Ms Confidence was Chapter 3, which was last week and Ms. Happiness is Chapter 4 in "Behind Those Eyes" by Lisa Whittle. When I tried to post last week I had so many thoughts going through my head that they just wouldn't come out right when I tried to put them down. I thought I would get back to it later when my mind quieted down but this past weekend was our 4th annual Ladies Fall retreat, which is the one event that I am responsible for heading up. Usually I only handle reservations, child care and help with the publicity for our events but when it comes to the retreat, the buck stops with me. I actually think Ms Perfection, Ms. Confidence and Ms. Procrastination all met up and threw me in a tailspin.
God keep reminding me all week that he was in control and that my confidence came from him. You see I do not have a lot of self-confidence and I know that comes from being the middle child of an alcoholic father and hating conflict. There are some things I have a lot of confidence in; That Jesus saved me by dying on the cross; that he is in control if I will just let go. I think sometimes I appear confident because of my procrastination, when really I am not all that sure of myself. If I really know what I am talking about or doing I have a lot of confidence but if it is something new then I usually want a 2nd opinion on everything.
I found it funny last week that Lelia mention having a pajama party at Lisa, as we always have one at our retreat. It is a time for us to meet back together on Friday night, in the conference room , for sharing our thoughts and snacks that we have brought. This year to get the sharing started we asked each lady to finish the sentence "I feel God's presence in my life when______________"
Anyway on to Ms. Happiness, (quotes from the book will be in blue). What is true happiness, I don't know that there is really any such thing as true happiness because as Lisa says " A lot of things can make us feel happy for a time. But a lot of things can let us down almost as quickly as they perked us up." Happiness is just a feeling, like being sad, or lonely and if we are truthful we all have these feelings its just some days we feel one more than the other. The problem is that the world expects to always be happy, especially since we are Christian, so we feel that we have to act like we are happy all the time instead of showing our true feelings.
The one thing I am really enjoying about this study is that I am getting to know ladies that are not afraid to share their hurts and emotional needs with each other. God lead me to this study because he is trying to teach me something about being still and listening to him. About being real in him. I loved when Lisa pointed out that the Bible doesn't talk about Happiness but JOY. Our Joy does come in him and even when we are sad or lonely and we know he is walking right besides us and feeling those things right along with him. Being a christian doesn't mean that we will always be happy but it does mean we have a comforter walking beside us, holding our hand and yes even carrying us when he needs to.
There are a lot of things in life that make me happy, spending time with my family, teaching toddlers on Sunday morning, seeing a dear friend make a decision for Christ, knowing that people are praying for me, spending time with my friends.
Our retreat this weekend was on "Forever Faithful" and God is always "Forever Faithful" even when I feel like he has forgotten me. I would like to share some things that he revealed to me in a different light this past weekend.
1. His grace is sovereign; not only does it lift me it up but it also covers me (It is like he has me in the palm of his left hand and then he uses his right hand to cover me like a blanket.
2. We all know there are consequences to our choices; when we make the choice we want for our lives then we are responsible for all the consequences from that choice but if we make the choice God wants us to make then he is responsible for the consequences.
3. Nothing and I mean nothing takes God by surprise. It may take us by surprise but God already knows what is going to happen. (Our main speaker was rushed to the emergency room on Friday but God was in control and her daughter stepped in and shared God's Forever Faithfulness in her mother's life)
As a side note in one of my comments Amy asked if I created this blog just for this bible study and the answer is yes. I have been wanting to do a blog for a while but didn't feel like I had the time to keep it up but when I started this study I knew it was time, hence the name Pat's Tuesdays ( I couldn't come up with anything else that wasn't already being used. I am praying that God will led me to a more appropriate tittle but for now this is all he has given me.)
Thank you Jesus for being the Joy in my heart even when I don't feel particularly happy. As the song from this weekend keeps coming to mind "Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord" I pray that you will open the eyes of my heart to you wider that I may always keep you 1st in my life and that others will see the real me and that in seeing me they make get a glimpse of you.
To see what the other Ladies doing this study have to say about Ms. Happiness click here