A Word for 2019

If you could pick one word to focus on in 2019, what would it be?

A few years back our Pastor gave a New Year challenge encouraging us to consider one word to focus on for the entire year. I had felt the Lord spurring me to trust Him more in unchartered areas of my life so the word I chose was GO.

I wrote GO on my mirror as a daily reminder. It became the filter I processed thoughts through. Every time I contemplated a matter I remembered my word and choose to “go” forward with my eyes on Jesus. It was tough, but soon I became fascinated with the word. It was such a simple word and yet it stretched me in every area of life. When I faced heavy issues I found GO as an invitation to once again place trust in Christ as I proceeded forward.

What surprised me was using GO in small matters. I found myself trying little things I would have otherwise overlooked. It made a huge impact and my world expanded.

By the end of the year GO wasn’t just written on my mirror, it had become a part of me. GO was on my mind and in my heart. It also happened to be the year the Lord drew my husband and me out from one very long and sweet season to an exciting new one in another state.

The beauty and simplicity of one word can impact your life in powerful and dynamic ways.

Consider what your life would look like if one word changed it this year. What would that defining word be for you?

Pray about it and choose your one word. Root it in your heart and mind. Write it on your mirror (dry erase marker), write it on your calendar. Weave it into your vocabulary. Take an hour to write 12 simple, separate notes using your word. Seal them and open one each month.

Then, allow every area of your life to be filtered through that word. Look for Christ to magnify His will and His very self through the meaning of that word applied in your life.

Then the LORD said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.” Jeremiah 1:12 (NASB)

Some starters to get you thinking:

Give                            Grow                           Legacy                        Wait

Simplify                      Forgive                        Humility          Fortify

Phonto

People Are Watching

Do you ever get the feeling you’re being watched? Brad and I love to “people watch”. Downtown is a great for this place because there’s always something going on and plenty of people.

This weekend we went to Acacia Park downtown. Immediately, we saw three young men doing flips. “Brad, look!” One would flip. Then the other flipped and then the next. They paused a moment, caught their breath and repositioned. Then bam, bam, bam; they each did it again, and again and again.

Mesmerized, we got out of the truck excited to see more. And we did. All over the little park young men were running, jumping and twisting into the air doing complete arial somersaults. Some were hanging in trees and a few were jumping from the trees to other objects. A young man climbed onto a four foot wall bordering above a playground. He stood like a diver ready to make a complex dive. Suddenly he sprung off the wall tucking, twisting and arching to spin wildly in the air before landing in a soft bed of mulch.

Nearby, a group was gathered by the small amphitheater where a semi-circle obstacle course was arranged. This was the competition ring for the Jump Fest Event Parkour Festival; a ‘Tranquil Movement’ event.

Every couple of minutes a new heat started in which two men laid flat on their backs –the official start position. At start, they sprung from laying on their backs to jumping up, on, over, thru, under and around large crates, parallel bars, over-size tires and monkey bars.

These athletes were strong, elegant, daring, fast and fluid. We watched, in awe.

A few came close to falling. “Oh, no, no!” My mother instincts had me wanting to halt the event with a shout of “Hey! Wait a minute guys. This just isn’t safe.” Somehow I managed clench my teeth and flinch quietly instead. It was fascinating to see the smooth flow of body over fixed objects. These guys moved like liquid.

More gathered and watched. The competitors watched as well. They watched one another and they looked to see who was watching them.

This was a competition; a show of their best. They had come from all over the country so the judges could watch them. It was evident; they’d trained hard honing their skills.

Then something else caught my eye. “Brad look!” Coming up near our heels was a small child, a baby actually. He had just mastered crawling and was proudly conquering the soft green grass on little hands and knees.

Obviously he had been watching as well because he wasn’t just crawling. This baby crawled a bit then tucked and twisted. He’d crawl again and arch and roll. He used his body to imitate the fascinating acrobatic athletes all around. “That’s awesome!” His parents chuckled proudly as they watched on their picnic blanket nearby.

The little guy had watched, studied, internalized and was now duplicating.

That’s what we do isn’t it? We watch. We learn. We do. We teach. It seems we’re either learning, practicing or teaching.

Others are watching. I wonder… What do others see when they see me? What about you? What do people see when they watch you? Are they inspired, encouraged or motivated?

Matthew 5:16 reminds us,

“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”(NIV)

When you head out today, consider –people are watching. Who will see you? What will they see? Think about it and have a great week my friends, and SHINE!

