Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Moment in Time

"Life will always be stressful if you try to rearrange it."   I just read this quote from Joyce Meyer this morning and it hit me how true that is.  I don't know about you but I tend to spend a lot of time playing and replaying things out in my mind versus just staying in the moment and going with the flow.   Even a simple traffic jam will send my mind so many different directions, "should have left earlier", "shouldn't have looked at email before I left", "should have taken that other route", etc., etc.

We only have this very moment once in our lives and to spend it thinking about something that has past is futile and serves no purpose.  We can't rearrange our past; we can only learn from it and move forward.   So many times we can miss something God is trying to share with us by not being fully present in the moment.  It may be a sign to guide us, an answer we've been seeking or just a beautiful sunset to put us at peace.  Yes, I need to remember to embrace each moment for what it has to offer, find peace in that moment and stop trying to rearrange those moments past that are gone forever.

Be very careful, then, how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. – Ephesians 5:15-17

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Peace in Our Day

God's peace is there for us each and every day. It's so easy to get caught up in the rush of life and lose that sense of peace. We often look to external things to provide that sense of peace when in reality we need to be looking inward. Seeking peace from external things will only lead to a peace that is momentary and fleeting. Seeking peace from inward reflection provides a peace that is enduring and everlasting, even in the toughest of circumstances.

Looking inward requires us to stop for a moment, be silent and just "be" - so hard to do in a society that continues to move at an unyielding pace. But that is where our true peace lies and the Spirit within us is eagerly waiting for us to turn inward to shower us with His peace "at all times and in every way".

"Now may the Lord of peace himself give you His peace at all times and in every way" - 2 Thessalonians 3:16

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hope vs. Faith

What is hope? The dictionary defines hope as "the feeling that what is wanted can be had". At first glance, hope and faith appear to almost be synonyms but if you go deeper you see a very clear difference. Hope is based more on a desire where faith is based on a knowing. Both relate to something that is unseen but to have faith is to truly believe in the outcome rather than wish for it. With hope, there is still a seed of doubt but when we have faith, we believe to our core that the desired outcome will prevail. 

We can either live our lives by hope or by faith. If you live by hope, you are not fully committing to your beliefs and desires. When you live by faith, you have that internal "knowing" that allows you to completely commit and believe in the outcome. Hope may provide the path but faith is our compass to travel down that path. Faith allows us to stay strong and anchored in our journey and not succumb to the challenges or trials along the way. I've learned the difference between hope and faith these past few months and yes, I choose faith! 

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see" – Hebrews 11:1

Monday, May 21, 2012

Forget About the When

I'm reading Wayne Dyer's newest book, "Wishes Fulfilled" and he reminded me once again in a very simple statement to stop worrying about the future. He writes, "Let go of all doubt, forget about the when. It will develop into a material fact on Devine time". We spend so much time planning and playing out different scenarios in our mind often times focusing on the negative outcomes versus the positive. We've been so ingrained to think the negative outcome has a stronger chance of becoming our reality that we don't even give much time or consideration to the positive outcome. We get impatient and want to know all the answers right away, many times feeling sure that the negative scenario we've already played out so many times in our mind already will be the outcome and we just want to get it over with. God must surely laugh at us!

It's so important to remember that God wants nothing but the best for us and while we plan and think we can totally control the outcome, God is in charge and will have the right outcome play out according to His plan and in His time. Yes, some trials may come in the process but those trials are there for a reason and as long as we keep our eyes on Him, we'll get through it and the outcome will most definitely be positive. We need to live in the moment and stop worrying about what happens next. God is there taking care of all the details making sure everything works out in His perfect timing. We need to be open to that so we don't miss his cues and learn to focus inward letting His spirit guide us and provide us with a sense of peace that can only come from following His plan.

