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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Buoyancy in the moment.

Some days it feels as though I'm short on life preservers.

When I look in all directions there is someone who needs one.....perhaps they aren't drowning but they could use a lift, a break, a rest.....my first instinct is always to run headlong in to save the day with my cape waving in the breeze behind me.  What is it those flight attendants always say? Put on your own oxygen mask first, or you can't help the people around you...  I'm learning that my knee jerk reaction, to run in and save the day, isn't always the best response.   It's a response led by me, not Him.  Long ago a wise woman told me it's not always my job.  That by trying to rescue everyone, every time, I may actually be hurting them.  Training them to rely on me too much. Stealing opportunities for others to step in and be a blessing.   Stop trying to be everything to everyone.  People need to flounder before they will fight to swim.

I think I've gotten better but it hasn't gotten easier.  What I have learned is to not jump too quickly to respond.  To evaluate where I am most needed.....making sure that the needs of my family come first and that they are my first priority.  "No" is a hard word to say to anyone I care about...even when I know I need to say it.   It doesn't yet come out eloquently or as directly as it should.  I've also learned not to offer help unless I intend to follow through.  Unless I CAN.  This too is tough to not spit out the ready response of "let me know if you need anything".  

This season is teaching me that being fully in the right now, moment to moment, is where I need to learn to be.  Abandoning my own plans, great or small.  To be freed up to hear Him and do as He asks.

In this moment, I feel silenced.  Perhaps I would be too reactive....instead of responsive.  Perhaps He has plans to use someone else.  Whatever it is doesn't matter.  I'm trying to stay out and stay quiet until He ushers me forward.   It's not comfortable but that crazy sense of peace, that is only from Him, is there so I know its right.

Be buoyant.  Stay put.  Listen.  Watch.  Wait.  Shhh.   Be still.

Okay.  Teach me.



Blessings,
the Mrs.



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

the purge

The purging process is interesting.  Much more so this time than the last.

There is a different thought process this time.  One that has surprised me.  Detaching emotions from things. This has been a hard one for me in the past.  Things tend to help trigger memories for me that might otherwise be lost.  Perhaps this marks a growth point....finally accepting that my brain injury will simply mean that some moments aren't meant to last for me but a memory meant for someone else to hold.  There is a freedom in simply being in the moment and not desperately trying to create something that will last.   There is something beautiful about not trying to secretly put the pieces together in my head, pretending to remember what someone is talking about and instead....simply asking them help me remember.

The first wave of the purge resulted in filling the back of my husbands car.  Books, movies, dishes, clothes and perhaps the item that surprised the most people....my wedding dress.  Yep.  It's gone.  My daughter stripped off a piece of the lace from the waist and that was all she wanted to keep.

How did I do it?  I started asking why.  I asked what the real value was....but NOT the monetary value of the item.   The REAL value, to me, is in the space.  The real reason I'm getting rid of things.   To be free of them, to claim space and peace and less to take care of.  To free my mind of the mental clutter objects hold.

So when I went through the sheets I kept only two summer sets and two winter sets for each bed.  No more. I went through towels and got rid of over 50% of them after finding that I had two stacks that had not been touched in over 2 years.  We now have roughly 8 bath towels for our family of four.  I've now moved several old towels into the laundry area to be re-purposed for rags and dog baths.  I replaced several washcloths that had gotten old and yucky with some that were on sale for $4 for a stack of 4 and purchased 2 new bath towels to round out the number of towels kept to be of equal quality.

I've cleaned out under our bed and gotten rid of a number of things that hadn't seen the light of day in 9 years.  Our unity candle set and stand being one of those items.  I found old post cards I'd kept from my grandmothers things, I originally kept them thinking one day I'd make something neat with them or they "might be worth something".  That is one of those tricks of the mind that gets us to keep junk.  Who defines worth?  I'd invited friends to come and look through the heaps of things I'd purged to see if anyone found anything to be of use to them.   The result was humorous.  They all mentioned that they had caught the purge bug too and didn't want to bring more things into their homes.  Then, one sweet friend started in on "but you can't get rid of this! It's probably worth something!"  Right then and there I felt that tug the world has and as I felt it I laughed.  Here I wasn't being chided about how I was donating an expensive wedding dress to goodwill but that I was getting rid of those old postcards.  "Sell them on Ebay! Bring them into an antique store!"  That's not worth my time.  Suddenly I began to feel very clear about what I considered valuable and what has worth to me.  This wasn't it.   Spending time to research or bring them somewhere had no value or worth to me, it would defeat the purpose of what I was doing.  The value was in them not being in my home.  Not being in my space.  Not being in my home, my mind, or my control.

