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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Just Answer The Question. Lady.

Yesterday I was in the basement at work, pumping, and having a come to Jesus meeting with MOE's bride.  They are at a bit of a crossroads, needing to funnel some new and high-maintenance clients in to M's chair.  I was telling her that I, too, am ready for more work.  She was feeling the heat of her heart and about to float around the room in her fervor to believe God will hear their prayer and for the Glory of God MOE will prosper.  She was quoting Scripture left and right, and it was firing her up! I was pumping left and right.  And listening.  If I am going to leave my family for any amount of time, in the name of Earning Money, I want it to be right, and, I want it to be worthwhile.  She kept asking me, and said she will keep asking me, "What do you want?"
This question paralyzes me.
Elizabeth from Retinal Perspectives suggested we ask the same basic question. In this moment, I can do that, and, in life, frozen.
I've been speaking to my partner in life about the whole concept...Honey, what are we supposed to be doing?  If we are facing these kinds of challenges, is it an indication that we are not where we really would like to be, or doing what we truly enjoy?  Challenges like...financial fitness/peace...doubt and discomfort in the workplace...personal insecurity...trembling confidence.  (Don P had an excellent sermon on using our gifts to do God's will and to glorify Him.  I've often thought about asking for a copy of that cd.  I think he was here for Spring services a couple years ago.)
It is the same feeling I used to get when there was a paper assigned in college, and the vastness of the UNwritten word would overwhelm me.  In the beginning, the deadline would work as enough of a catalyst to accomplish a paper, but near the end of my courses, it swallowed me whole, my anxiety over the starting place and underlying philosophical worth of the paper, and I chose to leave my university coursework unfinished, before it finished me.
It reminds me, that paralysis, of the moments just before my children moved from physically part of my body to resting in a blanket on my chest.  When it became apparent that the child would need to leave the coziness of my belly and enter the world, I would freeze.  Nature is beautiful, in that it is impossible to simply walk away from the daunting task.  You quite literally must push through the pain.  In anticipation of the moment when human life and God's unbelievable design to breathe life into the lungs of one of His delights, I become stuck, unable to do what I really want.  Minutes before Suvi was born, my feet were glued to the tile floor.  I knew I had to get back into the bed, get into position to welcome my daughter, but unable to move on my own, Habtamu and the nurse had to force me onto the bed, and guide my legs off the floor.  Just before Judah was born, I'd been laying on my side and absolutely couldn't turn back over.  I delivered him teetering (haha) on my right cheek.  I'm so thankful the body takes over to help the baby out.  You just can't not push 'em out.  Wondrous and disgusting and beautiful, is birth. 
I want to push through the pain.  I want to answer the question, "What do I want?"
I am just reading over some of the texts that had so inspired Paulette, and, well, I don't have peace over what I am reading.  But one thing that is jumping off the page is the last line of Deuteronomy 28:12 "...and thou shalt not borrow."  If I'd been obedient to this very clear teaching a long, long time ago, I'd probably not be so concerned about What I Want To Do When I Grow Up.  We honestly do not make a ton of money (especially not my contribution) but we would be able to have lots of fun on what we make if we would have been paying cash for everything all along, not just since September when I won a FPU class.  Obviously Dave Ramsey reads this book, The Bible.
What do I want?
I want to pay off my debts, save money, travel.
What do I want to do?
I want to create, celebrate people, document, share. 
 Hey. That is just what I am doing here on my blog...Now. How do I pay off my debts with my blog?


Julie said...

I could 'listen' to you all night long. I love how your mind works. And your writing. Jenny, I think you should be a writer when you grow up.

ethiopifinn said...

oooh, but its sooo scary to do what i want. you know? thanks, sweet julie.

Brita said...

I agree, you are a writer in the making. Are you interested in self-help books? Read Fearless Living by Rhonda Britton. It helped me dive into my photography dream.

ethiopifinn said...

Thanks Brita, now I better get a library card.

Anonymous said...

oooh,I have the answer to how you can make money on your blog. Put it in paperback and I will buy the first copy.... autographed, of course. love ya, nancy

Anonymous said...

deep thoughts, jenners. why do you start off your mondays with such deepness? aren't mondays hard enough?
about change.....if you want to change just so you can make more money and contribute more, would you be happy? or do you just feel like you "should" do that? i often get caught up in the shoulds.
~ann b.

Jan said...

boy, I hear you, but don't have much in the way of answers. I have been feeling that overwhelmedness with my artwork. I am just trying to take baby steps here. Do I want to be an "artist?" 'cause that's hard to make money with. Or should I just get a "job" somewhere?

Joni said...

In the angst of not knowing what I want, I find peace in asking Him to take me where He wants me to go, what He wants for me, for His ultimate glory. It takes pressure off, and reminds me to surrender all and trust myself to His great plan. I think you are exactly where He wants you right now. Don't worry about tomorrow. He knows your passions and desires and is good at using them for His purposes.
I enjoy your description of childbirth, so revealing! Thanks:)

ethiopifinn said...

nan- I'm on it. xo

annb- no, i don't even want to change my work, i want to be better, and make my time away more effective by having a full schedule (which would result in larger compensation). AND i'd like to commit to exploring writing.

jan--that is the thing, right? feeling useful/productive and at the same time honoring your gift of the artists perspective.

jv- amen!

ethiopifinn said...

and ann, actually, i wrote this on sunday. there is no depth to my monday thoughts whatsoever :)

MindiJo said...

That is a hard question. One to which I do not have the answer for you. But I hope you figure it out soon. I know how it feels to need a really obvious "sign" that this is what we are supposed to do. I look for them. And rarely have I been wrong, IMO, when I do see one and follow through.

Joni said...

By the way, are you serious about needing to get a library card??? Oh my gosh, my library card is the most used card in my wallet:)

elizabeth said...

I'm with Joni. I'm surprised my library card isn't worn through by now .. I use it about 2x a week. ;)

I have a lot of times where I can't answer the question, "What do I want?" I am so good at not listening to myself on the little things that it's hard to hear the big things. I just know I want something different. Those are the moments when my answers are like, "Rest. Something cool and good to drink. .." That seems like a good start for me.

As a side note, sometimes I think about all the credit card debt I paid off, and how much money I would have had in savings right now if I had been sensible instead of acquiring the debt. That thought never ends well .. so I try to remember the good that resulted from the debt experience. It helps, a little.

elizabeth said...

By the way, none of that was advice. It was just what popped into my head for me when I read it. :)

You could add ads to your blog maybe?

ethiopifinn said...

Joni, yes. Totally serious. I haven't used the library in over 5 years. I choose to go online or watch tube in my downtime these days. Or bake. But I miss reading, so when i do get a book, I enjoy it so much. Before we had the babies, I was working 2 jobs. And smoking. I smoked in my spare time ;) I can't believe I don't have a card anymore...it just seems wrong!

mella said...

oh, how I love your approach in tackling that question. Lady.

And I am especially touched by your sharing of the birthing process... your marvelous words helped me make some important connections for myself in relation to a woman's *creative center*. I also found some clarity around discerning between physical and emotional pain ~ how both have their own push and rest periods, but not necessarily at the same pace... thank you... :)