First Things First

f4ec8f96-ebc6-472b-a8fc-ffa210ae7947That title sounds like a great way to start the New Year, doesn’t it?  I am living out some of that by setting the goals I have written down for this year.  It helps me sort through priorities for my life and that of my family.  But how willing are we to do what it takes to put first things first?  Are you willing to give something in order for something better to be given to us?

It is never easy.  But we may need to ask ourselves how teachable we are.  When I was in a local bookstore the other day, I saw this view and knew I needed to make a picture.  So I took the photo because I thought there was a great lesson I could learn from it.  Do you see it?  Let me clarify what I see.

We all know we can learn a lot from books, and if you know me by now, you know I love to read!  But the real story I believe is found in the signs above the bookshelves.  Do you see the first sign?  It says Theology.  Let’s think about that for a moment,  Theology by definition according to Merriam-Webster means:

  • 1.   a system or theory or study of religious faith, practice, and experience.
  • 2.  The study of God and of God’s relation to the world.

I am not talking about the theology of denominations.  I’m talking about a study of what we believe and why we believe it.  It’s like building on a good foundation.

The next sign you see is Christian Living.  An abundant life , full of purpose, potential, showing love, and being a joy-giver, along with challenges that will surely come our way… all part of Christian living.  On the other hand, living this way, we can also receive “pleasures for evermore” scripture tells us.  We are fortunate that He has given us a Bible to show us the way through this life we live.

Are you getting a clearer picture?  We have to have our belief system in place through our level of faith, practice our faith and relate it through our experience.  We have to study the Word in order to KNOW our God, so that, we can have a relationship with Him.  If we know and study the Word, we then we will build on our theology of belief and that in turn gives us the foundation for living the Christian life.  We can’t skip what we believe and why we belief it and go straight to Christian Living.  Why?  Because we have no solid foundation from which to believe and live.

We have too many trying to live the Christian life but with a shaky foundation.  In that a case, We have 8c3ca0c2-b442-4ebd-a668-5cfbc89efeb0 a hard time sharing what we believe with someone for a couple of different reasons.

  •  One being that we don’t don’t know enough of what we believe.
  • The other is, we don’t want to stand out as being radical or fanatical.

However, if we have a good foundation, then it becomes easy to share what we believe and to live by it.  I don’t think we can have one without the other.  Having a foundation is very important to build on. I am very thankful for the foundation that I was given growing up and in my adult life..  It gave me confidence in what I believe.  If we have a strong experience with God and a deep understanding of how He wants us to live, then we can live the Christian life with confidence.  We will then be excited to share what He has done in our life.  Let the Light shine down your path to understanding.

Isn’t fun how God will use the simple things to remind us of a powerful lesson?  Sit for a while and ponder these thoughts.  Ask yourself,  “What is my theology of belief?

Until next time…

~JoAnn

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The Corner of Change & Contentment Road

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I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends.  If you are one that has lost a loved one recently, I pray that you have found comfort with those who share that loss with you during this Season.  It’s always hard, I know.  Sometimes, it’s a matter of letting the tears flow; they are healing for us also.  It’s been a hard year for me too in many ways, and I have had many losses this year too.  I am thankful God knows and comforts me.

As some of you know, my process each year is to look over my previous year in an honest way to give me clarity as to how I want to live out the coming year.  One of the ways I have mentioned before to those who have been visiting here for a while, is to make goals for my new year.  I start that process usually on my birthday in November.  Let me share a few with you in hopes it may encourage you to do some of the same.  Being at a crossroad can be a bit fearful, but I always like a challenge and this year God is giving that challenge to me again.

