Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All God’s people here send their greetings.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
~2 Corinthians 13:11-14~
Air Conditioner and Back Probs
A couple of weeks ago our air conditioning system decided to go out just before the REALLY hot part of summer in lower Alabama had a chance to get started! Perfect!
So, my handy-dandy handyman of a husband quickly thought of a way we might get through the scorching summer and save our money to redo the entire HVAC system next spring. We could get two, maybe three window units for the bedroom and kitchen/living area and we should be fine. Easy, peasy, right? Or, so we thought.
To make a rather long story a bit shorter, we purchased one unit and luckily had friends to loan us a window unit they were no longer using. Tom and I were going to move the larger, borrowed unit into the house using our brute strength and it involved going up a couple of steps either door we decided to enter. I was in the lead, walking backward.
As I backed into the first step I said, “Oops!”, meaning, “Hang on, I’ve got to step up”, but Tom must have thought there was a problem because he asked, “Is it your back? You okay?” Without thinking I shot back, “Oh, my back’s fine. Luckily I’m headed to the chiropractor in a few days for a realignment!”
As of six months ago, I had never been to a chiropractor because I never needed one. But, once I became so desperate for relief of a “pulled back”, I gave it a try. I fell in LOVE with the process! I’m still not fully “aligned” just yet, but we’re getting there.
For years, and I mean years, I had over-compensated for issues in my back. I’m still not really sure what those issues were, although I did know I had one hip a little higher than the other. I never imagined that was affecting my back. I know, I know, if one hip is higher than the other Kelly, then that HAS to affect your back! I just never put the two things together because I really had not dealt with any back problems until the last couple of years.
So, what in the world do a bad back and no air conditioning have to do with anything here on my blog? So glad you asked!
The whole idea of a realignment can not only be beneficial to our backs, or the tires on our car, but also to our lives in general.
Today is my 53rd birthday AND the 2nd anniversary of the When We Listen blog and I almost forgot about both!
Okay, I didn’t totally forget my birthday, but when I woke to my phone pinging like crazy, it took me a minute to realize why it was doing so. Oh, it is my birthday and everyone under the sun is wishing me a happy day! Duh!
Not until I was praying did I think about today also being the anniversary of the blog. This past year has been one of realigning priorities and some things, including the blog, have suffered because of those changes.
We moved and bought a fixer-upper house, which is a good thing, but that means a lot of time needed to update and repair an old house. I was given more responsibilities with my job teaching more students than I ever have before, which again is a good thing, but that means more time preparing and grading 200+ students' work. My daughter started college in the town where we live and the university where I teach. Again, another "good" thing, but still time away from other things.
And with all that, some great things happened. Tom and I saved our marriage by living in the same zip code day in and day out. We are able to get out from under some of our debt because he now has a steady income. My daughter and I grew closer just through seeing each other more and really being there for each other.
And, with all of those positive things happening, some things got left behind. I stopped writing weekly blog posts so I could concentrate on writing my book. I changed my blog format and added Hump Day Hiatus devotionals to “fill the gap” between posts. My book is started but not finished (today was my self-imposed deadline to at least have the manuscript finished). Blog posts have gotten to be fewer and fewer. I randomly pray and sometimes do my devotional readings in the mornings.
I feel very UNaligned.
Needing an Adjustment
I had already been thinking about the chiropractor/realignment analogy for a blog post and then low and behold if our preacher didn’t talk about this very thing this morning (at least the “realigning” part)! God always seems to know when we need to hear a certain message, doesn’t He?!?!?
Our “adjustments” or realignments may come in the form of positive reminders like the preacher’s message or a friend’s comment. But, some adjustments may not be so positive. We may experience negative events at work, at home, with spouses or kids, or with people we don’t even know. Sometimes those negative events bring us back to a place we know we’ve drifted away from.
Now, we can be shaken back into reality through positive or negative means, but guess what, that’s not what realigns us!
The only way to get our lives adjusted or realigned is by seeking Him on a daily basis. If we let things, people, or situations pull us away from where we’re headed, that’s called free will. And, if we choose to get back on track and align ourselves with His word and His teachings, that’s also called free will.
Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
Our ability to choose what gets our attention is something He placed deep inside each of us. We have to WANT to seek Him in order to reap the benefits of His grace and power. If He “forced” that commitment on us, we would most likely resist and revolt, and ultimately be out of alignment with what He wants for our lives.
So, that book that’s still not written, that artwork that’s still sitting on a shelf, and that room that’s still not painted are all things I chose not to complete. (And as my Momma says, “They’ll be waiting right where you left them when you get back to it.” Wish words Mom!) I have plenty of excuses for why all those things are not done, but that doesn't get them finished. They are just more choices I made NOT to do something.
I can’t promise the book will be finished by the end of summer, but I’m going to try. I can’t promise the artwork still sitting on my shelf will be finished either, but we’ll see. And, Lord knows, I’m not sure about the bedroom that badly needs repainting will get done either, but I’m certainly going to give it a go.
I can or cannot promise all day long, but it’s up to me to seek Him every day and in everything I do. And that folks, will realign my life, and yours!
I challenge you to do the same. Find a minute (a minute, girlfriend!) to seek His Word, His Will, and His Blessing for you. I can promise if you start with a minute, you will WANT to spend more and more time with Him and your life will stay more aligned than before. Make sure you get the last part of that line (“more aligned”), I didn’t say it would “stay aligned”, because it won’t. You will probably need a major realignment every now and again, but at least you will know where you’re trying to get back to if you know what living in alignment with the Lord looks and feels like.
I go back to my chiropractor every week or two and my back problems are fewer and getting better with each visit. Imagine what our lives would be like if we seek God’s realignment of our lives EVERY SINGLE DAY!