Cake in Heaven?

For as much time as we have on earth in comparison to the time we will have in Heaven, isn’t it curious how little time we spend considering Heaven this side of eternity?

I thought about Heaven today at lunch with friends. Elizabeth passed her phone around showing pictures of her grandson’s 1st birthday. The little guy had cake smothered all over his face, chest, and hands; happy as could be. I mean, who wouldn’t want to dive fists into a rich chocolate cake and devour sweet goodness, right?!

Imagine cake in Heaven!

After our meal, the conversation led to talk about Karen’s Dad who passed away a year ago. I wish I’d met the man I’d heard so many great things about. Karen, her mom and sister shared reflections of Gene. Their eyes lit up as they reflected on this godly man they obviously all adored. Suddenly Karen looked at her mom and sister. “Hey. Remember when Lynn called about her crazy dream?”

She shared about a time shortly before Gene passed. “So my friend called and told me she’d dreamt about Dad. In the dream he was at some sort of banquet. There was a lot of food and he was eating, even devouring a big slice of creamy chocolate cake with such delight that he ate with his hands, as if eating cake for the first time. “It was all over his hands and face.”

“Yeh, my Dad loved food, but he wouldn’t eat like that.” The friend called to find out if Gene was okay and was surprised to learn that Gene was in a fierce battle with cancer. As Karen shared the story, Miss Jerri turned to me and whispered, “He really loved food, but at that point he could barely eat a teaspoon of pudding.”

Karen went on, “It makes you wonder what it’s like in Heaven.” She and Deb went on to talk about C.S. Lewis’ book “The Great Divorce” in which those visiting Heaven could hardly stand on the grass because grass in Heaven was so much more… real than any grass on earth. The things of Heaven have substance over things of earth which are only offer a semblance of things in Heaven.

I recalled the week before when I saw Miss Jerri after church and exchanged hugs. “Hi Miss Jerri! How are you today?” Miss Jerri is a beautiful woman, full of grace and class. She smiled sweetly but with effort. “Well, today is Gene’s one year birthday in Heaven. I really miss him but I’m sure he must be celebrating.”

Oh… my heart ached for this dear woman missing her husband. I squeezed her hand and offered another hug. “I’m sure he is celebrating more than we can imagine.”

Sitting together, hearing the dream and considering Gene’s “1st birthday in Heaven” was a treat. Thinking about C.S. Lewis’ suggestion of Heaven being more REAL and substantial then the world as we know it caught all our attention. It was as if a glimpse of Heaven passed through our little group as a sweet reminder.

Heaven; it’s a place; a place more real than things earth side of eternity.

Do you think about Heaven? What are your thoughts? Are you excited, curious, unsure?

Friend, join me in taking a little time to indulge, as we would, a decadent slice of cake and devour the promises of what lays ahead for us whose home is Heaven.

I love to talk about Heaven, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about it too!

A Reason to Sing

A Reason To Sing

I wrote this months ago during an especially tough season.

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I’ve been walking thru a dry and lonely season. Tonight we went to a worship service.

I felt wooden. I sang the words, but it was forced.

I knew the worship song, and I sang despite the empty feeling.

I lifted my hands. They felt like clay.

Not only did my arms feel like clay. I felt like clay.

I closed my eyes, wanting, aching to see Him.

Lord.

Numb. I stood several moments surveying this strange awkwardness.

It had been growing, but now the stark emptiness echoed within me.

I stood there; a deep hollow cavern.

I spoke quietly to Him, “I am thirsty.”

Others around me sang. I didn’t care.

I was strangely aware of my heartbeat.

Lord. What do You want from me? I don’t have anymore to give.

I’m tired. I don’t want anything but you.

What more do You want?

Awareness of others dissipated and suddenly I became profoundly aware of Him.

I stood frozen in my barely 2 foot square spot of “solitude”:  A turbulence rose within me.

I brought my hand to my neck.

Pulse …normal.

What is going on?

Lord!

The turbulence became a hunger; a growing inner tremble;

“Let go.”

Let go? What am I holding on too?

Let    go.

Selah.

For a split moment all thoughts stopped. All senses shift to a serene, sublime neutral. For a simple, splendid moment I stood in exceptional awareness of His Presence.

No words; only concepts run thru my mind:

Life –heart beating strong

Air –breath, sustaining life

Light –capturing evidence of His Creation —everywhere

Movement –life in motion

Color –outlining, underscoring traces of His beauty

Sound -harmonizing an eternal Hallelujah!

