Monday, September 26, 2016

All Things Must Come to an End

It is rather bittersweet, writing this.... All my sweet followers (if you do indeed still follow this little blog) I thank you for your years of reading. It has been fun. Almost 10 years of writing on this dear little speck in the blogging world. Unknown to many, but known to the few that have been faithful in reading.....

Ok, enough of the sentimentality. Yes, things do come to an end. Yes, I'm ending this little blog. Well, not ending, I guess... but this leaf I'm closing. Getting a knew one... however that saying goes.

Through The Lilac Bushes blog has been a lifesaver over the years. It has helped me write out thoughts on so many things -life issues, biblical standpoints, randomness, etc. Its been good. However, my life is carrying me onto a  new adventure.

1) I'm starting a new blog.

Yes, I could have just updated this like I originally planned... but then I got to thinking and I decided, I think I need something entirely new. Totally fresh. I need this new start. Sounds insane to some, but to me it made sense.

2) It's still very similar to this blog

yes, I'm going to still be around on this vast internet world. In my little corner... but a new corner. And yes, I'll still be me. This is just the 'new me', to some degree. I still want to blog about life, deep thoughts, adventures I go on, etc.

3) It's not on blogger

Yes, indeed, this new blog is over on WordPress! Again, back to the 'new me thing'.  I needed something absolutely different and fresh. I'm super excited about it and the plans I have! Who knows how many years this little guy will see me through! Hopefully many.

So, farewell to this sweet blog. It's been a grand ol' time. I look forward to still perusing back through you every now and again. Probably do some old links back and forth. (so yeah, not deleting you entirely just yet).

Now. Come visit me at the new place! I'm excited to show you around. =)

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The Woman

She may not seem like much at first glance. A passerby might think she was shy or stand offish. A friend would know better, but a sister knows it best.

She keeps to herself mostly, sharing her radiant smile with those she trusts and loves most. She does not use words in a flippant manner, but speaks carefully, weighing each thought before actually speaking it.

She isn't the life of the party and doesn't 'entertain the crowd'. This doesn't mean she's boring. Far from it! Inside the depths of her quiet soul contains a vast knowledge of her surroundings. She sits, quietly, observing those around her. She picks up on the slightest thing, things most people wouldn't even think twice about.

Though she is quiet it doesn't mean she is passionless. No, indeed, a deep and burning passion flares brightly in her chest, but only those close to her have the honor to hear her deepest thoughts. Like a treasure trove she does not let just anyone in. Those that think they know her may be assuming wrong for there is always some other hidden gem they have yet to discover.

She continually surprises those around her with these little jewels.

So, she may sit quietly at first, observing and thinking, processing every little thing that comes her way, but once you have gained the trust of this wise soul, you will see the most beautiful thing.

A smile that warms the soul. A compassionate heart that aches, yearns, and loves more deeply than most. A wit unmatched, a quiet wisdom, a bit of sarcasm.

In the dark of night, when true hearts come forth and the sharing of sorrows and secrets commence, her wise self gently encourages and guides those who need it and are willing to listen.

So deep is the cavern of her soul, so magical this treasure of hers that one could get lost just trying to understand it all.

Who can fully understand the workings of this amazing creature. Not I, even though I be the closest thing to her. I feel as though I have barely chipped away at the smallest of diamond rocks in this vast personality.

I sit back and admire, though, wishing I could be more like her. To be as wise and as understanding, for sometimes she can understand me better than I know myself. Perhaps, just perhaps, by more observation on my side, I will come to pick up some ways on how to be more like her. She is one of my heroes. She is my sister.

Many know so little and yet think they know so much. But there is not another person I know who is so caring, so passionate, so loving, so perceptive, so tender, so amazing. Her life has touched so many in so many important ways, sometimes without them actually knowing what she has done. So quiet is she in her helping of others. Yet even complete strangers feel as if they can simply open up and tell her their tale.

Yes, she is my sister. She is an amazing woman. A mysterious woman. I am lucky to be so close that I'm able to glimpse her beautiful soul. For once you get to know a little bit of her, you find yourself wishing you could find out more and wishing you could spend more time around her. Just being around her is wonderful.

