Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Rustling leaves and whistling winds
sing to me as I dance with the pebbles at my feet.
Sunbeams play hide and seek with the clouds
occasionally coming close enough to kiss my cheek.
The rippling brook hollers out from the forest
awaiting my company and innermost thoughts.
So I waltz down the path guarded by trees
Breathe in deep and the love for tranquility is caught.
There are no alarms or buzzers or beeps.
No one is demanding my time.
Nature simply wants me to rest and leave everything be
and the greatest pleasure is all mine.
In the unrushed stillness one can hear
a lot more than bustling lives.
Your heart hears that faintest whisper
your soul continually cries.
This life holds so much beauty
that your eyes will never see,
if you hide them behind closed doors
or fixed on a lifeless screen.
Look around you. Take it in.
Do your surroundings supply you peace?
If you're blinded by constant chaos,
Maybe, for a time, you should take your leave.
Be wise in your decisions, yes,
but don't always ignore your heart.
Meaningless things leave one bleak and gray,
while love for each day creates a work of art.
So do what you love and love what you do
every moment your lungs release breath.
Don't settle for anything less than surreal
'Long as your heart beats inside your chest.
Wednesday, May 18, 2016
"You can't cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water." -Rabindranath Tagore
I don't know what it is about today that just feels different than every other, but for some reason I'm itching to do something unexpected, something that's going to make a difference in at least someone's world, something that will have meaning for longer than a few days. Videos circulating my friends' Facebook pages today have consisted of incredibly moving stories that pull tears from your eyes within a matter of seconds. Here I am sobbing on the couch like a 6th grade just-dumped-today chick, but my mind is rummaging around every thought I've hoarded in hopes that I've accidentally buried a treasure.
I sit and think. I pace and ponder. I clean and imagine. On and on and on... Over and over and over... I spend my days brainstorming and planning these ideas that I just know could be effective in so many ways. But then, almost just as quickly, I start convincing myself that it's just "not time" because I don't have connections for that, or a place for this, or the finances to properly fund either.
But, after a few moments of praying and asking God to open doors, send people, and provide money, it hits me... or should I say, God does... lol
QUIT WASTING TIME BRAINSTORMING... START DOING!
I may not be able to invest in a "blessing shop," but I can start gathering things in my closet and keeping an eye out for people in need.
I might be unable to hand out hundreds of dollars for people to get groceries, but I can store up a little at a time and leave a nice little basket on their porch.
No, I don't have the time or space to host a restaurant for the homeless, but I can spend an afternoon a week driving around my town looking for somebody who looks like they'd appreciate a warm meal.
I can choose to pour positivity into everyone within my reach. It's up to me to offer assistance to people who need some. There's nothing standing in my way that's keeping me from being a listening ear, an encouraging word, a helping hand, or a smile on sad days.
Maybe you're like me. Do you, too, sit and think of all the things you wish you could do? Is it just the norm to daydream how you want your future to be? Do you see pictures of people feeding orphans in Haiti and feel a twinge of longing that just won't go away? Does YouTube have you crying rivers with the many inspiring videos posted on their site? Is the blog, book, or magazine you're reading making you dream bigger each day?
Don't feel like you have to wait for the perfect scenario to start. That's been my mistake. Never convince yourself you can't do something without big connections or plenty of cash. There are ways. We just have to make them.
I'm tired of longing... I'm tired of imagining... I'm done wishing. It's time for action.
I encourage you today, if there's any particular area of interest that you're just longing to become active in, take a small step today... It'll lead to something bigger if you refuse to stop moving.
"We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations." -Swindoll
I can't help but think of a Scripture when I first embark on a long journey- "For who has despised the day of small beginnings?" (Zechariah 4:10) Nearly every human being on the planet that's ever accomplished big things (of any kind) had to start out in a very humble and unimpressive way. But, their determination and passion caused their "seed" to bloom and flourish. That can be you, too.
We have to start somewhere. You'll never cross the finish line if you don't begin the race. Well, I'm ready to start running... Okay, fine. Let's start with a walk. I'm good with that. I just know I need to move.
Life flies past us day after day and I don't want any more of mine wasted on wishing. As a Christian, I have access to everything my Father owns... All I have to do is ask Him and use what He gives me to the best of my ability and watch him multiply those resources as the work continues. If we're supposed to walk by faith and not by sight, why do we convince ourselves to wait until we start seeing things line up before we take our first steps toward our goal? And believe me, I'm asking myself these questions as I type them up for you.
Maybe with the recent turn of unexpected events in our life, something within me is ready to use this time in a more effective way. I truly believe God has something right outside my line of vision waiting for us. If I just stay focused on His plan, and stop letting the disappointments, frustrations, and even the comforts of life distract me, I'll see it in the near future.
