Rebecca Duvall

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Calm To Chaos

calendarThis year was the first time ever I didn’t want the school year to start. I know it sounds crazy, but we have had the most wonderful summer. We didn’t go anywhere fancy like Disneyland, Hawaii or even on our yearly summer trip to Tahoe. We just stayed home and hung out. We had many late nights watching movies followed by many late starts to the day. There was a little shopping here and there, but mainly staying home and connecting as a family. It was a calm summer and I wasn’t bored once! Usually, I can’t sit still and need to be working on something.

Since school has started, we are now on day 17 (not that I’m counting or anything 😀 ), it’s been one chaotic situation after another. I tell you, when it rains, it can most definitely pour! It feels like the kids have been in school for months! Usually, when school starts we slip immediately into a routine. Not this time. I haven’t had two days the same yet. Each day has brought something chaotic, unexpected and unwanted into my day. My calendar is continually changing and I feel like I’m lost in a maze!

The end of last week I snapped! I felt completely overwhelmed and inadequate for what was needed of me. My instinct was to run. Run far far away. This was the kind of overwhelmed feeling that ‘calgon’ couldn’t even fix.

It was the night before BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) training. This is going to be my second year as a group leader. I was literally freaking out! I told myself there was no way I could take on this kind of responsibility this year. There were too many things going on and to many unknowns. I called the BSF teaching leader and told her I couldn’t do it. I had to quit.

She listened to me explain my situation and give her all the reasons why I couldn’t continue to be a leader. She then tried to help me look outside the box at the situation in a couple different ways. That wasn’t helping. It only caused more panic. Then she began to ask me questions.

  • “Did you pray at the end of last year whether or not God wanted you to be a leader again?” My reply “Yes”
  • “What do you believe God’s answer was?” My reply “Yes, I had a very strong desire to be a BSF leader again.”
  • “Do you believe God knew about everything that was going to happen once school started?” My reply “Yes”
  • “Do you think God would have given you that desire if He didn’t want you to be a leader again?” My reply “No”

As I was being asked these questions, I realized I had expected to figure out and deal with each of these chaotic situations on my own. I knew God was there, but I wasn’t looking to Him for any answers. I was acting as if I alone had to work out my schedule, as well as everyone else’s. I assumed everyone around me had expectations of me that I didn’t think I could live up to.keep calm

I then began to remember all of the amazing things God did for me during the previous BSF year. He always gave me special pockets of time to get my study done even when I complained that I didn’t see how I would get it done because I was to busy. But that’s the key; I talked to God about it. Well, not really talk, more like complain and whine. But still, I communicated to God what I was going through and looked to him for the answers. This time I kept it all in my head and tried to figure it out myself. Why, you may ask. Well, I’m not sure, but I do feel like a stupid idiot for letting myself get all worked up about it.

Thankfully, by the end of the conversation I had with my BSF teaching leader I realized I needed to bring God back into the mix. I had some how forgotten to include Him in my chaos. I can’t tell you that things magically got better over night. There are still some chaotic things going on in my life. What I can tell you is, I feel calmer and at peace in the midst of my chaos.

I’d like to leave you with one of my favorite verses in the Bible, Romans 12:12, as our prayer for today, which God has reminded me of recently.

Be joyful in hope (Believe God is there in the midst of your chaos)

Be patient in affliction (Trust God in His timing)

Be faithful in prayer (Always talk to God)

JoyfulPatientFaithful 2

Digging In The Trash

organizing cubbiesThe mind is a funny thing.  Years ago I used to be able to remember EVERYTING!  That is everything I cared to remember.  I could tell you when, where and for how much I bought everything in the house.  I remembered what I had to do and when it had to be done.  If someone gave me directions, I would remember them.  If someone told me their name I would remember it.  No, wait.  That’s completely wrong.  I’ve never been good at remembering names.

Now I can’t seem to remember why I walked into the other room.  There used to be a method to my madness.  Now it’s simply madness.  Everything had its place.  Bible study items went in the top left cubby, church papers went in the top right cubby, bills by the phone and miscellaneous stuff on or near the refrigerator.

Recently I realized I used the last of a prescription and needed to call in a refill.  As I took the bottle downstairs I thought to put it near the phone so I would see it and remember to call the order in.  Later that day I took our dog, Layla, to the vet to have her shots updated.  One was her Rabies shot so I could send in her dog license renewal.  Before leaving the vet I was handed the receipt with the certificate showing Layla had her Rabies shot.Layla Yellow Lab

After dinner I noticed the bill for the dog license renewal on the fridge, and thought I should take care of it while thinking of it.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t remember what I did with the paperwork from the vet.  I thought I put it near the phone, thinking it would be out for me to see, so I couldn’t forget about it.  I searched all of the places I would usually put something like that.  I kept coming up empty.  I even checked the car in case I left it out there.

While I was getting ready for bed I noticed a void where the prescription bottle used to be.  I went down stairs to call in the order before I forgot about it.  Unfortunately, the bottle wasn’t where I thought I left it, so I couldn’t.  Remembering I still hadn’t found Layla’s paperwork I became angry at myself.  How could I lose 2 things in one day?  The house isn’t that big and there aren’t that many places I could possibly put it.  I felt like I was losing my mind!

The past few months I’ve heard several stories about friends calling on God, through prayer, when they misplaced something.  They ask God to reveal to them where to look for the item.   So that’s what I did.  I told God what I was looking for, why I was looking for it and how frustrated I was for not being able to find it.  I then asked Him to help me remember where I placed the items so I could do what I needed with them.  Then I finished getting ready for bed and went to sleep.

Early the next morning I woke up and couldn’t fall back to sleep.  I decided to ask God, again, where the missing items were.  The garbage came to mind.  I told God there was no way I threw the items away.  These were important things; I would never throw them away.  God continued to tell me to look in the garbage.  After I was up and dressed I got an empty garbage bag and went through everything in the, almost over flowing, kitchen garbage.  I found nothing.  Annoyed and grossed out, I took the bag outside to the main garbage.  As I opened it I noticed the garbage bag on top that had been put out last.  I pulled it out and started pulling everything out of it.  Wow, we sure do create a lot of garbage!  It gets stinky and yucky awfully fast too!  About half way down I discovered the empty prescription bottle.  Determined to make it to the bottom of the bag I continued digging.  I hit the jackpot!  I found Layla’s paperwork.  I quickly dropped the garbage back into the tote, closed the lid and made my way back into the house, hoping no one saw me digging in the trash.

garbage 2Somehow my mind had decided that all important items needed to be put in the garbage.  Why?  I’m not sure.  Maybe it’s my subconscious trying to tell me I have too much going on and it’s on overload.  Maybe it’s because I really would rather not deal with taking care of all these details and I prefer to be lazy.  Maybe it’s simply a part of getting older.

I honestly do not remember putting those things in the garbage.  I don’t understand how they ended up there.  I am thankful for friends sharing with me how they have called on God in those moments so I would think to also.  I’m grateful God answered my prayer and told me where to look.  I’m thankful God loves me so much He wants to be in the details of my days.

It’s important to share how God is working in your life.  Nothing God does is unimportant.  Every detail God is involved in is extremely important.  We need to share ALL the ways God is working in our lives, big and small.  What we think is a tiny detail can be huge for someone else.  How has God worked in your life this week?

My prayer for us today ~ Lord, I thank you for being in the details of our days. Lord help us to realize the importance of seeing you in the little things and give us the courage to share it, Amen

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