So don't pass by the woman who sits quietly, observing those around her with a glint in her eye and slight curve to her lip. The best treasure is worth searching for and taking the time to find.

A tribute to my amazing sister on her birthday. I love you so much, sis!! This little thingy doesn't really do you justice. You're an amazing person and I'm so blessed to call you sister. I honestly don't know what I would do without you by my side. Don't ever forget what an amazing and beautiful person you are. Love you!!!

*All photography credit goes to Mosey Photography


Thursday, December 10, 2015

When His Grace is Sufficient

Too often I try to be a perfect little Christian. You know, the kind where we always put on a face, no matter how we're feeling. We had to give such a perfect image... or at least, that's what we feel like we have to do. Yet, day by day, I fail miserably at this formidable task. Look happy when I'm as low as dirt?  Try to make others feel good when I myself am crying from all the pain on the inside?

Let's try to be realistic about this for just a moment. We feel this pressure that, as Christians, we have this higher standard to uphold. That suddenly, being sinners saved by Grace, we now have to act like saved by Grace people and throw that sinner part in the wind. Oh wait, I just remembered... we can't.  We're sinners. Period. Before we were saved by Christ's blood, we were sinners. After we were saved by Christ's blood, we're still sinners.

Yes, we are covered and our names are in the lamb's book of life, but the point is, we're still sinners.  I don't know about you, but I'm rather weary of trying to pretend I'm something that I'm not.  I can't continue going on, day by day, pretending that all is well with me when it isn't. Yes, we are called to a higher standard now of living, but that doesn't mean that we won't sometimes stumble... and when we do, we experience that grace and mercy all over again. Why do you think there are so many verses TO CHRISTIANS in the bible talking about God's mercies are new every morning or turning away from our wicked ways?  It's because God KNEW we would continue to fall into sin. He knew it from the beginning of creation, before we were even brought into existence.

Just recently I experienced one of my 'down moods'. You know, the ones where everything just kinda hits you like a train? All those emotions go flooding through your mind and you feel as if you're going to drown in it all. Unfortunately, I was at a party... not a great place to suddenly have a 'break down', for lack of better words. But hey, gotta get hit at the most inopportune times, right? 

Thankfully, one of my 'Titus 2 women' noticed and helped me get away. We snuck back to her room and we talked. She encouraged and lifted me up when I needed it most... but the thing she said to me that stuck the most was that 'God can handle all of your big emotions'.  See, I was feeling guilty, yes, guilty, for being so emotional. What was wrong with me anyway? Everyone else was having a grand ol' time and I was ruining it by letting my emotions come into play. Of course, I didn't ruin anyone's day and everyone had a wonderful time, thankfully.  But it was good for me to be reminded of that simple fact; that God can handle my big emotions.

Too often I forget the whole point of my relationship with Christ. Sometimes I start viewing it as a 'Father up in Heaven.... who looks down at us'.... but I kind of forget that whole 'Father' part... I mean, when I have a problem, I love talking to my dad about it. Why? Because he's so full of wisdom and good advice... so why do I forget that my Father in Heaven is the same way and just as approachable as my father on earth?  Because as soon as I forget that, everything else comes crashing in.

Thoughts of doubt fill my head, I start feeling like a failure. All these problems start rising up, so I put more burdens on my shoulders. I try to carry it all and when my knees finally buckle under the crushing weight, I blame myself and feel guilty for not being joyful about it and putting on a face.

It's like we forgot that relationship with Christ. He is the one Who wants to carry our burdens for us. Yet somehow we feel like we have to do it all ourselves. And here's why, for me anyway, I think I do it.  I feel like it's  a 'proving myself good enough' kind of thing. Like, I can handle it because 'I'm a good Christian and I know how to deal with all this junk'.... but apparently, I don't. Because the way we're supposed to handle that junk, as Christians, is to give it to God.   We're not supposed to try holding it all ourselves. We can't. We physically, emotionally, and mentally can't truly handle all of it. And God knew that. Again, He gives us mercy and tells us that He knows we can't handle it and what we need to do is to give it to Him because He can.