The scent of rain –cleansing

Electricity -pulsing in the air

Power -heaven streaming to the natural

Always THERE.  ALWAYS Him.

Our existence within the Creator’s presence.

There’s no existence outside of Him.

Too magnificent to comprehend. A splendid instant; a moment paused in time.

Imprinted and sealed for a lifetime.

Aware only of Him… Him EVERYWHERE. Him in EVERYTHING. Him for all TIME.

The charge of an electric, unseen, I AM HERE, overtakes my cares of everything BUT Him.

My heart quakes within my chest

Hope –like fresh air to lungs; floods my being.

The Creator’s love rooted in me rises to acknowledge Him -the Giver of life.

Love. This formidable force is impossible to resist.

…like a nail drawn to a magnet.

We do not love on our own anymore then a nail draws a magnet.

We are loved; drawn too love.

His love permeates our souls.

He flows TO  IN  THRU us.

His presence IN me -roaring like a burning flame –a fire in my bones, a welcomed brilliance –aching to release the fire of His goodness & mercies onto others.

The moment passes, but His presence remains.

Lord, if this is the desert. Gladly here I’ll stay.

The desert path continued, but hope accompanied me to the place of absolute surrender. This path is good, and on it I’ll stay, wherever it may lead.

Truly, His presence alone is all we need!

Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name.”           Hebrews 13:15 NAS

Phonto

got Light?

got light shellybusby.com3Got Light?

Lights shine all around us, but there remains a constant Greater Light.

Yes, there’s the sun, the moon and the stars, but there is a Greater Light still.

Jesus said, “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will HAVE the Light of Life.” John 8:12 (caps added)

Jesus not only said He is the light, He’s called us to be light as well. True, we are lesser lights, but think about His words;

You are the light of the world… Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16

Jesus created the sun, moon, stars, and galaxies. He’s far more powerful and radiant than the sum of them.

The sun is like Christ; burning bright, a constant source of brilliant power. Jesus is constant. He doesn’t turn away or dim.

Still, to function well, we use additional light to help us go about life; night and day.

Try to imagine life without light. We can’t fully grasp what that would be like.

Just as a lightbulb offers additional light to daily life, we are called to be lights, to a world oppressed with darkness.

Our two-fold purpose is to:

  • (first and foremost) Glorify God
  • Bear light that others will be drawn to the Greater Light of Christ.

A light only illuminates when it is routed to a power source. In the same way, you can only shine when you are routed in, connected to the power source; Christ.

The cross of Jesus is like the electrical system for lights. When Christ rose from the dead, He made Himself accessible, once for all to any who would choose to link into Him.

The power is always available or “open”, but the SWITCH determines whether or not the bulb will shed light or not.

Caution: Just because you have tapped into Christ as your source, remember, sometimes we get “tripped up” (pun intended) and need to make sure that our connection is clear and our switch is open to the power and Spirit of God.

Sin works as a stop gate blocking the flow of Christ’s power in us.

Is your light dim?  Check your power line and;

confess your sins, Jesus is faithful and righteous to forgive your sins and to cleanse you from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 (personalized)

Keep your switch in the ON position. Next time you flip a light switch “ON”, check yourself.

Take up your light and go light your world!

 

 

What Does Your Stuff Say About You?

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What does your stuff say about you?

Our possessions do not define who we are, but they can tell a lot about us.

I love working with people because each person has a different story. As a family transition specialist, I meet interesting people. I have to admit, I love going thru their stuff.

You learn a lot about a person by the things they keep.

Take Mr. H.  Mr H

At age 94, Mr. H still walks tall and proud (I’m wearing heels in the pic) . He has his wits about him and he knows what he likes. We’d unpacked photos of him in his early years. He had been a very handsome young man.

Mr. H was concerned about particular items:

His Bible, one of the last things to pack and first to be un-packed. It was well-worn and he wanted it out for easy access.

Mrs. H’s stockings nestled neatly in her shoes. Her cosmetic bag kept on the vanity. Mrs. H had passed the year before, but the shoes on her side of the bed and lipstick and blush near Mr. H’s toothbrush made him feel at home –like she wasn’t really that far away.

Mr. H was insistent that his guns come with him (empty of course – he’s 94) . Still, Mr. H wanted them near. He valued his right possess them.

