Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Roots Matter

This morning, Colossians 2:7 found its way into my lap. “Having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him. . .”
Roots really matter.
Hurricane Irene blew through this past weekend. It was wild. Huge gusts of wind, falling branches, and gigantic trees swaying. Luckily, there was no real harm where I was staying. But driving home Sunday, the trees that had shallow or dead roots, really caused some damage.
I have tried to be intentional about deepening the roots in my life. And I’ve tried to plant myself by life giving water. It’s a task that has been accompanied by many challenges, hard work and failures. There have been choices that have been difficult to make, opportunities that I have unsuccessfully capitalize on, and moments where borrowed faith got me through.
Last week was I faced my own personal Irene. The winds blew hard, the cold rain poured, and I even lost some limbs. There were times, I question if I was planted as firmly as I thought.
Last night, I sat on the dock, under an indescribable star filled sky, and in the silence of the night. It was the calm after the storm. The time to process, to reflect and to give thanks was restorative. I was reminded that He is relentless in pouring out the love, grace and support needed to transform lives. He longs for us to plant ourselves close so that our roots can deepen. Like Colossians says, once those roots get deeper, that’s when the building starts!
As I confessed to Him last night, I have no idea what He is up to in my life, where He is leading, or who I am becoming . . . but I know with Him; it’s going to be greater than anything I can foresee. I know I am still fairly young, and at times na├»ve. Every now and then emotions and irrational thinking can get the best of me; there is a lot of room for growth and maturity. But I know that choosing to plant myself beside the Life Giver is worth it. Walking side by side with Him is worth it. The trails and obstacles that come along with growth are worth it.
The winds will come, Irene will resurface, and the rains will sting, but may we seek to deepen our roots. Because Roots really do matter.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Do you ever think the little hiccups along life's road are God's way of getting our attention?

It's been a whirlwind of an adventure for me these past few weeks.

A ministry that I am passionate about is off the ground and running. It's awesome. It's fun. I am meeting new people weekly. They are changing me and in return I hope I am doing the same. It's fulfilling. Yet, I did not anticipate how much work it would truly entail, how tiresome it would be, or how overwhelming it has been at times.

There's been a lot of conflict recently. Most of it is healthy--learning how to be a leader and leading different types of folks. Learning about my weakness and hearing constructive criticism. There's been inner conflict too. Between continuing to let go of the old and to keep moving with the new. And recently, I've had my dose of relational conflict.

I have started battling migraines. Watching my mom suffer from them as a child, I was thankful I never had the burden. But they've kicked my butt this past month or so and I am still learning how to manage them. Lately, I have become aware of just how out of shape I am. I really need to shed some a lot of pounds and change some patterns.Weight is something I have always struggled with. It's hard for me to admit. But it's true and there it is.

And then life just happens. Last week my car would not start. And this morning a deer wanted to give me an up close and personal snap shot. (I am the only one who made it out of that encounter unscathed).

Really in the scheme of things, nothing listed above is life altering. But, today, it has slowed me down. Perhaps I am missing something? There is no rental car available until tomorrow morning, so … for today, a lot of thinking, a lot of praying, and a lot of seeking!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sometimes all you can do is laugh! And today . . . I am laughing.

Sometimes all you can do is laugh! And today . . . I am laughing.

It’s been a rough week, to be honest. I have tried my darnedest to make lemonade out of all the lemons, but there just does not seem to be enough sugar, and the sour is starting to settle in. I am embarrassed to admit that the little things in life that get me off centered are nothing in comparison to the giants others have faced; nonetheless, I am off kilter.

I knew today would come, that’s the humorous part. You see, about a month ago, I started preparing the way for when life would seem just too overwhelming. From my past, I knew that I would most like lean on the “numbing” agents that now seem only to hurl me further into a funk. So, yes, I could make a few phone calls and rearrange what has previously been set up. But, I would have to have some difficult conversations and receive some tough love from those I have asked to help. This would not be an easy way out, and it is not something I have in me tonight. Another option would be just hop in the car, crank up the tunes and drowned it all out, but my car is still in the shop. So tonight, it looks like it will just be me facing the things I would rather stuff. Working through what needs to be worked through. And seeking the Big Man Upstairs for guidance and healing. And that is exactly what I need to do doing with weeks like this one. J

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

He is faithful

August 22, 2010. Almost a whole year since I started this new quest. Hank Brooks was speaking, there was a casket on stage at PCC, and Matthew West’s lyrics “I don’t wanna spend my whole life asking, What if I had given everything . . .?” made me internally start working through the reality of where I knew my life needed to head.

It’s been a journey to say the least (I won’t bore you with the struggles--you can re-read my last year’s worth of blogs if needed). But here I am, firmly planted on the other side. I am completely overwhelmed at the transformation my life has taken in just one year’s time. It’s not perfect, and there are constant struggles, questions and set backs, but there is also unspeakable joy and an undeniable purpose that succeeds my wildest dreams.

For so long, I wrestled with why I am here? What is my purpose? At times, I got tired of looking for an answer and carved out my own path. Sometimes I was just lazy, and didn’t want to put forth the effort. Life just passed by and I went with it. At other times, I was fearfully of rejection and being left out, so I ran with the crowd. And sometimes, I didn’t want to let down the projected image of who I thought others wanted me to be, so I adopted their purpose for my life. And then, since non of the above options were working, I started taking baby steps toward God. Learning to let go and follow. It is there that I have found life. There that I have found purpose.

A year ago, as I squirmed in my seat, felt my lungs tighten, as I thought of every reason not to let go and envisioned the hell that would come if I did, I never thought I’d be sitting here tonight thankful for the wounds and scars that I have from my past. Each wound representing my need for a Savior, and each scar reminding me that He is faithful.