Sunday, December 18, 2016

Don't Be Afraid - Have Faith

I’m on this road right now that has pulled me out of my norm. And I think it’s safe to say I’m afraid.

You see, I like life to be predictable and yet I’m at a place right in my life where everything in my life is in upheaval. I have kids going off to college, my husband and I are a trying to decide if we’ll put down permanent roots in this new state and I want to try my hand at pursuing a secondary career.

It’s all very unnerving and a bit stressful. All of those what if’s cause me quite a bit of worry.

So why don’t I have faith?

It’s like this: I do and then...I don't.
I’m human. And frankly, sometimes, my faith in God and how I’m feeling in the midst of challenges are two separate issues.

Spiritually I know God is good. I never doubt that. In fact, my life is a complete testimony to God’s love, grace, mercy, provision and tons of forgiveness.

But emotionally I’m still just a human.  I struggle to fight back my worries and fears. I struggle with needing patience and focusing my eyes on God instead of my circumstances. I struggle with resting and being still while I wait.

And I definitely have issues with waiting. J

I’m one of those people who maps out where she’s going and the best route to get there. But now, I’m in a stage of life where I simply do not even have a clue what my destination is, let alone, trying to figure out how in the world I’m gonna get there.

I’m lost. 110% at a loss.

And that, my dear friend, completely sets me on edge. I don’t like feeling at a loss and vulnerable. I don’t like to wait and pursue God instead of a goal.

Ouch! Did I really type that last sentence?

Unfortunately I did.

Can I admit that I wasn’t expecting that sentence to come out as I typed?

I was planning on writing something else and look what happened…the truth popped out.

I guess I want God in my life on my terms especially now, in this moment of my life, when I’m constantly living in limbo-land.

My own personal hopes, dreams and direction for my life are on hold.

And I don’t like it. Especially when it’s combined with the truth that I haven’t the slightest idea where I’m headed next.

These moments are unchartered territory for me. Up until this year, my life followed a very traditional route, “get married, buy a house, have children, raise the children and then….”

And then what? To be honest I’ve never given one thought as to what came next.

So here I am. In a new state, with a new church, barely any friends, my kids are leaving home and, and…

And what? What comes next? I don’t know?

I honestly don’t know. And it’s a horribly uncomfortable feeling.

I want my life to matter. I want it to count. I want to live a life worth living.

So how do I make that happen? Do I fill my days with work and busyness? Nah…that leaves me feeling empty.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my job. But as we all know, there’s more to life than work. So what is it?

I’m sure many of you might be thinking, “Oh stop your whining.” And you’d be right. There is a small bit of whining happening, but mostly frustration. Simply because I do realize that tomorrow is not promised to anyone. So while I’m on this earth I sincerely want my life to matter. I want it to matter to me, to my family and to my future generations and to those to whom God puts in my life.

So I’m on the road to figuring it out. Me and God. We're gonna do this life together.
Along the way, I need to remember to not be afraid and have faith. God is with me always.

"So do not fear, for I am with you, do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." ~ Isaiah 41:10

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!

Blessings and Best Wishes,
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Wednesday, October 5, 2016

The Other Side of the Fence

This morning I caught sight of a post by Amy at titled The Lost Skill of Serving Your Family, you can read it here, . As I read her post I completely connected with her premise that the act of serving your family isn’t all fun and games, sometimes it’s downright tedious, frustrating and thankless.
And yet, creating a home where we find joy in serving our family is one of the greatest blessings bestowed upon us as women & mothers.
My heartstrings were pulled at Amy's words. You see, those days, of mommydom, endless chores, seeking to put a nutritious meal on the table, keeping the kids from melting down as your husband comes dragging in the door from a crazy work week, oh yes, I remember those days.

Enjoy them.

Relish in every last second God gives you to be the mommy and wife. To do the thankless jobs like feeding the dogs, dusting (my least favorite chore), scrubbing toilets, laundry, bible studies for the kids, pressing off your husband’s work clothes, getting to the bank and still somehow, someway find it in your daily crazy schedule to grab a cuppa Joe, plop down in a comfy chair and spend a little time with Jesus.
Enjoy them.

