Thursday, July 19, 2012

Blocked

Last week I went to Aberdeen to speak, to a group of women, in this really cool log pavilion and the people there were really nice.

On my way there though, I had taken the exit off of the freeway just like the directions said to do and then I proceeded to go west down the road. When I passed one of the street signs I thought I was going the wrong way and made a u-turn and then took a left. I was driving along; enjoying the audio CD that was playing when I noticed I-5 was directly in front of me.

What? Why would I-5 be in front of me? Why would the directions make me do a circle and end up right back where I started? I looked at the street signs and realized I had gone back down to Centralia. So I quickly got back on I-5 and called my husband in a panic. As we were talking he asked me what exit number I was at and I told him 72. I then realized I was going the wrong way on the freeway.

So I got off the freeway and headed north again and took the exit and this time instead of making a turn, I went straight on the road, like I was supposed to. But I had lost a LOT of time and was now barely going to get there when I was supposed to. I started making phone calls, which gave me answering machines and my husband tried making phone calls too. To no avail, we could get a hold of NO ONE.

Stressed out, I ended up behind one of those campers that always seem to find their way in front of me when I am in a hurry.  I wish I could say I was, patient, calm and totally trusting God with the outcome of this situation, but I was not, I was stressed. As the clock ticked away I became more and more anxious.

Finally, I got to Aberdeen, took a left on the road the directions said to take a left on and ended up in…who knows where…it was the wrong road. I got directions from the Juvenile detention center. They were easy directions and I could get there just a little bit late.

NOT!

 Instead, when I got back in my car and drove down the road there was a line of cars because there was a train STOPPED on the tracks that went across the road. Now, could this be a small train? NO! It was a rather long train and it was stopped.

I started to think that I had wasted my time coming all of this way and missing what I had come for. Finally, the train started to move, well, sort of…it moved very slowly and it took forever before it cleared the road and the line of cars could go.

I got out of there as quick as I could and made it to my destination. The parking lot was full, so I had to go to the adjoining parking lot and then walk over to the building.

I discovered I didn’t miss my speaking time, but rather I could still eat and there was another presentation in front of me. Whew!

All of that stress and…it all worked out.

But sometimes the story doesn’t have a happy ending. Sometimes when we are trying to accomplish something and run into trouble it doesn’t always seem to work out for our benefit.

I shared the events of the morning with the ladies instead of what I had prepared beforehand. You see, when everything started to go bad, I was driving in my car perfectly content and comfortable. I wasn’t watching any of the signs. Probably if I had been a little more observant in the beginning I wouldn’t have gone through all that trouble. And then when I panicked and jumped on the freeway, again, I didn’t take time to check the signs to make sure I was going to go the right way.

That happens in life; sometimes we can be in our comfort zones, just cruising along and not notice any of the signs of trouble ahead, in our relationships, our health, and jobs. And then suddenly we realize things aren’t going the way they were supposed to go.

I had a goal to get to Aberdeen and I could’ve given up when I looked at the time and the distance, but I kept going toward the goal. And yes, the train got in my way and blocked my way to the goal, but I kept getting back on the road and heading to where I was supposed to be.

During those moments in life when we are in those situations where we find ourselves struggling, that’s when we need to get back on the road God has for us to travel. To not quit, to keep going, even when something is holding us back from where or what we are supposed to be doing.

If it’s in a relationship, and there is unforgiveness, it’s time to forgive.

If there is unfaithfulness, it’s time to be faithful.

If there’s no mercy, then show mercy.

If you’re off the path you are supposed to be on. God still has His plan for you. Get back on the road and go toward the goal.

God promises that all things work out for good for those who are called according to His purpose and who love Him.

If you don’t believe, it’s time to believe. You won’t regret it.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85PxGLqIxoA

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Right Hands


Last week I was busy going from Centralia, Yelm, Lacey and then Aberdeen to speak. It was a lot of fun and I had the opportunity to meet some fabulous ladies and hear some incredible stories.

Some women told of stories that were heartbreaking but ended with God’s redemption. Others were in the middle of heartbreaking situations and hadn’t yet seen any resolution to their problem.  