The value was in cutting the tie.

I'm not sure if I'm talking about this purging process more than I feel like I am or what is happening but there are several people in my life making comments that what I'm doing is spreading.  They are initiating conversations with me about getting rid of things, paring down their belongings and then telling me that it is spreading out to other people they know.  Comments about my strength in emotionally detaching from things and being able to get rid of things that have sentimental value.  ....that one puzzles me.....I'm not sure if it's my perspective that is off, or theirs.  Most of the time the object doesn't have sentimental "value" but guilt attached.  I think I'm starting to sort out what that is for me.  The difference between keeping something I love because it has a pleasant memory and keeping something because whats attached is "how could you get rid of that?  It was _____'s!"  The fact that something is silver, gold, crystal or was previously owned by someone is of no consequence to me.  An object is only as valuable as the level of enjoyment I have in it.  That is it.  I no longer want to keep things because someone gave them to me and might be offended if I don't keep it.  If that's why something is on a shelf then the only thing on display is guilt, not beauty and certainly not enjoyment.

The first load of purged items are now gone.  I've taken a few weeks to enjoy the last bits of summer, a week away with family, allowing my body to rest after another bout of pain and reflecting on where I am with Him.....where we are together and what He is teaching me in this process.

School starts next week and I'm looking forward to the structure that provides to the day.  The time and solitude it lends.  I'm excited to get back into purging more of the house as well....maybe even more, what I will learn in the process.

Blessings,
the Mrs.


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Finding the basics

Finding contentment.

It comes in stages.  A step here, a mistep there. Learning that even when we are retracing our steps we are still moving forward, not back.

Understanding that contentment comes from being in the moment instead of anticipating the one to come.

The Lord was good to tell me to Be Buoyant this year.  The waves have carried battle after battle during the first half of the year.  Currently it seems as if there has been a dramatic shift.  The waves have been silenced and I find myself looking out on waters still as glass.  Gently shifting to look in all directions and in awe of the clarity that is left in the absence of waves.

What I observe is how I drifted from a particular way of living and thinking.  I find myself among varying levels of clutter.  Too many things had found their way in to the home.  Too many distractions had found their way into my time and my mind.....occupying way too much space.

Again I find myself purging our home of all manner of useless things.  Things I thought had some sentimental value but really just sat hidden in a cabinet.  Did I think I would be thought heartless to discard something simply because it belonged to someone?   Did I think that somehow a piece of them would live through my ownership of an item that had no other use?

There was a time when "things" were only as good as their practical use and service.  I lost that somewhere along the line.  Time to find it and look at things differently.  It is so much easier to let go of things when you can see them simply for their usefulness.  The openness in cabinets, closets and under beds is freeing.  Soon our home will be pared back down to the basic necessities.  The children will make their own choices in their rooms but for the rest of the house...back to basics.   No more holding on to materials from the 70's simply because I have fond memories of my mother connected to them.  Frankly they are hysterically hideous and I'd never make anything from them.  So why do I keep them?  Some lie that I'd somehow be tossing my mother aside by no longer owning them?  It's silly really but grief is an odd creature full of strange habits and ways of thinking.

Time to be done and rid of the ridiculous.  Some call it Minimalism or Simple Living....I guess I don't care what it's called, I just want what I know it comes with.  Freedom.  Time.  Space.  Gratitude.  Clarity.  Joy. Availability.  Authenticity.

When stuff clutters my home it clutters my mind as well.  I've known this always but here I am realizing all the sneaky buggers that have crawled into my life, mind and space.

The biggest revelation I've had has been the hardest one to come to a conclusion on how to handle.  I can easily toss 'things' in the garbage, this is not the issue.....it's the digital clutter I've become aware of.

The irony of the fact that I am blogging about discovering digital clutter is not lost on me.  

Every time I recall when I was at my mental best, my most productive, when I was most content and happy, when my relationship with the Lord was at it's most deep, clean, clear and in an intensely personal place....I go back to the little yellow house.  Tiny and old with the barest of necessities and our finances were just as bare. I've wondered time and again what it was....the season in life?....the desperate times?.....the horrible, no good, frightening neighborhood?   I've never really been able to put my finger on it....until the last two days.

