Everyday Miracles…

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” …

Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). (John 20:1-16 NIV)

Miracle of all miracles.  Mary’s son beat death.  No one would have imagined it as they watched him die an agonizing death on the cross two days earlier.  The tomb was empty.  Lives forever changed.  He conquered death for us.

Many people believe that miracles only happened in the bible.  You only read about that stuff. Not today. Not now.

What miracles are happening around us each day that we don’t recognize because they are not grand and glorious like raising someone from the dead?  Are we blind to them?  Our minds and eyes perceive them as small, yet they are not.  No miracle is small.  When God does the miraculous, it’s huge.

Springtime blooming after a long, cold winter.  New life budding on the tree limbs more and more each day.  Opening up and ready to grow and flourish. A little girl coming home to her daddy. Turning from struggles and asking for help.  Wanting to change, grow and flourish… much like that spring bloom.

Miracles. I can see God’s handprint and I’m in awe. Overwhelmed. Waiting in great anticipation for what is next.

On this Resurrection Sunday my hands are open wide and my heart is yearning for more of God’s miracles.  Miracles in the ordinary things of our lives.  Turning the secular into the sacred.  Opening my heart and mind to see more of what is going on around me.  Searching for miracles. Expecting miracles.

IMG_2806

IMG_9686

IMG_9687

IMG_9689

IMG_9920

IMG_9918

IMG_9914

IMG_9913

So Why the Yellow Towel?

I took it from the rag pile.  A small butter yellow bath hand towel.  Faded from years of use and occasional bleaching.  The edges were tattered.  It would be perfect to wipe down the newly cleaned bathroom fixtures.

I walked into the bathroom and laid the yellow towel on the counter.  Suddenly the memories came flooding back.  A strong wave of emotion came over me.  It was 1997 and I was in my house on Butterscotch Lane.

As clear as day, I remembered all of the towels we received as wedding gifts.  Our towel colors were dark blue, butter yellow, and white.  The yellow were my favorites.  I kept those out for my bathroom.

By this point I’m a puddle and can’t even think about cleaning.  I’m transported back in time.  I am newly married and setting up house.  Everything was new.  I am beginning my forever life with the man I married.  The man with whom I’d grow old.

It seems like just yesterday that I was a blushing bride walking down the path to say my vows at the beautiful Apple Farm.  At that moment in time, everything seemed perfect.  August 2, 1997.

I’m standing in the bathroom with this damn yellow towel and felt the urge to do the math.  I was married for the first time 16+ years ago.  Sixteen years?????  Where has time gone?  It was just yesterday.  I was 34 and had the rest of my life ahead of me.

Another story for another day, but by 2006 I was packing up those yellow towels and moving back home… without my husband.  He decided he’d rather do life alone.  So, off I go to begin again and start over.  In tow were a few things from that eight year journey.

Today I’m happily married to a man I fell in love with many, many years ago.  It’s been nine years since my divorce.  Plenty of time to get over it and leave it behind.  Slowly, the things that came north with me have gotten broken or given away.  The latest was the last of my crystal ice tea glasses.  While it was only a glass, there were memories behind it.  Needless to say, I had a small moment of emotion over that one.

So why the yellow towel?  What did it trigger that brought emotions up so fresh and raw?  How can a simple  towel take me back in time?  Then the questions start… Why?  What if?  Do I have regrets?  Will I ever truly be over him?  If a stupid towel takes me down, imagine if I were to see him in person?  Would I be strong enough?

Emotions are crazy.  Memories are powerful.  Feelings are deep.  Those three together can really reek some havoc. I guess today I needed to stop and process a bit more of something from my past.  While I don’t live in the past, it still creeps up.  So my little yellow towel, not only will wipe clean the bathroom, but will help me wipe clean a trail of emotions and memories that need to be sorted through, weeded out, and left behind… one more time.

yellow towel

towel and heart

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and now to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”       Jeremiah 29:11

God’s got my heart right where He wants it.  Currently, it’s nestled in the middle of an old yellow hand towel.  I have to be willing and open to let Him use simple things like a tattered old towel to grow and change and heal me. No one ever said it would be easy.

The Awakening…

photo-4 copy

Photo Courtesy of James Richman Photography.

 

Spend a few moments looking carefully at this beautiful photograph.  What does it make you think about?  How does it make you feel?

