Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Where Are We Going???

Growing up my dad loves to tell the story of how he packed me, my mom and my brothers in a minivan one hot summer in Philadelphia to hit the road somewhere down the highway.  In the beginning it was all fun and games, singing and laughing….until night hit and we were still driving.  Now me and my brothers were really young then and were very inquisitive.  We had about a million questions for my dad like:  “Daddy, where are we going?” “How long until we get there?” and the infamous question: “Are we there yet?”  Each time we asked my dad these questions he’d just smile and say, “You’ll see when we get there.”  Then we’d all let out these big sighs and slam our heads back on the car seats in defeat, still with no real clue of what was going on.  Don’t you just HATE that answer!? Lol  As a kid you’re not very patient and going into a situation where you have no details or any type of hints you get pretty frustrated and anxious about just where the heck it is you are going! Lol  But, at the end of the day we trusted my dad enough to stop questioning him after awhile and just sit back and enjoy the [extremely long] ride.

It felt like we driving in the car for years, all I could see was the sky and trees (partially because I wasn’t tall enough to fully see outside of the window lol) and the many stops we were making. I just wanted to hurry up and get to wherever it was that we were going! Truthfully, it was only by the grace of God my brothers didn’t haul off and kill each other before we reached this “unknown” destination.   We had all just about reached the brink of irritation and were all ready to throw each other out the window......until I peeked my little head over the car window and saw a billboard with a picture of Minnie Mouse as big as day.  My eyes IMMEDIATELY widened and the thrill of excitement began to flood my entire little body as I screamed, “WE’RE GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!!!!!!”  Suddenly the 16 hour car ride didn’t even matter, all of the fighting, all of the frustration, the HEAT didn't even seem to bother us.   We had finally saw where my dad was taking us….and it was worth the long wait!

Man, how relevant is this story in comparison to our relationship with God?  When we decide to let God lead our lives it’s literally handing Him the keys and hopping in the car and having Him drive you to your destination.  Now when we first get started we have all this enthusiasm, all this hope.  In the beginning the possibilities where we see God taking us are endless….until all we start seeing is nothing but the sky and trees.  Then the exciting thrill of the unknown begins to fade away, and we now go into panic mode out of fear that our driver has lost the way.  We begin to question God and say, “Daddy where are we going?” “How long until we get there?” “Are we there yet?” 

If I could be totally transparent, my questions are even worse than that.  I even begin to question myself on if I really even wanted to be a passenger of this Driver at all.  But it’s in those times when we only see the sky and trees that God wants us to just sit back and really trust Him.  He wants us to have enough faith in Him that when He says, “You’ll see when we get there” that’s all we need to know.  But, at the right time, we’ll start seeing those billboards indicating that you’re on your way to Disney World….or wherever that great place is that God is taking you.

Most importantly, don’t forget to pay attention to the details along the way.  You’ll need these landmarks for each road trip that God decides to take you on.  Once God brings you to one destination He’s only training you to sit for longer rides.   But there will be times when you’ll forget how far He’s already brought you.  In those times, use those landmarks in your life to remind you that He’s still in control of your destination, He still knows the way.  Driving to Disney World taught me a huge lesson about being patient in times of uncertainty and lack of direction, but if I’ve already been to Disney World….I can’t even imagine the great, exciting, new places He has in store for my life.


For more reading on trust check out these scriptures:

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

No Fishing!

Have you ever tried to walk forward while looking backwards? Sounds dumb, right?  Well the funny thing is we do this more often than we think. We miss out on the things ahead of us because our eyes are so fixed on the things of the past.

We hold on to past relationships, past opportunities, and one thing i struggle with often: past failures.  I've found myself mentally beating myself up over bad decisions or missed opportunities off  of choices I did or didn't make. I often catch myself going over old history mapping out what I should have done differently, or what if I never went to that particular place at that particular time, etc.  Almost as if all that thinking is going to construct a time machine to take me back and change those things. Instead what it does is cause me to lose sight of all the things I learned from it and where God wants to take me.

