Archives for posts with tag: Isaiah 41:10

sins forgiven

Just a few thoughts tonight. Spoke with a dear friend about his place right now. Lots of constant trying to move forward but maybe not seeing the movement because there’s so much ground ahead and goals to move toward, to move forward, to press on to the what’s next with little rest between that and what’s behind. It’s like the journey is so big that it’s hard to see the progress of how far he’s come.

But I’m thinking,in taking a moment to look back a bit, we might just be amazed at how far we’ve come. Perspective is so powerful…  Sometimes we don’t realize how far we’ve come until we stop to remember where we’ve been.

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And I’m also thinking that sometimes it’s good to stop to realize that everything is not all  up to us. It’s so not. Even when it feels like it is. And even when so many things are. Up to us, that is.  There’s still so much that’s not. We do what we can. I’m believing God can do what we can’t. He’s good at filling in gaps, that’s for sure.

Am thinking taking a little time to reflect, to be thankful, to b r e a t h e,   b r e a t h e,         b r e a t h e can inspire in ways that no spinning of our wheels, or juggling balls, or running marathons ever could.  There’s a definite place for all that…for the doing of what we can, for giving it our all, but am thinking that at the end of the day, there’s gotta be a little time, a respite, a filling up.  REST is a necessary part of thriving. Striving, yes, there’s a time for that, for working hard, pushing through. But REST…rest is that time  of repair that equips us, that sustains us, that fills us. God is a Master at the filling up of the empty cup….of filling in the gaps, of breathing life back in…inspiring. He says, “Come to me all who are weary, and I’ll give you rest.”  Rest is that filling up of the the mind, the body, the spirit, that is such a necessary part of any goal or vision or mission. It equips for the journey, sustains and allows for the taking of the next step.

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And another thought.  Sometimes in the journey, unexpected turns can kind of knock the breath out of us. It can be as instantaneous as a kick in the gut, or a slow seep of just feeling like we can’t get enough air in our lungs. It’s like you’re moving forward and have covered so much ground.  You’ve worked incredibly hard for so long, faced and overcome obstacles, moved forward, and you feel like you’re so close to the destination that you can touch it. And then?  Then, the terrain dips down to a huge valley you didn’t even know was there.  It’s sobering and disconcerting, not to mention deeply discouraging. And it makes you feel like you’ll never get to that destination.  You just didn’t see this diversion coming…. and instead of realizing how far you’ve come, all you can think about is how very far you have to go.

 

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But  you know what?  In order to get to the destination,  you’ve gotta go through this once-unseen-valley. It’s part of the journey. It doesn’t change the destination. That dip in the terrain was always there. But you’re not all-seeing. You didn’t see it. But so much of life can’t be anticipated, but merely responded to…one step at a time. One mile at a time. One breath at a time. You’ll get there.  It’ll come. It will. One step at a time. Some things aren’t ours to figure out, just to respond to well. I love the quote by D Bonhoeffer that says, ““There is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveler.”  Nothing need be wasted. Just gotta be sure to be respond well and be thankful for the leg of the journey we’re on…knowing the lessons learned in the distance traveled prepare us better for what’s ahead. And gratitude,…gratitude lightens the load and quickens the step.

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So here’s to the valleys where we’re made to stop a bit and realize how far we’ve come. Valleys we may see as detours that are crucial parts of our journey. Valleys that help us see not only what we can do, but what we can’t. Valleys that make us realize that we do indeed need to get some rest.  And valleys that remind us that we’re not alone, no matter how alone we may feel. Sometimes when the valleys are so low, we can’t help but look up. Thankful for the looking up. And for visuals like stars that shine bright in the dark of night. Shine bright. (Philippians 2). Yep. Stars shine bright in the night.

Thankful for prayer too. Prayer and words spoken and words not…and for the God who fills the gaps of the here and now in the middle of whatever we’re going through. Thankful that He is but a prayer away, no matter what ground we’re standing on or where we’ve been. And He can make all the difference in where we’re going…and how we see where we’ve been. Nothing is wasted when placed in the hands of the One who loves us most. Yep. Am thinking so. And just wanted to remind my dear friend of just that.

