to do both. I am learning how I can best use my time to the best of my ability. I am learning how to focus.

TV off. Internet closed.

Computer’s only function: play music.

For the last week I’ve been intentional about having my TV shut off by 9 pm (although tonight it was off at 8 pm) so that I can spend time focused on the Word or other tasks I want or need to do. It doesn’t get me to bed faster but it is causing me to focus on what I’ve put off doing.

Procrastination is not my friend. But it has become my companion unfortunately. Because I don’t want to deal with the hard stuff. I don’t want to look at my “demons”, my inadequate parts – that which falls short of the woman I have been created to become.

Because to face that would mean pain. It will – and does – hurt to look in the mirror and not see who I am called to be looking back at me. She is not who I was but she’s not who I am supposed to be either.

She falls short every day. But I’m seeing a gradual change. A maturing. It’s not outward (at least, I hope not) but it’s in the Spirit. It’s in the Soul. The Spirit changes first, then the Soul. The heart changes in the process of it all.

Brother Barry mentioned in Sunday School yesterday about how it’s not the memories of our past, before our coming to know Jesus, that cause us to fall and falter, but the scars they leave behind.

The scar tissue is hard. It’s not pliable like flesh. No, it can’t move easily like the skin we wear. It can cause other areas to be hindered, too.

But if there is therapy, it can be softened. The Great Physician can soften those places and then take His scalpel and remove it when the time comes to completely remove it. But it is only when we submit to His counsel, His healing process that He will go in and remove it because God will never force His children to do what they do not agree to do. He will not force Himself upon us.


IdeaCamp: Adoption

I never really gave it much thought but I’ve been affected by adoption since I was a little girl. I’m not adopted. No one in my immediate family is adopted. But a friend of mine who I’ve know 20+ years is adopted. So is her sister. I have a cousin who adopted her son, too. They weren’t adopted from other countries but from right here in the US.

Around the world there are 163 million orphans. The population of the United States is roughly 311,879,621. The world population – 6,893,077,763 (US & World Population Clock).

The fact that the number of orphans worldwide is more than half the population of the United States is crazy to me.

But we live in a world where Jesus is reduced to a religion and not a relationship. When Amber had originally asked if people would be willing to write blog posts for the IdeaCamp blog about Adoption and Orphan Care, I did research about the natural plight of the orphan but also to read what the Bible says about the orphan and adoption.

Here is what I found about adoption in the US – there aren’t many statistics. I live in Massachusetts and I wanted to know how many children were adopted in my state in 2009 and there isn’t an “official” number. (I’m sure this is because they legally can’t or won’t. As someone who works in the legal field, this is one of the most frustrating parts of the system for me but that is for another post at another time.) It’s roughly 600-800 children per year are adopted in MA. There are many more in the foster care system in Massachusetts waiting for their forever families.

Biblically, the Old Testament talks about caring for the orphan and the widow (Exodus 22:22; Deut. 10:18, 24:19-21; Psalm 68:5 are just a few Scriptures). We know that Moses was adopted by the Pharaoh’s daughter. Esther was an orphan who was cared for by her uncle, Mordecai. The New Testament talks less about orphan care but talks about the believer as an orphan who has been adopted by God as our Heavenly Father (see Ephesians 1:5; Romans 8:23,9:4).

I’m not writing this post to convince you to adopt or to consider adopting. I don’t believe everyone is called to adopt. I believe God has called me to adopt because it has been on my heart for the last 10 years and that desire has only become stronger in the last 1 1/2 years.

Instead, prayerfully consider what you can do to help the orphan and to help orphan care. Maybe you know someone who is in the process of adopting either domestically or internationally. There are ways you can help them by praying for and with them or, if they already have children, by offering to watch their children when they need to go to an appointment or when they are bringing their son or daughter home.

Also, please consider attending !deaCamp//Orphan Care in NW Arkansas this February 25-26. For more information, please check out the !deaCamp website. Also, check out the blog where you can read more posts by other bloggers who are also want to encourage the Church to help the orphan.

One Word 2011

Alece chose one word. So did Ann and Lindsey.

I thought I had chosen a word for last year but I didn’t.

This year I am. I’ve chosen the word focus. Focus on God. Focus on now, on the present.

The definition of focus is “a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity.”

One reason why I’ve chosen focus is because I noticed this past year that I had lost focus of God and His plan for my life.

As an amateur photog, I know the importance of focus in pictures. This year I want to learn the importance of focus in my life, in my relationship with God. I want to focus on life in the here and now. No longer looking back or worrying about tomorrow.

I’ve looked over my shoulder for too long, worrying about my past harming my present or my future. And I’ve been worrying about tomorrow for too long – concerned more about what is going to happen 5 minutes, 5 days, 5 weeks or 5 months from now instead of living. I haven’t been taking in all that’s around me on a daily basis.

Living in the moment, living for God. Focused on the here and now. I am going to learn to do that in 2011.

It’s going to be a process. It may hurt here and there but I won’t give up.