Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Don't curse the speed bumps in your life!

Psalm 46:10
Cease striving [let go, relax] and know that I am God.”


Hurry up and wait. 


The stuff of life. 

Rush to get to the appointment only to wait in the ‘waiting room’.
Rushing down the freeway just to ‘wait’ in traffic.
Our foot alternating between the accelerator and the brake, back and forth.

And so it is with our life --
accelerating through one thing after another, and then a whole lotta waiting in between.

Waiting for that deal to go through.
For the check to show up.
For the graduation.
The career break.
The Book Deal.

The 'speed bumps' of life are helpful along our journey, they help us slow down long enough to take a glance around...to notice…to  actually ‘see’ our surroundings.





As opposed to flying past them, wind in our hair...only to catch a glimpse of them through our rear view mirror.






Name a speed bump you’ve recently gone over that helped you slow down long enough to appreciate some things (or people) you’ve been flying by on a regular basis. Thank Him for that blessing that ‘appeared’ as just an inconvenience at first glance.





Monday, April 14, 2014

Tick Tock

James 4:14
“Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what may happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears [into thin air].”


Flickering flames in my fireplace, dog by my feet, and the clock ticks louder than I’ve ever noticed before. Is it because I’m listening now? It’s always been there, hasn’t it? Yet sitting here quietly ‘in tune to’ this room I’ve spent almost every day in for the past 11 years!



Amazing what you hear.
Surprising what you see…
‘reallllly’ see.

The pictures on the mantle representing a moment -- a snapshot.

The dash that lies between birth - death.
The in-between.
Representative of time.

Back to that loud clock again…that reminder. It’s still ticking. It never takes a break. Even if the battery dies, the other clocks demand that it catch up. They aren’t waiting for it.

 

Time doesn’t wait.
It’s not patient.
It doesn’t slow down as you breathlessly try to make up for lost time.
It just forges ahead despite how desperately you may need it to just pause, just for a moment.
It’s not in its nature, it wasn’t built for that.

So knowing that is NOT a characteristic of time…to ‘wait’ that is…why are we putting that requirement on it? One that will never be.

It’s like a wave, it keeps going. You can ride it, make the most of it, capitalize on what it was made for, but don’t treat a wave like a wall. It wasn’t built that way. And don’t treat time like a monument, it’s still moving like that wave.

Enjoy it.
Surf in it.
Revel in the beauty that it creates, but don’t be disappointed when it doesn’t fulfill what it was never designed to do.

Speaking of that, don’t be disappointed when people don’t accomplish what they were never designed to do…fulfill you. God can do that, fully.  

‘People’ never will.
‘Things’ certainly won’t.
‘Careers’ will fall short.

Let the fact that they weren’t designed to fulfill or ‘complete’ you (as Jerry McGuire so lovingly exclaimed) direct you back to the One who can. You value that relationship so much more as you recognize how He never fails, never disappoints and doesn’t fall short.

Recall how a person, a thing, or a career let you down this week. Then study God’s character and realize how consistent and faithful He is.  Let Him fulfill you as He was designed to do...it sure takes the pressure off of everyone else to keep you happy on any given day, phew!  That's a tough job for anyone ;)






Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Are you in sync? (No, not the boy band! ;-/

Revelation 21:5
“Behold, I make all things new.”


Was syncing my iphone to my computer today because I had to ‘reset’ all my settings. (Because of a problem with my camera not focusing properly.) Hubby said it would erase all of my original settings, so I needed to back them up.

Once I transferred all of the data from my phone onto the computer, it literally wiped out my wallpaper – my photo that is on my lock screen and home screen.

I was visualizing how when we ‘plug into God’ and download all the stuff going on inside of us – he can literally wipe out mental pictures of how we viewed things before. The ‘lock screen’ in our head. 

He can wipe the slate clean!

And we can replace the old pictures with newer and better ones.
Ones that are beneficial, not harmful.
Ones that contribute to my life, not subtract.
Pictures of healing – not injury.

And He helps us edit the pictures to make them brighter and not so dreary and dismal.

I’m thankful for a God who lets us transfer our old photos --
our old patterns of thinking, and allows us to trade them in to get a whole new view.  Pretty cool exchange! (Of course we sometimes battle trying to go back and retrieve the old snapshots...to dwell on the past!)

I know, I know…easier said than done.

But possible.

Misery IS an option…if we so choose.

What pictures would you like to wipe out of your memory? Consider downloading them to God and then press delete.



 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Sorry God, I'm just too busy for You (is what we are implying)

Hebrews 11:6
“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”


I woke up the other morning…still groggy, and a verse out of nowhere just popped into my head:

“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

What??  Where'd THAT come from?! It was strange, I literally was just waking up so I’m not even sure what prompted the thought.  (especially before my cup of coffee)  I mean it would make more sense after hearing a Sunday sermon.  I don’t even remember the last time I’ve even read that verse OR heard it mentioned. 

Then this morning I opened up my devotional and there it was again:

“He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

So I camped out on the verse for a while thinking about it.
It kinda seemed selfish to want to be rewarded for spending time with Him, as if I’m looking for a handout.  A payment for services rendered.  Or maybe having an ulterior motive for wanting to ‘do my time’ as if it were a duty... and expecting to be compensated in return for my grand efforts.

But then I thought of the benefits I just naturally receive by spending time in His Word.

I get that ‘peace that surpasses all understanding’. (Boy is that needed when life throws you a curve ball.)