Here's why.
I’m standing on the other side of that fence.  I'll be the first to admit that I would’ve loved back then, not have to cook one more mac & cheese dinner for an ants-in-the-pants-can’t-sit-still toddler and just be able to hide in the garage for a few moments of peace without someone screaming, “Ma! The dog just threw up.”

Right now, I miss those days.

You see, my sons are quickly inching their way out the door. Which basically means, my kids are gone more than they are at home. They’re busy with college, work, friends, and activities. Being at home with the folks is the very least of their priorities. Which makes the house a lot quieter, in fact, somewhat lonelier at times.
You wish for quiet?

I understand. 

But one day, in the blink of an eye you will have all the quiet, non-kid-crazy days you can stand and you will miss them. Your heart will ache for days gone by when the door flew open and muddy boots coming running in. You will miss being able to snuggle up on the couch with your babies and rock them in your arms until they so sweetly fall asleep and it takes every ounce of you not to squeeze them tight and kiss them tenderly on their foreheads.
Trust me, young adult sons do NOT like being kissed on the forehead by their mommas! 
Yes I'm one of those mommas. I do my best to kiss 'em and give 'em hugs and tell 'em that I love them every time I see their faces. Why? These are the babies I prayed for 5 solid years. And just like Hannah in the bible, God heard my prayers and blessed me richly. I can't thank Him enough for His love.

Those kids are the ultimate in blessings in my life. I watch as they go for their dreams, make friends and learn from mistakes and I am constantly amazed at God's goodness. Over and over the good Lord pours out His blessings for me to see in my kids. 

Do I miss the sleepless nights? No. But I do miss them calling out, “Ma, whatcha makin’ for dinner?”

You take the tough with the sweet moments, and thank the good Lord for both.
Let me encourage you ladies, take hold of those moments and realize those nights you spend reading endless Thomas the Tank Engine or Princess Fairy books, the sleepless nights caused by your little one who’s up crying with a high fever, they will pass all too quickly and you will miss them desperately. You will want to hold your baby-who’s-not-a-baby-anymore.

So give every ounce to being the mother you are called to be. Don’t live to anyone else’s standards. Set your own. Know yourself and your child and enjoy, enjoy, enjoy. Laugh, cry, sing, hug, rock your babies to sleep and love your little ones the best you can and absolutely relish the knowledge you’ve been given this priceless gift.
Mommas, give yourself lots of grace.

We are not called to be perfect robot-like mothers. We are humans who make mistakes and stumble in our efforts to do the right thing for our kids. It’s ok.  You’re gonna make mistakes. You’re gonna fail. So what. Say you’re sorry, ask for forgiveness and move on. Don’t waste time mentally beating yourself up. Your kids love you. God loves you and you are the mother He wants them to have.
Being loved and loving is one of life’s most precious blessings, so be the mommy you were designed to be and know, that it is enough for your kids. Love them as only you can and rest knowing that you are enough.

Finally, thank God for the answered prayers He has favored you with. Time will pass, they will grow and you will one day wish you had it to do all over again.

Standing on the other side of the fence praying for you always,

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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Rest and Be Still

