I Blog Because...

I am a wife, a mom, a servant, a seeker and a follower of Christ. I am blogging to chronicle my own journey with God with the hope to inspire others to deepen their relationship with Him. Perhaps my mistakes and blunders will make you chuckle. Or, maybe, my disappointments, mistakes and learnings will speak to your heart. I often write at night, so forgive the grammatical mistakes and misspellings. This is a place for me to empty my mind and thoughts, with the hope of one day blessing my 2 girls with the raw honesty about life from their mom. I invite you to journey with me and share in my joys and sorrows as I seek to know my Lord. Proverbs 8:17 "I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me."



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Winter Prayer

Grant me Your Sense of Timing
Prayer by Ted Loder from his book Guerillas of Grace:

O God of all seasons and senses,
grant me your sense of timing
to submit gracefully
and rejoice quietly
in the turn of the seasons.
In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach me the lessons of waiting:
of the snow joining the mystery
of the hunkered-down seeds
growing in their sleep
watched over by gnarled-limbed, grandparent trees
resting from autumn’s staggering energy;
of the silent, whirling earth
circling to race back home to the sun.
O God, grant me your sense of timing.

In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold,
teach me the lessons of endings:
children growing
friends leaving
jobs concluding
stages finishing
grieving over
grudges over
blaming over
excuses over.
O God, grant me your sense of timing.

In this season of short days and long nights,
of grey and white and cold, teach me the lessons of beginnings:
that such waitings and endings may be a starting place,
of planting seeds which bring to birth
what is ready to be born—
something right and just and different,
a new song, a deeper relationship,
a fuller lover— in the fullness of your time.

O God, grant me your sense of timing.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Mixed Forecast

Today, I write for the benefit of myself.  In an hour, I will be preparing to leave my comfortable sofa to enjoy a holiday party with my ministry team.   The expectation is that joy, laughter and celebration will fill the night.   There will be food to be eaten and games to be played.   I don't feel much in the party mood.   The experiences and my emotions today have been much like a mixed weather forecast.   There have been periods of sun, warmth, and gentle winds.  There have also been periods of storms and what felt like tornadic activity.

How can I celebrate while a friend was nearly beaten to death by her husband last night?  She lay in a hospital in Puerto Rico, without any idea of what she will do next.  Her husband is now incarcerated in Puerto Rico.  How can a family vacation to visit family turn out this way?   What can I do for her when she returns home?  I am overwhelmed by the sadness I feel and the enormity of what is ahead for her.

How can I celebrate while my Aunt lay in the hospital with lung cancer tonight?  What do I say to my family?  How can I help?

Today, my mind has been flooded with thoughts of those who are going through trials and difficulties.    I am studying the book of James and have memorized Chapter 1 of the book.   "Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds."   I have repeated and repeated this verse, and those that follow ad nauseum.  Tonight, I'm having a hard time considering what has happened.  I am especially having difficulty considering it pure joy.  

May God help me tonight. The picture of my friend, beaten to the point of non-recognition, is hard to remove from my mind for the next several hours. 

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him."

Thank you, Jesus.  Be near me Lord, Jesus.   Be near to those who are hurting and sick.  Be near the lonely and lost.  Be near the widows and orphans.  Be near the poor.  Would you be near, Lord, Jesus?  Please, be near.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shoe Polish Challenge

While I was putting away shoes in my closet, I thought that I should gather some old clothes and shoes to give away to the needy. I've often done this before, but today, something changed inside of me when I spotted the shoe polish.

I was challenged by two questions which came to my mind:  

1.  Why do I gather the torn, the tattered and weathered articles of clothing or shoes to give to the poor? 

2.  Why do I keep the best for myself?  

I grabbed a pair of black flats that I absolutely loved to wear.  They had been placed in the back of the closet as they had exceeded the "gently worn" look.  Typically, this pair of shoes would have landed in the donation bag for the poor.   However, today, I grabbed the shoe polish kit and I began restorative work on my black flats.   After a few short minutes of depositing black polish into the scratches and gashes of the shoes, along with some buffing, my black flats looked like new again!      

