What is it?

Looking through my journals and email, I found out that I was wishing for a lot of good things to happen. I claimed to be “hoping,” but I did not/could not be confident the desired outcome would happen. That is not what hope is about. Hope is more than wishing. [Want to know more? Click here.]

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Flowers and Stuff

I don’t know much about gardening. I often have trouble telling the weeds from the flowers. Perennials are particularly difficult for me. Sometimes described as wild flowers, they start off in the spring looking like the weeds we want to pull out before they take over the flowerbeds. In describing “weeds” to me someone told me that they are perennials that are growing where you don’t want them. No wonder I can’t tell the difference between wild flowers, weeds, and perennials.

I do like flowers though. I like anything growing afresh in the spring. I like the grass, bushes, and trees turning green. I like the early season flowers poking green shoots up through the soil. The daffodils, jonquils, crocuses, and tulips breaking through the mulch reminding me that winter is over and spring is coming.

Today I noticed that besides the increase in green in the world around me, there were some prominent splashes of yellow. The forsythias are in bloom.

Attaching some hugely significant meaning to the increasing signs of spring is not what this post is trying to do. I just like seeing the change. Frankly, seeing the change is just fun and makes me feel good, hopeful, peaceful, and content.

This in the midst of a very trying day. The day started off with an extra long wait to have blood drawn for some tests. I ended up late to my 9 a.m. appointment. Then as I was leaving that appointment, but still 45 minutes from home, my engine light started blinking and my car started bucking and chugging and generally running rough. I managed to get it to a nearby dealership, but they cannot look at it until tomorrow. So I rented a car. (Enterprise really does come to pick you up.) I missed one appointment, but was able to keep the last appointment of the day. I returned home and am awaiting a call from the dealership to tell me what the damages will be.

A day like this could have set me back – emotionally. It didn’t. This is something new; it is thriving in spite of unhappy things. I see the flowers and am at peace. I like spring, weeds and all.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Vacation: Wish You Were Here

Lately I’ve been feeling disconnected from my own life. My thoughts and feelings swirl around and I can’t quite stay attentive to anything for very long. It happens from time to time. I suppose it might happen to everyone at one time or another. Without using it as an excuse, this time of year is particularly ghost-like for me. The world goes on and I float along with it. It is an uncomfortable place to be. I have given up trying to relate to the world during this time.

Today I make a different choice. I decide to stay present and participate in life as best as I can. To this end, I focus on the source of hope in my life. I visit my “Hope List,” a list of my favorite Bible passages that remind me that hope isn’t dependent on me . . . hope exists because God exists. I take comfort in the words of Job who, even in the total destruction of his life, found his comfort in the hope that comes from God.

From the Book of Job, chapter 11 in the Message:

Still, if you set your heart on God
and reach out to him,
If you scrub your hands of sin
and refuse to entertain evil in your home,
You'll be able to face the world unashamed
and keep a firm grip on life, guiltless and fearless.
You'll forget your troubles;
they'll be like old, faded photographs.
Your world will be washed in sunshine,
every shadow dispersed by dayspring.
Full of hope, you'll relax, confident again;
you'll look around, sit back, and take it easy.
[Emphasis Added]

“If you set your heart on God” is the condition. The results of doing this? Many. Able to face the world unashamed. Have a firm grip on life. Be guiltless and fearless. Forget my troubles and watch my troubles fade. See the world washed in sunshine. Every shadow dispersed. Relaxed. Confident again. Resting and taking it easy. Ahh. Sounds like a vacation. I like that thought. Trusting and setting my heart on God, allows me to view life as a vacation. Wish you were here.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bearers of the Light

While preparing to teach a CR lesson on Sponsorship (Tuesday the 19th), a song came to mind. I don’t usually use my blog to promote music, but I really enjoy the depth in the lyrics of Michael Card. This song, Bearers of the Light, reminds me that every believer needs a mentor, a friend, and someone in which to invest. Another way to look at it: someone who has done it before, someone doing it with me, and someone to teach how to do it for the future. A Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy.


(off the album Poiema, 1996)
By Michael Card

The Light we must bear
Is the Light we must share
Is the Light that illumines the darkness
The promises kept
Give us strength to accept
This burden of bearing the Light

He will walk beside us
A strong friend, Barnabas
He will be that sure shoulder to lean on
The promise we share
Is our burdens to bear
And our Light tells the darkness to be gone

He will come after me
A young Timothy
Looking for someone to guide him
I will kindle his Light
Make him strong for the fight
I will promise to be there beside him

And so we must claim
By His powerful Name
The Promise the Bible has spoken
We must understand
That a cord of three strands
Cannot be easily broken

The great need of a all
A true mentor, a Paul
Who has traveled the road that's before us
He has made good the pledge
To tale the Light on ahead
We can follow his footsteps before us

The Light we must bear
Is the Light we must share
Is the Light that illumines the darkness
The promises kept give us strength to accept
This burden of bearing the Light

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Visiting Colleges

Did I “visit” colleges before I decided which college I was going to attend to get my higher (post-secondary) education? I don’t remember. I think it is a good idea. I am not sure how I picked Western Michigan University.

I thought I was going to study accounting. My aunt is a CPA and I worked for her several summers while in high school. I took some accounting courses in high school. It seemed like accounting was the logical progression. My aunt suggested going to Western because she felt they taught accounting with practicality in mind (versus some of the larger, more prestigious, universities who were more theoretical). A final factor in my decision was all about the money. Western offered more money in scholarships and grants. But I don’t remember visiting campus. I wonder if it would have made a difference.

Whatever the reason, ending up at Western was exactly what God wanted – although He could’ve worked in my life no matter where I went. I met the right people, learned about a personal higher power, changed my perspective on the purpose of life, and eventually changed my major. I met people, friends, who are still in my life today. I met my husband.

As I “visit” colleges with my daughter, I wonder what God has in store for her. While walking around various campuses, I find myself praying for her coming college experience. I want her to find God and meet lifelong friends. I want her to love whatever she chooses to study – not necessarily some “logical progression” – whatever she thinks is important and worthwhile. I want her to get to know God in a personal way.

I don’t know what will come of these college visits. I do know that God will find her wherever she ends up. And, I do know I will be praying.