Tag Archive | patience

Slow it down. Breathe it in.

A curling iron cord.

That’s what almost did me in the other day.

Really? A cord? A silly, long, tangled, un-obliging cord.

I had already used the curling iron, a couple hours earlier, and put it back away. Just as I was ready to leave, though, I noticed a piece of hair that I either missed or it decided to be unruly. Either way, it needed a quick turn in the iron. Because I was rushing, I didn’t unwind the cord like I should have and it turned into a mess.

Set it on the counter. Breathe. Try again.

It worked that time. I just had to slow myself down. The first time, my fingers were working too fast for their own good and created a bigger mess. Once I slowed down, I was able to detangle because I was taking the time to pay attention to the details of what I was doing.

Do you sense an analogy coming? =]il_fullxfull.298574146

I can’t say that any part of my own life feels rushed right now. In fact, everything seems to be stuck in a timeless warp of not moving. But, gosh… I’ve been that crazy person.  I’ve fought with cords, with friends, with myself. Always rushing, moving ahead, faster than, going – going – going.

To what? More frustration, bigger tangles, and useless arguments.

I was reminded while fighting with the curling iron cord that so many parts of our lives just need a little more attention. A bit more tenderness. And a lot less rush. We need to stop, set it down, breathe, and try again.

There are so many Scriptures that talk about slowing down, waiting on God, being patient. While those passages don’t necessarily apply to the “curling iron cord” incident, the premise is the same. We need to just slow ourselves down sometimes and be more thoughtful about our approach.

When we slow down, we gain a heart of wisdom.

                Psalm 90:12 (ESV)12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

When we are still, we can depend on the One who holds our future.

                Psalm 46:10 (a) (ESV) 10 “Be still, and know that I am God.”

In Luke 10, Jesus gives us permission to sit at His feet and just listen.

               Luke 10: 38-42 (ESV) 38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

I was thankful that all I was doing was fighting with a cord and was reminded to slow down. The hope is, for all of us, that when we build a solid foundation with the little things, it will then develop into a well rooted foundation for when the big things do come along. When slowing down is crucial. When listening for direction, guidance, and wisdom is needed, we’ll have trained ourselves to be in less of a hurry and more dependent on Him.

Waiting and Hoping and Believing

When life doesn’t do what we expect it to do, as believers, we can only do one thing.

Hope.

Some people think hope is a dirty word. “I hope for _____” and “I hope I can accomplish ____” or whatever your hope might look like in your world. It is not bad to hope for things, friends.

Abraham hoped… Romans 4:18-21 (NLT) 18 Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”[a] 19 And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead—and so was Sarah’s womb. 20 Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Hope provides us with an opportunity to have faith. Abounding faith! Believing that what God has promised us will come through, in His time, is hard, but crucial to our walk with Him.

When I was preparing for my move to Texas, I had a great “feel” on a job with a local non-profit. My manager put in a call to their management and sent a recommendation letter on my behalf. I knew – I just KNEW – that the job would work out and it was perfect for me.

The job didn’t work out. I knew it was perfect for me. God knew it wasn’t.

I had a choice at that point; I could stop hoping and believing in God’s promises to me or I could move forward, in faith, that God wasn’t going to lead me into a place of despair and just leave me there. It was the perfect opportunity to allow my faith to grow even more. Figuratively, I could look at my resume and find that it’s “as good as dead” and that I would never find the place He has for me. But, like Abraham, I want to choose not to waver in believing God’s promise.

It isn’t easy. Sometimes I want to waver. I want to tuck my tail, and run home. I miss my friends more than I ever thought possible. I thought I would be working by now and have my mind distracted from the people, things, and places my heart longs for. All I have to lean on, hope in, depend on is God. And He has to be enough for me.

He is enough.psalm 130 jshih

Galatians 5:5 (NLT) 5 But we who live by the Spirit eagerly wait to receive by faith the righteousness God has promised to us.


Psalm 130:5 (NIV) I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Whatever it is that you’re hoping for today, have faith. Believe in God’s promise to you. Hold on to that hope and keep walking the path He lays for you. His path is perfect. In obedience, we aren’t promised that the path will be without struggle – but we are promised that His plans are best.

Wait on Him. In His word put my hope.

