Open Doors

I was heading into class tonight and passed an open elevator door. The elevator was just sitting there. Almost like it was waiting for me to get on it. Normally, I take the stairs up to class but, since the door was already open, I walked inside the elevator.

I pressed number 2 and waited. And… waited some more.

The doors wouldn’t close.

Then I started hearing weird mechanical noises.

I started to think the elevator was not really waiting for me. I think it was actually broken.

How many times have you gone through an open door in your life to find out it wasn’t actually leading you anywhere?

Have there been times in your life where all of the planets seemed aligned? Everything you have always wanted, always dreamed about is really happening?

Then it all turns out to be a disaster.

As I get a little older (and hopefully a little bit wiser) I have realized just because a door is open doesn’t mean it’s waiting for me to go through it.

I spent a huge part of my earlier years just barging through those open doors, never taking the time to stop and listen  to what He really wanted me to do.

Now I can’t get Him out of my head. The closer I grow towards Him, the louder His voice becomes.

I’m thankful I don’t have to navigate this crazy world without Him anymore. I’m blessed to have Jesus as my center and as my compass.

Always pointing me towards the right door.

Psalm 43:3 O send out Your light and Your truth, let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your dwelling places.

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Dark Circles

I have had dark circles for as long as I can remember. They have always been a part of me, just like my curly hair. They (along with my thick curls) were one of the things I wanted to change about myself growing up. While I have learned to deal with my hair and even appreciate my curls now (umm way easier to style!), I have not grown any fonder of my dark circles.

Thankfully, someone invented concealer a long time ago. I can cover the circles up for the most part, although I feel like they will never really be covered up.

Do you feel like there are things you try and cover up about yourself but they are never really covered up? Fear, shame, inadequacy? We try and put on brave faces but these feelings can still break through. Sometimes I worry others will see the real me  and it’s not just what’s behind my dark circles.

I’m so blessed to have a God who loves how He created me.  One who says I was fearfully and wonderfully made in His image.

He loves me and all of my inadequacies, regardless of what anyone else may think. The things I try to hide or bury, the things I want to run away from, He helps me bring them into the light.

He helps me face them and He loves me just the same.

Thank you Jesus for loving all of me.

The good and the bad.

Dark circles and all.

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

 

 

3 Point Shot

Have you ever tried to make a three point shot? It’s really hard, even for those who are more skilled in the sport of basketball than yours truly.  When I make a shot, it’s a miracle and it’s certainly never been a 3 pointer.

Brady has been practicing this shot for a while now. He is small and does not have the upper body strength yet to make it all the way from the three point line.

Until today.

I wasn’t there to see it but, from what he described, it certainly wasn’t the most beautiful shot he’s ever made. Not something you would see Stephen Curry attempt.  Regardless, he made it into the hoop.

He just had to adjust how he approached the goal.

And that’s all that mattered.

Sometimes we have to make our own adjustments in order to get to the end goal. Whether it’s a different path that must be crossed or even taking a few steps back, adjustments are sometimes necessary.

Thankfully, we have His Word to help us with those adjustments. The Bible is His gift to us, providing guidance and comfort whenever we need to make changes, big or small.

Today, I read a post on Facebook  that posed the question, “What if we all treated our Bibles like we treat our smart phones?”

Instead of turning to Google or Facebook or texting a gazillion friends when we need an answer to a problem, we make turning to The Word our first priority.

Can you imagine what would happen next?

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

Snow Piles

I could sit at the window and watch snow fall for hours. Everything is so peaceful and magical, like you’re inside your own personal snow globe. When it’s falling, all is well with the world and I feel as if nothing could go wrong.

Then it starts to pile up. Oh and pile up some more. Then some more.

Soon you’re stuck with over a foot of snow and you’re trucks in a ditch or you’re out of everything to eat and you’re beautiful snow globe has turned into a huge headache.

Or even worse, you’re snow is piled so high you aren’t sure when you will ever make it out.

I’m so blessed to sit in my nice cozy house tonight, typing these words and praising My Lord Jesus. My snow piles aren’t that high this evening. I have a full belly and a home full of love. But just like everyone else, there have been many snow storms in my life. Storms where I didn’t know when the snow was ever going to stop falling. Storms I thought might never end.

It’s so hard to see God’s plan’s for you when snow is piled up so high to your chin and you feel like you can’t breath. You have nowhere to turn.

Don’t lose faith in the path He has laid out for you. You might have to wait a while for the clouds to part but the sun will shine again.

