Storm Surge

As I sit on my air matress, snuggled in my warm blanket, the rain steadily falls on my tent. This rain is the end of the big storm that is currently blowing through out campsite. It began as a dark, creeping cloud – with the wind pushing it towards us and the distant thunder warning of its inevitable arrival. . . 

Most people would say this rain ruined the trip, or ruined the day, or just put a damper on things. . . Me? I am thankful for it. Sure, we had to come in off of the water. We scrambled as the wind tore through our sites and our tents and tarps were at its mercy. We laughed as we all pulled together to make sure everyone was safe and dry. Then …….. we moved on. Some went to their tents, some hung out with the food, others played in the rain….. but we were all safe. 

So here I am, listening – with my soul …..

Water is my favorite. It calms me – in an unexplainable way. Even as a child, I was fascinated by it. I was mesmerized by the way it curved up around our boat as we cruised through it. I studied the way it careened around rocks while we played in the creek. I watched many storms come through as we sat on our porch – each rain drop bringing life to so many things. . . 

Water transforms and each transformation is a revelation. 

As I get older, and listen with my soul, I see – and hear – the lessons of water. Today’s lesson?

The storm brings rain, and rain brings life. 

I have been in a life storm, as of late. I was hurried in from my relaxed state into a mind set of preparation by the thunderous voice of negativity and the terrifying winds of self doubt. As I reached for strong lines to tie down my protective coverings, I was practically blown away as the storm progressed closer in to my inner being. I yelled for help, which fell as whispers, due to the overwhelming noise of failure swirling around. When I took a moment to evaluate my surroundings, the desire to leave camp and run was overpowering. 


Then, it came……clarity. 

I called for help again, this time the wind carried it. Even as a whisper, it fell on loving ears. Soon I was surrounded by those who were willing to stand the storm with me. We stood, against the raging negativity and the pouring sadness. Together, we waited it out. When I was weak, they were strong. 

Now, as this present day weather storm is tapering off, I feel this nasty “life storm” tapering off as well. I am surrounded in both storms by family and friends who have fought the winds and stinging rain with me – and loved me through it all. 

Now, comes the life. 

This rain that fell today will carry seeds, will water seedlings, will nourish growning crops, and will replenish dry wells. 

And my storm water? My rain?

It will do the very same – 


John 4:‭l3-14

Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

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The End Result

Journey : An act of traveling from one place to another.

Currently, the opportunity for me to attend college for the first time has arisen. Yes, I am 30 something and I have never been to college, save some certification classes. This will be be a journey for me. A journey from insecure to empowered. A journey from lack to provision. A journey to prove myself. A journey to prove The Lord.

I have always been honest in my posts and this one will be no different. I am scared. Scared and excited. This is a HUGE step for me. This is a HUGE step for my family as well. The hubby is a constant cheerleader, reminding me every day that we are in this together.
As I have sat praying, asking for confirmation and peace, The Lord reminded me of another couple who were in it together.

Mary heard from the angel first. How excited she must have been. Being a woman, I can imagine the thoughts and emotions that surged through her. On top of her personal emotions, she would have to face others emotions and opinions. She was willing, however, knowing this was God sent.

Joseph,I’m sure, was just as overwhelmed. Which is why God sent an angel to him. After that, however, he could have still walked away. But he didn’t. Maybe his attitude was simply a hell or high water attitude. He loved Mary. This was an angel talking to him. It must be God, and everything would be fine simply because if the last statement. I wonder if he was a determined man? If he was a “I don’t care what everyone else thinks” kind of guy? What if, oh my! What IF Mary was chosen – not only because of her willing heart – but because of her betrothed’s attitude? (I have never thought of that before!) We all know the implications Mary would have faced if Joseph had not married her. God knew. He knew this couple could and would face this journey.