  • A. The top one is one that I share so that those who follow me on Facebook are also aware of one of my decisions.   You will see a less active account there in terms of what you have seen.  I can still be reached that way, but God has been dealing with me in terms of the time spent doing that activity.  It’s too easy to miss out on important things in life and I don’t want to do that in my life.  I will be changing my online presence and less on Facebook.  I have to ask myself some important questions such as who does it benefit, how important is it in the grand scheme of things, where is my time best spent, and why?  I enjoy staying in touch with those who want to stay in touch, and I will.  But you might see less activity from me both on my posting and also in response to some likes or comments.  It doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy them, however, I want to use my time working toward specific goals and that requires time and effort.  I do have an online study that I do with women and I will keep that up at least for a while as God leads.  But I am streamlining where I put my time online.  So don’t be surprised regarding changes I make.  I also love sharing my photos and hoping others see what I see, and it moves them toward something in their own life; even if that just means a moment in time where they think about the meaning of the photo.  But once again, it isn’t about me.
  • B.  Family time…maybe a get away property for us all to be able to go to for time off IMG_4167the grid.  Spend time with the family and encourage them to unplug while they are visiting.  DO something instead. Enjoy nature more. Camp, trips, BBQs.  If I desire change, I need to be part of the change.
  • C.  I am also working on the organization of my household after our move.  I have come to realize that a lot of my energy is used dealing with finding things I need to use.  I’m pretty organized but I have a hidden person living in my house that moves things all over and then they can’t be found.  It is very frustrating for someone who likes organization.  So that is a priority for me within a couple of months of the new year.
  • D.  I know that I am to devote more time to my studies.  I still feel strongly that God IMG_6105is calling Christians to be equipped.  That means to know the Word for themselves; not only to help themselves, but to be aware of how they can help others by knowing the Word of God.  I can’t help others if I’m not living it for myself.  God has made it clear to me that I have to dig in more this year and with His help, get to know Him more personally than my previous years.  I find myself really excited about that, and what He has to teach me.
  • E.  Time to invest in my music.  It is, and always has been, a big part of my life.  But Guitar MandolinI have found that I have had less and less time for it in recent years.  So this year I am making more time for the things I love.  Music, instruments,  and singing.  It has always been the thing that speaks so deeply to me.
  • F.  Time for photography.  Drives for photo shoots.  MaybeIMG_8091 even teaching a basic photography class.  I love helping others see the world a bit differently and photography does that.  But even to capture moments with family and friends and see results that they are happy with gives me pleasure.
  • G.  In the last 10 years or so, I have found doing things different doesn’t mean I am doing something wrong.  Thinking differently than others doesn’t make me wrong.  So even though it may be a different life I choose to live, I can live it out confidently, not boastfully but satisfied that I have listened to what is right for me, and did it.  It’s a legacy I leave.

I’m sure that by the time I am done, I will have upwards of 40 goals for my new year.  I IMG_1084won’t reach each one, I rarely do, but I love having them to remind myself of where God is taking me, and to look back in a year and see what God has done in me.  I am not sure of my path here on the blog either.  All the time it takes in writing is something I am talking to the Lord about.  Is it about me, or Him? I am praying about how God wants me to move forward in terms of my blog, and other areas of my life; or if He DOES want me present here and to be used most for Him.  What I DO know is, He will guide me if I listen.

I watch how phones have taken over our lives and lives of my family.  It is something that concerns me, and it is something God keeps poking me about.  I only have one chance to live out my days, and I want them to be used mightily in the lives of those closest to me.  It isn’t about me, or how I seem to live my life, or how good or not good my photos are, or making or not making money on my photos.  What I do in my life brings me joy.  If it brings joy to others here and there, then wonderful.  But I don’t live for that.  God has placed many people in my life to walk along side me and I love each and every one.  But it has never been about what they think of me, it’s who I am and who God created me to be.  I don’t need to project a certain life through my online presence.  I just live the way that brings me joy and contentment.  I hope in some small way, it has done that for others.

So I want to wish you all a very Happy New Year and it is my wish that you will review where you want to go in the new year, and then do the hard steps that are required for you to make that happen.  None of the few goals that I have shared above are easy.  I have to change how I look at my life and make the hard decisions not to pick up my phone just to communicate what others may not even care about. However, when I do communicate something, it is because it encourages others to maybe live out their day with a little more moxie and fun than normal.  Encourage one and THEN, I have done something great.  This process will be ongoing, so expect change!  By the way, that is also my word for the year… Change.

