Archives for posts with tag: perspective

I read this quote by Amy Carmichael the other day. Love the truth and simplicity of it.

“We say, then, to anyone who is under trial,

give Him time to steep the soul in His eternal truth.

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Go into the open air, look up into the depths of the sky,

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Wrightsville Beach, NC

or out upon the wideness of the sea,

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Wrightsville Beach, NC

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Malmo, Sweden

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Wrightsville Beach, NC

or on the strength of the hills that is His also; or, if bound in the body, go forth in the spirit; spirit is not bound.

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Shelby, NC

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Boone, NC

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Stockholm, Sweden

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Archipelagos, Sweden

 

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Boiling Springs, NC

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Stockholm, Sweden

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Shelby, NC

Give Him time and, ……as surely as dawn follows night,

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Shelby, NC

there will break upon the heart a sense of certainty that cannot be shaken.”

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Malmo, Sweden

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Backyard ūüôā

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Boone, NC

– Amy Carmichael
Faith is perspective. It is belief. And sometimes a little stepping back to get some breathing room can do wonders for fueling faith, because in stepping back, we can better see the Wonder of the One we have faith in. ¬†It’s not about faith in faith. It’s about faith in Him, the One True God.
The Heavens declare His wonder…and when I share in the wonder, well, my view changes my worldview, my worship changes my worry, my wonder changes the One I’m focusing on. ¬†Yeah, am thinking Amy Carmichael had it so right when she wrote the above quote. ¬† A little stepping back and looking up and looking out can awake in my heart “a certainty that cannot be shaken…” ¬†Actually, for me, sometimes that certainty is shaken…but the good news is My God never is. Love that. When I show up, He is already there. ¬†Just a few reminders to my self …

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Hebrews 11;1

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After a quiet Sunday morning of taking my time to drink my coffee, read, pray, even take some photos of a few things on the deck and blog a bit, I went out to the car to leave for nursery duty at church and saw…not one, but TWO¬†flat tires. And I’m not talking questionable or just a little low on air. I’m talking F ¬†L ¬†A ¬†T.

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And I felt a bit deflated for sure. More than just a bit.

And the thought hit me that I better walk around the side to see if the other two were flat as well. Relief. Phew. They were both good. Am guessing I ran over some glass or something on the left side. Anyway, moving on…

So, I asked my husband if I could use his truck, (he said, ‘yes’…and I was proud of him because he didn’t say a lot of the other words¬†I thought I might hear…) and I left, and only showed up a few minutes late for nursery duty. I got to care for some sweet little ones and then went to the worship service, and sang songs and heard lots of words of truth and encouragement.

And I’m home now and I’m trying to focus on the good things to be thankful for. I mean, I ¬†had a truck to drive home right? Or, I could’ve been in the car when we got two flat tires. Or…even worse, Tanner could’ve been driving. And¬†having gratitude for things can be easy to list, but sometimes, sometimes it’s tough to feel. ¬†And honestly, that’s where I am…

I’m still feeling deflated…And it’s so not about the tires.

Flat tires are a teeny-tiny inconvenience…a small thing. But it’s a teeny small thing on top of lots of other small things and a few really big things. One on top of another pushing the air out of yours truly. And I’m just being honest that I just feel like that so very flat tire. ¬†And my husband kept saying, I’ve never seen “two flat tires” like that…and it felt as though he was implying that someone had intended to give me flat tires, like I was on someone’s hit list or something. And that didn’t help me either… Neither did “discussing” some of the other challenges we’re facing. And the deflated part of me started filling up with hot angry fumes that were so not helping. ¬†Then I said words that I wished I could take back and it would’ve been better if I had used the words I thought my husband might say this morning, because mine hurt a lot more than a few cuss words would. Yep. ¬†Deflated is a pretty appropriate word. And two deflated tires were pretty symbolic of two not so encouraged people.

