Thursday, November 15, 2012

My 364th Post

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Psalm 119:105

Your word is a lamp to my feet

    and a light for my path.

On Friday I will have posted 365 days worth of posts. I have another 58 in draft, stuff I've written but did not finish or don't feel comfortable with or imported from other blogs that I have closed. Its good stuff to fall back on when I hit a day that I feel un inspired.Sometimes one of those half finished posts suddenly makes sense and is enough to get me past a bout of writers block.

It still kind of boggles my mind that I have not missed a day of posting since July of 2011 when I started this blog. Granted I have some wonderful guest writers that I use from time to time. I am so grateful for their contributions.  It still boggles my mind because I kind of cycle through a number of things. I have a music binge, or an art binge, a healthy eating binge... A lot of things that I do regularly but none that have a self imposed deal about doing them every day M-F. I'm not even sure some days why I feel like I have or need or want to do this. It is good, it stretchs me. When I have days where I think I have nothing of value to say I can look back and see do have a lot of things to say, and God seems to be using it to encourage, inspire and challenge people. Which is way cool. 

When I started I had, according to my blog stats, 232 page views for a month. I currently have 1539 page views for last month. I still would like to go back through it all at some point and edit in to some sort of daily devotional. At this point I have not managed to finish editing the A-Z Devotional posts from last April. Editing is tedious and I'm not a great proof reader and it gets easily bumped down on my to do list. I'm convinced that the consistency police will go crazy with their red pens and my tendency towards feeling that I am some how inadequate kicks in and then I have to wrestle that back into submission under the Lordship of Christ. I have to remind myself, that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. I have to remind myself that if God has called me to a project that He will supply the things I need to accomplish the task. Where I am weak, He will be strong.  When I started my goal was to write enough content to eventually publish a devotional book of some sort. I've grown to like the dailyness of writing but I don't have a clue about publishing or promotion. Perhaps there are doors that are not yet open to me and people who are not yet in place. I know the difference between something that God breaths upon when everything comes together in amazing ways and when it seems to be a constant struggle carrying a heavy load while walking through waist deep mud.  

My financial concerns from a few days ago have not yet been resolved. Something has to change, I'm not sure what. I could run around chasing my tail or nip at the wind in vain searching for solutions or I can continue to wait, trust and believe that the Lord has an answer and will reveal it at the right time.

I've been praying about where to put my efforts and energy. What of the things that I do, need to become less and what things need to increase. I take my great loves of ministry, writing, art and music and think how do I use those things to create sustainable income to provide for my family. Music teaching seems to be the most predictable of the whole bunch of things and my students stay with me for years. Its also probably the area that I doubt myself the most. I have been around some amazing musicians through the years. Music is like writing, I am continually working on it, to grow and develop as a better musician and as a better teacher. Last night I got a call from a local music store asking if I wanted to be on their list of teachers. Heck yeah! I guess I am waiting for Gods wave. I would rather catch a wave and ride it then spend my time trying to swim against the currents or the tide. Not that I have ever been surfing for real but I think there is something to getting on board with what God is doing rather than trying to get God on board with what you are doing. 
For the last few months I have had my posters out around town and I've maybe gotten 2 calls and so I ask myself is there more I could or should do? 

I keep telling the Lord, I don't know what else to do. I have done my best to rest and be quiet to wait for your leading and direction, to not be so busy that when the right things come along I am too busy to embrace it. I need the Lord to open his desired doors for me. I believe what it says in the word, that  the gift make a way for the giver. (Proverbs 18:16)  I lay all my gifts before the Lord and ask that He would breathe on them. That He would open doors and make a way for me. He knows how he has wired me. I am good at all things creative. I'm not good at promoting or selling myself. Perhaps I'm wrong on this point but I feel like I should not have to, if it is true that the gift makes a way for the giver. Its not like I'm hiding them in a closet. I have cast my bread on many waters. Actually Ecclesiastes 11:1 makes more sense to me in the New Living Translation (Send your grain across the seas, and in time, profits will flow back to you.) 

My thoughts on self promotion go back to the story in Luke 14:10. about the head table and the Lords admonition that one should not set them self there but wait to be invited. That one should take the lowest place. "Instead, take the lowest place at the foot of the table. Then when your host sees you, he will come and say, 'Friend, we have a better place for you!' Then you will be honored in front of all the other guests."

There have been times that I have not felt I really deserved to be paid but I think I've gotten past that. I am good at the things that I do. The word says the workman is worthy of his wages. (1Timothy 5:18). So I stand before the Lord and say I have for years and years served you and your people mostly without pay. I have been available, I have been faithful. I have served behind the scenes with both my weakness and my strengths. I have taken the gifts you have given me and worked hard to develop them. I need to be able to help my husband provide for our family. I need the Lord to put together something that will work for me and for my family. So I continue to seek Him and believe that He has a plan. If there are things in me that are still broken that need to be repaired I believe He is able. He has healed so many broken things in me. He has the cattle on a thousand hills,(Proverbs 50:10) there is no shortage of resources in His kingdom. 

So there you have it - my pep talk to myself this morning. I started writing this and wondered - how does this help anyone Lord? I look back over it and I am confident that I am not the only one who stuggles with this kind of thing. Hopefully you can see how I position myself. Reminding myself of the promises and wisdom found in the Word. How I am not just going about in dispair or inviting you to a pity party. I am standing my ground, I am actively waiting.I am confident that the Lord has a plan and that His provision is already in place. 

So like me, you may not yet see your answer. Don't give up believing, don't succumb to the pity party or the depths of dispair. God has not forgotten you. He is mighty to save.  

Lord, Thank you for your provision. Thank you that you know our needs and how to meet them. Thank you that you had a well in the desert for Hagar and a ram in the thicket for Abraham. You have a plan for each of us as well. Lord we choose to trust you. 

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