Journey with Courage

I love as I begin to type in the word “courage” in my title, my phone suggests the word coffee. Yes, these past few weeks and months have been a whirlwind, and coffee definitely has fueled me on my journey!!


Perhaps a little too much lately. My posting has been more sporadic since the Write 31 day challenge ended in October. Life has a way of shifting priorities. 
Ever been there before?

I remember a pastor stating very clearly that sometimes the very thing standing in the way of God’s will in our lives is ourselves.

Living by faith is a daily, moment by moment journey. It is not easy. I know this in my heart, but when life gets crazy then sometimes I just want to say…I can’t do this anymore… it’s just too hard.

I have felt a bit on auto pilot recently. I have the “To Do” lists. I knock the items off one by one. I press on. I am tired. I want to embrace the joy of the season, and I do in captured moments, but they don’t seem to sustain me. 

Enter Joseph. The Christmas story often focuses on Mary and of course, Jesus, as it should, but do we spend enough time thinking about Joseph? The pastor today dedicated his message on Joseph. We talked about the extreme faith, trust, and obedience Joseph demonstrated. He trusted God’s Word. He honored and loved Mary. He protected her and this baby, Jesus.

Joseph journeyed with courage. He was willing to go on an unknown journey to trust the provision of God and His direction.

Which brings me back to my present state of mind and where I am.

Do I have the courage to follow the call of God in my life? 

Do you?

With our finances? With our jobs? With our health? With our families? With those dreams so dear and precious to us that we dare not share out loud?

Are we willing to trust God on the journey He is calling us to take?

Life offers too much to live on autopilot.

When we step in obedience and stay alert listening to His direction, He is faithful and will be with us each step of the way.

May we have courage in our journey as Joseph did so many years ago. 

Advertisements

Embrace the Journey

Is it okay to make a decision without knowing the answer?
If you had asked me that question a year or so ago, my answer would be different than it is today.

List maker. Planner. Goal setter.

That’s me. 

You can check off and highlight items on a list. 

What happens, though, when we come to a crossroads in our lives and we need to make a decision? Do we make the “safe” decision with a clear path and answer? Or do we dare make a decision that once we check off the “safe” things, we are left with more questions than answers?

What do I mean by this? 
I mean those times when you feel God tug on your heart towards the other direction…the one that doesn’t feel safe and that doesn’t have the clear end to your destination. 

I am on such a journey. A step of faith…one I don’t completely understand or even like at times because it’s hard, really hard. I know the desires and dreams in my heart. They are written down. Remember, I said I was a list maker? Even my dreams are recorded in a notebook. Especially my dreams. They are tucked away in the sacred pages where I record the whispers of my heart.

As I wrestle with the path I am on and where it will lead, I am humbly reminded I do not need to know the end result. I need to be faithful in my response. This is what God asks. It is a lesson in releasing fear and choosing to trade anxiety for trust. 

I don’t believe in coincidence so I wasn’t surprised when my writing friend sent me the link for a blog post. The blog post entitled “How I Made a Hard Decision,” spoke to my heart. It reminded me that God-led decisions require us to relinquish control. Knowing the destination is less important than the journey to find our way there.

I also found myself meandering through the bookstore last night on a rainy night with coffee in hand and a son enthralled with the Star Wars section. Again, not a coincidence. My eyes wandered to this little book which I have already started reading and reflecting over.

What decision stands before you?

A journey starts with one small, brave step in obedience. The journey is always about the journey.

God will lead you to the destination, but I think He has so much in mind for the journey.

God already knows where you are headed.

Write down your dreams.

Embrace the journey.

Lost but Found

I called someone very early this morning, in fact before 6 am. As someone who receives calls at all hours of the night for work, I know how startling an early morning call can be.

Facebook made me do it.

This adorable little kitty wandered onto my porch last night and into my son’s heart. He fed and nurtured this kitty who tried so many times to come inside. I posted on the lost pets page for my county on Facebook. We gave the cat some milk and a warm towel in a little box and off to bed we went.

This morning, I had a Facebook message from someone with a photo of the cat. I had found the owner. At 4:45 in the morning, I made my way down my stairs and discovered kitty was safely nested inside the box. Kitty easily came to me and nestled against the warmth of my body.

I decided to make the early morning phone call. The owner answered and ten minutes later, kitty was in their arms after being missing for almost two weeks.

The joy of being lost and then found.

I think about our Heavenly Father’s joy when we wander away and find our way back to Him. Sometimes, it takes the love and nurturing of another to lead us that direction, but when we find our way back to Him, oh such Joy!

Though I have not wandered from my Father, my busy schedule has kept me from spending as much time with Him as I need to. I am reminded this morning to find my way back to my quiet time with Him…that undistracted, fully engaged and devoted time with the Father. 

When I make time for God and keep Him first, it makes everything better. It just does.

