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Have you ever felt so in awe of God and eager to see His mighty power that you lost your senses for a brief moment? Well, I have. At the end of last years BSF class, I was so joyous and blown away at all the amazing things God had done for me, in me and through me, that I told God I was ready for ANYTHING He had for me and to BRING IT. Yes, I told God to bring it! I told Him I was ready for whatever He had in store for me and I couldn’t wait to see how He would continue to work for me, in me and through me.
God was definitely listening and has been/is answering my prayer. As I have mentioned in an earlier post, this school year has been crazy. Each and every day is packed with many things to do. Not one day is the same as the next. I think that’s what mainly threw me off in the beginning. In the past, I’ve always found myself with a full schedule, but there was usually consistency within it. I enjoy consistency because it makes me happy. It makes me feel like I have a clue as to what’s going on, even when, in reality, I usually don’t. Now each day of the week is different. My Monday’s, Tuesday’s and so on, were always the same. This year this isn’t the case.
The funny thing is, what I do each week is pretty much the same as what I use to do last year. The biggest change is the timing in which I do things. For example, I always had specific days and times set aside to work on my BSF lesson. Those days and times are now filled with other things, so I needed to find different days and times to work on my lesson. The one new thing that joined my daily schedule caused me to have to rearrange my entire schedule. This left me feeling completely discombobulated for weeks.
(Side note: Isn’t discombobulated a fun word? It’s one of my favorite words. I love saying it and will use it every chance I get. I even used it in my book, In His Way)
I always felt like I was forgetting something or someone. You see, another thing that changed is, our carpool situation. We added another family to the mix. Yes, this means we each had to drive back and forth less, which is a wonderful thing, but this also meant I had to learn a new schedule. I realized I had become set in my ways and getting use to something new, even though it was better, wasn’t as easy as I thought.
Recently I prayed and asked God if I needed to let something go. I thought maybe I had taken on too much. The last thing I want is to be in His way doing something that was meant for someone else. Through the BSF lesson this week I felt as if God were speaking to me, saying trust that I will enable you to accomplish all I have called you to do. In Exodus, Moses also had to trust that God would enable him to do what he was called to accomplish, lead the Israelites out of Egypt.
It felt as if God were saying “You asked me to bring it, so I brought it. Now trust I will get you through it”. I’ve been trying my best to relying on God each day for His enabling so I can accomplish the tasks I have before me and I am continuously blown away by His goodness. Sometimes I feel as if time is standing still. It’s pretty awesome!
As I have settled into my schedule, God has brought some amazing things my way. Recently, I had a wonderful opportunity to be interviewed by a dear sweet friend, Martha Smalley, who has a Blogtalkradio show, Plank Eyed Saint. We talked through the book and reflected on what I was experiencing during the book as well as how it’s changed me. Please check it out!
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for patiently waiting as we struggle with relying on you throughout each day. I pray we not hesitate, but act immediately, as you call us into action, Amen.
I would like to introduce you to Terry Morgan. He’s an ordained minister and currently the Chaplain/Executive Director of Gold Country Chaplaincy and Press4hope. My husband, Robert Duvall, met him at a Chaplaincy Recognition Dinner in Sacramento. Terry’s passion is teaching various ministries how to help their own parishioners through critical incidents, crisis, and traumatic events, while exercising good stress management techniques and preventing compassion fatigue or burn out in their ministers. I asked Terry to share about his passion and journey writing.
The Chaplain’s Role – the Birth of a Book; By Terry Morgan
My first book is called “The Chaplain’s Role how Clergy can Work with Law Enforcement.” It took about ten years to write. There have been two more since then, “Life Celebrations”, a handbook on conducting funerals, and “When Grief Kidnaps Your Soul”, a book on dealing with various kinds of grief.
When someone asks me why I write, I answer, “I write because I need to write”. My first book bounced around in my head for years before finally being released onto paper. It was like the idea for this book was trapped in my head and needed to get free. Putting the thoughts and words on paper offered a huge release. It was no longer pent up inside, and now it has a life of its own. This was similar to the experience with my other two books. The thrill of birthing them is still the same, but it has gotten a lot less painful.