Don't spend your time weighed down in worry or trying to rush an outcome. Just remember God is there making sure it all works out. As long as we're seeking and trusting in His guidance, the outcome will truly be better than anything we could have ever possibly planned for or imagined.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future". – Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, April 30, 2012

Learning to Surrender to What You Can't See

I'm very slowly learning to truly embrace that God will bring into our life exactly what we need when we need it. He is there to understand and encourage as much as to provide answers. What may seem like chaos at the time has a purpose in a bigger vision we cannot see. It's so hard to fully grasp this but God helped me tremendously the other day by bringing a song into my awareness that so beautifully summed up everything I've been feeling lately. It felt like He literally was speaking to me through this song, reminding me to believe in what I cannot see. I've been so caught up in trying to figure things out my way in my own timing that I've missed His reassurance that it will all come together in His way and in His perfect timing. As I listened to the words in this song, I realized exactly what I was doing and knew it was time to as the song says, "surrender to what I can't see". Since then, that message has been reinforced for me in numerous ways reminding me that He truly is there for us when we open our hearts to His presence.

We can imagine a bigger vision but look for solid proof that our vision is real and worth trusting in because it seems so impossible in our realm of understanding and we cannot conceive on our own how it can come into reality. There is a sense of chaos as if God is stirring the pot yet there is also an intuitive knowing that a bigger plan is at work and an inner sense of peace that surrounds that. God is teaching me to not question the chaos but to rest in His peace, trust in His plan and surrender to what I cannot see. When we surrender to God's way, we know we are surrendering to something heavenly that is far beyond any limitation we could ever place on it. Through God, ALL things are possible!
"For the vision is yet for the appointed time; It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail. Though it tarries, wait for it; For it will certainly come, it will not delay. - Habbakuk 2:3


Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Beauty of Space

I love this time of year – my favorite! Everything is in bloom and all the colors are just so wonderful and energizing. My container pots and planters are filled with pansies and absolutely bursting with gorgeous color right now which definitely hasn't been the case in prior years. Each year, I make the trek to the nursery, buy the tiny pansies and then come home and overfill the containers because I want instant color. I'm not patient enough to plant the recommended distance apart and sure enough, they usually die very early on in the season because they just have no more room to grow. This year I decided to take a different approach and plant them spaced apart. They looked so lost in the beginning, these tiny single pansies overwhelmed by the size of each container and I truly did have to fight the urge to add more in! But this morning as I looked out to admire their color, I realized just how incredibly beautiful they are this year! Each container is overflowing with big colorful blooms and looks so healthy. By giving them their much needed space to grow, their true potential and beauty came through. It dawned on me that there is probably a life lesson here.

How many times are we impatient and want immediate results? We don't allow the space or trust for God to work His magic. Instead, we press for the results and often get frustrated or feel like we've somehow missed the mark along the way. Often times, the answers lie in that quiet space but if we're too busy pressing for an immediate answer, we push out and miss what otherwise could have been. I think I now get it. Beautiful things will happen when we're willing to be patient and give into the space that must exist for God's greatest works to be done.

"But if we look forward to something we don't have yet, we must wait patiently and confidently" – Romans 8:25



Friday, March 30, 2012

Wait for the Lord

Do you ever have that unsettled feeling that God is up to something in your life but you're not exactly sure what? I've had a restless feeling for months now and can't quite put my finger on it. I sense the answers are coming and I just need to be patient – the hardest part of any journey!

Sometimes I feel like the answer is right in front of me but I have a blind spot around it. Other times I feel like the answers haven't been fully revealed and I'm pushing too hard to find them. There is old proverb I love, "Don't be pushed by your problems, be led by your dreams." How true! When feeling unsettled, it's time to trust the process and let your dreams lead you forward. It will make the "wait" less difficult and help you focus on the goodness and abundance that awaits you regardless of your current situation. Yes, I need to spend more time focusing on my dreams while I "wait for the Lord".

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord" – Psalm 27:14


After I posted this, I found the following when I went to Facebook:

Sometimes you are delayed where you are because God knows there's a storm where you're headed.

Amazing how God works when you finally agree to let go :)

Monday, March 5, 2012

Indecision is not from God

I found this scripture the other day and it spoke to me in a very powerful way. “Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes’ and your ‘No’, ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one”. –Matthew 5:37

When we are faced with indecision, it’s time to get quiet and listen for God’s guidance. He will provide the insight and direction for us to go. It sometimes may only be gut feeling while other times we may see a clear and direct path. Often times we are searching for signs or that lightening bolt from sky but more times than not, it’s a still quite voice inside that leads us to the answer.

