Tag Archive | trials

Vision Correction

There are so many places in the Bible where we can find some variation of this phrase…He who has eyes, let him see. And along with that usually comes…he who has ears, let him hear.

If you have kids, then you know that having ears does not always mean that those ears hear what is being said. Kids get a bad rep in that area. Frankly, I think we all are guilty of that. Likewise, if you have eyes- it doesn’t mean that they always see things clearly.

I wanted to share with you a conversation I had with a stranger yesterday. It is time for me to update my glasses, so I took the opportunity in the quiet of the morning to call the eye doctor’s office. The sweetest lady with the most melodious Jamaican accent was the associate I was asking for. A few months ago, she kindly wrote down the number for a pair of frames I had my eye on so I would have it when the insurance plan renewed. When I called yesterday morning, she and I began to discuss the task at hand. While she was calculating some things- our conversation turned to the horrible flooding in Houston. I shared with her that I just had our heating oil tank filled before the prices went up as a result of that storm. She, apologetically, gave me the hefty price for the lenses and frames I desired. I have such a horrible prescription that they have to be special ordered. Uggh….Ouch! She said, “Wow, I am so sorry. I know you just paid to have your oil tank filled and now this.” My response stopped her in her tracks, “Ma’am. I may be a bit hard-headed and a slow study at times…but, one thing God has been really driving into me is the fact that I am in control of NOTHING. Not one thing. So I just have to roll with it.”

She became very silent for a moment and began to almost whisper into the phone. She said, “Miss Joanne, I need to see the good in things. I know that the Lord had you call me today and I am so thankful that you did….”.  She went on to share how a friend had died of pancreatic cancer just months after she adopted a child. She shared how she prayed and her church prayed for both that woman and another person at church who had the same kind of cancer. Her friend died and the other lived. She expressed how down she gets and shared that she gets angry sometimes at God and just asks Him “WHY?”. She said the folks in her church seem to scold her when she asks such questions. So we began to chat. We walked thru Job where I reminded her that he asked questions of God. It’s ok to ask God “why”. (Just know that you may not see or even understand the answer.) We went into Hebrews and all of the folks who God used as a part of His plan…some who died horrible deaths… who never got to see the end result. Heavy hearted she said,  “I know that the Bible says His ways are higher than mine and I still get discouraged. I have to find a way to change my focus.” I suggested somethings to her…what if. Yes, these things hurt us emotionally and even physically. Our hearts break for our circumstances and the circumstances of others. But, what if the death of her friend planted seeds somewhere that would affect that adopted child in the future? What if that child learned how to pray when she prayed and saw her response and love for the Lord even in the face of such a terrile battle? What if that child has been set aside for a certain purpose that only God knows? I asked her to think about the flooding and the tornadoes and any other natural disasters that occur. When those things happen there is an abundance of good that comes in the aftermath. That is certainly hard to see when so many are suffering. We have to open our eyes to others’ suffering so we can minister to them and we also need to be watchful for God’s hand even in those things. We have seen a story of a gentleman opening his furniture store to displaced families and National Guardsmen and feeding them. There are people who were displaced by Katrina years ago who are now helping those in Houston. And it’s always during these times that the name of Jesus and various testimonies of God’s goodness are splashed all over the news. The NATIONAL NEWS. We may not understand these things, but God is in control. So we talked and talked. At the end of our conversation she said, ” I didn’t go to Bible Study at church Wednesday night because I was discouraged. Thank you so much for calling me today. This is the encouragement from the Lord that I desperately needed.”

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

What? All over a call about glasses?

Vision correction.

We don’t see clearly. We only see what is right in front of our faces and that is such a miniscule view. We read the Word, but struggle to apply it in our lives. We know the truth, but struggle to hold to it at times. This was another reminder that while we focus on what we can see, taste, touch, smell and hear…there is SO much more to this life and our purpose in Christ during our little time on this earth.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

God really wants us to see things through spiritual glasses. To see things through HIS lens and to really, really see.  The Pharisees didn’t “get it” and they didn’t have the eyes of their heart open. They were blind. There were many times when Jesus had to spell things out for the disciples even when they were walking with him daily.

He who has eyes…let him SEE.

I LOVE days like this! Days when God places someone in my path. Stay tuned! I am fully aware that -nine times out of ten – I will need those very words for myself a few days later. When that moment comes I pray that if I can’t see clearly with my human eyes, I will trust and know that HIS eyes see so much more.

 

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Renewal?

To renew or not renew? That is the question.