Isn't that great?   So, what's the big deal?  Why write about shoes and shoe polish?   I write because the Spirit had laid a very important decision on my heart.  Do the shoes go in the donation pile or might there be something better for the poor?  

God convicted my heart today that there is something better.   I am keeping the restored pair of black flats and I'm giving away my newest pair to the poor. 

I challenge you to do the same.   Will you keep the best for yourself, or might you give your best away?   Let's rethink what goes in our donation piles for the poor. 

"Love each other deeply. Honor others more than yourselves." Romans 12:10(NIrV)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Widow and the Willow

The Widow and the Willow
Thoughts after Hurricane Irene...

The Widow:    Irene blew open the sashes and gave me a new perspective toward the people in our community. I wonder why it takes such an event to move me forward. I felt an incredible sense that God wanted me to check in on a widow who lives behind our home. Over the years, the trees have grown so tall that we are unable to see one another or converse from our yards. Ashamedly I say that on most days, I don’t even think about Mrs. Gert. Thankfully, God laid this dear lady on my heart, so my girls and I decided to whip up a casserole and some banana muffins and pay Mrs. Gert a visit on Sunday. The workings of our God never cease to amaze me. We knocked on the door, but she did not answer. In the very moment we turned to leave, Mrs. Gert pulled into her driveway and was being dropped off by her daughter. Although we hadn’t seen each other in years, and at the ripe age of 86, Mrs. Gert remembered all three of us, and even my daughters’ names! She invited us for a visit. This was a rich time of sharing fond memories of her husband, Mr. Ed, who had passed away a year ago. We shared some teary moments as she described caring for him in his final days with Alzheimer ’s disease. She told my girls that he awoke each morning at 5:00 to read his Bible and that he was a good, Christian man. She told them that the Lord is her strength and that she still drives to church every week. Her faith in Jesus is the most important thing in her life. Jesus is what keeps her going. We listened intently to every word she had to say. We prayed together and look forward to visiting again. We never made our way into a church building on Sunday, but we heard the best life sermon we could have asked for. We chuckled as we made our way home because WE thought WE were going to be the blessing, but most assuredly, WE were the recipients.

The Willow:  My daughter, her small group friend and I were able to connect with a bunch of Mountain Christian Church folk to help clear away a large willow tree that had fallen in a townhome community in Abingdon. A neighbor from Mountain cared enough to come to the aid of a family in need. She was not physically able to participate in the clean up, but she leapt with joy spiritually toward this family with the love of Christ and called the Help Line through Mountain. The family does not attend Mountain and could hardly believe that we would show up to help, not knowing them at all. Kids and adults worked together as a team cutting, hauling, raking and spending time talking to the home owners and their neighbors. We circled together and prayed for the family. These people are loved by God and they matter to Him. I pray that they know that. I look forward to praying for these folks and for God to work in their lives through this event. Silly me…He already has.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

You Have 1 Missed Call

You have 1 missed call.   What's worse?  You have 2 missed calls. 

When it comes to God's calling upon my lilfe, I don't want to miss it. 
When I think of calling, the image of a telephone comes to mind. Were God to connect with me using a phone, I would want to hear His voice so clearly that I'm able to say, “Yes, Lord” with the assurance that I have heard His invitation. Not that God's calling is in any way mechanical…don't take the analogy too far. Nor should we expect to hear an audible voice so clear that the need for faith is minimized. That said, the illustration works.

Multiple components make it possible to receive a clear voice over a phone line. The cord itself is not a single wire but multiple strands. So it is with God's call. Consider a few strands that might help in discerning the call of God for your life and ministry.

God's calling is rooted in Scripture and prayer

God will not call us in a direction that contradicts His Word. In the context of Sabbath rest, Hebrews 4:12 reveals that God's Word is living and active. There is a quiet confidence that develops in the devotional life, resting upon the power and promise of God's voice in Scripture. God speaks as we listen with an open Bible.