BUT….BUT¬†I love that there’s a place I can go with all of that. One that I can turn to. Yes, Triple A will get a call today (soon), but aside from some short conversations and niceties, all they can do is help me get those tires fixed or drop it off somewhere that can help. But they can’t fill up that void when life kind of sucks the air out of us, or just ‘sucks’ period. We all go through times like that. ¬†No matter what our walk of life, there are times when we just need to be lifted up a bit, filled up a bit. ¬†The irony for me is that often the ‘lifting up’ of my heart, emotions, is determined by what or who I’m ‘lifting up’ in action. Yep. That’s the truth.

Because life does get hard. In waves. And some of the hard is just life and some of the hard is our consequences. And some of the hard is in our control and some of it is ¬†so not, but is in the hands of those we’re doing life with. For the good or the bad, for better or for worse. And so many people say “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” ¬†Well…I can’t find that anywhere in my Bible. I read, “Because he has set his love upon Me, I will deliver him; I will set him on high because he has known my name. He shall call upon me and I will answer him in trouble.” Psalm 92:14,-15 ¬†It says “IN TROUBLE.” ¬†I read about how the Lord is our help THROUGH struggles, WITH Him. And I know with certainty that God HAS allowed so much in my life that was WAY more than I could handle. I mean, case in point, we had a 2 year span when we had 6 teenagers in the house at the same time. These six teenagers were not visitors, mind you… they were living there because they are mine ūüôā ¬†It was way more than I could handle at times, but was God with us THROUGH it? YES. And another thing. My husband would be the first to say that a lot of his choices have brought a lot of heartache…aches that were way more than I could ‘handle’. ¬†Nope, I’m not a “God-won’t-give-you-more-than-you-can-handle person. I”m a “What-God-allows-He-uses-and-walks-with-us through-it-ALL” kind of gal.

And He does. And He has.

So that. That is what I will focus on. He is who I will lift up…and guess what? ¬†It helped to lift me up for sure to focus on what’s true rather than what I feel. I sat on the deck and read… and was happy to see that the coffee cup that I chose this morning pre-flat tire awareness, was this one. ¬†Hope. ¬†Good thing to focus on.

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And do you know what else is cool? This morning, the verses I read were from James 1. ¬†If you’re familiar with James 1 you might smile a bit right about now. ¬†Yep, I read about ‘counting it ALL joy’… and persevering when things aren’t so great. Funny. I had even taken a photo of the Bible reading this morning. ¬†I loved the way the light was shining on the page and me and my so analogy-driven self was thinking how that Light was shining on the words on the outside, but were so lighting me up on the inside. (Yep. My grandfather called me ‘sappy’ for ¬†a reason.)

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And here’s another PRE-flat tire awareness photo that I took this morning…

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And do you know why I took this one? ¬†Because it’s such a visual of needing supports. The Mandevilla plant my mother-in-law gave me would be flapping and flying in the wind or grounded on the cement if it didn’t have supports to cling to. Kind of like me. Triple A, the Word, friends and family, my church, and my God…boy do I need supports in my life. Maybe that’s a flip side of days like today… I’m so aware of my needs for supports and am not quite as Ms. Independent as I may seem. I need people. I need God. I need Triple A. A lot.

And here’s another photo I took PRE-Flat Tire.¬†DSCN5248

This cute little chickadee actually was still for a bit which is not a small thing. Because these little birds usually flit about like crazy. Birds have been a constant reminder to me lately of how there’s provision for today…this moment. (Matthew 6:26). And I’ve needed that reminder.

So, I guess I’ve needed a lot of reminders today. And that’s the cool thing…they were right in front of me even before I realized I needed them.

And I sat on the deck and got my eyes of me and my little pity-party and saw some cool things…DSCN5255

Some vincas from a sweet neighbor…

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DSCN5256…and here’s my absolute favorite tea cup bird feeder. The wind had gotten a hold of our umbrella and actually turned over the table with the pot that held this. But it’s a reminder that even our favorite material things don’t last. Tires. Cars. Tea Cups. They are the stuff, the temporal stuff. They don’t last. Gotta focus on what does. Yep, another good reminder for me.