Until next time…

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Gotcha Moment

IMG_1089Have you ever had one of these times where you know God is showing you a video on a day in the life of yourself?  Here is a humbling one for me that I will share with you.  Sometimes sharing my mistakes may help you not make the same ones.  🙂

I had a package that I needed to get mailed today.  I went to the local post office here to mail this package to Norway.  There weren’t too many people so I thought I could do well to get in and out.  I went to the counter to get the proper paper work to fill out (I hate filling out those custom forms), filled out the form I normally use, and then waited in the line.  When I got to the counter, he told me it was over the weight limit for that form, so he gave me another one to fill out instead.  So…one more time I go back to the counter to fill this one out.

IMG_1254He allowed me to come back to the front of the line with the second paper work.  I then paid for the postage and completed the transaction.  Happy to have that done, I went out to the car to go home.  When I got in the car, I didn’t see my cell phone with me!  I looked in my purse, and didn’t see it.  You know how it is ladies.  What do you do next?  You dump it all out on the seat just to make SURE you didn’t miss it.  Well…I didn’t miss it.  It just wasn’t there.  I was sure I had my phone with me…I always do when I go out.   However, it just wasn’t in my purse or the car.  So I went back in and looked around.  Now, I was SURE I remembered setting it on top of my box to fill out the second paper.  So since it hadn’t been turned in, I thought someone must have taken it.  I tried calling it from my watch, the PO worker even called it for me so I could go out in the car and see if it dropped there.  Nothing.

On the way home, I’m in tears and telling God, “Isn’t this just wonderful that I have a new phone that isn’t completely paid for, and then,  You let someone take it.  So nice to know I am being watched over, right?”  And I thought, I even knew who it might have been who took it. So I got home, closed the door rather hard, and then tried once more to remember how I ping my phone with my watch.  Stress kinds of makes us forget the simple steps at times.  So doesn’t being stupid.

Success.  I got it!  And… guess what????  I hear my phone “ping”.  I hit it again. “Ping”.  I follow the sound…

IMG_1084.pngI had left it at home on the kitchen counter!  Amazing how I “saw” it on my box.  I even had someone lined up to blame.  I am in to judgement now.  Now I had a BIG forgiveness times two. to ask God to for.  I could have just asked him in the first place to help me and He may have gently reminded me, or I could have asked to have peace about it and ask Him to allowed it to BE at home.  Nope.  I went off in fear and worry and accusations.

Boy am I thankful for a forgiving God who graciously shows me…

“So, JoAnn…how was that lesson in the real world of JoAnn?  Did you pass?”

“Nope, Lord I sure didn’t.”

Does He forgive me?  He sure does!  For both my judgmental attitude, and my jumping to conclusions.  Thank you Lord for my phone being safe at home, and for the BIG lesson you once again showed me regarding my sin nature.  Walking in forgiveness…

Until next time…

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Keep Moving Forward

IMG_0227That title has some special meaning to me of late.  Why?  Because we are moving, and we hope that we are moving forward into a better situation for our fun years!  It is sometimes hard to navigate those seasons of change.

Actually, it’s very hard.  I have always been a person who could do whatever needed to be done, and not have repercussions from that activity.  Now, I am at a season of life that is more simple, but it also means that I have to acknowledge within myself that I can’t do certain things like I used to…such as, lift heavy things, pack boxes all day long every day and bend over the boxes, or even sitting down on the floor to be more comfortable.  And then…try to gracefully get up.  Life changes.  Our bodies don’t accept abuse anymore; it tells you about it.  Sometimes in a loud voice.  So how do I handle this challenge?

