Genesis 12-15

I know I skipped the beginning of Genesis. No excuses, I just started writing down my thoughts ūüôā So Genesis 12 through 15 is about Abraham (Abram at this time) and him moving away from his family and friends because God told him to. My question is this–would you do it?

I try to be a good Christian. I try to follow His plan and I try to ask His opinion about every big and little decision. But I have to be honest, I am not sure I would just pack up and leave. I mean, I live about 30 minutes from my family and friends. And that was by choice. I really appreciate my family when I see them I think the distance makes me enjoy them way more. But would I move like miles away? I guess if God asked, I would do it. But I wouldn’t be happy!

The other part of Genesis was about how Abram told Sarai to lie about being his wife. God punished Pharaoh for taking Sarai as one of his wives. Ok. So I get that Abram was worried about being killed for his wife. I am not sure how I would handle that situation so no judgement. But why doesn’t God punish him? Not only does God punish Pharaoh, but after giving him a stern “talking to” about it he gives Abram a bunch of stuff. I don’t know about you but in my world lying doesn’t get you rewarded!

One of the highlights of this passage for me was the side story about his nephew Lot. Lot loves his Uncle and chooses to uproot himself to go with him when he leaves his homeland. Lot becomes a successful person and has a lot of livestock and workers. When Lot and Abram’s workers start bickering and fighting over the land they were sharing, they decide to split up before it ruins their friendship. Abram decided. Ok, so maybe he isn’t just a jerk for making his wife lie. He felt so strongly about his nephew and their relationship that he sent him away. Just like God to put his faith in someone who has flaws but ultimately is a pretty great person. Kind of reminds me that even flawed, I am still chosen!


Now¬†the¬†LORD¬†said¬†to¬†Abram,¬†‚ÄúGo¬†from¬†your¬†country¬†and¬†your¬†kindred¬†and¬†your¬†father’s¬†house¬†to¬†the¬†land¬†that¬†I¬†
will show you. Genesis 12:1

Job

Let me start by saying that I found this to be long and redundant. I am sorry and I will read it again in the future and wonder what I was thinking but for today, it just felt like it was going on and on. Maybe I am too cut and dry about stuff but I feel like it could have been a shorter book of the Bible. That being said, there was actually a lot going on in this book.

I know that Job was the most righteous. I know that what happened to him was just unimaginable. I understand that Job never blamed God for his misfortunes and tragedy, which made him all the more righteous. And probably burned Satan’s butt as a happy side note!

I get that Job’s wife and friends all tried to blame God or Job himself for what happened and Job never faltered from his undeniable faith in God. Over and over he seemed to be blaming himself for some sin that he doesn’t realize he commited. He curses his even being born, with the thought I am assuming that none of the people who worked for him would have lost their lives and his children would not have been born so they would not have died either.

Isn’t it funny how the default thought is to blame God? How many people have you talked to who said they stopped going to church because they lost their family member or their close friend died in an accident so they just can’t believe in a God who would make bad things happen. The thing is, believing in God is also believing that your life is not your own but instead is a book written by God that you get to live out. And just like in a good book, there has to be some conflict and tragedy to make it worth reading. I don’t know about you, but when I am reading through a hard part of a book I am truly hoping that everything is going to work out in the end.

I have tried to live my life the same way. When conflict arises (and I feel like I have had my share of conflict, although not all in the same day and time like Job!) I TRY to remember to thank God. When I am feeling like it is hopeless, I remember other times in my life when I felt that way and how God brought me through them. Usually stronger and more prepared for the next challenge!

I am not saying that I don’t have days when I feel weak. Just last Sunday I had a day where all I could do was hide under the covers and cry because life was just too much for me. But even through all of that, I knew that God had me. I don’t smile and walk blindly through my life but I do have a peace in my heart because I know that I am not walking through this world alone.

I am not even close to as righteous as Job. I am pretty sure if God and Satan were talking about which one of his children Satan should test, my name would not be in the conversation. As a matter of fact, I would not even be a “but what about…no, she did ‘fill in the blank’ so she won’t do” thought! But what I do have in common with Job is the inability to place blame on the Lord. When you have faith, you just KNOW that everything that happens is bringing you one step closer to being the person God has in mind for you to be. Isn’t that everyone’s goal, Christian or not, to be the best version of yourself?!

Submit to God and be at peace with him; in this way prosperity will come to you. Accept instruction from his mouth and lay up his words in your heart. Job 21:21-22

Herman’s Head

Does anyone remember that show? A guy lived a normal life but we got to be a part of what his different brain parts thought and did in every day situations. It was cool how everything had to work together and how the different parts had to communicate and figure stuff out. Even on TV life is a team effort!