One of the wonderful themes that weaved through each of these women’s lives was, during the trial, God had showed His hand, and as they had spent more time in prayer and reading the Bible they had grown closer to Him.

The Bible promises us that when we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. The truths of God’s word played out in their lives.

I know of few people who have not gone down some emotional, heartbreaking trial in their lives. And the ones who have trusted in God and drawn near to Him always come out a stronger and better person even when the situation doesn’t turn out the way that they would like it.

Yesterday at church, our Pastor said something that was so simply put, yet so very profound in its truth;

If you put a basketball in his hands it would be worth twenty bucks. But if you put a basketball in the Shaq’s hands it would be worth a lot of money.

If you put mud and spit in his hands it would be gross and it might make a bit of mud.

But if you put spit and mud in the hands of Jesus it can make a blind man see.

If you put a few fish and a few loaves of bread in the Pastor’s hands you might get a fish sandwich.

But if you put a few fish and a few loaves of bread in Jesus hands you will feed 5,000.

It’s all about whose hands you put your things into.

The ladies I talked to knew whose hands to put their trust in. They knew whose hands to put their problems into and they saw Jesus work.

If Jesus was willing to go through the excruciating pain He suffered on the cross so we could live with Him forever when we leave this place, don’t you think He is willing to walk you through your excruciating pain?

Whatever it is, big or small, He is there for you. If you haven’t turned to Him yet,what are you waiting for? He’s waiting for you to put your stuff into His hands.

Feel free to share your own story in the comment section below.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rear-View Mirror Living

I took a left turn instead of a right and wasted time trying to find my destination. The most frustrating thing about it…I discovered, when I took the left, the building I was to go to was directly to the right of me.

After driving around and finally calling my husband for help, praying, fighting tears of frustration, I got the correct information and was able to make it to where I was expected to be. When I walked through the doors, I was relieved and so were the people expecting me.

It’s those wrong turns in life that can cause so much frustration. Not only personal troubles, but it causes trouble in the lives of the people around us.

One lady shared with me yesterday, how she had stayed home and waited for the tree cutters to come and take care of a tree in her front yard. They did a no show. Later it was discovered they had turned down the wrong road and went to the wrong house. The person that lived there came out of her house and asked the tree cutters what they were doing with her tree.

The tree cutters left thinking the job had been cancelled.

The woman’s husband cleared the matter up with the company and they were expected to show up at their house again.

Wrong roads, wrong turns…wrong decisions…can get messy.

What can get even messier is when we don’t let go of what happened when the mistake was made or when we feel the results of another person’s mistakes.

It takes faith to trust God and completely forgive someone of an offense.

It takes faith to trust God and believe He completely has forgiven us of our sins.

It takes faith to walk as a person washed clean of all of their messes.

There are times we may find we have to face consequences. But when we beat ourselves up or punish ourselves in some way, that is contrary to God’s way in the Bible.
He sent His Son Jesus to pay the price of ALL sins. Jesus was the final sacrifice.

So when you look back on your life and your mistakes are looming up from behind you. Bring them to Jesus and BELIEVE that He paid the price for you and then get going down the road you are on. Listen close to His directions and go His way.

Oh and by the way, it’s the straight and narrow way. Jesus never meant for us to live life looking out the rear-view mirror at our past

 His plan is for us to…

Philippians 3:13-15 NKJV

13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting Past The Trash

Today while I was on the road to Lacey for a speaking engagement, I ended up behind a semi-truck in my lane going the same speed as the semi-truck next to him in the other lane.

I don't like to be behind vehicles that block my view of the road ahead and I had no way to pass them. I just had to bide my time until there was an opening to where I could zip by the two trucks and go on my way.

While I was waiting for an opportunity, I noticed garbage flying over the truck in front of me and past my car. Different sorts of wrappers and even a dirty cushion that would tie on to a dining room or wicker chair.

What on earth? I thought.

I also had some other thoughts go through my mind. I had just been praying about the road I was on in my own life. I have some goals that I am working toward and it's taking a bit longer to reach those goals than I would like.

