Saturday, March 5, 2011

Shout to the Lord!

Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with Gladness;
come before Him with joyful songs.
Psalm 100.1-2

Well, it's official with exception to having received a 'report' date - I'm taking a new position at the prison.  I successfully interviewed and competed for the position of Administrative Assistant II.  I so need to stop working with the inmate population.  I know my limitations and as such, I've been in the position of a librarian to the inmate population for four years too long.

I'm looking forward to using my administrative and organizational skills elsewhere.  I also know myself well enough to realize there will be days ahead in which I will internally comment, "why did I leave the other position?"  There will be days that I will miss my previous position. I know that as surely as I write this.

Which brings me full circle to today's scripture verse from Psalm 100: 1-2.  It is easy for me to shout for joy and worship with gladness when things seem to be going 'my' way.  But when they aren't or when the silence that answers my prayer is deafening, what then?  Has God left His throne? No, He has not.  Does God no longer love me or bless me?  No, that's not it either. 

I believe the message that the Lord is trying to teach me is that despite the feelings, despite the depression that I experience, there is joy and joy is so much deeper and different than happiness.  Happiness depends in part upon the happenings in my life and how I choose to categorize them as either a good thing or as a bad thing.

So for today and for tomorrow, I choose JOY!  And so I pray...
Abba, Father - fill me with Your Spirit.  Let the winds of Your love wash across my spirit and my being and fill me with joyful songs.  May my lips praise You.  May the words of my mouth glorify You.  May Your grace abound in my life and may it overflow to those whom I come into contact with.  AMEN!
because we're His,

Tamara

UPDATE - Sunday, March 6th, 2011:

Today's service and sermon were quite touching. As it was the first Sunday of the month, we celebrated communion and with the communion we were encouraged to pick up a broken shard of pottery from a basket. Then we were told to place it somewhere in our home where we would see it on a regular basis. Isn't that so like the Lord?  Speaking to me in all my brokeness? 

After the service, I spoke with Pastor and said perhaps we should all return our broken shards after Easter Sunday and then as God does, make something beautiful from all the brokeness.  So now, I have a vision.  A vision of all the broken shards being puzzle-pieced together in the shape of a cross: from supposed wholeness, to brokeness to re-birth.  ~AMEN!

UPDATE - Wednesday, March 9th, 2011:

Today, the Lenten season begins. I'm struggling to find something of intrinsic value to 'give up'. Chocolate? No, that's easy to live without. Meat? Well, I’ve already indicated I could easily become a vegetarian. A six week fast, but of what? I’m thinking… I’m thinking…

My official start date for the new position (Administrative Assistant II) is Saturday, March 19th, and I will report on Monday the 21st. I’m excited. I feel so blessed. Change is such a part of life. It is neither good nor bad. It is merely change and our ability to cope with it.

Abba, Father? What is it I can offer to you as a sacrifice for this Lenten season? It must be something of value to me.  That which costs me nothing is of no sacrificial worth.
Fellow blogger Rebecca at Life and Godliness may have found the solution for my Lenten season. She posted the following:
Only for Today Decalogue for Daily Living
1. Only for today, I will seek to live the livelong day positively without wishing to solve the problems of my life all at once.

2. Only for today, I will take the greatest care of my appearance: I will dress modestly; I will not raise my voice; I will be courteous in my behavior; I will not criticize anyone; I will not claim to improve or to discipline anyone except myself.

3. Only for today, I will be happy in the certainty that I was created to be happy, not only in the other world but also in this one.

4. Only for today, I will adapt to circumstances, without requiring all circumstances to be adapted to my own wishes.

5. Only for today, I will devote ten minutes of my time to some good reading, remembering that just as food is necessary to the life of the body, so good reading is necessary to the life of the soul.

6. Only for today, I will do one good deed and not tell anyone about it.

7. Only for today, I will do at least one thing I do not like doing; and if my feelings are hurt, I will make sure no one notices.

8. Only for today, I will make a plan for myself: I may not follow it to the letter, but I will make it. And I will be on guard against two evils: hastiness and indecision.

9. Only for today, I will firmly believe, despite appearances, that the good Providence of God cares for me as no one else who exists in this world.

10. Only for today, I will have no fears. In particular, I will not be afraid to enjoy what is beautiful and to believe in goodness. Indeed, for twelve hours I can certainly do what might cause me consternation were I to believe I had to do it all my life. (Pope John XXIII)
I will do each of these beginning with number 1 daily.  Tomorrow will be number 2, and on and on... This will mean that each one of these Decalogue's for Daily Living will be performed a total of four times.

Blessings to you all!