My “Be Still”

I have come to realize and accept that I need my “be still” moments.

Life has been a crazy whirlwind henceforth my quietness here on my blog. It has been filled with work busyness, holiday things, and extra crazy obligations.

This has been a particularly challenging year for me in so many ways. I have been quietly pushing on. Recently, I have had some powerful reflective moments that have caused me to step back and reevaluate my life and priorities.

I didn’t like some of what I saw.

I may have shared this song before but Granted by Josh Groban has been very meaningful to me the past several months.

Granted by Josh Groban

I have come to realize that I need my “be still” moments. I need to catch my breath. I need to have time to sit and be still. I need to be in the Word. I need time to write. (I did do a modified #Nanowrimo this year). I need to be more present and intentional with those whom I love. I need to practice listening even more actively.

At a conference I was recently attending, we were asked what we considered one of our strengths. I immediately chose compassion. I love people deeply. I feel deeply. I care deeply.

Life is all about relationships.

Life is really hard yet really beautiful. I can’t fix everything in my life, but I can step out in faith and follow the direction I feel God is leading me.

“Be still” moments are my saving grace. They refresh me, restore my sanity, and help me to discern the still small voice of God in my life.

In the busyness of life and especially now during the holiday season, I encourage you to pause and find your own “be still” moments. Maybe it’s a certain place like the coffee shop or some early morning moments while the rest of the house is still sleeping or perhaps by the glow of the Christmas tree lights at night… wherever it is-take time to pause and reflect on your life.

You can never have back the time that has slipped away.

How do you reenergize in the chaos of life?

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Opportunities

I needed to laugh.

Tonight, after a day of tears and self reflection, I told my son I needed a funny movie. As he scrolled through options on Netflix, I suggested Evan Almighty. J remembered watching it a few years ago at a family movie night at church shortly after he joined our family from the blessings of adoption.

Evan Almighty is a modern day tale of the Biblical account of Noah’s Ark in the book of Genesis.

Hearing my son cackle to the funny parts of the movie was enough alone to bring a smile to my face.

Then, it happened…that serious moment of wisdom you need to hear and hold onto. God can and will use anything and everything to grab our attention if we are open and attentive.

When Morgan Freeman speaks, there is something dignified about the deepness of his voice especially when he is playing the role of God.

Watch this short clip from the movie…Opportunities from God

When we pray for patience, God doesn’t give us patience, He gives us opportunities for patience. You can fill in the blank with another word…hope, peace, forgiveness…

I have been praying for my leadership to be Christlike. Being a leader can feel very, very lonely. In the midst of these challenging moments, I realize God has been providing opportunities for me to be a stronger leader.

Sigh…no one ever said striving to walk the Christian life would be easy.

What are you praying for today? Be open for the opportunities God provides as answers to your prayers. Opportunities create growth in our walk with Christ and build our Christian character.

I would love to hear about the opportunities God has provided you with to grow in your Christian walk.

Keep your eyes on the path ahead.

Bright Spots

Ever find yourself in a challenging season of life? 

We all have at some time or another for some reason or another.

I had a conversation with a friend and together, we both realized we are experiencing similar situations that are just really, really hard right now. We talked about looking for the positive moments in our days. I suggested we text each other daily of a bright spot in our day. She thought that was a great idea. 

So today begins our “Bright Spot” text challenge. 

There always something to be grateful for and thank God for. Find an accountability partner to help you keep your eyes focused on those bright spots.

Habakkuk 3:17-19

Though the fig tree should not blossom,

nor fruit be on the vines,

the produce of the olive fail

and the fields yield no food,

the flock be cut off from the fold

and there be no herd in the stalls,

yet I will rejoice in the Lord;

I will take joy in the God of my salvation.

God, the Lord, is my strength;

he makes my feet like the deer’s;

he makes me tread on my high places.

Seasons

It is a rare Sunday afternoon where I am hanging out in my backyard with my laptop and my terrier. I live in a small town and it is quiet and peaceful out here. 

Except for one blaring distraction.

It is not the neighbor mowing his yard nor the EMS sirens as they travel to the hospital down the road. The distraction is less about audible noise and more about the inescapable comparison to my life at the moment.

Overgrown. The fence that needs to come down is overgrown with vegetation. Weeds to be exact. Why? Because we have been busy doing life. Because when we do have a free moment, it is easier to stay inside than stare at the work that needs done.

Life gets like this sometimes. We overcommit ourselves. We say yes when we should pause and pray first. We leave so little whitespace in our lives. The responsibilities grow around us and squelch the joy of things we once felt passionate about. Burnout threatens to set in.

So, here I am now after a message at church this morning…do not be afraid. Here I am contemplating decisions of where commitments have overgrown in my life and what must be reprioritized.

When we want to welcome something new in our lives, we must be brave. If we feel God’s blessing upon a new chapter and if we witness a door opening, we must be willing to close the doors that need closed. Yes, I believe God closes doors for us sometimes. I also believe there are times when we need to step back and realize that some areas in our lives are overgrown. 

For example, do you want to start writing a novel? Maybe you need to step back from a committee you serve on.

Ecclesiastes 3:1…There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…

What season are you in currently? Maybe it is a season for something new which also means an end of a different season.

Isaiah 43:18-19…Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. 

Life is full of seasons. Don’t be afraid to end one so a new one can bloom.

Catch Your Breath

We all need a pause.
I attended the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) last week, and during those two days, had a wealth of information poured into me. I plan to share some of these things, but today I want to focus on one thing.

Reflection.

It is Friday morning at the moment. I am sitting on my couch in the quiet of my house. I wonder…how did Friday get here so fast?

I think of the busyness at work, situations faced, and things I must do yet today. I think of our situation at church and where we are in our pastoral search and as a church. My son started back to school yesterday. The days are getting shorter. So much is going on in the world that is so disheartening.

I need a pause.

At the GLS, Pastor Bill Hybels challenged us all to spend 15 minutes each morning to read and reflect on life…our leadership, faith, family, who we are becoming, are we fully surrendered? And then, are we getting better or busier?

Sometimes, life needs a pause button. 

My mornings are my pause time to step back and reflect. 

Am I getting better or busier?

In this stillness, I reflect, I pause, I pray, I am still.
I catch my breath. 

Some mornings it may be a run or walk. Some mornings I might journal. And many are much like this…quiet stillness on my couch reflecting and in the Word.

I encourage you to take at least 15 each morning.

Pause before you jump into the day.

Give yourself permission to catch your breath.


Everyday Goodness

I am tired this evening but grateful. These past few days have been filled with reminders of His love and hope. Through relationships with family and friends, nature, joy in my calling, and the blessing to celebrate freedom, His goodness prevails. 

As I watched  The Shack for the second time this past weekend, there is a line in the movie that I think many people struggle with. The character portraying God tells Mac that his real problem is that he does not think that God is good because if he did, he would be able to trust God even when he didn’t understand what God was doing.

It is easy to think and believe God is good when all is going well. It becomes harder when life doesn’t make sense. When my coworker lost her life in child birth, I found myself wondering what good was there in that. How could that possibly be part of God’s plan? I stopped wearing my bracelet that week.


As I worked through my grief, I realized that some things in life have no answers. While I don’t understand how this fits into His plan, I believe God is ultimately good. I believe He has a plan for my pain. 
So, this Fourth of July holiday, I chose to celebrate my freedom in Christ. God is good. I may not understand many things, but I can trust He is walking this journey of my life with me and has a plan for me.

His goodness is all around me, and He has a plan. ( I am wearing my bracelet again as a reminder to me that He is with me always).

Enjoy these reminders of His goodness, and seek to find your own everyday.


Right in Front of You

It’s Friday….I always seem amazed when Friday shows up again. I greet the day with a sigh of relief…I made it here again.

This week I particularly feel a sense of relief. It has been an emotional rollercoaster, but God is good and continues to breathe His truth into my soul. 

In Psalm 37:3….trust in the Lord and do good, dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness…

When I read that passage recently, I reflected on the name of​ my blog. Faith. Hope. Love. Food. My original intention for my blog was to share my food struggle journey, but God revealed a different focus to me.

The food that fuels my soul…His faithfulness, His goodness, His love, His peace, mercy, grace… have ​been so clearly evident and alive this week in my life.

Sometimes, what you are searching for is right in front of you, you just need a reminder that it’s there. My prayers this week have been an intense sense of needing direction, His direction. I have been feeding on His faithfulness and staying in the Word, praying His promises.

Ever heard someone speak to you and know it was exactly what God needed for you to hear? Ever received a hug and felt the love so deeply? I did this week. The answers I sought were right in front of me, I just needed reminded.

If you are struggling with making a hard decision, feed on His faithfulness and keep praying. The answer you yearn for just may be right in front of you.