This devotional is on a topic near and dear to my heart...and head and tummy and intestines... it came out of issues that I have been dealing with for a long time now. A loooooong time. Since, I dunno, preschool?
If you are a woman who knows other women, you can probably relate. Often there is some junk going on with another woman in our life - a friend, or co-worker, your mom or another relative, your mother-in-law. Maybe several at one time. Women are just so good at getting in the midst of drama. It is unavoidable.
Frankly one of the greatest things I like about not working is avoiding a lot of this. I always worked in female (or g*y male) dominated fields and oh, the drama, the freaking drama. I am so glad that 75% of the drama in my life has been eliminated now that I stay home. And yet, some still finds me out.
Have ovaries, will have drama.
Almost a year ago Linda asked me to begin writing devotionals for what was then Christian Women Online. I was honored and flabbergasted but I also had a few ideas churning around in my brain- some for years - that I was very glad to get on cyper-paper. But, eventually all the old ideas ran out, and I had to begin coming up with new ones.
I don't know how good, organized writers write. I only know how slacker, procrastinating writers do it. Every month varies a bit, but here is the gist of how this one pulls it off:
Around August 15: start thinking that I need to get a devotional out. Ask God for some inspiration.
Around August 25: Realize that a due date is probably right upon me. Ask God for inspiration.
August 29: Check the devotional calendar. Realize that my devotional is two days past due. Beg God for inspiration because I have no clue what to write about.
August 30: Get a little panicky. Wrack my brain in vain. Beg and plead God for inspiration.
August 31: God wakes me up at 5am. I try to go back to sleep. He keeps bugging me. He is so in my business. I pray about a situation I am dealing with. And then, as I pray...I have my devotional. I scribble it down on paper or run to the computer before I lose it. Then I spend about two hours writing it and tweaking it, and voila. Whew. Got one in before the publish date! By the skin of my teeth.
This month's topic is conflict resolution. And I think it is my favorite one that I have ever written.
And after I got the outline scribbled out. I started to get a little worried. Because I just am not very good at conflict resolution. I avoid conflict like the plague. I would prefer to harbor resentment for months - maybe even end a relationship - than to tell someone that she has offended me. And yet I am furious if someone reciprocates that behavior when I offend her.
I have handled it the absolute wrong way many, many, many a time. And by God's grace I am a little better than I used to be, but boy do I have a long way to go. So, for me to publish a devotional on it? Like, giving advice about it?
Just who do I think I am??
(By the way, this is also a good reason why I have not written much more about heart-based discipline, even though y'all have been asking for a follow-up to it for months. I seemed to think I had to be the perfect example of it before I could write about it. It finally dawned on me that hey, maybe we could figure out this baby-raisin' stuff together. So I will deliver more soon. I mean it this time.)
It is very important for anyone who reads tomorrow's post, and especially those who know me personally and/or who have been in conflict with me (sigh), to know that I am so completely preaching to the preacher on this topic. I need to study my own assignment. I need to get it tattooed on my forehead.
However, I also know that this is what God said to me as I prayed in my bed. And since he told it to me three days past my devotional deadline...I am sharing it with the world. And, I keep telling myself, if God didn't let us teach until we had conquered all our sins, well, then, the world would be utterly devoid of teaching. Even Paul had his issuahs. Even - sit down, now - Beth Moore sins.
By his grace and for his glory, I am a work in progress. And I am just sharing what he is teaching me along the way.
Even if I feel like a big fat hypocrite.