Misjudging Distance

While we have been traveling through wide-open expanses, we have noticed our judgment of distance is not accurate. We stopped so I could take some photos of this mountain. Sadly, I do not remember the name of it. But where we stopped to take the photo Don said the mountain was 17 miles from us. I wouldn’t have ever guessed it was that far away!

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This photo does not do this mountain any justice. It was beautiful! What I saw in front of my eyes and in the camera lens seemed like two different mountains. It looked so far away when I looked through the camera!

Then I zoomed in a bit. This is more of the view we saw from our vehicle.

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Lovely, isn’t it?

This misperception of distance is something I experience in my life on many levels. Sometimes I see the end goal and I misjudge how long it will take to get there. I find I have many goals and while the path may not seem clear, the general direction is.

What about those times where we don’t even see where or when the end is?

  • Working on a bachelor’s degree over an extended period of time
  • Raising a child with long-term health issues
  • Caring for aging parents
  • Going through the adoption process

It is easy to get focused on our own journeys and lose sight of the bigger picture. The words of Psalm 8 bring some things into perspective for me!

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory
    in the heavens.
Through the praise of children and infants
    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,
    to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them? 

You have made them a little lower than the angels
    and crowned them with glory and honor.
You made them rulers over the works of your hands;
    you put everything under their feet:
all flocks and herds,
    and the animals of the wild,
the birds in the sky,
    and the fish in the sea,
    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,
    how majestic is your name in all the earth!  Psalm 8 NIV

On the Road,

Liz

 

On Being Prepared

When we headed out on this trip we left winter in New York. I knew we were going to warmer weather so I didn’t pack a lot of clothes for cold temperatures. Sometimes, what it’s like where you have been isn’t at all how it will be where you are going.

Do you need what you have?

Do you have what you need?

What is essential for the journey? I find that I like to have quite a few things along with me when I travel “just in case”. Trying to be prepared for a trip and all possible scenarios of need can be exhausting. Of course, when I “need” something and I have it along, I am thrilled to know I am prepared. But trying to find it in the special place I tucked it away? Good luck! There is nothing worse than being prepared but being unable to find the item.

Is it possible to prepare for every potential situation?

I try to make sure I have the basics and then be resourceful with what I have. But there are too many times I rely on my preparedness instead of relying on God and His provisions. I need to trust that God’s provisions will be enough to meet the needs of the day.

What is it you need for today?

I loved the reminder that showed up for me this morning. I was searching for the word “need” in the Bible and this verse from Exodus made an appearance:

The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14

I know that “being still” is a challenge for me which is why it is a focus for me during this Lenten season. Have you settled on a verse or two to focus on? Have you had the principles for those verses show up in unexpected places?

Heavenly Father, help me to accept Your provisions for this day. Amen.

On the Road,

Liz

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Where are you going?

WHERE are you going?

Where are YOU going?

Where are you GOING?

 

Emphasis makes a big difference in each of those questions. Sometimes we don’t necessarily have an end goal in mind–we are just out and about. Sometimes it’s ok to not know the destination because, truth be told, we often think we have a place where we will end up and we are really disappointed when we don’t ever get there. Or we don’t get there the way we imagined we would.

Sometimes we strive for a goal and find we never get there because we took the wrong path or we had a misinformed goal. For example, if one grows up in a family with a lot of tension or sadness due to money struggles, one might think that amassing a lot of money will lead us to “happiness”. It rarely works that way.

Where do you hope to be and how do you think you might get there?

It is always good to think about our life’s direction in general, but the Lenten season is a great time to consider if we have strayed off the path of forgiveness, grace, mercy, love, service, prayer, kindness, sacrifice, self-control, or [fill in the blank]. Drifting away a bit may not seem so bad when we can see the road but we can quickly lose sight of the road altogether. Sometimes we need to “reset”, get re-oriented, and start again.

GOD’S WORD informs our LIFE and impacts the decisions we make.

So let’s get informed! What does God have to say? Grab your Bible or download a Bible App on your phone. Look for a verse or two you might want to commit to memory during this Lenten season. Write it out on an index card, in your journal, or make a digital image so you can have it on your phone. I would love to see your verse and if you do anything creative with it. Of course, being creative isn’t the point but pondering it is! When we take the time to read God’s Word, ponder, and pray, He changes us. And, we likely will find a new perspective on our travels–both on  where we are going and where we have been.

So, where ‘ya headed?

~ Liz

Quick note: Don and I will be “on the road” and I will be posting things as we travel. We would appreciate your prayers for a safe journey!

