I Owe. I Owe. So Off To Work I Go

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

Psalm 30:11

If you recall in an earlier post, I mentioned that some people rely on employment to serve as a source of contentment. And then there are the rest of us.

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Come on don’t act like you don’t know someone who hates their job!

 

In fact, when I lost my last job it was the best thing that ever happened to me!

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Yep, I was there nearly 9 years and though I tried to quit several times, for whatever reason I couldn’t do it.  Actually, I even passively attempted to get myself fired years before it actually occurred.  And I got a promotion!   Go figure.

Now, I didn’t do anything stupid like steal or curse out upper management.  That would have surely sent me packing a lot sooner, but I was so miserable there that there were times that I would literally arrive at work early, sit in the parking lot until I was super late and then drag myself in the door at the realization that I had two other mouths to feed.

It seemed that I was okay at that place the first few years, but the older I got; the more I longed to be my own boss, outside those four walls. When I injured my back a few years later, I was confronted with the unrelenting reality that so many of my peers had complained about over the years. Before I’d had perfect attendance, volunteered overtime, and always sought to help others.  In fact, one time I was “empowered” to train my own new supervisor. Which sadly, by the way, I found out she too is no longer there.

Long story short- I was actually fired because of an illness mix up and by that time, I had finally gotten comfortable being uncomfortable on a regular basis.

It seems odd, but within the last two years there, God let me know that I was wrong for the way I was working.  Rather, not working.  By me putting in just enough effort to get by I was not only setting a bad example for my peers around me, I was making Him look bad in the process as well.

And let me tell you, God is so smooth with His approach too.

Yes, He does discipline us through His word, but this time, He got my attention in a much more profound way.  He got one of my coworkers to help me set His record straight!

“Yeah, Nadia I remember you before you knew the Lord.  You’ve changed.”

That may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it said a lot. Because this young lady had witnessed how God’s power through Christ had literally transformed my existence at work.  That was a good transformation mind you…only I knew that I had been passively doing what I was supposed to do instead of actively doing what I knew I could do.  Yes, because before I really accepted Christ as my Lord and savior, I drank with the best of ‘em, partied, and yes cursed like I’d just gotten off the ship.  So her words became a sobering moment for lack of a better word.  God showed me that I was not just being watched by Him, but that others had been watching me too.

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That said, regardless of how I longed to do something different, I still had a responsibility of maintaining and displaying the proper attitude where I was. It was at this point I realized that I worked not just because I needed the resources the job provided, but that I should work with a grateful heart and countenance because of who God provided.

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His son Jesus is the source of my strength and the keeper of my soul. Had it not been for His sacrifice not only would I have not had the job I did at the time, but I would not have been able to stomach the lost of it when that day came. However, that realization led me to reaffirm my faith in the one who is my Source.

So though I joke and sing the little rendition of the 7 dwarfs tune, “I owe, I owe so off to work I go,”  nowadays I realize it has nothing to do with the money I could earn and everything to do with the Grace through His blood that I did not.

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved.

It’s on His Calendar so I’m Available

Today one our constituents called in a panic.  She and her husband were hosting one of our Art of Marriage Events in about 2 weeks and had not done anything to prepare.

  • Yes, they were the marriage ministry leaders for their church!
  • Yes they specifically knew of several couples who would benefit from it’s content
  • Yes, they bought the kit in April!

Of course, we’ve seen it all so I’ll admit, I almost got a little judgmental.  Yep, I know that’s kind of wrong, but in my mind…I thought…

“You bought the kit in April and now you’re calling for help?”

Well, I guess she sensed how ill-prepared she’d sounded so she began to further explain her dilemma…

She went on to say that she and her husband tried to schedule their event back in April for October, but at the time was told that the calendar was closed.  So she and her husband held onto the kit and did nothing further.

I guess you’re wondering why they didn’t just ask to be scheduled for the next open date? It’s easy to say that from the outside, but I can attest to the fact that when you’re already a little nervous about being put in the spotlight, sometimes you gladly accept any set back as a “get out of jail” free card and get on down instead of relying on God’s direction and pressing on.

So yes, they had the kit, the flyers, and posters (everything they needed), they sat idly by watching marriages fall apart holding on to that excuse that the calendar was full.  Well, sometimes folks, God’s got another plan!

Well, usually God has another plan and because He grants us free will, He allows us to only go so far before we’re obligated to do things His way. Well super long story short…the couple found out about the event “they” were hosting the same way the rest of the congregation did…Sunday morning announcements.

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Now if her church is as technologically savvy as most are these days, the announcement was displayed on some huge screen for all to see…And yep..that’s what happened.

Now I understood her panic and I was immediately able to reassure her that we can help her…I submitted an urgent request for one of our ministry advisers to contact her immediately and when I asked her when she would be available, her reply comforted and convicted me in succession.

“I’ve cleared my schedule for the next two weeks because we’ve got to get this together.  I’m available anytime. Just call.”

The words she stated reminded me of the words I’d uttered not long ago to my Father.  I’d embarked on a mission to complete my memoir several years ago…got with a publisher…paid…and yet sent nothing…I could say that it was writer’s block, but that’s a lie…it was fear…fear of the questions…fear of the answers…fear of rejection…fear of acceptance…fear of memories…fear of the need to forget…I understand now how I’ve allowed that fear cripple me.

