Wading the storms of Life...together in word.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Paralyzing Fear

            What is the scariest thing you have ever had to do?

Several years ago, I worked with a great group of kids as a youth sponsor at our church.  It was a great time in my life.  Those kids were amazing.  I remember one event consisted of a weekend long “campout” of all kinds of great activities and moments to really think about Christ and who we are in Christ.  One event was a zip-line. 

It looked simple enough.  A chair-like harness that zipped down through the trees and onto solid ground, it looked like a big swing almost.  I definitely wanted to do it. My kids (most of which who had already gone), stood on the solid green cheering me on.  As I climbed up this steep hillside, my whole perspective began to change. 

“What was I doing?”

This looked a little bit steeper than I had expected it to look.  This is just a hillside.  Its not like I am in the jungle or over large buildings.  I feel a little silly about being so scared.  So of course I continued.  What else was I going to do?

By the time I got up to the platform, I thought “I can NOT do this! What was I thinking?”

I asked the guy helping us get harnessed, “Has anyone else backed out of this at the last moment.”

He said with all seriousness, “No, you’d be the first!”

My kids were standing on the green yelling, “Laura! Wahoo, go Laura.”  How could I let them down?  How could I let them see my fear?

So, I did the unthinkable.  I let that guy strap that little chair-like harness to me and I JUMPED. 

On the way down, I sounded ridiculous screaming to the tops of my lungs. It was fun though. I just kept my eye on the “prize”, that little safe green patch of grass with all the people I loved routing me on. 

Am I glad I did that jump that day? Definitely!  Am I willing to do it again?  I so hope so!

I'm facing a different type of "jump" today and all my desires to do it are suddenly turning to doubt and fear.   Do I really need to do this?  I could stay in my safe, familiar place of friends and family but what all would I be missing?  I have a feeling I would miss out on way more than I could even imagine while standing here in this "safe place" of fear and regret. 

So, am I going to jump? I sure hope so!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

New Found Thought!

about 3 years ago when I should have changed my mindset.  Don't loose you life/time by wasting it foolishly!

I like to be healthy.  I like to run, walk, hike and even eat well.
My problem is that I also like to eat BADLY and neglect my interest in activity.

Lately at times, my eating habits have been even worse because I know that I am ready to start eating right.  Does that make any sense?  (I don’t think so!)

I cram in that last opportunity to eat unhealthy knowing that what I am about to do is cut out unhealthy eating opportunities.   The feast before the famine mind set.

This morning in my quiet time and writing, I opened up a book that I was wanting to read through by Stormie Omartian called The Power of a Praying Life. Her books are great by the way.  She has so much faith and so much knowledge and is just so humble yet direct in her words. 

Well, today, of all the areas that I could read about prayer, I opened up directly to chapter 20, “Treat Your Body As Though It Belongs To God”. 

O.K., as if that weren’t direct enough.   


So, why do I run to unhealthy eating?  Why do I not value myself more? 

I can’t really answer that and I don’t think answering it is going to help me any, because as long as it is “mine”, I will do with it as I please.  But this new thinking of it being God’s, changes my thinking quite a bit. 

If I stop believing that this is mine (my body/my health) and started seeing it fully in the truth that it is His. I am only borrowing it, I will treat it better.  If I see it as something that God has only loaned me, and I have to give it back with explanation as to why I treated it the way that I did, won’t I treat it completely different, choosing to look at the big picture and not just the immediate gratification?

I like to be healthy. I like to be active.  Choosing to eat poorly keeps me from getting to have either of these two things in my life.  It is time to put some action in place. I have my first 5k run in August with some good friends.  I have four months to work toward my goal and make some changes. 

Being healthy isn’t just about eating right.  It involves a lot of different factors.
Are there any changes you would like to make?  If God was sitting right next to you, saying, “what are you doing to my body?”  What would you say? -  just a thought!

I wish you well in your new found thought.  I pray success over you all.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Taking the Leap

About 5 years ago, I had a friend staying with me for just a few months.  I lived in a cute little house that I was renting while working for an investment firm.  She worked there with me and was getting married soon.  She wanted to cut expenses and live minimally until the big day just to prepare for stepping out into her new future.