That has been the question on my mind for the past 3 weeks. I started receiving renewal notices from WordPress reminding me to renew my subscription for this blog. Maybe it was a greater reminder to me to Bloom Where I am Planted. I need that reminder in more ways than one.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:34

I really should post all of the scripture leading up to that…don’t worry about what you will eat or drink or wear…considering the lilies and the birds. As I cross the dam on the way to school each day, there have been many mornings when I have considered those birds. The eagles nest at the dam and their majestic, white crowns can be seen scattered in the trees. Some mornings, I see them swoop down and then ride the draft upward into the sky. Not flapping furiously trying to stay afloat…just riding. Gliding. Resting on the breeze.

Consider the birds of the air.

This has been a challenging year. For many I suspect. And I feel compelled to share- humbly- in hopes that YOU will find hope in Christ alone. I started working part-time at the school my children attend and have been blessed by it.  At a time when our household income has shrunk exponentially, this was a blessing and an answer to months of prayer. I am so thankful.  That endeavor came with a new set of challenges as well. I had to drop out of some of the ministries I was a part of and also am no longer attending the ladies Bible study that was so important- relationally and spiritually. I have a hard time waking up in the morning and have to empty my brain so I can sleep well at night. (BIG TIME thankful for my hubby who literally drags me out of bed like on of the kids in the morning. It is because of his diligence that I am able to sit in front of the Lord each morning with my journal and Bible.) We traded in our van because we could no longer afford it. The Lord blessed us with a smaller, cheaper, more fuel effecient sedan. We call it the “Blue Blessing”! There have been a few weeks recently when we have had to cut the grocery budget to pay for school field trips. We are just rolling with it…making changes and adjustments…just trying to be good stewards of the blessings God entrusts to us.

A few years back, this would have caused me GREAT anxiety. I am happy to report that I don’t have that now. There was a time of reflection. We realized that in times of plenty we weren’t as responsible as we could have been. That revelation makes my heart heavy at times. But, since we can’t go back and change that…here we are. There are times when it is tempting to get anxious. I am keenly aware that anxiety causes me to shrink and hold on to things tighter. My God is bigger than this. As long as I am following His lead, I have nothing to fear. And I tell you what! The math doesn’t make sense on paper, but God has provided for our every need every month and every step of the way. Praise the Lord.

So now you know why that question plagued me for a month…to renew or not renew? The renewal fee for this blog is a mere $35. That’s it. And, yet, I had to really evaluate that against the greater picture. Evaluate. Hmmmmm. I realized this morning that I didn’t pray about it yet. So I did. Then when I opened up the blog…this whole post just fell out. I hope and pray that it brings glory to the Lord when it finds you.

 

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 4:5-12

“Pressed, but not crushed”. These were the words playing in my mind and heart as I was driving home to meet the plumber after our well pump stopped working 2 weeks ago. A reminder. I wasn’t able to put it all together until just now. I have been neglecting to share God’s goodness with you. As I said when I started this blog…God places treasures, smiles, blessings, joy and light as well as storms, trials and challenges. All are designed to lead us closer to Him. We are to share and shine that light so He can be seen in all circumstances. This blog was built on this very idea and for the past 9 months I have been holding those testimonies to myself. It’s time to get back to it.

Yes, I will renew!

I have heard testimonies like this from others. I am sure you have a testimony or two (or three, or four) of God’s goodness in your life and circumstances. I’d love it if you’d share one with me on this blog.

Flat Water

In May, I found a new hobby: Kayaking! My hubby hadn’t been since our oldest was born and I had never tried it. Since we are surrounded by water, it seemed like a good idea. We now have a whole family of kayaks and this has become an activity that we can do together. It has been a real blessing!

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Our daughter’s favorite part is seeing the cranes and turtles along the way. I have always liked being on or near the water so I feel like I have found “home”. My husband is eager for the day when we all become comfortable and confident enough to set out onto “bigger water” so he can catch some fish. And our son…well, he is getting a bit bored waiting for adventure outside of the little marsh we have been practicing in. But, he is also a little cautious and apprehensive to go out into unknown territory.

Until Tuesday….

This past Tuesday, we went out after hubby got home from work. We always go in the evenings and the water has always been choppy at our entry and then calmer as we enter the marsh. Tuesday, something was different.

FLAT WATER. It was like glass.

It was absolutely beautiful and calm and PERFECT! My hubby and six-year-old daughter put their boats in first and paddled out. This time, not into the marsh…but, into bigger water. My son was a little apprehensive to head into the “unknown”, but once we were off shore his sense of adventure kicked in and he was invigorated. “Mom, look at that! Do you see that dock? Can we paddle there?” And then my favorite…”Mom, is that the end of the world?!” HA! Mercy! While he knows that the earth is round, this made for some great discussion about the early explorers and the horizon line. Of all the times we have been kayaking this summer, this night was my absolute favorite.

