Sunday, February 25, 2018

Our Low's Are Not God's Low's

Our “lows” are not God’s “lows.”  This thought danced across my mind as I read about how a friend had been struggling in the past year. I read about how they wondered where their journey would lead, and what, exactly, God had in mind for them.

We all go through “low’s.” For some of us, we doubt and question God. But, I think for more of us, we just wonder when we will see the end result of what He has in mind for us. We wonder when the hurt will pass, when the testing will seem to end, and when the rewards will be apparent.

We want to hurry across the field of misery into the promised land.

But, what if what we see as a field of misery…. Is indeed…. God’s promised land for us? What if that’s where all the jewels are? Not on the other side, but in the midst of the lessons, the growth, and the climbing?

We see our low moments as “low’s” in our life. But I don’t think God always does. I think He sees them as opportunities.

I can envision a tender-hearted God with tears glistening in His eyes out of love for me, and what I am going through in the hard moments of life. I can envision His loving arms ushering me through, and staying firmly by my side.  But not because these times are hard for Him. But because they are hard for ME.  He is there in His mercy and grace, because of His deep love for me. He is soft-hearted because He knows how I can struggle and writhe in heartache. 

They are MY low’s. Not HIS. 

He has the advantage of seeing the big picture. He knows I must be chiseled and molded to be the best version of me. Even if I hate it and fight against it.

So He walks with me and listens to me tell others of my tears, my pain, and my weariness. 

Low’s.  The very moments we hate, are the very moments that draw us the closest to our Savior’s side. And isn’t that the very place we want to be the most?

If I can close my eyes hard enough, maybe I can see the opportunity that my God sees - in the lowest moment of my “low’s.” If I can close my eyes, I can feel His heartbeat next to mine, and know I never walk through anything alone.

He is there. And He won’t LEAVE me there - alone. 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

What Do You Want Your Life To Be About?

I sometimes think about how I will think or feel when I’m in my 80’s.  Will I be in a retirement home, or still living in my house? Will I be fairly healthy and active still, or will I be in a wheelchair? Will loved ones visit me often, or will I feel all alone? 

Mostly, I think about how I will reflect on my life. Will I have loads of regrets on how I spent my time, or will I have great stories to share, and more ones taking place?

I want my life to be about something that matters. I don’t want to live to be a mature adult, and look back and see that I wasted it. That I focused on things that didn’t really matter. When I’m in my 80’s – I’m guessing that how well I tended a garden, or how many books I read won’t matter very much. Those are great hobbies – but they don’t impact lives. And that’s what I want to do.

I want to know that my children and grandchildren value me, because of the time I invested into them. 

I want to know that I tried to help as many people as I could. 

I want to feel content knowing that I gave “my” time to God, and let Him handle the scheduling. I don’t want to look back and see that I was busy with time wasting things…but rather God-causes. 

I want to see that I made a difference in the lives of those around me.

I think everyone wants their lives to matter. The hard part is not getting distracted by other things. Jobs, social commitments, hobbies, finances, illnesses, and other stresses in our day-to-day life, can so easily consume all of our time. They can consume all of our minds, as well. But, we may fail to see that in the process, they are pulling us away from a destiny and purpose that God may have in mind for us.

Look at your normal weekly schedule. What is it full of? Is that just a season or phase in life, or has it been that way for a few years now? If it has, maybe it’s time for a change.

It’s so easy to get comfortable with the way things are – but often times we get so comfortable that we aren’t fulfilling the call that God has for us! We either overlook it, avoid it, or ignore it. And it’s far too easy to do, when that call may scare you.

We only get one chance at this thing called life. We only have this one shot in life to matter – to make our lives count. If your heart is being pulled for the orphans in another country, do something about it! If you wish you could be a part of something larger than yourself, stop wishing and do something about it! God gave you that desire for a reason.

What do you want your life to be about? 

When you’re getting older in your years and you look back on your life – will you have made it an adventurous story by thrusting yourself into the opportunities that were presented to you? Or will you simply sit by quietly in a chair, and wish you’d done more, seen more, and experienced more? 

Ask God today to show you and lead you where He wants you. Ask Him to help you make the most of your life.

 I promise you – He will.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Sometimes, Something Needs Changing

There are times in life where we are presented with opportunities to become better people. Maybe something happened and we were really embarrassed that someone found out something about us, or we were quick to defend our actions.  

There are times where we want to slither out quietly from a room and hide, or we have to go into “explain” mode before someone even questions our motives or intent.

Red flags. All of them.