A model fighter airplane was displayed safely on a high shelf. It was a replica of one he flew as a pilot in the US Air Force decades earlier.

This precious collection didn’t hold significant monetary value, but these “things” were of utmost importance to Mr. H.

I went back a few days after unpacking to see how he’d settled in. I also wanted to ask him about one other of his prized possessions.

The letter (photo) was preserved on a little white board. It intrigued me so I hoped he would share the story behind it.

When we arrived, my husband and I heard big band music streaming thru his door.

We banged on the door hoping he’d hear us. Through the trumpet sounds and some other loud noise we heard his holler, “Come on in.”

He was expecting his son, and was surprised to see me and my husband. Mr. H remembered me from the move and welcomed us in.

He was obviously frustrated. He couldn’t get his TV to turn off with his remote. With an aggravated thrust, he pointed it towards the TV that competed with the sounds of the music.

Brad figured it out, while I explained that I’d enjoyed helping him a few days earlier and wanted to see how he was doing. The noise subsided.

He looked at Brad and gave him a quick nod, “Well now that my remote is fixed I’m doing better.”

I couldn’t resist, “Mr. H, I’m curious about your letter.

My letter?” He looked puzzled.

Yeh, the one you have mounted.” I picked it up from a shelf and handed it to him.

He held it, smiled and proudly told the story.

It was written by his father to his mother;

December 2, 1917.

His vision was not so good so we took turns reading it:

Miss Marie –My Dear Friend…

I just wanted to drop you a few lines to tell you that I certainly was glad to get to have the pleasure of being in your company Sunday night, and if you have no objection I would like to call at your house some time to see you

 -providing I don’t leave town pretty soon… Say be sure to be at church next Sunday night will you? Gee girl I think you’re a peach. Sure wish I could take a bite ‘a peach…!!

He was called to duty days after penning this first of many love letters.

Mr. H lit up sharing the story though his eyes looked off beyond the room we sat in.

Dad went and served. Mom waited for him. He fought and he made it back.”

He paused and smiled, looking back at us.

“Well you can figure the rest. They got married and had me!”

His eyes trailed off again, but this time he looked to the black and white photo of Mrs.H.

 “And here I am, and I got me my own peach.”  His eyes welled up.

Mrs. H had passed the year before. But his love for her was fresh. Keepsakes scattered around his apartment reminded him that one day he would be with her again.

In Mr. H, I found an admirable story. He didn’t boast a word, but his “stuff” told the story of his values and allegiance;

God, family, country.

We all have our stories, and often they’re connected to things.

What do your things reveal about you?

What stories have been passed down to you? And what stories are you passing along to others?

More then our stuff, our lives tell a story. We get to fill in the pages.

One way or another we all pass along a story. What is yours?

 

Are You Put To the Test?

WarNinG!  Going into business with your spouse may1440543874313 put your marriage to the test.

After 28 years of marriage, Brad and I sold our house, most of our belongings, bought a franchise business and moved from Texas to Colorado.

We made it thru some really tough challenges in early marriage, so 3 kids and 28 years later we considered ourselves perfectly suited to go into business together. After all, we share the same goals and values. We have fun being together and we were mutually excited to make a difference in the lives of others.

We were worn out before we even began.

I really believed that once we got started everything would begin to fall in place.

Hmmm. Months later…

Here we are in Colorado, a full day’s drive from Texas. The mountains are beautiful and the weather is ridiculously aMAZing. We haven’t weathered winter yet, but so far we love it.

Even so, we don’t have those dear old close friends to drop by, have a cry and get a squeeze of the shoulder reminding us, “God’s got your back –and so do I.”

I may have given up entirely at the beginning if I had known it would be so tough.

Our friends, family and church community were a HUGE part of our lives. They helped shape who we’ve become.

I know they’re still there for us, but…. It is different.

Trying to find a new church home is exhausting. It’s just not home. Home is where the people are who you’ve invested your life in.

Did we make a mistake?

I don’t believe so. There were too many doors that opened and others that closed.

This is the hardest thing I’ve had to do. My marriage has been put to the test far more than any time before.

Brad and I get along great, but we are with each other 24/7.

We’re committed to one another with God at the center continuously pulling us upward together.

But we’re back to relearning the basics; communication, forgiveness, sacrifice, flexibility, forbearance.

We have too.

When we “go home” it’s the same person we’ve been with all day. You can’t say, “You’ll never believe what Brad did at the office today.”

