Tag Archives: his plan

Jump

So here I am wondering what is next…

Inside I literally jump

with what?

excitement?

something.

Like there is something BIG coming

What is it exactly?

Is is just meeting new people this past year and finding them to be like family?

Is it seeing old friends and finding that it’s like no time has past? But instead find that we relate even more?

Is it the ways that I’ve seen God at work in the lives of many family members – encouraging us, changing us, growing us closer together?

Is it the new opportunities – dreams for here and dreams for far away that are so incredible I wonder at God’s audacity?

Is it the past – the things that have happened, the people we were with and we aren’t now –

excited for them and all that is in store, sad and yet hopeful for what God has in mind for their life?

Yes, it’s all of these things I guess.

And I think it’s not fear but a big hopeful excitement and faith that comes from my Brother.

A knowing that He has something in mind and it’s good.

He has a plan and it’s something worth jumping into.

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Breaking the silence here with this great word prompt from Five Minute Friday

5-minute-friday-1


On Bravery…and something’s coming!

I told a friend in an email last week “I’m getting braver and braver.”

I’ve always laughed at the idea of me being brave because I am an introvert and quiet (well, at least until I get to know you!).

Sure, I made choices to marry and have children young, go to another country and learn to live and work there.

But I did it while shaking in my boots half the time! Much of the time I was a real scaredy cat!

I would want to run away from public speaking as we prepared to go overseas. Thanking my God in heaven every time that “opportunity” came up that my husband was great at it and didn’t mind getting up to talk for us.

Even in sharing what I’ve learned with other young women who would come into my home on a regular basis in Peru I found myself chickening out often times. How do I really know what I am talking about? How can I tell them with certainty that what I have to share is something they need to know?

So “getting braver” for me has been surprising at first and yet I realize with delight that to stand on Truth and believe brings a peace and a confidence that surpasses my fears. Even in my uncertainties I can stand on something completely sure.
As I learn to let go of lies that try so hard to keep me trapped, I find I can go ahead and speak TRUTH right out loud! Or even just allow myself to believe them and KNOW they are true!

Like for instance, here’s a statement of standing on truth, believing and being brave if I’ve ever read one:

“My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” -Galatians 2:20 (NLT)

When I believe this and stand on it, I am letting go of lies to the contrary and God does things I never thought possible.

Well, duh! It’s because it’s in HIS strength!

So here I am jumping into some new things that I’d never thought I’d do. Ever.

And because I don’t have to do it in my own strength,

Because I don’t have to have it all together to do it…I feel braver.

The freedom found in this is moving me forward and helping me believe more in this God who “loves me and gave himself for me”.

Believe that He really IS the God of the impossible!

Tomorrow something is coming to my blog and more than that, into my life. Really it’s already a part of my life!

I can’t wait to share it with you, but you’ll have to wait until tomorrow!

It’s totally God’s idea, He nudged me to get involved and I am just along for the ride! I look forward to this and share it with you because it really has nothing to do with me and I can’t wait to just let Him take HIS idea and run with it!

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“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.” -Isaiah 43:19


What is life about anyway? -guest post

Today I want to step aside and let you hear from my son, Dane. I know I might be biased, but he has a way with words and this time is no exception. As I process the things as I go through life these thoughts resonate with me.

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I have a sticky note pasted on my bible that says, “This is a STORY, not an ENCYCLOPEDIA.”  Because I forget.

I forget that a million Israelites wandering a desert in the Middle-East for 40 years is not about wandering the desert, but about how God sometimes takes long seasons to change our hearts in the ways they need to be changed.

I forget that Solomon being made the richest and wisest man in history by God because he asked for wisdom, not money or fame, is not about some up-and-coming king that got a little extra help from God, but about God’s desire for our hearts to be in the right place.

I forget that Jesus coming, performing miracles, dying, and coming back to life is not just about a man from heaven who helped a lot of people and cheated death.  It’s about the creator of the universe loving a planet full of messed-up people enough to come and exist among them, so far outside his comfort zone, caring about them so much that he didn’t care how broken or sinful they were.  He came and loved them anyway.

And I forget that my life is a story, and that this continuous struggle back and forth is not about self-control or my ability to be moral, but about my heart being changed, about God calling me to move forward and not backward.

Why do we forget that our lives are stories?  Stories make perfect sense.  The characters don’t understand why things happen the way they do, but when we turn the final page, we can see how each event was important, however dark it was.  Take Judas.  One of the saddest parts about Jesus’s story is how one of his disciples — no, one of his closest friends — sold him out, despite everything that the thirteen of them had been through together.  And yet, if Judas hadn’t done what he did, then things would not have happened as they were meant to.

But no, our lives aren’t a story.  They’re just a jumbled mess of random events that are the result of events set in motion a long time ago, and nothing really means anything.  There is no reason that God didn’t save someone’s mom from cancer, or that the homeless man downtown lost everything he owned.  We’re down here, and He’s up there, and who really knows why anyway?

And we believe that’s what the truth about life is.  But…really?

I guess that’s what memory is for.

Thinking back, I can see that the pastors tearing down my dad for not living up to their standards — an event I didn’t witness, and don’t wish I had — resulted in my family seeking out a church.  A seemingly random Facebook ad, a subtle nudge from God to my mom, and then Mosaic.  Uncertainty.  And every week, through uncertainty, Mosaic.  And healing.  New friends.  Close friends.  A wonderful place for my parents, and a wonderful place for me, though it took some getting used to.  The closest friends I’ve ever had in my short life made there, people I would trust with my life if it ever came to that, and almost none of them are my age.  But they’re exactly what I needed (and still do).