• As you live out the spiritual disciplines and meditate on His Word, what is God saying?

• What passages of Scripture are speaking to the depths of your heart in these days of decision?

God's calling is righteous

Romans 8:28–29 reveals a central purpose for each of us: to become more like Jesus. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled…and fulfilled.

• What decision will position you best to become more like Jesus?

• Do you sense confirmation during times of worship?

• Does this decision line up with God's good purpose for you and others?

God's calling is right

Reflection on Scripture (Psalm 139, Romans 8:28–30) builds assurance that God has wired each of us for a unique purpose. He makes no mistakes. It makes sense that He would call you to a place that is with the way He designed you. Some of His wiring might be weakness for HIS strength to be manifested, but His call will be the right fit. The following questions should clarify this component of His call:

• Do your natural, God-given abilities indicate a right fit?

• Has God given you a spiritual gift that suggests a right fit for a ministry decision?

• What training have you had, and do your learned skills point to a right fit?

• Have you taken assessments that bring confirmation of “rightness?”

• What decision will best line up with your passions, values, and vision?

• What are you doing in ministry right now? God's calling is as much about the present as the future. Abundant life and ministry are for today, not just tomorrow.

God's calling is rightly confirmed by others

This is a critical element. This means the church, which is the family environment for ministry equipping (Ephesians 4). This means leaders in your church, in the denomination, and friends in the kingdom. What are those who know you best, including family, speaking into your life? Calling comes in the context of relationship. Listen with a discerning ear to Godly counsel.

God's calling is sometimes revealed and punctuated by providential circumstances

Although balance between the subjective and the objective is crucial, many testimonies are shared of God bringing forth pointed circumstances to identify His hand and His invitation toward a specific task or ministry.

• What circumstances might God be using to speak to you?

• What events might form a pattern of God's leading?

• What issues are your friends and coworkers wrestling with?


Of all these components, the most important truth to remember is that we are called first and foremost to a person. Jesus said, “Come, follow me”(Matthew 4:19). We, the sheep of His pasture, can hear His voice (John 10).

Active listening in a relationship of active following affirms God's calling. It's His quiet voice in the solitude of reflection that guides us. When all the strands of God's leading are wrapped together, there grows a deep inner conviction that God's voice is speaking clearly. This develops into a necessary sustaining conviction for those entering vocational ministry and missions.

Is your heart phone ringing? Is God calling? Don't wait for someone else to answer. Be available. Be involved today. You'll be glad that you plugged in, completed the connection, and answered, “Here am I, Lord. Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Reading a great book entitled, The Accidental Creative

Have you ever found yourself in a book?    I'd be fooling myself if I likened myself to a princess or queen in a fairytale.   However, if a movie is ever made from this book (and I don't think it will), I could play the part of Amos.   Amos is a leader in a company.  Amos has several meetings over the course of a typical day.  He may also have longer meetings with his leadership team or sub teams.   Amos also manages an insane amount of e-mail and phone calls.  The most difficult thing, according to Amos, is that in the midst of all the meetings and "pseudo work," he knows that his main job is to move the mission forward and make progress in the area he leads.  He is to create new ideas and better the department.   But due to the frenetic schedule he keeps, the constant influx of e-mail, phone calls, and the pressures of managing the relational expectations, he finds there is not very much time to actually do work.  Amos gets to think of his work far less than he'd like because he's so busy just trying to stay ahead of everything else.  Amos's struggles to gain creative traction and move forward are largely the result of pressures he feels in five key areas of work:  Focus, Relationships, Energy, Stimuli and Hours.  