At the end of the day, I need to exert energy to clear my head. A vigorous hike renews my mindset.

Brad prefers to chill and enjoy a break from all the “doing”.  Give him time to sit and rest or watch a favorite show and he’s happy.

While I could run him ragged and he could make me stir crazy, we are learning how to meet each other in the middle.

Communication is essential.

We need it as we uncover issues that got swept away in preoccupations of raising children and separate occupations.

Are we there?  No.

Are we working on it? Daily.  Hourly.

Sometimes the hardest things in life prove to be the things that grow us most.

Whether you’re going in to business with your spouse –moving cross country -facing physical hardship –or taking some leap of faith that feels like a dismal fall; circumstances will put you to the test.

Keep in mind; some seasons are just tough. Life gets messy and it’s not always pretty.

I’d like to wrap up this post with a catchy phrase or a nice quote.

I don’t have one today.

The best I have to offer is the best I have to offer: Jesus.

No matter what; -Jesus.

Just look to Jesus.

You can’t go wrong when you turn to Him.

Your situation may not change right away (probably won’t). It could even get tougher!

But your eyes will see the only thing you really need to see to give you the perspective you need –in any season. Jesus.

 

 

See The Mountain

I drive around the city, looking in the rear view mirror; the side mirror; and the front window. I want to SEE the mountain.

I’m never disappointed. It’s always there: Pike’s Peak.

I can’t seem to catch enough sight of the majestic snow-capped mountain. pikes peak - Copy

Pike’s Peak is the most visited mountain in North America and the second most visited mountain in the world behind Japan’s Mount Fuji**. Standing 14,115 feet above sea level, it shadows Colorado Springs and overlooks the Garden of the Gods.

It appears as an incredible giant clothed in stone; a strong, quiet warrior broadly poised to stand watch and keep guard over the people.

The sight of the peak can take your breath away. It’s not just the altitude –it really is just that stunning.

The mountain reminds me of our relationship with God. He’s always there; larger than life, strong and unshakable. It’s a delight to steal glances throughout the day to find He really is still there.

One can go just about anywhere in town and see the mountain. Regardless of distance, height or vantage point, it’s hard not to see it. And who could tire the sight of the mammoth crests? The timeless beauty draws people from all over the world.

So it is with God.  He can be seen from anywhere …everywhere.

Any who want to see Him, need only face Him.

Once we do see Him we don’t want to turn away.

As we draw near the giant mound of granite, we realize how small we are and how immense the great heights are. We are wise to approach with as much respect as adoration.

Our approach to the Lord is not so different. His paths look steep, daunting, even dangerous. His ways often appear difficult and sometimes absurd.

Even so, His presence beckons, “Come!” “Explore.”

“Find adventure!”

“Delight in My nooks.” “Hide in My crevices.” “Drink from My streams.”

“Find My secret places. Behold My beauty…. “Experience my wonder.”

 

We all face mountains of different sorts.

How do you face a mountain? Do you keep a safe distance?

Do you accept the invitation to explore the upward ascending trails?

Maybe the mountain you face looks like anything but God.

Consider this:

What if you are called to climb that improbable mount looming before you?

It could be the very thing that will strengthen you for what lays beyond.

Perhaps you are meant to explore hidden crevices along the way. What treasures are waiting to be found? And what if part of those treasures is finding that you could go to heights you never before considered?

His ways are higher, His paths are sure. He is a refuge.

From the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I.  Psalm 61:2

**http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/teacher_resources/best_place_species/current_top_10/pikes_peak_.cfm

 

 

 

Pause

pause-button-mdPause is defined by Your Dictionary as a temporary stop or rest.

As a verb, pause means to stop, for a brief period of time.

A few years back, my husband Brad and I did a ropes course with a group of friends.  We started with a name game, as several folks didn’t know one another.

Everyone stated their name as we formed a large circle.  A clock started as a ball was tossed in the center.  We had 60 seconds to keep the ball suspended in the air.  The object was to keep the ball moving at all times.  You couldn’t hold it.   Whoever had the ball would toss it to someone else after first calling out their name. No one could be a receiver twice in a row. Each successive round another ball was added.

The object was to keep everyone in the game as possible without losing balls.  If a ball touched the ground it was lost forever.  At the end of the round if anyone was holding a ball they were out.

The first round was easy. By the 3rd round, everyone knew each other’s name, but it was a challenge to keep the balls suspended.