I've spent the last two days home alone, for the first time in perhaps a decade.  The Lord, I feel, has been easing me into this place.  The last few weeks have been absurdly peaceful, quiet and simple.  Stillness has been a big part.  Stopping to just listen, evaluate life, why I do what I do, how I do what I do, what I want life to be and feel but also the pace at which I not only want to live but the pace at which I need to live.  A pace that allows the freedom to be available to others but also feeds my spirit, rests my mind and body and allows me to function at my personal best.  A pace that allows me to recognize when I am speeding up or drifting off course to please someone else's expectations.  To recognize when that same pleasing pulls me in a direction that is not authentically me.  When joining the masses of what is cool, normal and trendy tap the temple with temptation and suddenly you find yourself surrounded by things and quite discontent.   So where did that come from?  When did it start and how do I shut it off?

Suddenly I found myself staring quite clearly at the difference between now and then.  The birth of a digital life.  That little yellow house had never met Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.  They had not been born yet.  There was email and land lines.  We had no cell phones.  The highest percentage of my day was spent in silence with only the noises of children and perhaps the soft sounds of the local christian radio station coming from the kitchen.   There were no iPods or MP3 players.  We kept in touch with real people in our lives.....not people we used to know, people we don't see face to face.  Effort was placed on relationships in the here and now.  Cards, letters, emails, phone calls....not tweets and posts to boast of our latest meal or random tiny endeavor for the day.  Is opening or closing the windows really newsworthy?

Suddenly it all seemed a crazy ridiculous lump of clutter.   It was visual, tactile and mental.  Suddenly I wanted to delete it all.  Then I realized that it had actually become impractical to do that.  There had been wonderful things that had come out of digital interactions.  Relationships that benefited and grew through that digital media.  It wasn't all bad.  So how to move forward from here.....

I decided I needed to approach this purge a bit more slowly.  First I recognized that this was a legitimate habit that needed to be broken and it shouldn't be simply cut off cold turkey because it involves more than just me.  My first step was to go through facebook and unfollow pages and some people.  Break it down to the first level of basics.  I did the same on the other sites too.  Next I turned off all notifications that didn't involve direct contact.  That means Facebook, Twitter and Instagram - notifications were shut off.  iMessage, Messenger, Voxer and Email were left on - these are digital connections like a phone call, they must be done with personal, direct and intentional action on the part of the sender, so it stays.   Next I moved Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest into a file on my iPod touch (I do not have a cellphone) titled: Digital distractions and placed it on the second screen.  Therefore it takes at least two intentional actions to access them as well as seeing the words Digital Distraction to remind me.    

The benefits are already being felt.  I'm also seeing posts in a new way.  Sadly I'm seeing so much less real stuff than just junk....complaining, attention seeking....general negativity.   Suddenly I'm very aware that I want to go back to a time when everyone's life wasn't in my face so much.  Its funny how you can get so sucked in to something and not see it for what it really is.  How we can become so engaged in something in an oblivious way.  I confess I've been a Facebook addict.  I've refreshed my screen I don't know how many times just waiting for then next interesting tidbit to scroll on by.  Perhaps its the voyeurism of glimpsing in a window to see how someone really lives, looking through photo albums of a stranger until you've seen so many snapshots you feel like you "really know them".  We don't of course because we edit ourselves and post in a way that makes us appear one way or another.

Now I seek to find my balance between a full digital exit and just enough to stay conveniently connected with those who I want to stay connected with.  I have a feeling there will be more editing to come...there has certainly been a lot of "hiding" individuals.  I've made no grand announcements and probably won't...seems silly to announce to the world that you'll be voting them off the island.  They probably wouldn't notice anyway.

Maybe I'll be back to update you.....or maybe......

Blessings from the digital detox trenches,
the Mrs.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The redundant invitation.

When will Christians stop with the redundant invitation?
When will there be an awareness of how arrogant it is?
Would you consider going to your neighbors house, greeting them as you enter and then proceed to invite them to join you?
Well, that would be rude, wouldn't it?

Why is the same invitation made at church every Sunday?

"Father, we invite you to join us here today."  ....in Your house....that You gave us....on the planet You created.....and told us many times over how You are always with us.....Omnipresent God that You are....yeah, never mind....um.....ahem...can I join You?

God has no need for our arrogant invitations.  He's been waiting for our RSVP.