Repeat.

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Repeat.

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Repeat…

And then, BAM! I live in Texas.

I’ve been having a hard time with this first blog post, from my new home. In part, I feel like I have too much to share. In part, I don’t know what to share and what not to share. And finally, some of it is really good and some of it is a struggle.

All in all, it’s a bit overwhelming because there is just so much in my head, heart…

I’ll start with the good, easy stuff… like the drive down. It was really good! The three vehicles were: mine in the lead, my mom behind me driving the rental truck, and my man child taking up the rear in his own car. Aside from having to be constantly aware of the other two vehicles the whole time, it was a good trip. I had a plan to listen to Pride & Prejudice on my way down, but that only happened occasionally. The rest of the time I prayed. And cried. And worshipped. And obsessed over the other vehicles in my care.

I was fortunate to have my mom stick around a few days to help me get some things done. Within a week, everything was unpacked and put away. I suppose that is one good thing about not working, but also one bad thing. I rushed through doing everything and then ran out of stuff to do. =]~

I’ve realized that I am way too dependent on my GPS and will be working through that. This means, I’ll have to allow myself to get lost a few times. I’ve also realized that I suddenly don’t care if my fat upper arms are showing. It’s too stinkin hot to be worrying about such silliness. 

The last couple of weeks have been more difficult. I’ve been dealing with a lot of my own insecurities and trying to figure out how to work through them. I feel like I’m being humbled in a way with which I wasn’t really prepared.

I am still looking for work, but I know that I know that I know how faithful our God is to me. In the meantime, it means trying to take in a whole new city, with lots of things to do all over the place, with very little resources.

Every weekend, I’m fortunate to have several churches to visit. That has been great. I’m able to see various types of worship styles, sometimes all in the same service! There is so much diversity here which is what I’m most thankful for right now. It’s been a long time since I’ve been able to drive within a few miles and find so much variety in food, art, and people.

I’m not kidding when I say this post has taken me two weeks to write… I started it and then just let it sit on my desktop, open, ignored. Workin through it, y’all. I’m working through it. =]

In the meantime, I crave your prayers to find work and my sanity!

Now that I’ve made this “first post breakthrough” – I hope to be able to come with some more regular, normal stuff, that isn’t all about my drammaaaaa! 😉

Sayin “Bye Y’all” is Never Easy.

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It’s March 11th today. I won’t post this writing for probably a couple of weeks. And, honestly, it’s probably going to take me a couple weeks to write it. One because it’s hard and two because it keeps changing. There are a lot of things happening and it’s going to be a little bit of a whirlwind when it all finally starts to come together, and I might not find time to write this update in the midst of all of it!

Some people may have noticed a trend, between my Facebook, my blog, and another community where I write on occasion, that there are some changes brewing, happening, and coming along.

It’s all true. There are lots of things happening.

I’m moving.

Not just, like, around the way moving – I’m moving in a serious way.

To Texas.

*blink*

It’s okay. It’s taken me a while to get used to saying it, too.

There are a few reasons for this move, but the most important reason is God. He’s been preparing me in a big way over the last couple of years. As of today, I still don’t know the full picture. He’s very carefully giving me a couple steps to see at a time. I’m only trying to be obedient. My flesh wants to see it all. I want to see the BIG, HUGE picture He has for me. It’s just not possible. I need to rest in His peace and know that I’m doing what He’s calling me to do.

Another reason is my family. My aunt and uncle live in Texas and I miss them terribly. I’d love to be closer. I also have another uncle in the DFW area and a couple of friends. The big clincher for me, though, was my mom. She and her husband decided to sell their home in IL and move south! If I position myself in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, I’ll be pretty close to in the middle of my two favorite women – my mom a few hours north and my aunt a couple hours south.

Another reason is little to no snow. Really. This winter about did me in. I’m over it. All of it. I’ve felt trapped more than ever, alone more than ever, and found myself making up for lost work days way too much. I’ve fought the winter emotionally, physically, and spiritually. I’m done. I’ll probably hate the summer once I’m there, but I think I hate the winter more.