This amazing photo was taken by James Richman, a local photographer.  I’ve recently connected with him on FB and now get to see his work often.  This particular photo is one of many he took at a local sunflower field last August.  Breathtaking…

When I look the first thing that catches my eye is the sunshine.  The sun is rising… the beginning of a warm summer day.  In the forefront I notice the flowers are reaching toward the sun.  If you look closely at the entire field they all seem to be reaching for that sunlight.  Smart flowers they are… following the sun.  For they know that their nourishment comes from those rays and that warmth.

Winter if finally over and spring has awakened.  This week has afforded us sunshine and slightly warmer temperatures.  I’ve been inside trying to get my house in some form of order before heading back to work next week.  Every hour or so I have found myself looking for an excuse to be outside.  I’m like those sunflowers… reaching for that sunlight.  I’m sure I looked silly standing in the middle of the yard with my face pointed towards the sky!  I could feel warmth and peace wash over me.

Spring is such an amazing time of the year.  After a long winter, when life has been dormant, everything is now finding its way to the surface and yearning for light and warmth.  Tiny buds are brightening up tree branches.  Flowers are surfacing from the depths and adding color to our dreary winter-laden world.

Who can witness the wonders of spring and all of creation yearning for sunlight and warmth, and not believe in Him who created it all?  Just seeing the transformation of our maple tree in the past few days has been short of amazing.

photo copy

photo-3 copy

photo-2 copy

As I’m coming out of winter, I’m feeling the sense that I am much like that maple tree.  Life has been slow and winter-like.  As spring awakens, so am I.  This vacation I’ve been blessed with rest, accomplishments around the house, feeding my passions, and spending time with my love and friends.  All of those are helping to ready me for this new season.  I’m still a little leery… wanting to retreat back into my safe cocoon.  But I’m drawn to the sun…

…I’m drawn to the Son.  The anticipation of all that He has for me as I’m letting Him into every corner of my being.  I want to be safe and He says GO!  Step out!  Live!  For the first time in many years, I’m not dreading going back to work next week.  I’m excited for the remaining weeks to be filled with learning, challenges and a close to this school year.  Then that time to enjoy this amazing world that is opening up around us right now!  He is opening doors for some new adventures that I’m very excited about.  Stretching and growing adventures!  The possibilities are endless.  And those possibilities are beginning today!

Too Much Information…

Do you ever feel like you know too much?  Overwhelmed with health and wellness advice?  Hearing in the news what’s good for you and what’s not?  Hear about the side effects of medication made to help you?  Read about the latest and greatest way to eat?

At this juncture in my life I feel overwhelmed by too much information.  I have been on a wellness journey for the past 3+ years.  It involves regular visits to an amazing chiropractor who is helping me with my overall health and wellness.  Along with that, I regularly get my feet zoned.

“Footzonology is a method that utilizes the signal system in the feet. By utliizing the signals system in the feet it helps to rejuvenate, balance, restore and detoxify the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual body. Allowing and assisting your body to heal itself on its own.”

http://www.naturalfeetfootzonology.com

My wellness journey has been amazing and life-changing.  My overall health is much stronger and I’m making changes that will last a life-time.  Am I there yet?  No.  Am I getting there?  Yes!

Both of my “wellness coaches” have filled me with information.  Diet, food choices, supplements, essential oils, dry brushing, organic products.  The list goes on and on and on.  At times my head swims with all they share.  How can I do it all?  How can I afford it?  How can I NOT afford it?

We’ve discussed wellness vs the American Health Care System.  I have GP who loves to send me home with samples of medication to try.  She works hard to find reasons to treat me.  That is her lively-hood.  After a year or so of my wellness journey, she was finding it more and more difficult to treat me for anything.  After referring me for a blood work up, she told me that after the results were in I can come back in and she would get me going on a regime.  I was showing markers for heart disease and she wanted to start me on a dose of medication to cure that.  Well, after the results came back, all she could find was that my Vitamin B was low and she suggested a shot!  Needless to say, I did not leave her office that day with a brown bag of samples and a stack of handouts with medical advice.

So, I’m back to being filled with too much information.  At times it seems easier to just throw in the towel and go back to the way it used to be.  Don’t think about what I’m putting into my mouth!  Skip the daily routines that strengthen my health and well-being.  Forget finding organic food sources.  Processed is cheaper and easier.  Coffee and pop are much more satisfying that water (so I used to think anyway!).