Blessings ❤
H.

 

‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

Isaiah 41:10

 

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“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ❤
~ Frederick Buechner
So, it’s already Thursday again. Thankful Thursday, that is. And here are a few things I’m thankful for today.
First am thankful for..this quote. “Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”  Amen. Faith, not fear. Faith. Feed faith, not fear.The news tells us to fear. Looking deeper into things through eyes of faith can encourage us to ….not. Not fear, that is.   Love Frederick Buechner’s tip for sure.
Am thinking faith, not fear, in the little things. Thankful for my one-of-a-kind youngest son who leads the way in this.  He dresses to the hilt for every “Spirit Day” at school, even when it’s at someone else’s school for another team’s football game. Tonight, Hawaiian night. So he doesn’t just put on the  crazy fuschia pink and yellow and black Hawaiian shirt that a dear woman, Christine, bought for Buddy years ago. No, he doesn’t stop with that. He makes sure he’s got the puka shell necklace, the shirt that says, “Hawaii”, and the One Love Skate hat that has the continents of the World on it. He thought they look like Hawaii…and the one who started One Love Skate is living in Hawaii now. Anyway, he goes to the hilt and so does not get it from yours truly. We had Spirit week at school this week and I participated, sort of. Wore a bandana and jeans on Western day and a hat on hat day, ha. Pretty pathetic attempt, I’d say.  But Tanner, Tan-man thoughtfully prepares and goes all out in these things. He’s not afraid of what others think. No fear. Just courage. And with courage comes freedom. Love that. Wanna be more like that.
Thankful for conversations had, and conversations that are not yet voiced. Because sometimes waiting is important. Sometimes the unspoken and restraint and processing before words are spoken is a gift. Sometimes words come like thunder. Sometimes they come like a gentle rain. Usually, some thought and prayer and time can help dispel storms a bit. Takes courage to be still. Takes faith to know that there will be a time to talk later…takes courage and restraint to actually do the waiting. And then takes courage to speak.
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Thankful for heroes. Everyday heroes who see a need and jump in the water, the way, the whatever, to make a difference. Thankful that everyday heroes look just like you and me and that, well, they are you and me when we choose to be. We can all be heroes to somebody. We just need to look for opportunities to jump in. Thankful for the many reminders this week that sometimes the little things are truly the big things. And that those little efforts made at the right time can make a world of difference.  Thankful for the reminder that, “except for the grace of God, there go I.” Natural disasters aren’t personal. They sweep on in and leave people in their wake without regard for race, economic status, creed, gender, political views or ethics. Heroes do the same. Disasters help us see through a different lens…where we are on the same side with the same mission. So thankful for the ordinary heroes sweeping on into Houston this past week and the love in action that was shown.  Thankful for the way it inspires others and inspires me to take initiative to jump in when there’s a need. And there are needs all around….
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Thankful for retrospect. For lessons learned, lightbulbs in heart and mind turned on, and then freedom to move forward. Takes courage to step on into unknown futures.  Takes tenacity to keep moving your feet when they want to stand still. Takes courage to keep eyes and heart wide open. Thankful for loved ones who are moving their feet and going forward into the unknown. Thankful for being in the here and now and thankful for the truth that we need each other. We need each other period. Takes courage to takes walls down. Cool thing is, that’s when there’s room to be en-couraged.
Thankful for celebrations and milestones. For bright lime green balloons and sprinkle donuts, and  cards signed by every faculty member celebrating One student. Thankful for the awareness that one plus one plus one equals way more than three..it equals “We”. Thankful for “We’ll miss you” cards colored with every color in the crayon box. For 3rd and 4th grade students who share encouragement and ‘remember whens’ and give with words and actions.
Thankful for fragrant little white flowers that have cropped up on the Broad River greenway, in the woods by my school’s parking lot, and on the roads on the way to work.  Thankful for the fragrance and the beauty that’s there for just a short season, and then gone. Enjoying them while I can.
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I’m thinking maybe my blog should be called “Rambling on…”
Random thought?  Yep. But pretty accurate, ha.    Or…”Random Ramblings…”Am thinking I’ll close for now 🙂
Blessings to you all.
Heather
P. S. Feed faith. Not fear. Courage. Not fear. Faith. Not fear.
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“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.” ❤
~ Frederick Buechner
“Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10
Thankful Thursday