I have a “drop date” set. What that means to me is that even if I haven’t been offered a job by the time that date rolls around, I’m going. It’s probably the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever taken. It’s risky, desperate, reckless faith in the reals. I’m holding on to God opening a job opportunity for me, but if He doesn’t, I know that I’m supposed to go anyway. Talk about being dependent on Him. Oi. And, my boy hasn’t yet decided what he wants to do. Granted, he’ll be 20 this year. He’s fully capable to take care of himself, but I’m his mom. I want him with me. He doesn’t want to leave his girlfriend. I get it. I really, completely, totally get it.

So, what I need from you, my friends, is prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. Prayer for my boy who will be looking for a place to stay and, once momma leaves, maybe a good, home-cooked meal from time to time. Or, momma’s secret prayer is that he just comes with me. Also, prayer for work. I’m gonna need it. I’ll be aggressively looking for work. I’m heading down, in May, for a work trip and I hope to find an apartment that will be available when I’m ready to go, for good, mid-summer. Finally, prayer for the trip itself. I’ve never moved myself across the country before. It’s a little scary to think about, but also so exciting!

Before I go, there are several things I need to take care of at home. First, I will be having foot surgery in early June. I would appreciate prayers for that to go smoothly. I’ll also be getting a full physical before I go. Many of you know the struggles I’ve had with my health over the last 9 years, and you also know that I’ve all but given up on the medical community to fix me. I’ve fixed myself pretty well, I’d say! While I still have some bad days here and there, it’s nothing like it used to be. Because of my uncertainty with most doctors I’ve been in contact with, I’ve stayed away from doctors for years and I really just need to have everything checked. There are also some things with the man-child that need to be lined up and taken care of before I go.

In all of it, I just want to hear God clearly. I want to know that the steps I’m taking are at His direction. My heart is His and I only want to be where He’s calling me to be. While I’ve spent the last 10 years maturing in my faith, learning to depend on Him, and trying so hard to be obedient, I don’t think I’ve ever been in a position to be so completely “hands in the air” open to what He’s doing. This life is not my own. I give it ALL in surrender.

This song has been in my heart lately, as it speaks volumes to me. I remember it carrying me when I felt homesick moving here from Michigan so many years ago. And here it is, still having an impact on my heart.

Which way do I go?

largeIt’s fair for you guys to know… my word. You know, that one… the one that begs me to find “serenity?” Well, it’s breaking me. Stretching me. Changing me.

This reason is why I love doing the OneWord challenge so much. There are so many things in my world that can be wrapped up in that word right now.

God is pulling some rugs from under me, but quickly pressing His hand forward to keep me afoot. I love Him. He loves me.

There are a couple ways for me to look at my word this year. I can look at it like this:

Serenity here – finding peace, contentment, joy right here in this place I stand.

Or like this:

Serenity in change – being at peace with change, walking toward the music, being courageous in Him.

Here’s the thing, I feel like I’ve been doing the first “serenity” for a long time. I’ve been searching for my peace, contentment, and joy in this place. For a while, I found it. More than anything, I’ve grown here. I was planted and poured into here. I love who I became in this place. I love who God made me in this place.

Here’s the other thing, I’m not home here. I don’t know where home is for me anymore. It’s not here. I’m ready – I need – to create home. I don’t know what that looks like. I don’t know where that road leads just yet. I don’t know too much of anything.

This is all a journey and you just happen to be on it with me while it sorts itself out in my head.

In the meantime, I stand in His shadow as He walks before me and clears the way for His daughter.

The God of peace will make me complete in every good work to do His will, working in me what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ. ~ Hebrews 13:21

I surrender all…

Let’s start by saying this…

I’m about as “uncheckboxed” of a Christian as one person can get. My pastor is big on not being a “checkbox Christian.” Not being that person who just goes down the list of “Christian things to do” checking off boxes on the way. He’s taught us all great lessons in that area. And get this… I even do things that some people may frown upon. *gasp* I do things that I’m sure some Jesus followers think will send me straight to hell – as a matter of fact, probably wondering why hasn’t it yet. *blink*

Just like them, Christ has a plan for me. Just like me, He has a plan for you. We, sometimes, have to work really hard to figure out what that plan is. And, the plan changes. The last thing God wants is for us to become stagnant. I don’t want to become stagnant! I thrive in change – it keeps me thinking, keeps me moving, and keeps me learning and growing.