Now I’ll be the first to admit that sitting still is hard. Take for example, watching TV.
Sounds easy enough right?
Just grab your favorite snack, settle in and relax. Easy right?
I can’t do it.
Two things immediately happen when my family wants to watch a show together.
1)      My mind goes into hyper drive thinking of all the things that need to be done or I could be doing.
2)       I get bored just sitting on the couch veggie out.
 So what’s a girl to do when God whispers the word, abide?
Panic of course! And fuss.
Now when I first started hearing His voice nudge me towards abiding, my first thought was “Well duh, that makes sense, the past 3 weeks haven’t left me with a single second for my quiet time.” It was time I got back to my daily time with the Lord.
But the word abide. To my understanding meant to saddle up, get close to, that sort of thing. So imagine my surprise when I did a little more research this morning and learned that abide means to sit, dwell in Him, remain, be quiet, still and rest.
Seriously Lord? You want me to rest and be quiet? You know me right? Me? Your girl, Amy? Remember, I’m the girl who can’t even sit still for a 30 minute TV show and You want me to rest and be still? AND…be quiet?! Oh my heavens! Giving up coffee would be easier!
And yet, is there really any arguing going on here? Yes, I’m the one throwing the mental temper tantrum and no God isn’t budging, which is why I’m panicking.
Now I will admit that for the briefest of moments the thought of rest, true rest sounded wonderful. Just to step away from my chaotic life and have one of those Calgon-take-me-away moments sounded heavenly… but only for a second.
Then reality smacked me in the forehead and I thought, “Who am I kidding? You know who you are. You’d be pulling your hair out in less than a half hour.”
You see, my life has always been about performance. I was taught at a very early age that rest was unacceptable. Rest was for those who were lazy or without a goal, a mission in life. So if you weren’t sleeping you better be dead because there’s always something to be done.
And so here I am and the good Lord above is asking me to abide, to rest, in Him.
Hmmm…resting in Him.
Ok...this scares me to death.
Not sure what I’m gonna do with those directions because I’m not even sure I know what rest looks like. How does one actually rest without sleeping? What in the world does that equate to?
As you can see I’m in for a world of hurt on this one.  J
All teasing aside, the truth is, no matter how I feel about abiding and that I'm not even sure I fully understand how to abide, the one thing I do know is that God has it all under control and that's where I can rest. In that knowledge alone.
If I’m going to learn anything in this time of abiding, I need to settle in and do what He’s asking me to do, even if it means confessing, “Lord you have got to get me where you want me to be because I haven’t a clue.”
It’s ok to admit that I don’t have everything under control, that I don’t have any answers and I am going into this situation completely blind, scared and clueless.
But at the same time, this is where trust, faith and obedience comes in.
Yes He’s asking me to abide in Him. To res in Him. Yes it goes against my very nature. I hate sitting still. But...He is God. I love Him and I want to serve Him to the best of my ability and that means listening and obeying.
This I know, God is good.
This is where I will begin. Focusing on His goodness.
Not on my fear. Not on my inability to sit still. Not on my tasks or need to be performance driven.
Because of His goodness and His love for me, I am called to rest.
Be still.
And so I will.

Dear friend,
If the good Lord is asking you to do something that takes you out of your comfort zone I pray that you will spend time seeking Him and His direction for your life and together we will see all that He has planned for our lives. 
I am praying God will meet you right where you’re at today.
Until next time,
Blessings and best wishes,
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Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year

Hello Friends!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season with plenty of time with your loved ones. And I hope you made time for yourself to ponder what you may want to accomplish in the new year.

As you know from my earlier post I've been putting together a Vision Board to help me stay on track with goals I'd like to accomplish this year.

One of those goals was of course to get in better shape and to take better care of myself. One of the simpler ways I'm doing this is by walking. To help me stay on track and also help me to learn the new city we've moved to, I've joined a women's walking/hiking club.

Now if you knew me, you'd know that I'm a big chicken when it comes to meeting new people. But... I knew I needed to make new friends, get to know the area better and really step outside of my comfort zone if I was going to make the most of this move.

So out I went. And boy, am I ever glad I did.

Each week, this group of ladies meets at a new location, varying the length and difficulty of the walk/hike. And it's completely open to any woman who'd like to give it a try.

This week we tackled Lake Padden which was a 2.6 brisk walk in 30 degree temps. Chilly but absolutely beautiful in the early morning hours.

The group of ladies I walked with were full of laughter as we briskly fought off the chill and enjoyed the gorgeous scenery all around us. Here, take a peek!

Gorgeous right? And these pictures simply do not hold the beauty we saw that morning.

Now to top off the walk, our leader and a few of the other ladies graciously blessed us with hot coffee, cocoa and a drink they called Moka, which was a chili infused combination of coffee and cocoa...spicy and oh so good! There were also a handful of homemade treats to enjoy!
I have to say that I really had a great time.

Yes I was nervous to meet new people and frankly I wasn't so sure once we got started if I could keep up with these Speed racers but I did and I had an absolutely wonderful time!

It's good to step out of our comfort zones and try new things. It gives us a chance to meet new people, try new things, learn things about our selves that we like and things we want to change.

So what's on your agenda for the year? What will you step out and try?

Let me know. I'd love to hear from  you!

Until next time,
Blessings and best wishes,
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