I get verses that I can recollect in my mind because I’ve gone over and over them time and again.  

I get reminded of all that He went through: 

Betrayed by some of those closest to Him.
Misunderstood.
Accused of things not even true.
Mocked.
Abused.
Abandoned.


(to name just a few...not to mention crucified.)

Then I think of whatever I may be facing or have to face in the future and I’m comforted knowing all that He has endured. I can face whatever comes my way, by His strength that He has imparted to me.



Those are pretty amazing ‘rewards’ I’d say!



I looked up Diligent: 

-constant in effort to accomplish something;
-attentive and persistent in doing anything;
-done or pursued with persevering attention;
-painstaking.

Then I asked myself…”Am I constantly, attentively, persistently pursuing with persevering attention and painstakingly seeking God?”

“Or no???”

Those ‘rewards’ He is talking about don’t come by accident…if I just ‘casually’ check in with Him on Sunday morning. Not by a half-hearted, check off the ‘To Do List’ bible reading. It takes a lot of intentional pursuing…some down-right ‘diligent’ seeking! A passionate pursuit.

There are NOT a lot of things we can hold on to that are…

steady and sure,
reliable always,
and very consistent. 

But His Word is! 

Talkin’ about the greatest stabilizer!  When life has you spinning out of control, His assurances are sometimes the ONLY thing holding you together. That’s definitely a reward worth pursuing, because we are gonna need it
if not now, soon.



What is one activity you could give up, to make time this week to ‘diligently’ seek Him?   (Maybe giving up 'sleeping in'??  Uhhhh, or not ;)






Thursday, April 3, 2014

My Birthday girl!

So my youngest, Sierrah, turned 14 today.



What you may not know is that when I was pregnant with her, her Grandpa Harry died 3 times and was revived during that pregnancy.  I just HAD to name her after him.  (but she definitely didn't look like a 'Harry' ;)

So we wrote it backwards. 
Then added a Hebrew middle name, Kaelyn, which means 'Beautiful Sweetheart'... and she became:

Sierrah Kaelyn :  Grandpa Harry's Beautiful Sweetheart...and THAT she was!

It seemed fitting.

She does have a 'sweet heart' that girl.
She is fiercely loyal when it comes to her friends. 
She sees the best in them, and has extreme empathy when they struggle.

During our last earthquake, she was more scared for her bunnies than she was for herself.

She is the biggest hugger I know, and always ready to give one. (Ask any member of our family ;)

She's had over 10 animals...I've lost count!  But she has loved them all well.

She has quite the social calendar because I think she is fun and loveable and quite amusing to be around.   I actually used to write down the funny things she would say because they cracked me up!

Although it's hard to see her growing up and becoming less dependent on me as a mom, it's every mom's wish for their child to spread their wings and fly.  Right?  (sorry, still trying to convince myself!)

To become independent. 
But more importantly...to become God dependent!

I'm grateful that she has a personal relationship with the God who made her. 
That she makes it a priority to spend time with Him.
And that we don't have to drag her to Youth Group...she's more upset at the thought she might NOT be able to go.

Here's a little ditty I just read that sums it all up:

 
I love all the unique ways God has made my Sierrah Kaelyn ... celebrate the unique ways he has made you AND your little ones!









Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Are you riding the 'current'?

Psalm 37:7
“Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him.”


So I scouted out this spot down at my Lake, by the beach – couldn’t get any better than this! 

Cool breeze,
waves with tiny white caps,
ducks bobbing up and down with the current. 

Resting. 

So unlike us. 

We fight the ‘current’… the ‘now’. 

The ‘present’. 

We try to paddle past it. Get to the next stage, the next tomorrow, before we’re even done with ‘today’.

Such restless souls scurrying to and fro, seeming so busy, so important, so rushed.

We wear it as a badge of honor, like it’s a credential.

We frame it like a diploma…I’ve completed my degree in ‘Busyness’. 

I’ve finished the course.



But what to show for it?



Blood pumping faster through my veins?

Half-hearted listening to little ones who want to give you every detail. (Inside thinking, “Get to the point!’ ‘Are you done yet?’)

Yet missing THEM.
Completely.
Not engaging.

The fisherman seems to have it right. He’s not paddling. He’s bobbing up and down WITH the current.

Peaceful. Waiting. Trusting.

Oh to be that way in my walk with God.

Peaceful. Not frantic...not manic. 

Waiting.

Not trying to get it for myself, but waiting on Him. 

Trusting. Not worrying that I must fend for myself. (like the 2 year old who exclaims, ‘I do it myself!’ thinking he knows best.)

Trusting the very Big God of the Universe, and the very personal God of my soul. Trusting He will accomplish in me what I could never manipulate and finagle myself.

Do we really think so highly of ourselves to make a better life for us than the Creator of the whole world could?

How prideful.
How arrogant and self-assured.
How human of us.

He created me.  He knows how I best operate. (He wrote my Owner’s Manual) Yet I want to grab the reigns, take over the steering wheel and prop Him in the backseat!

He can be my GPS, make suggestions that I can choose to ignore while I take another route…a quicker way. To avoid the traffic of life. 

Maybe God’s way is IN the traffic. 

Backed up cars, making me wait.
Trying my patience,
Slowing me down.

BUT I want to go around.

Avoid the wait.

But missing the growth.



When was the last time you ignored your GPS and ended up very lost? Be mindful of the fact that when we ignore God’s directions, we too will find ourselves very lost.