I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to do everything I hear about.   I need to slow down and listen to my body.  I’ve learned to do my own muscle testing to see if I really need a particular supplement on any given day.  If there is not a need then I don’t take it.  Amazingly enough, our body can get too much of even the good stuff.

I’ve learned the importance of emotional and spiritual health.  If those are out of balance, then the physical health tips as well.  In the past 3 years, I’ve gone from taking various medications for depression, anxiety and sleep issues to taking NOTHING!  Zip!  Zero!  Medication free!

Another health and wellness journey I’ve been on is taking Redox Signaling molecules (ASEA) each day, thanks to another wellness coach in my life.

Redox Signaling molecules are created within every cell of the body and are vital to the immune system and to cellular healing mechanisms.  They are so essential to life that without them, you would die within seconds.  A proper supple of Redox Signaling molecules enables cellular healing: damaged, dysfunctional cells fading away and healthy, vibrant cells taking over. They are vital for the health of our cells; that’s why our body makes its own supply.  But after the age of 12, our cells make fewer and fewer of these molecules.  The is the first and only source of balanced stabilized Redox signaling molecules outside of the body.  It is completely native to the body.  Proven to be completely safe, with zero toxicity.” 

http://www.jennylynch.myasealive.com

While this journey is a newer part of my wellness trek, I have seen amazing results.  No more medication to sleep.  Overall energy level much greater.  Mental clarity!  I not only drink 4 oz each day, but I spray it on everything!  Amazing healing qualities!  I made it through this very rough winter flu season without getting sick!  I’m seeing miraculous healing in friends that have been plagued with health issues their entire lives.  Athletes are using it!  It’s God-made, not man-made.

As I wander on this health and wellness journey, I’m again reminded that my amazing Father in heaven is right there with me.  I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to learn that He is in every corner of my life… including my health.  I’ve compartmentalized Him into the spiritual things, not the “more worldly” parts.  I’m discovering that my body does not really belong to me!  It’s on loan while I’m alive.  I’ve got to take care of it.  It’s His temple that I’m temporarily living in.  What I invest into my life directly effects my rental property!

I don’t know how may days I will walk on this earth.   What I do know is that I want to be obedient to Him who created me.  I don’t want to leave Him out of any part of my life… something I’ve done in the past.  It’s quite simple really.  When I feel like I have too much information and don’t know what to do, I can quietly sit before my Father and He will show me which path to walk along.  This is a truth that I’ve known and used in other areas of my life, but never my wellness.  Yes, I’m a slow learner!   He’s blessed me with these amazing resources and I want to use them for His glory and my health!  If God can grow flowers out of rocks, then He can certainly help me strengthen and heal my body, as well as use me to help others!

IMG_9727

IMG_9724

IMG_9753

IMG_9722

 

There Will Be A Day…

One minute everything seems to be okay.  Life seems quiet.  No storms.  Just when you think things are quieting down… taking a turn in the right direction.  Then the phone rings late.  I can hear a voice talking loudly on the other end.  The curtain has once again come down.

I crawl into bed, hoping to just ignore it all and let sleep distract me.  Nope.  It didn’t happen.  Restless and not wanting to keep him awake, I escape to the living room to walk and pray.  Pray about what?  I know nothing about what is going on.  “Discipline issues.”  That’s all he said to me.

Although the sun is shining and it’s vacation, life is still happening around me.  Life has been happening around us for quite a while now and I’ve often wondered if other’s feel the same struggles we do?  It’s like being on a roller coaster… up and down and up and down.  Some times faster than others.

Eight years ago I found myself alone after 8 years of marriage.  I was settling into this new life and then an old life emerged and changed everything.  I fell in love again with a man I’d never really stopped loving. I’m in love with that man today.  Our love changed my world, moving me back from whence I came.

Then reality set in.  I’m in love with someone that is hurt and broken and struggling.  We are a pair to draw from.  I’m the same way.  Just when I think I have it together…I’m reminded that I don’t!.  MY demons rear their ugly heads.

It’s like when you throw a rock into a calm lake.  The rock hits the water and then ripples out.  No matter the size of the stone or the force of the throw, it still ripples out.  Sometime the ripples seem to go out further and further, as if they will never stop.