He tasks us to follow through by faith, moving forward with our decision and not looking back. Results come only when we take clear and decisive action. Indecision is not a peaceful place to be and God knows that. This scripture reminds us that when we stay in that place of indecision that is when we typically get into the most trouble and ultimately stall out. He wants so much for us and has such great plans for us. We need to take the first step and prayerfully seek Him in our indecision and be fully committed to whatever answer we feel led by – He will surely provide once we do.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

God Is In Charge

Last night I was reminded once again that God absolutely is in charge. You know the saying, "Man plans and God laughs"? That definitely applied to me yesterday. I had committed to a business trip last minute that would take me out of town Tuesday night through Thursday afternoon of this week. For some reason, I didn't have a good feeling about it but I chose to ignore that feeling and kept forging ahead. God reached in along the way as I planned, trying to give me indications the timing was not right. Every time I tried to make the airline reservation, the computer would time out. Then when I finally got through to the site in a back door way, the airfare had increased. Not a lot, but enough to make me think. I decided to still move forward.

God reached in again to cause me to question my plans. My daughter became ill Monday and by late Tuesday afternoon, it was unclear she was going to school today. To complicate matters, both my husband and I were traveling so where I thought I covered the bases and had each of my girls staying with friends, it now appeared one of us would have to cancel our trip to stay home with Jenny. We talked and my husband graciously offered to change his plans if need be but again that gnawing feeling came through which I chose to ignore.

Well, God decided that if wasn't going to respond to his subtle nudging, He'd have to take more drastic measures. When I got to the airport last night, my flight had been delayed which meant I wouldn't make my connecting flight. They tried to get me on an earlier flight but their computer kept timing out. Once they got through that, the attendant needed an override which we had to wait a few minutes for. When the supervisor came over to enter the override, he said we're now too late to book that flight, we had just missed it by a "few" minutes! I now was beginning to sense I really was not supposed to go on this trip. The final answer came when my only option was to fly out in the morning but that would cause me to miss half of the meeting. Yes God, I heard you. For whatever reason, I am not supposed to go on this trip.

While I was disappointed I wouldn't make the meeting, I did feel comforted in knowing that God is there providing us signs all the time on what direction we should take. It's our decision whether or not to follow those signs. What was even more comforting was the reassurance that God will step in and make sure we're on the right path. He truly is there to protect us when we open our heart to Him.

A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps - Proverbs 16:9

Sunday, January 29, 2012

God is in Our Silence

I was just reading something this morning that reminded me that God exists in our silence. All that has ever been created first emerged from silence. It is in the silence that life can takes form just like the notes in a symphony. Without the silence between the notes, we'd experience chaos and noise. It is in the silence that life and meaning are given to those notes.

The same holds true for our lives. We must embrace silence to fully experience the symphony God has created for us. If we are constantly pressing forward allowing no time for silence, we lose the music. It's no wonder we wonder aimlessly about searching for our purpose and sense an emptiness yearning to be filled. God reveals His unique purpose for us in our silence for that is where He resides and creates. We just need to allow ourselves to be still and silent to personally experience the incredible symphony He has created for us.

Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why Me?

How many times have you uttered those words? Lately, I feel like I've been uttering them too much. When faced with struggles, it's easy to succumb to that mindset. You start wondering why this is happening, it is just happening to me, etc. and that starts to the cycle of dwelling on the problem rather then searching for a solution.

I just read something this morning from Rick Warren of the famed "The Purpose Driven Life" and he challenges us to not ask "Why me?" but instead to ask "What do I do with this, God?" Very powerful because in asking that question, you are automatically reaching within and focusing your thoughts on finding a solution.

God does not let things enter into our lives accidentally. While we may feel like the suffering at times is unbearable, there is a reason for our journey and that suffering is part of the journey to teach us and make us even stronger and more Christ like in the end. The next time you're feeling overwhelmed with a situation, stop and take the time to ask God what you need to do or learn from that situation. Have faith that God will indeed show you the way.

"We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." (2 Corinthians 4:8–9)