Friday, June 29, 2007

Decisions, SAD, Contentment

This is what your black olives look like before they are black!
Green Apples
Yesterday I had to make a hard decision about the retreat. I'm coughing and feel like I have an elephant sitting on my chest. We didn't think it would be a good idea to go to Tahoe by the fire and with the increased elevation. When we made the decision they were advising those with lung/heart disease to stay away. Hubby and I still have fresh in our minds our last two years of both of our ER visits and my several courses of prednisone. To be honest, bad asthma attacks are scary because there is always the fear that this one might be the last one. I didn't want to make a decision out of fear. Fear is not of God. But I cannot always separate my own fear. So we prayed together, talked it through and based on the information we had at the time we made a decision. Then I spent the rest of the day bawling off and on. I know it's stupid but I really wanted to go. I was really looking forward to the fellowship, getting away for the first time by myself since 1999. I wanted to breathe the fresh air, see God's beautiful mountains, trees and lakes and I was hoping to forge new and deepening relationships with ladies at church. I've been there 18 months and I am just now getting to know people on a more personal level. This morning I woke to hear that the air levels had cleared and the fire is more contained. I wondered why I had to stay home. It felt a little unfair...and I wanted to have a pity party! All by myself! I know that hindsight is better than foresight. And even still, the wind could shift and that's all it would take. But I want to be there.

So my hubby, who is very sweet, got us all ready this morning and we drove to Apple Hill. He knew I needed to get out of my house. And I think I have come to the conclusion that I have reverse SAD (Seasonal Affectiveness Disorder)...instead of getting depressed in the winter, I get depressed in the summer... I HATE the summers in Sacramento. Even though we have had it cooler than usual for awhile, it is still so smoggy and I can't handle it. I have never had to deal with it before. I have to spend the majority of the summer inside so that I can breathe and also because D, J and I do NOT tolerate the heat at all. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest. You make hay when the sun shines! I spent all my sunshine hours (and some gray and rainy ones) the beach, in the mountains, hiking, camping, gardening, walking. Since I moved here these are only occasional treats, especially since living here as increased my asthma symptoms tenfold and it increases my struggle to lose weight. I have to admit that I have a bad attitude about all of it.

From the day I came here, I wanted to leave. It seems like everything has been a struggle, but God has not released us to leave. Still over the last 8.5 years God has been gracious to me when I have not deserved it and He has been a kind and patient Father, gentling teaching me, one thing at a time as I am able to handle it. And He has never given me more than I can bear...close at times, but never more.

While I was feeling sorry for myself I picked up the May/June issue of Today's Christian Woman. God is so funny at times! HA! HA! One of the featured articles was called "Moved To Tears" (p 50). It was written about a woman who had "issues" with her husband's decision to transfer with his company and how she did not want to move and drug her feet, dug her claws in and really had a lousy attitude. She shared some verses in Jeremiah 29 where God told the Israelites in exile to go ahead and make homes, start families and settle in because they would be staying there and that He had a plan for them. I had always read verse 11...that He has a plan for us, to prosper and not to harm us. But I had not really caught the intent before. It made me think.

And then she shared Philippians 4:11 where Paul writes, "I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances." Paul knew what he was talking about. He had survived all kinds of circumstances much worse than mine have ever been. So, what do I have to whine about? God is teaching me contentment, but sometimes I am like the woman...digging in my claws, dragging my feet, putting my will before His. This, I am finding, is an exercise in futility! Again, I am reminded that it is time for me to "Be Still and Know That I am God." (Ps 46:10) This is a lesson that I need to learn over and over and over!

I'm still a little weepy. I still don't understand...a lot of things. I've been really, really, really overwhelmed...that's why there hasn't been any knitting content for awhile. But, I am resting in His everlasting arms and I am trying to be still. I'll never understand it, but apparently God's answer to me about a lot of things is "WAIT"! So here I am Lord. I'm listening.

And He was good to me today. He did speak to me in His quiet and gentle ways through His creation. I did not even take my camera to Apple Hill. You know I am sad when I don't take my camera. I'm glad hubby did thought because I got these shots of the beautiful lavender which was literally a-buzz with bees! There were several different kinds of bees and it was gorgeous. I couldn't decide which shots I liked best so I posted several! :o) I could kick myself...I really needed my camera and telephoto lens! But, the beauty was intoxicating and He knew the "words" I need spoken, He understands my passion for His creation and it was a balm to soothe my wounds.


Nancy said...

I think this is a great post! God teaches us things in the most unusual ways. It sounds like you had a good day today. I have enjoyed reading your blog. Keep up the good work God Bless. Nancy

sherriknits said...

You may never know the reason you didn't get to go, but it sounds like a wise decision. We just spent 3 years hurting over a very difficult situation and not understanding why God allowed it or why He didn't release us to make a change. When we finally couldn't stand it any more and after much weeping praying, we decided to make the change and at the very last minute God stepped in and changed it all...and we didn't need to make the change at all. However, after He pulled us back, we went through much harder things and it got darker before the dawn...but now? We are seeing full-circle on things that happened many years ago and He is giving back much more than what we lost! keep looking at Him, I know He works the perfect solution in every situation and it usually isn't what we expect. I do know now that He heard my cries and saw every tear.

Lynette said...

We missed you at Retreat. It was a lovely weekend. I did start having sinus congestion on Saturday afternoon. I don't have asthma, but I did use my inhaler yesterday (during allergy time I occasionally use one). My head congestion is just now starting to clear up now that I am home. It was very clear at the lake, but something was in the air.
Look forward to telling you more about retreat.