It was such a privilege to get to spend that time with her.   

Today I came across a note that she had left me so many years ago.  She tore a page out of my journal and referenced a verse that reminded her of me.  The verse was Exodus 4:1-3 where God was telling Moses to “go” and was reminding him that He would take care of the details. 

My friend stated, “God has a great sense of humor and an uncanny ability to give us the “signs” we need to confirm the extraordinary!”

I love her words in that statement! How true. 

Recently an “idea” was presented to me that I have prayed and hoped for, for a long time.   

I know for my friend, in the process of her marriage, doubted at times “is this really it? Can I really marry this man?”  I know that because everyone has those thoughts.  I also know that it was something that she had desired and prayed about for a very long time and when this boy came into her life for the first time, I remember very clearly how she reacted.  He was not just any boy to her.  He was definitely much more.

If she would have clung to her uncertainty or fears, she would have missed one the greatest and most challenging moves of her life. 

I do not want to miss the greatest and most challenging moves of my life either!  I know that I am meant to do this.  It has been engraved in me for many years without much reasoning.  Now that it is standing before me like a promise made in Heaven, I am ready to take the leap.  I don’t know how all the details will work out but I know that my God has already proven provident in the steps that have taken place thus far and I know that all that remains lies in the palms of His hands.

How exciting!  To live and step out in faith and to know that great things are taking place right in front of you, right with you.  This indeed is extraordinary!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Praising in the Pain...A Heart of Worship

Photo by Judy Royal Glenn ...

Have you ever praised God in the midst of your pain?  

Recently I found myself in a very disappointing, heart breaking place.  A friend had introduced me to a guy that I agreed to meet.  I didn’t think much of it.  These things never seem to work out, but to my surprise I really ended up liking this guy.

He had a lot of qualities that I had prayed for but on top of that I really enjoyed my time with him.  He felt like an old friend, and a good friend.  Plus I was really attracted to him.

After a few days where there was some minor contact, there came several days where there was no contact.  I realized there was no interest there on his part and that he just didn’t have the heart to tell me (which I really hate).  I had to accept my rejection and move forward. 

The only problem was that it hit a key disappointment that I already had.  Why wasn’t I married yet?  I have agreed to serve you Lord in every way that I know how.  I have given you my heart. I have given you my life and I try to be as obedient to your will and plan as I know how.  So why are you withholding this from me?  Why don’t you want this for me right now?

My heart cried out, while breaking inside.  As I stood in the elevator at work holding back tears I stated, “I will praise you Lord.  In the midst of what I feel and where I am, I will praise you.” 

I don’t normally do that.  Normally I get mad and hurt and pout about where He has me and what He is doing or not doing.   Job reacted similarly in chapter 40 of the book of Job.  After all that he went through, God addressed him and his reaction was to be silent.  As God continued to address who He himself was and who Job was not, Job’s silence turned to praise (Job 42:1-6).  He praised God in the midst of all that he had lost.  In that he found freedom and new life. 

For me, I had an experience like I had not had before.  My aching heart seemed to be sealed by His never failing love.  As I walked off the elevator and onto the floor where I worked, I had no idea what my moment of praise was doing inside me.  Several moments later, I realized how much better I felt. My heart had been healed. It felt so nice to have that healing, and to know that He met me in that place with compassion and not just correction.

I have never been good at praising God in the midst of my sorrow.  Normally I will surrender to God but it is in a pouting, disappointed nature.  I never fully realized the power of praising Him.  Now I plan to do that in the midst of all my storms.

Laura Menefee ~

Monday, April 1, 2013

The Ways of God

Charlie is sitting here next to me. Most the time I do not let him in here, in my room, but sometimes I will if he listens and doesn’t get into things.  I love that he likes to be where I am.  Sometimes it can be annoying.  Sometimes he sniffs everything I am trying to do and I just have to say “Stop”.  But the fact that he wants to be near me, is the evidence of his love and admiration for me.  That I love.  So seeing him go against his strong desires of getting up and sniffing out every new thing that he has not explored yet, just to sit quietly next to me is nice.

