Don’t rush me

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The Lord directs our steps,
    so why try to understand everything along the way?  Proverbs 20:24

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I had coffee with a friend recently, and she shared some wise advice- time is in God’s hands… don’t rush Him.

Don’t rush Me.

Yeah, I just started singing that  ol’ Taylor Dane song…

 

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I sang that line over and over in my head as I walked yesterday evening. I could taste fall in the air!   But I found myself longing to be at the end of the street where I could see the sunset more clearly- so I began to jog.

Much to my dismay, after my rushing down the street, my view wasn’t any better there. As I got closer to the edge of the neighborhood, the trees covered more of the sky.  So then I turned around and went back to my house.

By the time I got there, the clouds were blazing with beauty. Oh, if I could only be content to stand still…

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All I needed to do was wait.

Don’t rush Him.

Enjoy the journey.

The sun rises and sets in His timing.

And don’t forget to look up while you’re walking 🙂

Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.  Psalm 119:133

you get what you need

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Long car rides sound like such a fun idea… until things don’t go as planned.  On our way home from visiting our family and friends, we could see a storm brewing up ahead. We were all tired and just wanted to be home. It seemed like the perfect time to stop and have dinner while the storm passed.  We went through the drive-thru and ate in the car as the rain drops began to pelt against the windshield.

I noticed that the windows were beginning to fog up….and then the air conditioner didn’t feel quite so cool anymore.  Just as I suspected, the a/c had stopped working, and because it was muggy and rainy outside, the windows got so foggy that we couldn’t see a thing!  We waited for a while, but the rain kept coming.

I ate my dinner in silence.  I was so mad, tired, and now HOT.  Knowing that it was going to get dark before we got home, I suggested we keep going so at least we had some daylight to drive in.

Hubby drove as I haphazardly wiped away the moisture from the windshield.  The windows were rolled down, and oddly enough, I found the loud noise to be comforting- I didn’t have to say a word.  No one could hear me even if I did, which was probably a good thing, because I was in a horrible mood and didn’t have anything good to say.

We drove in silence for a long time.

And then the clouds began to break up.

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 I saw the pink hues glowing in the distance, and the sun was like a fireball setting directly in front of us.  It was breathtakingly beautiful.

I took my phone out and began to take a few pictures.  And then my hubby started commenting on the clouds, too.

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“I love you, babe,” he tells me.

“Love you, too.”

And then all was right in the world again.  The peace of the Lord had permeated the atmosphere, and we couldn’t help but smile.

I began to belt out one of my old favorite choir songs from my college days-

“The heavens are telling the glory of God…” I sang out in my best opera voice as we enjoyed the view ahead.

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When you see such a glorious sight, you can’t help but worship.  You can’t help but praise the Lord and give thanks for the beauty He creates.

And as our focus turned to Him, the lack of a/c didn’t matter quite so much.

Because we had each other,

and two healthy girls,

a van that would still get us home… and most importantly-

a Heavenly Father

who knows how to get us back on track!

We seem to find the things we look  for.  If I’m discouraged, it doesn’t take much for me to find more things to be discouraged about.  On the flip side, when I look for something Good- I find His infinite blessings! 

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And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Philippians 4:8

The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
    The skies display his craftsmanship.  Psalm 19:1

 

 

joy will come

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when every beam of light goes dim 

trust that you can rest in Him 

His light shines in darkness 

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when you cry out but not a word 

escapes your mouth- you still are heard 

His ears hear in darkness 

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when all that’s left to do is wait 

In Him joy comes, His love is great 

His voice speaks in darkness 

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Recently, I took the girls out shopping so they could find a birthday present for a friend.  You go to the toy section, I’ll be in electronics– I told them.

I remember how desperately I wanted to feel close to God, and how far away He seemed.

I was hoping to find a new worship CD to listen to in the car on the way home.  He so often speaks to me through music, and I searched and searched…but the CD selection in this store was dismal.  I couldn’t find a single one. I went to find the girls, we made our gift purchase, and I pushed the thought of finding new music out of my mind.

And then just days later- after our Sunday service, a wonderful lady who loves the Lord came up to me as I was walking out to my van.  Here- someone gave me these, and I thought you’d like to have them.  She handed me a gift bag with several CD’s in them.

