Sunday, October 11, 2015

One expensive lesson

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything…and heck…I’m not even sure anyone reads this anymore.  It’s not that my mind has been silent, it’s just that the things that have been ruminating in my mind, were things that were personal issues God was dealing with.  And then today hit, and for the first time in a long time, I felt the urge from Him to share it….that this message He had for me may also be for some unknown reader out there.

It all began while my car was hungrily guzzling fuel that I decided to walk around my vehicle to just simply look it over.  And then I noticed it.  A tear on the edge of a tire.  Now I’ve known that new tires were needed, but I was trying to put it off a little longer since my car just had some work done on it.  But I could not procrastinate any longer.  I drove straight from the gas station to a tire store instead of heading to church.  An hour and a half later, four new tires and more money out of my wallet and I was finally on the road to the 2nd service at church. 

While driving home after church, I started to think about the maintenance my car has needed.  I’ve kept up on regular oil changes, rotating tires, etc., but sometimes there is one minor thing with it that will alter the plans I had for the day (like a new oil pan, new tires, new headlight).  And then I began to think about my walk with God in relationship to the maintenance on my vehicle.

I wake up each morning and have my quiet time where I read His Word, journal if prompted, and pray.  But lately it has seemed more routine….that I just simply get up and go through the motions.  These actions are the like the regular maintenance services for my car.  It’s all beneficial and helps keep things running smoothly.  But then, just like this morning with getting new tires, something small may happen in my life, a speedbump or a small prick of the heart from God, which signals that somewhere my heart needs some deeper work. 

My regular routine isn’t bad.  However, it is not as beneficial if I am just going through the motions.  When did I lose that passion for His Word?  When did I treat it all as a check-off list?  When did I stop relying upon Him and start relying upon my own strength?  My heart needs some maintenance.  I need His power to come in and change what isn’t working.  I need fresh vision, a renewed hope in His goodness, and maybe a new set of eyes to see things the way He sees them. 

So, just as my car has received some deep work and a new set of wheels, my heart and life needs the same.  What an expensive lesson to learn this morning…all because I needed new tires. 

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Deep Cleaning

I like for my home to be tidy and for things to be tucked away.  Clean counters, no visible clutter, that's what my eyes want to see - everything in its place. But, open a drawer and might see a disaster! Things thrown into the drawers, or even the linen and coat closet! Complete disorder...hidden away where no one else can see it.

I think my life is like that sometimes too. By appearances, I might look like I have it together. The smile may be on my face, the make-up covering blemishes or tired eyes...yet under that smile is pain that no one knows about. If you dig deeper than what you see, you might find brokenness and loneliness within my heart. And I know I'm not the only one like this.

There are moments where I look into people's eyes and I see past what is presented and God gives me a glimpse into their heart and the pain hidden there.

What would the world be like if we stopped hiding our deepest needs and started being transparent with those we trust? Healing would come. Freedom would invade and God's glory would be known.

I desire to stop hiding behind this facade and I want to be real, be authentic. I want healing, I want freedom. I want to face this loneliness and brokenness head-on; no more tucking it away. It's time to bring it to the battle lines and fight through it - to press on towards the work God has for me.

So how about you? Is it time to take out the deep cleaning supplies....God's Word, and prayer and press on into Him?  

Thursday, January 22, 2015

All In

I recall that day almost two years ago, when I applied for a counseling job at a school in Afghanistan. And I remember the day I told my family and friends.....and their reactions.

I was crazy - at least when viewed from outward eyes and hearts looking at me. But the view from within was not so crazy. That particular decision had caused me to come to a point in my walk with God where my declaration was "I'm all in. Wherever You lead, whatever the outcome and circumstances, I'm all in."  

What people viewed as crazy, I was only experiencing peace beyond understanding.  I was terrified -don't misunderstand me- but with that application, I was declaring God as Lord over my life. He had to bring me to that point where I was willing to follow Him, no matter the cost, no matter the disapproving voices, no matter the hurtful words spoken out of love and concern for me. It was a pivotal moment where I was choosing God above all else in my life. It was my heartfelt declaration of the understanding of His great Sacrifice for me....and my sacrifice to work in Afghanistan was nothing compared to His great love for me.

Now, we can all look back and see that He did not actually send me there, but to Brazil instead....and most people breathed a deep sigh of relief. But before Brazil could ever happen, I had to come to that place of all in. And I'm so grateful that He brought me to that moment. I'm also grateful for Brazil and my experiences there.

I don't know why this has come to the forefront of my heart and mind today....but I am challenged by it again. I wonder if I'm all in during this season of life? Or am I complacent?

I want to take a step back and make sure that I am all in, every day...for Him - no matter what - all in. Because to be all in, is to be on the most adventurous yet peace-filled journey that I could be on. And His power is Life when I'm all in.