A few weeks ago we got a life vest for our dog, Cooper. We decided that we need to start taking him with us more often because we have not done a good job making him feel like part of our pack. The first time, he jumped out of the boat thinking that he could just walk across to me…then he sank and had to swim. His eyes were huge as he hit the water! This was Cooper’s second trip out in the kayak and he is still uncertain. As I paddled up behind my hubby, Cooper was growling and barking at a tree limb that was poking through the surface of the glassy river. He is not quite sure what to make of all this just yet.

Mid way through our exciting adventure onto flat water, our daughter got a little tired. My hubby threw her a line and she tied on so he could pull her for a while and give her rest. Cooper, then, transferred into my boat. In an instant, my peaceful flat water paddle became very interesting. My kayak is a sit-on-top, which means that there are no sides. When Cooper sat down he wasn’t sure of his boundaries and occasionally his foot would slip off or he’d dip his tail into the water. He couldn’t just trust…sit…rest. I found myself getting a bit frustrated. It was perfectly calm water! Why couldn’t he just lay down and chill?!

Cooper was trying to see my husband so he’d lean to the left…and all of a sudden my boat would make a sharp turn left. He saw something in the water so he would lean right…and my boat would track hard right. As he leaned, I fought against him. Even though it was perfectly calm, glassy, flat water…I had to paddle twice as hard that night to counter Cooper’s every move.

This morning in my study time the Lord pressed on me hard. I am not trusting right now. He is still in control and I am leaning. In my morning study, there was a story of a backseat driver that the author labeled as a “panicky passenger”. I am studying in the Women of Faith study “Giving God Your All”. This morning took me to the chapter called “Putting it in God’s Hands”.

Panicky passengers “… are the ones who ride with a white-knuckle grip on their armrests. It doesn’t take much to evoke little gasps of fear from them-changing traffic lights, the sight of brake lights ahead, low-flying birds.” The author goes on to suggest that we often try to take God’s place in the driver’s seat or she says “maybe you’re more like the panicky passenger, not quite trusting the driver to get you safely to your destination.”

This is the scripture that the Lord brought to me this morning through that study:

 How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you.  Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Isaiah 30:19-21

 I have been enjoying some pretty flat water lately. This summer has been a blessing in so many ways. But, this week I have allowed anxiety to flair up and -like Cooper- I am not trusting…sitting…resting. I cannot see under the surface. There are changes coming in the near future and with change comes some uncertainty. Instead of becoming excited and invigorated by this new “big water” experience, I find myself behaving like Cooper. Leaning…looking…frantic.  It’s flat water and I feel like I am paddling twice as hard just to counter my own movement.

If I would just BE STILL.

Yesterday, I found myself crumbled into a pile on the shower floor crying out to the Lord. I could hardly breathe and I felt as if I might drown in those tears. But, I know that the Lord heard me. Now I just have to listen for that voice, “This is the way, walk in it.”

Pray for me in the coming days. Our kids are starting a new school and while they are fine…I am anxious. Do I need to go back to work? Or am I supposed to be still and trust the Lord to provide? I wish I knew what was just under that glassy surface. In the meantime, I need peace and to believe Isaiah 26:3.

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

Outgrowing small pots


My husband has found a new hobby! He has decided to try his hand at woodworking and building things. Don’t get me wrong…he’s a super handy guy and always has been and I have been blessed over the years by his knowledge, skills and talents. He has some training and familiarity in electrical work, he has flexed his muscle in remodeling and even built the deck on the back of our home. He maintains, sharpens the blades and changes the belts on our fleet of lawn equipment and he is an awesome chef in the kitchen, too! Yes, I married a multi-talented man. AMEN! Frankly, when I look around our home and see the extent of his work- there is little he can’t do! (And if you were to say that…”You can’t”…to him- he’d figure out how to do it just because HE CAN. ha ha)wpid-20150418_171353.jpg

Hubby’s latest conquest was a gift for me- this potting bench. Built out of scraps and pallet wood, he custom-built this piece so it would fit perfectly in it’s intended space in the shed. The addition of my daughter’s hand-painted terracotta pots were just what my potting bench needed. Perfection!

I love it.

I LOVE HIM!

I had mentioned in prior posts that we were preparing our garden for the season…and we have. The kids helped by placing seeds in the fiber pots…we added rich soil…and have kept them watered.

For a few weeks they occupied wpid-20150501_151654.jpgspace on our clothes dryer where they could soak in the afternoon sun, but remain safe from the cool nights and the warm days. When the risk of frost passed and their roots had developed, I placed them outside on the patio table so they could acclimate to the great outdoors. But, something happened….they wilted. After the second day, they looked positively peaked. Ailing. SICK!