I, too, struggle like Amos with many of these areas.   I am reminded that I am a steward of the time God grants me each day.   I am on a journey of exploration to learn how to best serve God throughout each day so that my work may be honoring to Him.   I am diving into this book, in search of new practices and methods to create a healthy rhythm of work and creativity.    BRING IT!!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Fanfare of Clouds Presenting the Night

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. Psalm 19

I felt called to sit in my rocking chair outside this evening.  I received a grand invitation to attend the brilliant presentation of The Fanfare of Clouds Presenting the Night, written by God.     This show will be running every night and there is an open invitation to all.  

I spent the morning yesterday at a nearby beach.  I am so often led beside still waters or under the canopy of trees to be with God on Sabbath day.  My senses are heightened, my soul is at rest, the lenses of my eyes are opened and the ears which allow God to speak are most attuned to His voice in such places.    Tonight, is holy, as I sit under a partially lit blue sky and watch the clouds usher in the night.   The universe declares your majesty.  You are holy.

With God...

Friday, June 10, 2011

Guard Your Heart, for you are God's Girl

It's one of those milestone moments in the life of our family tonight.   Our 14 year old daughter is about to graduate from 8th grade and enter high school.   She will attend her 8th Graduation Dance tonight.  I can't believe that my fuzzy headed, 6lb 10 oz. baby girl has attained this status.   One of the most important things we want our young woman of God to remember in this season of life, is to guard your heart.   I've written this letter to her to read this afternoon when she arrives home from school.  A few years ago, I gave my little girl a china tea cup to remind her how precious she is to God.  She is His beloved.  This afternoon, I pray to the One who entrusted this beautiful girl to us, to fill her to overflow with His presence and love.   I am peacefully reminded that she is God's girl.    Congratulations to our special daughter!

Dear precious daughter,

Guard your Heart!   "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life." Proverbs 4:23

Our hearts house who we are...our desires. As John Eldredge says in his book, Desire, "Everything that makes life worth living flows from the heart. Intimacy, romance, love. Adventure and meaning and purpose. Courage and sacrifice and joy."  No wonder we're told to guard our hearts!

Girls have gone to great lengths to find love and acceptance.  This world will encourage you to put yourself out there, be noticed.  Oftentimes we do, hoping all along that we’ll be noticed and chosen to be the recipient of a man’s attention and affection.  We search for love, giving our heart to undeserving candidates, and then we are left to deal with the consequences of pain and hurt.

We are so quick to give away the very thing that gives us life . . . our heart.  It is the core to everything we are - physically, spiritually, and emotionally.  Physically- it keeps us living.   Spiritually- it is the place the Holy Spirit dwells.   Emotionally- it is where passions are birthed, joy or anger is felt, and desires are cultivated.  Our hearts are the most valuable thing we have. Proverbs 4:23 … Above anything else guard your heart, for it is the source of life.   The is the most valuable thing you will ever possess. GUARD IT. Keep careful watch as to who/what has access to it, and influence over it!

We think of guarding our heart with the opposite sex or when dating, but I think we overlook guarding our hearts with friends because we think we need to share everything with every friend.   I had to learn the hard way that every friend can't be trusted with my entire heart.   I'm sure that I'm not the only person that has experienced the hurt and pain that comes from a friend when you realize you've trusted them with a part of you/your heart that they couldn't handle with care.  I will admit that it's hard to determine who to share what with without being fake.  I have varying levels of friendships. Truth and honestly is essential in all relationships, but not all friendships have the same depth of sharing when it comes to my heart. I have friends who are, what I call, my soul friends.  Friends of the soul. These are the friends that I can bare my soul to and know they can be trusted with my heart.   Those soul friends were determined over time because Christ-like character had to be revealed in them.

It's hard to know to what extent to guard your heart in relationships, but I've found that it's good to land somewhere in the middle of the two extremes of too open and too guarded. I've been both extremes. When we're too open with friends who do not reflect Christ or the love, like He calls us to love, pain is inevitable.   Being too guarded can be painful, too.  It causes us to close ourselves off to what could be really great relationships. I don't think God wants us to live life this way.  We were built for relationship with Him and others.  Some of my greatest learning lessons have come out of situations where I let the guard down. Those lessons haven't always been painless; but, as someone once told me, "Stretching and growing is always painful." I don't want to be so guarded that I miss out on something that could be really great.