Our lives have that same effect.  For everythingthing we say or do, there are ripples of effect.  Some good.  Some sad.  Some hard.  Some amazing.  Most of those ripples involve others.  The stakeholders in our lives.  My hurt and pain and choices, all in some way or another, effect those in my life.  My mood and emotions engulf those around me.   Is that fair?

There is an old saying, “you hurt those you love the most.”  Is that fair?  It sends the most confusing message.  I love you, therefore I am going to hurt you.  How many times have we been the recipient of this?  The giver of this?  Our world is made up of fallen beings.  The sin in the garden set that one in motion.  It’s part of who we are and what we do.  Does that make it right?  Are we forgiven?  God forgives.  Some people forgive.  I forgive some people.  I’m fallen.  You are fallen.  Together we are fallen.

My heart that was heavy an hour ago has lightened a bit. The sun is shining and I’m on vacation.  I was also gently reminded that while other can cause grief and heartache for me, I do the same. It’s easy to get caught up in a “they hurt me” mentality,” losing sight of our place in this broken world.

When I think I’ve got my ducks all lined up… then WHAM!  They all fly away loudly!

A song by Jeremy Camp called There Will Be a Day, popped into my head as I sit writing this morning.

 

I try to hold on to this world with everything I have

But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that tries to grab

The many trials that seem to never end, His endless Word declares this truth

That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings

That there will be a place with no more suffering

There will be a day with no more tears

No more pain, no more fears

There will be a day when the burdens of this place 

Will be no more , we’ll see Jesus face to face

But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always

In the meantime, as we live in this fallen world with hurting people just like ourselves, we have a hope on the horizon.  I’m holding tight to that today.

I’ve let myself get so caught up in the everyday mire that I temporarily lost sight of what I hold do dearly… my hope in Jesus.  He’s got this one.  He’s got all of the late night phone calls, the tears, the child-rearing heartaches, the relationship struggles, the past hurts and suffering… as well as the joys and celebrations.  We will have all of this with those we love and yes, we will hurt those we love.

But there will be a day…

broken

rapids

shoes

IMG_4598-2

God’s Got This One…

I am a creature of habit. Everyday I take the same route to and from school. With several routes available, I stick to the same one.

I do not notice detail. I can pass by the same object or place day in and day out and not notice some obvious detail.

One late afternoon back in November while driving home from school on my all-too-familiar route, I was crying out to God with a burden laying heavy on my heart. I begged Him to show me that He was in this with me.

“God, I need to know you’ve got this one.”

As I turned off of Division onto Mission, there it was! High up in the sky were two crosses atop a church all lit up. It was as if I’d seen them for the first time ever. For a split second I thought they’d erected a new building. Then I realized that I was looking at the two crosses atop St. Aloysius Church on the GU campus. They were lit up for what I thought must have been just for the Christmas season. Come to find out, they are lit up year round.

20140406-093155.jpg

20140406-093211.jpg

At that moment, I was not only surprised with a sight that I’d never noticed or paid attention to, but also by the almost audible message…

“I’ve got this one.”

As suddenly as I had turned the corner, I felt His peace. A sign. A confirmation. High in the sky.

From that afternoon on, I don’t pass through that neighborhood without searching out my two crosses of hope.

Since then, I’ve been drawn to that campus to look at it more closely and take photographs. I’ve tried to get there at different times of the day in different light. I’m not one to do things alone, but this place draws me in.

One day as I walked around and took pictures, I stopped to notice the statue of Saint Aloysius Gonzaga that stands in front of the church.

IMG_9006

IMG_9007

IMG_9009

Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was a Patron Saint of Youth. He died at the age of 23 assisting the sick during a plague. A short life well-lived.

My visits to this beautiful spot have drawn me into some reflection around my own life.

Moving too quickly through life causes blindness to things around that God wants to use to bless and speak to me. While my life has gone on longer than St. Al’s, am I able to say that it has been well-lived? While I’m not a patron saint of anything, can He still use me? If there were a statue erected for me after my passing, what would the placard at the base say about me and my life? Would people be drawn in to read and reflect, as I’ve done? Would my life have left an imprint that caused people to stop and think about what story they will be leaving?

This 23 year old boy left such a legacy in his few short years, that a Jesuit university was named after him.

I’m not looking for a university to memorialize me, but it draws me in to think about what I’m leaving behind. How am I making a difference in this life I’ve been given? Am I on auto-pilot and not even able to notice where I can be of service and make a difference?