It seems there is always some reason I have to wait, or something gets in my way blocking me from clearly seeing where I'm headed. Also, a lot of garbage from life can just come from out of nowhere and land in my path.

I realized that I have a choice. I could either forget my goals and just give up or trust God and keep going toward them. Sometimes that means doing all I can do and then...wait until I can do the next step. When I see an opportunity, just zip right in and do what I can to keep getting me closer and closer to my goal.

If you're waiting...or garbage has been dumped in your path...don't give up...keep going toward your goal.


Morning Glory. A Weed or A Beautiful Flower?

Yesterday, I had the awesome opportunity to speak in Centralia for Stone Croft Ministries. My sister and daughter came along for the ride.

Although, I think my daughter may have had other intentions.

She could easily have taken my place with her cute smile and all the things she has to talk about.

This was the first time I went without Sharon. Normally we do a little drama together. When I got to Centralia I decided to use a part from the play her and I normally do for a visual. Kay, (who does the job of putting everything together for the luncheon) went outside with me to look for some weeds.

We found a patch of wild blackberry bushes with morning glory all intertwined in the bushes. I picked at the morning glory. I had to be careful because the blackberry bushes were so prickly.

Kay, however had no fear of getting pricked. We didn’t have anything with us to cut the vine of the blackberries, so she just bent down and used her TEETH!

I watched her in amazement and thought, “Really?” I mean she’s a girl who knows how to get the job done. I also thought, she’s definitely a “Sister Blue Thread.”

I was so excited to find the morning glory.

My Grandma had morning glory on her farm and I loved seeing it. I’ve also, always wanted morning glory in my own yard.

My husband though, says no way. He had morning glory in his yard once and it took over everything. Last night he showed me the morning glory growing in the ivy and trees in our neighborhood. It had not been tended to and was climbing up the trees and all over the ivy.

Morning glory tended to can be beautiful. But morning glory left on its own can be destructive.

Just like the things we have going on in our hearts. When we confess our sins and walk in faith that Jesus washes us clean, our life and attitude show it.
But when we store sin in our hearts, it can be like the morning glory left on its own and can be destructive.

For example, getting angry at someone and not forgiving them, can lead to bitterness, even hatred.
So daily, even moment by moment, tending to the matters of our hearts is important.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Stuck And Waiting

While on a recent trip to Seattle, coming out of the mall, this was in my path.
Naturally, my sister, daughter and I wanted to pick it up, but it was ground into the pavement.
It made me think of those times, when traveling down a road in life toward a goal, I get stuck for one reason or another. And there seems no way to move forward or backward.

It’s a time to sit, wait, and…Trust in the Lord!
Those times can be so tough and frustrating, whether it’s for a short or long period of time. It can be any type of waiting. Waiting to find the right home to buy, the right job, results of a test, that perfect person to spend the rest of your life with, for that perfect person to ask the perfect question, direction…and what lot’s of authors go through…a book or story to be published that’s been accepted.

There are so many different times where we’ve done all we can do, and now…

The Bible tells the story of David the Shepherd boy who was called from the fields one day and surprise...he finds himself anointed to be the future King, by Samuel the prophet.

This didn’t happen overnight. There was a period in his life when the current King Saul wanted to kill him. He was jealous of him. So David went into hiding.
Then one day while King Saul was searching for him. King Saul went into a cave that David was hiding in. Not knowing David was in the cave, he well…did his private duty. David could have taken his life, but instead he cut off a piece of his garment. And then he felt bad about doing that much.

David could have forced his way into his rightful throne, but instead he trusted God, and the promise God made to him and waited.

That seems like a lot of trust to me. Imagine being promised something and then running for your life. And then the promise is within reach, but yet…

He chose to wait. It’s such a picture of amazing faith.
And God kept His promise to David, made him King, and blessed him in incredible ways.

Waiting is hard, believe me I know. I am waiting for a long list of things to work out right now.

It can be frustrating, but during the wait…is the time to…Trust in the Lord.