Monthly Archives: November 2016

BEFORE I DIE

fullsizeoutput_13e4First, before you freak out about the title, no, I am not dying or on my death bed. I think maybe I’m hormonal(it’s called menopause) or if that doesn’t fit; I’m being sentimental because the holidays are fast approaching!

A year ago, I got a text from a friend, encouraging a group of us who blog, to write a “Before I Die” piece. I looked at it, quickly made a note of the title (put it in my to write list) and went on down the road. Honestly, I couldn’t begin to think on such things, not yet. I had a few ideas about some of the things I have always wanted to do in my head, but for the most part, I pretty much forgot about it. Every once in a while, I would run across the topic as I was scrolling for a blog post idea, when I couldn’t think of one.

So, now, I have come across it again.  It hit me that I needed to share my desires in hopes you will feel free to share yours. I’m over the half century mark and I can tell you this much: I know there’s a lot left to do! I feel it…to my core.

I’m guessing most of us have a secret list somewhere. Tucked away. Locked up and the key has been hidden in a place you thought was safe. Now you just can’t remember where the safe place is!

 You do, I just know it!

The confidential list is stored in a compartment, in section z, room zzz, in the far corner of your mind. You’ve forgotten about it. You forgot what it felt like to see certain things, feel others and smile because you were content!

I have a couple of things I would like to do. Dreams. Not mandatory, but I would be forever grateful if God would allow me to walk through some of these dreams.

Go to Italy. Someday. For a month. At ease, not in a rush. Drinking in the sights, sounds and savoring the people that are the most important to me.

Drive up the East Coast during the changing of the seasons. Watching the leaves change colors and marveling at the vibrancy of the leaves and how God takes us through seasons. He is by our side through every change, drastic or small. He holds us through seasons of growth, seasons of blooming, pruning, dormancy, and after a freeze, He brings us back to life again. Every time.

Back to life again. The fog has lifted! 

Before I Die..

I think the thing I want most is to love. Love others and blow their minds the way God blows mine! Whether this is through actions, written words or an unexplored talent, I want to share God’s love with as many people as I possibly can.

At this very moment, I want you to know you are loved. Served. Taken care of. Known by name. Absolutely free of any guilt or shame the enemy tries to throw in your face.

I want you to experience being held, hugged and listened to. Just ears that want to know every detail of what you are walking through and whatever you could possibly need.

I want you to know how valued you are. How much worth you have. Sometimes, we get so in our heads or overlooked. It can hurt to feel like no one notices the effort you put in. God ALWAYS recognizes your worth. He understands your weirdness and loves every bit of it. To Him, every single second with you is of value.

I want you to know you are not a back-up plan. 

The dream you’ve locked away for another time is real. Go get the key or, better yet, give someone else the key to unlock  your compartmentalized dream. Share your vision with others. Be honest in your efforts and you will be shocked at how many other believers want to help you succeed.

You just don’t believe it can happen. Fear has set in!

Maybe you’re scared it WILL happen

What would that look like? How would it change the rest of your life? Are you really ready for that?

I believe because God in His kindness to us, will let us get a glimpse of this!

When we lock eyes with The One who gave us breath, we have a deep understanding of what love is. Can you even imagine?

Before I Die..

I want you to see you how special you really are. It is a mountain we all climb. We struggle getting our footing correctly placed. We can’t seem to grip too long without letting go. We let go too quickly because our momentum to fall overrides us. We keep grasping, hoping we finally find the one spot to get a solid grip.

But then….

Love finds us. Unexpectedly.

You are not a back-up plan.

Before I die…

I want you to experience this. I want to experience this.

You are who you are. I am who I am. God is God.

Somewhere in the mix of all this, we find each other, and God, who is the only one who can bring us together, gets an immense amount of pleasure as we discover why we’ve found each other. It was His very design we’ve crossed paths.

Before I Die….

I will go to my grave making sure you know this to be true! Who do you need to share this good news with today?


SEASONS

theautumnseason

 

If you’ve lived in Texas too long, you understand the weather is so wildly unpredictable! I mean, it could be snowy one day and 80 degrees the next. It’s weird! But it’s not just the weather that is so unpredictable, it’s the seasons as well. Sometimes, we have summer for too long. For example, it was 90 degrees this October. Fall is probably the shortest season we have.  Then there’s winter which can seem to drag on and on!  I have to say, spring is the most unpredictable season we have in Texas. I mean … c’mon! Summer is standard: HOT! Who are we kidding? The surface of the sun is the only place hotter than Texas!

