Thursday, August 21, 2014

I Believe. . .

What do I believe?

This is a battle that takes place every day.  It is a reminder of my need for something to hold on to for security.  For life.

I believe...

Is it a battle cry?
Is it a fact?
Is it a fear?
Is it a wish?
Is it a command?

Is it less than any of these?
Is it more?
Is it all of these?

Today fatigue wears me thin.  Today I need to know.  To believe.  I am unable to trust my emotions today, or any day, for that matter.  I need to trust what I cannot see.  Tomorrow might be better, it might be worse.  What will I trust?  Who will I trust? 

There are days when the battle intensifies, when I know what I am supposed to say, to do, to believe.  But I don't always feel that peace.  Sometimes the battle is learning to trust that what I know to be true is more real than what I feel or think in that moment.

Psalm 119:114
You are my refuge and my shield; I have put my hope in your word.

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.

For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”


Thursday, July 24, 2014

What Lies Ahead

The truth is, I don't know what lies ahead.

I know Who we are called to follow. 
I know He knows all that goes on.
I know that fear is a big player.

But God is bigger than fear.

I once heard it said:  If we keep our eyes on God, all of the obstacles will seem so much smaller...It doesn't mean they disappear.  It keeps our focus where it should be. 

Psalm 121
I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
    the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
    nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all evil;
    he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
    your going out and your coming in
    from this time forth and forevermore.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Price of Leadership

When any of us decide to step into a position of leadership, we are handed some precious responsibilities.

Upon accepting the leadership role, we also accept the glow of the spotlight. Not the light of fame or fortune necessarily, but the place in view of those who might follow, look up to us, and/or model themselves after us. 

We are given a trust.  We must not take that lightly.  If we step into a leadership role, whether by appointment or by our own choice, act wisely.  Some who look to us find connections that extend beyond a follower or a like.  Some come to know us as friends.  As fellow travelers through this sometimes difficult and bumpy ride.  Words should be chosen and weighed carefully before being spoken. 

Are you a leader?  What would you say to those who step into that position?

Thursday, February 27, 2014

And now what?

Yesterday things were found out that really shake up a community.  Perhaps some parts of the community more than others.  As I am sure is the case with any neighborhood or small town, we think these things happen other places, but not here, not in our backyard!

Is it a sign of our times; a time of moral decay, everyone for themselves? Or is it simply something that has been going on since just after time began, in different forms, different places, but all stemming from the same place. . . the human heart.  Is there anyone to blame?  Are we all to blame?

Does it matter? 

The question now:  where do we go from here?  How do we move forward, and care for the ones who need care, or the ones not involved directly, but still affected?

As parents or guardians, or caregivers we have a responsibility to those in our care.  We are the adults that need to confront, comfort, converse.  We are the ones who might not know all the answers and need to be honest about that fact.  But that doesn't mean we can't learn.  It shouldn't mean we can't listen.

My heart aches for those who felt the need to fit in, to be accepted, for whatever reason did what they did.  Consequences will play out from here.  I hope.  Not in a harsh or vindictive way, but if we don't receive and accept discipline we won't learn to change.  How many parents who have trudged through the trenches of toddler-hood don't know this?  How many times (or time-outs) did we sit, second-guessing our discipline, our temper, our bruised heart for these that wouldn't take "no" for an answer for the 200th time?

Maybe we still need to say "no."  Maybe we need to be available more often. Maybe we try to do everything we can, and our best still leads to this place.  However we got to this point, we need to move forward.  We need to take the next step, we need to love, to be the place for our children to talk, work out stresses, problems, fears.

Parents, guardians, caregivers, love your children, care for them as best you can, talk with them, listen to them.  You were given these precious souls to nurture and I pray we all are able to walk through this thorny patch stronger, more humble and with more compassion. . .

1 Cor 13:4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Middle of Somewhere

This is the Middle of Somewhere.

It isn’t Nowhere
it isn’t the Beginning 
and it isn’t the End.  

I take step after step, working my way across this vast expanse of thought, dream, fear and hope. There are some areas that are arid, cracked and crusty, seemingly lacking in every form of life, and yet there are other areas that are lush and green, flourishing with vibrant color and hope.  Much of this journey takes me through seasons of change.  Change in scenery, conditions, emotions, people. . .

I ponder choices.  I wonder about creating.  

How do I experience life?  How do I go about the business of living, exploring, learning?  

I would like to think that I have importance.  That I matter, that maybe I can make a difference, somehow?  But, because I don’t get out and live - outside my walls - do I lack anything worth saying?  I lack experiences, knowledge, activity. . .  If I don’t have any of those things, what do I have to draw from, to write about?  

Should I be writing, drawing, painting, making?  

Do I need to rethink this?  Do I need to find a purpose - a REAL purpose - for doing this “art” thing?  What is my prayer?  Do I have a prayer?  Should I have a prayer?  Why don’t I have a prayer?   

I project ideas onto people around me, thinking of things they can do to make a difference.  


What about me?  Why shouldn't I be the one looking to make a difference?  Why do I feel like I cannot make a difference?  What should I be doing?  

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stretching Exercise

I spent this past weekend stretching my insecurities, walking step by awkward step through my introverted-ness, surrounded by people I did not know in an age group that is a somewhat foreign to me.  Yes, it was scary.  Yes I felt out of place, ill-equipped to be where I was.  But I tried to go with a servant's heart.  To be willing to do what I could to help where I could.

Was I a help?  Did I make a difference? 

I don't know.

I can't dwell on that.  I know that I learned some things, that I gained some experience in this area. 

Would I go again if asked?


I know it wouldn't be quite as scary the next time.  It would still be scary though.  I would still feel like a fish out of water, but not quite as much.

It is part of learning and growing.  How can we grow if we don't stretch? 

How can we learn if we think we already know everything?

When was the last time you were stretched beyond your comfort zone?