Sunday, April 10, 2016

The Comfort Zone

Ever have one of those days when you wake up with an exhausted body, a heavy heart, and a mind fuzzy with anxiety over something that was to come?

We've had a few days like that at our house lately. It's hard to believe it's early April - this year seems a decade old already. The good thing about this is it's made me stay tight with God. I've fasted this past month and prayed for understanding, wisdom, strength and courage. A lot of courage. Sometimes I think I'm the world's biggest weenie!

No surprise...God has been extraordinarily faithful. He can't help but be that. He promises if we seek him we will find him. He also promises that his mercies are new every morning AND if we keep our minds focused on him instead of our circumstances he will give us perfect peace.

I've struggled a lot lately with how we can trust and still feel anxious or unsettled or afraid. It seems you can't do both, but what I'm coming to believe is that trust is a CHOICE not a feeling. Over and over in my journal I wrote out the things I worried about - the things that made my stomach knot up. Then I wrote:

but I choose to trust you!
Feelings can get in the way, can't they? Especially if you're like me and live more emotionally than practically. I don't mean hysterically or out of control. I mean that you trust your gut when making decisions.
When we're overwhelmed with anxiety or fear, those feelings can get distorted and get in the way. So, I have come to believe that like forgiveness, trust is first a choice, then maybe a feeling.
It's easy to trust when everything is fine and you feel good, isn't it? Much harder when you're in the middle of the storm and getting sea sick from the waves.
Do you trust God to be faithful? Really trust him? You can put him to the test. He will never slip up. He will never forget to take care of you. He will never leave you alone in a storm.
Thank you, Jesus, for pursuing us every minute of every day. For being faithful to us because you have to be faithful to your own nature. Teach us to trust you, to claim your faithfulness every day. Thank you for giving us rest when we feel we can't take another step, and for holding us together when we are broken. Thank you for making the ugly beautiful. We love you so much!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Quiet Satisfaction of Living a Dream

In 2009 Jeff and I traveled to England and Scotland. It was a perfect trip! 

I took this picture from inside the stone circle at Stonehenge, something you can only do now as part of a tour group. My wonderful husband set up the tour for us because he knew I couldn't get that close to this famous historical place and not go. He knew that because I mentioned it once or twice. Or maybe a few dozen times. Whatever - he knows how to take a not so subtle hint! 

From his perspective it's just a bunch of big rocks that don't do anything, and haven't done anything for thousands of years. For me, it's a place of mystery and wonder. I walked around the circle and touched every rock. I have a picture of each one. I stood and listened as our wonderful guide, James, talked about the people who created it and how it was used.

I daydreamed about time travel and what it would be like to walk between two of those stones and be transported back in time - just for a little while - to witness the actual history of this place and its people. 

There was a quiet satisfaction in being there for a short time. No big fanfare. No parades and music. Just a moment of wonder and awe and connection with God. I always feel that when I'm in an ancient place. The God who reigned when Stonehenge was created already knew me - everything about me. He was waiting for me to get here so he could begin to fulfill his purpose in me and allow me to have a small part in his master plan. 

I feel that same quiet satisfaction as I publish my first book. It is a dream, accomplished without fanfare but so special in my heart. It makes me thankful and in awe of what God can do with me. 

With me. 

With you. What is your dream? Are you allowing God to work it out in you? Don't wait to be perfect. God shows his best work when he uses imperfect people - that would be you and me - to fulfill his plan.

Sacred Ashes is just a story, but God allowed me to tell it in my own way. It was the fulfillment of a dream for me, and I have entrusted it to him to use as he sees fit. 

There is always a quiet satisfaction in realizing a dream, and the great thing is it energizes you to move ahead to the next one. God will never run out of things for you to do. Are you ready? Are you willing? 

Thanks for sharing a bit of my dream. 


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