Well, I suppose I need to be careful what I say. Particularly if I write it in this blog. On Thursday I had a heated conversation with Jeff in regard to something he asked me to do. It is something I have done in the past and could tell that it just was not where my calling is. (Or so I thought). On June 22 I wrote about being challenged. That I wanted to be an influence in people's lives. When I got a phone call from Jeff and he asked me to attend a meeting with him I threw a fit. I know, that was dumb! The phone call ended in a non pleasant way, with me having a fit, and Jeff being hurt.
Later in the evening, I brought up the subject again. I was still very upset and wanted to find out some things. In this conversation Jeff actually had the audacity to bring up what I had written, and said "well I thought after what you wrote about the message that Dwight shared maybe you changed your mind". (see June 22 blog below). Why is it that when you feel so strongly about something when you originally write about it, when someone brings it up again you want to say "that's not what I meant". When in all actuality it is what you meant, you just don't want someone throwing your own words back in your face.
Well, needless to say, I really battled with this. I thought about it all night, and all day Friday. I knew what I needed to do, what God wanted me to do, what I was sure Jeff wanted me to do. Then, just when I had pretty well decided to go ahead and go, I was pulling weeds in my flower beds and low and behold... my back went out! For those of you that know me, that is not a good thing. I have had two back surgeries because of ruptured discs. That is enough to strike fear in the heart of someone that knows that pain!
Let me give you a little larger picture of what my day had produced. I had been cleaning like a crazy woman (I do that when I am upset). I had cleaned my room that evening , prior to weeding the garden, and a few loads of laundry. I was attempting to do more laundry when my washer died again. So, enterprising woman that I am, decided that I'd let those clothes soak... and ask for someone to "jiggle the wires later). I then proceeded to tear down the living room. I removed all of the pictures, "nick-knacks" move furniture, remove the wall paper boarder in preparation to paint. I have had the gallon of paint sitting in my dining room for about four months. No time like the present... right?
It was after I had accomplished all that Jeff came home that the conversation commenced.
I knew that before I could paint (or Jeff could) that I needed to scrape that remaining wall paper residue from the walls, and wash the streaks left from the vinegar/water solution I used to do that. I have everything torn up in the house and then go outside to pull those weeds that I have been meaning to get to. So, I go outside and begin to pull weeds, and in one smooth move (really) I managed to send sharp pains down my back! I continued to pull weeds, then pick up sticks... anything to escape what I knew I needed to do.
At 3:00 I came to the conclusion that I simply needed to quit doing things and get ready to go to the Attention Center with Jeff.
This is something that he has done for about 18 years or more. He is able to go in and spend time with these kids, and then share what God has put on his heart. Normally there is at least one other person there with him, but he wasn't sure if the other person would make it or not. All he did was ask me to go in and help him, and I threw a fit! I have gone to this place about four or five times in all of these years, and have not been impressed. It was something that had been upsetting to me because of the way the kids acted. I felt like it was a waste of time because the kids didn't listen, and weren't receptive! It didn't matter that Jeff said that it really wasn't that way, that nearly every time the kids were well behaved and responsive. I had that picture in my mind that it wasn't going to be worth my time...
The thoughts running through my mind of what my husband so kindly reminded me that I had written just a few weeks ago. Where was I going to be that I could be an influence in any one's life? I have turned into a hermit back here on our farm. I only go somewhere when I want to, since I am not working I can pick and choose where I go and when I want to go.
OKAY! I get it! I went up and took my shower wincing in pain, and figured I would try to be ready by 4:00 to leave. If I didn't make it by then I would just not go... Well, I was ready plenty early. I drove to the Attention Center and saw that Jeff was already there sitting in his car preparing to go in. He was surprised to see me (I was surprised to see me) and was so happy that I came to support him. I went in (still wincing from pain) and told him in a nut shell why I was there. I couldn't do much at home, so God allowed a "thorn in the flesh" to put me where I should have been willing to be in the first place.
At this moment it is 4:03 AM and I cannot sleep. My back is bothering me a bit, but my conscience is bothering me more. Jeff will be getting up in about 20 minutes to go to the prison in Chillicothe to visit a man that never gets visitors. (No, this is not the man that killed Liz) He is going not because he wants to go, but because he feels that this is what God wants him to do. To be an influence in some one's life. Just so you know, I have the coffee ready for Jeff to take on his trip! (some consolation huh?)
Let me give you a little suggestion; if you feel God impressing you that you need to be doing something, anything that will make a difference in some one's life, and you blog about it or even think about it. It is much better to answer that call. It can be a very painful experience to get you to that point. I really meant what I said on June 22, I just wanted God to use my time table, and to "send me" where I wanted to go. Not one of the more intelligent thoughts I have had!
Lord, help me to be obedient, and not so stubborn in the everyday things in life. Let me see that You have a plan for me, even if that plan consists of something that I don't want to do, but You want me to do!
In case you are wondering, the kids were great! They were very attentive, and even polite. They listened and didn't have nasty comments or snicker. They were much more willing to be there and participate in the meeting than at any other time I have been there. I am ashamed to say that I felt the way I did. Those kids are there because of a wrong decision, I was there because of a right decision that I made the wrong way. I didn't do anything while I was there except hand out snack chips to the kids that won the game we were playing. I said nothing, but being there said volumes!