First of all, I apologize for not being here on Friday. I was getting ready for the tweens' blog party and it took longer than I expected. (Then Typepad, the server, crashed just as we were getting started so we didn't get to have the party after all! GRRR!) Anyway, I was all ready to post for you and just plain ran out of time.
So to get back on track, let's look at some prayer requests. Your sisters have asked you to pray for --
LAURA's whole family who are dealing with mistreatment of her grandmother at a nursing home, and with her grandmother's injuries. Please keep us posted, will you, Laura?
ALISHA who is in remission (yes!) but who doesn't know quite how to move forward from there. She also needs prayer for whatever is going on with her kidneys.
GRACE ANNE whose best friend is stepping aside to let GA have a boy they both like, a move which though generous makes GRACE ANNE feel bad for her BFF. Affairs of the heart can be so confusing.
IRELAND whose beloved great grandmother, Erma, is in the hospital without a clear diagnosis.
Merciful Father, please hear the prayers of your daughters as they join hands and hearts before you.
YOUR RESPONSES TO THE LAST POST:
I asked you to reflect on success, and your comments were, as usual, amazing. Youv'e concluded that --
* success may be overcomng the FEAR of failure and being able to say you're doing your best and that's all that matters.
* but right now it gets all wrapped up in what people will think of us, how we'll come across to other people, which prevents expressing how we really feel -- until it festers inside; perhaps success would be speaking without fear of judgement -- how freeing would THAT be
* we do find comfort in Mother Teresa's words: "God has not called me to be successful. He has called me to be faithful." And in the quote PAIGE shared with us: "You can't let God down because you were never holding GOD up in the first place."
* and yet fear of the unknown is still a tough one to find comfort for
So what do you say we try? PAIGE made a suggestion for our Lenten series which will start this Wednesday. She said what if we give ourselves up to 40 days without worrying? I know that isn't like giving up caffeine or chocolate or pizza, which is so much easier (okay, except for the chocolate). It would take a lot of being intentional -- and maybe some guidance here on the blog -- and a lot of support from each other. It just seems to me that an attempt to cease worrying would be an amazing Lenten discipline.
Do you want to explore that together? (NEED YOUR COMMENTS HERE -- EVEN IF YOU'RE NOT ONE TO COMMENT MUCH)
Before we go any further, let me assure you that we will not eradicate worry before Easter! First of all, it is absolutely human to be concerned, anxious, angsty. Look at Baby Maeryn in the above pic, taken when she was 18 months old. She was clearly fretting over something, even before she could SAY the word "Worry." (Now at two she will tell you, "I'm afraid," "I'm happy!" and my personal fave, "I'm FRUSTRATED!")
And besides, some worry is a good thing. Or maybe it's concern I'm talking about. If we weren't concerned about people, we wouldn't care or pray or try to help. I think the kind of worry we're talking about is the debilitating kind, yes? That's where we'll put our focus.
Jesus will be incredibly helpful to us along the way, and we'll be consulting him frequently in the Gospels. But I'm not just going to dish out, "Be anxious for nothing" and hope it sticks! We'll look at ourselves and our situations and see how we can apply what Jesus says AND grow ever closer to God, in whose presence worry is practically impossible.
If you do vote to enter the mysterious world of worry with me, we'll probably structure our series around 6 areas of worry that you're dealing with right now. WHAT I NEED FROM YOU (IN YOUR COMMENTS) ARE THE MAIN TOPICS YOU WORRY ABOUT so I can narrow them down to six. I'm thinking about things like: SCHOOL, RELATIONSHIPS, THE FUTURE -- that kind of thing. NO need to be specific yet -- just main subjects.
Let me leave you with this passage from The Message which I would love to use as the centerpiece of our study.
"Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life." (Philippians 4)
I don't know about you, but I feel better already! Okay -- so -- I need to hear (a) whether you want to pursue this topci during Lent and (b) what the main areas of worry are in your life. LEt's hear it, Ladies!