Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Yesterday: A Snapshot Look into My World

Monday, July 17, 2006

7:28AM- I awoke groggy, grumpy and tired. I had been up late playing a new game we are addicted to thanks to Scott. I drug myself to the shower, one eyes closed and one eye opened, hoping that Oliva and Maxi were done with the bathroom. They were still asleep.

FYI snip: Who are Olivia and Maxi, you ask? They are summer missionaries to Colorado through the North American Mission Board who are working with my parents at their new church in Broomfield. They are staying at our house this week.

7:47AM- Out of shower and downstairs for breakfast. Everyone was awake and either talking, laughing, screaming, arguing or whining. Our house is seldom quiet and yesterday was no exception. I ate breakfast, still grumpy, and got ready for work.

8:51AM- Leaving for work. I only live 7 minutes from door to door and so I WAS leaving on time! I listened to the Shane and Shane CD Carry Away and was deeply convicted for my morning attitude. I asked God to help me get through the day. (I had no idea what was ahead...)

8:59AM-5:16PM- At work, working mostly, but feeling a sense of tiredness and a weak spirit as the the afternoon drug on. Katie is out of town, thus the reason I am working full-time, and I desperately missed her company. I was not made to work in an office for eight hours a day, five days a week. (I work Monday-Thursday 9AM-1PM, and awesome schedule!) The weeks that I work extra I notice a progressingly more sour attitude in myself that I hate.

5:26PM- Arrive home. Dad beckons me upstairs where he is frantically cleaning the boys' bedroom. (An impossible task, I might add.) He tells me that my uncle Dan, his "significant other" Carleen and her daughters Rachel and Courtney were coming into town from Cheyenne tonight.

FYI Snip: Carleen was diagnosed with cancer two weeks ago. She was scheduled at that time for emergency surjury here in Denver. My mom immediately called and offered that they could stay with us this week. That was before she realized Maxi and Olivia would be at our house too! But, my uncle is not a believer and we have been praying for many years that God would give us a tangible opportunity to show him Christ's love. He has been resistant to spiritual conversation and mocks Christianity. Carleen, though, is a believer, which surprised us all when they began "seeing" eachother (haha, read previous post) a few years ago. When Carleen called yesterday and said they would stay with us my mom almost fell over, both with joy and shock! The opportunity had now come.

Honestly, I did not feel like helping get things ready for more guests. I felt the grouch monster easing its way back in and I felt like crying. Everyone was being annoying, loud and uncooperative. Truly, they were no different than usual but I was the one being the bear. I went about my duties robotically and without a smile.

5:27-7:11PM- All of us were frantically cleaning the house, getting dinner ready and moving Maxi and Oliva out of my bedroom so Carleen could sleep there. But where would we all sleep? The boys were being kicked out of their room for Uncle Dan, Jaclyn was already out of her room for the missionaries, now the missionaries were roomless and Victoria and Samuel needed to evacuate for Rachel and Courtney. The basement could comfortably house four and we could set up the tent in the backyard? No, tent was burried under the garage sale junk from two weeks ago.

Then I have a grand idea: Katie is out of town and I have the spare key to her apartment! I called Katie with the urgent request. She called me back an hour later saying the person housesitting for her was willing to leave early and we were most certainly welcome to use her place. Maxi, Olivia and I packed our bags!

7:12-10:07PM- We finished dinner, cleaned the kitchen and played a game of Settlers of Catan. Dan and friends were not set to arrive until 10:30PM. Maxi, Olivia and I loaded up and headed out to Katie's house. The car ride was unusually quiet. I knew exactly why I was not talking.

I was grieving. I was grieving because the Spirit of God was grieving inside of me. He was prodding around in my soul and He was hitting tender cords. Selfishness. Pride. Weariness. Unbelief. Disobedience. And it hurt. It hurt because I knew I had not been acting like Christ. It hurt because of all the times I should be joyfully obeying (in hopes that my uncle would come to know Christ through this trial and our hospitality) I was being miserable inside and out. It hurt.

I silently confessed my sins to the Lord and felt the burden released. I asked Him to use my sinfulness for His glory by making me more like Jesus. More like Jesus. More like Jesus!!! That is what I want and yet time after time I act like a slave to sin. It is for freedom that Christ has set me free. I am commanded to live as a free man who is a slave to Christ willingly and passionately. He, my Savior, GOD- who became the most unimaginable servant to me:

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (from Philippians 2)

And so who am I to say I am tired? Who am I to complain about the annoyances of others? Who am I to grumble? What reason do I have for self-pity, arrogance, selfishness or frustration? None.

Praise be to God Who uses my weaknesses for His purpose. Praise be to God for His forgiveness when I am stupid. Praise be to God who remembers that I am dust! Praise be to God who calls me holy and blameless because of His Son. It is at these times that I am reminded why I need a Savior. I need a Savior because I sin. I need a Savior because I am unloveable on my own. I need a Savior because there is no good in me without Him. I need a Savior so that I can boast in Him.

Thank You, Spirit, for Your marvelous work in me. I could not walk through this life without You. Please, please, please... make me more like Jesus for I cannot do it on my own.

Please pray for Carleen, Dan, Courtney and Rachel today. Carleen is in surjury right now (11:30AM Mountain Time) and should be done any minute. Pray the God would give sight to the spiritually blind Dan, Rachel and Courtney through the trials they are experiencing.


