Thursday, October 3, 2013

New Day

October has long been my second favorite month (after April), but this one is off to a bit of a different start as I find myself in a time of transition.

I was laid off from my job last month and thus far, while I've had some strong leads, I haven't discovered that next step in my career.  However, I have been surprised by the level of ... relief I have experienced in the past few weeks.  Every human fiber of my being has known this is a very odd reaction to losing my main source of income, but my spirit, for the most part, has remained still.

This morning I opened my devotional and found the message to the left.  I strive to have the kind of response to obstacles that the message describes, frequently falling short, but I think maybe, just maybe this could explain the stillness in my spirit.  It's having that sense of peace that defies all logic so that you know it has to come from God.

Let me tell you what that peace does not look like.  It does not look like someone who never feels overwhelmed, who is always smiling and happy or someone who never cries.  There may be people who are able to pull that off, but I am not one of them.  I believe God created us to feel and while we must take responsibility for our emotions and for the reactions we allow to stem from those, I cannot imagine He ever intended us to bottle them up and pretend to be happy.

I don't know about you, but I tend to be somewhat suspicious of people who are always smiley and happy.  Maybe that's the cynicism of my generation talking, but rarely have I encountered someone who is that way and simply seems at peace (and there's a big difference in someone who has joy and peace and someone who is wearing a happy mask).

At least in my life, peace that passes all understanding, frequently looks more like calm, still waters.  It's almost more of a vibe you can feel coming off of someone than a certain way they present themselves.  Also, it looks like optimism.  For me, choosing to see this closed door as an opportunity rather than an obstacle reaffirms that sense of peace.

Peace that comes from God does not void out all of the problems in your life.  Instead it alters the way you react to them.  While I believe that human reaction to panic or be upset is still there, I also believe those moments shortened the more we pause, take a deep breath and whisper "I trust you Jesus".  Eventually, "I trust you" will replace that knee-jerk reaction of panic in our minds.  And with that comes peace.

So, where does the road ahead lead?  I have no idea.  But I'm kind of excited to see what the coming days bring.  I would have never imagined myself in the place I've been the past two years, but it's been a major learning experience and that is never a bad thing.

Just a thought...


Tuesday, July 23, 2013


When we're seeking God's guidance, sometimes we ask for confirmations.  Well, at least I know I do.  It's one of those things I think, as a human, that when you're inching toward a limb, you want to know that you should walk out onto it before you actually do.

However, sometimes confirmation comes in the form of an ouch.  Especially if you've ignored a previous urging that was placed in your spirit.  Then not only can confirmations be uncomfortable, so can the promptings to move forward.

I know I have been known to get comfortable in a situation that I knew was only supposed to be temporary.  And when that happens it takes a certain level of discomfort to propel me forward.  And I do believe that we have seasons in our lives and that things happen the way they do for a reason.  But change is part of growth and really just part of life.  Change is good.  Resisting change and clinging to what we've become familiar with can be detrimental.

But back to confirmation...

Sometimes we ask for confirmation and in our minds what we mean is we want like some awesome thing to happen and that can be our confirmation.  Confirmations don't always appear like that - sometimes they hurt.  Maybe because it's unexpected?  I'm not sure.

Slightly painful or not, I think it is important (once your emotions die down - and make no mistake, that can take some time) to take a deep breath and just say "Okay God.  I knew this is what you were telling me and you have confirmed it for me.  Thank you."

Just a thought.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Let it Go

There are some days when you get up and in the deepest part of your being you know it's going to be a rough one.  You have no idea what lies ahead of you, but something in your spirit is telling you to pause and consider calling in.  Every time I ignore that tug, I regret it.  So you would think by now I would have learned not to ignore it.

But sometimes the real challenge in that moment (I believe) is to acknowledge that urging and to step forward into your day anyway.

Now because of my personal beliefs, I feel it is in the midst of that uneasy feeling that God is whispering "Trust me.  I will not let you go."

As human beings it can be really easy in those moments when everything starts to go down hill at top speed, to beat ourselves up.

"Why didn't I stay home?"  "How could I have made such a stupid mistake?" "Why can't I seem to get it together?"  "What did I ever do to land myself here?"  Because nothing is going "the way that it's supposed to."

But we live in a broken world.  One that will never be perfect, no matter how hard we push for what's "supposed" to be.  That ended with Adam & Eve in the Garden and until the end of time as we know it, this is the struggle we will face.

I think about it a lot actually.  How we so easily get caught up in the way we know things should be.  And I believe there's a very good reason for that.  I think the way it was "supposed to be" is encoded in our DNA and if it wasn't, we might not understand the truth of our imperfection.  For we are imperfect creatures.

But we are also beautiful to God - even with our imperfections - so much so that He gave us Jesus.  The ultimate example of grace (getting what we do not deserve) and mercy (not getting what we do deserve).  And we are supposed to strive to be like Him.  To love like Him.

Which is of course impossible for us to ever reach that while we are in this flesh.  But it does not mean we don't try.  Because we should try to love like Him.

But back to "supposed to"...

In my own life I am at least three different kinds of NOT where I am "supposed to be".  And it drives me crazy.  I hate it.  In part because I spend a lot of time and energy futilely trying to fix it quickly.  But I am learning...

In the last three months I have begun to slow down.  To breathe in the space I am in.  And to attempt to move at a reasonable pace to where I would like to be.  Sometimes the only road ahead takes us back to a place where we don't want to be.  A place that feels like a step backwards.  But (at least in my case) once I stopped for a minute and considered that it's not a step backwards because it's not exactly the same.  I am not the same.

And that is important because it is a step toward understanding how to let go of "supposed to" and to move on to what "is".  Which lends value to the world around us; helps us appreciate the blessings in our lives today.  And that is a very good thing.

Just a thought.


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Time for Some Action

I've been thinking a lot about the future and the past lately.  The pastor at the church I attend did a sermon last week talking about second chances, but in the bigger scheme of life.  He also talked a lot about taking action instead of only praying about things and waiting for a tangible, obvious answer.

It is most definitely good to pray over something and to take time to think things through, but it is also important to take actions.  And to take risks.

In my own life, I am realizing that sometimes in order to just cope with the current reality, I find myself putting a band-aid (if you will) on a problem that essentially needs a more drastic course of action.  I also know I'm  not alone in this predicament.

Today I was talking with a friend about how sometimes you have to just do something entirely different than whatever it is you've been trying.  And while I have many moments where I wish I could pull up Google and ask it what to do next, I realize that I can't no matter how much I'd like to - I simply need to try something different.

Sometimes I think God leads us down a very non-traditional path to where we are heading so that we not only learn to trust, but so that we can actually see that all of our self-doubt has no foundation whatsoever.  That we really can be or do so much more than we could ever dream or imagine.

Just a thought.