Saturday, September 24, 2016

About time

I got a appending ticket this week. Now I'm trying to slow down. One more change. How many will there be?  

A lot of times the reason I exceed the speed limit is because I'm running late. But the timing of this ticket made me think I just need to slow down anyway.  Especially with my upcoming departure from my job and no plans to get a new job immediately, I don't need the expense of speeding tickets or higher insurance rates. And with more time on my hands, certainly I should be able to manage better and not be running late. 

So, I've been trying to practice driving 40 mph on city streets and 60 on the highway. And I've realized my bigger problem: These speeds seem very slow, especially when so many vehicles are racing past. 

I'm not sure how this will play out. I will admit that I was talking to my husband on the phone when I got caught speeding, and I later told him I didn't regret speeding as much as I regretted getting caught, which I blamed on being distracted by the conversation. 

But it still seems to make more sense to just try to slow down and enjoy the ride. Obey the speed limit. Breathe in the moments and be grateful. 

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Knowing I had a lot I wanted to get done today, I really felt that disconnect in my brain as I finished showering this morning. I prayed, letting God know I really needed Him to fill in that gap or help me trust Him to guide me even as I felt clueless on what to do or how:  I do trust You. Please help me know and do Your will, to Your glory. 

At the end of the day, I choose to feel grateful and blessed. I choose to focus on the positive, even as all the rest of the stuff -- especially what I didn't get done -- wants to dominate my thoughts, attitude and spirit. With God's help, I will keep on keeping on. 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lacking in nothing

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. —PROVERBS 3:5–6

I'm keeping on keeping on, trusting in the Lord, acknowledging Him privately if not always publicly. Even as I still wonder sometimes where those straight paths are. 

Actually, a bit of a convoluted stretch seems to finally be showing signs of leading me somewhere. It was one of those times where I felt I was making some positive choices and changes, but some of the unexpected results seemed less than ideal. 

Already, I think one of the lessons I needed to learn from that experience was to not get impatient or distracted by short-term results. 

I know I'm grateful for this moment when things seem a little more clear and less stressed. It feels peaceful. I thank God for that. 

It brings to mind something from today's First 15 devotional, which kept referencing the green pastures and still waters of Psalm 23. God is with me. The Lord is my shepherd. He leads me, comforts me and provides for me. I lack for nothing. 

And some words from the additional scripture reading, which was James 1:

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Small change

I plan. 
God smiles. 
Things seldom go according to my plans. 
I'm learning to smile anyway!!

I was reminded of that Friday, when many things were going right for me to get to work early, with the plan of not having to stay late. 

While I was on the treadmill, I read a devotional reminder from Scripture that God's plans are far superior to mine. The thought occurred to me it could still happen, and that my plans would go awry. But I didn't think so. 

I was headed to my car early as planned, but it would not start. The battery was about dead. But as is often the case, I had so much to be grateful for. We have a boat battery in the garage that I could use for a jump-start. 

The thing is, in the past, that disruption would have ruined my mood and likely my day. But that happens much less often now. And even when I needed a jump-start after work, as well, rather than be dismayed, I was grateful for jumper cables and a helpful co-worker. 

That's just one tiny example from many that add up to a positive change. 

That brings me to a couple of other things on my mind:

My biggest shame used to be a secret sin. Now, it's how inept I am at serving God by serving others. 

A little over a year ago, I had no idea how I would break free of the sin. And then it happened. God sent an unexpected rescuer -- and I could not be more grateful.
So, I have hope God also is at work in my current area of shame. 

I never stop praying, hoping and trying. Trusting. Giving thanks and praise. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's not time yet

Blog potential continues to be stymied by a lack of something. Motivation? Substance? Urgency? Self-esteem? Faith? Clarity?

I don't think it's lack of faith. Actually, evidence of faith is that I keep checking in, at least to assess where I am.  I've seen, and believe it will happen again, that when I think I have nothing to write, sometimes something will come together. If not, I'll eventually know it's time to let this go. 

But it's not time yet. 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

I'm continuing to experience days where it seems I would have a lot to share about the sweet music of life, and either the motivation or the words aren't there. Life is good. God is great, and I am grateful. Morning by morning new mercies I see. All I have needed God's hand hath provided. Great is His faithfulness! 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Straight paths and other insights

On Thursday, I found myself praying to trust God, lean not on my own understanding, in all my ways acknowledge Him. Because I need Him to make my path straight!! (Of course, I had the insight earlier in the week that what looks like a convoluted path may not seem that way in God's big-picture view.)  

On Friday, I was tired and weary and prayed for a word of guidance from God. 

In my Jesus Calling devotional, I found these: 

“A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out. In faithfulness he will bring forth justice.” —ISAIAH 42:3

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the LORD, who has compassion on you. —ISAIAH 54:10 

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. —ROMANS 8:26

Do not compare yourself with others, who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours ... 

And this from Upper Room, under the heading "Rest for the Weary":

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.- Psalm 68:19 (NIV) 

And from Craig Denison's First 15:

God is a joyful God. He is the inventor of happiness and fun. Luke 15:10 says, "Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents." Nehemiah 8:10 tells us "the joy of the Lord is [our] strength."   In order to truly declare to the world who our heavenly Father is, we must be carriers of joy. We must be a people marked by the joy that only comes from restored relationship with an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving God. ...

Isaiah 55:12 says, "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." The Lord longs to make us a people that go out in joy. He longs to make us children who are overwhelmed by his love to the degree that the cares of this world pale in comparison to his grace and affections.
Ask the Lord for perspective today. Allow the Spirit to help you focus your attention on the true purpose for which you were created: restored relationship with your heavenly Father. Choose the joy of the Lord over the stress and cares of the world.

Choose to "be led forth in peace" rather than led by your flesh. And experience today the lifestyle of carrying the joy of the Lord with you everywhere you go. May others come to know the abundant goodness of your heavenly Father through the way you exude joy.