All glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Ephesians 3:20
God’s best for us is often better than we can ask for. I’ve been thinking about this truth and how it can apply in my life and also in the lives of those I read about in the Bible. First to mind was Adam and his paradise home located on brand-spankin’-new planet earth. I’ve pondered the lush fauna and flora (I just learned the difference between the two this past year–thank you homeschooling), and I’ve decided that if we can enjoy breathtaking landscapes like the Grand Canyon on this post-sin earth, my mind can’t even conceive hypothetical sin-free beauty.
It would seem that Adam was pretty set with physical perfection and intimate closeness with God. Yet God (not Adam), recognized and expressed the deep need Adam had for a helper (Genesis 2:20-21). God, the first inventor, created and presented the exact thing that Adam needed but couldn’t produce or even imagine on his own. God knew Adam so well that he was anticipating needs and initiating provision before they were requested. Isn’t that beautiful?
Sometimes I struggle to comprehend that the same provider God of the Old Testament is still present in 2014. Sometimes I have higher expectations for my Old Testament God than I do for my personal Savior God. It sounds strange, even perhaps a tad sacrilegious to admit it, but it’s true. My God is not nearly big enough. Although I know theoretically that He can doanything, I am consistently putting limits on what I think He will do. It can be downright embarrassing at times. Like when He answers prayers I forgot to pray, or provides for things I never got around to asking for, or moves in ways I would not have even fathomed to envision. In times like this, I am caught with my mouth slightly open and a dazed look on my face thinking, “Wait a minute, how did you. . . why I never even. . . hey, you moved without me. . . wow, that was awesome.” Continue reading “bigger God needed”
Cherries, apricots, peaches and apples were an integral part of my childhood.My family owned a soft fruit orchard on the Columbia River in Washington State.Summer days were filled with harvesting fruit for customers.Summer evenings were spent on the river boating.Waterskiing and knee boarding were our family sport.A large percentage of my happy adolescent memories can be traced back to our boat.
Therefore, after our mass-selling spree it seemed only natural to consider finding a reasonably priced boat to continue the tradition with my own family.Late in the summer season we found a great deal on a 10-year-old boat and commenced the happy memory making.
As fall approached, my husband shared that he was sensing a pull from God to sell our boat.He didn’t have any logical reasons to hang this decision on, other than a strong prompting in his heart.We agreed to pray about it and ask God to be clear so we would know how to respond.
It was one year ago yesterday. I didn’t have a blog but I had thoughts, big thoughts and I needed to put them down in order to understand them better and reflect on them later. Looking back, I see the start of an adventure forming, come. . .
Sunday July 21, 2013:
A nervous unsettling is enveloping me. Reminiscent of the background music that slowly builds matching the approaching crescendo of tension in a thriller movie, I’m on the edge of my seat tapping my toe to non-existent music.
The events of the past month have all borne the consistent theme: let go, reduce, release. My online business of ten years: sold. Our black SUV with dark tinted windows that once made a man nervously approach me at the library and question if I was a government official and if I was perhaps following him: sold. Our extra truck that has been listed on Craig’s List forever: sold. Our trailer for hauling firewood out of the forest: sold. As we wait for someone to come look at our camping trailer (someone who heard from a friend that we might be looking to sell it) I am wondering if I should expect anything but the same to end this day. Moreover, as we empty things out of our life, I am left wondering what great adventure is hiding out behind the veil of God’s grand plan.
As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
I love that. A beautiful thing happens when we allow ourselves to be used by God and when we are able to speak into the lives of others in a way that edifies and encourages them. This last year I have been sharpened by a number of women though their words and examples. A few of them I have never met, but yet their impact has been profound. Allow me to make a few introductions: Continue reading “Are you iron deficient?”
I previously alluded to being “in hiding” this past year. Hiding is my fancy way of describing fear. It’s important that I start with this because I believe that for faith to grow, fear must be faced.
A year ago I stepped out of a role that I had filled for 10 years when I sold my online website Mom 4 Life. At the time, I looked forward to the change of pace. God had things on the horizon and as I began to see glimpses of His new plan unfolding, I longed to share my new discoveries and struggles through writing. However, the “platform” from which I used to share was no longer mine. I wanted to flush out my thoughts with words, but without readers to share them with, the purpose felt flat. Or was it more than that? I began to question: had my purpose been too tightly tied to “my platform” and “my readers”? Why the desire to share with others rather than just journal for myself? Perhaps it was all a fancy way of saying that I missed being on stage. Was it all pride? Self glorification? I felt conflicted. I wanted to bring God glory but perhaps that was getting muddled? I couldn’t be sure and because of that, I couldn’t move forward with writing for an audience. Doing something good for the wrong reasons felt worse than doing nothing at all. The deceiver manipulated eloquently. Fear crept in. I set down my pen and closed the book.
At the end of May, I began leading a small weekly bible study in my home. The study (Restless by Jennie Allen) focuses on the story of Joseph in the Old Testament and weaves in truths from his story into our own. We have been identifying our natural and spiritual gifts and discovering how our pain and suffering is all closely connected to the unique way that we are made to fit into God’s story. While examining the area of our gifts, we read about Eric Liddell who was born into the home of missionaries to the Chinese people in 1902. As explained by author Jennie Allen, “His story is retold in the epic film Chariots of Fire. Eric felt called to give his life to God and in that pursuit he trained and planned to become a missionary, like his parents. But Eric had a gift. He could run, and every door was opening for him to do it. Doors opened all the way to the Olympics. As the film portrays Eric processing his calling and his gifts with his sister, he said these famous words: “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel his pleasure.” Continue reading “listening to lies”