Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am anxious to carve out a decent chunk of time to do some writing. There is a lot to say and some cool things to share. Unfortunately, today is not the day. But in hopes of finding a place of focus and productivity here is a list of some random Tuesday thoughts.

I am still beaming from last night’s small group. It’s always neat when new people show up and check out the group, and last night’s visitors were no exception. It was a great night!!! Conversation was rich, ideas shared were thought provoking, and authenticity was present. Looking back, it is amazing to see the growth that has happened not only on an individual level, but as a whole on these Monday nights. I am blown away by this group, by the individuals that are constantly teaching me and showing me what it is like to be part of a loving, giving and authentic community.

I could not be more excited about the new series at PCC, IMPROV: Life Unscripted. We kicked it off last week, and I was completely floored at how God used Beth Stoddard to share such a powerful word. It was creative, captivating, and challenging. Beth delivered the message with such passion, heart and soul. And God’s been using her words to stir in my heart this week. If you missed it, check it out—you won’t be disappointed! http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/15634694.

I know I have said it already, and perhaps I am just swept away, but how much I love it, or maybe it is the overwhelming joy of knowing you are exactly where God intended you to be, but I LOVE POWHATAN! Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the city, the culture, the business, the diversity, and that will always be a part of me. I had huge doubts and fears when Powhatan came up on the radar, but now, there is something unexplainable every time that I drive home. I am able to stop, able to rest and able to reconnect. There is an all consuming peace. It’s new, it’s life giving, and once again all I can do is stand in awe of God’s love and provision.

I adore being an aunt. With moving, the past two months have been consumed with packing, painting, cleaning, unpacking, painting, organizing, cleaning, decorating, etc. and I’ve missed TOO MUCH time in this little girl’s life. It doesn’t help that she lives about 5 hours away. I could not be more excited to head down to NC to visit next weekend. I hear she LOVES the pool and already has her first tooth. I may be bias, but I think she is stinking cute, and you better believe more pictures to come!

4th of July is coming up, and who knew that Powhatan had so much going on? J Being the new kid in town, I need help. Where is the best place in Powhatan to celebrate the 4th?

Have a Happy Tuesday Folks!!!

And for all of you who prayed for me last week, thank you, thank you, thank you! Hope to share my experience soon.

Philippians 2:13 For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

If at first you don't succeed--try again.

Day 11

It is day 11 of this “retreat.” I wish I could write about the amazing time I have had unplugging from distractions and plugging right into the heart of God. I wish I could write about my disciplines of being still and quiet before our God and how I have heard Him speak His truth and wisdom over me. I wish I could write more about understanding this new me that I am called to be or of the power that His Word has spoken into my life. But I can’t. Disconnecting has proven to be a challenge.

I have learned in these 11 days that staying busy, and filling my time, is easy and comfortable. Silence and being still is intimidating. It is in the stillness and silence that I am left with hard questions and doubts that continually play over and over in my head. Perhaps it is in those times of questions, doubts and confrontation that real relationships are built, where trust is found and where authenticity exudes. I feel Him nudging, calling and challenging me to pursue Him in silence, to really disconnect, to seek Him out, to work out my faith, to ask my questions and share my doubts and to rest in Him.

I have been given the choice. I can continue to disconnect half heartedly as I have been doing, or even forget it all and just reenter into life as I know it. But I am haunted by the question . . . what if I gave it all? What if I set aside all my fears and my apprehensions and dived in, do it how He is asking, to really discover what Psalm 46:10 means? What if I work through the uncomfortably of silence and I see Him like I never have?

Being a part of this “twitter” generation, is leaving me empty. I have adopted the concept that life summed up in 140 characters is enough, but I am starved for more. And that’s part of the quest . . .to find it. I am not sure I even know exactly what “it” is, but I do know that He is the only one who has the answers. He is the only one who can fill me and leave me satisfied.

So, game plan #2! By Monday, the 20th the last 6 boxes should be unpacked and I should be completely settled into my new place. My calendar will be clear for the following 5 days. I will have read The Invitation to Silence and Solitude by Ruth Haley Barton, in hopes to find some concrete tools to help navigate me. And my cell phone, TV, home computer will be turned off, unplugged, or thrown out the window. Whatever it takes! J

I covet your prayers through this week. I am sure I will be face with many challenges and obstacles, but I am anxious to encounter, to wrestle and to rest in our Almighty God.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Hiatus

Moving day is almost here. The end of weekends spent packing is in sight. The blinders are on and the focus—get it done! Soon I will reenter a life that has been unfamiliar for 5+ years. A journey I have been venturing towards for almost 8 months now. It’s been a rollercoaster of a ride to say the least, a ride of rediscovering myself, redirecting my life, and refocusing my attention. At times the ride has caused me to throw up my arms and enjoy the freedom of the wind in my hair. Other times, my knuckles have been snowy white, clinching to the safety bar as I close my eyes and scream to get off. But I have yet to ride completely alone. There have been some of the most genuine, amazing and godly friends and family who have willingly climbed on board and buckled in. I will never find the words to express the gratitude I have for their friendship, loyalty and love.

But it’s time.

It’s time to ask them to unbuckle, to step out of the ride just for a moment and let me ride it once, alone, before they hop back on. It’s time for me to unplug a little, to take a mini hiatus, a sabbatical if you will. Now this unplugging will not be from work or from things I have previously committed myself to like small group cook out (holla), community outreach activities, Father’s Day, or graduation lunches, but rather break from all my “spare” time in order to reconnect ,refresh, and redefine my relationship with God.

It’s now a time to clean house inside. It’s time to pack up flawed theology, selfish ambitions, lies, and blemished character. I will be tangibly putting together a new home in Powhatan, but more importantly, making the time for Him to create a new home inside me.

Please don’t misunderstand. Community is something I value to the core of who I am. And for 8 months I have sought wisdom, advice, prayers and truth. But it’s time to step back, and listen to Him, time to let God define what that wisdom and truth looks like in the everyday steps of my life.

Now, the logistics . . . I will NOT be falling off the face of the earth. I will disappear from Facebook , from blogging, and e-mail. And for all my “moms” out there, I will let someone know where I am when I take day and overnight trips. For those who have tentative coffee dates/lunch dates—we’re still on. So, if you don’t see me around—say, until July-ish . . . no worries, I’m not withdrawing but just taking a much need retreat with Him.

James 4:8a “Come near to God and He will come near to you.”