January has been a little roller coaster. I went back to work after the holidays thinking, as I was told, that I'd be working longer days, more hours and I was glad of it. The first day back I found out that 2 of our children had dropped out of the preschool, so we were too low on enrollment to have 2 workers in the class. Thinking positively, the boss kept me on just working once a week until we possible got more kids in February.
I came back the next week, which had been full of seriously pondering whether I should keep this job or go back to unemployment and look for another job, but she told me they had 4 more children sign up in that one week. Yay team! (you see the roller coaster idea, big wide climbs and dives) I can barely take this, you wouldn't believe the anxiety it brought on, although I think my hair seems to have a lot more gray since Christmas. Is that possible??
I also helped out at our college group's retreat. Very fun, very relaxing. My job was to keep the food coming and it was all pretty easy to prepare. So it turned out to be a lot of down time, relaxing, keeping the fires stoked in the cabins and watching movies with my sister, who went with us because it was her cabin they were using. ;)
Friends of mine this month have been going through cancer treatments, children's serious conditions and surgeries, deaths of loved ones and job loss, divorces, addictions and marital strife so serious that there is police involvement.
Then the other day I was using Facebook when I saw a post about the earthquake in Haiti. A friend's daughter had a roomate who was on a mission trip there and they wanted prayer for her safety. So I looked it up on the web and then each day the news about Haiti's disaster grows more and more horrific. My husband turns on the news each evening as I am preparing dinner and it's almost too much to hear about, especially while cooking our dinners from a large store of food in our home.....and water to spare.
How do we even help our minds and hearts to comprehend such ups and downs and all arounds from the month? There is only one Source of comfort and peace in such times.
4-5Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you're on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!
6-7Don'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.
8-9Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. Philippians 4:4-9 (The Message)