Don’t wander around lost…be found in His love, mercy, and grace. His mercies are new every morning…great is His faithfulness!

Grace in His Timing

Sometimes, it takes someone else to help you realize that you need to take a step back. After my last two blog posts, my friend messaged me to see if I was okay.

I reassured her that I was. Then, I reflected on my recent thoughts.

Really, it’s been a matter of when things don’t go as planned. 

Perspective is everything, and my friend’s question was the prompting where I realized I needed to step back for a moment.

It can be very, very helpful to reflect on how God has worked in the past to remind us He is still working.

So what comes to mind…

  • The sadness in infertility only to realize my child was born halfway around the world and placed in my arms five and half years later through the joy and incredible blessing of adoption.
  • The joy in receiving a job offer and being excited at the thought of being able to get ahead only to find out a few weeks later, my husband was laid off. Guess what? All our bills were paid, we both learned a lot through the time, and my husband is back to work.
  • As part of the pastoral search committee, we extended an invitation for a pastor to come to our church. He declined. Our church needed some time to step back and unite in prayer. During this time, God spoke to our church and this pastor who felt God calling him to our church. We will welcome his family into our church very soon.

My thoughts in all this? Despite how “perfect” I think my plans may be, God’s timing is perfect. 

My gut wrench response is to want to be anxious, but I know just as in times past, I must trust God and His timing in my current situation. My plans may unfold a little differently than I originally had hoped, but He sees the entire picture. 

When have you experienced God’s grace in the timing of your plans?

Resting in His Grace

I needed to read these words. I needed to be reminded that God’s way is perfect. When my plans unravel, His purpose prevails.

Today, I simply need to rest in His grace and quit trying to figure out things that are honestly beyond my control.

It is another reminder to be still and trust.


I believe in plans. I love lists. I have goals, hopes, and dreams. God knows my heart. I need to be watchful, listening to His voice, and trust His plan for my life.

Unforced rhythms of grace

As I drove home from a very long day at work, I listened to the end of a recorded sermon from one of my favorite pastors.

The message focused on being worried and upset. The scripture she taught from is a passage near and dear to my heart because it hits so close to home in terms of what I struggle with.

  • Luke 10:38-42 Now as they were traveling along, Jesus went into a village. A woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat down at the Lord’s feet and kept listening to what he was saying. But Martha was worrying about all the things she had to do, so she came to him and asked, “Lord, you do care that my sister has left me to do the work all by myself, don’t you? Then tell her to help me.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha! You worry and fuss about a lot of things. But there’s only one thing you need. Mary has chosen what is better, and it is not to be taken away from her.”

Martha, Martha, Martha.

I can relate to Martha. I am the busy one. I find it hard to even sit still and watch TV with my son without doing something else with my hands… folding laundry, flipping through my phone, sorting through the mail…you get the picture. 

In turn, I find myself holding those same expectations of others. It’s like I expect people to be busy all the time. 

As I listened to the close of her message, something captured my attention deeply.

She talked about being still, in His presence, in the unforced rhythms of grace.

Unforced… obviously means to not force something

To take that one step further, it means to be free….

Rhymth…a strong repeated pattern

Grace…the undeserved favor

When I think of it all wrapped together, it comforts and amazes me. 

And to be completely honest, convicts me.

Why?

I find it so much easier to wrestle in the unrest of anxiety and fear instead of rest at the feet of Jesus. I ask Him to please take my burdens, but I so easily take them back as I play through the game of what ifs and conjure up a multitude of circumstances.

In the famous words of Dr. Phil…. how’s that working for you?

Um, well, actually not so well. 

What if instead I chose to rest at the feet of Jesus like Mary?

How different would my life feel if I trusted in the unforced rhythms of grace?

As anxiety tugs at the deepest places within me, I ask myself those very questions.

What if I trust Jesus with my worries and fears enough to let Him keep them instead of me trying to take them back to hold onto them just a little while longer?

Could I finally find the quiet I yearn for in the unforced rhythms of His grace?

I believe I could. And you can, too.

It’s a sweet surrender…a little more dying to self. If we choose to trust Him, He promises to be right there with us.

31 Days of Grace

I absolutely love rainbows.

This particular photo was caught one morning. There was no sign of rain yet here was this huge rainbow.

I felt something as I gazed at its beauty for a few minutes longer. It was as though God was whispering a promise that He would be right there alongside me.

I walked into that day right into a very difficult situation. God knew what awaited me. He was already there. He promised to be with me.

God’s grace. I wish I could say it was an easy situation I worked through but it was not. What happened, though, was I experienced God’s grace. Through this situation, I grew tremendously in my faith and trust in God to protect, provide, and take care of me.

God’s grace…in everyday moments if we are expectant and watchful. An unexpected morning rainbow can spill out colors of His grace and promises.