Archives for posts with tag: trust
FullSizeRender

Sunset in Boiling Springs, North Carolina

Wordless Wednesday

DSCN3323.jpg

Chase, Wrightsville Beach, NC

Isaiah 26:9  ~  “Cause my soul to yearn for you in the night and long for you in the morning.”

I read this verse this morning and just love it. I love the word yearn…to long for, to crave, to seek after and desire.  It’s a good word when that yearning can be filled. It’s not such a good word when it can’t be filled. The good news is that when the yearning is for God, He’s right there. That longing for hope and life and light and truth, no matter how hard the truth, can be filled. But even more, that yearning for His Presence can be filled as well…

I’m aware of so many needs in the lives of  sweet friends and family right now. Heck, our world is a mess and seems to be spinning out of control…on the global, world-wide political scale, and in the lives of everyday people. But sometimes the thing that causes our soul to yearn for Him are the very causes which we would never choose.  Illness, adversity, loss of loved ones or things, isolation, un-welcomed transitions…these can be causes that cause us to look outside of ourselves.  These causes can remind us that we are not all powerful and can’t change things in the blink of an eye. They can remind us that we are temporal…that life is fleeting and we are here for a short time. They can remind us that no matter how independent or successful or innovative or creative or whatever we are, that there are things in this life, in this world, that we cannot control.

Maybe the flip-side, the beauty, of these unwanted causes is that they point us to,  dare I say, make us long for yearn for, crave, the Presence of the One who is all that we are not. These unwanted circumstances can make us seek beyond what is seen. It’s almost like these causes are an unwanted path, a difficult terrain that is excruciating to navigate…but the walking of them can lead to an awareness, a place, a destination far beyond what we had ever hoped. Or, we finally get that on this difficult terrain, we have a willing and present navigator, guide to be present along the way.  All through the Bible are verses about God’s leading. One of my favorites is :Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

DSCN7974.jpg

Asheville, NC

 

And come what may, it’s good to know that we’re not alone and that He is accessible on any path, terrain, or circumstance. No matter the cause, if it causes us to yearn for Him in a new way, to seek Him, to crave His Presence, well, maybe the causes we fight so much wouldn’t be so bad. Because they are a gateway to greater things than what we could’ve gotten on easy street. I’m thinking there’s something in each of us that knows God IS. Maybe sometimes the things we would never choose are the very things which make us not only seek His Presence, but to see Him with eyes of faith all the more clearly.

Just a few thoughts from me this morning 🙂

Blessings~

Heather

 

DSCN1865.jpg

 

Maybe “sassy” looks like a 3 inch bird who stares down a 5’6″ human. Maybe it looks like diving into the whole cup of birdseed rather than teetering on the edge and reaching for a few kernels. Maybe it sounds like the song …the beautifully loud and clear tune from a tiny little bird that boldly breaks the silence and fills the air with a melody.  Maybe “sassy” is attitude that looks beyond stature and circumstance. Maybe sassy is a really good thing.  Because this kind of sassy sure sounds a lot like ‘faith’ to me.

… a few thoughts that came to me as I came eye to eye with this sassy little thing  just outside of my window.

 

“The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear?                                                                 The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?”                                                Psalm 27:1

 

dscn1724

Consider…

 

Silent Sunday

silentsunday“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.”

Psalm 143:8

oct16

“In quietness and trust is your strength.”  Isaiah 26:3

silent sunday

 

Silent Sunday

weave

I remember as a child so enjoying making paper placemats.  Usually, the teacher would instruct on how to cut the template for the placemat.  We’d take a piece of construction paper and then cut vertical slits, careful not to cut through to the edge.  Then, we’d cut long strips of paper in various colors to weave in and out horizontally.  Over, under, over, under, over, under, a beautiful pattern would emerge right before out eyes, and after a period of time, each piece would be in place and we’d have a beautiful placemat to share with our families.

I thought about that pattern as I saw the beauty of this palm tree at the beach the other day.  The tall grasses were blowing gently in the wind, the waves were rolling in, the palm leaves were blowing turbulently with the strong wind, and…the trunk of the palm tree stood as steady as a rock. I looked at the trunk and marveled at the beauty of the pattern, over, under, over, under.  And I smiled.

You see, it reminded me of something I needed to be reminded of…that God’s design is perfect.  It is intricate.  It is beautiful. It is unique.  Oh, so unique. God knows what He’s doing. The pattern of the palm tree was beautiful, but had a purpose. Although I will never really have a total comprehensive understanding of all of the whys of the design, I can trust the Designer with the intricate details and reasons for them. I can also appreciate the beauty of the artistry of the pattern, in the same way that oh, so many years ago, I appreciated the pattern of the beautiful little placemats created by my own hands.

