He made the hearts of them all. And He understands whatever they do. Psalm 33:15 NLT
I have been reckless and destructive. I have lashed out and my words and actions have taken a toll on others.
And yet …
… He loves me.
And just as importantly, He loves YOU!
The amazing list of emotions that come from the depths of my heart: anguish, deep love, anger, compassion, justification, passion … the list goes on and on. And, once again, the knowing that He knows me just blows me away.
I am so thankful for His love and grace and provision.
You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. Psalm 139:1-6
I love being known on such a personal level. No matter what else is happening in my many relationships, this one is the most comprehensive. Who has traveled with me through it all? Who has been there, whether I have noticed, known, or cared — through every moment of my being?
It is incomprehensible to me. And yet sometimes I still contemplate it, even though He says it is too lofty for me to attain.
On most days I rest in God’s promise that He loves me, just as I am.
I am an idea person. But I know that when I get excited about something, I blurt out all the possibilities: the good, the bad, and the not-great.
And while I see “brainstorming” as a steady rainfall of ideas another personality might consider them a stormy onslaught of just too much, too soon, and too fast. If you have been a victim of my brainstorming, I apologize. My idea generator just automatically engages whenever there is something that is problem.
Don’t worry, I don’t think all of my ideas are amazing. I do, however, think that talking about potential solutions can help you get to your solution, which, may have nothing to do with any of the ideas I mentioned. By all means, let my suggestions move, push, or pull you into the direction you should go!
I do love how we are all uniquely created. Your gifts are important to this world! Share them!
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. 15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. 16 You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Psalm 139:14-16 NLT
I have always loved the ocean. I love that it is full of so much I can see and still so much that I can’t see. At the ocean, the world above the world is pretty amazing but there is so much more happening than I can even know beneath the waves. And, it is just such a refreshing place to be. The sounds, the smells, the sand beneath my feet. I love it all!
God’s promises are often tied to the water — from baptism to the charge to make “fishers of men” to many things inbetween.
And when I am feeling the need to rest and recharge, the ocean is a special place for me. Unfortunately, I don’t get there very often. I haven’t been oceanside in about a year and I am definitely overdue, especially after a year like this crazy year!
I was intrigued when I heard about the book, You’ll Find me at the Ocean by Martha Boggs-Black and couldn’t wait to read it. While it is a beautiful picture book written for children, it was a actually a gift for me to be able to read it! I love to see God at work in nature and in the smallest, often unnoticed situations around me. This book gives simple yet powerful reminders of God’s provisions and Martha recounts the promises of God so beautifully.
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. – Psalm 32:8
We are all moving through the stages of grief about something and God’s promises are the only things that are worthy to cling to!
This book is a great resource for the classroom as well as home. This is perfect for a child who is grieving the loss of a loved one but also a wonderful opportunity to explore the emotions surrounding death and God’s promises. God’s promises in light of this story are sweet reminders for each of us!
I have only been on a small sailboat once. It was fun but, man, was it a lot of work. I am glad I had an experienced person with me because I definitely didn’t know what I was doing.
I had to trust the person I was with.
I had to allow for the changing wind direction.
I needed to work with the sails and the wind.
I needed to think ahead and anticipate the changes.
Have you been thrown off by the daily changes? I don’t have kids in school but I would go crazy having classes change from being online …
…. to being in person …
… to only two days a week …
… to all the screen time …
… to all the ups and downs of the kids trying to adjust and readjust …
… to all the daily change ups in decisions (like lunch and who is home and who needs to be home and who has the computer and do we need more computers in our home?)
All of that.
Who can adjust all their sails so many times in a day? Week? Month? Year?
Thinking about all of it makes me tired.
And when I am tired, I know I need to find rest!
We often laugh about our grandbabies who are just over a year and definitely both still need 1-2 naps a day. Sometimes they fight those naps like crazy. I am sure I did it too when I was little. Maybe it was FOMO (fear of missing out) and maybe it was just not accepting I had done what I could do and now I needed to rest.
What do you think of when you think of resting?
28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-29 NLT
I can handle a few changes and reschedules. Situations come up, I get that. But this year has been a situation that has led to so many disappointments.
I am generally a flexible person. I can adjust and adapt. I go with the flow and roll with the punches so changes in my schedule do not throw me off. And it’s ok, really, that I am home more. I have lots to do here.
Lots of sorting — both in my mind and in our home.
Lots of purging — both in my mind and in our home.
Lots of re-organizing — both in my mind and in our home.
And I am happy to be getting these things done, but it feels awfully strange to now not have the freedom to do what I am used to doing. I think that loss of the freedom to travel without all the stress of the coronavirus is the main disappointment because it does impact my schedule.
I don’t like…
…all the time and energy it takes for extra precautions!