Yet again, however, we do this thing of turning our backs on that offer. We don't need His help. We can handle it because, after all, I've got God... oh wait...

So I stop and think for a moment and realize just how silly I'm being. Here I talk about the fact that 'I'm just a sinner who's been saved by Grace' and yet I act like I was just 'saved by Grace' as if I didn't have anything to be saved from, really. As if I'm perfect and I live a happy and wonderful life because if I dare to say anything to the contrary, I'll be snapped at.

But who are these 'people' we fear are snapping at us? Who do we fear to be judged by? Other Christians? Just people in general? And yet, they are the one thing that we shouldn't worry about at all. Because we don't need their approval ratings. We only need God's. Yet time and time again I find myself wondering if people are going to approve of this action or that. If people will think I'm lame because I did this or that. Or if I will lose my witness because I've crumbled under the weight of my burdens.

Then those words come running back through my mind.... "God is big enough to handle it all."

Why do I keep trying to be perfect when I already know it's impossible? It's like trying to put toothpaste back in the tube... it ain't happin'.

However, there is a standard to live by. But the wonderful thing is that, though we have instructions on how we now need to live our lives and grow in Christ, we still have the verses that remind us of God's mercy. He knows it's a journey, one that lasts a lifetime. As we walk along our path, there will be days when we are solid and tight. But there will also be days when the pain and grief that surround us come crashing in over our walls and we have to learn to let go.  We just have to close our eyes, hold out our hands and let God rescue us.

Stop listening to the lies about how we have to be perfect. Because, as my Titus 2 woman friend also reminded me, if we were perfect, there would be no room for God. No need for Him. And that is actually a very sad thought. I can't imagine my life without Christ. He is my everything, but that doesn't mean that I'm not also human and a sinner and I will still fail on my quest to become like Him. Sometimes I just have to let His grace be sufficient for me. I have to stop holding on and just be held, broken as I may be. He will hold me together if I let Him.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

I'm Going on An Adventure!

It feels like summer to me. Granted it hasn't officially started by a calendar's standards.. but who *really* goes by that, anyway?

Summer is one of my favorite times of year. Which is funny.. because I think I say that about each season.. well, except for Spring. But that's only because it's always terribly windy here in the Spring, so it's not very enjoyable. =P

But I absolutely adore summer. Really do. For some reason it brings back very sweet memories. A certain smell or view... it just is wonderful. Hard to describe, but I have a feeling most everyone will get it. ;-)

The other thing about summer is that it seems to be the time to really get out and do stuff. That's the time you're the most free somehow.

Well, I had a ton of exciting stuff just land in my lap recently. Well, almost in my lap. ;-) First off, I had an opportunity to go and be a seamstress on a big movie set. I was ecstatic about that one. How cool would that be?!? I mean sewing costumes with a huge budget? Um yes please!! However, as I dug deeper into what would be required for it, I found out there were some things I really didn't want to get in to. So, that door got shut. But I have to say I was still pretty thankful for it, because it was a pretty obvious door. Sometimes they are hard to tell apart from 'obstacles' that you need to over come.

The other super exciting opportunity I've got coming up is actually acting with a big local theater. Albuquerque Little Theater. Some might know it because that's where Don Knotts and Vivian Vance (Ethel Mertz in the "I  Love Lucy" show) started out. So it's pretty big. I've seen a couple plays there and they are outstanding. And now, I finally have the opportunity to go and audition. Don't know yet if I'll get in, but hey, just being able to try out will be amazing!

And so all this has gotten me to thinking... all these amazing things that are happening right now.

I know a lot of my followers are single young ladies. Perhaps some of you are waiting for 'Mr. Right' to come along and sweep you off your feet. Others might not be waiting for that so much, but maybe waiting on some other big event to happen.

Well, with all these things going on, plus seeing so many people getting married or engaged, it's made me realize how extremely precious and unique my time as a single person is.

