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Hello again friend! Remember about a year and a half ago I asked everyone to pray for me as I embarked on a new adventure. I was beginning an online Emergency Chaplain course and had no idea where it would take me. Then, I pretty much disappeared from the world of blogging. Sorry about that. It was harder than I expected to add a class to my routine and I completely underestimated the amount of mental exhaustion it would cause.
Thank you to everyone who prayed for me! Your prayers gave me courage to walk into the unknown, trusting that God would be there every step of the way, guiding me and helping me through the Holy Spirit. Your prayers helped me to be in the moment, seeking God where I was, not worrying about what I was to do with what He was walking me through. Your prayers helped me focus on all the information given to me, without many distractions…..SQUIRREL!
I began the journey of studying to become a First Responder Chaplain because that’s what my husband is. He was a paramedic before I met him and a Deputy Sheriff when we met. I thought it would be nice to come along side him to help the spouses of the First Responders he assists, especially because I have been one for 18 years.
God has not chosen to use me in this capacity, yet, but wow, has it given me some great perspective. I believe God used this part of my chaplain training to teach me compassion for my husband and what he does. I was seriously lacking in this area. I have always believed that his ability to help others as a Chaplain was a gift from God, but now I have a deep love and respect for him and what he goes through each and every day, regardless of the pain and agony it may cause him.
If you have any interest in becoming an Emergency Services Chaplain, I highly recommend this online program run by Robby Jernigan.
Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~Hebrews 13:20-21
Let me back up a bit. I had my first taste of Chaplain training in February of 2016 when my husband suggested I take a 3-day class taught by icisf (International Critical Incident Stress Foundation), which was being sponsored by KLOVE at no cost. It was on Assisting Individuals in Crisis and Group Crisis Intervention. I really didn’t think I belonged there amongst all the Nurses, Fire Fighters, Police Officers and Counselors, but found the information extremely helpful with everyday interaction with people. I’m not a Counselor, Nurse, Fire Fighter or Police Officer and I come across broken hurting people everyday.
July of 2016 is when I began the Emergency Services Chaplain Training courses. I studied Emergency Services, Christian Chaplaincy, Emergency Services Chaplaincy, Death Notification and Related Issues (this is what my husband does quite often), Psychological First Aid, CISM (Critical Incident Stress Management) and Ministry to a Suicidal Subject. There are many more classes offered through this training center that will take you deeper into the life of a Police Officer, Fire Fighter, etc. but I hear enough first had from the work my husband does, so I didn’t go any further.
Then in January of 2017 I took an online class through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), an Introduction to the Incident Command System. Why? I honestly couldn’t tell you, but I did find it very interesting.
As I was busy processing all of this information and trying to figure out what I would do with it, if anything, God opened a door, for more training! I signed up for a Church Compassion Team Chaplaincy Class put on by Educational Ministries in Rocklin, CA. This class was once a week from 6:00 – 10:00pm for 8 weeks followed by a Graduation Ceremony. This class was about an hour away, but I signed up with a friend, so we made it into a weekly fun and educational outing. We took turns driving, which was nice, and started each trip with dinner and dessert before heading to class. Dessert was the highlight of each trip, oh and of course the silly conversations that would come about each week.
for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. ~Philippians 2:13
I’m thankful God has given me the opportunity to train as a Chaplain and trust God will enable me to use this training when He sees fit. It was an amazing and fun experience bulking up my brain. More importantly, it’s helped me gain a greater respect for all First Responders; Police Officers, Fire Fighters, Paramedics, Dispatchers, Nurses, Doctors and Counselors. They have extremely difficult jobs and are on high alert 24/7 with your well being in mind. If you know someone in one of these positions, please find a way to express your appreciation of who they are and what they do.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the amazing men and women you call into the roles of First Responders. I pray we would see them through Your eyes and treat them with respect, compassion, kindness and love, Amen.
Happy New Year everyone! It feels like I haven’t written in forever! It’s good to be back. I hope you each had a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating the beginning of a new year. Even though I’m exhausted in January from a month of celebrating, I am filled with the excitement that comes with the beginning of a new year.
I’m excited as I look back at the year and think of all the amazing things that have happened. The fun, the annoying and the ooops. I’m filled with anticipation as I wonder what this year has in store for me. Many people make New Years resolutions because it’s a good time to make changes and tackle new projects or goals. I have a hard time making resolutions because I’m so overwhelmed at all the possibilities this new year could bring, I can’t figure out where to start.
‘Don’t make plans and then ask God to bless them. Wait for God to direct you so you know it’s already blessed by God’.
This is a continuing theme I’ve heard since the end of last year. The first few times I heard it, I thought, “well dah!” That’s probably why it became a continuing theme for me. I was hearing it, but not getting it.
I’m often so anxious to get started on new things that I don’t take time to wait and hear from God about it first. I usually lay it all out in front of God and then ask Him to bless it or make it obvious I shouldn’t be doing it. In reality, I’m expecting God to do all the work. Make it all run smoothly or take it away and give me something else to do.
Sometimes it’s hard to remember God already has a plan for me. He’s not sitting around waiting for me to give Him a list of my interests or opportunities so He can bless them. No, when He wants me to change direction, He will let me know.
How might God let you know when He wants you to change direction? There are many different ways. He could tell you, or show you, through people, circumstances, a book, sermon or song. He could even fill you with the desire to do something that you’ve never had before. (That’s how I came to write In His Way)
Over the summer, I found myself getting excited that my three-year term as an Elder at the church I attended was coming to an end. I was pondering all the many things I could do when my term ended. How would I choose which one to do?
As I continued to ponder the many choices I had over the next few months, I began to feel uneasy and sad about ending my term. I didn’t understand why, because I was excited to finish and move on to something else. I was tired of using this gift and wanted to use a different gift. (I get bored easily) Finally, I decided to pray about it. Why hadn’t I prayed about it already? To be honest, deep down I didn’t want to hear what God had to say about it. I was ready to move on and that was that.
Almost immediately after I started talking to God about what I should do when my term as Elder ended, I felt God telling me He wasn’t ready for me to move on and I was to stay. This wasn’t what I wanted to hear. My reply to God was “so what am I suppose to do, notify the church that I was staying on, even though my term was over?” How boastful would that be! I told God I couldn’t do that, it didn’t feel right. I needed Him to work it out, and then I would know for sure it was what He wanted me to do. (This is when God was saying “well dah!”) A few months later, God did work out all the details and I am continuing on as an Elder.
I was attempting to get ahead of God. I was trying to figure out, all by myself, what I was supposed to be doing. I was wasting time and energy worrying about what I was going to do, when all I needed to do was wait for God. I look back now and know He would have revealed it to me when it was time, but I get so impatient and overthink things. I need to stop trying to control and plan and know everything and TRUST God has it ALL under control.
My prayer for us today ~ Father God, thank you for the patience, love and grace we receive from You daily. Lord, I pray we stay focused on how we are serving You now, trusting You will direct us if, and when, we are to change direction, Amen.
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.