Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Checking My Pulse

Photo Copyright 2011 Alycia W. Morales
I spent the weekend at a women's conference in Myrtle Beach, SC. I enjoyed a time of refreshing at the beach, listening to the ocean, and recognizing how vast God is. 

Just when I think I know Him, He shows me another side of His glory. Just when I think I've seen everything there is to see on the beach, something new washes ashore. Just when I think I've got life all figured out, God reveals another facet, and I have to stop to examine myself in His reflection.

My pastor's wife and I were walking down the beach, discussing the conference and the weekend. As we looked at the variety of seashells washed ashore, I offered recommendations as to how the conference could improve. It always brings me a time of refreshing, but this year I found myself wanting more. And getting tired of two hours of worship each session. And wishing they'd put a time frame on the speaker's message. And wishing they'd ask the speakers to join the music ministry so we could actually hear a word during their time of speaking ministry. Instead of worshiping some more.

Do I dislike worship? Absolutely not. I love worship. I understand that I am created to worship. I understand that worship brings me into a place of intimacy with the Lord.

However, I can worship anytime, anyplace. And when I attend a conference, I want to hear the word of God. I want to receive a message just for me. I want a spiritual refreshing. I want to hear a speaker. And I wasn't getting that this time. Last year, yes. This year, not so much. 

I could hear the disappointment in my voice as I proclaimed my ideas on how they could improve their conference. And then it hit me. 

"Am I too critical?" I asked her.


And I quieted my heart, my mind, and my mouth. And we kept walking in silence. Sometimes, a friend will be honest and tell you something about yourself you might not want to hear. I know mine did. And I love her for it. And I've been considering what she said ever since. Because God spoke more to me through her in one short minute than He did through the speakers the entire weekend. 

I've asked Him to reveal if I have a critical spirit, or if I have an innate talent to see what is lacking and can be improved. Do I criticize people? Or am I critical of things? Are my expectations too high? Am I putting my own agenda above His? These are all things I'm considering and will continue to think about until He reveals the answers. And I will try my hardest not to be critical of others, because a critical spirit leaves no room for mercy.

In the meantime, I'll also try not to be too critical of myself. Which is what I am. I recognize my own deficits and continually try to improve, but beat myself up when I don't. Or when I slack off. Or when I know I need to do something, but I just don't feel up to it today... 

Which leads me to you, my readers. I've been analyzing why I write and what I want to accomplish with my writing. My top goal in writing is to minister to the hearts of women. I want to write about life issues we all deal with. I want my readers to walk away with a knowledge that you are not alone; other people are experiencing the same issues, emotions, shortcomings, accomplishments, life... I want to draw you closer to God. I want you to be comfortable with yourself as He created you. I want to encourage you with my words, not drag you down or shun you. So, what are you dealing with today? What would you like to hear about? What do you need? What questions do you have that you'd like answered? Because it isn't all about me. It's about Jesus, and it's about you. That's why I write. Please leave your answers in the comments below. I'd love to hear your hearts! And thank you for following me as I follow hard after Him.

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