Lost with a Map

We’d been there for several days already but I hadn’t yet driven by myself. Until now. I had stayed behind with my youngest so he could nap. Everyone else had gone over to Uncle Jim’s for a football party. The quiet was soothing and as soon as my infant woke I planned to venture out to find a Target.

When the car was finally loaded with all the essentials, you know – diapers, sippy cup and extra snacks, we backed out the driveway and made our way out of the neighborhood to the stop light. As I sat there waiting for traffic to clear I realized… I have no idea where I am. I mean, I knew what city and street I was on and knew that Grandma’s house was behind me. But I had absolutely no clue what direction I was facing and had no bearings what so ever.

I wasn’t lost. But I didn’t know where I was.

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You see, I live on the east side of the Rocky Mountains. (If you’ve never been here- you need to come. It. is. Gorgeous. I might be biased, yes, but I am no liar.) Here, directions are as easy as looking out your window or in your rearview mirror. If you can see the mountains you will always know which direction is West. If you know west, you can figure out the rest. It is like having a constant compass.

When sitting at that stop light in the midst of a midwest town I could not see mountains anywhere. But what’s crazy, even though I found my way to Target and back again just fine, I could not shake the subtle panic lurking beneath my calm surface. I may have been moving but I had no orientation and it was unnerving.

There is a profound difference between following directions and knowing where you are and where you are going. One is conditional on variables while the other is an assured credence.

That same feeling creeps up through my bones when I find myself wandering into foreign territory without the Holy Spirit. I may know the rule book, but it gets unsettling when the detours of life aren’t exactly spelled out on the map.

The Holy Spirit is something we take for granted until we find ourselves in the middle of a situation with no bearing on the truth. All of a sudden we are overwhelmed with feelings of uncertainty and our sight narrows with panic, our soul is trapped with fear.

When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13

The Bible says that when you know the truth, the truth will set you free. Truth is an assurance, it is your bearing on life and in it you will find freedom. Even in the middle of murky circumstances you can walk forward knowing who you are, where you are and where you are going.

He is the whisper behind me when I listen to a friend suffering unimaginable loss.

He is the light bulb of creativity when I have no other means of getting a message of discipline to my floundering preschooler.

He is the source of my silence when I want to shout at my husband.

He is the hand on my back when I face a history of pain with courage.

He is the Word, alive and active in my early morning quiet, my midday chaos and my evening rituals.

Like the mountains, He is a steady source found within a simple glance. Just look up. Lean in. Let Him bring truth alive.

 

Hey Loves, Just a quick housekeeping note… Remember that give away I mentioned last week… YEP today is THE DAY!! I thought it would be fun to video it (cause, I’m a little addicted to video blogs…) so I need do my hair first. (grin). I will post on the Faith2Shine Facebook page a bit later today. Click this Link and Come hang with me there. 

And we are linking up with Meredith Bernard, Holley Gerth and Jennifer Dukes Lee today! The have some great gatherings of writers, if you’re looking for some extra encouragement, inspiration or just a great smile go check them out!

Sunday Selah

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I made my way to the back of the room, not fully sure what to expect. Children began pouring in from both sides of the split entry, some filling the empty space in front, some filling the only three rows of chairs. The chatter of playground stories filled the air, humming a buzz of youthful excitement.

The worship team filed out of the back room and made their way up to the stage. I didn’t catch his eye, but he certainly captured my heart. I don’t know what it is about watching your children participate in something other than arithmetic and spelling, but it is addictive. After a few announcements and Birthday cheers the lights dimmed and the song words projected out onto the screen. My eyes rested on this young man in yellow, the one holding his brand new guitar. As the music opened he began strumming right along in the dance of notes. He wasn’t changing chords like the other guitarist, but he was pouring out an offering of beautiful music to the heavens.

My heart broke open in humble adoration. He loves Jesus and it doesn’t phase him at all to stand on a stage in front of peers and worship with abandon. He hasn’t had any formal lessons, and certainly doesn’t have finger placement memorized. He hasn’t yet learned to read music or even to recognize the specific chords for the playlist. But he worshiped with his guitar and a heart wide open with love for a Savior who doesn’t care at all about skill. My son worshiped God with all that he had, and that really was all that mattered. It blessed the heavens to listen to his simple strums and it moved this momma to complete tears of humility.