Christianise is a messed up language.  Its full of misdirecting phrases and stuff man made up.  What bothers me the most is that these phrases plant seeds in the minds of people....seeds of a false image of God.  I don't believe they are intended.....I think they are little phrases spoken ages ago that just somehow became accepted without being questioned.

Like the woman who cut off the ends of her pot roast.  (Tell me you haven't heard this story somewhere before....) Her daughter asks her mom why she cuts the ends off her pot roast....it seems a waste of meat.  The mom says "My mother always did it....so I do too."  The daughter asks why grandma did it.  The mom can't come up with an answer so she calls to ask and the answer is surprising.   "Well, my oven and my pan were small so I cut the ends off so it would fit."  

How often do we just accept things as truth, as necessary, without examination?

Where on earth did this theory come from that says we should invite God into our presence?  Why do people not see the arrogance of that?

I'll add another phrase "Give us more of you God....Send more of your Holy Spirit."

That one makes me bite my lip to keep from uttering "Do you really think God phones it in?  Is He really just kinda half-assing His presence right now?"

"God showed up."  Another face palm moment.  

God is all knowing, all powerful and fully present....everywhere, every time and at the same time.  God does not give of Himself in partiality.  He doesn't say "Well you folks don't raise your hands enough so I'm not going to bother hanging out too long."   No.  He only gives with the fullness of Himself.

WE, the ignorant, arrogant people of this planet are the ones who need to give of ourselves.  WE need to accept HIS invitation.  WE need to SHOW UP.  He is already there....has been since before time began.  This is His creation and we cannot, do not have the ability to stop Him from being right there with us...we are breathing His very breath.

When I hear people use these phrases I hear a message being taught....seeds being planted....that God has limitations.  That God is a God who can be blocked, that He is small enough that He needs our meager invitation.  That He is a God who chooses where to be present and how present to be....a God that is contrary to the God of grace.

It is we who show up in body but not in mind or heart.  Which is exactly what He asks for.

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."
Matthew 22:37 

When will we stop asking Him to do all the work and take responsibility for our part? He showed up before we did and He's waiting for us to show up.  God is fully present here in every molecule in and around us, waiting for us to be fully present and aware of Him.  God has no need for our invitation, He wants our RSVP.

Say yes.

Blessings for new awareness of the fullness of His presence, the expanse of His power and love and grace and for the courage to jump in with both feet.....because you know that He will catch you.  He never misses.

the Mrs.




Saturday, February 9, 2013

Who do you think you are?

I think everyone has that moment when they utter the words "who am I?"  Its a question that bubbles up from the depths of a soul.

When something is cracked and broken.

We are a culture that looks outside of ourselves to find our identity.  We seek labels and neat packaging with clear indicators of the contents.  We ask people who we are, who they think we are.  We eagerly wait for responses and for some reason.....we believe them.

It's taken as truth, generally unquestioned.  Until we have taken in so much conflicting "truth" that the labels and layers of packaging are so thick we really aren't sure of the contents anymore.

Then suddenly....something deep inside those layers cracks under the pressure and out bubbles "Who. Am. I.?"

When people tell us who they think that we are...shouldn't it be taken as a comment instead of a fact? ...something to be weighed and measured for truth, dismissed when false and simply taken as affirmation of what is already known if true.  But perhaps it simply says "In this moment, this is what I see in you."   And that in general often says more about the person delivering the comment.  They are telling you what you are to them, maybe what they see in you that is in themselves - whether they like it or not.

There are times where something ugly sprouts unnoticed.  We are always growing.  Frankly there are things, like weeds, that initially look like they could be a fruitful plant, so we watch....and wait to see what it emerges into.  Sometimes we don't notice that it's become something thorny and ugly and bears no fruit until it has matured and needs to be removed by the root so it doesn't return.  But this - this kind of uprooting, this kind of "commentary" that points out those weeds in our character can only be affirmed.....should only be affirmed by someone who isn't full of their own weeds.  Someone who can see you clearly.  Someone who can lovingly help you to pull the weed without damaging the fruitful plants around it.

Currently I find myself more secure in who I am than I have ever been in my life....perhaps its age...season in life....or the fruit of labor.  At the same time I find I am seeing people around me in crisis over who they are.  Desperately seeking the answer to the question: Who am I?

A friend posted this song: 


What struck me was...there is your answer.   When there is nothing left of us, when we are broken and on our knees and we find Him.....we find ourselves.  

When we try to "figure out who we are" we are typically looking with the eyes of the world.  What they see, what their measure for success is, the worlds measure of worth.  None of that matters.  

I am not worth X if I don't accomplish Y.   Who says?  Who says that you are not exactly what you were meant to be right here in this moment?  Do you honestly think that the God of the universe, the one who created you before time began, before you were even one single cell, didn't know you would be this beautiful mess right here right now?  You think He didn't know you'd make the mistakes you have?  You think He didn't already know you'd choose to compromise what He created you to be?  You think He wouldn't give you a way out?  No.

He made you.  You want to know who you really are?  Find Him.  Find your Creator and He will show you what He designed you to be.....a reflection of Himself.  He knew the flaws in yourself that you would add to His design but He wrote the program, so they aren't permanent....they can be corrected.  

The Lord is always before us but we have such a habit of looking behind us.  Trying to change where we laid our footsteps and calculate the 'what ifs' into something that might end in a more pleasing present.  

We cannot change the past.   We can learn from it, that is all.  

Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; give me life in Your ways."
~Psalm 119:37

Do not search for your identity in the eyes of people around you.  They didn't create you.  They don't see you completely.  The world tells us to "find ourselves"....honestly the way the world tells us to do so is to forget the world around us and look only at ourselves.  Focus deeply on "me".  Yes, there are seasons where we need to closely self-monitor.  When we are training new patterns and trying to uproot weeds, this does take some careful introspection to find them and get the whole root.  Guess who the ultimate gardener is?  
The first One.  
When we focus only on ourselves, the way the world would tell us to, our eyes are not on Him.  We make ourselves an idol before Him.....something we are carefully crafting independently from Him.  What that really is....what it really amounts to.....fruitless labor.  We cannot undo what He has created.  We cannot change the purpose He created us for....the purpose is still there.  Used improperly for a time perhaps, but the purpose still remains.  

We do so much out of selfish desire.  We whine "what about me" all too often.  You know, I think I've finally found out that when I am whining about me, that is the precise moment that I am the most miserable.  When I am in full out "its not about me" mode.....I am the most at peace.  I am the most confident and capable person when I am simply a serving vessel.  I'm sure I'll have those moments where I will slop out an exhausted "hey I'm over here, what about me"....we all will at some point and I'm nowhere near perfect.  But I think I finally get it.....when I make it about me....I make things miserable.  I wasn't designed for me, I was designed for Him....when I am all about Him....I fulfill my purpose and find contentment.

I am not who you say that I am.  What you think I am may affirm who He created me to be, but it does not define me.  Your label doesn't stick anymore.  The layers of packaging are disappearing and what is left is who He made.  Who He asks me to be.

Who are you?  
He's told you time and time again.
You are His.

You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek me with all your heart.
~Jeremiah 29:13

Blessings of beautiful brokenness that leads you to see who you really are....in His eyes only.
the Mrs.





Friday, January 25, 2013

Unlocked

There is something funny about silence.  You don't just listen, you hear more.
In a room you hear the rhythmic ticking of a clock passing time.....electronics running through cycles of reving up and cooling down....the sigh of a dog as it fully relaxes into sleep....the gurgling of my stomach.  Not necessarily the beautiful song of birds but hey...it's winter here in the tundra and we've been stuck in sub-zero temps for several days.  

In conversations you start to hear tones differently.  The emotions behind them come through more clearly. Often....maybe more often than people like....I notice that people are not aware that their tone speaks an entirely different language than their words.  A pleasant exchange about coffee or some trivial thing, for instance can reveal a tone that is speaking about being exhausted, frustrated and needing a break.  But in the context of the words....just sounds angry.

Then, there is phrasing.  The one that currently jumps out at me with flashing lights and fireworks "I am".  People have locked themselves into being stuck.  "I am not a good listener." "I am not good at asking questions."  "I am not organized." "I am not a runner." "I am afraid..."  "I am a jerk, prideful, arrogant, weak, easily manipulated, a failure, a doormat, hard to love, selfish, shy, insecure, damaged...."     In there, the message is "I can't and I won't try to change."  Perhaps it's more of a being scared to try to change, or being too lazy to put the effort forth or maybe just maybe.....it's a lie that got in there somehow, someway and it was believed.  Claimed as their own and there it sits in the illusion of truth.