I have been having problems at work with just that. Some of us work together but there is always that one lone wolf who wants to go it alone. The thing is, though, this job (and most jobs!) are way more effective when everyone does what they are supposed to do and leaves the other stuff to the people who do that stuff. There is no I in team and all that.

I am getting so worked up and there is nothing I can do about it. I am pretty good at letting stuff I have no control over go but for whatever reason I can’t seem to do it. It is making my stomach hurt all the time and I feel awful. Something’s gotta give! So I figured I would occupy my head a little more so I have less time to stress out.

I am doing a bible plan to read the Bible as it actually happened for a year and I am going to start giving my commentary here. I learn something new everytime I read it and writing down my thoughts will be interesting to go back and read.

So, starting tomorrow I am on it. I am reading Job right now and I gotta say–stop whining already! I will get more into it tomorrow ūüôā

Whining isn’t cool!

Hi there! Long time no see, Friends! I want to talk about doubt and being afraid. Lots of stuff is in my world right now and I have been praying like crazy. It has been rough but I know God has plans for me. It is hard to remember that it isn’t always flowers and roses! I have kind of glimpsed at a piece of my future story and it is good. I want to hope and it seems like it is going to happen but I have to be honest, I am afraid to hope. I feel like God has always been there for me but I have had to figure it out by myself for a little while before he swooped in and fixed it. I have not been faithful and let God handle things because I didn’t really trust that He could do it for me. You know, the guy who made the whole Earth and all the creatures in it. The guy who has written the story of me and everyone I have ever met. Yea, that guy. Ok, tell me why I am wrong!

I also find myself thinking that so much bad has happened to me that I DESERVE for something good to happen. Um, Amanda–you DESERVE nothing. Who are you–Jeramiah?! You deserve to know and feel that God has you in his arms. You DESERVE to know that what ever happens, good or bad, God has planned it and is using it to better my life and my existence. Other than that, you don’t DESERVE anything.

Pastor Darren talked about how your life should have changed by being a follower of Jesus. He said that if your life didn’t change after you decided to follow Jesus then you didn’t really change. Well Duh! Except that it made perfect sense. It is one of those things that I should just KNOW, but like the warning on a cup of coffee that it is hot and will burn you if you spill it, it just isn’t as obvious.

I remember the moment I gave my life to Jesus for real. I had always been a Christian in name but not always in my heart. I had quit my full time job and put all my hope into the business I had started as a professional Pet Sitter. It was going well but then January came and so did all the bills. I needed to buy pet sitter’s insurance. I had to pay for my memberships to two different trade organizations. Not to mention everything else that goes along with starting a new business. It would all be okay, though–I had a decent tax refund and a big pet sitting job coming up so I would be all set. However I didn’t get that refund. And the big job canceled because someone was sick so I couldn’t in good faith even charge them the cancellation fee that I usually required. I borrowed money from everyone I know to pay for it all. I hustled to pick up jobs and I did everything I could think of. Except the one thing I should have done–prayed. After like 5 weeks of waiting for the check that never came, I finally broke down. I was crying in the shower because I didn’t want anyone to hear me (sign of weakness?!) and I told God that I get it finally. I told God that I give up and that I would give him control. I thanked Him for the opportunities I have been given. I felt drained and weak…but strangely peaceful. By giving up all my worries and fears, I was free to remember why I quit my full time job and why I was passionate about my new adventure. Even though the money wasn’t there I was still peaceful. It was weird. And a funny thing happened–the check I had been waiting for came the next day.

I had already “gotten it” with God but I still thank him every day. I definitely falter in my belief when things get really tough in my little world. (See above!) Ultimately, though, I will never forget how peaceful and confident I felt after that day in the shower. I guess I just have to remember to thank God and just know that He knows what the future holds. And keep praying!

Using God’s Hands to close a Door

I did it–I closed my business. God and I have gone back and forth about this one because I have wanted to do it since I lost my Beloved but God told me to wait. I started this business with Albert pushing me. Every time I wanted to quit he was the first one to tell me I couldn’t or I shouldn’t. I really lost my mojo after I found out he was sick and I slowly backed away. I changed over to cats only after he passed but even that was not enough of a change. I needed to close it as the official business because I am scared. I need to have faith to move a mountain and not have fears that the one who made me and made the world can’t handle something as little as my life without pet sitting to fall back on.

God gave me the animal shelter to take my mind off of it. He gave me the animal shelter to keep me from falling into a pit of despair and hopelessness because I feel alive when I am there. Mostly, though, he gave me the animal shelter to remind me that I am strong enough to figure it out and pay my own bills without anyone else. I know that God put me in the right place at the right time because He knew it would do all this for me. And I am grateful.

