Posted in Uncategorized, Write 31 Days

Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes

If the title of this post seems confusing, I apologize. I’m just practicing my next mission.  Let me explain.

I’ve taken a few days off from writing in order to spend time with very dear friends and attend the Women of Faith Conference in Orlando. It was the second year I’ve attended and once again it did not disappoint. For three hours on Friday night and 8 hours on Saturday, we laughed, we cried, we worshiped, we prayed, we questioned, and we praised. There were special moments that shook my soul to the core and lifted my heart toward God.  I loved being there and I loved listening to these beautiful women (and Matthew West) bring their personal stories to life so that we could all find ways to relate to them on what felt like an intimate setting surrounded by thousands of other women. My heart and my reading list were very full when we left there.

I would highly recommend checking out every one of this year’s speaker and artists. Here’s a quick run-down for you. There was some wonderful content and messages that came from each of these and I hope to incorporate something from each speaker into this month of missions I’m on.

There was one message that really stood out for me during the weekend.  Lysa TerKeurst spoke about how we should say yes to God’s assignment each morning.  One of her quotes really jolted my heart because I will be the first to admit that prayer time and conversations with God are not first on my mind when I wake up. Lysa says we should “exchange whispers with God before shouts with the world.”  WHOA!  Talk about a Godsmack statement! b36cbaec6e103d0ba2fcba3c9f67be6a

Patsy Clairmont says that saying yes to God daily keeps you open and supple to things like gratitude and mercy. Mercy is an area in which I struggle daily. Between my commute and what can only be described as an extremely frustrating work environment, I completely ignore God’s opportunities to extend mercy. I have to more consciously acknowledge these moments and say yes to Him, yes to his assignment to invest mercy in other people.

I’m now on a mission to begin each day with “Yes, God, I’ll do whatever you want me to do”. Whatever the assignment He has for me, I will say yes to it.  I know in my heart the words in this image are true and I hope that by succeeding in this mission, I will experience joy in more areas of my life.

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Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

247/365 Joyful Endings

We wrapped up our small group tonight. I think that next Wednesday, when I’m not gathering with this amazing group of Christians, I just may sink into a serious depression. However, I have this absolutely beautiful gift from Jen and Manny to fill me full of joy every time I look at it. The significance of this gift means so much to me.

Gil also wrote about our evening here. I invite you to check out his gift. It’s pretty incredible as well.

 

Posted in My life in pictures, Post A Day Challenge

176/365 From Sadness to Joy

The verse is Philippians 4:8. It is the basis for the growth group Gil and I are leading this semester. Our first meeting was tonight.

As I’ve watched the Facebook and Twitter updates this week with news of our friends leaving on The Rock Boat…without us….I’ve been a little sad. Well, a lot sad actually. We have sailed away with our friends for the last five years and it’s been hard leading up to this week, knowing we’ll be at home and not spending time with our ‘chosen’ family.

It still amazes me sometimes how God’s plan for us unfolds. We knew a year ago we would be taking ‘a year off’ from our annual Rock Boat Family Reunion. What we didn’t know a year ago when we made that decision was that we would be asked to lead this group. THIS very specific group. This group that started tonight. A night when most of our friends have already traveled to New Orleans for all of the pre-Boat festivities.

As much as I’m longing to be with our old friends tonight (and the next 5 days), I’m getting a feeling that we were exactly where we were supposed to be tonight.  For the next 11 weeks we will be making new friends and building relationships based on our study of Philippians 4:8 and on the principle of finding the joy in our lives.

I’m putting it into practice tonight. My day progressed with a sense of longing and feeling sorry for myself, wishing I was living large in NOLA and getting ready to board a ship filled with good times, good friends, good music, and tons of memories to be made. I’m wrapping up this day with a heart that’s overflowing with excitement about this small group of virtual strangers, gratitude for being asked to lead this group with my husband, hope for God’s grace in helping us to facilitate His message, and most of all, JOY. The joy – that comes from knowing that God is using me. What more could I possible want?

P.S. To all my TRB friends – I hope you all have the time of your life. Please know how much we’ll be missing you. Not the boat. Not the music. Not the port. Not the food and booze. We will be missing YOU because that’s what The Rock Boat is really about.

Posted in 30 Days of Truth, Post A Day Challenge

A Desirable Point

(30 Days of Truth – Day 5 – Something in life that gives you balance)

There were a few things that came to mind today when I started thinking about what gives me balance. My first thought was God, but that’s was too easy so I kept thinking. I thought of how my time at work balances out the chaos (chaos = good) in the rest of my life, but couldn’t quite find the words to make that work. Then I thought about God again and thought I should be challenging myself, digging deep for these posts. “I’m not writing about God,” I told myself.

I thought about how I love art and crafty things and how it makes me be creative and step outside of my everyday thought processes. But again, the words were just not coming to me. I thought about it some more and again it was God that popped into my head. “Nope, not gonna’ take the easy road.”

My cats. They are important to me. My cats calm me after a crazy work day and love me unconditionally, even when I’m at my worst. Nah, I really don’t want to write about them yet. I’m going to save this tale for another day. I was completely stumped. I had no idea what on earth to write about?

DOH! Yeah, it was that obvious to me, too. I have no idea why I resisted. I think I just wanted this to be harder than it needed to be. I resolved myself to the fact that this topic, this story, was going to be the easiest yet. The one consistent force in my life has always been my faith in God. God has always been my stabilizer. He has been beside me at my best and at my worst.  My faith has carried me through when I had nothing else. God has been with me in some pretty incredible moments, too.

God shared something with me once and it has made me feel pretty darn special ever since. It was a moment that defined the rest of my life. Not only was it the darkest and saddest moment of my life, but it was also the time I witnessed perfect peace. My family had gathered around my father’s hospital bed after a two day vigil. We had watched the life leave his eyes during those two days as he drifted further and further away from us. We joined together around him when we knew he was about to take his last breath, and in that moment, God allowed us to view heaven through my daddy’s eyes. It was a split second that I will never forget. My father awoke from his comatose state, sat up in his bed, arms reaching for someone we couldn’t see, smiled the biggest toothless smile I’ve ever seen, and took his last breath. My father saw what is waiting for us on the other side, and we were able to see it too. I was completely unable to cry again for some time after that because I was so completely blissful. My belief that something beautiful is waiting for me was sealed in stone that day.

Wikipedia defines the metaphysical form of balance as a desirable point between two opposing forces. On the day my father died, God picked me up from my grief and sorrow and put me right smack dab in the middle of contentment. Just as with many other times, God knew the exact spot I needed to be and placed me there, away and protected from any turmoil that may come to find me. My faith in God has been and always will be that desirable point for me.