 

 

 

How did I get here?

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Today’s PrayerPoint ~ How did I get here?

There have been many times I have asked myself this question, particularly as I was analyzing a challenging moment in my life like a:

  • bad grade
  • financial problem
  • relationship challenge
  • unhealthy behavior
  • sick feeling in my gut

Can you relate? Are you where you want to be? Do you have any thoughts on why you are where you are? Are there things you want or need to change?

Sometimes I ran to the unfortunate places I have gone. Sometimes it was a little “indiscretion” that was a tiny step by tiny step progression until I landed squarely where I ended up. On occasion it was someone who seemed healthy or trustworthy who influenced my path but I continued the journey as I worked my way through some distorted understanding of myself and the world. Unchecked emotions or behavior has led me to difficult places. And sometimes it took a long while to extricate myself from those spots.

Changing bad habits is difficult and demanding work. I know because I have worked on a few in my day. If you find yourself in a place you wish you were not you might want to incorporate a few of the following ideas:

  • Take an honest look at your situation.
  • Confess your issues to God and ask for His help
  • Find a healthy accountability partner with whom you can be completely honest
  • Visit with your pastor
  • Join a support group

This may sound crazy but there are times when others may not be supportive while you work on your bad behavior. Others close to you might not be happy with efforts and they may actually try to sabotage your progress but keep moving to a healthier place.

We are all in process.  We all have things to work on. Some of it is big stuff and some of it is fine-tuning some little stuff. If you have ever worked on a big thing please have compassion on those who are in the middle of their big project. You likely are able to offer some hope to someone just beginning his/her journey of change. A little encouragement can go a long way for someone who is downtrodden by the weight of his/her sin and the consequences of bad choices.

Routine…

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Predictable…Consistent….Reliable….

It’s the New Year and as I evaluate where I have been and where I am going I feel like I could use some more routine in my life. I seem to go in spurts of focus and that takes a toll on my consistency. Of course, we just came off of a wild year so I am craving a little predictability, I suppose. I don’t do a load of laundry every day to keep up with it. I typically do a day of laundry so I can focus on it. [Really, who am I kidding? Don usually does the laundry now…] But when I was doing laundry I tried to get it all done in a day because it was easier to focus on getting it all done in one day instead of a little every day.

I don’t know how this idea of routine will work for me. And I surely won’t do this in every area of my life but I will in two areas for sure and one of them is PrayerPoints. I have weighed the pros and the cons of the 40 days of Lent posts against a weekly consistency for a couple of years. The truth is, I like focusing on it for 40 days and leaving it up to chance (and, consequently, minimal posting the rest of the year). With my mind very intentionally focused for those 40 days, I feel like I could easily write 100 PrayerPoints because there are so many things that lead my mind down that path. But I don’t like that I don’t ponder quite as much (nor commit to paper as much) during the rest of the 325 days.

This year I will embark on a new routine! On Sunday or Monday of each week I will post a PrayerPoint. In the end, I am only committing to 52 PrayerPoints vs 40 PrayerPoints. it’s hardly an increase. But switching it up will switch up my routine. And I feel like that is something I need right now. It will help me to practice being consistent.

As you think about the routines in your life you certainly will find some that should stay, some that should be eliminated, and some that should be initiated. I challenge you to think about one area you plan to be intentional about this year and whisper it to someone you trust. Let them cheer you on and help you dust off the dirt if you fall. Sharing your journey–the good and the bad–the encouragement and the disappointment–is one of the blessings on being here on this Earth at the exact same moment as the others in your life! Then set about charting your course for success by making a plan. Allow yourself for some grace and take it one step at a time!

And when you are ready to make your whisper a shout, I would love to know what you are working on this year!

PrayerPoint ~ Traveling ~ April 5

With this being Spring Break for many schools around the country as well as Easter Weekend, it would be great for us to remember those we know and love who may be traveling. I have been taking my ability to travel for granted–between the $$ it costs as well as the risks of driving sleepy or weather concerns or vehicle concerns, well, I just think I don’t take under consideration all that typically goes well when we venture out on the road.

And if you know of people “traveling” through difficult times, be sure to pray for them. Maybe there are tangible ways you can refresh them on their journey. Some of us have more difficult journeys than others but we can all offer refreshment and God’s love.

Lord, may Your hand be on those who are traveling in the upcoming weeks. Protect, guide, and provide for them. May their journey be refreshing–wherever they are headed! In Jesus’ Name!

Blessings to you as you journey through this life!

Liz