Monthly Archives: January 2014

A Follow-up on Prayer

Well, it’s been over a week now since my prayer journal/notebook has been revived, and I’m rather enjoying using it. It’s amazing what a difference just one week of consistent prayer time can make! I feel like my whole mind is being rearranged and the cobwebs and dust swept out. It’s really an amazing feeling!

So, what have I learned about prayer this week? I’ll try to take a count…

1. Prayer gives me a way to release all my feelings in a healthy way, to the only One who can really help me fix them. I mean, people can listen to me rant all they want, and give me advice all they want, and it will help for a while, but God’s there to listen to me 24/7, and He created me, so He knows a lot better how to fix me. And as an extra plus, venting to God saves my poor journal from having me vent in it instead. Seriously. I pity it for all the weeeeeird entries it regularly receives.

2. Prayer makes me happier. Really, you can’t get much simpler than that. Spending actual quality time with God just has a way of lifting my spirits, no matter what mood I was in when I started.

3. Prayer makes the day go smoother. It just seems to put everything in the proper perspective, so even if things do go wrong, they don’t look as huge or terrible as they would otherwise.

4. Prayer reduces anxiety and stress. See, I have this tendency to wake up in the morning remembering things that are stressing me out. But when I give them up to God first thing in my prayer-time, they vanish, and they don’t come back as often to bother me. (And ha, as soon as they do, I can chase them away again. 😉 ) Giving God my anxieties first thing in the morning starts the day on a much more peaceful and relaxing level, which I really appreciate.

I’m sure there were more, but that’s all I can come up with at the moment. (Give me a break, I’m already late in posting this and I have schoolwork to do…) So, those are some of the things I’m discovering about prayer.

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Regarding Prayer and Stomped Toes

So, Monday morning bright and early I already had an idea for a blog post. It was a nice little lecture…and I was rather proud of it, too. And then Wednesday morning ruined it all. Because I realized what I had done – I’d lectured myself and not even realized it! And, well…I’d better share it with you, because otherwise the rest of this won’t make much sense.

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We have an orchid plant that Daddy bought for Mom something like a year ago. The old flowers fell off long ago, and their stem died. But Mom has been keeping it in a nice spot where it can get light, and patiently giving it rainwater to drink in the hopes that it might bloom again. And guess what? It’s got a new stem growing with at least seven buds on it. I can’t wait to see it bloom!

The funny thing about plants is that they have to be thriving in order to really produce fruit. (Or in the case of the orchid, to bloom.) If you neglect it, it might shrivel up or become stunted or some other terrible thing, but basically it will put all its energy into simply surviving, and will produce little to no fruit. (Besides tomatoes, which seem to do better with a little stress…Have I mentioned that I love tomatoes?) What you put into a plant is what you will get out of it.

The same is true of our faith. If we set it in the light of God’s word and water it with prayer it will flourish, and it will produce fruit. But if we neglect it, it will wither and will do little more than survive. So if one is struggling because of a lack of spiritual fruit, it may be time to take care of the plant. What you put into it you will get out of it.

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So that was on Monday. And then on Wednesday morning God used my little lecture to stomp on my own toes. You see, I can read my Bible all I want…but if I neglect to talk with the One who wrote it, I’m missing something huge.

And I have been. Prayer is something I’ve struggled with all my life. It’s like I have ADD when it comes to prayer. I can’t focus for more than a couple sentences. And it drives me insane. Because of this, I have found it difficult to motivate myself to pray more. The problem with that is that prayer is hard for me because I don’t do it regularly. And I don’t do it regularly because it’s hard. A very lovely vicious circle, that.

But it’s no excuse. It’s like not stretching because it hurts. Or not exercising because it’s exhausting. Or some such thing. The point is, I have no excuse for not talking to God. Prayer is a discipline, just like exercise. Yes, it is hard, but it’s good. Yes, it takes work, but it’s rewarding. And like water to a plant, it’s vital to our faith.

So I’m starting a prayer journal…actually, I’m re-starting it. I tried to use it several months ago and kind of sputtered out. Anyways, the point is I’ve actually been using it for three days in a row. (Not impressive, but an improvement.) I want to learn to pray, and I believe that with a little work and a lot of grace, God willing, I can. (Haha, the handy thing about that is that I know He wants me to learn it anyways, so I already know He will grant it me.) It will be a journey. It will be hard sometimes. But I know it is worth it.

So that’s where I am this week. Stomped toes, and a resolve to pray. I’m not entirely sure why God wanted me to post all that… (Honestly, it would have been so much more comfortable to stick with the lecture and leave it at that.) I suppose He wants me to humble myself! So there you have it. That was my little hypocrisy of the week.

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365 Days

Or a year. Whichever you prefer. The point being that on January 12 of 2013 a weird little writer started a blog named Blotches and Blunders. A year ago. Yeah. I actually managed to write and post consistently for a whole year. Pretty cool!

When I first started blogging, my fear was that I would run out of interesting things to talk about. And quite honestly, if I hadn’t decided that this blog was for God’s glory and not mine, I probably would have. But it’s been incredible to me to see how God has always given me something to post about every week – sometimes He gives me more than one idea and I have to strain my brain trying to choose between them. (Oh, the torments of an indecisive person!)

God is so good! Ya’ll, don’t ever forget that. Something that He delights in reminding me is just how faithful He is. He always comes through, He always gives me what I need, and He cares about the tiniest, most insignificant-looking details. He leaves nothing to chance. And He does the same for every single one of you. Isn’t that so amazing? I love how huge our God is! I pray that in the coming year you always remember it. 🙂

P.S. Thank you so much for patiently reading whatever I have the audacity to post. I really appreciate you all. Won’t you join me for another year of ramblings and ponderings and story excerpts and blotches and blunders?

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If Kids Came in a Cereal Box

When I was little I always read the nutrition panels on the cereal boxes during breakfast. (Hey, I read a lot of things. Including the warning stickers on the water heater in the bathroom.) I guess the fascination with the nutrition panels on cereal boxes stayed with me because a thought occurred to me recently (meaning, sometime in the past year, and I only just sat down to write it out). If little kids came in cereal boxes, what would the nutrition panels say? “High in energy content” “Good source of patience” “Produces joy”?

It’s easy to get annoyed when one’s little sibling does things. (Like asking to be played with about every fifteen minutes until you finally do play with him. It’s like a snooze button or something.) It’s easy to forget to appreciate him. It’s easy to take for granted the fact that God probably gave me my brother to develop the fruits of the Spirit in me. Yep, my little brother is very nutritious, gunshot wounds and all. Spiritually nutritious. (Even though it sounds funny.) He can teach me just about as much as I can teach him…even when it is accidental on his part.

And after all, he’s not all guns and death and leaving LEGOs underfoot. He’s a sweet little guy who loves giving, and loves hugs. I’ve been sick for the past week or so and while I had a fever he kept me company in my room and offered me his special candy (which, although not a healthy thing to do since it was Nerds and those are like pure sugar, it was very sweet of him because he and I both love them). It’s days like this that remind me how much I’m missing out on when I’m impatient with him or brush him off. My little brother is a treasure, and I should cherish the time God has given me to be with him, no matter how many swordfights and shootings and sore throats from reading it means from me. He’s worth it. 🙂

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