I love dogs.  I have always loved dogs and have wanted one of my own for a long time.  I couldn’t afford to get one though because of the hours that I am away and because of the responsibility they are.  They need attention.  It is not fair to them to have them in your life if you don’t ever plan to give them what they need.

As I sat here, stroking his head and he just grunted with the feel of being petted and doted over, I noticed his feet.  I noticed how the bones in his legs and feet move in such a way to perform exactly the way that they need to.  God is so precise in how He creates or orchestrates anything.  One area of life or physical quality fits so uniquely into another.  Everything has a rhyme and reason, a purpose, a plan.  Everything is set into motion by the moving of His hand.

We serve a God of great creativity.

Great brilliance.

Great Ability.

Great Love.

And Great Reason.

It is easy to want to take life into our own hands and try to determine how we believe it should be, but life was laid out by the one person or being that knew best and does best.

This is scripture that I have liked for a while.  I think it is appropriate for this message so I am going to share it with you.

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:  the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.”  Proverbs 30:18-19

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I want Him!

Psalm 46:10 is scripture that we all know too well, “Be still and know that I am God”.

Lately being still doesn’t seem like something I have much time for.  Between work, school, errands, dishes, laundry; there really isn’t much time left over. I’m sure you all identify all too well.

It is easy to let church time, bible study time, and just good old girl friends talking time be my main times with God.  But I know my heart needs more.  My life needs it too.

This morning, in my rush to get ready and leave, I was slowed by the process of a bloody nose. (I know, gross!)  I did not have time to deal with that then, but I didn’t have any choice either. As I sat and applied pressure, I grabbed my bible. Obviously He was trying to get me attention. 

I turned to Psalm 91.  He reminded me of the power He has by showing me the first verse in this chapter.  “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

“He who dwells”….He who comes to me…He who sits by me…He who clings to me…..He is who will find rest in me.  I need to be in His word. I need that alone time with Him, apart from everyone else. 

I need Him, not because I can’t do it on my own but because with Him everything is so much better.  He calms my heart.  He gives me peace and even understanding.  He is my refuge and my strength.  He has lead me and prepared things for me that only He could of done. He never ceases to amaze me. 

Photo by Judy Royal Glenn..
 I don’t want to leave Him out anymore, or even think that what I have is good enough.  I need more.  I want the REST that comes in being with Him and pursuing Him everyday.

I want Him.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Free Failling...Fear or Faith?

From an excerpt of the book The Ways of God (Finding Purpose Through Your Pain)
By Cherie Hill

“We made plans for our lives, but He’s determining our steps and taking us to places we never wanted to go.”

“Proverbs 16:9 NLT ..We can make plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

“We find ourselves taking the very next step in front of us, only to find our feet knocked out from under us.  How can we trust a God that is constantly bringing us to our knees in helpless desperation?  We decide to take the journey of life with Him and He brings us to the edge of a cliff.  We find ourselves at the edge, consumed with fear, and God seems to push us right off; we’re helpless and hopeless and free falling into the abyss of darkness.  What kind of loving God does this?”

{Laura(me):  Cherie wrote the book that I am planning to write! I love her words and the truth that comes with it.  This passage stood off the page and made me say Wow!

I have a friend who loves birds.  She photographs them all of the time.  To her there is something majestic there. For me, I would agree.  There is something different about the life of a bird than from any other creature.  They trust God every day for providing the needs they have that very day and they soar in the faith of their wings like the rest of us only dream of.  But as I read this passage and related so much to the imagery of fear and pain that comes with God pushing you further and further past your “breaking point”, I saw the safe cliff that we stand on as believers.  Our trust is in it more so than in God.  Our trust is in where our feet are planted.

What is this abyss?  It is the realization that the cliff we clung to is more our death than the fall we have faced that has just set us free.  God wants us to see that we can “fly” in the “bosoms of His breast”.  He is the one that truly provides everything we need or desire, everything!  He has given us life. He is in the end the one that will take our life and He determines the steps in between.

We have no reason to live in fear.  Like the small bird pushed from the nest by its very own loving mother. We can embrace that “fall” knowing in full faith that our Father in Heaven has us.}

…So, what kind of loving God does this?... "Evidently one that’s teaching us to trust Him.”