Remember, there is a constant help and a special companion, The Holy Spirit to help you.  It is Christ himself, dwelling in you. An invisible friend, yet fully visible to the heart and soul. As you walk through the door today, and enter into a new season of teenage life, remember who lives and dwells within your heart, remember who is always present with you. Ask yourself these question and always answer honestly… would I sing this song with Jesus? If I could see him right now, would I sing the lyrics to this song with Him? Would I invite Jesus in to this peer/friend group to hang out? Can Jesus be with me right now on this date? Would he text this to a boy or to girl? Would He watch this movie? Would he drink this or not? The Holy Spirit, will help you to know what to do or what not to do. What to say and what not to say.

I can tell you today, with absolute certainty, that you will endure pain. You will let your guard down from time to time. You will fall short, and you will make mistakes. We all do.  I have.  I have made wrong choices in my teenage years and early twenties that I wish I could go back with giant eraser and take away.  The most important thing I can share with you on this day, is that you are deeply loved by The Most High God. You are His beloved and there is nothing, NOTHING, that will ever separate you from the love of Christ.  Bare your soul and your heart to Him.  Come to Him with all of your junk, your hurts, your insecurities, and your desires and let God fill you up with His Truth.   Don’t strive to be like anyone else, but be you, wholly and completely you. The expectations God has for your life is not that you are perfect, or the prettiest or the most popular.  His expectation is that you will follow Him and allow Him to perfect Christ in You, beautiful girl.



Monday, May 2, 2011

A little longer...

Sabbath: stillness, silence, solitude, serenity, sleep, sunshine, sharing, soda, songs, sitting, singing, Son, simplicity, sacred, satisfying, spectacular, sustenance, shoes.

Yeah, that's right..shoes. I put on my flip flops today. The shoe which represents leisure, fun, rest, and enjoyment. They're my spring/summer sabbath shoes. Check out this site for a little more about shoes...http://tiny.cc/2wvv0
I really needed this day. My pace of life over the past 2 months is most comparable to a hamster running on a wheel at top hamster speed. The problem is that the wheel never stops spinning.  Lately, I've found it difficult to jump off of the wheel and land safely in the arms of my Savior.   God knew I needed this day. He ordains a special day of rest each week for me. It's a gift I sometimes fail to unwrap and savor. Gifts are meant to be opened. Gods' mandates are meant to be followed, for He knows what is best for us.

I love the simplicity of sabbath day.  After a restful night and late morning sleep, I decided to take a drive.  I ended up in Delta, PA.  It was an adorable little town with a General Store, houses with white picket fences, a creamery shoppe and several small churches.  As I drove through Main Street, I felt as though I had been transported to simpler times.  I can't remember the last time I saw someone sitting on a front porch reading a book, a mom gardening in the yard with small children playing outside, or a lady riding a lawn tractor with her dog at her side during a weekday.  I noticed a church steeple off to my left through the trees.   I drove to this quaint country church and parked on the empty lot.   I thanked God for this beautiful spot surrounded by open fields and a view of farms out in the distance.  It was there that I paused, stopped, and rested in the beauty of the day with my Savior.  I spent a lot of time noticing the sights, sounds and smells of the country.    The bees were buzzing by and they reminded me of the frenetic activity I had left behind today.  In contrast, a hawk was soaring with ease, high above the trees in the blue sky.  I was captivated as I watched the bird powerfully flap its wings up and down and then suddenly, it would stop to gently glide across the sky.  Today is my day to gently glide.   I closed my eyes and enjoyed the sun on my face, the smell of fresh cut grass, and the breeze which whispered, "I'm here to meet with you."     God had noticed my need of rest and I was noticing God's presence with me. 