Just like I do with every thing else…I keep moving forward.  I am excited about the change.  I know my hubby will be more comfortable with having only boxes to go through rather than upkeep in a yard that is too much to handle, or steps that cause him to breathe heavy.  It’s an adjustment.  We have to acknowledge limitations and how that changes our future.  It doesn’t mean we sit back and do little; it means we lean into this season of life with gusto!  We have freedom to live our lives out the way God intended for us at this season of life.  Just because it looks different to us, doesn’t mean God isn’t in it.  OR, that He doesn’t provide, because we have seen him provide for us over and over again!

IMG_0204So when I think I can’t pack another box, I stop for a while and give my back a rest.  We get away from it for a mocha or ice tea.  We ask God to give us the strength to keep going, and smooth the way for us.  I take out my notebook and plan decor for our new home.  That always lifts my spirit.  What will be the name of our new place?  How do I want it to look?  We have always moved what we had and made it work for our home.  This time, we want to invest in items that fit this home in particular.  That will be very enjoyable for me!

So… I was sitting for a minute and reflecting that it is less than 13 days before we are being loaded up!  We will be heading to our Boon Street Bungalow. With a name like Boon, I thought I would refresh my memory on the definition of Boon.

  • boon
  • bo͞on/Submit
  • noun
  • a thing that is helpful or beneficial.
  • “the navigation system will be a boon to both civilian and military users”
  • synonyms: blessing, godsend, bonus, plus, benefit, advantage, help, aid, asset

I believe I will add strategic to this definition too because I see God’s handiwork as very strategic in this change.  And…we have submitted to this plan even though it has been hard. Not long now…but the process has not been easy.  However, when does the devil EVER make things smooth for us…NEVER.  I had to come to a point where I hit my RESET BUTTON.  It was necessary.  I was stressing over something I could do nothing about.  I can’t change how people do their jobs, or the personalities of those involved.  I can only prepare us AS IF all is well and moving forward.  I trust God is in this move and so I must also trust Him to take care of all the details.  Would I like answers?  You bet.  We in fact do not even know for sure that our house appraisal has passed!  We are 13 days out from this day!  But God…  UPDATE:  we just got a verbal response only, but they said it was ok.

IMG_0230So… October for us is a change of season not just in weather, but in our lives.  This was a “suddenly” in our lives.  We had to adapt.  We have this idea that we have to know all the answers ahead of time.  God’s timing isn’t like that at all.  So will I believe Him?  Will I trust Him?  Yes I must.  I have experienced too much of His grace and provision to ever think He won’t take care of this also.  October 15th, I will look forward to your success in this venture.  I pray over our Bel Aire home for the next owner, and that this home gives them as much joy as it has given us.  I am thankful for all the wonderful handiwork that my son did in this home to make it special for his folks.  Bless him Lord for that.  It gave us an edge in this market.  See, God is in ALL the details!

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So it is exciting to think about a new place to make our home.  A feeling of… you guessed it… koselig.  Can’t wait for that!  That is one of my happy places…making my home a place others like to be, as well as, how we want it to be.  So watch for the updates as we make our way North come October 15, 2018! God has something in mind, and we are open to His leading.  As a song lyric goes, we don’t what the future holds, but we know Who holds the future!  He invited us to follow Him.  I said yes when I was 8 years old.  I have never looked back.  Walking with Jesus is a process, but one that always leads to our best.  I am placing my obedience at His feet as an offering.  The rest is up to Him.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

In Memory of A Great Man

IMG_5295When you live long enough, you are bound to experience many things that add to your life story.  Today, half of a loving couple who played an intricate part in my story, passed away.  I have had a few people who have had tremendous influence in my life, and this man was one of them.  He was my boss, along with his wife, for about nine years and it was the best time of my life in terms of getting to do what I loved best; helping others to live their dream and be successful in their pursuit of the dream.

The thing is, they became so much more than bosses to me.  I loved helping them look good.  They worked very hard to help hundreds of others become successful and would do whatever possible to make that happen.  I in turn, did whatever I could to help them all to meet their goals.  I had the dream of teaching classes on business, time management, how to make an interesting demonstration, teach them how to work in cooperation with others, and helping them grow as individuals. I watched our success be my bosses success.  It  was a such a great time.