I'll say first that I know being married is a wonderful and marvelous thing. A visual picture of our relationship with Christ as His bride. So I'm not saying that its bad in the least- just sayin' that now.

But to go on from there.... our time as a single is truly amazing. You are, essentially, very free. I realize you might have a job or other commitments, yes. But if you really think about it, you're pretty much on your own.

And then you realize.. you have got all your resources available for something really important. You're not spending them on huge grocery bills for a growing family, or paying for your kid's clothing, doctors, etc. (again, those are definitely a *blessing* when you have them!). Instead, they are all there for your use. And you can use them for something really important.

Serving God.

Honestly, there is no greater calling on earth for a follower of Christ than to serve Him. Whether it be by serving Him in the home raising a family that follows in His footsteps, or you're out on the mission field.

However, as you look at the different stages of life, there are some things that are easier to do while you're single. For one thing, if you felt called to go on an extended missions trip to another country, or even just out of town, you'd be able to, essentially, pack up and leave. You wouldn't need to worry about making sure it was going to work out for your family and husband, or anything. You could just go. You could volunteer some place that takes up all your free evenings. You can go and bless mothers with baby sitting or regular nannying.

There are seriously a lot of things you can do.. yet, sadly, I see a lot of young ladies who are simply pining away for the day prince charming will arrive. Now, don't get me wrong, I've prayed for that day, too. But the thing is, I've come to realize that, you know what, that day may never come. Do I want to waste my *entire* life waiting and pining for something when I could have just been *living* my life? And better still, living it for Christ??

Statistically, not everyone is going to get married. So right there I know there's a big chance I may never get married. Yes, I'd like to some day if God brings it all together like I know He will when it's that stage of His plan. But until that happens or until I die, I want to live my life out to its fullest extent. God gave me this wonderful, amazing, and beautiful life.

Why waste it?

Thursday, May 21, 2015

What Am I Thinking?!?

Wow. It has been an extremely long time since I've been over here.... Shameful, really. Especially since I have so much going on. So much to talk about. So much to share. Which is actually funny... I've written up several posts.. I just haven't posted them. =P Maybe I should do that... huh.

But here I am, anyway. This shall be a rambling post. Maybe do a few lists or something. Yeah. Let's do that.

1) I've been really busy (in case you couldn't tell from the lack of posts). But surprisingly, I haven't been as busy and some might think. Yes, I live a life and that right there is chaotic and messy and beautiful. Yet there are so many other things that play into that.

2) We've been in an extremely busy time of year for the ranch. Working cows every. single. night. That gets rather exhausting and leaves little energy for other fun things (like blogging). However, we are finishing up this week and then we'll have a big working weekend and be done! YAY! I love the ranch seasons, but when they are almost done, I'm definitely ready for them to be!

3) I've still go my nanny jobs. I love them because they fit me so well. But they've also grown me in ways I never would have imagined. There are some days I come home just exhausted, wondering why I'm doing this in the first place... and then I remember that those momma's, well they get this every single day. And me coming in once a day gives them a bit of a break. A rest. And that makes it worth it. Oh, not to mention the ADORABLE cuties I get to watch.. hah! Or those bittersweet moments when the littlest one is finally old enough to pronounce your name correctly.... or when your heart melts because the one child that doesn't express emotions very often tells you he loves you. All those moments are so beautiful. So precious. It makes every single day that I'm working so worth it. It also makes me look forward to a time when maybe God will bless me with my own children someday. And I can look forward to those same things.

4) I've been taking a web design class! HTML And CSS. Boy it has been an adventure! Lots of learning, lots of crying, and definitely lots of frustrating moments. But that, too, has also been good. I find that if I'm not learning something... well, it's just not a great place to be. We should always be learning, growing, improving somehow. I wanted to do web design. So when I found out from a friend about these Christian guys that teach IT stuff online, I had to check it out. After doing some praying and thinking, I signed up for the class. Needless to say, my family is rather excited... course not because I'm doing this, exactly, but because when I'm done, I'll be able to design websites for them. Ranch website, sister's photography site.. lol! But hey, it will give me that much needed practice.