As we know, from my explanation of my One Word, change is coming for me – it’s all around me.

If I could       just       put       my       finger       on       it…

I can’t.

But the good news is… I’m learning. I’m talking to people about dreams and ideas. I trying to unfold the lovely that God has created for me.

One of my checkboxes lately is church. And, friends from church who read this… it’s not YOU, it’s me. Truly. And it’s God working IN me. And it’s GOOD! I wish everyone could know my church family. I love each and every person there. God has surrounded me with the most perfect people for me. They love me, encourage me, support me, pray for me, and just keep me real. I love them!

With that said, I’m in this season where, suddenly, I don’t want church walls… I want church in the streets. I want church in a cafeteria feeding hungry people. I want church in a place with babes and dirty faces, hands, feet, and dirty, broken hearts that just need a hug and a little damn bit of hope. I need to get real. And dirty. And jump into the trenches. I need to know that I’m doing SOMETHING to grow the Kingdom. I need to tell one person who doesn’t believe that Jesus loves them that HE DOES!

What good are the lyrics, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders. Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me,” if we aren’t really willing to live it out? Does this mean that I’m just willing to walk away from everything I know? NO! It means that I am trusting God to use me – here, there, anywhere.

When I became a mom, my life changed. Suddenly, I had to be stable. I had to provide for someone. I had to keep my wandering nature in one place, for as long as possible. Inside, my heart has always wanted to do, go, explore, be, minister, etc… I didn’t know how to do that as a mom, a single one. I had to be grounded. It’s been GOOD for me. God has done SO much for me in these years. He has matured me, grown me, and filled me with an overflowing amount of love and faith. I wouldn’t change a thing. Not one.

Yet, here I am now. I have an itch. It’s one that I can’t seem to put my finger on. Do you ever get that?

I heard this song this morning… these words screamed at me – “If I’m under fire, I know it’s refining me. When I hear You calling out, I’ll follow now – wherever the road may go. I know You’re leading me home.” Later in the song it says, “I lift my life, lift my life up. I give it all in surrender,” but, sometimes, what we really mean is we give most in surrender. I want to be an all kinda chick. Please, listen to the song.

So, to wrap up this extremely long post, what am I really trying to say? I have no clue. The good news is that God does. He knows. And He is revealing things to me in little bits and pieces. When I learn more, I’ll share more. For right now, He is placing people around me who are encouraging me and, most importantly, praying for me.

Is love lost on…

… me?

I can’t sleep. My brain doesn’t stop easily and tonight is no exception. When those things are combined, we get late night posts that I probably regret tomorrow.

And here we are…

Please understand… I am NOT looking for sympathy, pats on the backs accompanied by a “there, there” and, certainly, not pity. That isn’t what this post is about.. it’s my heart at 4 am with no sleep.

I am full of faith in a Mighty God and I trust His plan wholly! (even if I don’t understand it)

With that said, there was a question asked earlier today that prompted this thought that’s been drifting about in my head ever since… the question was something like – how have men disappointed you in past relationships or marriages? My answer – I’ve not been loved.

One might ask how someone becomes 41 and has not been loved. I’m sitting here wondering it myself. But the fact remains… I’ve not been loved.

I don’t understand the whispered “I love yous” or the sideways glance across the room. I’ve not felt the lazy draw of a man’s finger along my arm, leg, hand… I don’t know how I’d feel knowing a heart was worried about me as I drove home from work and wondering whether or not I’d be late. I haven’t been embraced by a man so deeply that my broken was put back together.

Here I am. The never been loved by a man.i_will_call_the_unloved-500x500

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wonder if I will even know how to receive love if it comes my way.

I also imagine I can’t be the only one who is walking this road. Right?  =|

Please know, I’m not sad. I am not hurt. I am not lacking love as I am deeply loved by 1) a God who has died and risen again to know me and love me and 2) by friends and family who cherish me right down to my bone marrow! ❤ =]

The most important thing I am is hopeful. I’m hopeful that God has something for me that is so much better than I could ever hope or imagine! Ephesians 3:20-21

 

(am I actually going to post this? I mean my heart’s desire is to be open in this space, right? – here goes nothin…) =]