Oh no! Did I put them out too soon? The mercury rose quickly and it seems like Spring gave way to Summer in only a matter of days. Maybe their roots weren’t strong enough. Should I bring them in?

No. I continued to water them. Moved them to the shade outside occasionally. And let them continue to grow in -what would soon be- their natural environment. Their intended place. They started to thrive and in a short while those plants began to outgrow their little pots. They were ready for more.

I find it awe-inspiring when God places simple examples like this in everyday life.

In Priscilla Shirer’s study, One in a Million,  I am learning about wilderness experiences in life and how God uses them for our good…to draw us closer…to grow us and push us to realize and truly experience God- and the potential God placed within us. It is true that the times of greatest adversity are the very times that strengthen our roots and draw us closer to the Lord. Reaching for the SON.

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.

Exodus 13:17-18

Do you see that? God did NOT lead them on the easy, shorter road. HE CHOSE to lead them through the desert…and they left prepared and ready for battle.

Yes, just like my plants they were thrust into the wilderness. They walked out of Egypt ready to battle in the flesh. Yet, God chose to lead them on a wilderness path that would force them to rely on Him and not themselves. He used this experience to change bad habits, remove idols, cast off fear and doubt and establish true faith and trust. There is so much we can learn about our trials in life and God purpose for us in them by reading God’s Word. But, we see examples also in nature.

Back to my poor wilting plants. I was tempted to bring these plants back in to the easy, climate controlled environment they were accustomed to. But, what would that have accomplished? Those little plants would eventually outgrow their small pots and would never bear the fruit (or veggies) they were created to bear.

Maybe your current “wilderness” is a health trial, marital struggle or long period of unemployment. Hang in there and have faith. No, it’s not an easy journey as you follow the Lord through this struggle. You may wilt. But, He will bring the rain. Don’t turn back.

For others, I think many of us get comfortable in our little pots. That pot may be the comfort of your church…doing what church folk do…and maybe ignoring God’s voice as he calls you into unfamiliar territory. Maybe you’re a habitual Bible Study attendee, but ignore the call to lead a study with some new folks who are on the fringe. What if, in addition to teaching the kids class on Sunday morning, God asked you to use the same material to lead a backyard Bible club with the kids in your neighborhood this summer? Or what if He was leading you to start a ladies study in your own neighborhood? Would you be willing to leave the comfort of that little pot?

It’s time to get out of that small pot. Endure some heat and ask God to keep the water flowing as He leads. God used the Israelites’ experience in Egypt to keep them in a time of famine. He never intended for them to stay in that small pot. He had a much bigger purpose for them and He has a much bigger purpose for each of us, too. The plant’s roots can only grow as big as the pot. There is a choice to be made. Camp at the edge of the wilderness = stay in the small pot. Or follow the pillar = rely on the Lord for provision, have faith and be planted…and BLOOM, thrive, and bear fruit.

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,

whose confidence is in him.

They will be like a tree planted by the water

that sends out its roots by the stream.

It does not fear when heat comes;

its leaves are always green.

It has no worries in a year of drought

and never fails to bear fruit.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8

I feel a stirring.

I don’t know where or what just yet.

I have two little seedlings here in my home- a son and a daughter- who need nurturing and rich soil. I know that we must continue to water them in the Word while their roots develop.

But, for me personally-I am praying for a bigger pot today…or no pot at all.

Lord, lead me.

Adjust the Sails

I have been tired and stressed for a while now. I keep casting my anxieties and then picking them back up. So when my girlfriend reminded me that a weekend was long overdue, I jumped at the opportunity to escape the storms.

Perusing the nautically inspired wares while wandering a small bay side town- I found it.

A towel. Yup…a towel.

I looked at it and then walked away.

I came back to it and took a picture…and walked away.

I finally purchased it so I could take it home with me as a constant reminder.

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A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 

He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!”

Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other,

“Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Mark 4:37-41

No, I can’t control the wind. But, He can. When the storms come, I need to be quicker and more diligent about adjusting my sails while praying for God’s will.

Amen.

I feel like I should end this post here.

But, in my travels there were some other reminders of God’s presence that I want to share.

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. Psalm 23

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
They will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad; let the distant shores rejoice. Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Psalm 97:1-2

The Lord reigns, let the earth be glad;
let the distant shores rejoice.
Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Psalm 97:1-2

Red Sea Rules- the same God who led you in will lead you out

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Deuteronomy 31:6

A dear friend of mine gave me a gift…and what a gift! She passed me a little book that she had been reading; it really is little; maybe about 6 inches by 5 inches. Wow, big things come in small packages.

