Am I Doing the Right Thing?

This little ministry on line seems to have stalled. Maybe it’s summer, maybe it’s the overwhelming nature of the internet, with too many choices and too little time. While the Plain and Modest community grows, there doesn’t seem to be much happening here at Anglican, Plain. Partly it’s me – I don’t have much computer time for research and in-depth writing.

It seems like so much has stalled in my life. I want to get back into parish ministry, but still haven’t heard from my bishop. I am living a suburban lifestyle while having a rural heart. Even Nicholas’s pension problems are ongoing and I can’t get doctors and agencies to move any faster.

I am discouraged. Maybe I need a break, maybe it’s middle-age. But I am trying not to force issues, push too hard, and DO something when doing nothing is the best way. (Note that other people’s seemingly helpful advice and “pushing” me into action caused things to get worse or did no good at all, so I am feeling skeptical about advice and even my own so-called common sense.) I expect that what I need to do is shut up, and listen to God. (If I can find the time between the kitchen work and reassembling the vaccuum cleaner so I can do the rugs before the real estate agent comes.)

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12 thoughts on “Am I Doing the Right Thing?

  1. I find, for me, sometimes shutting up, being still and waiting on God can be the hardest. When I feel something needs done, I can often tend to want to hurry it along, do it myself. I can not tell you what is right for you to do, but I can hold you up daily in my prayers and be here if needed. Huggles.

    • Yes, I like to hurry things up, not wait for the Lord’s time, and it is worse when soemone is pushing me in their anxiety. I probably need to say that I need mroe time in prayer with something, although I’m not sure that will always be understood! On one hand, if the Lord returns today, I will not mind at all that my projects aren’t finished, and at the same time I’m impatient to get everything done. I’m sure it’s just another of the Lord’s lessons in my life. Perhaps it is a lesson in how to handle impatient people while being patient myself.

  2. I want to encourage you, sister. It seems we have been stalled ( good choice of words) for about 7 yrs now and it makes ME wonder if we wandered down the path too far or the wrong path altogether. And your right about not forcing, because if we are waiting on God what is the point of pushing? I tried to just listen to God for a while recently and not listen to anyone else. When your already lonely that is very hard and I found it too discouraging. So, I just put myself on low when it comes to “listening” whether with my eyes on the net or ears. I just read a few places like here and one or two other sites. Now my husband is doing this shutting every other voice out and I think this will be good. Please listen to me when I say you have been ministering to me ever since I found your blog!!! I need it so badly. I didn’t start commenting for a long time and there may be many out there like me who have not yet commented. I do think, also, that the season is keeping everyone busy with canning and garden work. Our beans are here and ready and tomatoes coming on and just so much to do in the Summer. I do hope you will continue to ponder and share – some people may not have heard of you yet. Word gets around to the plain folks online and it can take a while. I want you to do what you feel you are led to do, so if you feel you need to blog, then blog!!! I love it.

    May God Bless You!!!
    Joanie

    • If I am ministering to just one person, that’s ministry. It’s been five years for us, but I need to remind myself of the Franciscan monk who prayed for eight years to receive the Holy Spirit, and still prayed even when he was discouraged in asking. That’s faith. And who knows what good we do just being where we are when we ar ethere? Life isn’t a two-hour movie with a smart conclusion at the end of the story. It’s a bit rockier and less organized than that! I’m over fifty and I sometimes feel as if my useful years are slipping away! thank you for your encouragement and yes, I will go on writing my bit as the Lord gives me grace.

  3. Your comment, “Who knows what good we do just being where we are when we are there?” is something we have asked ourselves many times and discussed it with our worship group. The Lord has shown us some great insights early on in a situation or a ways down the road and it is so exciting when we can see that we were somehow used. Sometimes it takes many years to get that insight and then it just might be a bit or a hint – but it is always what we really need.

    I am over fifty also, and when you get to this age I do think we start to think more about getting older and “oh, it is almost over”. But He will somehow use us to the end. When we are weak He is strong!! I wonder, too, if, as a caretaker and seeing your husband go through what he has and is still dealing with, you are not just going through a lot of adjusting and the things caretakers go through. I have been a caretaker for a handicapped son for many years now and the toll it takes I must admit. But God does refresh us. But there we are wondering how things are going to work out for them and for us. It makes it hard to do anything but live day by day. I was not used to doing that so maybe He thought I ought to learn? While others are going through empty nest and looking forward to the next chapter I haven’t got a clue as to what I would do if he ever does really get all the way well. If he can live on his own. It is possible, but a long ways off. I can’t imagine doing anything else, honestly!
    Joanie

    • I don’t mind at all that I have Nicholas to care for. I feel sometimes that I am wasting my time amongst the worldly, who have no idea of what I’m doing and why!