And the snow will melt.

Until then, keep your chin up, warm your soul with His word and light your path with His promises.

Comfort and rest are His specialty.

 Matthew 11:28-29
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

 

 

The Bread of Life

I have been putting off participating in the mad dash to the store for bread and milk as we anxiously await our upcoming snowstorm. I can’t deal with the long lines or frenzied people elbowing each other for the last loaf of bread. Central Virginians get a little crazy when we hear snow is coming.

Tonight, as we count down the hours for the flakes, I hold a few precious friends near and dear to my heart. These kind souls  are  all going through their own personal storms as they deal with very sick parents. Not only are they under an enormous amount of stress but  they must also  take care of their own families, while putting on a brave face for the rest of the world.

I found it fitting this morning, as bread was being cleared from grocery shelves and prayers were being said for these sweet friends, that my bible reading turned to the Bread of Life.

When we are going through life’s real storms, the ones that tear at us from the inside, deep into our hearts and souls, we need a different kind of bread. We need the bread that will comfort us. Bread that will help us get through the storm.

We will make it just find through this snow storm. Bread or not, it will be OK.

But I’m not sure how you can make it through any of the real storms without Jesus.

Prayers are with my dear friends tonight as they ride out these storms. Praying for Jesus to cover them from the hurt and from the pain and from the worry.

Praying His bread will keep them steady as He leads them through the mess and out of the storm.

 John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

 

 

God’s Hands

Brady has big plans for his little 10 year old self. His love of basketball has him dreaming of a future NBA career and there is nothing that can deter him from it.

Of course he’s the smallest kid on his team of really big 11 and 12 year old boys (I mean seriously- they are taller than me) and he’s not the fastest or the most aggressive but he doesn’t care- he’s still determined to succeed.

We talked about his dreams the other night after I tucked him into bed.  I tried to help him lay out some smaller goals (getting a starting position, making the middle school team) and then we talked about God’s plans for him.

It’s hard when we have dreams that might not fit into God’s plans for us. I explained to Brady that playing on this team with the big guys might not seem helpful right now but it will help him in the years to come. When it’s all said and done, he will have experience playing with really big, really intimidating players and look back at this time as more valuable than he could have ever imagined.

Or maybe God has another plan for him. Brady will figure it out one day.

Sooner or later.

Proverbs 19:21 reminds us that many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

His plans come first. Our goals and desires may or may not fit into the map he has drawn out for us but we need to remember that He is in control.

A dear friend reminded me of this the other day when I asked her to pray for Brady. She told me she would pray that, regardless of the outcome, he would see God in all of it.

In the good and the bad, He’s in all of it.

His hands are always there.

Proverbs 19:21  Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.

 

 

Hot Tubs

It felt like negative six degrees outside. All I wanted to do was get as warm as possible. The boys and I were spending the day at an indoor water park and the thought of submerging myself in cold water made my entire body shiver.

The large hot tub  looked like it might be my ticket to coziness. It looked warm and, although it was streaming with grown ups and kids coming in and out, I thought I might be able to relax for a little bit and get warm.

Sadly, once I entered, I realized immediately that the water was not an ideal temperature. It wasn’t a hot tub at all. Just a pool of water, not too cold, not too hot, and it was filled to the brim with people.  I couldn’t even sit down. For some reason, this pool was the place to be.

I hopped out and gave up on my search for warmth. I joined the rest of the masses and got into the cold water. It wasn’t until I was floating around on  my tube in the lazy river did I finally spy it.

The secret hot tub.

I caught a glimpse of it as I came around the corner. There were only grown ups in there and it looked so peaceful and serene.

I promptly made my way over to the hidden cove and it was everything I imagined. Hot water, cozy, quiet. I could have fallen asleep in there.

So much nicer than that large lukewarm hot tub.

Why do so many people want to be in the bigger tub? Why do people want to be of this world and not of His?  Sure, it’s overflowing with people and seems to be where all of the action is,  but at the end of the day, it’s not going to make you feel any more satisfied.

I’m so happy I found the smaller hot tub. Blessed to be a part of His kingdom. It may be less crowded. It may be smaller. It may not  be as popular as other things, but it has changed my life completely.

Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians  to come out from among them and to be received.

Choose the smaller hot tub. It’s always open. It might be hard to take that first step but it won’t burn you. It may take  a moment to get used to but hang in there. It will be worth every step.

Because once you’re in, you will never want to leave.

2 Corinthians 6:17  Therefore, “Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.”