We are waiting…

He is workingw

There is so much activity while waiting.

  • We fidget.
  • We tap.
  • We wonder.
  • We pace.
  • We pray.
  • We plead.
  • We beg.
  • We stress out.
  • We cry.
  • We implore.
  • We stomp.
  • We question.
  • We contemplate.
  • We plan.
  • We are hope full.
  • We are dread full.
  • We are pessimistic.
  • We are cautiously optimistic.
  • We are waiting….

VioletsseSometimes our waiting is a looming dread and sometimes it is a joyful anticipation of what lies ahead. But God is always working, sometimes behind the scenes where we don’t see the entire layout of the plan. We might just see little bits and pieces of His work poke through like flowers peek through winter debris in early spring.

His work is not fully revealed until the appointed time.

On the Road,

Liz

Making Time to Be Still

nomarginsawHave you ever read a book with minimal margins? I haven’t seen one and I don’t know for sure that one exists but just imagine one with me.

What about a life with minimal margins?

We all have different margin needs. All the things listed here are great things. But there are things missing too. And, likely, over time or in different circumstances our needs for margins change. I know mine have. Different stages of life have different demands. But when I am running from one thing to the next and I don’t have any space built in, I run ragged. I am definitely not as patient. And I am not as open to possibly wonderful things because they don’t fit into my schedule. I don’t have time to be sick or visit with a friend who might be unexpectedly passing through town or even notice God trying to get my attention.

I can’t live like that.

I don’t believe many people can. Making space in our day, in our week, and in our lives is important. Sometimes we need to space to regroup. Sometimes we need the space to recharge. Sometimes we need the space because it is important “to be” without any expectation of producing anything. And while God can work in any circumstance, there are times that a quiet space is where we are able to see Him working.  It clears my mind and cleanses my perspective.  Creating space to pray, play, or simply rest is so important!  If I have no margins, there is no room to move.

marginsawBut that isn’t exactly how our world tends to think. It is easy to get caught up in the gain, the advance, the conquer….and sometimes we lose ourselves in the process. Respite from the world’s demands and times to ponder and pray can make our days, our nights, and our responses more informed, more measured, and more calm.

When things are feeling a little crazy for me, I take stock of all I am trying to juggle and I usually see that I need to make some adjustments in my schedule. It is important to evaluate and adjust according to my current circumstances. So, here I am, still clinging to this verse from Psalm 46:10. It reminds me that I am not wonder woman and I am not God. I don’t know it all. I don’t have to do it all. It gives me permission to “be still” and rest in my knowledge of God!

On the Road,

Liz

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Grace. Period.

 

MyLifewIf you have been out on your own and paying bills for a while you probably know about grace periods and even needed them a time or two. Buy have you thought of a grace period as a time someone needs as they adjust to a new reality?

It takes time to get reoriented after unexpected news.

Receiving either good news or bad news can turn your world upside down. Sometimes a little time and space can help you get readjusted to a new reality.

Have you ever tried to carefully plan something like your life? Personally, I gave up doing that a long time ago. Things change so quickly that I have found I just need to roll with it. I have had a few goals and plans along the way but there have been a few times something equivalent to a tidal wave has rushed over me and I found myself in a place where I need some recovery time; a grace period.

A grace period is a space where I can cocoon, process, pray, scream, and work it out – whatever it is. And then, hopefully, I can move forward with God leading the way into my new reality. It is never an easy process – often it is two steps forward and one step back. Somewhere along the line I realized: this is not my life — I just live it!

When I walk through those crazy moments I come out with a stronger understanding of God’s grace for my every day. And because I have been in desperate need of grace so often myself, I should be more grace-full towards others.

Sometimes we just need grace.

Period.

It isn’t hard to muster up compassion for those who have walked a similar path or those who have extenuating circumstances, but there are some times I get impatient with others as they are processing and then I wonder:

  • Who am I to criticize how someone else is dealing with something?
  • Who am I to rush someone through the stages of grief?
  • Who am I to make assumptions on motives?
  • Who am I to be impatient?

I just need to give some grace, time, and space while they work it out. We are all a work in progress and some of life’s situations are so hard. We don’t have control over many thing that happen but we can control our response. I am praying that grace becomes my first response!

