Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Comparing, comparing

Some of my thankful Quick Takes this week demolished within a matter of days - I cried Friday night because I wasn't pregnant, and right now I feel like a bit of a prisoner within the family, and also excluded from attending events like New Wine because of our family situation. It doesn't help that I've been stricken with a cold virus which has made me weak and wobbly, and really able to only sit or lie and think depressive thoughts, it seems. I've been trying to pray, but it's mainly a 'Help Me, Lord', which seems a bit indulgent when so many are dying in Somalia and certain unsatisfied elements of British society are burning down parts of the country.

I know what I'm doing of course. I'm COMPARING. I've done this all my life, and I'm generally happier when I don't. It's not that I want what others have, really - I just want to moan about the fact I can't have what they have. I wouldn't leave my family to go to a worship conference. And my first ministry is to my family. Yet, it's been a difficult week and a hugely difficult day today hearing from someone how wonderful it was, and how it encouraged their moving into an area I too feel called too.

So, God's grace, get this chip off my shoulder and let me appreciate what's mine!

I am ME, God's unique creation, and he has given me many wonderful gifts and experiences so far, including a third baby who makes the word joy echo around this house. I can't be expected to appreciate them 100% - but I can look at what they allow me to do, rather than what they prevent. They educate me, make me laugh, draw me out of myself. They show me God on a regular basis. ('Fanc you for You' wrote SecondSister at a prayer station at the Methodist Church on Sunday.) They are exactly the right provision for me at this stage on my spiritual journey, because God has planned it that way. I learn from them in different ways than a Worship Conference, but I am still learning.

So help me be happy for others who have tasted the new wine this week, who truly needed that injection of spirit-led worship and time with others. I'm blessed that the Spirit visits me in other ways, and how my family nurtures me. If I am ever obligation-free and able to take myself off for days at a time without being missed or needed, I know I'll be wistful for the times when I was surrounded by questions and sisterly love and fighting. I think Ann Voskamp's 1000 Gifts has to be helpful here. I need to be thankful for what I am given at this time, in God's time, for they are the things I need; I need to be wary of asking for what I want, especially if what I want are someone else's special gifts. Teach me, O Lord, not to resent or envy, but to accept, and honour, the gifts you make available to only me.

Girl kisses because I feel unwell
FirstSister taking care of SecondSister with tenderness
A room scattered with books and musical instruments
Times of peace and quiet
Friends who care
Times of wellness and whirlwindness
Group singing
A surplus of fruit and vegetables
A Family


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