Wednesday, June 5, 2013

What's That Smell?

{Post update:  The very day I wrote this post, after hours of saying, "Remain in Me and I in You" whenever I got nervous about my campaign, I received an email notification about a new donation...$2,500!  From the most generous benefactor, an old friend from my vocal studies days, Phil Lisle, who made this incredible contribution, I'm convinced, in answer to a call to shore up my faith.  Thank you, Phil, for your generosity.  Thank you, Lord, for answering prayers.  Thank you, each contributor, whether $5 or $2,500, for your faith in this project.  You are amazing.}

There's a strange odor emitting from my refrigerator.
The light in my kitchen has burned out, and I haven't replaced the bulb.
The recycle bin in my kitchen cabinet has been masking a disgusting conglomeration of leaks, stray paper and general filth I just discovered.
My planter weeds threaten to strangle my darling, iron "garden girl" who is holding a flower pot, incidentally, containing a weed and nothing more.
Meanwhile, my stack of undone paperwork threatens to strangle me.

In our Pinterest perfect world of show and tell, how would these pictures fit in?


Why has this inventory of to do's gotten so out of control?
Where has my focus been?
And what is that smell anyway?

I have been working on my big, bold God-sized dream these past weeks, and I could easily tell you that it has taken every spare moment; however, that would be posting a mental picture of diligent me, hard at work on the computer and in life, moving things forward in faith. 
If I'm honest, that picture wouldn't be worth the thousand words of admiration you may come up with.
Because those words would be based on a canvas of exaggeration and untruth.
The reality of the picture is one of me, feverishly wasting time checking to see if the financial snapshot of my campaign has changed and increased. 
And does anxiously pushing "refresh" on the campaign page 100 times daily change or advance anything? 
Except the need to refill to a bottle of Xanax?

No, if I'm to accurately give a depiction of my last week and a half, it's of a woman driven to some pretty OCD behaviors.
  • Check Facebook for a new message or a new share.
  • Check email for three messages in a row:  Two from Paypal saying a donation has been made to my campaign, and I have paid the website the percentage they make on the donation; one from Indiegogo alerting me of the donation so I can send a thank you.
  • Check the various faith-based websites where I've posted news about my project.
Do it again.

And again.

And again.
Shampoo, rinse, repeat.

My head is no clearer for it...

And the smell?  Other than whatever that is I've left too long in the fridge?
It's the whiff of desperation from a woman who lacks the very faith she is trying to grow.

When God gave me this dream, born of a desire to deepen and share my prayer life, share a sense of community with the world, I'm sure this was not what He had in mind.
He did not hope I would drop everything for which I am responsible to work without purpose, wasting time on those things over which I have no control.

"He has made everything beautiful in its time..." the phrase from Ecclesiastes reads, not "Cynthia has made her campaign monetary progress beautiful by needlessly wasting time on checking and double checking." 
"With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible," Matthew 19:26 proclaims.  It may as well say, "With Cynthia this is impossible...only God can do it, Cynth." 
I wouldn't be surprised if this was one of the instances Jesus was imagining when he uttered those words thousands of years ago.

Still, it isn't too late. 
And shouldn't I look on this as part of the lesson? 
(And what if this is the whole lesson?  Wow...)

The picture of my faith can be refocused and retaken.
It may not be Pinterest perfect.
But it can be filled with light and clarity.
I can clear the air of desperation and stank, instead inhaling the sweetness of new possibilities.
I can alter my motivation and my habits to reflect the verses that have helped shape my project, Branching Out in Faith:

"Remain in Me as I remain in you.  Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own unless it remains on the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in Me.  I am the vine; you are the branches.  Whoever remains in Me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without Me you can do nothing If you remain in Me and I remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you."  - John 15:4-5, 7

Today I ask not only for the success of my project.
Today I ask simply that I remain in Him and He in me.
That my faith does not waver.
That I continue to grow in my gratitude of Him. 

 Now I need to go clean out my fridge.

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