  4. I believe that there is a purpose to all things. When I graduated from post-graduate studies I had a plan. That plan has not been followed even closely. I thought I knew what my calling was and where the Lord was going to put me. He didn’t. I did not get accepted to the job that I wanted although I interviewed 10 times for 10 different positions within the divison. This does not mean that I am not doing good, that I am not helping people and that I am not fulfilling my mission. I apparently am where God thinks I should be. Remember the old addage, “when people make plans, God laughs.”

    Do not give up hope, my friend. You do minister to individuals. You witness in many ways, you advise in even more. Have faith that we are all working in God’s great plan and we are but a cog in His wheel.

    • If I look back, I can see that too. I chafe at the bit, though, when I feel that my time is getting eaten up. I don’t feel that way about caring for my husband,though. I realize that what I need is more time in prayer – which can be hard to find sometimes!

  5. I hope you did not think I was implying you were tired of caring for your husband any more than I was tired of caring for my son. I was thinking in terms of ministry in our future and our loved ones who have question marks over their heads. Perhaps I was speaking too much of my situation. While I am not at all tired of caring for my teen son, I do hope he can have some sort of chance to have a life he yearns for. If he doesn’t I know the Lord will fill his life with some purpose, but it is hard for us to see what it might be. While he cannot do anything much but be lonely right now, we sit here with him, praying for something we can all do. THAT is the kind of thing that takes a toll on us because we hurt for the ones we love if they do not feel fulfilled. We think we might have found a ministry he can do with us one night a week here and are excited about it. We are just so stuck and wanting to do something!! I am sorry I misunderstood your frustrations. I certainly do understand what you meant about the worldly not understanding what your doing. Very much. In fact, if one is not completely convinced this is the best witness one will wonder if a different approach may work, like not so wildly different ( plain). Even some Plain people I know don’t get it!! How is that? It is because they see their dress as a uniform and mostly as an identification. We got invited to a member’s house just to explain to them why we wanted to wear some identification outfit that did not really fit any particular group. They couldn’t understand at all, because community is everything and that dress means community. That is why we referred to ourselves as GB step-children for all these years!! Again, please forgive me if I offended. I need to pipe down.
    Joanie

    • No, I didn’t think that. I enjoy caring for my husband. He is mobile and does most things for himself, but the stroke took a lot of the “reasoning” connections so sometimes it is hard ot get him to understand what needs to be done. I have told him that as soon as our finances are stable, we will try to move to a rural area, get a small farm, and get a few animals again. This would give him something he could do that he enjoys and allow him to contribute to the family. Our dream is to have a farm animal rescue mission.

      I admire how you are managing your challenging situation, and I pray that God will open doors for you! Thank you for your insight.

  6. Magadelena, I just read this blog posting today. I have been flaring lately (chronic illness) and am wildly behind in all my email and interests. Of the online people whose opinion I respect, even if I don’t always totally agree, I feel like I could talk (email) you about spiritual matters and you would give me support and good advice even though you are plain Anglican and I am a not deliberately plain Mormon. Although, Heavenly Father may be sending me down the plain path — no clear yes or no on it at this time. Not to disparage men, because they are an important part of any church, but sometimes there are things, life things that another woman can *really* understand. A man will be as empathetic as they can, but they don’t’ communicate or process the same as women. It works the opposite way as well.

    Most of your blog posts make me stop to think and consider and see where that fits in my life. For example, your posts on church hospitality. I have thought about those a lot and it pains me that the doors to the church must be locked due to those who think vandalizing property is fun.

    I’ve thought about the priest who gave a communion wafer to a man’s dog. We take what we call the Sacrament every Sunday. The ceremony is different, but the concept is the same. My service dog, Wolfie, attends church every Sunday with me. I never thought of taking a bit of the bread and giving it to him. Even though he often knows what is going on in my body before I do. He will take me left (the direction I want to go) when I say right or vice versa. I don’t know if the priest was right or wrong to have done it, but you have made me think.

    Having said that, Heaven won’t be Heaven to me without the animals, especially those that I have been blessed enough to share some of my life with.

    That your posts aren’t terribly long or deeply involved all the time, does not mean that the concepts you are writing about aren’t important to think about. Honestly, for me lately, long involved pieces give me brain overload and by the time I get to the end of the article I’ve lost the importance of the beginning of it.

    As to the feeling of things needing to get a move on, in years past I’ve been there. One of the blessings of my chronic illness has been learning to slow down. My life is now a snail’s pace compared to what it was (type A over achiever). But that snail’s pace does give me more time to listen for Heavenly Father’s direction for me. I do occasionally just ask what lesson I’m missing out on when things are not going well. When I can figure out the lesson, I am more willing to accept whatever it is with better attitude and will put more effort into learning the lesson.

    You do minister to more people that you know. What’s more, I think through this forum you are able to minister to more people of more faiths than you would be able to in a parish. That’s just my opinion.

    Venera

    • This was so timely, dearheart. I seem to be fighting discouragement daily. Thank you for giving this uplifting word. Keep fighting the good fight!

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