You may be facing a journey that seems . . . scary or uncertain. I challenge you to look at others in the bible who took journeys. Noah built a boat in the desert. Moses had grumbling people on his journey with him! Then there’s Jonah, who took the long way. The bible shows us so many who were on journeys. Mary and Joseph were the beginning of a new kind of traveler. Their journeys were separate but whole. When the savior was born, the entourage became whole. The purpose was set, the map laid out. Much like The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit – while they each had their own entity – the end result was, and still is – a relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Journeys take us from one place to another. When our journey is God determined and led, we will always travel to somewhere (or something) better.
“For no word from God will ever fail” Mark 1:37

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I’m A Hoarder?!?!?

Aside

Watching “Hoarders” last night, I had a thought just hit me in the gut.

I am one of them! I am a hoarder!

Now, please understand, my house is not a cesspool of items. It is not dirty or filthy or even cluttered. Okay, maybe cluttered, but by no means is my house the problem.

No, it’s my mind. In my mind I hoard thoughts, conversations, comments, letters. . .

Offenses I have suffered pile up in the corners. Memories are buried – some deep, others just on the surface. I’m sure there are things lost in there!

Nasty thoughts can creep in like cobwebs. There are dingy places where I tried to clean it out, but the residue still remains. Some places are quite organized – like stacked boxes of “important” items. Other areas are filled with scattered thoughts.

I know there are books in there! Not to mention songs and pictures!

There are important items I have held on to, ones that brighten and remind me of beautiful times. There are items that clearly need to be purged and removed.

One of the participants on the show said “It just started piling up, and I would start to think about how to fix it – where I would start, what I would do with the stuff. Honestly, by the time I got done thinking about it, I was too tired to do anything about it!” Isn’t that how it is in our lives a lot of time? We start thinking about how to clear our minds – how to clean out things we don’t need or that are nasty and causing disease, but by the time we have come up with our solution, we are too tired to do anything about it.

The awesome thing is that when Christ is the center of our life, he is our “behavioral therapist” he is also our “aftercare specialist”. He is there to show us the way, to renew our energy and to encourage us. He is there with garbage trucks and his gloves on to clean out our filth.

The question is, will we let him?

Or will we, like so many on that show, make excuses, get mad, and refuse to let go?

The Pianist

So it begins. The day has been long, this whole life journey has been long. I find it hard to speak positive words, hard to pray, hard to be joyful. I have read James today, I have whispered earnest prayers, I have read others encouraging words, searching for some kind of direction – some kind of peace.

As I sit with others, listening to requests, sickness, death and discouragement seem to be running rampant. Others who live life day by day, hour by hour, they are struggling as well. Our heads bow, each person different but each heart yearning for the same thing.

So it begins. Slowly, quietly, the fingers seem to barely tap the keys. It is not a familiar tune, no, it is from the heart. Prayer begins, words flowing with the melody. As the words begin to pierce through the darkness of our days, the chords pierce through my heart. As hard as I have found it to pray, to speak these truths, the music alleviates the pressure that holds them down. The pace picks up, the keys are played more fervently. The words seem to just spew out. The freedom begins to rain down.

Yes, it has begun. Often I find myself in these moments. These hard moments where my words seem meaningless, if I can even get them out. Then, the piano begins. I could stand and listen to the anointed melody, I could stand and just let the chords wash away the pain, the confusion, the doubt. Even though there are no words, it is the ebb and flow that draws me in. Her fingers seem to pray as they play, each measure a petition. There are measures of praise, measures of mourning, measures of worship, measures of adoration. Her voice never speaks, but her fingers do. In her playing, the release comes.

My son, Zeb, once suggested that worship was like learning to play football. He had struggled his first year, trying to learn what to do, trying to learn that being aggressive was okay. I asked him one day, quite randomly, what worship was. He said worship was different for everyone. Some people like it fast, some like it slow. Some people like newer stuff, and others like the older songs. But, his next comment was what stopped me in my tracks. “You know mom, it’s like when you’re learning to play football. You can know what you’re supposed to do, but you have to feel it and then you just do it.”

Such wise words. Sometimes it takes feeling it instead of talking it. It’s our actions that speak, that move, that minister. When I stand, surrendered, listening to the pianist pray with her hands, I find myself lost in Him.