Monday, September 12, 2011

Your life's lens

It's that time of year when schedules ramp up again, the evenings bid adieu to balmy and welcome crisp cool breezes and football dominates the weekend. For some..the routine of school and homework and activities begins a hum in their homes that requires more discipline and planning. This time of year leaves me a bit reluctant to move in the direction of marching time.I love the slower, longer, lazy days of summer. Ah but I also love to see the subtle signs of the seasons changing and as much as I love the freedom of summer I also desperately need the structure that routine brings. We no longer have school age children with all the structure that brings. The schedule changes in our home involve our commitments to some small groups. One a group of couples from our church, gathering to dig deeper into God's word and walk through life together. The other a group of ladies, walking through life after 40 together, sharing wisdom, laughter and the challenges and joys of this season of life that we share. No matter what our schedules demand though, it is certain that we don't live in a bubble. There is opportunity for relationship around every corner.I wonder if we see all of the additions to our schedules as commitments and obligations or as opportunities...for new friendships, deepening friendships,divine appointments set by our Creator to accomplish His purposes. As I have been reading Ann Voskamps "one thousand gifts" I've been challenged to see the gifts around me. My eyes are open to things I might have otherwise overlooked.In order to see this way I have to slow down,engage in every moment, every person, every opportunity. That process seemingly conflicts with the faster pace and schedules that comes with this season or at least makes it really difficult. It occurs to me though that it's not really a matter of time but rather a matter of the lens that I look through. If I attempt to view the world without my glasses,I' I don't see very accurately. If I view my life as I walk through it without the lens of God's word,I miss the things He wants me to see. If I fill my schedule before I seek His direction, I may be so busy with activity that I miss the gifts He has for me. Some of the gifts He gave me this weekend Direction from 2 wise, Godly leaders A budding friendship with a couple that we will be walking in ministry with A precious conversation with an Aunt and Uncle Dinner with 6 likeminded women..precious conversation 3 generations just hanging out together Evidence of a sweet relationship between 2 sisters The touch,time and words of a faithful, loving husband What does He have before you today? This week? Don't just mark them off your to do list...start a new list...collecting pebbles Walk in wonder, look for the gifts!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

So...I know it's been such a long time since my last post... The past year and a half or so has been strange for me.
After my mom passed away I began an unexpected  journey of grief. Not that grief was unexpected but the process was a surprise to me.I still can't fully articulate it but I can describe  the state of unfocus ,feelings of  confusion and fears that frequented my thoughtlife. Everyone takes this journey when they lose someone they love and cherish but to each I believe it is a unique experience in which there are no rules or deadlines. Only the passing of time and conversations with my Creator and Savior have allowed me to sift through the feelings and truths and remain in His arms forever changed.

The journey is not over..but I think for me... I am no longer stuck in "neutral".

That's not say that I know where I am going...but I do know that the same God that took me through the past year and a half is the one I will continue to follow!

Lately, I've been meeting Him in the book of Proverbs.
Wisdom is what I desire... and I have read much of it before but this time with new eyes..He is showing me where I fall short...what He wants to change in me.

I spent the past week or so with my family at the beach..probably the most restful ( for my soul) vacation I have ever had. I dug into Proverbs every morning yearning to know Him more and He met me there...filling my mind and heart with His truths and direction for the next leg of my journey.

We all spent time reading, napping, biking, walking, laughing, chatting, eating, instagramming & playing. I am acutely grateful for the ones God has given me to journey with.

Now, I am recharged and ready to see what He has in store!

Where are you headed? Who are you following? Who and What do you love?
Not just rhetorical! Please do share...when we do we encourage one another and spur one another on to continue to journey on the road that He has before us!

May there be Joy ( great Joy)  in your Journey!

Friday, May 13, 2011

video
My good friend Debbie is working on a new project . . . check it out!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Get Back up Again!

I love stories of redemption and I heard a great one today!

Pittsburg Steeler QB Ben Roethlesberger was raised in a Christian home!
We all know of his recent struggles......
Recently his sister encouraged him to listen to Christian radio

Driving in the car one afternoon..listening to KLOVE..he heard a song by Toby Mack
It's never too late..to "get back up again"..as he listened to the words he pulled the car to side of the road and began to weep!
So encouraged by Toby's song feeling like the song had been written just for him...he contacted Toby

The two have now become friends..Toby wrote that song for a friend going through some difficult times. But God knew Ben would need that message as well {along with a lot of other people I am sure}

That story made me think of the illustration of the tapestry....on the back side many threads weaving in and out..quite frankly a mess...but on the reverse a beautiful image....
God weaves our lives together {in ways that sometimes we cannot see until much later)
and creates a beautiful image like only He can.

Hearing stories like these encourages me so much, increases my faith and leaves me so hopeful!It also reminds me that He has gifted each one of us and given us great purpose to carry out for him
Toby just wrote a song that God placed on his heart!
What has God placed on your heart? Are you stepping out in faith to be obedient to His call?
Have a Joyful day!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

East Coast Miks







This past week we were honored to attend a retirement ceremony for Steve's brother Paul. He retired from the Navy after 26 years of service. Most recently stationed in Norfolk Va, the ceremony took place in a little chapel at the Dam Neck Navy Base. We are very proud of his service to our country but most importantly his character and the lives he has touched in those 26 years.We had never traveled to VA so it was particulary sweet to visit the East Coast Miks at their home!


While we were there, we also celebrated the 18th birthday of our nephew Jon! (Paul' s eldest son).



And if that wasn't celebration enough, Paul was married to a beautiful lady named Leslie whom we are proud to now call our sister in law!

In addition to Leslie, our family grew by a few more as well! Leslie's mom Jean, her sister Christine and niece Emma were all there to celebrate with us and it's feels like they have always been family!

The weekend also allowed for some down time to hangout with our beautiful niece Danielle and her son Brayden. We don't get to see them often either so that was precious time we will always cherish!


We are truly Blessed!

Expectations

Expectations are a funny thing! On the one hand there are those expectations that we have of our spouses and our children... or in the work environment....the ones that have been carefully spelled out and negotiated so that when they've not been met it is obvious. We can acknowledge our shortcomings, communicate our sorrow, receive forgiveness and grow as a result.

God's expectations of me while not up for negotiation are clear as well and I know when I don't walk in obedience with Him I am choosing to walk outside of His protection and there are consequences... but also the opportunity to acknowlege my failings and recieve His grace and forgiveness.

Then there is the "muck in the middle". You know those expectations that we have of other people or that they have of us. The ones that have not been spoken, negotiated or even agreed to. No matter how hard we try{ not to have these types of expectations} we all experience this once in a while. The immediate result can be a catastrophe! Usually hurt feelings, frustration sometimes bitterness and over time...huge walls of stone can be erected in the name of self protection.

My prayer for myelf is that God would continue to create in me a heart of grace and compassion that does not place those types expectations on others.

I love how God uses the people and circumstances of our own lives to teach us His truths.

You see, it breaks my heart when someone has an expectation of me ...one that they haven't told me about ..one that I haven't and probably wouldn't agree to and when I fail to meet their expectation..they hold it against me. The goodness of God allows the hurt that we experience to make us sensitive to the hurt we might cause others.
He always makes beauty from ashes!