A few months ago I was at a place in my life where  I couldn't accept the outcome of  a certain  situation.  I kept going back over it time and time again in my head trying to figure out what went wrong and if it was something I could have done differently, etc. I started praying about it and asking God for direction on how to deal with the situation until finally one day I stumbled across this scripture:

"Forget about what has happened. Don't keep going over old history. Be alert, be present.  I am about to do something brand new...." -Isaiah 43:18-19

Umm I'd say God was pretty clear at that point! Lol There's a reason why some things should be left in the past.  A lot of times we can use past experiences as stepping stones for the next level in our lives...and when that happens it's an amazing feeling!   But sometimes, those other past experiences can be used as weights. For those whose past are more like setbacks then stepping stones, I really encourage you to get to know God more. As you began to know Him better, you'll discover that His love not only forgives, but it forgets.

"God takes our past and throws it into the sea of forgetfulness and puts up a sign that says 'No Fishing!'." -Anonymous

I love that, because it shows how much God doesn't care about your past mistakes or your past failures. He literally forgets them.  Because He loves us that much. So if God who is mere perfection can get over the fact that you've messed up then you need to get over yourself too!

I'll say it again, you can't move forward while looking backwards. Stop clinging on to the past and start getting  in tune with the new direction God wants to take you.
Stop fishing in the sea of your past. Stop catching past problems and past setbacks.  Some things just aren't worth bringing back.  Allow God to do a new thing in your life.

I no longer have my eyes on what has already happened, but I now have them fixed on the great things ahead.  So glad I put up my "No Fishing" sign, and I encourage you to put yours up too. :)


Bible Study:

Isaiah 43:18-19
Philippians 3:13-16

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sometimes I forget...

Okay, let me start off by saying that I am by NO means a poet lol, nor do I write poetry.  But every now and then some of my writings have a more personal feel then the others.  Honestly, I don't even consider this to be a real "poem", but more like me just writing to God. 

Often we let everyday situations and occurrences steal our focus and sometimes we forget to remember God's love, grace, and faithfulness.   I wrote this awhile back after spending some quiet time with Him and the words just kinda flowed.  I recently stumbled back across this and it came at such a timely point for me and who knows it might be timely for someone else too. :)

"Sometimes I Forget"
Sometimes I forget how much I really love You.  I let all of the crazy cares of this life pull me away from our intimate connection and I forget that at the end of the day, all I need is You. 
Sometimes I forget that You have all the answers I am seeking.  Sometimes I forget that You hold the key to my heart and you haven’t allowed it to be exposed to certain people and experiences because you don’t want it to endure unnecessary bruising. 
Sometimes I forget that You’re my priority.  The only one who has always had my best interest at heart at all times.  Sometimes I forget that there will never be another to love me as perfectly as You do.  That despite all the times I wanted so badly to not be like You, and wanted to blend in, You still wanted me. Not even realizing how long You took to carefully make up each intricate detail to design the unique woman You created me to be.  
Sometimes I forget how strategically placed all of the people are in my life.  There’s nothing even remotely subtle about Your goodness.  Sometimes I forget how much I really love You.  You’ve seen me at my weakest moments and You cradled me in Your arms and kissed me on my forehead as You bottled each tear. 
Sometimes I forget how patient You are with me.  How You would leave 99 sheep just to go after the 1 who strayed away.  Well I was once that stray sheep, and You chased after me.  And for that I will never forget. 

You truly are everything to me,

Friday, June 1, 2012

Blue God...

So if you haven't figured it out by now, I love music....REAL music.  Now what I consider to be "real" music is my opinion of course, but I'd like to think I have a pretty good ear. lol :)

The following video is a song by Jessica Reedy titled, "Blue God" in which she describes how God looks at our selfish ways and how sad (blue) it makes Him.  I don't know if I'd go as far to saying that I serve a blue God, but I definitely think this is a very interesting and real perspective of how God looks at sin.  Check out the video and let me know your thoughts!