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So on this “Thankful Thursday” am thankful for a little ‘profile in courage’ of our own. This is Tala.  She does not like bridges.  Especially long bridges.  Even more so, very long swinging bridges where you can look under your four legs and see a stream flowing way down below. Nope, she doesn’t like bridges at all.

She made that clear in strong protest. I didn’t blame her.

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And once she belly-crawled to the steps, she did this again:

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So I called Hope and told her the situation because I was worried, way more worried than I let Hope know. With Tala’s strength and determination and the fact that there are dog-sized gaps between where the rope railing meets the wooden slats, well, I had this picture of us possibly making headline news on the Shelby Star for falling off the swinging bridge. Yes. Tala’s fearful reaction was making a literal ‘walk in the park’, so NOT….and frankly….dangerous!

But Hope gave good advice. It was this. “Mom, Tala doesn’t like to be left alone, so if you just go ahead, she’ll follow you.” So now we weren’t just talking about Tala’s courage, we were talking about my fear/courage.  Although I don’t have a fear of bridges, I do have a fear of a willful, scared dog flipping out on a bridge (figuratively AND literally) and me trying to come to its rescue.  So it took a step of courage for me to step ahead….but I did…and then….miracle of all miracles… (after a bit of wait time with me trying to act very nonchalant)…

 

…after I took a step.. so did she.  Phew.  Big exhale Phew.

So for the rest of the way, we walked really close, step by step, little by little until we made it to the end of the bridge. The bridge swayed a bit and there were moments of hesitation, but Tala persisted and walked close.

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It kind of felt like a long way, but long ways become shorter with each step and so pretty soon, we had gotten from point A to point B and had actually survived. I was so proud of little Tala’s courage.

Sometimes bridges are scary, not just for dogs. Bridges are transitions from one thing to another. To get from one side to the place where we want to go, well, sometimes it takes steps of faith on not-so-solid-ground where one must focus on that step and not set one’s sights on the other side of the bridge. Tala, this sweet and gentle natured dog, absolutely lost all composure and fought and laid down and refused to move forward when she looked at the L O N G bridge.  But the cool thing is, when she saw me go ahead, and looked at me, she was willing to take the first step onto that swinging bridge to follow me. Her fear of being left alone on the other side of the bridge was much greater than her fear of the bridge.

So it can be with transitions. Maybe sometimes we can do courageous things because of our fear of staying where we are and being left behind is greater than the fear of the challenge ahead. Better yet, we can trust the ones we’re with. Tala was fine as long as she stayed close. 

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After I crossed the bridge, I was thankful for the little venture and realized I want to be like Tala. I want to courageously move forward when the ground doesn’t look steady and feels scary. I know that I’m not alone…but I want to stay close to the One who is so worthy of my trust. Trust can look like a lot of things, but I think the deepest trust looks like courage to follow, step by step.

One of my favorite verses through the years has been Isaiah 52:12…It talks about how God goes before us and picks up the pieces behind… But you will not leave in haste or go in flight; for the Lord will go before you, the God of Israel will be your rear guard.”  One of the beautiful things is that courage to walk through more difficult terrains often leads to amazing ventures, people, and experiences that would never happen had we let fear win. 

Just ask Tala :

 

So here’s to bridges and transitions. Here’s to having the courage to step on to them and the tenacity and trust to cross them. And here’s to choosing wisely Who we trust to go with us along the way.

Blessings~

Heather

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

 

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him,
    and he will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5,6

 

 

Thankful Thursday

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