I’m looking up and around more these days. Yesterday morning, as I returned home from an early appointment, I made a stop at St. Al’s with my camera and then took an unfamiliar road along the river home. A road I’d never been on. For it may be on those roads that I find more of my purpose in life as I continue to build my legacy.

Until Now…

Where to begin? I love to write! Writing is my escape. I communicate best in words on paper. I’ve blogged for six years. I never seem to be at a loss for words. Until now…

My recent participation at a Christian Writers Conference opened up new doors of adventure… and challenge… and excitement. Until I came home…

Several times I’ve sat down to write. I’ve got nothin’. It’s as if writing has never been a passion or a gift. What is causing this block? Why am I suddenly dry? I long to take advantage of the information gathered at the conference and play off of the excitement of the other writers with whom I spent two days.

Today as I was editing photographs from yesterday’s shoot, it hit me. God kicked my writing up a notch and invited others into my writing world.

Blogging involves other people, but they are not present. I write and it goes out into the cyber world. After posting I never really know if anyone reads the words I’ve poured out on the page. Occasionally I get a comment, but it’s always encouraging words regarding the content of my piece. No one critiques my writing. There is a measure of safety. Until now…

My new writing adventure involves a small group of women gathering once a month for a “writers group.” It involves sending writing out a week ahead so each one can read my piece and critique it. Then we will gather and share our critiques. Today I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself in to.

I’m a pretty transparent person; wearing my heart on my shirt sleeve. Why am I nervous about letting others read my writing and give feedback? I’m not writing a book. I don’t have a manuscript I’ve been working on. I have some blog entries. That’s it. Suddenly I feel like I’ve got to write something with more depth and a greater vision. I’ve always considered myself a fairly good writer. Until now…

How ironic that my first piece to submit to the group is about how insecure I feel as I embark on this new journey. Fear and trepidation are looming. That little voice in my head is saying to run and never look back. Pursue other passions. Leave the writing to those called to be real authors.

I have no idea where this new adventure will lead me. I’m determined to not let my insecurity and fear win. I’m hopeful that I will be stretched…and challenged…and encouraged. I’m excited to begin to fashion a vision greater than my blog and see it grow into something bigger that I could ever imagine; for I’ve never really had one. Until now…

Bucket List…

Do you have a bucket list?  It seems to be what everybody is talking about… in the 40+ generation anyway.  I don’t have an official list.  I’ve been too busy living in the here and now, to think about what I want to do before I die.  Now that I’m 50, I’m slowing down a bit to think about what I actually would like to do.  

For years… before I knew what a bucket list was, I’ve wanted to write a book.  I’ve merely just made that general statement.  Eventually I narrowed it down to possibly a memoir.  Writing about real-life things that have happened to me is where my pen usually lands.  Not that I’ve led an exciting life, but to make stuff up about characters I’ve created does not seem in my creative realm.  

Recently I resurrected my “bucket list” and decided to step out and attend a writer’s conference.  I went in with absolutely no expectation.  I figured I’d meet a few authors and hear about how they got started.  That’s it.  

Little did I know that the two days I would spend at the Inland Northwest Christian Writers Conference would change my life.

Image

I came with my new notebook, pen and highlighter!  I was ready!  Ready for what?  I had no idea!

The opening Keynote speaker began talking about bringing God into your writing.  What?

Pray about what He wants me to write about?  Pray about how He wants me to write and what He wants me to accomplish?  I’ve been a Christ-follower for almost 30 years and this was completely new to me.  Writing has been something I’ve done on my own.  “I’ve got this one handled, Lord! You worry about the things that need help in my life, not the things I’m confident with.”

Suddenly this experience with no expectation had fresh expectation and a longing began.  

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.            Ephesians 2:10

I’ve known that God gave me the love of writing.  I’ve known that much of what I write is faith-based and God is usually the culminating thought.  I’ve known that I want my writing to be meaningful to the person reading it.  The thought of bringing God into this intimate part of my life gives me a greater hope that this dream I have will be even better.  

My blank expectation of my gifting began to take shape.  I listened and wrote with a fresh vision, longing and desire.

 

Image

Image

 

Over the course of the two days I was able to begin to form a vision… establish a possible starting place.  My mind is full.  My heart is swelling with excitement that I can write alongside my Jesus and He will give me encouragement, vision and direction.  I’ve also realized the importance of surrounding myself with a community of writers. 

