Now what?

pexels-photo-356079.jpegI sat down at my computer to write while not knowing what words would appear. Sometimes they are a surprise to me as I type them.   I am struggling to come up with a title for what I want to say.  To make it all neat and tidy and “Christian”.  I would love to have the perfect post in 300 words or less. But today it’s not coming to me.  Because I don’t understand why I do the things I do.  I don’t know why I don’t trust God with my future.  I don’t know why I turn to my many distractions.  I feel like I am being deceived into thinking that this problem, situation or opportunity is all up to me.  If it is up to me I’m in trouble because  I just don’t see it.  I don’t see the way around it.  You might be in a similar place.  You have worked hard all your life to get to where you are. You have been responsible.  You have made good choices, not perfect but good.  What do you do when you have worked (and often succeeded) in making a wonderful life, but now you are looking at the possible end of life as you know it?  What do you do when, despite you hard work and smart planning, things are not going well…not well at all?

 

There is no shortage of people handy that will give you advice on what to do with your life.  I know, I have been one of those well meaning people. But, guess what, it’s not up to them.  It’s your life, not theirs.  They really don’t have that much skin in the game— not like you do. So what do you do?   When times are bleak and things are not looking good… I don’t know the answer for you, and today I will not be one to give advice.  I will only leave you with these words from Jesus.  I know He will give you the answer you seek.

Matthew 6:25-34
 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?  And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?  And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,  yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.   But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Smile

Fake it until you make it they say…
Smile— they say…
Count your blessings is another one I often hear.  But, do these work?  If I feel sad can I pretend to be happy?  Will it make any difference?

Often I get stuck in my head, in the “emotional weeds” a friend once put it.  I think things are much worse than they actually are.  I fill my head and heart with negative thoughts.  So much negativity that I am filled with angst.  I lose track of the blessings God has given to me.  I forget to look for beauty in the day, and worry at night.

I worry about losing my kids without ever stopping to thank God for the gift they are in the first place.  I get frustrated with my husband instead of realizing he is caring for me as God told him to.  I take my parents for granted while barely realizing they are getting older.

Sometimes God allows adversity to come in to slow us down.  What we chose to do when these times come make all the difference.  We can choose to be filled with anger and annoyance that our way has been blocked, causing us to miss His lesson.  However, we can choose to accept the slower pace and notice the lessons God is teaching us along the way.  Thanking God for His grace and His mercy.

So as it seems…maybe counting our blessings has some truth in it after all.

One voice

I never comment on politics online and seldom in person. I usually see a little bit of both sides. Because what I see with my heart is that the pain in the world is so great. So incredibly great. Right or wrong, I don’t know, but I rarely read the news. I can barely handle the great sadness that surrounds us. Today I happened to catch the story of the young girl killed in Kentucky during a school shooting. This girl called her mother as she was dying and the mother heard the chaos as it was happening. I can not fathom the horror. I imagine that she would have given anything to crawl through that phone and hold her baby girl. I just can’t bare this.

What is the good of one more voice? Well, it isn’t to comment on anything political or controversial. It is to urge you to use your one voice to speak love and life into someone. If you see good, speak it. If you feel love, speak it. If you cherish someone, tell them and tell them why. If you know Jesus, introduce Him to someone else.

Because so many singular voices can form something amazing. A large collective of people loving others.

Please, today use your voice to spread love.

For Real

What is stopping me from living the life I want to live? I have a lot of excuses but what is the reason…For REAL?

I have been gifted with so much time, a beautiful place to work and a supportive husband.

I don’t even do the things I love to do let alone the stuff I should do.

I love to journal and sometimes I don’t.
I desire to be a writer and I don’t write.
I would feel better if I exercised but I don’t.
I need to stop spending money but I don’t.
Real food would fuel me but I struggle to cook.
I have friends I love and I should call or visit…but I don’t.

Why? What is my reason? For real?

I feel paralyzed by indecision, too depressed to leave the house.
So what do I do? I numb out in front of the computer, endlessly scrolling until I feel 2 feet tall. Images of beauty and affluence.
Ways I could never compare, and truth be told ways I don’t want to compare. These promises of the “american” dream are so
empty. Even still I realize that minimalism, although great, will not hide me from my demons.

I must pause and look deep inside for the reasons I run. The reasons I hide. For real.

I love this quote by Nicole Lyons. “She will rise. With a spine of steel, and a roar like thunder, she will rise.”

I must rise up from the lies that keep me down. I must embrace the life that God has for me. But first, I need to stop running scared. Running from God and stop to hear His voice of grace and love.

Fear can not rule and neither can complacency. I must rise and face the problem head on.