This. Is. Ridiculous.

Have you ever prayed what you felt was an absolutely absurd, ridiculous prayer?

Even as you’re praying, you just feel dumb even praying the words.

I have done that a couple of times recently.

The holiday season is upon us.  And Hallmark movies are constantly being showed about everyone finding their one true love in just the nick of time.  And I love every single one of them.  I truly do.

Not because I believe that they’re true to life stories.  Or because I want a storybook ending.

But each and every one gives hope in situations where we can often feel hopeless.

Point of clarity: I am not blaming Hallmark, or their wonderful Christmas movies for what I’m about to tell you.

But it’s the holiday season.  A time where we all spend somewhere between too much and not enough time with our family members.  And it can be tough when you’re the single one in the family.

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I decided a while back that I was going to wait until God brought the perfect for me person into my life.

God’s taking a really long time about that.

Like, a REALLY long time.

A frustratingly long and ridiculous amount of time.

I’m being a brat about it.  Because, once again, I’m spending the holidays single.  No, that’s not it.  I’m being a brat because I’m trying to fit God’s plan into my plan.  I’m trying to pull back control on a situation that I already turned over to God.

And because I was trying to take charge, I almost made a stupid decision.  Ok, in my lifetime of stupid decisions, by far, not the worst of the stupid decisions.

I almost signed up for online dating.

Because I was lonely.

And because I’m frustrated.

And impatient.

And I feel like God isn’t moving in the ways that I want Him to move.

Because that’s not what God does.

And even though I know all of these things.  I still almost made a stupid decision.  So I prayed.  I prayed for God to help keep me from making a stupid decision.  And to remind myself that I’m really not the one in charge anyway.

I’m not saying that I’m 100% of the way there.  But at least I acknowledge that I almost did a stupid thing.

That’s progress, right?

I Told You So

Last Friday, as the dad and I were discussing the soon to be end of harvest 2019, I asked if now was a good time to tell him “I told you so”?

He sheepishly turned away, and said absolutely not!  As he grinned from ear to ear.

For those of you unaware, the 2019 farming year has been among the most crazy, and ridiculous.  And will definitely be going down in the record books.

The farming year began with rain.  And then some more rain.  And then even more rain.  And, oh yes, more rain.  Though not the latest year things have been planted (according to my historian, the dad), it was definitely late.

Late to the point that most farmers I knew were ready to apply for Prevent Plant, and let insurance pay the bills for this year.  I mean, this is why we have crop insurance.

Toward the end of June, every single farmer was stressed.  Even the dad, who is by far the most chill farmer I have ever met my entire life, was beginning to show signs of stress.  One Friday evening, he was concerned about what to do, because though it had finally stopped raining, the fields weren’t drying.

So I prayed.

And God answered, in a big way.

The following day, fields started drying, and drying more quickly than they had ever dried before.  A little over a week later, fields were planted.  And everyone took a deep breath.

Ok, so the fields got planted…but no one, and I mean no one, expected yields to be anything close to what we might call decent.

Except me.

All along, I had this nagging feeling in the back of my brain, and in my gut.  God was telling me that we were being faithful, and that He would come through for us.  That we would be able to get everything planted, and on top of just getting everything planted, yields were going to be far greater than what anyone expected they would be.

For a long time, I kept my mouth shut, because I know the farmers in my family.  And I know that until they actually see numbers, no matter how much they may pray and trust God, until they see the numbers, stomachs will be in knots.

Once, just once, I said something to my dad.  And he kind of shrugged it off, and said that he wasn’t going to be overly hopeful.  He was just thankful that things got planted.

So I kept my mouth shut.  But, as always, I kept praying.

And then…harvest began.  Later than usual, but that was to be expected.

And then it rained some.

And harvest wasn’t over.  But it was ok.  It wasn’t that much rain.

Harvest continued.

And then it snowed.

And harvest still wasn’t over.

So when things realistically look like this…

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…farmers keep on worrying.

But all along, yields were exactly where I expected them to be.

Far better than anyone expected.

So last Friday, when the end of harvest was expected the following day, and the dad told me what yields were…I got to tell him I told you so.