For both of these, I’m excited, nervous and hopeful!  At the moment, my thoughts and vision are blurred, but I can see a light beginning to gleam in the distance and a direction beginning to become more clear… I think!  

Image

Who knows where God might take me or what kind of writing He may put on my heart!  But, I’m open to be surprised, challenged and blessed beyond measure along this journey!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.            

Jeremiah 29:11

A Raging River…

Do you ever wish you could rewind time and have a do-over in a conversation or meeting?  Say something again with less emotion behind it?  Not have the conversation at all?  Take the high road instead of the rocky path you chose to walk on for that quick instance?

… me too

I learned a lesson yesterday.

I lost my God focus and let the tumultuous, crazy world around me seep into my soul.  I let my busy week get the best of me and gradually by the end my early morning quiet time was a rushed frenzy to get out the door.  I took it upon myself to care for the stresses of the week and let God take a break.  So noble of me.  I’m not even sure I stopped to pray yesterday morning.  That is how crazy my week ended.

The culminating event was awesome!  I spoke out at a meeting in a heated emotional way.  While what I shared was reality and needed to be shared, the way in which I delivered my message was wrong.  I know I hurt or offended a few people.  In that moment it became not about the actual topic, but more of an emotion airing so to speak.  Not my finest moment.

It’s spring in Spokane and the river is running high.  As I photographed the raging river a few hours later it hit me.  We are all feeling like a raging river… struggling to keep our heads above water and survive.  We are all going to bat for those we love to do the same.

IMG_4594 IMG_4600 IMG_4602 IMG_4603 IMG_4598My realization has gone deeper.  I’m not just feeling this on a professional level.  I’m feeling it in all corners of my life… as are so many others.  The waters are raging around us in regards to not only our professions but our health, our marriages, our relationships, our finances, our spiritual lives… the list goes on.  It’s daunting and overwhelming when I think about it and begin to pray for my own life and that of those around me.  In my family alone we have a loved one battling breast cancer and another living out her first year of marriage missing her recently deployed husband.

The waters are also raging across our globe.  370 families are awaiting the news of what really happened to their loved ones lost on a Boeing 777 flight.  Russia and the Ukraine are about to go to war.  Our troops are trying to tie up loose ends of a war going on far too long.

The waters are raging around us all in some form or fashion.

Stop… breathe… refocus.

While the waters may roar around us, we have a place of refuge to rest and regroup.

Grace. God extends His epic grace on us continually and sometimes we are so caught up in the wild waters around us that we don’t even notice.

No one chases grace… but grace chases everyone. ( words shared by a friend this morning)

Spring brings high waters and raging rivers, but it also brings the end to winter and a beginning to new life.  Are we able to stop long enough to see past the raging river and see the new life around us?

IMG_9019 IMG_9020 IMG_9030My prayer for everyone who feels as if life is spinning out of control would be that we can all stop…receive His grace available… begin to breathe in the new life of spring and all that it has to offer.  The waters will continue to rage around us.  It’s how we let it affect us that matters.  Do we choose to jump into the swell and work to keep our head about water or do we watch the raging river from afar and rest in His promises?

I know what I’m choosing…

 

Lion or Lamb

First day of March and it’s cold cold cold! We are under the blanket of a Polar Vortex. Low temperatures and high winds which will bring below zero temperatures. Big snowfall coming in tomorrow! Then rain. It’s happening all over the country.

March – in like a lion, out like a lamb.

20140301-133257.jpg

The month is starting out stormy and cold and fierce. According to the old saying, that means it will go out peacefully and gentle… maybe warm.

Today I’m reminded about life and how it parallels this old saying. God does not promise us that life will be easy. There will be storms. There will be lions in our life. Fierce times where hardships and battles roar around us. At times it will feel as if there may be no end. When will the gentle lamb come in and breathe grace and relief over us?

“For I know the plans I am planning for you,’ declares The Lord, ‘plans of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and an expectancy.” em> Jeremiah 29:11

Those words encourage me on this blustery day. I patiently await those plans that He is has for me as I give Him my whole-self each day – lions and all.

This cold wintery weather seems to be mirroring the start of 2014 – full of roaring lions. My hope rests in the coming of the lamb and gentler days… healing days… restoration… renewed hope. Spring.

“Then you shall call on Me, and shall come to Me, and I shall listen to you. And you shall seek Me, and shall find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29: 12-13