P1020566The other side of it is, they are like family to me.  In many ways…I felt I was.  I spent many  days sharing lunch with them, and brainstorming how we could be more effective in helping the sales team meet their goals.   God spoke to me early on in my employment with them, that I was to leave encouraging notes for them on their desks.  Be their armor bearers.  When they encouraged others all the time as they did, sometimes someone needs to encourage them.  That is what God asked me to do.  So I did.  My boss went out of his way to help me in different times of crisis in my life, and I will never forget that kindness.  He had a hard time when I would try to thank him then, and even in the years to come, but I wanted him to know how much it meant to me.  I would also pick up some sugar-free black licorice candy for him sometimes too because he loved it.  Yep.  Good times.

Thanks to him being so innovative, our sales force was #1 and others looked to us for our leadership in that industry at that time.  Fun place to associate with.  I learned a lot about business, life, and financial freedom through my time there too.  I received a great foundation for life.  He was always willing to bring in great speakers that would lead, encourage and teach us in ways that would improve our business if we desired to follow the training.  He was also the one who, after a brainstorm lunch one day, tossed the keys to their Lincoln Continental to me to drive back to work because they were running errands with the other car.  I was so nervous driving it back to work that I ended up tripping in the parking lot and skinned my knee.  But I made it safely back to work and did classes that afternoon in spite of a torn up knee.  The car?  What a drive that was!  Like riding on air!

He had an answer for everything, and it was usually positive in nature.  He was direct as a leader, and you could listen and make something better, or you could choose not to.  As he always said, “The choice is yours.  It’s up to you!”  I don’t want to imply he was this perfectly calm individual all the time.  Because there were many times a manager would have to bring up a point for him to consider because he hadn’t thought about it in that way.  Or he said something in a way that might be just a little TOO direct, and his sweet wife would have to call his name and graciously correct his manner.  She was so good at that, and he would take it from her as a sign to back up a bit.  Yes we are all only human.

So when life took a hard turn several years after their retirement, and he had many things he loved to do that he had to give up. He handled that with his usual attitude.  Take it head on and make the best of a negative situation.  It’s all in how you look at it right?  I would visit them when ever I could get into town, and we would have some lively conversations.  Still…always direct.  You never had to wonder what he was thinking about anything.  Brilliant mind too.  Always enjoyed that.  He was also a great photographer.  His BBQ salmon was to die for!!

If you are fortunate enough to have this kind of person in your life, let them know of their influence on you.  Nothing can bless them more than knowing what they have done has been a blessing in your life.  Don’t wait.  His wife is one amazing lady and I treasure our friendship more than anything.  We often had many miles between us, and yet we managed to stay in touch.  Love that about good friends.

10472690_10204325035506406_3275917140237936182_n.jpgSo today as I read the news of his passing, the tears flowed for all the above.  And…for my very good friend who now must live on without her husband by her side.  I knew it was coming, since my last visit made that clear, but we are never ready really.  Life is hard and God tells us we will all have trouble in this life.  But we can’t keep them here when their quality of life makes it so difficult.  Then, even though it seems trite, we need to remember that they are now whole and not suffering in this life any longer.  However, that is always harder than we think it will be.  That is why I think God gives us memories.  I believe, that He gives us the memories so that in hard times, we can be comforted by them.  When we are sad, let it out, when we need to cry, cry.  When we are angry, let that out too. It helps us heal.  When a memory gives us joy, let the joy heal us as well.

So, to a great boss… a little like a second dad… and one true friend… thank you for everything you deposited into my life.  I know you are breathing fresh air in heaven and celebrating with a brand new body.

I will never forget all those “little” things you did that were “BIG” for me.

Love you J.

