Google+ Followers

Friday, March 10, 2017

Unstoppable

This has been a weird week. It seems like everything I picked up, was more complicated than it needed to be. I've worked really hard, yet feel like I haven't accomplished much. I call it "Swimming in Glue". Although everyone has days like that.... I've had a whole week. Well, almost, tomorrow is Friday!!! Insert happy dance here.

It just amazes me how God orchestrates opportunities. Today he orchestrated a beautiful opportunity for me to visit with someone who has inspired me for years. I have a precious friend who is in the journey of showing Breast Cancer who's is boss. Today she had her second Chemo treatment and I was able to visit with her for a couple of hours. When I got there she was already hooked up and ready to go. Without exaggeration, I can say she absolutely glowed. We chatted like two magpies for a couple of hours..... Just catching up. It was a great visit. As I drove away from the Treatment Center, I thought to myself about what a great attitude she has. She has met this giant face to face and hasn't even flinched. It is so refreshing to see faith in action. She is literally "Standing on the Promises of God" Unstoppable is when you go to encourage someone else and come away feeling inspired yourself. That's just the way she is. I love her to the moon and back and can't wait to see what God will do with her Unstoppable spirit.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Comfort Zone

The last couple of years or so, I had been convinced that God was done with me.... I was of no use to him as I held no spiritual value. I thought God had tossed to me the side like people do to each other. I wasn't interested in investing in new relationships.  I get a visual of God watching me with his arms crossed, tilting his head and saying.... "Really? You think that's how this works?" With quite a bit of attitude I might add. So, God did what God does...  He stirred things up like an Eagle does her nest. It felt as if he had literally tossed me into the wind like an Eagle teaching her young to fly. Trust me.... It may sound idyllic when you read about it in Deuteronomy 32:10-11, but when it happen in real life, it's terrifying!! Did I flounder? Oh yes I did. I had lived in the shadows of others for so long, I couldn't imagine being left hanging, no security in sight. Nothing will bring out your insecurities and fill you with self-doubt like being uprooted from your comfort zone.  I wish I could say that I didn't bat a lash. I wish I could say I just spread my wings and began to soar.... But that would be as far from the truth, as the east is from the west. Comfort zones aren't healthy. I had taken a backseat, and even worse, believed that's where I belonged. See, that's the whole problem with comfort zones. Comfort zones are to Christians, like rocking chairs are to babies.... They lull us to sleep. Living in the shadow of others, will make your eyelids heavy and before you know it you're just dozing away without a care in the world. That's not the life Christians are called to. We were created to be, not just conquerors', but more than Conquerors'. Imagine an army preparing to conquer a city. Do you get a picture of soldiers decked out in their pajamas, popping bonbons in their mouth? No. A conqueror has to be on their toes.... A conqueror has to be hyper aware of what's going on, not wrapped in a in blanket. How ridiculous would that look? Comfort zones are a great place to hide, but they aren't a great place to grow. Growing takes a lot of digging, a lot of culling, a lot of not so pleasant activities that stimulates us to adjust. The Church is a great comfort zone. The Church isn't suppose to be a comfort zone, it's supposed to be a safe place, but not necessarily a comfortable place. The church isn't the building.... We are the Church and as such, we are to be mobile. Sure, the Church comes together as one, for encouragement and to be spiritually fed, but the Church isn't the battlefield. The battlefield, the ground to be gained lies outside the doors of the church where things aren't always pre-planned and well rehearsed. The Church building is where we dress for battle, but it isn't where the battle takes place.

So what did I do? I questioned everything and everyone around me.  I wanted to completely disappear from life as I knew it. As Dr. Seuss would say, I puzzled and puzzled until my puzzler was sore, and then I puzzled just a little bit more. I went through a time of doubting God, myself and others. Then ever so slowly God began to push a little here, nudge a little there, and before I knew it He whispered in my ear..... "It's not that I don't understand..... It's just that I don't care, because where you were at, isn't where I needed you to be..." and slowly he began to open my sleepy eyes,  dry my pitiful tears, and direct my timid steps (which are ordered by him), to new places, with new faces.  He assured me that I had a purpose just as crucial as anything as anyone else. He has done a great work in me.  He has healed my wounds, strengthened my wings and is teaching me to soar with the big birds. He has made it apparent that I have not been tossed aside. He has prepared me for such a time as this with a kingdom purpose. He has spoken to me and through me... Little ole back seat me. He has shown me that value I have in Him, and so much more so since he kicked me out of my comfort zone. He didn't leave me in a free fall, he swooped down and caught me on his wings until I had gained confidence. He carried me until I wasn't afraid to forge new relationships. Looking back now I know he had never left me behind, but he was always  behind me.

Sweet ones..... The greatest lie Satan can tell you, is you are of no worth. I assure you every one of you have a purpose. There are no big I's or little u's in the kingdom of God. We are all meant to be conquers' of big things, little things, and every day things. You have value and I hope you realize it before you have a nest stirring experience. Get out and get going.... You have places to go, people to meet and things to be done in His name. Start now before he jump starts it for you.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Brambles and the Briars

I've often referred to the journey of life as a tapestry. On one side, you have a plethora of colors, weaving and intersecting in what looks like nothing but tangled knots. When you turn the frame around, what was a tangled mess, emerges as a beautiful picture. That is still the way I prefer to look at life. It may be messy, but in the end a beautiful life will emerge. But when you are in the thick of things, when you are going through the tough stuff....  Life doesn't feel like a tapestry, it feels like you have stumbled into a thicket of brambles and briars. You can't escape life without some bumps and bruises, a little bleeding and scars. Our Savior didn't escape the tough stuff.

The brambles and the briars can be anything that knocks you off your feet, something that jerks the rug right out from under you sending you in a free fall.  They are the failed relationships, broken promises, and unfulfilled dreams that haunt us in our darkest hour. They are illnesses and unexpected deaths that shatter our lives and disrupt the foundation of all that we know. They are the despair you feel when your career tanks, sinking the ship that hasn't quite come in.  They are "the things" that happen to other people until you look up to find them roosting on your doorstep with no warning. They consist of  wild thorns and sharp words, that pierce your heart, ripping wounds so deep you surely think you will not survive. But survive you will. The tough times are not times of beauty, for we cannot see the big picture and often cannot see or feel the hand of God. It isn't until we can look back with tearless eyes and vision that isn't clouded by pain and emotions, that we see them for what they are... A learning place... A kneeling place.

In time.... After you've fought your way through the brambles and briars and back onto a path of healing, that you may gain clarity regarding such a painful time.... Well, sometimes clarity will come, but some times you just have to trust that when the sun begins to shine, you will look back and see some sort fruit or lovely blossoms on the thorny branches that once ripped holes in your heart. Sometimes the fruit is sweet, sometimes it is bitter, but there are always lessons to be learned in the thicket of the briars. There will be scars.... But scars can tell a beautiful story.... A story of healing, a story of hope.

The brambles and the briars in my life may be different than the ones in your life. It is so difficult to watch someone you know struggle through these patches in life. If you've ever been there, you want desperately to gently remove them from the thorns that are ripping every fiber of their heart.  But free them you can't.... All you can do is to be there for them... To be a safe place for them to go to when they are still so tender.  You can meet them where they're at, with no judgement. You can be open arms that embrace the hurting with the healing ointment of unconditional friendship.  You can be the one who whispers God's promises in their ear... To remind them to be gentle to themselves as they heal. You can be an encourager for nothing will zap your courage like the brambles and the briars.  I like it when I can make them smile, for I remember all too well, that smiles can be few and far between when you are tangled in the brambles and the briars.