Still running for the cheese (or why this blog still exists)

As my regular readers can tell, this has been a dry year for me. Just look at the number of posts this year vs. 2008! Awhile back, I had considered either shutting down the Maze, or starting a new blog that would more accurately reflect where I am in life now. Truth be told, sometimes I come here, look around, and feel distinctly hypocrytical about the things I want to write. I'm sure I'm not the only one to ever be in that kind of place.
As the time in between posts has grown longer, I came to realize something. Without the past years' material, where I am now makes very little sense. What good is the destination without the journey? As Christians, so much of the best stuff that happens to us is in the times God is molding us to His image. To throw away the evidence of that process would somehow cheapen the result, I think.
So, here we are, dear friends. I think my little mousie may just have rounded a corner finally. Some things will change around here to reflect the changes in my heart. And you know what? That's ok. As much as I typically rage against anything changed in my life, I'm learning to accept the God-given ones. My prayer is that some of you may be encouraged by what you read here. Hey, you may even be challenged. And of course, if you know me, then you know you always stand a good chance of being offended too. Not intentionally, to be sure! Just know that what you find as you wander this Maze with me may surprise you as much as it does me.

All that to say this:

Welcome to

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Many and few

I've started and stopped this post more times than I can count in the last week. And I've even changed the title a few times as well. There's been so much on my mind lately, and so few words to express it all.
We as a family have come to a place of turmoil. Well, pick your "T" word, really. Trial, testing, turmoil, trouble. They all spell out the same thing. We're kinda S.O.L.
You see, Mr. P. recently lost his job. And it's not the easiest thing in the world to find a new one after you've been fired.
That said, I've been thinking lately about how I've always heard people of the Christian persuasion say in times such as this that they do not understand how people without Christ can survive. That their faith, and specifically God, carries them through with peace. Honestly, I've never understood that remark. I've spent only the last 2 and a half years of my life as a Christian, and I feel a lot of the time that I can relate more to the unbeliever than to "my own people". Oftentimes when I would hear such a comment, I would think to myself, "Well, you just do. It's not like there's much choice. You've gotta get by." Not Sure
In the last 2 weeks though, I haven't felt the panic that typically consumes me when my family goes through our "T times". Not to say that I haven't been concerned! But I haven't been the screaming, crying, teeth-gnashing, wailing beast that I normally turn into. I think I'm beginning to get this whole "peace that surpasses understanding" thing.
So that was what I was thinking at church last Wednesday night.
Last week was something special, fo' sho. We had the Roar Tour come through. Now admittedly, I was seriously biased toward loving this from the start. Charles Ciepiel was our church's worship leader, and boy, I miss his flair on Sundays. Mr. P., my mother, my aunt, and the boys were all able to come. Ooh I just knew this was gonna be great! Ah if I only knew just how great!
Aside from all the other things I've been wanting to talk about that I experienced that night, one thing is very mind blowing. Well, at least to me. I'm a very pragmatic sort. When I hear people talking of their personal spiritual revelations, I tend to think that more often than not, they are flights of fancy that the speaker in question wishes were true. I know, I know. One of my less endearing qualities, but nonetheless, it's true.
During one of the songs, I was overwhelmed with, dare I say, a compulsion to sit and open up the Bible in front of me. I had left my own copy at home, and when it comes to God's Word, I'm pretty inept at shuffling through any version but mine. Anyway, I didn't know what I was looking for, or even if I was looking for something specific. But, when I got the Bible out of the pew, here's what it opened up to in my hands.

James 1 (emphasis my own)

1James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations: Greetings.
Trials and Temptations
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
9The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position. 10But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower. 11For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.
12Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.
13When tempted, no one should say, "God is tempting me." For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. 15Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
16Don't be deceived, my dear brothers. 17Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. 18He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created.
Listening and Doing
19My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, 20for man's anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires. 21Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. 27Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

A lot of this chapter spoke to me about so much going on in my life lately. Not just in our family, but in my personal and spiritual life as well. Now how's that for a kick in the pants?
Despite the chastisement (at least that's what I'm getting out of it Oh Jeez ) in parts of this chapter, what really stuck out at me was "Consider it pure joy". I feel like God is about to do something with us, and I'm just hoping we're not too boneheaded to miss it. There's still so many things on my mind, and still so few words to explain it all, but at least this one thing I know. I will always consider it pure joy, whatever comes my way, because the Lord my God is with me.

Til next squeak,

10 Squeaks from the Maze:

Cat. said...

OH, I was going to suggest James!! I love dat man, and his book. God indeed works mysteriously, doesn't He?

I hope the Mr. finds something soon, something GOOD. In the meantime, I'm glad you are able to do the F.R.O.G. (Fully Rely On God) thing better now -- I struggle with it greatly. We were talking about what 'faith' is at BibStud (hee) this morning--I think you're living it: active trusting in God.


Lori Watson said...

You're giving me goosebumps there, Mrs. P.

Thanks for sharing!

Mrs. P. said...

Thanks guys!
I'm hoping to get my head outta my rear (literally, not metaphorically ;P ) and do another post about the rest of that night. Seriously, an awesome time at church like I've never had before!

Mr P said...

Bah you were talking literally lol...Fwekability You Gots It

Dani said...

What a seriously good post. I know that peace you are talking about and until I began a full-fledged Christian I never understood it myself. (hugs) Cullens_Girl

Mrs. P. said...

Mr. P. ummmm ya mean fwekSability...I gots it.

LOL. Dork.

Mrs. P. said...

Dani, so glad I'm not the only who was in the dark about that turn of phrase til coming to Christ and growing some.
It was actually some of the strong women we know on CMF that I had in my mind when I was typing about that. LOL

Mr P said...

LOL well i sucks at typing ...spellcheck needz to uze its...

melanie said...

Oh wow, this rocks!! So often I look at a situation and say "I have no idea how I would handle something like that!" and then realize when something happens that the peace really is there. An amazing thing it is.

Still praying that Mr P finds a fabulous job. I can't wait to hear what comes next for y'all.

Mrs. P. said...

Melanie, you guys just came through the storm (in every sense of the word!) and I know that God probably had some great thigns to show you too in that. It's always amazing to me how He can take one person's experience and use it to speak to others.
BTW, really really glad you all (y'all...LOL) are ok!

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