And books.  Books suggested by a fellow Christian kid met only a few times at a church youth group out in the country.  Books that changed my life, my view of God and Christianity.  And he became my friend (my best friend, in fact).

So many experiences, wonderful and not so wonderful, set off by the most insignificant of events.  A quick message to someone I’ve never met before.  Popping by for a random visit at a friends’ house, just as they are leaving to youth group.  So many different places, so many different wonderful people and lessons learned, and God.

There’s no way any of those things was an accident.  And there’s no way that there isn’t a God watching out for me.  The trick is knowing when and where he’s pointing.  I’ve been granted the grace to be guided mostly by the actions of others and what seems like happy chance (but is really Jesus bringing something I desperately needed into my life), but now it feels like he wants me to take my first real steps on my own.  And I’m scared.  And angry.  Angry that responsibility would be thrust on me, responsibility I feel I can’t bear, and why couldn’t life just be about surviving, or could I even just skip life and go Home?  But no.  And at the same time…I’m tremendously honored, and shocked.  You want…me?  But…I could never do that.  But I want to.  I want to help in that way.  I want to bless like I’ve been blessed, pass on these rare lessons I’ve learned.  And I’m confused.  What’s the next step?  Here or there?  When?  How?  So I ask, and wait.

This life is a story, if we’ll just look for the chapters, the major events.  Some people’s stories are happy.  Some people’s stories are sad, but that doesn’t mean the Savior’s handwriting isn’t all over the manuscript.  What about the man that was born blind that Jesus healed?

“‘Rabbi,’ his disciples asked him, ‘why was this man born blind?  Was it because of his own sins or the his parents’ sins?’

‘It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins,’ Jesus answered.  ‘This happened so the power of God could be seen in him.'” – (John 9:2-3)

This man’s story was characterized by a disability, and probably a certain degree of estrangement from his friends and family.  Definitely a sad story.  But there was a reason.  The bad in our lives isn’t God trying to get back at us for doing bad things, or him just not caring.  Pain is a necessary prerequisite to beauty, more often than not.  That doesn’t mean that God cares.  And that doesn’t mean that we should just brush off pain, as if it doesn’t even matter.  It matters.  Anyone who has ever been in pain (in other words, every human being who ever lived) will tell you that.  It hurts when your marriage doesn’t work out, when your best friend dies, when you’re laid off and have no hope of providing for your family.  God does care that it hurts.  And he’s doing it for a reason.

“And since we are his children, we are his heirs.  In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory.  But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.  Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later.  For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are.” – (Romans 8:17-19)

Ultimately, this is about God’s glory.  Which we will share in.  The pain will all be worth it.

Life is a story.  Sometimes it’s happy, sometimes it’s sad.  But every event has meaning, although we can’t see it right now.

Life matters.  Pain matters.  You matter.  Don’t give up just yet.  There’s a reason for everything.  It will be worth it.

Dane is my oldest son and he writes over here at A Sword For The Kingdom. Check it out!


Enough

So time flies on and all seems well. We sweat through the summer and are glad for windows to wash.

Time with family. Time with friends. Time learning to trust our Father more.

Drink iced tea and wish for rain.

And then as I turn onto our street one day, almost home, I comment to my husband that this street needs some work and I wonder when they’ll repave the whole thing. And as I finish driving the last block to our driveway my thoughts are flooding with this grief that I was not expecting.

Thoughts like “We will be here when this street gets remade.”

Why does that make me so so sad?

And I say it out loud and then realize. A whole continent away -south of the equator I had thought and said the same thing.

“We will be here when this street gets remade”

Only that street was all dirt, an obstacle course to navigate as we would drive our truck through the neighborhood.

I said it with joy and wonder at living long in a place we are not from, where they don’t even speak my language.

And the thoughts would go on as I’d think of my kids growing up there.

My third boy learned to ride his bike on those dirt streets, and he’d probably learn to drive the truck on the paved one later on…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here I am on a hot July day driving down a different street wondering if we’ll be here when my boy learns to drive just as his oldest brother is learning now.

And while I am thankful to be here now and I truly look forward with wonder to where God will have us by this time next year. I wonder where else we might go or what else we might do; I also find that the grieving comes on when I least suspect it for those people and places we miss. For the dreams that had to die for the new ones to be born.For the lessons to be learned that I would never trade now for anything.

I realize that I acutely miss it all!

I struggle daily with how to move forward when I am keenly aware of the state of lives and circumstances in certain corners of this world.

What do I do with this information? God, I cannot make sense of it all!

And while I realize He does not need me here or there or ANYWHERE in order to love people and show them His love, I wonder just WHAT to do or WHAT to think or HOW to proceed.

And you are waiting for it aren’t you? The answer. The epiphany I had and the direction or “call” He gave.

The truth is I don’t know. All I do know is that I CAN lean hard on Him and know that He will never fail. He won’t mess up or get it wrong.

I can fall on Him with all my fear, my grief and my thoughts and let him have it. No need to hold it all together, figure it out, or try and know what He wants from me.

There is only to know that He is there and he is ENOUGH.

And out of this knowing -who knows what will come of that…
Five Minute Friday I’m linking up today with http://lisajobaker.com/ Check out her fabulous site!