When the epicenter of love, our beloved Paris, was shaken last week, the core of every heart questioned our own security. We were brushed with the brevity of life, sharing with neighbors we’ve never noticed.
Still trying to understand the reality breaking into regular scheduled Friday nights, we switched between broadcasts and social media. Those who escaped went ‘live’ on webcams sharing their story. Hearing the horror from the mouths of our Parisian friends brought us to the streets of accepting that the City of Lights is a little smaller now.
Many of us haven’t stopped tuning in since. We want to know, ‘where do we go from here.’ Last night, I needed a break from the questions. Switching over to NBC’s singing competition ‘The Voice’, I carried on through the house cleaning up a days mess while cooking dinner and listening from afar.
The rice had just finished steaming as the timer told me chicken in the oven was also done. Setting dinner to the side to cool, contestant Jordan Smith started to share about his journey through singing, being different and sharing his gift on the show. He summed up his song choice, ‘Great is Thy Faithfulness’, with this statement:
“This is about the faithfulness of God. None of this would be possible in your own strength. God is going to provide because He is faithful. God says, ‘I’m going to do everything for you. All you have to do is wake up every morning and be who you are.'”
I wasn’t looking for an answer tonight, but God held His hand out and provided one anyway. There is hope because He is one faithful God.
It was 34 degrees last night. Grrr… and Brrr! Winter is trying to get an edge on Fall already. I head straight to the kitchen. ‘How can I get more pumpkin in me before this glorious season ends?’ Eyeing a jar of pumpkin spice on the shelf, a crispy slice of cinnamon raisin bread springs from the toaster. Well, that sounds like a start. Mixing up some pumpkin spice sprinkles, I decide to lace every meal in it. A dash here, a pinch there, heck, lets do a dusting in my drink as well.
Fall is a Neverland. People regain a childlike exuberance for life here. It’s a place that doesn’t make sense really. Though ‘life’, the trees and flowers, are dying around us, in this same moment, we come alive.
Nevertheless, this is my toast… to surrendering in the season, snuggling up to the hand life has given, and stretching to hold on to the joy right here.
Winter will come. It is a season of life. And when it does, though the welcome mat won’t be on my doorstep to greet this guest, may I remain ready with an open heart because the power in my pulse comes from Everlasting Joy. Cheers!
As the days grow grayer, the nights stretch longer, and the air turns to ice, stand guard over your thoughts and dress it up in sparkle if you have to.
The changing seasons of life can dim the lights on our dreams. Situations with people we love or in the place we live can dull our passion or put out the flame.
Your value doesn’t decrease based on someone’s inability to see your worth. The forecast shows clouds but my feet say, Shine!
There is peace here.
The birds haven’t spread their wings yet, and the squirrels are still tucked into tiny tree beds. My shoes do an early morning shuffle through the leaves, soaking up this damp air that lays heavy on my face. I swing a notebook in my hand, as I wait on the Lord for something, anything that will stir my spirit.
I snap this picture.
There’s a scattering of yellow and orange still holding onto life, staring at the fate of friends who have since let go. Perhaps those still breathing actually turn away, to face the sky in praise toward the Maker of the heavens and the universe.
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! (Psalm 150:6)
Though these leaves, these lives undoubtedly see death happening all around, they don’t let go. I bet the view is spectacular up there.
And then one slips.
The heaviness in the air was too much to bear, I suppose. I watch the crinkled maple sway left, and see-saw right. I smile. Even a leaf can enjoy the ride on the way down. And now this leaf lays to rest in a bed where all the others have gone.
And soon the turn of the season will freeze this foliage that fertilizes new life in the Spring.
Look up. Whatever is raining on your parade, clouding your focus or heaven forbid, biting at your cheeks with the bitterness of a very long winter, turn away from the view of death in your situation.
Praise the heavens. This too shall pass. And there will be purpose here. One season is fertilizer for the next.
The bite was only the culmination of a demise that began when Eve entered a conversation with the devil. And that’s what we do a lot. We talk. We rehearse on a daily basis what we don’t have or who we are not. We focus on the areas of our “garden” that seem just out of our reach or control. We take the seed of discontentment offered by the devil and inform our souls of our dissatisfaction, unhappiness, or displeasure.
We have a choice.
We can choose to believe what God’s Word says about who we are and who we are created to be, or we can entertain the lies planted by the enemy of our souls and cultivated by the culture we live in.
You are Worthy. That is what God says about who you are as a child of God created for His glory.
You don’t have to seek anyone else’s approval for the life God has given you to live. You don’t have to apologize for the strength, fortitude, courage, talent, beauty, or brains your Creator has given you.
We all are “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). #KingdomWoman
Let it go or it may never let you go. Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.
Whatever it is that you’re facing today, however it is impacting your life… LET IT GO!
The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still. – Exodus 14:14
Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
What is everything to you? Is it your marriage? Friendships? Career? Children? Health? House? Is it your faith?
How do you treat others when you’ve reached the peak of your mountaintop? How do you feel about yourself in the void of these things? That is what develops your character.
To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
You have the beautiful ability to influence someone just the way you are. Without your uniqueness, the world is missing out on a glimmering gift that God gave to you. He crafted only one of ‘you’.
Who you are reflects a piece of Him that no one else can replicate. You were the only one made. Please don’t give us a second rate version of someone else when you are a marvelous, first class design.
We hunger for God’s mystery to be revealed and it requires you, to be you, to reflect that part of Him.
I love you.
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I am where I am because of His mercy that met me down the tracks of my wrong turns.
I am who I am today because of the choices I made yesterday.
In the difficult decisions, I stand here stunned, not in fear but in unmerited favor that He sees my soul, understands the intentions and immerses my spirit with His presence, still.
The struggle ends when gratitude begins.