Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Please Hear Me Out

How many of us like to hear criticism? I think I am a rather introverted person, and this could lean towards self-centeredness. Hearing that I've been grouchy, impatient, and a semi-hermit lately is . . . well . . . hard.

Perhaps I have been on the computer too much. Perhaps I have been so lost in my own thoughts that I've been rude. And perhaps I needed to hear from a loved one just how selfish I've been.

I tell you all of this because I hope that maybe you can learn from my mistakes, and that we can learn together the importance of hearing the bitter truth and repenting--changing our ways.

I also tell you this because I would appreciate your prayers. It's not just that I've been rude to my own family. There's also a fine line between being a shy person and being unsocial, and I'm afraid that when it comes to church and other functions, I tend toward the latter.

In this "Season of Humility" where we must refocus our attention on God and open our eyes to where exactly we are in our walk with Him, I think Proverbs 15:32-33 are helpful verses:

"He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility."

Whichever "Season of Humility" you're in right now, may God help you see yourself in an honest light. And may He give you strength to change if necessary, and hope that a new season will come in His own time!

Thanks once again for listening!

The following video is one I found on YouTube of the wonderful bluegrass family band Cherryholmes making their latest album. I share this video with you for three reasons:

1. This song is a great reminder of where our source of strength comes from--Jesus! It is on Him we stand!

2. The way this film is done reminds me of where I'm at right now. Kind of a work-in-progress. ;) Not yet the done deal. (But there's hope through God!)

3. I love this band! I really loved seeing them in concert. There are more videos on YouTube of their music, and you can find the band at their website.


Casey said...

Knowing there is something wrong is the very first step. Now each day is filled with the determination to keep stepping forward and making the change.

I know what you are saying, somedays it feels there is so much I need to fix and sometimes why bother, it doesn't seem to work? But I am slowly seeing the changes and now that you are aware, so will you.

You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. My prayers will be with you. :)

Laura Frantz said...

Amber, This is something I think all writers struggle with - trying to find balance when we are really happiest, perhaps, in our own little creative worlds. The other day my sons and husband told me they are not very happy with the amount of time I have to devote to my writing and being online. Sigh. Then the next day they were over it:) But it made me pause and reconsider how I'm spending my time. So my prayer for you, Casey, and myself is that we would use our time wisely as it's such a gift, and that we would honor Him doing it. If He helps us with that, then everyone wins:)

Ariel said...

Amber, you are a sweet girl. I love you! I'm so glad you were Linday's roomie this past year so we could get to know you. Keep your head up! You're doing great :)

bluerose_shelnut said...

I can totally relate to you right now! Sometimes all I want to do is sit with my book and read, and I become impatient. Add to the mix lack of sleep and I become mean. :) (Not too mean)Sometimes I really need to put my priorities in check, though.
I always joke around that I have social anxiety, so many times I do seem anti-social. I really want to get away from that, though, because I don't want my little boy to be that way.
I'm keeping you in my prayers! :)

Amber S. said...

Thank you so much to all of you for your prayers and support! :) It means so much to me!

Casey: Yes--yesterday was one of those days! I felt like I saw a side of me I didn't ever want to see. That happens occasionally, and it can be really painful. :( But I think you're right: being aware of what's going on will help me see the growth when it happens. Thank you for your prayers and your kind words! :)

Laura: Oh, thank you! It's so nice to know that I'm not the only one who prefers quiet time. :) I, too, need to really think about how I'm spending my time. And I need to seek God's will on how to spend it from now on. There is just enough time in the day to do all that God would have us do, because He always provides! :) Thank you for the reminder and the prayers!