So here’s the thing.  I think God has a beautiful template for my life, much like the piece of construction paper with the vertical slits.  There’s a plan.  There’s a purpose.  There’s a pattern.  There are gifts, and abilities, and a myriad of “givens” that were who I was before I even knew I was alive.  All these things help form the backdrop, the template, the background of a life, again, much like the construction paper with the vertical slits.

Then, there are the variables.  These are the choices, opportunities taken and lost, effort given or not, words spoken or not, and the list goes on with each step forward or back. These are like the strips that are cut and woven in and out.  Some may cut their strips  uniformly and thin, weaving them in and out meticulously.  Others may cut them with wavy patterns, and the strips may be varying in width.  Some of us may weave methodically over, under, over, under, making wise choices along the way, day after day, year after year. Others, much like me then, and me now, might rush things a bit and go over, under, over, under, over, over, under, over, under, “oops I skipped a slit”, go back and pull the strip out and start again,….over under, over, under….  Some of us may see beautiful patterns emerge.  Others of us may be so up close and focused on the tiny little strip that we don’t see the beautiful pattern emerging.

Anyway, all this from looking at a palm tree?  Yep.  All this from looking at a palm tree and being reminded that He creates good things and there is beauty all around to remind me of  that. The heavens declare the glory of God.  So do ocean waves.  So do palm trees.   And it is my hope and prayer that , well, so do I.  Even when my little placemat of a life may have lots of not-so-uniform perfectly cut little strips, I’m praying that His beauty shines through that template that He made, and that His grace shines through the strips that I weave, day after day, year after year.   I don’t know about you, but sometimes I just need to remember that there’s a bigger picture, and that even though I might not be able to see the design at times, I can so trust that my little efforts each day are woven into a much bigger picture, tapestry, or …placemat, if you will!  Here’s to thanking God for the templates we are given, and being faithful in our efforts to “weave” lives that honor Him.

Blessings~

Heather

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus,

so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

Ephesians 2:10

 

 

 

 

 

card bird

“He had everything but he possessed nothing.

That is the spiritual secret.”

A.W. Tozer

bit of blue.JPG

So, today, as I walked out of work, I looked up.  What I saw when I looked up made me breathe a deep sigh and smile a bit, for there in the sky was actually a bit of blue.  Haven’t seen blue in the sky for quite awhile it feels like, and this was “Carolina blue”, no less.  And for some reason, it just gave me a lot of hope, because that little bit of blue?  It was a gentle visual reminder to me that there IS hope.

The past few weeks, well, they have been challenging to say the least.  Seems like it’s been raining and pouring in more ways than the weather, that’s for sure. Car troubles, relational issues, financial stretches to the max, sickness, fear, fatigue, work overload, and decisions pending, health concerns, and well, they have all hit at once.  I know these are the ordinary challenges we face…I mean, that’s just life.  But when they hit at once?  Well, it makes you feel like the cloud that surrounds is just never going to lift.  So, when I saw that little bit of blue?  Boy, was that a sight for sore eyes.

So, I got in the car (my son’s car, for my car broke down in the mountains last week and we were waiting on the estimate of how much the repair would be), and I was actually thankful for a lot of things.  One of them was the ‘extra’ car to drive.  We’re trying to sell my son’s car as he’s out of the country for a year and won’t be needing it in Sweden!  Anyway, I was really making a conscious effort to be thankful, (so why were the tears starting to roll?) Before I made it to the first errand, my husband called and gave me the news about the car.  Repair?  Well, more like an overhaul.   Verdict:  the car repair will probably cost more than the value of the car.  Heavy sigh.  But do you know what was really cool?  My husband was steady.  He was encouraging.  “i know it’s tough now, Heath, just hang in there.”  And the tears that were a drizzle turned to a pour because honestly? Honestly the tears weren’t about the car or the struggles or the being stretched to the limit feeling.  The tears were falling because I was allowed to let down.  I was given the grace to be, to be loved in the midst of the crap, and to be assured, that no matter what, we’ll get through.  It’s going to be okay.  Blue skies ahead.  (Maybe teeny tiny bits of blue sky far far ahead, but blue skies ahead, nonetheless.)

And it is. Going to be okay, that is.

