Running Out Of Your Comfort Zone

I turned 46 last month.h

More days are in my past, than will probably be in my future.

Now, I might live into my 90s, but probably not. That is a rather sobering thought, actually.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about my life, what I have accomplished, what I’ve done that truly has made a difference, other lives I have touched, and how I’ve influenced my circle of family and friends.

These types of thoughts are nothing new to me. I am what I like to call a “silent thinker”. I ponder much more than I say aloud, not that I don’t talk, because I do. My husband thinks, maybe too much. Overall, I think about things more often than I talk about them.

Writing is my therapy. I am able to get things typed out, process my thoughts, as they flow across my laptop screen. Sometimes, I surprise even myself.

Life is comfortable for me right now. It wasn’t always that way. I am grateful for this time, believe me.

But, I don’t think God allows any of us to stay in our comfort zones for too long.

Not because He doesn’t love us, and wants to scare us, or make us miserable.

Quite the contrary.

He doesn’t allow us to stay there precisely because He does love us……and He made us to be extraordinary.

Maybe not extraordinary by this world’s standards, but most definitely by His.

I have consciously said, “yes” to God more than once. Yes, to whatever His desires are for me. His plans, His ways, His choice.

At times when I really take a moment to consider this I get a bit nervous…that the God of the universe has my number.

I consider taking my yes back, but I don’t.

I am reminded of His great and everlasting love for me. I allow that thought to comfort me.

God has a plan. A perfect plan. We all have a part in His plan. Sometimes I wish He would fill me in on things a bit more than He does, but, really, it is not about me or what I want. It is about what He wants.

This whole life is for His glory alone.

In all honesty, I don’t know the plan. I don’t know what lays ahead for me, and that is okay.

God is good and He will show me, one day at a time.

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This post was inspired by a story I read today. A runner. A world traveler. A woman whose eyes were opened to a new life. You can read all about it, here.

 

 

God Had Not Forgotten

A blended family. Favoritism. Half brothers that hated him.  IMG_0253

Dreams and foreshadowing.

Anger, resentment, jealousy…murderous thoughts, leading to a pit.

An empty cistern, and much emptier souls. Pits of despair. Regret.

Slavery. Prison. Interpretation.

In a foreign land, far away…with people that were not his own.

Did he ever wonder if God had forgotten him? Had the God of his fathers turned His back on him?

God had not forgotten Joseph.

Not in the pit. Not in a foreign land. Not in prison. Not when falsely accused.

Not as a leader, second only to Pharaoh himself.

Not ever.

God sent him ahead. To save his people.

But Joseph said to them (his brothers), “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives…..” Genesis 50:19-20  NIV

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Have you ever felt forgotten? Wondered why this thing was happening to you?

I know that I am, many times, short sighted. I cannot see the whole picture. I easily become frustrated and confused.

Why me?!

I want the plan laid out, not left out.

I want comfort, not confusion.

I need details, not doubt.

I stamp my feet, and shake my fist and demand an answer that I can understand.

But, if I could understand God’s plan, wouldn’t that make God small?  Wouldn’t that be putting God in a box? And if that is the case, He wouldn’t be much of a God would he? Do I really want that? Ultimately, I am thankful God is sovereign and in control and His plans are always perfect.

And God says to me….

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart……” Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV

 

 

 

Whitespace

Cloudy sky

Image via Wikipedia

Today, for the Faith Barista Jam, we are talking about whitespace…. that place where we meet with God.

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This is a subject I’m not sure how to write about…. I seriously considered not writing anything today. I have been very restless lately and I don’t know how to make it any better.

Three separate opportunities. Three separate times God has closed the door on those opportunities.

Now what?

I’ve tried different things, looking for my niche’, and just can’t put my finger on it…..except to say that it just isn’t there.

And I don’t know why.

I am most definitely in a limbo state now. I find myself asking God what His plan is? Surely, there is a plan for me.

I am impatient.

I read about trust and perspective… How God is sovereign and He has everything under control.

I know that. I believe that.

And yet….

My struggle is in the waiting, which brings me back to trust.

Trust. A five letter word. A relatively small word, yet carries such a huge meaning.

And so, during my “whitespace” I draw close to God. Yes, I question. Yes, I get frustrated.

But, He hears me.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13  NIV

So I wait…and trust…and for now that is enough.

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Do I Want To Change The Story?

Photo of TomTom Go 500

Image via Wikipedia

I have mentioned that I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. After going through the first chapter, and discussing it with the book club, here are some of my insights.

Even if you haven’t read the book, I’m sure you can relate.

(pg. 14) “Does God really love me? If He truly, deeply loves me, why does He withhold that which I believe will fully nourish me? Why do I live in this sense of rejection, of less than, of pain? Does He not want me to be happy?

I admit I have that thought sometimes. On days that I presume that I know so much more than God, I’m sure that my plan will work. If He would only allow me to have my way, everything would work out for me. I would live happily ever after. Doesn’t He love me enough to let me do this on my own? Why can’t He just let me? Doesn’t He want me to be happy?

In my mind I have it figured out, but….in my heart I don’t really feel it. My heart knows that I am not capable of writing my own story. I am the same one who is scared of mice, burns toast, and is directionally challenged. I can’t handle the most basic things of life and I know I am helpless to even try with the harder things. I fail. Without Him, I fail. Every. Single. Time.

And yet, I still want the control. The ability to run my story, my way. I want to stamp my life with, I CAN. I WILL. I KNOW. I DID. I want to be in the driver’s seat of my own destiny. My life map spread out before me. MY voice, the one giving directions through the GPS of my story.

My hubris knows no bounds.

(pg. 15) “Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren’t satisfied in God and what He gives. We hunger for something more, something other.

If I’m completely honest with myself. Really honest…isn’t that how I feel? How about you?

The life we live, is hardly the life we planned. We wonder if there isn’t something more in the 24 hours a day? When years turn into decades, do we look back with gratitude? Or grief?Peace or regret?

(pg. 21) As Mrs. Voskamp tells the story of her brother-in-law, a man and his wife that lost two of their young sons to a genetic disease. She struggled with her nephew’s deaths. She told this grieving father, if it were up to her….she would write the story differently. He replied, “Just that maybe…maybe you don’t want to change the story, because you don’t know what a different ending holds.”

It’s true. I don’t know what the ending holds.

God does. He knows.

I could attempt my own story. I could fight. I could scratch and claw my way through life. Constantly grabbing back, what I feel is mine to have. Wishing…screaming….for things to be different.

If I do that, I will miss the things. The small things. The every day things. The things that bring joy. If my eyes are riveted, by pride, to all I do not have, I will completely miss all that I do have. I will miss all the ways that God has said yes to me. There is peace and joy in the every day…if I deliberately take the time to see it. And thank God for it.