Monday, October 11, 2010

1000 Gifts: School Year Edition

holy experience

Before I head in to work this morning, I want to catalogue my list of things I'm thankful for. It's so easy to be discouraged and stressed this semester, so I want to refocus and think about all of the ways the Lord has blessed me. Here's some of the things I'm thankful for that are coursing through my head:

26. A restful Sunday to renew me for this upcoming week.
27.  God's ability to take my burdens and equip me for my work in spite of my incredible inability
28. The Word of God and how it nourishes my soul
29. Faithful pastors who preach the Word and keep me focused Godward
30. A loving husband who comforts me when I am distressed
31. Netflix movies to watch with Ciaran
32. An early afternoon date w/Ciaran yesterday at Olive Garden
33. My dear 95 high school students this semester whom I absolutely treasure
34.  Ciaran's soccer team and the joy of watching them triumph over both Portage schools (first time in Ciaran's school's history)
35.  Exercise DVD's
36.  Cold and clean water to drink
37.  Nice hot showers
38.  A freshly made bed
39.  Access to hundreds and hundreds of books
40.  Sermons on the internet
41.  Wise teachers to learn from
42.  The vast number of godly women bloggers keeping me focused Godward throughout my week

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Women in the Word Wednesdays

I have been meditating on one little phrase all day, "Do not be idolaters..." (1 Corinthians 10:7).  Idolatry is such a huge struggle for me.  I've heard a number of pastors preach on this topic and a number of them have mentioned that idolatry is the root cause of all sin.

Ciaran and I stayed home from church on Sunday and worshipped at home.  We listened to a Mark Driscoll sermon and he asked a series of questions in this particular sermon with the intent of identifying idolotry in our lives.  I have been ruminating on these questions and the 1 Corinthians 10:7 passage as a result.  His questions that were most convincting are as follows(along with a few of my answers):
What am I most afraid of?  Failure
What do I long for most passionately?  Success
Where do I run for comfort?  Ciaran, sleep, escapism through movies and books
What do I complain about the most?  My job
What angers me most and gets me frustrated?  Disrespect, people talking badly about myself or my family or God
What do I sacrifice the most for?  My job.
Why?  I want success.  I don't want to fail.
Whose approval am I seeking?  My students, their parents, the community, my adminstration, my colleagues  (It should be God!)
What am I mad at God about?  My 3 preps.  I want to be a good teacher and I just can't do a good job with this much work to do.

As I reflect on these, God has been showing me how my idol is my job and and I'm serving my pride and striving for success for me.  He's not giving me my idol this semester.  So I have two choices.  I can whine and complain and pout and feel sorry for myself. OR, I can quiet myself before Him and seek for my joy, approval, my identity all in Him.  I exist to glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  I can keep striving for success and clamoring for man's approval.  But that will all be in vain.  At the end of the day, my peace is found only in one place and that is in Him.  Christ is my everything.  Yet, how quickly I forget that when the school year gets underway.   

"Do not be idolaters..." (1 Corinthians 10:7)...I know I cannot obey this command without Christ.  Yet it is my prayer as I continue throughout my night tonight and as I begin my day tomorrow that He will work in me and fix my eyes on Him, the author and perfecter of my faith, and keep me delighting in Him throughout each moment.  Christ is who I need to treasure most.