Because I know, that life is full of the crazy roller coaster ups and downs and with our large family and some of the residual effects of destructive patterns that take a toll, well, there’s always going to be a lot of “stuff” to deal with.  But the cool thing is, in the midst of it all, there are so very many things to be incredibly thankful for.  So on this “Thankful Thursday”, here are a few from the past week:

I’m thankful for the beauty these eyes had seen as I drove up to the mountains (when the car was actually drivable, pre-breakdown!)  There’s nothing like being in the mountains in the Fall with the brilliant colors.  I’m also thankful for the truth that even though it seems like it’s been ages since we’ve seen blue sky…it hasn’t been as long as it feels.  In fact, I have absolute proof that there were very blue skies exactly 7 days ago when I went to get my daughter in Boone.  This photo was pre-breakdown. Would you just look at that blue sky?  Now, that’s a blue sky!  Beautiful, and only a short week ago.  Sometimes my perception is so off.  Waiting for blue sky is a lot easier when we choose to keep perspective, knowing that feelings aren’t necessary reality.

blue mountain

Birthdays of my 4th and 5th children, Chase and Hope, and time to celebrate them as a family.  Thankfulness that on their birthdays, these college students wanted to be with family on the weekend, and when they were home that they said the “it’s so good to be home, mom” words.  They didn’t just think it.  They said it. And my heart was so encouraged.  Yep, it was so good to have them home. Yes, am so thankful for family, for memories of the precious kids they were and the young adults they are.

chase and hope

For memories.  I’m thankful for parents who came when the car broke down and we really needed a lift for an hour leg of the journey from where the car broke down to home.  And I’m thankful for the time spent in the car.  I’m thankful for the second leg of the journey driven by my son who had just driven 6 hours from the coast and then didn’t hesitate to go an hour more.  “No problem, mom,” he says.  Yeah.  Lots to be thankful for.  And then, to hear the loud laughter in the car as we shared stories in the car of when they were little. It was the kind of laughter that makes your stomach hurt and your eyes water.  Yeah, the beauty of the time together just laughing and listening to music,…you can’t beat that. I’m thankful for more memories that came as I looked through photos.  I’m so incredibly thankful for the joys and aches of being a mom. It’s made me cling to my bit of blue more than just about anything else in my life.  Here’s one of the frames of photos I found.  These are the first four of our six gifts… Precious, precious gifts…

memories

I’m thankful for phone calls from abroad and for struggles and honesty and solutions sought.  I’m thankful for growing pains and for impact, incredible impact that comes with vulnerability.  But sometimes it just feels vulnerable.  I’m thankful for prayer and that we can cast our cares on Jesus for he cares for us.  I”m thankful He is present with my children when I am not. He leads.  I know He knows what He’s doing.  I’m trusting Him with the ones I love the most.

I’m thankful for lasagne prepared by precious hands of a mother who knows about all the details of caring for a family.  I’m thankful that my mom’s lasagne is the best ever, and that she shared it with our family on this birthday weekend. I’m thankful that we could eat and enjoy and that her time spent preparing gave me time to spend with my family instead of preparing dinner.

I’m thankful for memories of friendships shared, encouraging words of friends, laughter, and scripture that shouts to the mountaintops of hope.  I’m thankful for creative outlets and song and words that come out and somehow bring clarity of heart and mind and healing at the same time. I’m thankful for that moment in the car tonight when I was allowed to be vulnerable and loved and given grace, and I’m so thankful that God so calls us to be his children—reliant, dependent, and LOVED.  You know, when my kids came home and wanted to be home, well, it just felt so good…to them and to me.  I think that’s such a visual of who God is to us.  He wants to be our Home, our safe place, our respite, in the here and now.  And the eternal Heaven that we speak of?  It’s so  not about clouds and harps and angels’ wings. It’s about being in His Presence, the Lord of all. It’s about being accepted as we are because of who He is.  Yes, He wants to be our Home every day.  It’s not about a place, it’s about His Presence.  Yes, that’s an amazing thing to be thankful for.

I”m thankful for truth and the word of God, and hope, hope that looks like a bit of blue in a sea of gray. I’m thankful that there always is hope no matter what, not because of me, but because of who God is. I’m thankful that God gives us gentle reminders of His presence, and opportunities to allow us to press in to Him, to know our need, to let down when we’re always having to gear up. I’m thankful for the “out of the blue” text from a cousin and the precious reminder to “keep chopping”, a phrase that our grandfather always used to say that I probably hadn’t heard in 15 years.  Keep chopping.  Keep pressing on.  Keep your eyes on that bit of blue. That bit of blue?  That hope in the distance?  In Christ, it is a reality.  The blue is the end of the story, the clouds are the here and now. The blue is the eternal glory, the light at the end of the tunnel, the finish line to the race.  So endurance and perseverance and tenacious holding on to hope is sometimes necessary.  But, that bit of blue is worth it. It is so incredibly worth it.

Keeping my eyes on the bit of blue.  Hope you are, too, friend.

Blessings~

Heather

P. S.  It’s not an exaggeration to say I’ve listened to this song at least 30 times today. If you have a few minutes to listen, it’s worth it.  (Natalie Grant, King of the World)

“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Amen.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/events/thankful-thursday/

%d bloggers like this: