Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A New Year And A New Word

It’s New Years and that means it is time for some resolutions and goals. I dig the changing of the calendar, the crafting of goals and the dreaming of all the ways I just might be able to change that bad habit once and for all in this new year. Maybe.
Although I am common sense enough to realize not all my goals will even make it past January 31st, I do like the One Word for the New Year trend. All you have to do is pick one word that will guide you and be significant to you during the entire year. It is not quite as overwhelming as a long of resolutions. It is focused and easy to remember. It’s just one word. I can do that!
I decided on my One Word for 2016: Sit
It’s not very profound or deep but I have noticed a disturbing trend in myself I do not like — I do not sit much. I eat my breakfast over the kitchen counter, I constantly sweep up crumbs like nobody’s business and when I do have a spare moment to sit, I always, always find another chore or task to do.
I’m never fully present.
I can tell myself I am listening to my family as I wash the dishes but in reality, I am not. I can feel like I have accomplished a lot in my day because of all my busyness but I have not accomplished being fully in the moment.
If I want to start a life of noticing, of truly making time for moments and making openings for God to work within those moments, then I need to sit

Because it is in the sitting where I make connections. It is in the sitting where I hear and learn who someone really is and what they are really saying. It is in the sitting where I give God the space to move and work and be made known.
I can’t do any of those things when I fill my every minute with tasks and to-dos. And I certainly cannot sense God’s presence and His movement when I don’t slow down.
Certainly God can move and work whether I sit down or not but our teamwork is greatly one sided when I don’t even notice His movement. Or when I move so rapidly through my day I don’t even allow Him room.
Sitting sounds good to me right now. A year full of sitting sounds really good. I know it will be tougher than it sounds. Choosing presence over busyness always is. But if sitting means getting to know my people and my God more fully, then in those moments where I feel the pull of busyness, I’ll need to remember the rewards of being still, of sitting with intention, are far greater.
So, here’s to a New Year full of sitting. First, I think I’ll try sitting down at my own kitchen table. I can’t wait to find out what I will discover there!
If you’re interested in learning more about the One Word movement, here is a website to give you more information: oneword365.com
You can also read this post over at Getting Real Ministries. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When Wednesday Seems So Far From Sunday ~ A Prayer For Today

For today, let's bend low, down to the trough to see the newborn king.

For today, let's strain to hear the quiet birth of a newborn King over the noise.

May our expectations of others and our expectations of how the holiday season should look and feel and act be low. 

But may our anticipation of the coming King be lifted high.

And may we continue to lean into the promise of a Savior child born to us. Born as us. Born for us. 

"Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is the Messiah, the Lord" Luke 2:11

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

When Wednesday Seems So Far From Sunday - Preparing for Thanks

It's the Wednesday before Thanksgiving and many of us are in the middle of preparations -- cooking our favorite dish, tidying up our homes or searching the grocery store for that one ingredient.

As we prepare dishes and homes this Wednesday, let's not forget to prepare our hearts. It's in the  midst of preparations that hearts get forgotten. But hearts need reminders too, reminders to see and give thanks. 

What moments lie before us today and tomorrow that we can be thankful for?

What moments big or small can we pause to notice and pause to give thanks?

For me, it's unhurried mornings and slow breakfasts because there's nowhere we have to be.

It's a thankful jar made by little hands, filled high with slips of paper expressing thanks for all the things little hearts are always thankful for -- family, snow and no school.

It's a table filled with delicious food and tomorrow's leftovers.

There's so much to be thankful for if we take the time to look for it.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Letting Thankfulness In

I love when Halloween changes over to Thanksgiving. One of my favorite after Halloween activities (besides sneaking Halloween candy) is to change the sign on our front door from Enter If You Dare to Give Thanks. I love the changing of the holidays and the simpleness of the Thanksgiving season.

One morning just a few days after I hung the sign on our door, my kids and I were having a hard time getting out the door and off to school--shoes were lost, gloves weren't on little hands and the dog was definitely not cooperating.

I was frustrated at our last minute forgetfulness, so on the way out, I shut the front door with just a little too much gusto. As I did, the Give Thanks sign fell off door and landed right at my feet.

God's timing of this moment was not lost on me. Although I had no desire to give thanks at that particular moment--I admit I was pretty irked the sign nearly fell on my big toe--the reminder was much needed.

I was taught well as a kid. I say please and thank you and the perfunctory thanks to God for this and that blessing during prayers. But, how often do I let that thankfulness get into me? How often do I let it be part of my daily routine? It sure wasn't part of my routine that morning. 

Instead, thankfulness had to hit me on the way out as a reminder to be thankful on the way in.

Each day I have moments where I can let thankfulness in. But I have to open the door to it first. I have to recognize the areas of this moment where I can be thankful and then look hard for those moments. 

Because missing shoes, mismatched gloves and stubborn dogs are commonplace around my house, they leave me lacking in thankfulness. I need a heart all ready prepared to see the thanks and blessings--I need a heart prepared on the way in.

Missing shoes and mismatched gloves means we have more than we need to keep us warm. A stubborn dog means we have room for fun and laughter in our lives. Morning mishaps mean more opportunities to extend grace. 

Don't let thankfulness hit you on the way out. Prepare your heart to recognize it then allow it to come in. Let it be part of your daily thoughts and let your moments be saturated in it. 

Let thankfulness in during this season and all seasons to come.

This post also appears on the gettingrealministries website. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

When Wednesday Seems So Far From Sunday - Verses To Encourage

There is so much happening in our world to give us reason to fear. Although I know there is no reason to fear, no reason to not have hope, there are days where the undercurrent of fear threatens to overtake me.

This past Sunday, I gathered with a group of women--all whom I absolutely adore--to pray and share verses that give us hope, encouragement and keep us steadfast in the midst of so much turmoil.

I thought I'd share the blessing:

Psalm 118:5 - 8 ~ "In my anguish I cried to the Lord and He answered by setting me free. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me? The Lord is with me; He is my helper. I will look in triumph on my enemies."

Jeremiah 33:3 ~ "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Psalm 46: 1 - 3 & 10 ~ "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in times of trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 10: Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.

1 Chronicles 16: 34 ~ "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever!"

Exodus 15:2 ~ " The Lord is my strength and my song; He has become my salvation. He is my God and I will praise Him, my father's God, and I will exalt Him."

Jeremiah 29:11 ~ "For I know the plan I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

I hope these verses bring a little Sunday morning calm to any fears you may have.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Because Wednesday Seems So Far From Sunday

It's Wednesday, the middle of the week, a few days removed from last Sunday yet a few more days until next Sunday

I love Sundays. I love my church, morning worship, gathering with my people. I love how Sundays steady me and readjust my focus for the week ahead. 

But the week moves on, Sunday becomes the past and I find my my focus shifting. Next thing I know, Sunday seems so far away. 

I desperately need reminders of Sundays on my every day, real life Wednesdays. Reminders that give me perspective and keep me grounded in Sunday morning truths. Reminders that bring peace when decisions need to be made. Reminders that bring me back to the Word when I have strayed from it.

When the world changes around me, I need my solid rock Sunday reminders.

I've created a space here for Sunday reminders. I'll post encouragement, prayers and gentle reminders each Wednesday that will bring us back to our Sunday best.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Starting Somewhere

Everyone has to start somewhere--so here it is, my somewhere. Although I have done some blogging in the past, it was dabbling and now I'm ready for a bit more than dabbling.

But I'm an expert at avoidance. More truthfully, an expert at excuses. There's always something I can find to do instead of writing--piles of laundry to be folded, floors to be washed, moving this pile over here and that pile over there. It's easier to think about writing than it is to actually do it.

It's easier to think about the path God is nudging you towards than to actually move towards it.

But faithfulness is more than just thinking and avoiding the path intended is living a life not made for you.

So, here's to small starts toward somewhere and to all our small starts toward somewhere. May we be braver than our excuses and may we find the somewhere path intended for us.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Welcome to my new site!

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