I dropped my husband off at work the other morning, and as I looked down in my van, I saw that same gift bag that had been handed to me days before.  I had forgotten about it, but felt compelled to look inside on this particular morning.  I grabbed a cd out of the bag and popped it into my cd player. The first words I heard were these-

I’m here to meet with you
come and meet with me
I’m here to find you
reveal yourself to me

As I wait, you make me strong
As I long, draw me to your arms
As I stand and sing your praise
You come, you come and you fill this place
Won’t you come, Won’t you come and fill this place

As I listened, God revealed Himself to me.  I cried tears of joy as I remembered the week I had before and how far away God had seemed to me.  In that moment as I listened to the CD, He brought to mind the day I wandered through that store- searching for music, wanting so desperately to be near Him…and then the picture of the lady from our church came to mind- how she smiled and hugged me so tightly as she handed me a bag  full of CD’s…

God is faithful.  Even when I can’t see or feel Him.  He filled my van with His presence that day. He breathed life into these dry bones again.  He filled me with joy.

I am thankful 🙂

Weeping may last through the night,
    but joy comes with the morning…Psalm 30:5

 

keep on going

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though the road

grows dark and gray 

keep traveling the onward way 

until the day our 

faith will become sight 

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always keeping Him in mind 

never stop to look behind 

steadfast, keep on walking 

towards the Light

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I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.  

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when things get in the way

 

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We were searching for the perfect view of the sunset the other evening.  In two weeks we will be at the beach where we’ll have a perfect view for 7 straight days!  But why wait?

So we went to the lake, hoping to see the sunset.  And wouldn’t you know it- those darned trees were in the way.  Just like they always are.  Every. Single. Time.

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And then as I tried to snap pictures, my handsome hubby tried to dodge them.  I still managed to get him in this one…

IMG_1817.jpgWe watched the young lady on the pier walk away, and we thought we had the beach all to ourselves.  Just as we started talking and reminiscing, an elderly gentleman walked up to us.

“And you thought you were going to be here all by yourselves,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes as he approached us. He told us he was 85 and he had been married for 50 years. He shared all sorts of random memories with us, including stories from the glory days of baseball- which happens to be a passion of my hubby’s.

As they talked together, I thought about all the times our “dates” have gotten interrupted, or when the trees have gotten in the way, or when our plans have changed.  Most times it would leave me being frustrated- because my focus was always on ME- wanting to make MYSELF happy.

But watching the joy on this elderly man’s face as he shared his memories with us made the evening even more lovely. And seeing my husband share this sweet moment with a total stranger made me love him even more. Life is so much more full when we make it about bringing joy to other people, when our days not about our own agenda- but when we focus our attention on others.

All that stuff that gets in the way?  I’m convinced those things are really blessings in disguise- if only we know what to look for!

I didn’t know what I was missing

 

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I didn’t know what I was missing… 

all those years that I spent 

looking at the ground

like there was no one else around-

everything came to life when I found You

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I didn’t know what I was missing…

the times I failed to see

the beauty of this place

God’s majesty and grace

I began to see in Living colour

when I saw You  

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I didn’t know what I was missing…

all the time I longed for

someone’s company

there You were- walking right along with me

a better friend I’d never known 

till I met You

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I didn’t know what I was missing…

until the day You

reached down from above

and overwhelmed my heart with Love

I found contentment, I found joy

when I found You

Friends come and friends go,
    but a true friend sticks by you like family.  Proverbs 18:24

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I began jogging for exercise when I was about 15 years old out of desperation to lose weight.  I squeezed into a pair of cut-off jean shorts, in hopes that one day they would become too loose to wear- as I jogged around the block.  I stared down at the ground, afraid of making eye contact with anyone.  I didn’t want anyone to see me, so I counted the cracks in the pavement…huffing and puffing and praying for it to be over with quickly.

I was so focused on myself, on my short-comings, on my own hang-ups- that I was oblivious to the entire world around me!

I didn’t know what I had been missing out on all that time.

But somewhere along the way, He got my attention.

When I finally changed my focus and made walking about spending time with Him– the whole world around me began to look different.

I started hearing birds singing

I saw other people walking- smiling and ready to give a cheerful hello! 