5) I have recently been presented a very exciting opportunity. Only problem is, I don't know if it will actually happen. So I don't want to say anything yet. But I would appreciate your prayers! Mainly that if God has this in store for me, He will open up all the doors for it and guide me through. And that I will listen well. ;-) But it is just SO very exciting... I honestly don't think I can survive the excitement! ok, ok. being a bit dramatic, I know....

6) I have realized that it is time to move on from acting in my beloved ABC drama group. This is extremely bittersweet. It has been so very fabulous working with everyone and acting and being a part of every production (not just on stage, but back stage, too). And now, I say au revoir. Granted, I won't totally drop them like an old shoe completely, but my acting days are over with them. This is very sad. I really don't like this side of the 'growing up' thing. However, I'm still looking forward to participating in ways like stepping up as assistant director or taking over costuming full time, or helping with props, etc. However, the sweet part out of all this is that now I maybe have some time to start pursuing some different adult theaters. There are a couple that are somewhat local and I look forward to possibly participating in some of their plays. We'll see what the Lord has planned!

7) I feel like I have recently been pushed into a growing season. These are very good, typically. It means you're maturing more, growing more, etc. The only problem is that they are really hard to go through! The end result might be great... but the journey is hard. And then, of course, there's the realization that there is never an end to the journey. It continues on until you die. That then puts you in a rather sullen mood, on some days. Other days it doesn't bother you one bit and you are ready to face the challenges ahead. I am, however, finding myself hitting the 'low point'. The point where I start wondering what in the world I'm doing. Where I wonder if I'm messing up God's plan or if I really am just following Him blindly, trusting that He'll lead me... Of course, I know He'll lead me.. it's just my interpretation of His directions that I worry about. Because, after all, I am human. *sigh*. Gotta love this thing called growing up, right? At least I have an amazing prayer support network of family and friends who keep me covered daily. =)

And there's a nice wrap up to a much needed post. Maybe not much needed for my readers because, honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you'd abandoned me at this point.. But it's much needed for me. I've decided this blog is like my 'therapy', if I actually need it. A place other than a quick face book post to really share my thoughts. That being said, after having been burnt out a little bit back with my writing endeavors, I now find myself willing and ready to jump in again. I may never accomplish the large novel I want to complete or publish any more books.. but if I'm just writing on here, even if no one reads it, I still feel as if I've done something. For myself, maybe, but it's hard to hold back when the urge to write something pops up almost constantly in the day.

So, all that being said, it feels good to be back. To be home again.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"My Lord, I have failed you..."

(This is originally from my writing blog, but I wanted to share it here, too)

Sir Hawthorn waited outside the King's chamber. He was nervous, which was unusual. On a normal day while visiting his King, he felt at peace, happy, and in awe to be in the presence of such a King as he had the pleasure of serving. But today... today was different. He had no happy tidings to bring, no questions or requests that needed answering. Today he was only to give an account of the recent quest he had returned from. 

"The King will see you now," the page announced. Sir Hawthorn jumped slightly, being drawn out of his reverie rather suddenly. He stood, nodded, straightened his uniform, and followed the page's lead. He tried to calm the nervous butterflies in his stomach, but to no avail. How was one supposed to even prepare for such a task as this?

As he entered his King's chamber, he took a deep breath and kept his eyes on the ground. He could not bring himself to look upon his King's majesty. Not like this. 

"Sir Hawthorn! My faithful servant, how are you?" The King exclaimed, coming down from the throne and extending his arms for a warm embrace. Sir Hawthorn ducked his head in a quick salute, but stepped back quickly to evade the embrace.

"My Lord, you will not think so highly of me once you have heard my news," Sir Hawthorn, eyes still lowered, willed his voice not to tremble. He had gotten the first part out. Now to just tell the news.

"What is it, my son? You do not need to fear telling me anything. Come, sit and talk," The King motioned to two chairs by a table. Sir Hawthorn reluctantly followed and took a seat beside his King. He felt ashamed to be sitting so near to Him. 

