Leading by prayer

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As the days pass it only feels clearer

and then it feels murky

 

The levels of anticipation, arrival, or excitement

are growing and building

 

Waiting, praying, and asking for the

power of patience to take over

 

With the next day passing

the outcome feels more murky

 

Waiting, praying, and asking for the

power of patience to take over

 

Finally putting my mind in neutral after

much seemingly repeated prayer

 

Seeing the enjoyment after the

preparation and leading with prayer

 

 

 

Halfway at Forty

 

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While one daydreams about turning that magic age of 40, one wants to celebrate what appears to be a life half lived.  This year new thoughts come to mind, but it is by this time that maybe college is far off in the past, the children are all growing and taking their own journeys, and the thought of the last decades of lasting life impact and meaning are strung out on the horizon.

Each passing day, it is funny how new personal and family expectations come to mind.  There is a point that even though I think about the daily expectations that sometimes I want to remind myself not to think of those, but instead the day doesn’t really allow that for anyone unless of course you find yourself taking a really great nap.  Thankfully, this week I had one of those days.  I am sounding older already.  I have also begun to think about what a much more condensed life might look like and what I really need in my life.  When my oldest was growing up, we would tag a lot of agenda items onto our day all for the sheer effort of trying new sports, new clubs, new experiences, to help our family develop into what was our thought of “well rounded,” and as you are constantly re-evaluating your year to year experiences, there can be a place for that, but at 40, I am sure some of these scheduled efforts are not always worth the daily consumption.

In the center of the home, I desire to look deeply for the joy and the faithfulness to a vision not merely for me arriving at my dreams in my family relationship to satisfy perhaps all of the educational, familial, and spiritual aims, which I seem to enjoy like most, but to align and realign to the growing needs and desires of my family.  In the last fifteen years, with children I see how the family runs freely.  It also trickles out into many channels in the oceans of life.

I am beginning to see, as many can relate to; it never is all about us as parents, and eventually those fifteen-year-old sons and daughters will be changing and adapting to satisfy there own relational needs with corsages, boutonnieres, new music with wireless speakers, driving lessons and much more challenging course work.  Some way, all that you thought was easy to manage for your children’s life becomes their inertia that propels your living forward.

In a book titled Fierce Convictions by Karen Swallow Prior, I appreciate her explanation of the family and marriage according to Hannah More, “A happy marriage was a channel for allowing the individual to satisfactorily employ whatever gifts and talents had been bestowed on him or her by God for the benefit of all, within the family and without.”  I like this because the design of “for the benefit of all” resonates that turning forty with a family is a beneficial relationship to hold onto with joy and love.  It is also one that needs to be cherished realizing that eventually the family choices set in motion will be continued with their own inertia.

Doesn’t the family life develop and change in ways that are new and exciting and sometimes rather unexpectedly?  During those times, we can draw strength knowing that a happy life is God’s love for each member of the family and always seeking to have more of His love and joy.

“A new command I give you; love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”  John 13:34 (N.I.V.)

 

Truly,

 

 

FAITH

 

 

 

A drink worth the refreshing

 

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Let my heart speak and my mind listen.  I try not to force my mind to think something but instead let my heart and mind speak for themselves.  There are times when indecision would like to complicate good and joyful choices, and sometimes it is our past that makes us sink into not making a choice that is available and there for the rightful taking.

I have been examining what this whole thought of JOY really is as I have been reading Choose Joy because Happiness Isn’t Enough by Kay Warren.  Truthfully, this author is believable because of her experiences.  She is co-founder with the pastor and her husband Rick Warren of, Saddleback church, an evangelical megachurch of several thousand members.  One key thought I take designed on my own from her book is about the heart.  The heart is mechanical in that it does it’s daily routine to pump the blood to all areas of the body; however the heart is also permeable in that it influences the thoughts of the mind and takes in a wealth of emotions like love.  When the heart wants to think the mind needs to answer and vice versa.

Sometimes we are not sure which part of our being is truly telling the truth, so we need an answer to our questions in our heart.  Kay  Warren describes in her book that this was also the life of the tribes and people of the Bible.  Take for instance the  Israelites centuries ago when they forgot the power source of God in their hearts and minds.  She explains at this time they had been freed from slavery which would have been very freeing to the heart and mind, but their heart and mind was very soon tricked to follow after other gods and make idols for themselves.  The Israelites centuries ago, may have had questions in their mind like “What is next, we’ve been fed manna from heaven daily and had a cloud to follow with us, but where are you now God?” Maybe they instead said, I am not hungry but fed, and I am just bored what can I do with myself maybe this idol will be entertaining to make, to talk to, to believe in and that will show my success?  Kay describes the human attempt to not choose God as the source of joy as Jeremiah describes relying on a “cistern for water” instead of a “living spring.”  “Cisterns, unlike living springs, Warren explains were large pits dug into rocks that were used to collect rainwater.  Not only was the water in cisterns dirty, but it could also easily run out if the rains were light that year.”

Jesus said,

“but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14 NIV

God offers all a true source of living water and that is Jesus.  Allowing the mind and heart to listen to his truth is cleansing and brings JOY.  What might one become by accepting his living water?

Truly,

 

 

FAITH

Dream discussions

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How does a dream begin?  Dare to look back on your life and think of your greatest dreams.  We must begin back where we started at times especially if you or I are at a loss for new dreams to be found.  When our remodel project began, I did not know that was truly a dream of mine.  At the time, it was more of my husband’s.

The start to our dream began with me saying, “I think you need to put a bit of money on something you think is needed.”  This dream started small, and it began with a closet and the laundry room rebuild needless to say.  Gratefully, the dream is for the most part complete outside of decorations and curtains.

The demolition is never the greatest part of the project, and at that time it felt like a “natural disaster.”  It was at the demolition stage that I became the most out of touch and wanting to take control of a dream that I was not gifted to complete.  Truly, the responsibility of the execution of this dream was my husband’s since he has the construction background.  So, we talked about the closets as I wasn’t exactly sure what he wanted to do with them.  Just brainstorming about the closet, it occurred to us that we rarely use our dining area which is ill-equipped without enough seating for our family of five.

Soon we were planning our kitchen remodel, and oftentimes, a dream begins just like that.  For me, I believe everyone has unique God-given talents that each has been given for work , and what I liked most about this project is that even though I do not have my husband’s construction talent, I was happy to complete tasks with him that allowed me to share a dream with him that I could not have shared had I not been open enough to learn some new interests like home design and decoration.

The process of this dream was a long one especially at the demolition stage.  Just being a part of it taught me how to exercise a lot more patience remodeling, which had never been a natural talent of mine.  Remodeling is not for everyone, but dreaming is.  I hope you have a dream that you think God and his son would be hoping that you would pursue.  I know God truly does care so much about the way he designed us.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen”  Ephesians 3:20-21

Truly,

 

FAITH