Adventure is Out There

I’m 5 months out from leaving my job. I know it was the right decision, yet the pain of it has tortured me. I wished and prayed for a different outcome, over and over. It went a different way than I’d wished.

As I drove in this morning, under a sunrise that started out with a red sky and a few silver clouds, and moved to pink and then bright salmon, I thought about how I got here. I thanked God for the growth birthed of the most excruciating times. I thanked Him for leading me to this new position. Peace fills my heart as I drive in each morning. I know have a contribution to make. Many paths lie open to me now.

adventure is out there

It’s so easy to forget the most powerful, peaceful place for a Christian is at surrender. Thy will be done. My will subsumed into Christ’s, every day, all the time.  He doesn’t waste a thing. Want to have a more adventurous, exciting life? Submit your life to Jesus and let Him guide you. You may not understand or sometimes even like the journey, but I guarantee you won’t regret it.

For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:9

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For Every Mountain

Happy Friday! I’m sitting here again, coffee and smoothie at my elbow. I’m thinking back over the last few months and I’m thankful for all God has done. Like the song says, “For every mountain…you brought me over….for every trial you’ve seen me through…for every blessing…Hallelujah! For this, I give you praise….”

minion-dance

Ah, here’s the song:

It’s not over yet. Still a lot of walking and some running to do. But He didn’t bring us out this far to to leave us. So, we press on. He holds us up.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
    They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
    They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

O Come

angels-and-sheep

I’m sitting here, drinking coffee and my blackberry smoothie. Ruby sits across from me, eating a cinnamon roll. This song rolls on:

It’s Advent Season now. Perfectly acceptable to blast the Christmas music. This particular version has no instruments, only voices. The haunting beauty of the melody has its roots in medieval times. Some think the stanzas date back to 800 A.D.

But we don’t need Jesus only during the Christmas season. He didn’t stay a baby forever, but grew up to be our Savior. We need Him every day, every hour. He still bids us to come to Him. In fact, God has been calling us back to Him since the Fall.

“Come now, let’s settle this,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    I will make them as white as snow.
Though they are red like crimson,
    I will make them as white as wool.” – Isaiah 1:18

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink–even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk–it’s all free!” – Isaiah 55:1

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” –  Matthew 11:28

Once we receive Jesus and surrender to His cleansing and lordship, we’re in the Beloved. We have eternal life and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. We’re in the everlasting arms of the Father. Then it’s our turn to say, “Come, Lord Jesus!”

The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” Let anyone who hears this say, “Come.” Let anyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who desires drink freely from the water of life. – Revelation 22:17

He’s still calling out. He still longs to be in fellowship with you. You have nothing to lose. It’s the perfect season to receive God’s greatest gift. Won’t you come to Him?

 

 

Living in Limbo

Not this. Although it looks fun.

I went outside this morning, hoping for light rain on my run. I got blessed. A watery half moon peered down as the trees dripped. No new precipitation. The leaves have fallen, so the streets and sidewalks held no slippery leaves. The streetlights glimmered on the wet pavement.

As I pounded up the hill, I considered all the things that we still have no decision on. The house hasn’t sold. We got a low-ball offer , asking us to pay closing costs as well, more than a week ago. When we countered with full price to account for the closing costs, they disappeared. Things at work still hover in the land of indecision. How will our department reorganize in the wake of staff changes and budget cuts? And the biggest question of all: Did I win the $320 million Powerball Jackpot?!

Probably not, since I never buy tickets.

Anyway.

I dislike limbo land. Immensely. I’m a yes or no person. I’m not a fan of indecisiveness. If I can’t decide on something, I usually default to no. So to me, waiting around feels like a negative answer. But my way of thinking isn’t God’s way of thinking.

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord.
    “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so my ways are higher than your ways
    and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Okay. So what do I do in the meantime, when the answer doesn’t come in a timely fashion and I start to feel foolish for even believing? Did I even hear right, Lord? Or was that some bad pizza?

Wait patiently for the LORD. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.
 – Psalm 27:14

It’s never seemed courageous to me to wait for anything. My paradigm consists of practicing and working for things. But there’s a meekness to waiting, and a surrender. You’re not solving it yourself. You’re not chasing answers. David, who wrote Psalm 27, knew something about this as he waited to become king, and in the meantime, got hunted down by the existing King Saul. Several times, he had Saul in a vulnerable position and could have killed him. But he didn’t. He trusted God to bring it to pass.