I can't tell you how ready I am for that.
So, today, I have tied up every loose end my mind was sheltering, and I've determined to use what little I currently have to do something big for His kingdom. Little is much when God's in it, right? So what on earth are we waiting for?
Jeremiah 29:11- '"For I know the plans that I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."
Isaiah 40:28-29- Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God ,the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding can no one fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."
Romans 8:28- And we know that all things work together for good, to them who love God and are called according to His purpose.
Romans 15:13- May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18- Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen...
Deuteronomy 31:6- Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.
Psalm 23:1- The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. (I lack NOTHING!)
1 Corinthians 15:58- Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
"Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible." -Francis of Assisi
Sunday, May 8, 2016
The pastor of a church I've yet to attend asked a friend of mine to find someone to write a letter to women who haven't become natural mothers as of today. They wanted to read it at the end of the sermon. My friend called me...
For several days I prayed over this, because this is a sensitive subject, and one I know a whole lot about. I did some studying, and a lot more praying, and this is the letter I felt like writing. If you can relate to this situation, I hope this encourages and strengthens your heart, like it did mine:
To the Woman Who Feels Left Out Today:
You know it's coming... every year. That day you secretly hope will hold new meaning for you the next time it rolls around. The day that 95% of the women your age will be honored and appreciated. The day that you will again think you're not as special or as important as someone being presented with a handmade card from their child. There is no little one running to you... No tiny voice calling your name. You don't feel a part, you don't feel special. No. You feel betrayed, you feel inadequate, you feel robbed... You feel broken.
Confusion races through every corner of your mind as you try to understand why God hasn't made a way for you to be a mother today.
Could I, for just a moment, get your full attention? Could you somehow find a way to let go of that hurt and frustration for just a couple minutes? I want to talk to you.
Now, mothers out there, please know that you are deserving today. Motherhood is a beautiful thing. It's a role to be desired. You are special... and across the nation people are honoring you today... with good reason. But, to you women that aren't carrying that title this morning... this day is still for you.
What I want you to grasp today is the fact that even though you're not a mom by natural occurrences, you still have that mothering nature wrapped up inside you... The ability to nurture... that special way of bringing peace to a bunch of chaos... You are a multi-tasking master... Unconditional love is nestled deep inside your heart... Encouragement, inspiration, and effectiveness is bottled up inside your being.
Did you know that God wrote down a beautiful promise just for you in Psalm 84:11? He did! It says, "No good thing will He withhold from them who walk uprightly."
No good thing... will He withhold... from you.
If you're not a mother, it's not a punishment. It's God's way of picking you out of crowd, pulling you away from the norm, and giving you time and space to focus your full attention on the amazing plan He has for your life at this moment. You DO have a purpose worth honoring today. A role so incredible, a "busy-mom-you" couldn't fulfill.
Learn to trust in and lean on His timing. Don't let the enemy convince you that this waiting period is because you're not good enough. Don't dare allow him room to persuade you that there is something wrong with you. You rebuke him this instant! Remind him who he is and WHOSE YOU ARE! Remember that God's ways are always higher and His plans are always good! And, yes, that also includes the one that He has penned specifically for you.
You are part of a league of extraordinary women whose experiences with infertility and loss served amazing purposes in furthering the Kingdom of God:
Sarah and Abraham in Genesis 16, Abimelech's wife in Genesis 20, Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 25, Jacob's wife, Rachel, in Genesis 30, Samson's mother struggled with infertility for years in Judges 13, Hannah in 1 Samuel 1, the Shunamite woman in 2 Kings 4, the mother of John the Baptist was childless until she was old (Luke 1). Read over their stories and realize how exciting it is to be counted with them! God's working up something magnificent for you, dear... Of that I'm sure!
Straighten your crown today, Love. Wipe those tears and banish those negative thoughts. You're amazing and you are strong. I applaud YOU today for the way you smile through a pain that the majority of women will never understand. You inspire me. You amaze me.
If you saw the size of the blessing coming, you would understand the magnitude of the battle you've been fighting. Don't be defeated today... Get excited! Realize there is nothing and no one demanding your time and attention... which allows God to use you freely! Feel peace today! KNOW. YOUR. WORTH. today.
With a baby or without, you are valuable, you are whole, and you matter.
With the sincerest love and prayers,
A Woman Who Is Right There With You
And, with every single ounce of my being, I believe every word of that. God's got you. He is FOR you. He is proud of you...
"Know therefore that the Lord your God is... the faithful God..." Deuteronomy 7:9