….not seeing my people!
…the ugliness of people’s attitudes!
…the pressure and stress that so many are under!
…the anxiety and stress and exhaustion my family and friends are experiencing!
I continue to hold onto my hope and faith in God. He is on His throne. I know He loves me and is working all of this out. Things are uncomfortable at the moment but this is earth. And while I do love my life here, this is not all there is!
Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. 2 Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory.
3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. Romans 5:1-5 NLT
I will be publishing some extra material on PrayerPoints over the next several days leading up to something I think you should know more about!
It has been 6 months of so much change. I consider myself a fairly flexible person, but there has been a lot going on. I am thankful that I have a lot of processing at home in my own space. However, new surroundings also influence my perspective.
I have been trying to change up my surroundings even though I am home, a lot. I have Zoomed and Skyped and FaceTimed with some precious people. I might ordinarily see them face-to-face but we aren’t living in ordinary times!
I am biking again and listening to podcasts. And now I can even claim my role as a podcaster, which is a big change for me but also not really. It really is just an extension of what I do for work, just in a different format.
My year+ of being a grandma has been full of so much fun. I love people of all ages and when I am in a good space, I can handle most stages too. But these babies — oh, these babies crack me up: their innocence, their trust, their demands, their antics — they hold nothing back at this point. Their emotions are straight out there.
I could learn a thing or two from these babies. They aren’t pretenders. When they are disappointed or sad or in pain, we all know it and we work to help them understand their feelings. I need to pretend less and share my disappointment and pain a little more. It’s not so important to share it with the world, but bringing it before God can do a lot for me as I process. Acknowledging my feelings is a healthy step. Whether I am in a high or low, God knows and He cares about my heart space and he can handle my big feelings!
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:6-8 New International Version
Keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus helps keep me steady. Knowing that He goes before me and hems me in gives me peace on the path.
If I focus on the ugly and let it suck me in and under, I will soon be gasping under the weight of oppression and the discouragement of defeat. Lord knows, there is ugliness. We have all been in it. But to focus on it is where the mistake is. God’s beauty and light can turn ugliness and darkness upside down and inside out.
Not focusing on the ugly is not the same as ignoring it. We can be in the thick of something ugly and also see God’s pure and beautiful, redeeming grace. Eyes on Jesus is not about pretending the darkness isn’t around us. It is about looking for where God is and where He is working. When I see Him at work then I know that is the place to be. Things might not be pretty at that point but there will certainly be glimpses of beauty, hope, and restoration.
May we fix our eyes on Jesus!
I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Psalm 16:8 (New International Version)
Back in January I was thinking that things had become a little too busy. Of course, November – Mid January is an incredibly busy time for our business. And we had a short reprieve in February and then we started to move into the busy Hungarian festival season. And then add two tours to Hungary in the mix. I was wondering how I was going to pull it off and still stay sane. Don’t get me wrong — I love what we do. I love the opportunity to be innovative and responsive to the needs of the people who care about their Hungarian heritage. I love creating. I love to help people connect to their Hungarian roots in a variety of ways.
I also like time to think and process and plan. I am fairly introverted, too. And, we also have the blessing of living near our two grandchildren — we want to see them as much as we can.
There has been some stress as well as financial readjustments and reorganization of plans due to the current Coronavirus situation. But, I am welcoming these “lazy days”. Of course, I don’t really feel like we are being lazy, we are processing at a much slower pace than we typically do and it has been refreshing. This crazy pause in life and business has given me a greater freedom to think and dream and plan without constant interruptions.
My salvation gives me peace in the midst of the turmoil. I have also found rest.
I don’t know what the future holds but I know who holds the future. God is steady. He is my Rock.
Have you found a new perspective in the last six months? Have you been able to find joy in something new? Have you been able to find new pathways to rest?
Truly my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him. Psalm 62:1 New International Version
This pandemic was a surprise to me, but it was not a surprise to God.
This has been a year of making plans and readjusting them about 97 times. I am ever hopeful that there will be a new normal that looks somewhat similar to the old normal. But, I confess, I am a little discouraged.
Why even bother to make plans?
I am thankful that I have been relatively calm through this season of unknowns, but I attribute it to my natural tendency to be flexible. I don’t feel the need to be in charge of a lot of things. I also have watched God work out even the yucky things in my life, so I trust His “long run” plan, even though I don’t know all the pieces and parts. And, honestly, I am pretty sure I won’t love all what is coming. But I will try to rest in His grace and mercy, trust Him to right the wrongs, trust Him to comfort me, and be with me as I move forward.
We have today, my friend. Hold your plans loosely and love generously!
For I know what I have planned for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have plans to prosper you, not to harm you. I have plans to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11 New English Translation