The saving grace was that once in each round anyone could call “PAUSE”.  PAUSE stopped the game for 10 seconds, enabling us to regroup and strategize without losing balls or people.

It was a great illustration showing how complicated life gets the more we add.

The PAUSE factor didn’t buy more time, but it gave us mental pause to gain clarity on how to best utilize the time we did have.

The next event was to climb up a 30 foot post.  There was a 2 foot by 2 foot platform at the top. From there, you were to jump off the post to grab a suspended rod which slowly lowered you back down.  The climber was harnessed to a pulley for safety in case they fell or missed the rod.

I don’t like heights, but I absolutely hate having something that overcomes me. God created us to be overcomers right?

I opted to climb first. I was safe in a harness, but I didn’t trust it.

Visibly shaking, I made it to the top. I felt like throwing up as I crawled on top of the platform.

My friends were shouting cheers and instructions, but all I wanted to do was stop shaking and get my feet back on the earth.

My shakes became trembles.  This STINKS.  Why did I go first?  Stupid pride.

I remember my peers and holler out, “Guys, I might cuss!”

Laughter and more shouts, “You’ve got it Shelly.”  “Put your foot under your knee.”  “Turn to your left and reach.”

I don’t cuss, but a loud “P A U S E !!” defiantly escapes my mouth.

I’m startled to realize it came from me as I look down (yeh -why did I look down?!)

Everyone is stumped at my abruptness; except my husband.  He’s laughing his bu- – off.

He controls his laughter and shouts back, you can’t “PAUSE” in this one Shell. You’re okay.”

Despite my shaking, I attempt to regain a mental grip. I shout again to my friends. “Sorry guys, but… Can ya all not say anymore?  My head is all messed up here.”

(Don’t you wish you could push some magical PAUSE button in life?)

We can’t stop the clock, but we can take a mental pause any time we want. And we should.

Sometimes it only takes seconds to mentally regroup. Other times it requires more.  Occasionally you have to temporarily remove yourself from a situation or circumstance to gain a fresh perspective.

I did leap from the post that day successfully grabbing the rod, and I still don’t like heights.

I do, however, find myself continuing to use a silent PAUSE… a lot. It helps me remember to do a quick check with the Spirit of God.

It works.  My thoughts shift gears. I become aware of God, and His perspective.

He’s really not so hard to hear. Though He’s God, high and lifted up, spiritual and invisible; He’s also a person; concerned with matters big and small.  He’s both practical and spiritual.

In James we’re encouraged,

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” James 1:5

Next time you are in a bind, perhaps a little overwhelmed or ill-equipped (or precariously perched high up on a 2 x 2 platform) and could use clarity of mind, remember to PAUSE and sync in to the mind of Christ.

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Change and Transitions

Whether you are going thru a time of change or just coming out of one, change is inevitable. Change challenges us to leave the comfort and security of the familiar.

Have you prayed for change?

Are you waiting for change?

Are you in the middle of change?

Are you in a season of change, finding it’s different then you envisioned it?

Are you wondering if you really heard God right?

Change doesn’t just happen. It’s usually a process.

As much as we hunger and cry out to God for it, when transition comes and change begins, it can be unsettling.

My brother always says, “Living things grow; growing things change.”

So we cry out for change.

And God answers.

Over the last several years I’ve prayed as a restlessness and hunger rose in me; a hunger for MORE. It appeared ‘illogical’ as we saw God answering prayers better than we imagined at our church. Serving on staff as Director of Adult Ministries, I should have been more eager than ever to remain in a place where God is moving in and thru people at an exponential rate.

I love the Pastors, the staff and all the people.
I love seeing the hand of God impacting new believers literally every day.

I had every reason NOT to leave.

And yet… I wanted more.

Two years ago during a time of church-wide prayer I had a dream that further fueled my hunger for MORE though I didn’t know what MORE looked like (see my post Step Into Your Dream).

Thru prayer and time and tears I began to take steps into change.

Surely I’m not the only one who finally surrendered to my “assignment” only to be surprised that it would be a long, sometimes exhausting journey that could get lonely.  I didn’t expect I would have to work at it since I did agree, “Yes Lord.”

I’ve prayed for change for years. I’ve asked “when Lord?” and “How much longer Lord?”

I had a long distance view of the assignment He’s called me too.

I’m so ready to do what You’ve called me to do; be who You’ve called me to be…

Eventually I started listening more and speaking less.

