December 1, 2001 -- Sorry about the delay pet but I've been busy lately. Quite mentally busy, more so than I've been physically busy. First an update on my goals, I did not make 50 hours last month, which I partly blame on being waylaid for two whole weeks by a viral infection that the doctor didn't see fit to treat ("it'll go away on its own"). I did try to get out but made myself sicker. To be honest with myself, I also have to admit that in the last week I wasn't really physically sick, I just couldn't rouse myself and get my energy back up.

Still, there was a fundamental difference between last month and other months when I have tried and didn't reach my goal.
I'm gonna try again. I woke up this morning more determined and ever and rippin' and rarin' to go and doubled the amount of time I usually spend in the ministry on Saturdays. I'm gonna do it again tomorrow morning. I feel so good and so ready, and that's never happened to me after I failed to meet a goal. I think this time I actually felt like a minister, I feel like an "auxiliary pioneer", so not getting my time in one particular month doesn't throw me off. I think I used to just try to get hours, not try to really be a minister. I've changed a lot in my view towards the ministry. I prepare a lot more and I am therefore more confident. I do more than just offer the magazines all the time which is standard. I want to study the Bible with someone and I am working towards that goal.

But a lot more happened this past week! I don't have enough time to share my thoughts on the Sermon on the Mount tonight, but I'll have that soon. But get this...my family had a family Bible study this past week!!!! We haven't had one of those in YEARS. And we haven't had it regularly since I was six years old. I think we've been spiritually strong, with our individual ups and downs but always progressing (except for the whole mental illness thing). Still, we had to come together spiritually as a family. The study was great, we're going over the Sermon of the Mount as a family. And we all look forward to next week. And get this, we actually missed the scheduled day, and came right back and did it the next day. And then yesterday I presented the family budget I've been working on and we are actually going to pay our bills this month and work on our debts. Groceries instead of fast food! Individual budgeting! Opening every bill and keeping them organized instead of just tossing them aside. Perhaps I have to change one of my financial goals. I have to get the family budget on track and keep it there. I currently have no income and don't anticipate having one anytime soon. My career is the ministry and I'm working on that right now (although I am looking for suitable work, since I have a work schedule that would fit). Still, with no income and soon no bank account (since I have no cash), my own budget is obviously on hold. My family took great strides though, and I'm just trying to help everyone feel better and get the Holy Spirit back in our house to stay.

Because my father told me that his circumstances even had him feeling suicidal, and he is definitely the most mentally stable. But my Dad's knees and legs have torn cartilage and other problems. He walks with a permanent limp and is in constant pain. And he's a mailman, how is he supposed to handle that? Our huge car loan and mortgage were eating up his entire income, so he couldn't afford to take care of anything else. My father can't afford to go on disability because he can't afford any lapse in income. He is actually looking for another job, and I have to stop that, because we all know that would really hurt him or worse. But he is the one who has to take the lead in things.

My brother wants to see a psychiatrist because he is depressed too. No one is as severely depressed as I was, but my brother can be quite melancholy and unfocused. He has none of his trademark energy, hasn't had it in a long time. My brother is different from me because he is an extroverted person in addition to being more of a feeling person. So his depression leaves him mopey and fearful for the future, rather than bitter and suicidal like mine. I recommended the psychiatrist to him. But God has to come first. He will take care of us if we put his kingdom interests first,
I know it. I have strong faith in that and I am working in accordance with that faith. And this week my entire family took a huge step forward. There, I talked about my family. There is too much for this little website :-).   

Let's see, what else? Oh, I finally went back to the doctor and I've had some tests done and I got some prescriptions. Can't afford to get them filled yet, but at least I made the effort. I will be seeing the doctor regularly, finally! I stayed out in the ministry today even though I had a terrible migraine. Let's see....I've gone a whole month without watching "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". THERE. My secret is out. Call it a "guilty pleasure", I've known it was bad for me for a long time and I would get away but get sucked right back into it. I had to tried really hard, especially since it was November sweeps and there were four "good" shows. But I resisted, and I resisted the reruns on FX and didn't even tempt myself.

All in all, a good month.

December 3, 2001 -- I've slowed the pace of my Sermon on the Mount meditations so as to keep my own studying in line with my family study. If you've been reading my diary you know how significant Matthew 6:19-34 is for me right now. It is so important to keep a balanced view of money and material possessions. Jesus says that "where your treasure is there your heart will be also". Am I focusing on storing up treasures in heaven, building my relationship with Jehovah and participating in the ministry proclaiming his kingdom? It is also very, very important to remember that Jehovah knows what we need and will make sure we have it, so what we must do is keep seeking the kingdom and doing his will, and we will be just fine. That is so easy to say but you know it is so very hard to actually do! It is a big issue for my family right now, just as it was a huge issue for me a couple of months ago. I was very anxious over what would become of me and what I was supposed to do. And I know my father is very anxious about losing our home and having money to feed us. This is a matter of faith, and once you have faith in the promise, then you feel so much better. A huge burden has been lifted off of my shoulders, now that I am no longer anxious about such things. But it is a constant struggle.

Switching gears for a moment, Matthew 7:1-5 is about judging. Nobody loves judgemental people, and judgemental people don't love anybody else. It takes a lot of work to be loving and to avoid hypocrisy when it comes to our judgements, because people just love judging others. I know that I am constantly worried about how others are judging me, it's a big burden I place on myself. When I am around other people I am very aware of their reactions to me. And if I think I came off wrong or made a wrong impression, I still become very teary-eyed and embarassed. I feel like my heart drops. At the meeting for field service I volunteered to demonstrate the presentation, which I have never done because of my shyness. And I was not satisfied with my demonstration, and because of that I believed everyone was unsatisfied with it and I was ready to cry. I'm pretty sure it was all in my mind though. Maybe this is off-topic.

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