Fall is perhaps my favorite season of all time! I remember getting ready to plant trees in my yard! The one stipulation I told the landscaper was the trees needed to be red. The look on her face was priceless!  I explained I wanted trees that had beautiful red colors in the fall!

But on a serious note, what do we take away from the various seasons we experience in life?

Where are you right now? Are you in the throes of reaping an abundant crop? Are you in a season of new beginnings? Are you in a season where you are being pruned and disciplined? Or, are you in the driest season you have ever faced?

Are you doubting God is even hearing you? Is He seeing where you are right now? Do you think you are in a place to receive … readily and willingly? Are you waiting?

I’ve come to the conclusion that these seasons, as joyful as they are, or as awful as they are, have one thing in common: God knew. Although it may not necessarily be His perfect plan for me, it absolutely needed to be part of my testimony! I wouldn’t have chosen the path that some of the seasons of my life have taken, but God has a purpose, and this is the part where He gets the glory!

Maybe you haven’t thought of it like this.

I’m asking you to look down the road as far as you can see and trust Him. He will use your hurt, your disappointment, your anger, your joy, your thanksgiving, or your dry and thirsty soul for someone else. Guaranteed!

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about how there is a season for everything. He tells us right there. I think so many times we can forget this when we are going through the seasons that are NOT fun.

I love these verses because of the promise they hold. It’s almost like this glowing reminder or promise that God keeps showing me to try and comfort me right now…. God’s telling me there is a time and a season for ALL things.

You have to have a listening ear to accept that this isn’t necessarily your season for THAT … yet.

You’ve walked through tough seasons too.

There’s also the good seasons- where we see God answer prayers and promises are fulfilled.

The good seasons are the product of crying out in the dry seasons.

You know, the one where you feel like every prayer has stopped at the ceiling or fallen on deaf ears. God’s answers are the catalyst for propelling you out of the wilderness. The journey can seem long. How many times do you recognize what God is trying to tell you, but you feel like He just keeps drilling it into your head? You may think you have learned all you need to know from a specific season, then God takes you by surprise … reminding you His plan is so much bigger.

I know this, you will be there as long as He needs you to be there.

God created seasons in every sense of the the word.  Just like He promises the seasons we’re in are going to bring significant change for a bigger purpose …

There are seasons in which we can no longer manage on our own. We’ve tried and tried and have only failed miserably. We cannot go through the seasons of life alone. We all know what it feels like to have tied a knot at the end of our rope and to be hanging on for dear life.

We don’t understand the purpose, the loss, the grief, the reminders, daily, of what once was. We are blinded by the pain we think we have so carefully hidden.

Where are you? Is your heart broken? Are you angry? Resentful?  You’re not the only one. Get in line!

Maybe you’re  in love? Full of joy? Letting go of things that weren’t yours to carry in the first place? Are you working on reconciliation?

I’m unsure of the season you are in, but please reach out to someone and tell them today. Tell them you are heartbroken and love seems so long ago. Tell them you have let go of the very things you’ve carried for far too long and are seeing light at the end of the tunnel. The purpose of God providing relationships, friendships and family in our lives is so we can grow together. This is a huge gift from God, so take full advantage of the people He has placed in your life. Brothers and sisters in Christ want to help ease the burden of your struggles.

Sometimes, it’s the God initiated times of growth that we don’t understand. We catch ourselves in a place, and we cry out, desperately trying to solve what is not ours to solve. This season is hard, but the one question I have found myself asking is, “God, what is it you are trying to teach me?” It’s a hard question to answer and even harder to hear the answer.

Just maybe we are supposed to grow into seasons, instead of fighting our way through them.

Here’s what I know: Stay consistent in your disciplines. Be in prayer. Have your head in the Word of God, stay in fellowship, make sure you spend time worshipping, and above all just walk and do the next thing you know to do.

Consistency will lead you to growth and maturity! You will know longer be bottle fed, but will be feasting on gourmet food!

Grow into your season, but just know, in time, this season will be gone and you will be ready to step foot in the next one.

 

Shout out to CM for the thoughts leading to this post!