Take the Time!

burnoutwGod is always working in my life but sometimes I just have to slow down and pay attention. That is a part of why I like cycling, especially on a path. The freedom to ponder situations is so important for me. But it is also important to view things in light of Scripture and that means I have to be in God’s Word to get His perspective. I know that if I am unchecked by Scripture, I can muddle all sorts of things rather quickly.

The very moment I think my life is too complicated for contemplation I know I am desperately in need for some. Reflection always leads me to prayer and God adjusting my attitude towards a person or circumstance.

Feeling bogged down and out of time? Stop and pray for your perspective and the day. Don’t budge out the very thing that will give you precisely what you need to accomplish the task!

On the Road,

Liz

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

True North

When navigating a ship to a destination, it is critically important to pay attention to the integrity of the vessel, the charts, the weather, and making sure the crew is capable and able to do their job. It’s a huge responsibility. Going off course due to external forces or internal issues is a serious matter. It happens to

  • Businesses
  • Churches
  • Educational institutions
  • Marriages
  • Families
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • You
  • Me

Have you ever woken up on a particular day and wondered how you got where you were? Sometimes it is by not-so-careful planning. Being off course, even just a little, over a long period of time can really put you in a place you were not intending. How does one stay oriented to True North?

There are so many distractions in life that try to sway me off course. Of course, there are the things of this world that are shiny and fun. Then there are the ugly things of this world that cause me to really wonder about humanity. And then there are the things inside of me that I fight to get out of my life. Or the good things I fight to have in my life like:

  • Prayer
  • Bible Study
  • Gathering with other believers
  • Membership in a healthy congregation
  • Service
  • Confession
  • Forgiveness
  • Accountability
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Holy Communion

God has good gifts for us that draw us closer to Him, strengthen us for the journey, and keep us oriented. The tools are there to help us stay the course but we need to use them.

Heavenly Father ~ Grant us the courage and strength to use the tools You have given us! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

On the Road,

Liz

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A work in progress…

encouragewThe other day I made a very public mistake. You may not have noticed it. I certainly didn’t notice it because if I had, I would not have done it. I am not a perfectionist by any means but when I share information I want it to be accurate, properly spelled, and all that.

Almost the entire day had gone by and finally someone pointed out that I had made a mistake. Actually, I had made several. (Oh how I hate when that happens!) Immediately, I got to work to correct it! And, sadly, it took several tries. For whatever reason, the initial person to point out the error was not able to assist in the correction. However, another person stepped in to stick with me through the process with a lot of patience, she was very pleasant and helpful.

I want to be that kind of person!

A complete stranger stepped in to work with me. How thoughtful and kind! And I wondered, “Am I the one who just points out mistakes or am I the person who will patiently stick with someone as they get it together?” Good question! Sometimes I am both!

I have noticed in myself that there are times I have a lot of compassion for others and there are other times I am so incredibly impatient. Sometimes it has to do with the kind of day I had or the amount of free time I have to help another person. And, sadly, sometimes it has to do with the person I am in conversation with or, at the very least, my perception of the person.

Sometimes I am so stingy with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness!

But when I am on the receiving end of correction, am I approachable and teachable? Am I willing to listen to what someone has to say and consider it? Naturally, I am more willing to hear from someone I know and love and I know knows and loves me. But there are times a complete stranger, or even someone I don’t particularly like, has valuable insight for me. Can I hear it?

I have to practice receiving correction with grace and humility because it is not my inclination.  My first response is usually to be a little defensive but I have been working on that. There are numerous opportunities for me to improve on my response. What can I say? I am a work in progress!

Heavenly Father, give me your discernment when someone shares advice or correction with me. Lord, grant me discernment when I am inclined to share advice or correction with others! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

On the Road,

Liz

p.s. Can you tell I am having too much fun with Canva?

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I’ll Pray For You

Have you ever been asked by someone to pray for them? I find it a very humbling experience. I often wonder, “Who am I?” to receive such a request that represents such vulnerability and trust of me. It comes from a place of deep need and usually the situation is hard. Sometimes, no details are given. Just a “Please pray.”

Of course, we can all use prayer. But most of the time when someone directly asks you to pray for them they have something quite specific in mind. And sometimes they can’t even talk about it. When I don’t know what is going on – and sometimes even when I do – I pray all around the person and the situation, whatever it is. Some of the areas I pray about include:

  • Physical health
  • Emotional health
  • Spiritual health
  • Employment
  • Family relationships
  • Training/Education
  • Financial concerns

I am always thankful for the opportunity to pray over a prayer request. The situation is often on my mind at various points in a day/week. And while a friend may ask for prayer on a specific thing, my mind always wanders and broadens the prayer. Sometimes knowing more about a situation is helpful as I pray but it isn’t necessary. Sometimes people like to explain their requests, which is fine. Others may be at a loss for words (or the needs are very private) so to make things easier for them I might say “just give me one word and I will cover it”. I can pray quite a bit off of one word because I just try to cover all the bases. When I am at a loss for words or direction, I just remind God that He knows the situation and knows the need and I ask Him to take care of it/them.

Here is an example of me covering the bases on just using a name:

Heavenly Father, Bless ______ today. Bless their finances, their work/school tasks and their work/school relationships. If there are medical concerns, bring them to light.   If the challenge is financial, please make provision for them. Be with their family and family relationships during this time. Help this time of struggle be a time when their relationship with You is strengthened and they come to depend upon You for their every need. If they are headed down a difficult path, continue to give them warnings and give them eyes to see the warnings and a spirit that responds. You know their needs and You love them much deeper than I so I trust them and their circumstance into Your Hands. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

When someone asks for prayer, it immediately deepens my connection with them. I appreciate their willingness to be vulnerable with me but it is also precious that they know God wants to hear prayers from them and on their behalf. So often we look at prayer as a last resort — after we have tried everything else! This week, consider asking someone to pray on your behalf with a request large or small. It might feel awkward in the beginning but I do believe it has a tendency to strengthen your relationship with that person. Your willingness to request prayer might open the door for them to also share a request with you. And those are the types of relationships that help sustain us while we navigate life on Earth!

I believe we all have an important prayer perspective to offer. If you want to know more about my thoughts on prayer perspectives, click here!

On the Road,

Liz

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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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PrayerPoints ~ Sunday, March 13th

week 5-W

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 102

“Hear my prayer, O Lord, let my cry for help come to you.

Do no hide your face from me when I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.” Psalm 102:1-2

Do you know someone in distress? I am guessing you know a number of people who are in the midst of financial challenges, employment struggles, or health issues.

Will you pray for them this week? When someone shares their difficulties with me, here are some things I pray for:

  • Wise counsel
  • A growing faith
  • Creative and healthy solutions
  • Attentive and wise medical professionals
  • Self-discipline
  • Encouragement
  • Discernment
  • God’s peace

Being able to pray with and for others is such a blessing. This life is filled with struggles and knowing that someone is praying for us can make such a significant impact.

If you need prayer, I would encourage you to seek out a trusted friend and ask if they would pray for you. You don’t need to go into every detail, you can just say “Hey, I am going through a rough time right now and can use some prayer.” I think when we are a little transparent it helps others to be willing to share too. Allowing yourself to be a little bit vulnerable is sometimes difficult but it can lead to deeper and richer relationships.

May God bless your time in prayer this week!