Until we meet again…

~JoAnn

Building My Story on The Rock

IMG_0310Have you ever had someone say to you, “I was one decision away from a different life path in life.”?  I can relate to that.  I have had many points in my life been at a crossroads and my decision totally changed the trajectory of my life. I have not always chosen what was right for me, but often chosen out of compassion or not wanting to hurt feelings, rather than listening to the Holy Spirit that is sending me a different message and a different path to take.  Those decisions are so hard, aren’t they?  Sometimes there is so much to give up…but what if we listened to the hard message in the first place and didn’t take OUR decision, but listened to the leading of the Holy Spirit?  And…what if the Holy Spirit even sent friends along the way to ask you the hard questions about a decision you were making?  Ahhh…now THOSE are hard questions!  Here is another one for you…what if changes in your life circumstances mean that you NEED to consider yet another change in order for it to be the best yes in your life, and it will require a LOT out of you?  That’s not even to mention all those who think you are nuts to have done it in the first place, or they are thinking you can’t seem to make up your mind.

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Ever been in this situation?  Let me share mine, or yet another one of mine, with you.  A little over two years ago, it was our goal to move away from a very busy area, where noise of traffic and walking traffic kept us awake all hours of the night.  Didn’t mind the house, we even made some great improvements on the house that we really loved!!  But in order to move after retirement to where we could find affordable housing with a more quiet and peaceful surrounding, we made a move away from family and friends.  We have worked very hard on this home to improve it and make it our own.  Loved every minute of it!  I love the house, the quiet back yard and have spent many a morning and afternoon.

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So…here it comes…but before it does, I want to remind you that you need to build your house on the Rock.  That is where we can live strong.  Anyway, back to the story…it brings to mind this photo that I took several weeks ago with our grandson.  When I took this picture, I heard this message:  “Expect something ahead.”  Without going into detail, it made us reconsider what is important in the scheme of things for us.  But the reality is, we don’t know what is in our tomorrow.  Sometimes we have to make the hard choices now for the sake of the future choices.  So after much conversation, we have made the decision to put our “house on Bel Aire” on the market.  We will be moving back up north where we will have family closer and where I am blessed to have life long friends.  The hard part is that I have recently began to enjoy some sweet friends here also.  But… The Captain and I are used to the trip, so I expect I will still be coming this way to say hello.  I will have to come back to enjoy a refreshing visit to the ocean.

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So what have I learned through all of this?

  • I am not as young as I was since the last move.  My body gets weary quicker.
  • We have too much stuff, which someone in our household has trouble letting go of.
  • I have had fun sharing treasures with others.
  • Simplifying isn’t just something I think about, it is something my heart craves at this point in life.
  • Only I and God know the reasons for decisions made and I can’t care about who thinks what about it.
  • It’s sad to see JoAnn’s House on Bel Aire disappear into Real Estate Boring Decor.IMG_0095
  • Life is precious, and when the unknown rears up, I want to live out today fully alive.
  • Change is STILL hard.
  • I put my heart and soul into my home so I leave part of myself behind with every home.
  • It is important to pray for the next occupants of the home, that they found the joy I found in this home.
  • I don’t want to live with expectations, but with expectancy.
  • We get to start a new story; the next page can be the best written page in the story yet!
  • God resides IN me, so where ever I am, I am home.
  • I can’t control this, so I have to rest in Him.
  • I am STILL up for a good adventure.
  • I am never alone.  Ever.
  • I can travel more with my hubby when we have less to care for.
  • I appreciate each day we have to live with joy.
  • I have to be willing to give up what I want, for what may be better for someone else.

When we think we might have to give up something we love, God gives us a way to make it special in the next place we are by giving me a talented son who can repair and make it look new again.  That’s how God is.  He will sometimes take away, so He can make us new with a clean slate.  That was a heavy light we are taking with us.  And you can’t even see it hung there.  God is a carpenter too, and He knows how to put things together.  What a relief, huh???

