Posted in Faith, Hope, LOVE

My One Word for 2014

All over the wide world of the web, there are posts about choosing one word for the new year instead of doing a New Year’s Resolution. I’ve never done one word for a year, and most new year’s resolutions (at least my own) rarely last past January 2nd.

I like the idea of one word for a year… it is simple ~ but with focus ~ with consistency ~ and I believe I was given my one word as I was reviewing my 2013 journals and notes from spiritual dimensions trips.

My word for 2014 is…

    closer.

Closer as in moving closer ~ moving closer to God. This idea came from James 4:8 ~ “Come close to God, and God will come close to you.” (NLT) Other translations say “draw near“. Both ways get to the same point, drawing near ~ getting closer ~ to God with the benefit of Him coming closer to me.

Out there on the web, I recently saw a post about not shining so people see me, but shining so people see God in me. This is similar to what my desire is ~ to draw closer to God, so close those around me cannot tell where I stop and He begins. I’ve often pictured holding God by the hand, standing so close to the back and side of Him that my nose is pressed into His shoulder blade, and I’m clinging with my other hand to His arm. From the front, a person would see all of God, and just a little bit of me off to His side.

I would not be able to breathe without breathing in His scent ~ I would not be able to move without His going with me, leading me ~ I would not be able to

    be

without Him.

This one word ~ closer ~ would give me focus.

I would not do things ~ buy things ~ participate in things ~ pray about things ~ dwell on things ~ that did not bring me closer to God. At least, I would try not to. And this closer to God… it would impact other things. I would be able to be closer to my husband, my kids, my friends, my family.

Closer.

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Posted in Faith, Hope

Wait . . .

I’m working through questions and fears and insecurities.

I’m wondering if God will show up . . . when God will show up . . .

trying so hard to remember all the times HE HAS SHOWN UP.

And today, I get this reminder every where I turn: WAIT ON ME.

All from Facebook:

a post from one of my favorite singers reminds me of Psalm 130:5: I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.

His Word promises that He’ll never leave me, nor forsake me.
I am His child, and He wraps me in His arms of grace and love and mercy.
Perfect love, HIS perfect love, casts out all fear [and doubt and worry].

Another post from this wonderful singer: her Scripture snack is about waiting.

A fellow blogger is waiting on flooded roads to be passable:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Grace-full-life/124125761004183

A reminder from (in)courage blog:
“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun!” Is 43:19

From a friend: Hebrews 11:1
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
I may not see God working
right now on my behalf – but I hear Him saying that my waiting is the proof of my faith – the confidence of my hope – the assurance that He
IS working on my behalf.

Lord, I’m waiting. Do not leave me; do not forsake me; do not let my faith be shaken and shallow; let my hope be in You and in Your promise of life more abundant – living to the fullest – adventure and grace and excitement and mercy and joy and peace.

Forgive my years of rushing to and fro – looking and surviving but never being satisfied or content – forgetting and ignoring You and the life You offer – squandering the abundance and inheritance You died to give me.

Help me to wait – patiently, with confidence, with trust.

Posted in Faith

Faith is hard sometimes

I believe that God told me to quit my job at Union High School. Not only was the drive long, but gas prices were skyrocketing and my family time was being squelched. Also, I no longer agreed with the school’s mission or methods; it was time for me to go. I felt great peace when I quit; the relief was almost tangible.

I had lots of people ask me if I was crazy. Why would someone quit a job when the economy is this bad? How would I find another job? What if I couldn’t find a teaching job? Really, am I insane?

This past week, I’ve been very fearful. I thought for sure I’d have a job by now. I’m still trying to decide if I want to continue teaching… or write professionally… or work from home for more family time… and Satan is making me question myself: am I capable? employable? stupid for thinking God would talk to me?

See, money is starting to get very tight, and I still don’t know what God wants for me, and I see no money coming in. And I’m praying that He’ll provide, that I’ll only do what He wants…

And then I read this post, http://www.aholyexperience.com/, and I wonder if God is asking me to walk to the beat of a different drum.

Here’s what spoke to me most from this post: “catastrophizing is how we make our own soul-cages. That fear’s always the flee ahead.” … “Abide. Because it’s never about your capabilities. When you’re in covenant with Christ, it’s His responsibility to cover your cracks, to be all your competency and completeness. Inabilities, in Christ, are made all-sufficient, just-right abilities. Abandon worries — and wholly abide.” … “Waiting is just a gift of time in disguise — a time to pray wrapped up in a ribbon of patience — because is the Lord ever late.” … “Because on this whole spinning planet — this is the only rhythm that makes music: to do the will of the One whose heart beats at the center of the cosmos. Regardless of what anyone thinks of us. Maybe the genuine followers of Christ always march to their own drum — Thrum: I will walk with God. Thrum: Even if I walk different than everyone else. Was it just that he heard his name called down the canyons of his heart — and love compelled him to lunge forward? Love is never a trite feeling. Love is a wildfire in the bones, a burning flame willing to serve — willing to say yes. “Mom?” Malakai’s speaking to me — but he’s looking out the side window … Or within. “Do you think God’s calling our name too — all through our hearts — to come step out — and we’re just not listening?”

So, Lord, I’m listening ~ I’m waiting ~

I’m scared ~ but by faith, I’m trusting.

Posted in Faith

Purpose

Purpose – the intent, the meaning behind an action or event, the “why?” of a situation.

I agree with Beth Moore (in a message titled “God’s Purpose for you” as seen on a video from LifeToday) when she says that God ONLY allows the pain when the purpose is more important – when the purpose outweighs the pain.

All her childhood abuse – all the poor choices she made because of the trauma of that abuse – ALL of it was worth it to her because of God’s purpose for all that pain: Beth’s ministry to women who have been abused, to women who have made poor choices in reaction to pain in their lives, to women who question their worth and usability because of their past.

A former pastor of mine recently posted on Facebook a quote from Helmut Thielicke, who said, “When afflictions and catastrophies come into our lives, we dare not be content to merely ask, ‘Why should this happen to me?’ but rather, ‘To what end, for what purpose, has this burden been sent to me?'” ( “Christ and the Meaning of Life”).

Life is full of surprises for us – but not for God. He never gives up or loses His sovereignty. So if we’re going through a difficult – catastrophic – trying time, we need to ask ourselves: What is God’s purpose for me in this? How does it advance HIS purpose for my life?

And then we wait on the answer.