Spanish Morning said...

Sorry I could not be there to help cheer you up at work. However, apparently God didn't have that scheduled for you. Thank you for your transparency. It is uplifting as you speak of Christ as All.

Spanish Morning said...

Hey, Rachel recommended this book...she said it was as good as "And the Bride Wore White" (which is excellent!)


Galant said...

Wow, sounds like a full house and a full day.

Have you ever read the Screwtape letters? A few of those come to mind. This is one of those days where Lewis comes in handy. BLess the Lord at the end of it and don't beat yourself up. Focus on the people and enjoy it all -live for eternity in the present. :) Such great advice.

Be blessed this day Jaclyn and every day - be a blessing to those around - that which you do for the least of these......He smiles when you serve. He who would be greatest among men must be a ....?

Just some verses that have come back to my mind recently.

If all else fails, grab the Bible and start reading, if that seems hard, do it with someone else, in person if possible, and read out loud. DOn't talk or anything at first, just go with the aim to read. Things'll pick up from there.

As for Settlers - was that the game you referred to? I just have to say...that game is absolutely marvellous!! Love it! Have you played with any of the expansions? They are also very good.

Makes me want to invade one of your family/friends game evenings!! :)

Jaclyn said...

Surprisingly enough, I have not read The Screwtape Letters...yet. My brother has read it several times and is always telling me I must read it. I will some day I am sure!

Thank you for your encouragement and admonishment. Your words are so true. I love serving, I love having people in our home and I love reading God's Word. That is why, when I face such a bad attitude as I had that day, I know something is seriously wrong. I did spend time that evening reading the Bible and I felt God's peace, forgiveness and strength wash over me.

God has been teaching me, through my study of Ephesians, that all spiritual blessings are mine in Christ (Eph.1:3). Everything I need for life and godliness was given to me the day I first believed (2 Pet. 1:3). It is only my lack of wisdom that hinders my ability to use the gifts God has given to me. When I feel overwhelmed, frustrated and impatient I am sinning, obviously, but I am also refusing to use the abundance of Christ-likeness that the Spirit can produce.

Anyway, a week has passed since that day. I have faced more ups and downs, but can wholeheartedly say that I am more like Jesus this Monday than I was last Monday!

Yes, yes, dear Settlers. That games is addicting. A missionary friend of ours who is here on retreat brought the game with him. He does not have any of the expansions... what are they like? My brother and I have been thinking about making our own board! My mom said she thought it would be fun to make a version of the game that is like "make a meal" where you have to collect things like flour, eggs and sugar. She said it would be the girl's version of Settlers. :-P

Hahaha... to join our family for a game would be an educational experience for you. My mom, dad, Ben and I all have such different game personalities. My mom and Ben are highly competitive. My dad analyzes everything. Me, on the other hand... I am neither competitive (unless it is a game against myself) nor do I analyze the whole game. I need a consistent flow and a short amount of time between my turns. THUS the reason I like Settlers. There is always something to do between MY actual turn since there is interaction with people during their turns.

What are some other games you like?


Galant said...

:) Where Screwtape is concerned I've found that the discipline of slow reading is necessary. It's tempting and easy to just plough through the short letters yet I think it is better to just take one at a time and let it sink in, meditate on it.

As for games, I'm both analytical and competitive! :) I've always loved games both mental and physical and always like to play well and like to play to win. I'm happy to say though, that over the years I've managed to gain control over my need to win and have become much more graceful in defeat and able to let a game go if the atmosphere is becoming a little too serious. :)

Apart from wide games outdoors, I enjoy many games indoors. Various card games are fun although the less skill there is involved and the more it comes down to just plain luck the more bored I get. I did enjoy a strategy adventure game called Duel of Ages but it often takes a while to play and has a steep learning curve at first so we don't often play. A recent game I found that is both simple, fun and challenging is Tsuro. 2-8 players. I recommend that one. Then there are always the party games like Cranium et al. I also picked up a game called 'Kill Dr. Lucky' which is often described as 'Pre Clue'. Instead of solving the murder you're trying to commit it. Not as easy as it seems though since everyone is gunning for the good doctor and will foil each others attempts so that they can be the one who finally gets him. Not as dark as it sounds, it's actually quite fun.

Oh and of course, now and again a Bible trivia game will show up.

The only other thing I love to do is make up my own games involving the people there. I find that in a varied group tastes for games differ, however the one thing everyone has in common is that they're insterested in their friends. Therefore there have been a few occasions where I've written a list of topics or questions and each person with a pen and paper has to answer those (maybe 10) questions for themselves. After it's done, I read out the answers and everyone tries to figure out who the person is from their answers.

I'll try all sorts of games and find I enjoy most. I just love to be with others who love games and enjoy taking the time to interact.

It also helps that a good friend of mine is a manager of a Game Daze store here in Tucson so I get to try all sorts of things. :)

My, my, I'm writing an essay, I'll head off, God bless.

Ann Marie said...

I agree, you must read the Screwtape Letters!!! I would love to re-read it again, but alas, my copy is lock in a basement in France, and checking it out of the library seems limitying as scribbling notes everywhere on the pages would be frowned upon by future readers...
Jaclyn, you are such an inspiration to me. You have no idea how the Lord has used you in the past few months to encourage me. Thanks for being a blessing, thanks for being a friend.