This is a glimpse into my sabbath day. He didn't disappoint and I found myself wishing for a little longer time with God in this way.  I pray for more obedience to God's command to keep the Sabbath holy...a special day, set apart, and to be savored.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

It's just that simple...

Well, I am a few days back into the reality of life, after serving a week-long mission trip in Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic.  This was my 5th trip to the DR over the past 2 1/2 years. 

I took some time revisit my post in October when I had returned from my 4th trip to the DR.  I have to say that this time feels differently.  While I miss my DR friends and church family tremendously, I have a sense of peace and joy unlike before.   My passion to serve Christ in Monte Cristi remains the same.  It indeed grows with each trip and I thank our God for this blessed gift and call upon my life.   However, the inward discontent and uncertainty that often accompanies my return is surprisingly different.   My usual return is filled with questions for God.  Questions like:  Lord, what is it that you want me to do for you?   Where are you calling me to serve?   Am I where you want me to  be?      While these are questions many of us have asked from time to time, we often complicate the call.      Love all.  Serve all.  It's just that simple.   That's what I'm hearing from God.   If I feel most used by God in the DR, and I am sure that the gifts and talents He has given are best used in the DR, I need to ask myself the question, "why is that?"      Why am I not serving God in the same way here?  The theme of obedience to God came up several times throughout the week in the DR during the church services preached in Spanish.    It is amazing how God can and will speak through whomever He chooses. Even in another language, God can speak deeply to us.  The greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart and strength. But implicit in that love is obedience. Genuine love for God works out in strict obedience to God. I have a passion to do the perfect will of God. I hope I never lose it. I count it a great gift, one to be highly desired and sought after.   This time, God is asking me some questions.  Why not, here?   Why not be obedient to my promptings right here and right now?   OBEY ME.   FOLLOW ME.  LOVE ALL.  SERVE ALL...here, there and everywhere.    It's just that simple.   Gloria a Dios.  

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Before You Prepare your Suitcase, Prepare Your Heart

Our team is getting so excited and we are nearing our departure to Monte Cristi, DR on April 7th.  I have several lists and plenty left to prepare and pack before we leave.   It feels good to gather items and then place a check on the list!

At the very top of my list is "prepare my heart" for this trip.    This is a hard one and it takes time.  How do I know when I've accomplished this task?  When should I check this one off?   As time ticks away, I'm realizing that this is by far the most important thing I should be doing in order to prepare. 

I am not only going into another culture to talk about Jesus; I am planning to be Christ to the people I meet. The people in the DR will associate my behavior, attitude and character with that of Jesus. It is not enough to talk about Christ; I need to imitate Him.   This takes time; it’s not something I can cram for the week before I leave. It takes discipline and a willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to search my heart and shape me into the image of Christ.   I am so grateful that  His strength is sufficient to meet every need I have, however deep, however immediate.   Zechariah 4:6 “Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,” says the Lord Almighty.” 

I am so amazed that God chooses such ordinary people to serve in His name.   What glorious team of women God has assembled!  

Now off to the most important task...preparing my heart and spending time with Jesus.  


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

I decided to step it up a bit this morning and try a walk/run combination. My goal was to accomplish more benefit from my exercise routine in a shorter amount of time and then head to my office to finish a few details for Sunday. Well, as the saying goes from the poem, To a Mouse by Robert Burns, "the best laid plans of mice and men."

Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Plain and simply stated:
But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often askew,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

I headed out the door with my cell phone, iPod all set with my Spanish Lessons, and with the determination to get into some serious shape! Everything was going wonderfully. I was repeating Spanish phrases and running at the time same. What an accomplishment, this is exactly what I had planned. I stopped for just a moment and felt incredible pain in my shins. I was able to rest on a bench under a tree in a town home community nearby. I was massaging my legs and hoping that I would be able to stand back up and make the walk back home. Suddenly, it hit me. Forget the plans because God is begging to meet with me right here, right now. My little section of the world became a sanctuary. How beautiful, I thought to myself. I began to sense the presence of God with me. I noticed the aged bark of tree and basked in the goodness of a God who is my strong tower and how he has been faithful through the ages. A yellow butterfly passed by with such grace and beauty. I was reminded of the new life I have in Christ and how grateful I am for His continual transformation of my life. I was overwhelmed with promised joy. I am thankful that God stopped me and even thankful for the pain in my shins. After I enjoyed this time with my God for a while, I continued on way home. My run/walk combination became a steady walk. "Just a closer walk with thee." I noticed my creator and spent the remainder of my time with Him. I found Him everywhere I set my gaze. I clicked a few photos with my phone so that I will never forget my encounter with the Living God on bench, in the middle of a town home community, on an ordinary Friday morning. My plans for the rest of the day are as follows: chase hard after Christ, knowing full well that all else needed will be given to me.  Have a blessed weekend friends.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Seasonal Confusion

What an incredible winter day.  As I set my gaze upon my backyard, I can't help but take in the beauty of the day.  The sky is blue, the sun is shining and the temperature is an unusually warm 60 degrees on this Valentine's Day.   From the comfort of my Adirondack chair, I can see that the lawn remains covered with a blanket of white snow.  The covered area is receding as the rays of the sun reflect its warmth upon it.   It is a bit odd to sit in the warm sun, watch squirrels frolic together, listen to the sound of the remaining fallen leaves crackle against the ground in the wind and behold the sight of budding Bradford Pear trees --- all in one sitting in the middle of February. How awesome is our God?  This is the day the Lord has made and I will rejoice and be glad in it!  I must say, however, I am feeling a little seasonal confusion.

As I sit in the quiet of my sweet sabbath Monday, I am beginning to wonder which season I most associate with at the moment.   Is this is a season of spring, summer, winter or autumn in my faith walk and relationship with God?    If I can be quiet and still enough to take notice of the little things such as the sound of blowing leaves or a few squirrels scampering about the trees, might today be a good day to take notice of the subtleties occurring in my life.  

We often say things like, "I can't believe it's autumn already.  Where did the summer go?"   Or, we might say, I can't believe it's Christmas, where did the autumn go?"     Seasons seem to change so quickly, but subtle changes are happening all the while.   It is a process which takes time, with God's beautiful and perfect design.   We simply fail to take notice of the subtleties taking place all around us.     I think the same holds true for each one of us.   Little behaviors and habits slip in, or unhealthy choices begin to slowly infiltrate our lives.  All of sudden we find ourselves far away from God, in unhealthy relationships, using our tongues in ways we shouldn't or failing to care for own health.   Each of us can name our own undesired outcome.  Seasons do change, but there are minute changes happening all of the time which eventually bring us into an entirely new season.

As I sit here in the sun, listening to the wind chimes blow in the wind I feel an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort that God intends for me to feel seasonal confusion.    God is asking me to die to self each and everyday. Some habits and choices need a funeral in my life which are hindering what God wants to do in me.  He is calling me to a season of winter.   God is calling me to delight in Him, find my joy in Him, and crawl up in His lap under a tree and rest.  God is calling me to summer.    God is calling me to a time of preparation, self-examination, and to study His Word.   He is calling me to change and to allow Him to do some pruning and refining in my life.  Perhaps some leaves need to fall or change to a brilliant gold color.   God is calling me to a season of fall.   God is calling me to something new each and every day.  God is calling me to be as a budding flower and to be open to something new and beautiful He wants to do in and through me.   He wants to make all things new so that the  beautify of Christ can be seen and known.   God is calling me to spring.

February 14, 2011 is the perfect day.    What may appear as seasonal confusion is in actuality a beautiful reminder of the wonderful work God wants to do in our lives.   I think I'll sit here a while and take notice of the subtleties God brings to my mind.    "Search me O Lord, and mold me to reflect the beauty of Your Son in all seasons.   Amen."