Friday, June 21, 2013

On Paper

Jeremiah 29:11-13
New Century Version (NCV)
I say this because I know what I am planning for you, says the Lord.
I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you.
I will give you hope and a good future. 
Then you will call my name.
You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you.   
You will search for me.
And when you search for me with all your heart,
you will find me!



Here it is the end of June
and all I can do is look back at this last year in wonder.

My little family has been through the wringer.
Each one of us has had our own personal struggles and challenges 
and as a family unit we have been stretched
farther than we thought possible.

On paper this past year looks
messy, scary, ridiculous, unsettling, depressing, out of control

On paper if this past year had been graphed out,
there was a definite dip and that is where it stayed for a while.

On paper, the four people plus one dog that lived through the past year,
would appear to have been in a downward spiral of sorts.

On paper.....

But life does not happen on paper

On paper it is impossible
to see strength, faith and what "circling the wagons" entails.

On paper it is impossible
to feel what it is like to lose, learn and recover.

I think we are all still trying to make sense of what this past year was about,
but what we know for sure is:
God never left us
Good or bad, we must live with the consequences of our actions
There is strength in numbers, we are not meant to be alone in our struggle
Prayer works
Patience is rewarded
His solution may not be our solution
Stepping into the unknown in faith is exhilarating

Being a child of God,
I know that there are some things I cannot comprehend
without suffering
without experiencing hardship
without having a teachable heart

For that reason,
I choose to look at this past year
as a blessing.

My God story is richer because of this past year.
My children's faith is stronger,
for they were audience to how God cares for those He loves.
My marriage is better than it has ever been,
for we humbly stayed on our knees together,
patiently listening for His direction for our lives.

I don't want to waste anything that has happened in my life.

good, bad, happy or sad

I am using it all for His glory   




  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hair



I am an introvert at heart
Really, I am
Being an introvert does not mean I am a loner
It does mean that I prefer
a small life
a quiet life
a predictable life

I can do unpredictable when needed
because besides being an introvert
I am also a process girl
that means I am less about getting to the goal
and more about enjoying the journey.

so just to recap...
I am an introvert/process girl
eclectic I know, but there it is

What does this have to do with hair?

Well...

I am living in a new environment (a stretch for an introvert!)

With a new environment
choices need to be made,
things need to be found and discovered.

Like, where to grocery shop
selecting new doctors
and the thing that all girls dread...
finding a new hair dresser, is that the right word?
 


True confessions:
the last time I moved (14 years ago)
Okay, now I am embarrassed...
for years I drove almost
3 hours to get my hair done because I was afraid to let someone new mess with my hair.
There I said it!
I loved my gal,
not only did she do a perfect job on my hair,
she had become a friend.

So, I would make a weekend out of it
and make my appointment
and hang out with my parents for the weekend.
This worked for me

predictable

I know,
I was putting miles on the car,
just because 
I was afraid to let someone new touch my hair

Then about  4 years ago,
I know!!!!
I allowed someone new,
closer to home to start doing my hair.
He was not my friend, but he did a great job.
Even when his salon moved 40 minutes away, I still went.
I had driven hours for a good cut, what was 40 minutes?  

Now, being an introvert/process girl
I have a major decision to make...
Do I let my hair grow and my gray come in and call it a day?
Do I fly back to Arizona every 6 weeks for a haircut and color?
Or, do I find someone new?

It is silly-scary...
But the process side of me has won out, for now
I am going to get my hair done on Friday with a stranger
I know! I am so brave!!!

Besides being an introvert/ process girl,
I am also a Bible girl
I love to dig, dig, dig

So this introvert/process/Bible girl
decided to do a word study on human hair...
I know, weird
But, it has been very interesting and fun.

What I discovered is that human hair,
it's color,
it's length,
how it grew,
it's loss,
how it was styled,
how and when it was cut,
the amount a person had on their head...
are all talked about in the Bible

God's word used hair to 
physically describe a person,
measure the physical health of a person
and sometimes it was a way to describe the character of a person 

I think that is one of the things I love about God's word,
how He uses the things I understand,
the things that I can see and feel 
to help me to understand Him and His ways better

Today I managed to spend most of my day in the Bible
reading about hair....

funny how a real life moment in my own day,
something as random as getting my first hair cut in my new home
sent me on a wild goose chase into God's word.

