Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bitterness - Pulling it out by the roots

Bitterness is like drinking poison and hoping the other person will die.

Bitterness is a frozen form of anger and resentment.

Bitterness grows out of our refusal to let go when someone or something is taken from us.

Bitterness is being constantly hurt by a memory and is holding onto a hurt until it has a hold on you.

My motto is "You can get bitter or you can get better".

When you are offended or disappointed by others and allow the hurt to germinate in your heart, bitterness and resentment will take root.

Hebrews 12:15 (contemporary English version) says, "Make sure that no one misses out on God's wonderful kindness. Don't let anyone become bitter and cause trouble for the rest of you."

I confess that sometimes I have to work at not feeling bitter. The days that I am selfish and only worry about myself are the times I can always find something to be bitter about. As far as I can tell, there is nothing good about being bitter.

Bitter as a taste is not a good thing. It's not anyone's preferred taste. Any time we use bitter as an adjective, i.e. bitter pill to swallow, bitter loss, bitter failure, bitter enemy, it's a negative thing. I don't think there's anything positive that comes from bitterness.

The good news is that it starts as a seed. A seed of a thought, a seed of hurt, a seed of loss. I know when it's there. It's as though I can actually feel it being planted. What happens from there is my choice. Do I water it with resentment or replaying old wounds? Do I fertilize it with feelings that I deserve to be angry or didn't deserve to be hurt? Do I watch it grow as I replay old hurts over and over in my head?

How do I get rid of bitterness? For me, the best thing to pull bitterness out by the roots is praise and gratitude. How can I feel hurt when I focus on how much I am loved by God? How can I think that I deserve to hold onto bitterness when I focus on all that Christ gave up for me? How can I feel sorry for myself when I realize how precious I am to my heavenly Father?

I have to weed it out by the roots. I can't cut it off and just hope it doesn't grow back. I can't remove some of it and hope the rest won't regrow. I have to tear it out before it burrows into my heart and suffocates my joy.

Today I am doing some weeding. And writing it out makes it easier to see the bitterness for what it is.

oh, and for the record, bitterness is just not very pretty...

Friday, March 27, 2009

We're all getting old around here

Ranger, our 5 year old Sheltie, has been having some problems lately. He's been having a hard time standing up and getting up or down from the couch. And he hasn't been as perky as usual. So I took him into the vet's today and he's got arthritis. Poor guy. Stiff, achy joints - makes him fit in with Kevin and me! He got a cortizone shot and will be taking Glucosomine to help the joints.

The vet laughed when I told him that Ranger is so smart that he goes outside if I tell him "You're grounded!". It's true. When he does something he's not supposed to and I tell him he's grounded, he'll go out the doggie door and stay outside for a few minutes. He'll poke his head in and if I tell him he's still grounded, he'll go back outside. He is so smart and such a great fit for our family.

I remember a vet years ago told me that all of our pets were really good animals. I don't think we have some great ability to pick good pets, I think we are a good family for pets.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Been Busy, but I'm Back!

Sometimes I get so busy with life in general, that I don't come here to write as often as I want to. Last week, over spring break, I got to go to camp with my Sunday School class. They are wonderful 5th and 6th grade kids and I was looking forward to our week together. This particular camp was also open to 3rd, and 4th grade kids.

These campers were kept busy all day long. The theory being that busyness keeps the little kids occupied and they would be less apt to get homesick. For me, it tended to feel like babysitting activities. I found myself missing the jr hi camps we'd done for so many years where many relationships were forged.

I truly believe that whatever spiritual gift God gives us, it will be our passion and bring us much joy. God's pretty cool that way. So I observed during the week. I observed that the young kids were cute but I was way more drained after dealing with them all week. Definitely not re-energized.

Interestingly, there were some jr hi kids who were there helping to serve for the week. I ended up connecting really well with them. There I felt energized and felt joyful.

God's timing comes into play here too. And it no longer surprises me, it makes me laugh. We asked about joining the jr hi team at church and turns out they were needing someone new! And one of the guys is leaving after this next year so we'll probably be next in line to take over! A small group of 10-12 jr hi kids - how exciting!

I've also been really busy with the pastor search committee. I am really enjoying the team I'm working with very much. We're down to 4 possible candidates! The church will be asked to join us in prayer as we ask God for wisdom, knowledge, discernment and a consensus. I'm humbled by all this and I'm really glad for then chance to get to know some folks even better.

So, if you think about it, say a prayer for me as I'm on this committee. Pray for wisdom and discernemnt for me. I can't imagine being on the committee without bathing it all in prayer.

Thanks, y'all!!

About Me

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Longview, Texas
In the autumn of my life, I am very content.