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Lord, make me like that. Teach me to care less about the presentation of my gift and more about the One whom I giving my gift to. I write, I worship, for You and You alone. Skill and expertise don’t matter in Your throne room, just an abandoned heart poured out in praise.

“I will sing to the Lord all my life, I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to him as I rejoice in the Lord.”  Psalm 104:33

A Renewed Dream

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The dust still lingers in my nose. It was a beautiful May day, the sun warming the air with every ray, stretching out across the land with a reach of glory. Nerves were building in my belly but that’s ok, I had dreamt of this day my whole little life. A whole life of 13 years. This horse my instructor had chosen for me was one of my favorites. His personality filled the practice arena with humorous antics and those stout legs of his held me high in the air. I am fairly certain he loved the wind in his hair just as much as I did.

This would be my very first Equestrian Show. Everything about the day had danced in my dreams for so long. When it was my turn we sauntered over to the starting line and paused to take in the moment. The fence was lined with parents and spectators. Somewhere in the crowd was my mom, and a group of judges. And somewhere in the next handful of minutes rested the fate of my dream. 

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I kicked my heels, prodding this beautiful beast forward. We trotted steadily towards that first jump, bounding in rhythm. As we approached, the horse laid his ears back and abruptly jerked to the left, refusing the jump. As the air left my lungs I circled back and tried again. “It’s ok” I thought, we got this.

We trotted forward towards the white and yellow bars and I prayed no one saw that last attempt, hoping they’d all gone to get a soda. “Right hoof. Left hoof. Right hoof. One, breathe, two, eyes up.” And then abruptly he jerked to the left, again.

Here is where I crumbled. With two refusals I wouldn’t have enough points to even score, let alone place. I trotted over to my instructor who refused to let me hide, she told me to go try again, and finish the course, despite my humiliation. Which I did. But at the end of the day, I put the saddle on the peg and loaded my boots and helmet into the trunk with a broken heart pierced with the lie that I wasn’t worthy of a dream. I was crushed under the false perception that I wasn’t capable of achieving success.

And I carried that lie for the next two decades, allowing it to consume every dream at every hint of failure.

To read more of the redemption of my dreams come with me over to Abby McDonald’s table, we are discussing the power of redemption!

Breaking Free {A Videoblog and a Give-away}

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The plane landed and what had been all in black and white ink suddenly became skin to hug and a voice to hear. An answer to many years of prayer. But it was so much more, it was witnessing the birth of a vision and the culmination of countless hours of sacrifice. It was beautiful to witness. It was glorious to see it break free!

Check out the video below for details on how to win a FREE copy of Stronghold: The Secrets Beyond the Wall.

 

 

Remade Ministries is based in Vacaville, California and you can find their website here.

Discover more about the Book and Author here.

Purchase it through Amazon here.

Sunday Selah

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I had the distinct honor this weekend of watching a dear friend send her book baby out into the big wide world. It was laborious up to the very last moment, but let me tell you… that moment was glory filled. Each seat yesterday was filled with someone looking for hope, looking for breakthrough and God met them there.

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Watching each seat fill, listening to words exchanged and then seeing lines to purchase her book sent tears to the brims of my eyes on more than one occasion. I have watched Beth and her team sweat, bleed and cry for this day. I sat with them in hunched over, broken prayer. Their long nights and hectic days all lead up to this one, beautiful day.

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Remade Minsitries Team and Beth Kinder I am so very proud of you. You have served God with your absolute very best and it has inspired me, humbled me and blessed me beyond words.

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He turns a deseret into a pool of water, dry land into springs of water. He causes the hungry to settle there, and they establish a city where they can live. They sow fields and plant vineyards that yield a fruitful harvest. He blessed them, and they multiply greatly; He does not let their livestock decrease. Psalm 107:35-38 

 

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