 Sunsets and sunrises became vibrant. 

I finally realized that I was not alone- He was walking with me!   

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them.  

Isaiah 9:2

waiting for a song

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I sit here waiting 

anticipating 

for company 

i do long

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for friends that I 

watch soar on by 

I’m listening 

for their song 

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After a morning at church, we settled in for a restful afternoon.  From my bedroom, I heard hustling and bustling coming from the kitchen.  Curiously I got up and went to see what was going on…

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“Mom- look what I did, ” my oldest daughter smiled proudly as she opened the cabinets.  All organized and tidy.  And on the floor- probably more stuff than was in the cabinets.  All expired canned foods, old tupperware, and junk, junk, junk!

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“That is wonderful, babe!  But make sure you put all the junk in the trash.”  I tried my best to hide my disapproval of the huge mess in the floor.  I knew that I was going to be the one to finish this project…when all I wanted to do was take a nap!IMG_1464

“And guess what else I did, Mom- I found a bag of birdseed and put it out on the patio for you!”  She was all smiles, knowing how much I love to watch birds- something I have not done much lately.

She always knows how to make my day. Simply knowing that she thought about me and did something she knew would make me happy was the highlight of my afternoon!  As I finished cleaning up the kitchen this morning, I realized that even in the middle of a mess, there’s always a reason to be blessed!  IMG_1462And so this morning, after I got the girls on the bus, I found myself running to the kitchen window every time I heard a noise- anxiously waiting for my feathered friends to make their first appearance!

They’re on their way 🙂

He gives food to every creature.
His love endures forever.  

Psalm 136

Walk in love

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The gorgeous evening sunset

And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

Ephesians 5:2

After praying and pondering, this is the verse He has impressed on my heart and mind for the New Year.  Walk in love, die to my SELF, and do all things as an offering to Him.

Our recent snow-storm really challenged me to put this verse into action.  As my youngest daughter likes to say- It’s about to get REAL up in HERE… especially when you are cooped up in the house for days on end together!

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The snow was coming down so hard, you could barely see!

So on Sunday morning, before anyone else was awake in the house, I snuck outside for a quiet walk to watch the sun rise.  The only sound was the crunching of my snow boots in the cold, crisp air.

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Perfect start to the day after the storm- with an early morning walk!

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I LOVE snow-covered trees!

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The glow of the sun rising in the distance 

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My walking buddy- with his snow-beard!

But then it got “real up in here”. After everyone was up and moving, we all went outside.  The girls were playing and building a snowman- while hubby and I took shifts digging out our driveway.  That’s where the whole “walk in love” thing went awry.  He had his way of doing it, and I had mine.  And then, just in the nick of time- He brought along a Good Samaritan to save the day!

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My hubby and I were all smiles after the driveway was cleared.

A neighbor down the street came walking by with his new snow blower, with his wife and children in tow.  Without skipping a beat, he began clearing our driveway from the street and worked his way to the area we had already cleared.  And within minutes, he did more than we had done all morning together!

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The good samaritan moving on to help clear the next driveway!

As I watched him and his family help clear driveways, I couldn’t help but think of Ephesians 5:2- walk in love.

Love is about offering yourself…giving and not asking anything in return for it. And while I have intentionally been trying to walk in love, the real goal for me is to not have to “try”… but to just do it!  I am so thankful for our neighbor and his kindness- and for God’s perfect timing!

When we walk, especially in snow -our feet are not so steady.  I am thankful for God’s faithfulness, and how He gently extends His hand of grace to help us get back on track!

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Our lovely snowman made by the girls

After spending the rest of the day of playing, sledding, and relaxing, we had the most amazing sunset- reminding me of His faithfulness and the wonders He creates all around us.

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These poles always remind me of the cross

IMG_0729If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Galatians 5:25

Even if…

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even if the sky 

grows dark and gray

even if the night

overshadows the day 

even if-

I will praise you

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even if those clouds 

swell up with rain 

even if the sun 

never shines again 

even if- 

I will praise you 

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Even if doubt 

whispers in my ear 

even if circumstance 

tries to bring fear

even if-

I will praise You. 

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You turned my wailing into dancing;

you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,

that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.

Lord my God, I will praise you forever.

 Psalm 30