"Now tell me, what is it that troubles you?" the King asked, in a gentle voice. 

Sir Hawthorn did his best to keep the tears from rolling down his face, yet one escaped and slowly made a trail down his cheek. "I have failed you, my Lord. Yes, I have failed you," the last words were barely whispered.

"Ah, I see..... I believe I know what you are talking about," the King answered, slowly. 

"What? But how could you? I've only just returned," Sir Hawthorn replied, confused.

"Yes, that is so. But I still know. You feel you have failed because your recent quest failed. Is this correct?" 

Sir Hawthorn stared at the King for a moment, surprised. "Yes... yes, this is so," 

The King smiled sadly at Sir Hawthorn. "My son, you did not fail me. Not in the way you think. Your quest failed because it was a quest of your own making. I did not send you on the quest and you did not even seek my permission,"

"But I saw a need, Sire, and my desire to serve this need was great!" Sir Hawthorn argued.

"Indeed! I saw it was so. But still, this quest was not of my making and therefore, you feel as if you have failed because your quest did not end as planned."

Sir Hawthorn sat quietly, realizing his King's words were true indeed. 

"My son, did you receive my letter for the quest that I would have had you go on?"

"Yes," Sir Hawthorn replied quietly, once again looking at the ground in shame.

"And did you receive them before, or during your own quest?"

"Once before, sire, and once during," Sir Hawthorn replied, beginning to realize where this was going.

"Indeed, it was so. I knew you had gone on a quest of your own. I knew you were thinking of going on this quest before you even went! This was why I sent you the instructions for mine. And when you still left for your own, I sent you instructions once more, in hopes that you would listen and return home."

"But, my Lord, I felt that there was greater need for my quest. That it was more... important."

The King smiled sadly and looked into Sir Hawthorn's eyes. "And that, my son, is where you are very wrong. No quest of mine is too great or too small for the one I have given it to. You need only listen and fulfill that quest as best you are able in order to please me. I cannot make you go on the quests I send you. I do not want to make you. I wish for you to serve me with your whole heart and willingly because you choose to do so," 

"Yes, my Lord," Sir Hawthorn replied. "But the fact remains, that I *have* failed you,"

"Nay, that is not so. My quest is still standing. It still needs to be done. And there is time to complete it."

"But, my Lord.... I feel.. I feel as if I am not able to complete it. Not without your help," 

The King smiled and took Sir Hawthorn's hand. "And my help I will certainly give you, my son. You need only ask and I shall be by your side," 

Sir Hawthorn smiled and bowed his head, "Then I have only to receive Your instructions once again, my Lord, and I shall go on Your quest."

Have you ever felt like you 'failed' the Lord? Like He had given you a task to do, but somehow that task got lost among the many other 'bigger' things you could be doing?

I know I've had it. Many, many times. In fact, I had it just recently. The sense of failure. The knowing that I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing.

See, as a writer, we sometimes get stuck in this sense of 'must be doing, must be doing'. And we're finding out what the most popular genre is at the moment so we can write some epic and amazing novel to put out there on the shelves of millions of book stores around the world. We start losing track of what our main goal is.

My most recent one was NaNoWriMo. I've written before about why I love this contest, so I won't repeat it again. But I was ready to participate and win and write a novel that I would publish and would become New York's Best seller, etc, etc, etc.  But I had something missing in my plan. A really big thing; God. I didn't have God in any of these plans. Sure I sort of halfheartedly prayed that God would give me inspiration and guidance on how to write this novel, but I wasn't focused on serving Him in it. I was focused on serving myself. I was tired of only being known as a 'children's author'. I wanted to write something my friends would read and actually enjoy. I wanted to write something that would become popular and talked about. I, I, I, I..... it's all about self.

