Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Where Do You Go....?

Isn't this a striking image? Right now the hills are SO green; but this photo was taken in August. The important element in this image is the fog. I live below the fog. Sometimes I feel like I am in a fog mentally, emotionally, spiritually. Where do you go when you are "in a fog"? Do you turn to food? To friends? To TV to distract you from the fog?

This picture reminds me of beautiful words that help me get above the fog: "I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from where shall my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, nor the moon by night. The Lord will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The Lord will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever."

Reading these words and seeing this picture remind me that even when there is an evident fog: struggles, illness, weariness, loss, grief; God is still here with us and wants us to look to Him for the sustenance we need in our "fog". It is SO GOOD to be reminded of truth daily and throughout our days.

So where do you go....?

Monday, March 29, 2010

How do you handle...

I have been allowing too many distractions to sidetrack me from using my time "wisely". (A purely subjective term!) I like routine but I'm not married to it as my husband says. But lately I have had more challenges from distractions and I need help!

I want to set aside time to write more. In this season of life I have the margin to actually do this. Yet I find more and more "opportunities" to do things for others, or the need to connect with friends, or even clean the bathrooms instead of sitting down to the keyboard and writing!

How do you handle distractions? What strategies do you have for saying "No" to things that come your way that sidetrack you from your routine? What do you do to get back on track?

I would seriously love your input!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

We Need Reminding

"We are also praying that we will be able to live well this life of uncertainty that we have been asked to walk."
This is a quote from Aaron and Holly McCrae whose daughter Kate is battling a rare form of brain cancer. Their journey has been both heart wrenching and heart warming as they have shared with others all that Kate and their family are going through.

I have been a behind the scenes pray-er during this season God has them in; I have not met them. Good news is, in God's economy knowing someone personally is not a prerequisite for ministering to them through prayer.

We need reminding though. We get so caught up in our lives and circle of influence that we lose sight of how vast God's perspective is. We need reminding that the needs of others far out weigh our own. We need to lift our eyes to the hills to see where our hope comes from.

So this is your reminder today. Check out the link, pray for Kate and the McCrae family and others who you may be aware of who have needs greater than your own. Join in with God's perspective on the world. It is an eyes wide open journey for sure!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

"I Dwell in Possibilities"

Fascinating quote, "I dwell in possibilities". I think a road from somewhere to I don't know where gives a visual expression to Dickinson's quote. What is happening in your life right now that a picture like this is appealing? Or is it discouraging because you want to go somewhere but don't sense possibilities? Where are you heading?

These and questions like them are the undercurrent that may bubble up for you every once in awhile. They are worth your time to consider. What if the season that you are in right now is nearing an end? What is next for you? Or perhaps the season you are in is very difficult and you want it to end! What are the possibilities around the bend?

Engage with me... let's get in the conversation!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Emerson Inspiration

Cleaning out files and organizing clutter are two things I avoid regularly. Tonight I am alone and decided to tackle my desk files. One file titled "Summer Fun" had a collection of ideas for activities to do with my sons when they were 10 and 3 (they are now 21 and 15 to give you an idea of how much I avoid cleaning out files!). Included in the file was a quote that I had typed and printed. It was worth it then and it's worth sharing now. Plus this gives me a distraction from the pile of files on my desk!

"To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a little better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is the meaning of success." Ralph Waldo Emerson

So by these standards, how is your success rating?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Surprised By God

Monday I met a friend for coffee at the local Peet’s coffee shop. The seating was typically busy but we were able to snag a table just as another couple of gals were leaving. She and I sat there enjoying the ambiance and talking a mile a minute about kids, the recent high school dance that our freshmen sons attended, her birthday, you name it.

One of the other patrons seated nearby got up and packed up his things. As he started to pass our table he tapped me on the shoulder and told me he felt he was supposed to give me this piece of paper. He handed me a folded sheet of notebook paper. He looked rather tentative as he handed it to me. I opened it glancing to the last two sentences of the handwritten page. In a lovely manuscript were the words: “You are blessed AND a wonderful blessing. You reflect the Beauty of the Lord. I looked up at him and smiled. I thanked him for taking the time to write these words of encouragement and to risk giving them to me a stranger. He smiled broadly and said “I knew I was to give you this letter!” I told him that it is an encouragement to me just to see someone obey the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Now I don’t recall a spiritual statement in the 45 minutes that we had been sitting there (which is a sad testimony in and of itself!) and I had never seen that man before. I was stunned into silence as he walked away. I handed my friend the letter and she read the following aloud:

“You are a woman of stability yet there are times you think your stability has made you rigid and unfeeling. This is not true. You are a woman of great compassion, generosity and sensitivity. There is much fruitfulness in your life- you are surrounded by it don’t lose sight of it.

Your children- you feel you’ve done your best and that is true but there is more. Your prayers are powerful and will be continually used to shape, mold and protect their lives.

There are some hidden things you would like to do- to accomplish deep down- don’t count them out- pursue those dreams- brush aside the thoughts that you are egotistical, prideful- they are dreams that are heavenly given.

There is much more ahead of you- continued and expanding fruitfulness.

There is a gift of wisdom- it is the lifelong emulation of other women you’ve known and others you’ve read about.

Through your graciousness it will have lifelong & life changing effects on others.

You are blessed AND a wonderful blessing. You reflect the Beauty of the Lord.”

You might think that this is a pretty neutral letter and could apply to anyone, except for the facts that the three issues addressed, stability, children and dreams have been issues that I have been agonizing over in my times with the Lord. Knowing those details made me all the more aware that these were words specifically for me.

Why do I share them with you? So many reasons bubble up in my mind but one for sure is that you would know that God is personally interested in your life! He desires your time and cares about you! He really does know and have plans for you!

You may be the vessel to encourage a stranger. Don’t neglect the prompting of the still small voice.

You may be the one who needs the encouragement. Keep your eyes and ears tuned into God; He is at work! That encouragement may come in the most out of the box way.

Be fervent in your prayers. God’s timing is not ours, but it is perfect! Never early, never late but right on time!

I would love to hear your thoughts about this experience, or even better to hear how God has surprised you.