Ariel: You are so sweet! :) Thank you for your encouragement and your kind words!!! I'm so glad I got to know Lindsay and all of her dear friends, too! ;)

Bluerose: I really appreciate your empathy! Not that I would wish my poor choices on anyone else, but it is nice to know that we can go through this together! :) I, too, would enjoy just sitting down and reading and blogging for hours on end without any interruptions. But you're right: this is a good reminder to identify our priorities (and remember what we need to treasure!). Thank you for your prayers, as well! I'm so thankful for your friendship. :)

EVERYONE: I just wanted to let you know that after talking with my mom yesterday, and through God's strength, I'm trying to be better! I still had my moments today, but I didn't check my e-mail or my blog until this evening. ;) And I spent time working and going into town with my mom, etc., so it was a good day! Hope it was a good day for all of you, too! Thanks again for everything!


Amanda said...

Amber, I cannot begin to tell you how this post has blessed me. I am humbled by every word you wrote- it’s like holding up a mirror. I have been doing the same exact thing and my parents and cousin have called me on it. And I regrettably admit my initial reaction to their “loving” comments wasn’t very charitable, to say the least. But I do have to agree with them. I HAVE been spending far too much time on the computer- checking emails, checking blogs and neglecting family, work, and even reading the Bible. And as much as I’d like to maybe start my own blog, frankly, I don’t trust myself to handle it with the proper balance- at least not at the moment :)

Speaking of balance, I came across a scripture last night that just knocked the wind out of me, and makes me think I didn’t just “stumble” across your blog today either. It was Proverbs 11:1 and it said: “A false balance is abomination to the Lord: but a just weight is His delight.” It really made me take a step back and think, if there is a time and purpose for everything, and if the ONLY thing we’re exhorted to do “without ceasing” is PRAY, then I’m way off balance. So, now I am trying to cut down on my computer time, and work on my “reactions” when the people the Lord has placed in my life to help lead me and guide me are calling me on what I can often be too blind to discern. I mean, there is NOTHING wrong with going on the computer, especially when your time is spent blogging and chatting with other Christian’s, but there has to be a balance there, as with everything.

Thank you so much Amber for sharing your heart and struggles, it blessed me more than you know. And I will definitely be keeping you in prayer :) Encouraged to hear your testimony of progress! We CAN do ALL things through Christ!!

Oh, and you have a BEAUTIFUL blog- LOVE the name too BTW!!

Amanda Stanley

Amber S. said...

Oh, Amanda! You have no idea how much YOUR words have blessed ME! It's hard to know just what I should share on this blog sometimes, and I'm so glad God can use what I'm going through to encourage you, as well. :)

I know just what you mean about your reaction to your loved ones--I was quite the moody girl Monday night! And unfortunately, becoming moody happens more frequently than it ever should for me, and I'm sure part of that has to do with impatience. When I'm in my own little world--reading, blogging, etc.--then it is very hard to be kind to anyone who interrupts. It definitely makes me think about my priorities. Shouldn't the interests of others come before my own? And certainly the will of God must come before my own! Oh, I have so much growing to do!

Thank you so much for sharing that verse from Proverbs! Having a balance in our lives is so important, and God gives us the ability to follow through with that if we truly desire it and seek His guidance. You're right that communicating with other Christians through blogging--encouraging one another and helping one another--is not wrong. But you're also right that it can be wrong when we devote too much time to it to the neglect of reaching out to those close to us and spending time with God.

I'm so encouraged by your words, and I appreciate your comment immensely! Thank you for your prayers; I will pray for you, as well. :)

Also, thank you for the kind words about my blog! I'm so glad you found it! :D Hope to see you around again sometime!

God bless!


Amanda said...

WOW Amber, once again you described me to the letter! I thought I was the only impatient one, in my own little world hating to be bothered. Goodness, it’s so hard to respond in a loving, sweet way when someone interrupts me when I’m reading or on the computer. God forgive me, but the other night I think I told my mom to forget my name for a few hours- how’s that for moody? And you’re absolutely right, others and especially God have to come first. It’s JOY in order- Jesus, Others, then You ;)

Thank you Amber for your blog, your encouragement and your prayers!! And I will definitely visit again, thanks for the invite :)

Amanda Stanley