Sunday, March 18, 2012

squirrel story 3/12

The other day I was coming home from work, and walking up my stairs, and a squirrel climbed up the tree next to my staircase at eye level. This squirrel does this often. He follows me and climbs up the tree while I climb my stairs. I feel like this squirrel is trying to mess with me. He had a nut in his mouth too. I had a rubber band around my wrist and I thought I'd send this squirrel a message- I hooked the rubber band on my finger, aimed it at his head, and released. That rubber band hit the squirrel right in his mouth and knocked the nut out of his mouth and onto the ground. He looked shocked for a second and then ran to the ground and looked for his nut; and I started laughing hysterically. And then I went downstairs too and went looking for my rubber band (it was a good one!) So there we were- me looking for my rubber band and he was looking for his nut. crazy. 

I got inside and jane asked, "what was so funny?" She didn't believe me when I told her. I don't blame her.

I have a feeling that this isn't the last I've seen of this squirrel- but I'll be ready for him...

Monday, March 12, 2012

lectio divina:: psalm 139

I’ve shared with a few close friends that I’ve recently had a struggle with anxiety. I don’t think that anyone else around me can detect it, but sometimes in my heart I freak out over things.

Over the last year I have been in the habit of pre-game coaching myself through situations that I know will be difficult. Sometimes when I feel like anxiety is rising in me, I think to myself, “its ok, its ok.” Or “settle down rob.” Sometimes I spell the word QUIET in my mind or in a whisper.

I’ve been reading a couple of great books on introversion lately, and I’m starting to wonder if anxiety is just part of how I’m wired- if it’s a tension that needs to be managed as opposed to a problem that can be solved.

The scripture-memory exercises that I’ve been doing have been good and bad for anxiety. Learning new verses, especially these really complex ones with all of these parenthetical phrases can be stressful, especially if there is a lot of noise around me; but when I’m past the learning phase and into the reviewing phase, quoting scripture- especially in solitude in the morning, can be an amazing way to chase off anxiety.

recently I was sitting in church, listening to my boss, tim speak on psalm 23. as he was speaking, he referenced psalm 139:23-24:

“Search me, O God, and know my heart;
 test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
 and lead me in the way everlasting.”

that phrase, “know my anxious thoughts” caught my attention- I have never associated psalm 139 with anxiety before. I started reviewing this verse and finding great comfort in it, and it has been something that I either quote in a whisper or in my mind when I feel anxiety rising in me- and it has been something that has snapped my mind back to reality and given me better perspective.

like a lot of verses I like to review, I think of it in parts:
when I feel anxious, instead of talking to myself, I talk to God through the psalm:

“Search me O God, and know my heart;”

 this is an invitation to God into my very heart- saying to Him, “look inside of me, listen to these fears and concerns and worries- understand me, diagnose me, search me.”

I continue- “test me and know my anxious thoughts.”

I ask God to listen in on what is freaking me out- to step into the things that are making me anxious; knowing that God is not freaking out; He is perfectly content; He is my non-anxious-presence that calms down everything around me.

“See if there is any offensive way in me,”

This is the space that I give to the Lord to reveal to my heart where I have been wrong and my opportunity to get right with Him.

“and lead me in the way everlasting.”

this is another invitation to God: “even though I’m freaking out, show me what’s the right decision to make. lead me to do what you would have me to do. move me to say what You want me to say; take me by the hand and lead me into the way everlasting.”

I pray this prayer a lot. and its been really good for me. it’s a whole new perspective- instead of talking to myself, and coaching myself, I’m praying to God and asking Him not to just settle me down, but to diagnose my problem and lead me into what’s right.

God is love.