Irrational fears 

Fears….they can creep up seemingly out of nowhere. They can paralyze us. Leave us stuck. They don’t always make sense.

Take this example…

Exhibit A…80 pound chocolate lab

Exhibit B…flying toy helicopter

My son decided to practice flying his helicopter tonight in the living room. Sadie, my chocolate lab, not only began barking at the little helicopter whizzing around but ran away. She stood in the hallway. She backed away. She barked. The hair raised on her back as it does during a thunderstorm. Her tail tucked itself between her legs.

You get the idea. Observing the scene….she looked ridiculous. Yet, I know she was truly afraid of that tiny flying helicopter.

Fears are like that. Just last night I was struggling with something. It was tied to insecurity. I was emotionally spent. They were irrational fears. But….they were real. And they had me stuck. 

Thankfully, a friend was patient and talked through them with me. She reminded me where my focus needs to be. She prayed with me.

And, I am happy to say…I slept peacefully.

This morning, what Scripture do you think was in my devotional?

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

Good words, very good words, as we walk through life.

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What are you waiting for?

It is Friday morning. I am thankful for the end of the work week in sight. As I sit here reading devotions, I hear my son’s alarm go off for a few moments, then it stops. A few minutes later, it goes off again and then stops. Of course, he is snoozing it….


What is he waiting for???

He can snooze it a zillion times but he knows what will happen….mom will be in his room telling him to get up!!

Never a morning person, not a fan of the academic component of school, but when the alarm goes off, it means the inevitable….he has to get up!! School is coming whether he likes it or not.

I think about this in terms of life….what am I waiting for? The things I want to get done, the hopes and dreams I have, the to do list at work and home… 

Sometimes when there is so much, I find myself feeling stuck. Being stuck is not a place I want to be.

So, I ask myself….what am I waiting for? The perfect moment? A free moment? A rainy day? 

The reality is…there will never be a perfect moment.

If I want to write, well, then I need to make time to write.

If I want to run, I need to make time to run.

If I want to spend more time with my family, then I need to make that time.

You can fill in your own blanks…If I want to ____, then I need to make time to _____.

And, instead of feeling discouraged by all of it, I need to celebrate forward motion and my small steps in the direction I want to go.

What are you waiting for?

The sky is the limit…

Write your story, baby girl 

As I said my final good-byes and hugged her ever so tightly, the tears began to well in my eyes. Our gaze met, lingered for a moment, and then I turned to go. I knew this was her time to shine, her time to write her own story.

As I walked the beautiful campus with my son, my heart swelled with love. How did this happen so quickly? It seems like just yesterday we were walking hand in hand crossing the street. Now, she walks hand in hand with God…her faith strong.

Heavy sigh. Bittersweet indeed.


I had texted a friend, telling her I was trying to hold it together. She texted me something back that resonated so deeply with me as a writer. She wrote….this is where you get to see that you have helped her write the first chapters of her life and now she has the opportunity to write the rest and she will write the best book ever because the way you have raised and guided her.

Sobbing…as I read her words.

Children are a gift from God. He entrusts them to us to raise, guide, encourage, and then when it is time, release them into the world. 

God, Heavenly Father, that means I must trust You. Trust You to guide her on her own journey. Her story.

As I walked into her room this morning, seeing how empty it is and realizing it isn’t nearly as much fun to borrow her clothes when she isn’t here, the tears welled again. The tears are not just of sadness but of joy. She is writing her own story with God at her side.

Write your story, baby girl!!

Stomping My Feet…

This morning, my son stomped his feet up the stairs. He wanted to stay planted in the Lazy Boy, nestled under a blanket, lazily watching TV on a Saturday morning. He did not want to go upstairs to take care of what I had asked him to do.

So, he stomped his feet all the way up those stairs.

It made me think…how many times do I stomp my feet or drag my feet relunctantly when I feel God asking me to do something I would rather not do?

I suppose in some ways I’m not much different than my 12 year old son. Only, as an adult, stomping my feet may look a little different…silence towards God, trying to reason and bargain with God…but…

I’m learning to pray differently. Instead of God please do this… I am learning to pray for strength to make it through the day to embrace the opportunities and challenges in front of me.

I have a ways to go…but I am growing. Yes, it would be much easier to stay nestled under that blanket…warm and comfortable…stomping my feet when asked to do something I don’t really want to do but staying stuck in my comfort zone doesn’t allow for growth.

Growth might hurt while we are walking through the journey but looking back, reflecting is so sweet. I experienced a reminder of God’s hand upon my life this week. I had an employee this week stop by my office to thank me for my patience with her. She said she could tell she was growing professionally and personally. She thanked me for my leadership. My work has been challenging at times, emotionally and mentally exhausting, but God reminded me that He is at work in my life through this conversation with my employee.

The struggles…the stomping my feet moments are real…yet there are moments I am reminded…I can see I am exactly where God needs me right now. And that, my friend, is a beautiful thing.

Plans and Feet

 

Beautifully Broken 

A special gift. Prayer beads prayed over by the maker for the recipient. Given to me by a volunteer. A special token of her appreciation at the opportunity to serve, to work together. Humbling to me to receive a gift from someone who already gave so much of herself.

I wore them every day. Then, someone noticed, pointed out to me…the broken bead. I looked down. My gaze lingered on the broken bead. Was my precious bracelet damaged?

Broken. Like me. A smile played across my face. The broken bead…a symbolic reminder that I am broken, in need of a Savior.

A body that has a host of food sensitivities. Dreams deferred. A past of experiences woven together in their own beautiful broken way.

Everyone has a story. Life is cruel at times. Things don’t work out like we had hoped. People let us down, and we let people down. 

Broken. Beautifully broken.

God doesn’t see our mess ups, failures, not always so great choices…He sees our Brokenness… beautiful… usable by Him for His glory to grow us….even and especially to bless us.

Every time I wear my prayer beads, I smile when I look down and see the broken bead. Beautifully broken…each and every one of use.

The greatest sacrifice you want is a broken spirit. God, You will gladly accept a heart that is broken because of sadness over sin. Psalm 51:17 NIrV

When your world as you see it is shaken…

I live in a rural area. It is farming country. It is small town. People know their neighbors. It is the kind of place where parents let their kids ride their bikes to their friends’ houses. It has always felt safe. Always.

Recently, that sense of safety was shaken when a college age young lady was abducted while riding her bike in the country. Tragically, this story did not have a happy ending. Her tragic death has shaken the community but also brought everyone together.

So, what do you do when your world is shaken and things don’t make sense ?

Cling to God. Lean on others. Surrender the fear to God in prayer.

Yes, I find myself a little more cautious when running alone, looking over my shoulder more frequently. 

Evil exists in the world. People can choose to make choices, really bad choices that harm others. Yes, we were all reminded of that in these events, but there is One greater than all the evil in this world.

When it feels like God has given us more than we can handle, sometimes the only thing we can do is cling to Him. Cling to Him. Tightly. He is good. He is constant. 

My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me. Psalm 63:8