The real truth is that the only thing you can't change is the past.  So when I catch myself saying things like "I am not good at asking questions."  I change my phrasing..."I haven't been good at asking questions, I'd like to change that."  I am what I choose to be.  I choose to grow and change and improve.  I choose to listen to my own language and when I catch myself claiming something as if it cannot be changed...I change that "I am" to reflect "In the past I haven't been known to be ________."   Because it's in the past.  It doesn't have to be who I am right now or in the future.

Every second is a new opportunity to choose differently.

Blessings for broken locks, wise choices and freedom to move forward into a new perspective.
the Mrs.


Tuesday, January 8, 2013

be buoyant

Well hello!  It's me!  Yer friendly, random blogger.  Yep I've been absent.  Things have gotten dusty and stale.  Well, lets crack a window and let some fresh air in.  Its a new year and what lays before us is nothing but opportunity.

I've never been one for "New Years Resolutions".  It's always felt synonymous with "things I'll never follow through on" so I've never given it much thought beyond that.  I don't intend to make any but the sentiment of reflecting on the past and preparing for the future by setting some goals resonates differently in the here and now.   

We are in a long term season of transition here.  Be buoyant....are words that resonate deep within me.  

Websters defines "buoyant" as the ability to float, lightheartedness.  Buoy, in connection, is defined as an anchored float to guide navigation.  a life-saving device.  keep from sinking; sustain morally; encourage.  

The last month has been filled up with weighty things.  Big tests, changes in how we celebrate, family additions and heavy emotions to process.  None of this necessarily negative....just big and all at once.  For a while it felt like the pile just kept growing and the Lord just kept giving and there was this sense of being totally overwhelmed.

Be buoyant. 

Mostly I just let it come.  Riding the waves as they came, not really grasping the details but trying to be present.  I've had moments of being so overwhelmed by praise so gracious, I turned to a humble pile of tears.  My heart has given birth to a new child, stretched and challenged at how to love this woman...woman...how strange that feels to say.....when what I see and love is a little peanut of a girl who I want to hold and mend and guide and yet, I also want to learn so much from....how to love this woman right.   How be her Jesus momma with skin on and love her the way He desires her to be loved.  

Then there was the scripture.....the verses that He would bring strongly to mind and affirm them through others, media and any source He could to bring them to my face.  I took notes Lord....You saw.  There were topics and convictions and passions that were planted in mind and heart.   He showed with a clear awareness that I poured too much out.  My balance has been off for too long and I lost my ability to draw from the well with efficiency....leaving me dry and out of resources to fill up those around me.

December became about bookmarks and pause buttons.  As a wave would come there would be one thing that would be clear and within my grasp to hold on to.   A verse - bookmark that, we'll come back to it.  A theme or idea - press the pause button here, we'll come back to it.   I didn't know when but I knew He would bring me to a quiet time to put it all together.   As usual, He is so faithful.

Little indulgences with little consequences brought on overconfidence.  New Years Eve was celebrated with an extravagance that I'd been looking forward to.  A beautiful bottle of wine I purchased before Christmas just for the occasion.   We had a lovely gathering of friends and so much laughter that sides were sore and voices were left gritty.  I knew there would be a consequence but it was an infrequent indulgence....a day or two of my body being sore would be okay (alcoholic beverages are on my no-no list of items that will cause a reaction.  I generally indulge lightly only every few months.)...but not this time.  

"Sometimes God has to put us flat on our backs before we are looking up at Him."
~ Jack Grahm

Tis true.  However unpleasant these times are I know that that I will glean so much from them.  More than a week later and my body is still reacting.  Still tender and sore, weak and shaky. But....looking up at Him is more productive and peace producing than anything else I could be doing in this life.  While my body is disturbed, my heart and mind are totally at rest.   It is good.  

Together, as I've laid in a nest of pillows, He's shown me my focus for this year.  Scripture as my outline and two phrases to remember.

  • Read the Sermon on the Mount - Matthew 5,6, 7 - and read it often.
  • Read scripture daily - I will be using a bible ap on my iPod to read through the New Testament and Psalms.  
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
  • Joshua 1:8-9 "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.  For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
  • James 1:2-4 "Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
  • Be buoyant.
  • "If it matters, you make the time.  If it doesn't, you make excuses." ~Ann Voskamp

I don't know what lies ahead but He does.  I trust that this focus, His anchor, will keep me buoyant through whatever comes our way and hopefully, by that trust....I can be His light to help guide others through the waves.

Blessings to you for solid beginnings, a view where your horizon is full of opportunity and joy that keeps you buoyant.

the Mrs.