So this season of waiting is not wasted. I’m learning patience. Not my strength, honestly. But I know Jesus walks with me, and I can keep doing what I know to do in the meantime.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

 

 

Amber Faith

The moon glowed in the sky, putting the street lights to shame. A few stars twinkled in the black. I eased my tired frame onto the road. What am I doing out here? I should be sleeping, I thought. But only fleetingly.

Because I knew what I was doing. I needed to get ready for a new day. I needed to put on a fresh attitude. For me, running or exercising is part and parcel of the morning. I won’t say it has the same level of importance as Bible reading and prayer, but the combination proves dynamic. Getting the spirit ready for this chunk of time matters as much as getting the body ready.

Lately, I seem to be stuck in a limbo state in several areas. Like this.

frog in amber.jpeg

(source)

Training for the half marathon in October progresses on schedule. Work simply is, most days similar to the ones adjacent. Selling the house plods along. Summer, as much as I love it, seems endless and very, very hot. The kids are restless and so are we. I’m grateful for the lack of drama and crises, and yet long for more.

Inside, I look like this

child-on-tiptoe

(source)

I’m like the little kid who can’t quite see the top of the counter. I stretch myself as tall as I can (don’t laugh), reach up and pat around. What’s there? Oooh, what’s this thing? Anything good? I want to see!

Seasons don’t last forever. Each night, a cool breeze comes up as the sun goes down. Our house sits in shadow and the sweet summer air blows through the building, easing the stuffiness. I’m waiting for the fresh wind of the Holy Spirit to stir things up. We’re right on the cusp of a new season of life. I’m holding on the counter of faith to see it.

For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19

Father of All Projects

This morning dawned bright and breezy. A large moon lurked in the sky, unwilling to give up its place despite the sun’s rising. I wandered down our driveway towards the main road. My thoughts swirled around, eddying around this one rock: God’s faithfulness.

See, all this work we’ve put into our house lately has been to get it ready to sell. There. Now you know.

This weekend, we worked on the house. Jonathon and I shoveled at least a cubic yard of bark dust onto the yard. We planted flowers. We weeded. We tidied up the house more, moving excess furniture into a nearby garage.

We’ve had a contractor come in and install new carpet throughout and new linoleum in the kitchen. Jonathon put in new butcher block countertops and a glass tile backsplash. Oh, and he painted the kitchen, too, a pale dove gray. The new deep white ceramic sink replaced the shallow stainless steel one we had. He repainted the hallway, the family room and Ruby’s bedroom. He touched up paint in the living and dining room. He’s had a plumber come in and fix a leak in the basement. I’m sure this is only a partial list of all he’s done. I’ve been toiling away at work, putting in my 40 hours at the offices. He’s borne the brunt of the work. Good thing he has a flexible work schedule.

Our realtor walked through yesterday. Wowed by all Jonathon had done, he said it was move-in ready. We can sell it for a good price. This entire process – even getting us to consider the prospect of moving, from way back last summer – has been God’s doing, 100%.

Today, the realtor comes back to take photos. Here are a couple for you.

old sinkpergola

fence and planter boxes^4841E4DD8ECD33C2277F6532F23567F5ECD8FEAAA4A3243DF7^pimgpsh_fullsize_distr

Today, we’re taking a breath. We’re standing on top of the mountain. The fresh mountain breeze restores us. We made it. However, the next peak hovers on the horizon. Conquering that crag entails the winding, upward climb of selling our home, packing up, moving and doing it all before school starts again in September.

I know our Father has it all well in hand.

But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31

 

Three Mile Morning

daisy

I ran today. The sun hadn’t stepped onstage yet, the eastern sky a pale blue. Candy-colored clouds dotted the skyline. The air was still.

I headed up the hill, separated from the traffic by a concrete median. Good thing, too, because my pants kept falling down. I even had them on right side out. Thanks for asking. But somehow I’d forgotten to tie them. Even then, they didn’t want to stay up, drifting down as if pulled by some super gravity. Had to tuck my shirt in. The adjustments delayed but didn’t stop me.

Funny, I kept waiting for the pain to kick in. Come on, I thought. Where are you, my old enemy? I’m waiting. I’m hunting you. A slight ache in my right shoulder remained, the only remnant from last night’s weighted squat with presses as well as the cleans of kettlebell class. My footfalls mounted the incline. I walked a little and admired the sweet morning, daisy faces shining at me from the roadside. I felt a slight twinge in my left foot. Nope. Keep moving.

The pain never found me. Somehow, by the grace of God, I’d outrun it. I couldn’t stop smiling. Now, my endurance is another story. But I can work on that. I know the drill. I will put in the time.

But forget all that—
    it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland…” – Isaiah 43:18-19