I Can’t Fix It!

fix it

I work in a highly technical field. Between our computers, ultrasound machines, and treadmills, technology is in full force all day. When any of these break, it throws a wrench in our entire schedule. It affects our current patient and subsequent patients. And….we can’t fix it! We are at the mercy of our repair guy, and most the time, he is at the mercy of the broken part. He has to figure out what part is the problem, order it, wait on it, and get it installed, before we are back to normal working conditions.

I feel so bad for the patients when this happens because they are coming in for a stress test to check their hearts which is usually more stressful emotionally than physically. They want to know if they have a problem. And here I am, apologizing that I can’t test them because something is broken and I don’t know when it will be fixed. Usually, they are understanding. I always appreciate that, but I’m still frustrated that I can’t fix it.

Today, my treadmill broke. My patient was so kind even though she really needed it done considering she has plans to go out of town tomorrow (of course). I was even more frustrated because I had called the repair guy the week before with the same issue, but it wasn’t resolved. She was so sweet and kept saying to me “bless your heart”. She knew I was irritated with the fact that it was still not working properly. I said to her “I’m so sorry. I can’t fix the problem, only report it.”

That statement made me think of prayer. Most of our problems we can’t fix. We may have contributed to them, been born into them, or been completely sideswiped by them. But, we can’t fix them….only report them. Once we report the problem, we’ll need strength while He locates the problem, humility while He corrects it (us), and patience while we wait.

One thing’s for sure, with God as our repair guy, we will come out stronger, wiser, and more loving. Because that’s what He does. He transforms us through the problems we report. Let’s not be afraid to report to the One who created us. He knows us best and loves us most.

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Sex is the Icing…

icing

The more I learn about and dabble in the current singles scene, the more I have come to this conclusion. God meant sex to be the icing on the cake. Sex is a beautiful gift. It was His design and He did not design it to be accompanied with shame, regret, or remorse. If it is, we’re not doing it right! Plain and simple.

Sex IN marriage is designed to bond committed spouses, enhance intimacy, release stress, make up after disagreements, and many other wonderful and constructive things. When it’s had outside of marriage, the physical pleasure alone doesn’t fulfill the rest of what sex is intended to do. It may feel good physically, but it hurts our hearts because the mental, emotional, and spiritual components are lacking. So….the fulfillment isn’t what God intended it to be. We are left with more questions than warm and fuzzy feelings. Sex should be the ultimate commitment between two people. It’s designed to affect our hearts and if it doesn’t affect our hearts anymore, there is a bigger problem going on.

I’m also blatantly aware that this opinion is not shared by the majority of people these days, especially now. I know from personal experience how much sex can bond you to someone regardless of how they treat you outside the bedroom. I think that for women, we tend to put up with a lot more from a man we are sleeping with than men that we are not. Outside of marriage, we confuse sex for love. We think they love us when we have sex even when their actions speak completely differently at other times. Be careful ladies!! I don’t just write this for myself. I’m writing for my daughters, my nieces, and my other single friends. I want us all to know that when God asks us to wait, it’s not to deprive us of a good thing…it’s to prepare us for His BETTER thing in it’s most fulfilling form, completely free of shame. Just as He intended it to be.

I’m also not writing in judgement, I’m as guilty as anyone and still struggle. I haven’t always had this conviction. This is new to me since my divorce, probably as a byproduct of having daughters to think about and my stronger relationship with Jesus. Now, I trust His love for me enough to know that He only asks me to do or not do things for my best interest. Dating is much harder with this conviction. My biggest fear in writing and sharing this entry, is that it will deny me the icing forever! But, I feel like it’s a topic that God has asked me to share. So I will. Perfect love casts out all fear and He is with me regardless of the consequences. I’m trusting Him with all that I have and am….

We all want the total package and that includes sex. But….if we have it before the cake is fully baked and cooled, we risk not enjoying it to it’s fullest potential. Or worse, staying in a relationship we aren’t supposed to stay in and committing to a counterfeit. When sex enters a relationship, all other aspects seem to cease growing and it becomes the main focus. If you break up, the heartbreak and regret lasts longer and if you do marry, the other aspects of the relationship may be lacking.

How do you know if you are mentally, spiritually, and emotionally compatible based on physical compatibility alone? How will you know if he’s in it just for the physical benefits if you don’t gather enough information on the other stuff first? Commitment is so much more than physical pleasure. How do you two mesh the rest of the time? Now, THAT is the question. And that question is very difficult to assess when sex is involved.

He who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord. Proverbs 14:22

Women, we are the treasure. If we are giving ourselves away to every guy we date, what’s in it for our husbands? What makes marriage important? What motivates a man to get down on his knee and ask for our hand in marriage if he’s already getting what he’ll get from us married? What honors God? The world wants us to think…who cares? It’s just a physical act. We were told to “wait till marriage” growing up mostly to avoid STDs and unplanned pregnancies. While those are both good reasons to refrain, birth control and condoms don’t protect our hearts. God wants us to respect His gift of sex and marriage. Wouldn’t it be an awesome feeling to know that your future spouse is already thinking about you enough to wait for you? That goes both ways.

Moral of my story today is when a new relationship comes along, take the time to really get to know each other (gather ingredients), if it proceeds and you decide to be exclusive (mix the ingredients), enjoy each other and pray for direction (bake the cake), if it proceeds and you get engaged (let the cake cool), and if you get all the way to the altar….ice that cake and enjoy!! God wants you to 🙂 If you don’t make it to the altar, at least you tried and you’ll have much less to regret. Prayerfully moving on….

 

 

Why the Wait?

waiting

We all want to hurry up and eat. The smells and ever increasing stomach growls can make waiting to eat excruciating. One of my daughter’s most common responses to what I want to make for dinner any given night is “how long is THAT gonna take?” Needless to say, I opt for quick dinners most nights with the little ones. Us grown-ups can act the same way with God when we have to wait, I know I do. Our mouths water, we sneak a bite, we open the oven to look, we ask how much longer?? Sitting down to our favorite foods is one of our favorite things on this earth. The bigger the feast, the more we slobber, anticipate, and……wait.

Waiting for something in our lives is no different. Patience is another fruit of the Spirit that does not come naturally to us, especially in our culture. We want it and we want it NOW. I feel God pressing on my heart and mind to remember that He is active while we wait. Waiting may seem like an idle waste of energy to us. I mean, what’s the hold up? We are all waiting on something….including Jesus’s blessed return to take us all home. I can’t wait! Well, we have to. What can we do while we wait? Trust, share, love, and ask for more patience.

Although we all want to hurry up and eat, waiting is like marinating. Marinating is where the good stuff happens and the food gets happy. If we shorten the marinade because of our impatience, the final product won’t be as delectable as it was intended to be. Remember that while we wait, there is a lot going on behind the scenes. We may feel idle, but God is anything but. There are family members to consider, hearts to soften, minds to strengthen, traditions to maintain or discontinue, generations to affect. These may all be factors in why we wait. He alone can handle all these variables.

Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lord’s coming. See how the farmer WAITS for the land to yield it’s valuable crop, patiently WAITING for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near. James 5:7,8

Naturally, we want to rush, get, take, eat, and run with it. But, He asks us to wait. To wait for His timing does not mean to be idle. There are all kinds of things we can do while we wait. Go do them! Trust the Chef and don’t rush the marinade…the feast will be worth it.