So, I sooo hope that you could not relate to any of this…that your life is going awesome with very few blips in the road and that you’re thinking that my flat-tire-catalyst for a confession of deep need is totally foreign to you. But for those of you who may feel a bit ‘deflated’ today…am hoping that me reminding myself of some things might encourage you a bit as well. ¬†Remember the mandevilla (we need supports, like each other), Remember the chickadee (there’s provision for today), and remember the broken tea cup and flat tires (the temporal is just that- short-lived…let’s hold on to the eternal, let go of the stuff…) ¬†And, when we feel ‘deflated’, there’s one we can go to to fill us up. Remember the God of all hope. Paul said it bestin 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.” ¬† ¬†Yes. ¬†That.¬†That is like air in the tires…like breath to my lungs, like hope to my heart.

Keep Pressing On ~

Heather

p.s. Will probably be blogging about the analogy of keys and locksmiths tomorrow because guess who (me) forgot to tell the Triple A guy that we can’t lock the car… cause the key doesn’t work externally…and so I’ll probably be getting a call from the tire place at around 8 a.m. or so saying they can’t get in the car. ¬†Yep. There are lots of analogies for a blog on keys and locksmiths. Stay tuned ūüôā

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“Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul would have settled in silence. If I say, “My foot slips”, Your mercy O’ Lord, will hold me up. In the multitude of my anxieties within me, Your comforts delight my soul.”

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I love the zoom lens on my camera. The lens will go from a close up of one thing to a close up of another thing in the push of a button and then back again in a heartbeat. The camera is still pointed at the exact same place, but the whole perspective changes. (Nothing else changes, only the perspective…)

So this morning as I held up my camera, my view which started out as this…a tree just beginning to bud…

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….turned to this…blooms…full pink blossoms…in the push of a button. Voila!

DSCN2935.jpgAm thinking two things.

First, what we zoom into is what we see. There are a myriad of lenses to look through. Where we fix our gaze is what we see. Faith helps us fix our eyes on the unseen…to trust in God, and that filter can become a lens that helps us see the beauty beyond the bare. I don’t know about ¬†you, but there’s a ¬†lot of “bare” to see in my world. Zooming in helps me see the beauty…and the presence of God in the midst of it all.

Second…that our human eyes (and hearts) can only see so much, even with zoom lenses…. And that what we may see as bare branches and a teeny tiny bit of growth, God may look beyond to see as the beautiful thing that¬†is yet to be. ¬†He knows what is to come and He loves us right in the middle of it all. That’s a beautiful thing that I’m zooming in on today.

Blessings ~

Heather

“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, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4: 16-18

A few years ago, I started taking a different way to work. ¬†Even though it’s not the quickest way for me after dropping off my son at the high school, I still take it every morning . ¬†I start out on winding roads and see glimpses of the sun through the trees. And then I come wide open spaces ¬†and see the sun rising over a hill to the right.As I go around the bend, I see a field of cows with mountains in the background. ¬† And when I come home? If I time it right, I see the sun peeping through the trees ahead of me, and then settling into a vast field to my left as I enter my road, the last little stretch before I reach home.

theridehome3This afternoon, the sun was so bright it was hard to see. ¬†But what I did see was beautiful. Grays, blues, greens all joined by a warm glow that drenched it all. Short cuts may be good for somethings, but for me? ¬†When I can, I’m taking the long and winding road. ¬†It’s the one that helps me keep perspective. It’s the one that helps me realize it’s not all about the quickest and fastest. It reminds me to breathe. To appreciate. ¬†To take the moment in. ¬†To not rush home to rush to the next thing, but to just kind of be in the minute I’m in. It probably only takes one or two minutes more than the other way, but the visual pay out way more than makes up for a few minutes lost, because there’s a whole lot that can’t be measured that’s gained.

Just a few thoughts on my way home.

Blessings ~

Heather

 

“Cease striving and know that I am God…”

Psalm 46:10

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https://wordpress.com/tag/wordlesswednesday

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https://wordpress.com/tag/wordlesswednesday

black and white lanscapeAlthough the subject for the photo challenge is “landscape”, I know that the real subject of the photo is on the right. So, although the beautiful riverside path is front and center, it gives way to my son and his love of photography. ¬†This photo is my view of his view of the landscape. ¬†Same place, different view, different lens. ¬†Kind of like life. ¬†We might be in the same place, but our views, our focus, our lens…they provide a whole different screen shot of the same place and time. ¬†Love that.

https://bopaula.wordpress.com/black-white-sunday-photo-challenge-page/

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watching

I’m taking it all in. ¬†The sand in my toes, the sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and, most of all….the fun that my kids are having just doing their thing on the beach. It’s Christmas day, and the gifts have been opened, and there’s still lots of time until the evening meal, so we took a little venture to the beach.¬† I took off my boots, and sat in the sand and watched the fun unfold. The older I get, the more I just love to watch and see and be thankful for the little moments in a day.

I remember years and years ago, how my grandfather, “Papa Les”, would sit back and just watch during family celebrations. ¬†He’d sit on the couch and smile, and shake his head, and just observe, not in a detached way, but in a very engaged way. He was a wise man with a twinkle in his eye who would entertain and laugh in a heartbeat, but who often just enjoyed taking it all in by watching. ¬† And more and more, I get that.

Center stage for me shifted a long time ago. ¬†And maybe that’s a big part of growing up. ¬†Being a wife and mom has taught me so very much about having someone else in Center Stage. But more than seeing the needs of those around me, or the having the desire to be involved in it all, is the awareness that Center Stage doesn’t truly belong to any of us. For me, there’s that Unseen Presence who is so at the Center of it all. ¬†And knowing that God is so very present and working in the lives of those around me, in my life? ¬†That’s the focal point that changes EVERYthing I see. It changes the whole perspective and sets an ordinary stage for potential of so much happening that I cannot see. It gives me hope. It adds a whole new dimension to what is seen.

Feeling the tiny grains of sand under my feet as I stare at the vastness of the ocean is a reminder that I’m just one in a million, trillion, bazillion…¬†¬†We are but a small part of the vastness of God’s creation, and the moments we live are but a drop in the ocean of eternal time. But these moments matter. ¬†There’s a verse in 2 Corinthians that puts so much in perspective. ¬†It says, “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” As I stood on the beach and watched my kids, it felt like I was seeing the temporary and eternal all wrapped up in one. I see with my eyes their uniqueness and fun and enjoyment of the moment. ¬†I see with my heart that they are gifts in my life and that God is doing a work in their lives to draw them nearer…whether through joys or struggles. ¬†God is the Unseen Presence in Center Stage. ¬†Because of that eternal Truth, I can Hope, and enjoy sitting back and watching as things unfold.

And to those who read this post? I guess I share this because I want us to have Hope. My family has had a tough year that will bleed on into the year to come. ¬†And I could lose hope in an instant if I let go of certain truths. Hope is unseen, and so is the One who gives it. He is the Unseen Hand who guides us if we would ask Him. ¬†When we’re at Center Stage, life can be pretty crazy. ¬†But when He is the backdrop of all that we see? There’s hope. ¬†There’s clarity. There’s joy. ¬†There’s perspective that looks beyond the moment and see not the tiny grains of sand, but the big picture. No matter what the scene of the play. ¬†And we can take it all in knowing that God is in control, and we all know the end of the story. ¬†May we all passionately play the roles that we have to play in a world that so needs hope. May we take the time to sit back and take it all in as we see the wonder of how God moves and uses things to draw others to Him. He has a way of showing up in unexpected ways when we have the eyes to see it and the heart to hope for it. And I can’t wait to watch and see what He does…

With Hope ~

Heather

¬†“Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
Romans 12:12

P.S. ¬†Oh, and a little post script. ¬†My daughter is usually at “center stage” in photos…and will be the first to tell you we have a million and one photos of her. ¬†But, guess who took this photo of me and some of her brothers? ¬†She did. ¬†Guess we’re all learning to not be Center stage!

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