although I hope they actually ran out of room and wanted to say “….you deal with your worries”
I started this post Wednesday night after hearing from a sweet friend, Jessica, who is joyfully serving in Thailand, working with the Lord to bring women and men out of a life of prostitution. It struck me that we know so little of all that is going on around the world, what the needs of individuals are, what the pain, sorrow, hunger, homelessness, is really like.
I am not Eeyore just so you know. Generally I am an upbeat person. Every once in awhile, God gives me glimpses into some of what He hears about on a daily basis, and thankfully I am reminded that I am glad He is God and I am NOT! But what does happen for me is I am reminded to be in prayer for the many whose hearts don’t yet know the sigh of release from letting the Savior carry them; for those whose suffering is so great they can’t think; for those who simply haven’t yet heard there is One who longs to comfort them in the midst of their pain…
I heard at a women’s retreat several years ago the question: “What breaks your heart that breaks the heart of God?” It stopped me short. I realized I had never thought that way. I began to ponder over several months what things break my heart. I wondered if they were “big enough” for God to care about. I wanted to be caring about what He cares about. I began praying that He would enlarge my heart for the things He sees. What a journey this has been! God is faithful.
When I hear of those dear people in Thailand who don’t know that they have options for their lives until someone like Jessica tells them I am moved to prayer. When I hear of the thousands of displaced families in Sri Lanka, I think, “Oh Lord…” and am moved to prayer. When I read my friend Sue’s post about her sweet parents who are slowing down more and more I cry and thank God for the blessings of relationships even though they aren’t always easy.
Right in the middle of your days, God wants you to join in the chorus of silent and audible voices lifting up concerns to Him. He alone is the One who can hold all these near. He alone can have a broken heart for the hurting and still not be overwhelmed by it all. Please don’t say, “well all I can do is pray.” Prayer is vital. Prayer is powerful. The work of lifting up others’ needs to the throne of grace is the gift God gives us in our relationship with Him; an audience with the King! Please don’t neglect that wonderful privilege.
He may also want you to take additional action in response to the things that break your heart. Be aware of opportunities to serve, to write, to fast, to send, to go. The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. WE are needed my friends. Ponder your heart; ponder God’s heart.
Where has God allowed your heart to be soft, weak, broken and yielding? That is a good place to start.
You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi
Creative. I have several friends who are creative and business people. Dale collects rare beads from all over the world and then makes jewelry or sells the beads to others who make jewelry. Lindsey is a stay at home mom with 3 littles and she creates and sews up a storm. Lisa is an incredible mom of two and as a jewelry maker has designed so many unique creations.
Probably not great coffee, but bottomless cups
Probably not gourmet food, but family style
Probably not rushed, but cared for
Probably not anonymous, but a place to be known
Shouldn’t our table at home be someplace like that too?
I had to have help putting this picture in place because it was huge! In the process I learned how to change the size in html without changing the aspect ratio. All that thanks to my husband the engineer! I asked him if he could tell what kind of person I am from this picture and he said “A duck follower!” He may know how to manipulate pixels accurately but “getting the hint” is not high on his list of skills. Not to mention he has lived with my obsession of control for 18 years of wedded bliss, poor man.
Some of you who have known me for awhile already are familiar with my history. But for those who don’t, I have spent more than half my life teaching. I have worked with children, youth and adults in a variety of settings from traditional classrooms to garages to auditoriums. I love to teach!
What I have discovered in working with my coach Kathy is that my passion is really to give the tools to learn so that my students, regardless of age, can continue the learning process on their own. Giving away a passion for learning and growing is not an easy task. But if only one student was inspired in each year’s work, it would have been worth it to me.
The funny thing is, although I am no longer a classroom teacher, I find myself still teaching! I guess it is because I am an eager learning and I want to share whatever new things I have come across. When I am enthusiastic about something it is nearly impossible for me to keep my enthusiasm to myself. I’m not sure if that is bad; you’d have to ask my family what it is like living with me: “Hey you guys! Guess what I just read?!”
Your passion may not be for learning and teaching what you learn. You do have passion about something though. You may be busy today with small children and can’t think much past their daily schedule of needs, or you may be going into a season of change and you don’t know what is ahead. Either way, somewhere inside you is some element of creative passion. I know that is true because each of us is created in the image of God and He is the source of creativity and passion!
I really encourage you to carve out some time to sit in solitude asking your Maker what your passion is if you are disconnected from the awareness of how you are wired. He knows the plans He has for you…
Some of you are really living out your passions right now and you inspire me! I really believe we are intended to share our gifts and talents with one another for both blessing and challenge. How do we get started though? What can you do today to take a step toward living out your passion? I would love to talk with you about what I have been learning (there I go again!) that can help you get the tools you need to learn about your passion.
In 1989, after experiencing many significant life changes within a short period of time, not all of which were welcomed, a friend gave me this card. I was so touched by the sentiment that I framed it. It has been a part of my visual inspiration for 20 years! Recently I have experienced the second set of significant life changes, none of which were planned. This visual reminder has been inspirational for me still and in new ways this time through.
Life has a way of happening whether we are ready or not. I lost both my parents within nine months of one another through unexpected means. As a result of those huge losses I was unable to continue working in the administrative capacity I had been, so I stepped away from that position. Truly, I could barely function, the grief process was so overwhelming. It has been a two year period of deepening my relationships: with my husband, my sons, and my Lord.
When I was younger along the Way, I really didn’t get what James encouraged us with: Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Now, after 28 years walking along the Way, I think I finally understand. God tests our faith as He tested Abraham, so that the surpassing knowledge of God in Christ can be ours.
We can have joy in the middle of deep loss and sorrow. And no it doesn’t make sense. But God does have a plan, He is still on His throne and His promises are true to those who believe. I have lots more to say about the lessons I have learned and I will in future blogs, but what I most want to encourage you with today has to do with the changes I am being led to and hopefully they will encourage you too.
I have had the privilege of working with a terrific woman for the past six months, who is a follower along the Way and my Life Coach. Kathy has listened to me at this change point in my life; trying to help me sort out what is left of me after losing so much. She has been both inspirational and prayerful for me. Through my work so far with Kathy I have recognized my desire to communicate what God has taught me through the life He has blessed me with. She has pointed me toward tools and exercises to sift through ideas and passions and find the commonalities to build upon. It has been a very inspiring journey that I highly recommend!
As part of this journey I have been stepping out in new ways: this blog is an example. I have joined facebook, twitter, and a women’s social network, Exemplify Online. You can find those links down the sidebar on my blog. But today I found a new connection that I want to make sure you know about that can encourage you to make some changes and reach out to others through the internet.
A Woman Inspired is an online resource for learning the steps and short cuts for building an online presence for ministry in whatever capacity God is leading you to do. They will be holding an online conference June 8 – 11. I am so excited for the opportunity to take part in this conference. There is no travel involved; it will be held online. If you go to their website you can check out the speakers and their topics.
I know this won’t be for everyone, not because you couldn’t handle it but you may not be ready for making any changes right now. But some of you are right where I am and need to know how to get plugged into the opportunities to reach out to those who need encouragement from God’s Word and His work in your life and the lives of those you know.
I, like Paul, say this: I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
Press on my dear friends! Don’t fear the changes; God has greater things in store for you!
Be sure to check out Exemplify Online!