I honestly don’t know one single farmer who isn’t a believer.  Without question, it is the one profession that above anything else, must rely on God.  And reading through the Bible, farming is talked about quite often.

So yes, we do a lot of hard work.

But God does the heavy lifting.

Once again, thank you God for the things that you do.

I’m a Big Ol’ 5

On a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being the least, 5 being the most – how much do you trust God?

The “church answer” is obviously…

I’m a 5!

In reality, me personally, I am a 5…

But…

Let me explain.

When asking the logical and pragmatic side of my brain, I absolutely, wholeheartedly trust God with every single aspect of my life.  It has taken a really, really, REALLY long time to get there.  But it’s the truth.

I trust God.

With everything.

But…

I am human.  With human emotions.  With human reactions to what happens in my life.  So there are definitely times where my emotional, irrational side takes charge.  So I have an emotional and irrational reaction to whatever is happening in my life.

I don’t understand why some of the things in my life are happening the way that they are.  Or why God isn’t following my plan for my life.  Or when I think I’m following the plan God has for my life, the rug suddenly gets yanked out from under my feet.  There are moments that I’m just not sure what God is thinking.

But…

Once my emotions have cooled off a little, my rational and logical side returns to control, and I trust God with whatever His plan is for my life.

If there is one thing you should know about me, it is this: my path to such complete trust and reliance on God has not been easy.  I have been stubborn, and a jerk, and quite unlovable.  I did (and still do) things that I know aren’t what I should be doing.

But…

No matter what, God has always been there for me.  God has never stopped loving me.  God has never stopped caring about me.

Never.

Period.

No matter what bad things I have done in my life.  No matter how much I have struggled against God, He is still there, loving me.

And no matter what, God will get me through.

So when I tell you that I really am a 5 on the trusting God scale, I honestly mean it.  And I am trying, though not always succeeding, to remind myself when I’m going through a struggle season, that God has a purpose for whatever it is I’m going through.  And that I will continue to love and follow God, because He deserves my love and devotion.

Period.

When Did This Become Therapy?

I love my job.

Yes, there are frustrations.  Yes, teenagers make me want to pull my hair out.  Yes, I do currently need another 7 cups of coffee.

When Monday begins by getting text messages while I’m in the shower at 5:30 a.m. that one of my lead teachers is out sick for the day…followed by getting another text message 20 minutes later that my other lead teacher is out for the day…I jump into overdrive.

My morning became a blur of getting sub plans, test keys, and copies printed.  Trying to figure out exactly everything that needed to be accomplished.

I can handle it all.

It just adds a little craziness to my day.

It’s ok, because I had coffee this morning.  And more importantly, I had some time with Jesus this morning.

And on top of the absolute insanity that today has brought, a wonderful, amazing gift was just dropped in my lap.  I got to work with one of the kiddos that I don’t get to work with very often.  And he was working on a study guide for Of Mice and Men.

I love John Steinbeck.

I love Of Mice and Men.

Helping students make the connections in the story just brings happiness to my day.

Because…I’m a nerd.

I’m a HUGE nerd.

I even went as a nerd for Halloween this year.

See…

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I’m also an adorable nerd.

I love my pocket protector.  And my slide rule, in it’s own leather case.

The suspenders I was ready to burn.  No woman should ever have to wear suspenders.

Anyway, we’re getting off track…

I totally went all uber nerd on one of my students this morning.  He was working on his study guide for Of Mice and Men and one of the questions asked how it would make you feel needing to kill a beloved pet.  My student asked when this class became a therapy session.

Always.

When reading great literature, the goal is always to make you think.  Make you feel.  Make you explore your feelings about the things that you think about.

Always.

My student and I then proceeded to have a conversation where I explained the difference between a whore and a tart, and how in society today, the word whore is often misused.

Conversations like this make me love my job.  I get all warm and fuzzy inside.

Some days, you have to look really hard to find the good in the day.  Especially on days where many things go wrong, or are crazy.  Those are the days that you purposefully must look for the good in the world.

And though it may seem odd that a conversation about the differences between a whore and a tart are the thing that brightens your day, some days…you just have to roll with it.

Life is crazy.  Enjoy the ride.