So when you think God is out there, maybe in the distance, or far away, we are wrong.  Because…Jesus is in us.  He cares about what we care about.  And like an author said from a book I have been reading,  “God’s breath both creat and sustains our spirit, and that spirit was always meant to be His home.” …”We think of God as out there, somewhere, and search for Him as though He were lost.  In reality, our omnipresent Creator is “out there” and also “in here”.  Christ is within.  So being with God and remaining in Him are awakening to and exploring forever the biblical truth that we are God’s resting place.”  Alicia Britt Chole

So you see, no matter where I live, what home, or condo, or whatever kind of home we end up in, God is there because He lives IN me.  That is a comforting thought for me to be reminded of when I fret a little about where I will be.  I can rest in that knowledge.  He is IN me, and that is Home.  God always has a purpose, and if we are willing, He will  use circumstances to teach us and lead us in the direction we are to go next.

So…lead on Lord.  Your servant heareth.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

Trust the Process

 

Time…Life doesn’t usually go as planned.  At least from our perspective.  Ever noticed that?  What do you do when things don’t go as planned?  Do you fight it?  Get angry about it?  Complain to others, or take it out on those around you?  Do you talk to others about it more than you pray to God about it?  I have had quite a few of those not so timely interruptions over the last year.  Strange health issues, falls, and the repercussions of all of them.  But… when I think about this last year, my life isn’t really any different from anyone else.  We all have them…those times we wish we didn’t have to experience.

Just this week, after some hard weeks have passed, I got some good news and some not so good news.  I had some swelling in my left hand from a fall where my left side and my nose took the hit.  The swelling caused me to need my wedding ring cut off.  I have worked in jewelry and it is hard to see a beautiful ring have to go through a cutting process.  You see, if you don’t have the right people doing that work, you can cause damage to the ring and to the diamonds it holds.  What will happen?  It will loosen the settings as the ring is stretched in order to go over the finger after being cut off.  So it worried me a little to have it done.  But I found a great jeweler locally, and he did a great job!

I then went into the Doctor to go over my hand X-ray.  That good and bad news? The X-ray showed no broken bones.  The good news.  The bad news, other than not being able to wear my ring, was that it was a pulled ligament between my ring finger and my middle finger.  That type of injury is a very long healing process; six months to be exact.  That’s a long time.  It is best to elevate the hand when possible, and I can ice it if I want to, should it be painful.  Wow!  Six months!  He told me I have to be patient.  If I try to hurry the process, then I will just cause more problems and my healing will take even longer.

Two days after cutting off the ring. Still extremely cut into my finger.

Isn’t that like our lives sometimes?  We want to hurry through uncomfortable times in our lives, so we can get back to life as we want it to be.  But when we don’t have patience for the process, we can take short cuts, hurry the process, or even get angry about it, and then we do more harm to the situation than if we are patient.  If we DO trust God with the process, then our faith can grow, be stretched and strengthened.  We don’t have to stand on our strengthen at all, but we stand on His strength.  He is the rock on which we stand.  I have to take care of my hand or I will see permanent damage and pain that will go up my wrist and arm.  In the last couple of days, it has gone down significantly because I am doing what the Doctor told me to do.  The same thing will happen when we lean on God for our needs in those hard times.  We do what He wants for us to do, we will see right changes.

So when it comes to my life, will I allow God the time to work on the issues going on in my life?  Or, will I get impatient and try to do something myself?  The latter is never good.  I need to depend on God to lead.  If I had tried to cut the ring off myself, I could have caused more damage to the ring.  If I didn’t cut the ring off, I could have done some nerve damage in my hand.  If I don’t listen to what I need to do to heal, I will cause further damage to my hand.  Our lives can be like that.  If we aren’t willing to surrender those hard times to the only person who has the answers, then we just struggle along trying to fix it ourselves.  I have come to know that God is big enough for anything I have going on.  He already knows.  There may be a lesson in the midst of it that I need to learn.  Ok.  I’m willing.  I trust Him.  I will do what is necessary and be patient with my process, knowing I will come out the other side with much better understanding and a healthy life.  I will trust the process.

Will you?

Until next time…

~JoAnn