On the Road,

Liz

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Step By Step

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I love Proverbs! We have this great reminder in our home and I wondered if it might be a good reminder for you today! Just for fun, I looked this verse up in The Message. It isn’t the version I typically look at but I wanted to see at Proverbs 3:5-6 from a different angle because sometimes a look through a different lens gives new insight:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all. [Proverbs 3:5-6 The Message]

There are times I want answers for life challenges. I know quite a few people in the middle of some pretty big stuff and I wonder what God is going to do with all of it. I know He will do something because He doesn’t waste any experience. He doesn’t want crummy things to happen to the people He loves but there are always consequences to sin. Of course, we each have sin in our lives. But there are many times our lives are impacted by the sins of others. Sometimes I try to figure it all out but it is beyond me. I don’t know it all. I don’t see the bigger picture just yet. I may never know the bigger picture of things. Ever. I just need to trust God. I need to pay attention to His words and follow in His way.

Some days it isn’t easy. Other days it is. Staying “in step” with God is the key.

How do you stay “in step” with God?

Heavenly Father ~ I know that you are working in my life. I trust you are working out all the details. I don’t need to know it all, I just need to know the next step. Help me to do what I need to do today so that I am ready for the next part of the process tomorrow.

On the Road,

Liz

Tealeaves

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Chinese Tealeaves!

I had some tea at my friend’s house the other day. I like tea but I had no idea how real tea really worked. I mostly just figured tea was tea. I never wondered about it, actually.

When my friend asked if I would like tea, she listed all the typical options. But then asked if I wanted real Chinese tea. She had been a missionary in Taiwan for over three years so she knew quite a bit more about how real tea worked. I was intrigued so that is what I chose.

tea1ew

These little guys are just a little bigger than a whole clove.

First she tossed a few of these little things in a special teacup with a filter. I like strong tea so it didn’t really look like enough but she assured me it was. Then we added some hot water. We dumped out the water after a couple of minutes and then added more boiling water. This was all new to me! But it was a necessary part of the process.

We were waiting for the tealeaves to open. It takes several minutes.

It turns out she had dumped in a few too many because as the tealeaves kept relaxing from their dried state they nearly filled the filter. But the tea was delicious. I kept adding more water to the leaves and they continued to provide me with tea.

I am surprised how dried and compact tealeaves are. They look so small and unassuming but then open up to be five times their size. It takes time for them to move from the dried state to being able to steep and provide flavor but once they are ready, they can provide multiple pots of tea. I know there is much more to learn about tea but I am glad to have added to my knowledge. I am sure my friend thought I was crazy because it was so interesting to me. I am glad she took the time to teach me some of what she knew about tea.

Dried tealeaves don’t look like much. The process of getting tea from them seems a bit like some events in life. Sometimes what you have to work with doesn’t seem like much but God transforms that “little bit” to be sufficient or even abundant!

Do you recall a time in your life where God’s provision was more than you imagined?

On the Road,
Liz

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Steeping the leaves!

PrayerPoints ~ Friday, March 18th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 118

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Yesterday is done. Tomorrow is yet to come. So today is what I have!

Starting the day with an attitude of praise helps my day get started on the right foot! Even when I am in the middle of challenging circumstances, I can choose joy because of the bigger picture of God’s mercy and grace!

Have you noticed that a crabby person can quickly infect others with their crabbiness? Happy people can do the very same thing.

Joy.

Re-joy. (I know–that isn’t really a word but I like it — It reminds me that joy happens more than just once!)

Re-joice.

Miriam-webster.com says this about rejoice, “Middle English, from Anglo-French rejois-, stem of rejoier, rejoir, from re- + joir to welcome, enjoy, from Latin gaudēre to be glad…”

Joy.

Welcome.

Enjoy.

Rejoice.

My prayer is that you are able to find joy in your day and share that with those who come in contact with today!

 

 

PrayerPoints ~ Thursday, March 17th

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 88

“O Lord, the God who saves me, day and night I cry out before you. May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.” Psalm 88:1-2

Wow. If you read through Psalm 88 you will see it is full of  a lot of loss. It is good to read through it and know that I am not the only one who has felt devastation.

Even though the circumstances are not identical, we each travel through seasons of loss and discouragement. If you are in a good place now, I am sure you can recall the emotions and grief of a difficult time. If you know someone going through a time of loss, please pray for them. Let them know you are praying for them. And, if you can, take time to walk alongside them.

I know my faith has grown in times of struggle but those times always seems to come with a “breaking point” where things are so difficult that I am not sure I can handle one more problem. Standing “in the gap” with someone (through prayer and encouragement and reminders of God’s provision) can be hard and yet so beneficial to the person struggling.

May you be a blessing today to someone in need!