So one evening, while driving home from work, I turned on the radio and heard a song. I don't remember what it was called or who it was by. But I do remember this... it was talking about "less of me, more of You, that who I want to be,". And the words struck a chord in my heart as I realized, "Lord, I have failed you. You gave me a task. A task that I thought was too small and not big enough. I got caught up in what the World thought of me instead of seeking You on a daily basis,". I started crying. Because you know what? This wasn't the first time I'd made that mistake. No, sir. I wish it was, but it wasn't.

As I cried, asking the Lord for forgiveness. And as I prayed, He said to me, "You haven't failed. Do the task that I already gave you and seek Me on it."

And so, feeling renewed again to go about my task, I began afresh. And isn't that wonderful that we can do that? That the Lord's mercies are new EVERY morning? It's beautiful and humbling.

So I 'failed' NaNoWriMo. I didn't get in a word count. I didn't get very far in my story. But I learned something far more valuable from it than I could have ever learned on my own. I may never come out with some big novel that hits the top 10 in book stores. Yet I will have something far better because it is the task, the quest that the Lord has given to me. And it is my honor to complete it, despite what others say, despite what I think, and despite the nagging that Satan gives me to tempt me to do something else.

And I have a feeling that this time, with the Lord by my side on His quest, I won't fail.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

In Which I Explain Myself....

Well, I have to say I've really dropped the ball with this whole blogging deal.... I used to be pretty good about staying on top of it, but... new season in life, right?

In any case, I'm hoping to get back into it in the next couple of weeks. I've got so many blog posts swirling around in my head, I could fill a whole month... However, as some of them are maybe not 'blog worthy' or 'blog appropriate', I won't be blowing up your notification box too much. ;-)

So all of that short little paragraph to say that once our drama performances are done this week, and I'm recovering from my oral surgery, I shall be popping back in here to share my thoughts on many various subjects.

Au revoir!

Monday, October 13, 2014

When God is Sufficient

It happened again last night... the recurring dream/nightmare. I'm not really sure what to call it. All I can say is that as soon as I awake and find that this wonderful thing I was dreaming of is not real, I feel immediate heartache. Sometimes even while dreaming I think to myself, "This isn't real..." and the heartache sets in early. No matter when it comes, though, it does arrive at some point.

Have you ever had a wish, a desire for something and just felt like it was always out of your grasp? Either by circumstances or other odd reasons?

I have a dream/desire. It's one that is very close to my heart. Yet it always seems like it will be impossible to reach.

So last night when this nightmare (or dream... which is it anyway?) kept me from sleeping well on into the wee morning hours, I kept waking up with that old familiar ache. It's hard to explain, but if you've ever suffered loss or had a desire so big for something it hurt to think about it, then you understand. Needless to say, I was frustrated. Why did this have to hurt? Why couldn't it be filled with excitement or something instead? But no. It had to ache.

I drove to work this morning, the pain still fresh in my heart. I was thankful that I would have the distraction of several awesome kids to keep my mind off of it, but I dreaded the long, lonely drive home.

My day went well. I had so much fun with my nanny kids. There is nothing quite as satisfying as being around kiddos who are just awesome and adorable and amazing and sweet and funny.. =)
However, as I walked out to my car, the old feeling crept in again. I tried to keep my mind off of it. Cranked the radio up to drown out my thoughts. but it didn't work.

Finally, while listening to the radio DJ asking if we were taking time to really get 'plugged in' with God, I had the lightbulb moment of 'duh, pray about this'. Now you might be laughing at me and thinking, why didn't she think of that sooner? Let me explain a bit more about this 'thing' of mine... I have had a very hard time praying for it because I sometimes feel convicted that I need to just be content where I'm at and quit asking God all the time to change things up. That He has me right where He wants me and when He's ready for that to change, He'll let me know... the other half of me realizes that it isn't wrong to lay our desires at His feet. Our heavenly Father wants to know how we feel, what we want, etc. But we also need to be content when the answer is 'no'. So I've always found myself in this conundrum. How do I pray for the desires of my heart but also be content? So in any case, that's where I've always been and that's where I was at when I realized that I should just pray.