The inspiration to write the Chaplain’s Role was partially from my life experiences and training as a law enforcement chaplain. The passion to serve law enforcement and the community was a big driver for me. Training is one of my passions. At the time of writing this book there was no books to be had on the subject. There was and is a real need for the material.
My greatest challenge in writing this book was committing to do the work. We all live very busy lives, and quite often, this book would be put on a back shelf to collect dust. A few months later it would be picked up again, only to be re-shelved a few days later. A good friend of mine and Christian counselor, Martha Smalley encouraged me to finish the book. I had to set aside a few hours every week, and commit to writing in my spare time. It really surprised me how fast it came together after that.
The cover was a bit of a challenge in itself. Another friend of mine is police officer who also happens to be a really good graphic artist. I explained to him I wrote a training book on how to do chaplaincy and he agreed to help with getting a cover that would pop. We vetted several cover ideas. When he showed me the “simple” photograph of his gun, badge, and the cross, I knew immediately that was the cover.
My advice to other aspiring writers is to write on a subject you know a lot about, you are very interested in, and you enjoy writing about. That is probably the key for anyone who wants to write a book but doesn’t know where to start. Start with something you love. Then commit to writing at least a few hours every week.
You can find out more about Chaplain Terry Morgan and all he has to offer the community and Law Enforcement at http://chaplainmorgan.wix.com/chaplainsrole. You can also find his books there as well as in bookstores.
As I mentioned in a post a few weeks ago, Communicating = Talking + Listening, Robert and I had problems communicating. When we first met, we talked all the time about everything. Which I think is normal, since we were getting to know each other. If you’ve met either of us you know we’re both ‘talkers’. After time the talking became boring, same old same old, or we just didn’t have time. We certainly didn’t make the time to talk. We thought everything was great because we never argued. How could we, we never talked! We thought we had a wonderful marriage.
Why didn’t we talk? Well, I think we just didn’t see the importance of it. What was so important about listening to Robert talk about his day anyway? I didn’t have time to find out what it was like to be a police officer. I wasn’t a Police Officer, so I didn’t think I needed to. I had my own important things to get done. Like do the laundry, give the kids a bath, clean the kitchen, help with homework and plan for the next school event. If he wanted to talk, then he needed to follow me around while I did my important chores. Of course when he did I expected him to help. Don’t just stand there while I’m working, help! Robert was exhausted from his work so he didn’t want to come home and work more. He wanted to talk and relax.
That became another problem. Robert wanted to talk, not listen. Why would he want to hear about what I did all day? I did boring mom stuff all day. Nothing I did all day compared to the excitement that filled his day.
Our biggest problem was we both assumed the other could read our mind. We never told the other what was bothering us. Well, I shouldn’t say never. We did, it was usually during a screaming match when we would list off all of the others faults. We couldn’t hear what the other was saying because we were busy trying to get the other to hear what they were doing wrong.
In my post, A Gift from God, I told you about Martha Smalley, who led a Bible Study I participated in. She was my counselor and is now a dear friend. Martha helped me see our destructive path of, incorrect or lack of, communicating. She helped me realize the importance of communicating and how to communicate with Robert lovingly and respectfully.
I was recently a guest on Martha’s radio show, Plank Eyed Saint. We discussed how my marriage began to fail, due to a lack of boundaries when communicating. We also talked about adultery in my marriage and how God restored it, even after I kicked into hyper control mode. I encourage you to listen. If you know anyone who has dealt with adultery in their marriage, this would be a great show to forward to them.
There’s a song, by Chris August, I absolutely love, called Restore. I think anyone married or soon to be married should listen to this song. There’s a verse in the song ‘Give it up to the Lord & He will restore’ that is so powerful and filled with truth. I hope you take a few minutes to listen.
My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I pray we step aside and let you guide us as you restore our marriage and relationships, Amen.