Not one of us is able to go through life without being presented with an opportunity to take a hard look at ourselves. Maybe we have gotten too brazen with our speech, we have become critical, we judge too quickly without knowing facts, we too easily keep our mouths shut when we need to speak up….. the list goes on and on and on.




We can become careless. Sloppy. Unaware that we’ve let a part of ourselves grow into something that we don’t want to be known of us.

Not too long ago, I was attending an event with my husband and daughter.  In front of us was a family with a huge group of adopted or foster kids. I mean, like 10 kids.  They were standing up and down. Going back and forth. Constantly. We hadn’t been there an hour, when I, (who was sitting on the end), was already tired of having to stand up, or scoot to the side, so they could get past me to walk down the stairs. 

It was a real distraction from the event we came to see.

After stifling some heavy-duty sighs on my part, and a face that was showing increasing irritation; one child came by me and climbed over my legs without waiting for me to move.  I turned and exclaimed to my daughter and husband - “They didn’t even wait for me to move that time!” 

My daughter, in hushed tones, said, “Mom, you said that really loudly.” To which, the father in front of us, turned around and addressed us. 

Yep. He’d heard. 

Consider me mortified. 


I was not trying to be rude. My patience simply wore out. Thankfully, he was gracious about the whole thing. And believe me, he so easily could not have been! He said the kids could go out another way, and he recognized that they had a hard time sitting still.

Regardless, my daughter and husband were still embarrassed. And I was embarrassed. 

It gave me pause. Pause to consider how I could’ve handled the situation differently.

I cannot control other people. And other people will indeed bother me and irritate me from time to time. But what does my attitude, my actions, and my speech say about ME?

That was something for me to think about.

It was a wake-up call for me. A time to look at how I might need to do some work on my own heart, and not let my speech get out of hand. For I’d gone near the edge a few times, and lucked out. This time, I didn’t. Someone heard me. And even though I didn’t say any swear words or anything, it still brought embarrassment to my family… and to myself.

We all have things we can work on. And we all get those “red flags” in our life. Maybe we get it when we realize we’re getting too impatient at the grocery store, in the gas line, or out on the road. Maybe we need to fix something in our hearts and our actions where it concerns our neighbors.  

It happens to all of us. Sometimes, we just need to change ourselves a little bit. Fix and stitch a little “something” that needs fixing and stitching.  

Will you see those moments when they come? Will you love yourself enough to be the best you, you can be?

I hope so.

Friday, February 2, 2018

I Have To Be Enough For ME

I was having one of those afternoons. One of those times of reflection where I was frustrated.  I was frustrated because I didn’t feel like I was enough for someone. I was loving them and my love, wasn’t enough. 

I guess their expectations were higher than I could give. 

I’m sure you understand. I’m sure you’ve felt that way sometime too. Yes?

I was “stewing” over things, talking and re-talking to myself. How had I come across? How had I handled things? 

It grieved me. Truly. It grieved me for two reasons.

1)I didn’t feel like I was free to love how I was gifted to love. I felt like it was always demanded of me to be MORE.

2)  I grieved, because I knew that my love was not coming across and that it was also hurting this other person. I grieved, because I felt that THEY grieved.

And there was not a lot I could do about it.

Sometimes, there are just communication barriers. You can talk till you are “blue” in the face. You can try to phrase things differently. You can be who THEY want, once in awhile (but then you are unhappy because you are not being true to yourself.) 

No…. Sometimes there are just communication barriers and there will always BE communication barriers in this relationship.

It sucks. Let’s just say it as it is, ok?

As I was talking and re-talking to myself, I realized that even though I would continue to TRY with this person, that I could not ever be enough for them. NO ONE, can fill every hole and spot, in someone else.

I realized that I have to be enough for ME. 

Being enough for me, means that I have to love with all I have. I have to forgive. I have to remain compassionate and try to put myself in their shoes. But I also have to put up boundaries. I have to remain true to myself. I have to let some things go. Some things remain unsaid.

Relationships are such a web. They are a web of emotions, expectations, history, dreams, memories, and so much more. We would do ourselves so many favors if we could purge all the “extras” that we place on relationships, and simply accept them as they come!

But, we don’t.

So, we sit in moments like the one I had that afternoon. And we think. And we re-think. And we let a small tear fall down our face over what “isn’t.” And then, I hope like me, you will straighten your shoulders and lift your head. Not in defiance, but in peace. In understanding.  Know you did enough. Even if someone else doesn’t see that. 

Be enough for YOU. 

And let that be the final word.