I found that in my silence, I heard Him more. It wasn’t that He spoke more.  Rather, I became more aware of Him and less aware of myself.

I’m in a TRANSITION period. At first I fought it and begrudged being held back.  I wanted to expedite things. I wanted to GO.

I’m used to being in an environment of strong believers praying and strategizing and talking about what we can share about God this week. I miss weekly meetings reviewing what God did the week prior.

In March, I asked for the Pastors’ blessing to step out of my role to pursue writing.  It was scary as I have no writing “experience” or education.

I’ve been tempted to write and blog and post on FB telling what God is doing.

But God said, “No. Not yet.”

At first I felt naked. I love PEOPLE, especially my people. “What will they think?” God, this is very anti-social.

Then I felt lonely. “Does anyone even care that I’m not there?”

I realized how fond I had become of the role and title I wore. Now it’s just me, a few close friends. And God. Stripped down.

Here, in the waiting; it’s as if God is saying, “Child, just spend time with me. Don’t be so quick to tell about me, to show about me. I want a season of just you and I.”

The other day I was spending time with Him.

me:  “I love this time. I could stay here forever, but I still don’t get it Lord.”

“It’s counter to my desire to serve others. That’s what YOU want, what Jesus taught.”

Lord:  “What’s a wedding?”

me:  “A ceremony where two people who love each other come together marking the commitment to share their lives together as one.”

Lord:  “Who comes?”

me:  “Usually friends, family, photographers, musicians. Lots of people.”

Lord:  “And what happens?”

me:  “The public exchange of vows and usually a big celebration.”

Lord:  “And then where do all the people go?”

me:  “They go home.”

Lord:  “Why don’t they go with the bride and groom?”

He’s not condescending in these questions. I understand He always has a point.

me:  “That time is special.  It’s set aside for the bride and groom.”

Lord:  “No one goes with them?” 

I know He knows. I’m searching for what He wants me to see.

me:  “No.  This is their time. To share each other. No one else Lord.”

Lord: “Yes. Their time. A special time. They begin as one.”

Then, with “Follow me.”, He left me with the impression:  “no one else is there when the groom carries the bride over the threshold.”

I can tell you right now: God is interested in your attention.

He wants your full attention presence.

WHAT HE WANTS FROM YOU more than ANY thing you can do or be is for you to spend time resting in His presence.

Have you found satisfaction simply being alone in His presence?

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

All that we DO is additional to what He seeks from us. If we do not first find peace and satisfaction in God’s Presence, then what we do will not be from Him, it will only own works.

Maybe you are taking steps to walk out the unique purpose God has called you too.

That’s great! You’re right on track. That’s part of what He created you for and how He reaches others.

If you are discouraged or frustrated or confused, or uncomfortable or overwhelmed or downright SCARED –I can totally identify with you!

I’m so glad God is not having me move forward yet.  It’s as if I’m in a spiritual pause. This is transition. And I’m loving it.

In this neutral place I am realizing that all those negatives I just mentioned are circumstantial.  And here’s the good news; we are not defined by our circumstances. Rather we are defined by whose we are.

Whatever God has planned for me, I am grateful that He drew me out to strip me down from the “good” identity I’d grown to love. I had become fond of my role. What I did was my identity.

Leaving reminded me that there is no higher call then to live simply as a child of God.

Sometimes we need extended states of “pause” to really grasp the bigger picture.  God is God, and we are His.  And He’s concerned with having our full attention.

As you process thru growing in whatever season you are in, remember to first and continuously the One who cares about you more than anyone ever can.

Spend time with Him. Alone.

This is where:

– He strips us down. The grime of earthly perspective is washed off the eyes of our hearts and we gain clarity of vision.

-We become accustomed to His voice in the quiet and recognize Him in the noise of the worldliness. He wants each of us to hear directly from Him!

-Our thoughts are made new as we receive a download from God Himself. We access the mind of Christ!

Practically speaking: Get in the Word. God speaks thru it.

Gather and worship with other believers. Something just happens when we do this.

But more than anything; take time alone with God daily.

If Jesus did this then how much more should we?

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

(Don’t worry about the words, just focus on His presence.)

God has plans for you.  You don’t have to figure it out, you need only show up and take Him at His word. Enjoy being with Him. Everything else will follow. Remember, He appreciates an expectant heart!

Do not call to mind the former things, Or ponder things of the past. “Behold, I will do something new, Now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will even make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the desert.  Isaiah 43:18-19