I've been so hit or miss blogging for the past 6 months that this feels weird! Kind of like when you don't keep in touch with someone and it's a little awkward at first when you reconnect.
I was going through our analytics for our clinic website last week and reading them off to Shawn when I realized that I was actually looking at the analytics for this blog. He said, "What? Why would people look at a blog that never gets updated anymore?" He doesn't understand the power of Pinterest! So I'm back today. I'm not sure where I'm going with this blog from here. It's way outdated. I haven't kept up with the improvements in efficiency and how people use blogs differently than they used to when I started doing this. I don't even have a link to my home page for those (most everyone) who arrive here via Pinterest. And spam has become a major problem. It's ridiculous. I'm trying to decide whether to overhaul this blog or just start over somewhere else, whether to keep my blog name or start over there as well, whether to keep it as personal as it's always been or go more the direction of a DIY blog. Too many options and it's made me just keep walking away from making changes and from blogging. But I do miss it so I'm going to have figure it all out!
In my absence, I've done a lot of soul searching. Don't you "love" cliches? Honestly, I wasn't really searching. I actually was walking along quite content and I got smacked upside the head. It started with this book.
The Holy Spirit. That's always been that part of Christianity that I just ignored. I'd like to say it was an accident, but it was intentional. It was uncomfortable to tackle, first because it sounded weird. Not the ha-ha-you're-funny kind of weird. The real deal weird. To say outloud that Someone lived inside me? And it was scary. What if I said it and then I wasn't overcome by constantly feeling the presence of it and I found myself feeling like I didn't really believe it? It was intimidating so I just ignored. I had God and Jesus and that was enough. As I got into this book, I couldn't continue to ignore. I discovered it's been there since that day I found myself on my knees almost 18 years ago looking down at Matthew 7:13-14 in Shawn's bible. It's been working in me the whole time and I have felt it. I've just been resisting it.
After that, Caelan went to Alabama with the youth group from church and heard Matt Chandler speak each day he was there. He didn't even wait until he got home to start talking about Matt Chandler. It started before he even left Alabama. I had never even heard the name Matt Chandler before the announcement of the trip and of course, I wanted to know what I was sending my kid into so I started listening to the podcasts of his sermons. And I heard this one on The Holy Spirit. I've listened to it at least 15 times since.
These two resources led me to the choice of my One Little Word for 2013. It's Control. My focus this year is on learning to turn over control to The Holy Spirit. To listen. To obey. To let go of frustration when my own situations, in spite of my best efforts, don't go the way I want them to. To stop trying to control others, control their situations, to let go of frustration when people don't listen my advice or "have the sense" to do things the way you're supposed to do them. To be more compassionate and loving in my heart and in my mind because it's not enough to just do it outwardly. I'm still just as completely flawed as I have ever been, and I know I always will be so I don't have any business trying to control anything! Try to lead and influence, yes. But not control. And the only way I can do that is turn over control of my flawed thoughts and feelings and choices to One who is not flawed, and then pray that I pay attention when He tries to guide me.
After wrestling with the book and the sermon for a few months, I found myself last week in Joplin at the Third Day concert, a treat from my friend Meilissa (in the center). It was my first time seeing them in concert, and I definitely want to do it again.
Mac Powell's voice is just as incredible live as it is in their recordings. That's not always the case when you see someone live! We were sitting way off to the left of the stage and I couldn't see him through most of the show. The concert was in a church and I think that made everyone more reserved. It was funny to be at a concert and see a huge gap between the front row and the stage. It was definitely the quietest concert crowd I've ever been in.
He had to work a bit at getting everyone clapping!
But it was awesome because it was a more intimate setting. He told a lot of stories between songs. And because everyone was so reserved, anyone who wanted to was able to go up front and take photos. I kneeled on the floor in the middle of a group of little kids taking pics with their iPods, which was really cool.
I've been listening to Third Day a lot since the concert and rediscovered this oldie. It made me smile because it fits perfectly with my head thumping I got last year and my word for this year. I think I'll make it my theme song for the year.