I love days like this
   

There are over 80 verses in the Bible concerning human hair...

in case you wanted to know

Genesis 25:25, 27:11, 27:23, 42:38, 44:29, 44:31
Leviticus 13:1 – 14:9
Numbers 6:5, 6:18-19, 31:20
Deuteronomy 32:25
Judges 16:22
1 Samuel 14:45
2 Samuel 14:11, 14:26
1 Kings 1:52
2 Kings 1:8
Ezra 9:3
Nehemiah 13:25
Job 4:15
Psalms 40:12, 69:4, 68:21
Song of Solomon 4:1, 6:5, 7:5
Isaiah 3:24, 7:20, 46:4, 50:6
Jeremiah 7:29
Ezekiel 5:1, 16:7
Daniel 3:27, 4:33, 7:9
Hosea 7:9
Matthew 5:36, 10:30
Luke 7:38, 7:44, 12:7, 21:18
John 11:2, 12:3
Acts 27:34
1 Corinthians 11:14-15
1 Timothy 2:9
1 Peter 3:3
Revelation 1:14, 6:12, 9:8

 








Monday, June 3, 2013

Shoulda Coulda Woulda


The older I get,
the easier is it
to look back and wish
I would have done things differently

I have a heritage
of focusing on the past
of wishing things had worked out differently
of regretting decisions made
of not pursuing things that were important











  
It is in my DNA to think this way
to see the paths I should have taken
to see the people I should have embraced 
to see the moments that slipped away

I could have chosen a different way of handling certain situations
which in turn would have changed the coarse of my life and of those I love

Some days it takes a Holy intervention to keep me from getting stuck in the
Shoulda Coulda Wouldas

I fight it
I pray for strength

For I come from one who is stuck there, even now
Unable to enjoy today
No joy, just regret
Unable to find a reason to get up in the morning
Unable to move forward
Too much past to focus on, taking up all the air of the present.

There is only one thing that keeps me from the
Shoulda Coulda Wouldas

Jesus
The Gospel
The Holy Spirit's presence in my life

I thank God every day for keeping me from thinking my life is defined by
my past
the things I did
the things I didn't do


I thank God for His intervention
when I find myself slipping into the
Shoulda Coulda Wouldas

He turns my thoughts to Christ and truth

For there are no mistakes when it comes to how life unfolds
God has it all in hand
even when it feels like chaos
even when looking back it makes no human sense

There are no
Shoulda Coulda Wouldas 
in God's world

That means there are none in mine either

When I look back at my life
what I choose to see is a life
full of lessons
full of second chances
full of redemption
full of grace
full of stories to be used to encourage another
full
full
full
to overflowing

 I am sad for those in my life that are stuck in the
Shoulda Coulda Wouldas

I must do a better job of bringing light to a dark situation
I must not give up on them
because
no one has to live that way
that is not God's design

I need to ask myself how I can better reflect
the light of hope, joy, peace
to my loved ones that can't find it

For the Shoulda Coulda Wouldas
are poison and have no place in a child of God's life


The antidote is Christ and the truth of the Gospel
nothing else can relieve regret



Philippians 3:9-14 (the voice)
When it counts, I want to be found belonging to Him,
not clinging to my own righteousness based on law,
but actively relying on the faithfulness of the Anointed One.
This is true righteousness, supplied by God, acquired by faith.
I want to know Him inside and out.
I want to experience the power of His resurrection
and join in His suffering, shaped by His death,
so that I may arrive safely at the resurrection from the dead.
I’m not there yet, nor have I become perfect;
but I am charging on to gain anything and everything
the Anointed One, Jesus, has in store for me
—and nothing will stand in my way
because He has grabbed me and won’t let me go. 
Brothers and sisters, as I said, I know I have not arrived;
but there’s one thing I am doing:
I’m leaving my old life behind,
putting everything on the line for this mission. 
I am sprinting toward the only goal that counts:
to cross the line,
to win the prize,
and to hear God’s call
to resurrection life found exclusively
in Jesus the Anointed.




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