Here is where it gets tricky, though. God ALSO has reminded me how I need to be wise about it and not just quit Amanda’s Kitty Pals. I need to make sure I am financially secure before I completely walk away from the business because even though I am over it I need to be a grown up and have a plan. I didn’t want to do that but I did. Just to make sure I was true in my promise, He had me lose a pretty big account. I believe God was testing me to see if I would use that as an excuse to walk away from the business before I was ready. I am listening these days so I didn’t!

I still have accounts and I will continue to cat sit as an individual until I am fully stable but I am almost there. And I have a plan to get another job so I can actually save some money instead of just making enough to live. I am pretty sure God has his hands on that as well!

Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me? Jeremiah 32:27

I don’t deserve this…or do I?

I have taken a new position at work. I was actually pretty insecure and nervous about it. Although it is what I really want to do, it is SCARY since I am officially in charge of the cat rooms now. I mean, the Director knew I can handle it. She knew it would be okay even if I didn’t…she is so smart that way!

Have I mentioned how much I thank God for my job? I applied for the job and had the gall to tell the person I was applying to that I could not work the hours they had posted. I must be honest, I was not actually expecting her to offer me the job. The job fell into my lap TOO EASY. I mean, God is not THAT good to me! I prayed for this job and it just appeared for me. Seriously. I had not even applied anywhere yet! So I made it harder for God to make it work for me. And blast it, HE WAS NOT DETERRED!

I gave her alternate hours that would work for me and somehow they worked for her, too. Voila–God wanted it to work for me and it did. I have gotten a few different raises and added jobs here and there since then. Seriously–I keep trying to think of ways that this job is not PERFECT for me but I just can’t do it.

Recently, I lost a big account in my pet sitting company. I was worried about money, although I do try to give it to God when I start to spiral about it! Anyway, The Director offered me another job. (The job I referenced above actually) It came with a big raise that will cover the money I lost. I am working a bunch more, but it is okay because I don’t feel like I am working! And honestly, I KNOW I am the perfect person for this job. Thank you God for that as well!

Anyway, the point of my post is to say that I have tried in every way to say that I will mess up this job but God is not ready for that to happen. Isn’t it funny how when He decides it is right for me it is right?!

Giving the pen back to God

Something happened today that changed the way I am thinking about my life. The mailman knows my name. I am sure you are thinking, “so what”, right? It IS a big deal though. It is another sign from my God to remind me that there are plenty of options out there for me. Let me explain.

There are a few men I have been spending time with lately. None of them are perfect for me. They each have something that make them special to me but it doesn’t outweigh the thing (or things) that make them utterly wrong for me.

I have this need to make them perfect though. This need for companionship and the comfort of having someone to love. I am SURE that one of them is going to fill my need. I talked to my former Pastor about it and said that there was something that just wasn’t right. His response was maybe it was the Holy Spirit talking to me. I have to be honest, I brushed him off on that comment. Although I heard it and keep hearing it whenever something doesn’t “fit”, I was willfully ignoring it.

Then today I ran into the mailman getting out of his truck. He was getting a package out of the back and I kind of waited to see if it was for me. I haven’t ordered anything lately but the excitement of getting a package is irresistible, you know?! When I saw that it was a box from Target I knew it wasn’t for me. The mailman saw my face and said Nope, not for you. I get it, getting that last package is a thrill. I told him I hadn’t even ordered anything lately but still. And he said, “I did deliver a parcel to number 3 yesterday, so there is that…” The thing is, I never told him what apartment I lived in. So he knew who I was!

At first I was happy that I have lived somewhere long enough that the mailman knows me. There are so many ways that Westbrook has become home for me, that this apartment is like my Bat Cave–my secret paradise where I can be myself and there is no one here to judge me. Having the mailman know who I am was just one more way that I am where I belong.

Except the longer I think about it, the more I think that there is a completely different meaning behind the mailman knowing me. I think it is a message from God, actually. It is a message to remind me that I am worth more than just settling for someone who isn’t my version of perfect. A message to remind me that I am memorable and that God’s perfect match for me may still be out there. A message to remind me that I am trying too hard to make things work in my favor…I am trying to make things work when they just aren’t right right now.

I am not saying that one of these men isn’t going to be “the one.” But (as usual) I need to stop trying to take the pen away from the author of my story and make the ending work MY way. If that is how it is meant to me, He will write that into existence. If not, He will write that as well. Either way, I have to have faith that God has a plan and my job is to just wait for him to tell me. Message received, Father!

Proverbs 19:21 ‚ÄúMany are the plans in the mind of a man,¬†but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.‚ÄĚ