Do you know that God is ready to pour out his blessings and purposes if we might just listen to him? He wants to bless us. He's waiting to bless us. He will even bless us through the hard things in our life. He is good. He loves us completely. He is with us even if we never wanted him to be. He is our Creator. Our Father. Our kind Papa. Graham Cooke calls him "the kindest person I know." I'm starting to know him like that. It's taken a lifetime for me to be so bold as to tell you how I feel - really feel - about Jesus. I pray it won't take you that long to connect with that true, beautiful, friendship. He's waiting for you with open arms today. He's coming after you in the mire of your life and circumstances. He's ready to hose off the mud, cook you a nourishing meal, even embrace your corny stories. He's there for every moment. He's the best of friends and the most generous of fathers. His love is overwhelming yet not obnoxious or demanding. It's worth our lives - and yet he doesn't even ask for our life for himself, for when we give it to him, he gives it right back to us - only this time with purpose and resource and hope and more freedom than we can imagine.
"If my people would but listen to me...how quickly would I subdue their enemies and turn my hand against their foes!...you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you." Psalm 81:13-16
How have you experienced God in your life?
How do you tap into your calling?
For starters, let me ask you some questions.
What is beautiful to you?
What are you naturally good at?
What skills have you developed?
What are your dreams for your life?
What do others say about your gifts?
What is God saying to you through your dreams, thoughts, other people, His Word?
What is it you want to do? Are you doing that?
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What are your loves?
What was your favorite job?
What do you do that gives you life? What doesn't?
If your life was a picture of your past and present - how would that picture extend to the future?
Your calling is in these answers. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you His thoughts as you answer them. Spend time journaling, praying, but especially listening. God thought of you for eons before you were born. He had thoughts about your life and what He was creating you to do and be. Don't you want to know who you are and why you are? Oh....what a fun journey!
Jeremiah 29:11 - 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."
What do you feel you are called to?
Have you ever found treasures at a rummage sale you would have paid a bunch more for had you seen them elsewhere? Sometimes I think that's how we are with ourselves. We put a small price on our lives and skills that others would look at and value at a much higher price. Today, you are entering a new way of thinking of your life and your identity. You are a valuable, royal child of the Most High God - of infinite value and extraordinarily treasured. Step up - reach higher - see yourself as your wonderful Papa sees you. Beloved, incredibly created, lovely, made for a mighty purpose, thought of before the foundations of this world. You are His dream!
Ephesians 1:4-5 - Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure.
We are really free to pursue all of our dreams; jump over hurdles; take risks; believe God is with us; and truly understand this all because of what Jesus did. Our love for Him is measured out in leading and living the abundant life he paid for. No more striving to become perfect or up to par - or worry that our past negates our future with Him. It's not about what we do to measure up. It's all about what He has already done and continues to do.
Thank you, my friend.
John 15:3 - "You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you."
John 15:13 - "Greater love has no one than this; to lay down one's life for one's friends."
My friend, Crystal, listened to me fret at the kitchen table. I was worried about bills, over the future, over big decisions, over past failures, over future potential. She advised me to ask God about my next assignment and to ask Him if my current assignment was over. She said provision is always attached to our assignment. I know what Crystal said is a truth. It has been true in my past and in the lives of others I know. It will be true again.
I am getting a new assignment as I write this. The provision has not arrived yet, but I am trusting it will. Are you waiting for provision? Ask God if your old assignment is over and, if so, what your new assignment is - and trust the provision will be attached to it as you step into what He has called you to. This takes bravery. It takes risk. I bless you today with a new trust in your spirit; a hope in your heart; a knowing in your mind; and an assurance in your being - for all the goodness ahead for you.
Bad news on two fronts left me ruffled and sad. It was one of those days that I just couldn't climb out of the sadness. I knew better than to stay there. But for that day, I was a goner.
Enter the next day. I was at my doctor's office for my annual physical and, while waiting for the doctor, I received a text from a new friend, Betty.
It said "Would you like to go tubing with me this morning on the Platte River?"
Now Betty had no way of knowing that tubing and rivers are one of my love languages. She and I were rather new acquaintances.
Well, it was just what the doctor SHOULD have ordered! I NEEDED this. I hadn't done it in years. When I asked my friend, as we floated in the sparkling cold water, what made her think of me, she said, "I had invited a few other friends but never heard back. I asked God who I should invite, and you came into my mind."
Three things from my reading and listening have spoken to me today as I ponder some big decisions:1 - Practice taking one thing from my study every day and consider it a personal life word.
2 - Remember that love, life, and relationship are way more important than anything I "do."
3 - I need to ask myself "am I making these decisions from a place of fear or a place of promise?" The "fear" place shouts anxiety, worry, stress, and reminds me of past failures. The "promise" place
speaks words of life, encouragement, destiny and hope.
For me, it has never been about being a perfect writer.
For me, writing is a tool for something greater.
Pictured here are some of my favorite authors I have had the privilege to meet. What sets them apart to me is, their mission was never to be a famous author - but to use the craft of writing to share the messages of their lives - the testimony of God in their lives. Each has honed their craft using language, story, humor, and imagination to help readers understand for themselves the goodness of God. Each has influenced me to be brave in my sharing, and to take risks, trusting God with writing and life. I am very thankful for them and so many other authors who fill my early mornings with hope and inspiration.
I was in my twenties when I realized it was OK to be me. Up until then, I tried so hard to fit into the expectations of those I love. I trusted they really knew me; knew what was best; knew what I should do and how I should act and where I should live and what work I should do.
Rick and I had a musical weekend! Saturday we went to a "Brewgrass Festival" in a popular Denver neighborhood. We enjoyed bluegrass music (our fav) along with thousands of others packed like sardines up close to the stage. Then Sunday, we were shopping for flowers at our local nursery. A fiddle player and drummer were there to entertain shoppers. (Brilliant!) When they played John Lennon's "Imagine," I couldn't help but sing along while picking out my Snapdragons.