So I turned off the radio and just poured out my heart to God. No better time than when in a quiet vehicle. =)

I basically just said, "God, you know my heart. You know this desire of mine. I don't know why You've kept it from me, but I do know You have a plan that I need to follow. But I just have a hard time understanding. Are you placing this desire so strongly on my heart because You are trying to prepare me for it? Or is it simply there because *I* want it?"

I sat quietly for a minute, thinking....

"God, are you trying to give me a sign that this IS going to happen?"

I immediately think how silly this is... it's not going to happen. So quit getting your hopes up... and oh if this ache would only go away!

"God, can you please just give me a sign on whether or not this is or isn't happening? I could bear it if I knew... even if it wasn't going to happen.. or even if it was, just several years down the road!..."

My prayer trailed off as I heard, very clearly, "Sarah, my child, am I not sufficient for you?"

My plea stopped dead. Was Christ sufficient for me? Or had I allowed my dreams and desires to take first place in my heart?

It slowly dawned on me that yes, Christ was sufficient. I didn't need a 'sign' that this was going to work out. All I needed was to remember that I have a Father in heaven who is going to give me the best that is in His plan. I don't need to be worrying about it because He has it under control. He holds the world in His hand!

Just like that, an unexplainable peace flowed over me.

I smiled out at the world around me.

Folks, I serve an awesome God! The God who cares SO much about me that He sent His Son to DIE on a cross, be buried, and rise again just so that I, a worthless sinner, could sit with Him in heaven someday. So that He could lavish me with His love and unfailing mercy. There is nothing to describe the joy that wells up in my heart when I think about it. My God is awesome. And I mean that in the most majestic way.

So yes, Christ is sufficient. Does it mean I won't still desire for this dream of mine every so often? No, but it does mean that I can look back on this and gain that same peace that Christ IS sufficient.

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Melody of Life

Have you ever just sat and pondered the simple things? Pondered where the wind comes from, or where it goes? How clouds can suddenly form in the blue sky from seemingly nothing? How a bug knows which direction it's going?

Perhaps I'm crazy. Or odd.... or both. But sometimes I like to just sit outside and think about those sorts of things. It's the kind of thing I do when words can't describe the emotions and feelings swirling around inside my mind.

Moments of intense pride as you watch your brother turn into a man before your eyes.
Times of heartache when you wish things weren't as they are.
Feeling as if you'll simply burst from excitement for all sorts of things.
Calmly smiling to yourself as you realize that you truly are special in your own way.
Realizing that most people might think they know you, when really they don't.
Fighting the panic that rises as you think about the tasks facing you.
Pondering the small things in life and catching the beauty in simple things.

Yet still that fails to describe everything. The intensity of emotions that sometimes roll around. The sparks of creativity that flood my mind. The passion for life that comes out in a big smile. The joys of feeling happy for others.

Ever had that? Where it doesn't matter how hard you try to describe it, it just won't come out right. No one will or can  understand it. But it's there.  like a song lurking in the corners, ready to burst at the oddest moments, making life more beautiful with each of it's sweet and sad notes.

The melody of life though very old and frail,
Yet strong and firm as a navy ship's sail.
Each note sings of joys and sorrows,
The wonder of mercies new on the 'morrow.

Though no one can see it 
Though only the bearer can hear it,
It floats on heavenly wings to you and me,
Breathing life into everything we see. 

Each note brings something new
To ponder and question alike.
Much like the bright morning dew,
It sparkles and dances in the sunlight.

Each new day a bar and measure
Every moment a note to savor.
The melody of life flows strong in the veins,
Untouchable and unbreakable in life's stormy rains. 

Yet many do not listen to this melody so strong, 
Ignoring it for material and worldly things instead.
For the beauty of this song lies not within itself,
But instead comes from the Giver of them all.

For He who gives the melodies so tender and so sweet,
Makes each one so very special and unique. 
No two are ever quite the same,
Yet listen to the sound it makes.

The melody of life is one that covers all space and time,
Woven inside the magnificent tapestry of grace and love.
For each new thread that's added into this paradigm,
The Giver shares a melody from His throne above. 

~Sarah Heckendorn