A few months ago, a co-worker handed me a book that changed my life…I know that sounds so cliche…but it did nonetheless…I started writing again…I started remembering again…I cried tears that had been buried in a facade for over 3 decades, but even half way through that journey I stopped…overcome by the “what ifs.”  But today, God not only allowed me to remember my vow this evening as I attempted to reassure that customer.  But early this morning, he reminded me with a message from Joyce Meyer…the words…”It’s time” has been ringing in my head all day…I’ve had friends lined up for months to offer assistance to review my pain on paper, but shame preferred it be kept hidden…

But something else spectacular happened on that call…something God always has a knack of allowing in my life…He allowed me to minister to myself.

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You see the past two days, I’ve been fighting a sinus infection and I’ve gotten pretty good at hitting my mute button just before that sneeze…I’d begun telling the young lady this: (mind you this isn’t verbatim-going by memory here)

After she mentioned that she and her husband prayed about it and she couldn’t back out because she felt like God’s hand was on it…I agreed with her and recalled the time when I’d been co-chair over Women’s Day at my church one year…how I’d made all these new plans and when I went to the planner and even to the pastor to offer my input, I was completely rejected.

All I could think of was, “Why in the world was I selected if they weren’t interested in anything I had to offer?” I was sick because my naivety had me so geeked that I’d called vendors and made all these plans to make the Women’s Fun Day a Spa Day…

Well of course I prayed…God reminded me of Nehemiah and the wall…how he was constantly met with opposition but how he was able to complete it anyway…not by his own effort, but by his faith in God’s power to help him finish the task…In the end, the pastor’s heart softened, but two days prior…every vendor cancelled at the last minute.

I arrived at the site on the day of distraught, but slowly as I tried to get things together by myself…one by one God provided people who had everything I needed.

By the end of that night, the ladies were given makeovers (Maybeline donated boo-koos), manicures were done by volunteers, massages were given, pictures were taken…all because I relied on God and refused to take the glory for myself…I smiled as I reminisced in that moment…

And I simply told her that it wouldn’t be a miracle if “you could get it together in 4 months.” 

So with that, I’m no longer stressing about how I can get this and that together and what if this person says this or that…I’m going with what I’d decided before…to allow God arrange my calendar!

©2014 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved

Purely Balanced

My washing machine taught me a powerful lesson recently.

So I thought I’d finshed my laundry only to realize I had one more load to go. It was a small one so I just tossed the clothes in without adjusting the settings. After the cycle began, I noticed a little noise, but thought nothing of it. Then came the rattle.  I still ignored it.

Well, about 20 minutes later, I was not expecting what I found. My washer had literally spun around in the opposite direction.

So what made my washer do a little dance?

Simple. It wasn’t balanced.

In my haste, I created a bigger problem.

Been here before…ooh too many times…so that got me to wondering. Am I unbalanced?  I mean, I read the bible so I have the instructions to do what I should, but like Paul, the things I say I’m going to do, I don’t and the things I say I’m not, I do. (paraphrasing here) 

For instance, there have been times I’ve taken on responsibilities that I really can’t handle with a smile and a lie that “I’m fine” when things are anything but that. Worse yet, relationally, I’ve been guity of accepting less than who God designed for me as if “any man will do.” I know I’m not alone here so let’s get real….

Let’s face it, regardless of how independently woman you are, all real women want to be loved by a real man the way God intendeds, but often times, we haven’t taken the time to ensure that we are up to par (Pure and Righteous) ourselves.

We have this long list of imaginary, prince charming requirements, and wind up settling for a big bull frog because we compromise. Oh never mind that he’s not a Christian or that he is an obvious playboy or that he has a serious lying problem….SHHHSH

GET A GRIP

For too long have Christian woman failed to follow the instructions God provides and we end up a statistic, bitter, or both. I have learned that even a lot of tiny things done wrong can cause a world of hurt. Yet, we can’t mosey along neglecting the signs of trouble either.

Now recall, I heard the noise with my washer, but I chose to ignore it.

The Holy Spirit gives us cues as to the direction we should take, but often times, we fail to take action. Rather, we fail to take the right action. And yes, ladies, that means sometimes you must quite literally let go and let God. Just as my washer made a 180 degree turn, we have the potential to turn our lives in the wrong direction when we ignore or simply refuse to comply with the Lord’s leading. Despite how much we may “want” something to work, when we aren’t careful to adhere to the Holy Spirit’s warnings, we end up with needless problems.

Remember this is your life!

If we are to remain pure to our purpose , we must “seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added”-Mathew 6:33 …. for the record, that includes Mr. Right. When we live unbalanced lives we can’t expect another person to fill us where we’re empty. Only God can fill that void and He provided us with the perfect instruction guide, His holy word. Yet, it is our responsibility to read it.

Thankfully my washer survived my negligence, but as a divorced mother of two, some choices I’ve made have been irreversible and life-changing. And they have cost me a lot more than a few bucks so I refuse to live with future regrets of trying to fix a problem my way. Instead, I’ll follow the instructions provided by my maker. That way I’m sure to remain purely balanced.

©2013 Nadia Davis. All Rights Reserved