I could write a full fledged book review here, but I am sure that there is another site out there for that. I will, however, summarize this little treasure and hopefully coax you into reading it, too.

I can imagine that you’re on the edge of your seat, with pen and paper in hand, waiting….What’s the name? Who wrote it?

The Red Sea Rules: 10 God-given strategies for difficult times by Robert J. Morgan.

I know that this isn’t a typical post from me- God willing, I will be back to writing soon. For now, enjoy these truths.

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Psalm 51: reflections in the spin cycle

Another snow day; the third one this week. I have been sick for two weeks and have so much catching up to do. When it snows and rains like this, it’s best to save the septic field and refrain from doing too much laundry at home. After being down and out- the laundry has piled up higher than the mounds of plowed and drifted snow. Time for the laundromat.wpid-20150306_104041.jpg

The kids brought books to read while we waited. I assured them that it would be a reasonably short visit because we could do the drying at home. I was completely taken off guard when they reacted the way they did. The books and coats went into a chair by the window…they flipped over two of the three laundry baskets…and each took a seat.

Front row for the big show.

He practically had his face pressed up on the glass the whole time and only moved away long enough to float to one of the other machines. When the spin cycle began, they were whipped into a frenzy! To them, it looked like the clothes in the machine had just disappeared as the centrifugal force pressed them firmly against the inner walls  of the 62 lb. capacity beast.  A young couple sitting nearby began to laugh…who knew that laundry could be such a wondrous and magical experience.

They had never seen a front load washing machine before.

Two hillbillies in the big city.

Laundry. They were mesmerized, entertained, and positively pleased as punch.

I miss those times. Two years ago I could look at a tree in a storm as the leaves turned up to welcome the rain…and see God. There was wonder in my coffee, the clouds in the sky…God was evident everywhere. Even in all of the chaos of life, I was the one pressed up against the glass watching in amazement and awe as the spinning melted into the walls and God was at the center. There are seasons. God is always present…always working…always active. Sometimes we sit at the feet of Jesus and learn…and watch. Other times we are Martha, diligently working on the things He has given us to do.

This Martha season has been complicated and blessed. There are tasks that He has placed in my path…people…needs. I have been listening, and started out following His lead quietly. It was awesome! I could see how God was weaving people and situations together- all in one load. But, then the spinning started. I’ve gotten caught in the spin cycle. I don’t want to say “yes”–I don’t want to say “no”. I am spinning with my back pressed against the wall and everything is being squeezed out of me. It’s too fast. I am tired. And I am too loud about it. I have been too loud about my feelings and frustrations. I have been too loud about some of the excitement in my world…good news and bad. I have quickly become overwhelmed and now I have found out that I am overwhelming people around me. I need balance…AGAIN. So now I am feeling a bit alone in the spin cycle and the anxiety is creeping in. Feelings. The reality may not be overwhelming, but when the feelings are added in- Satan get’s the upper hand.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7

It’s time to very intentionally focus on God, not the things that make me anxious. [AGAIN] Not how I fail [STILL].

Psalm 51 is near and dear to me and I have found myself meditating on it a lot this week.

Just be quiet. That may be a good start. Oh, Lord. Please hit the reset button. My spirit is downcast within me.

1 Have mercy on me, O God,
    according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
    blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
    and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil in your sight;
so you are right in your verdict
    and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
    sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Yet you desired faithfulness even in the womb;
    you taught me wisdom in that secret place.

Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
    and blot out all my iniquity.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,
    and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence
    or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation
    and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    so that sinners will turn back to you.
14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God,
    you who are God my Savior,
    and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.
15 Open my lips, Lord,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it;
    you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
17 My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart
    you, God, will not despise.

18 May it please you to prosper Zion,
    to build up the walls of Jerusalem.
19 Then you will delight in the sacrifices of the righteous,
    in burnt offerings offered whole;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

When everything has been squeezed out of me, there is a big void that only God can fill. I eagerly await that joy and willing spirit; His sustenance.

I have no idea what’s next. I feel like I haven’t had much to write here lately and am wondering if this season has passed, too. (The spammers have written more on my site than I have in the past year!)But, I will be still and wait. Maybe the spin cycle will stop- then, I can exit the spin and sit with my face pressed to the glass. When the spin starts again I want this perspective. I want this vantage point. I want to see all of the chaos melt away with God in the center – clearly. But, that’s what I want. I wonder what God’s plans are?

I have to focus on God’s plans. Not mine.

I must have FULL faith, because God is faithFUL. ALL THE TIME.