God is in the whisper! We may not always think about that. The verse in scripture where we are told to be still and know? That’s it. Leaning in so we listen for God’s whisper takes special tuning. If we are missing the whispers, we are living with static and losing opportunities to see God working. So, with that said, let me share some thoughts that I believe God has planted in my heart lately. We need to be able to believe that God is faithful; not just when things are going right, but when things go wrong. Also, when things see too big for us to handle. If we can get to the point where we are hearing God whisper, then I think we are reaching a level of relationship with God that will lead us to deeper faith. That is what’s required in all times of life, no matter what is going on.
There are times when we have a feeling that we are to begin something, move forward in something, or end something. However, just because we get that feeling, doesn’t mean we should go forward. If we feel that God is giving us direction, then He will open doors or confirm in some way what we are to do. It isn’t good to go ahead on our own steam without those confirmations. It can get us into trouble. God will give us confirmation so that we will know without a doubt that it is Him. If we are not to go ahead, He will tells us that too, but we have to be willing to abide by the warning He gives us.
So…over this last weekend, I closed down a group on Facebook I had called Faithline. It was an online group that studied from where ever we were located and learned from each other and supported each other on our walk with the Lord. Great people, great encouragement. I have led the group for several years and in the last year, found myself a bit restless and unsettled with it. Usually when this happens, it is accompanied by a lifting of the grace to do whatever I am doing, along with the feelings I described above. For me, I know that God is working on me with a message. So I sought Him in prayer over it and felt Him leading me to step away from leadership for the group. I didn’t make the decision quickly. It has been coming for a while. I have given it much prayer and thought. We are sometimes asked to leave what is good, to do something that is better. Enter…faith. Where am I headed? Instead of leading right now, I feel that I am to make some changes in my own life. Change isn’t easy. I even found myself saying that I could keep it open just to encourage once in a while. But as soon as I said that, I got a quick check in my spirit that said, “That isn’t what I have told you to do.” Well, that answered that for me. I closed the group. I am to become a student and learn from others that can deepen my faith and knowledge of Christ. Here is what my season will look like now:
- Changes are difficult and take some time to learn new habits. In my case, I have cut back my FB friends and keep it to family and a few friends…ones that encourage but don’t post negative posts all the time or often. It gets to use more than you realize. It means less screen time, and not living by what I need to answer or post. I even find myself lost at times, as I find I have much more time on my hands. Exciting to me because now I can do some of those other activities that bring joy to my heart.
- I am getting back into activities that bring me joy, such as: music, playing instruments, reading, writing poetry, singing, working on genealogy, baking bread, trying new recipes, and more one on one coffee meet ups to share what God is doing in the lives of people. I have read through the Bible this year and I am almost done. Next year I will do it with a study bible and a commentary to read through comments for clarification, or insight. I even have a contact for a flute that I might be able to buy to play again, which I haven’t played since my late 20s or early 30s. I had to sell mine at one point so that is exciting for me! I play for my own amazement with: guitar, mandolin, uke, flute, accordion, working with my dad’s harmonica, and piano. I am not proficent at any one instrument but I hope to improve my skills with my investment of time in this activities.
- Going to school (from my studio) as a student in Bible study and life. Always an exciting journey for me.
- I am going to up my photography skills and learn from online options and the books that I have in my library. I always thought, “I need to be better”. I have told myself many times that I need to get with the program and learn how to be more professional. But you know what?? I found I was listening to voices outside myself telling me what I should being doing. Comparison. It is not a good thing. And it can take the fun and joy out of photography. Here is a quote from David duChemin, a well known photographer, who I feel is the voice of reason in the photography world: “What if we all want different things? What if I want to do this professionally, and all you want to do is photograph everything you see because it brings you joy and makes you feel more alive?” That my friend, can apply to any area of our lives. But you see, I am a lot like that quote. I want to photograph everything! It keeps me in the moment. It helps me stay grateful for what I have around me and what I have been given. I’m also leaving a story behind for my family and future family through the photographs I take. I don’t need to put pressure on myself for anything else.
- Writing from my blog rather than leading a group. I can share from this corner of the world that God has given me just as easily.
You see, we can get tied up in comparisons and lose our joy and contentment. What if your crossroads have to do with how often your read your Bible? Or, when you read your Bible? How about how often you pray? What you do with your kids? How you appear on Facebook? That check list that you feel you have to mark off so you can feel like you are accomplishing something? Who is that for? It doesn’t really prove anything. Some of that isn’t real life anyway. It is what gets inside you that is more important than checking it off a list. I feel more and more that we are to get back to the basics of life. Shut out the “shoulds” and begin doing it for the right reasons…our families, our well-being, our inner joy, our homes, our marriages, our relationships. As we have seen from this year, those are what’s really important to our happiness. Grab a camera and get into nature. Teach your children or grandchildren how to cook and bake. Let them see that the life you live is a legacy they can have. Show them. Show yourself. Is it easy? No. The world is consistently putting the brainwashing message out there that we have to have more we have to DO more; do more to have more. So we get on the wheel and run like a gerbil, when deep in our heart we want something laced with contentment. It gnaws at us little by little. Stop the wheel and get off. Now, if you think about the gerbil, it is not going to jump off while the wheel is spinning fast. Nope. It will slow the wheel down and then get off. That means this is a process of slowing down, one step at a time. I’m going there. How about you? If we are doing things we love, we are happier, and our life looks and feels a whole new beginning. I love new beginnings and chances to start again. It just feels right. It is one of those “inside” changes that totally changes us in our outside of us and our lives. Yes, it is true. Even your appearance changes when you are happy and content deep in your heart.
In gratefulness for all that God has done and continues to do in my life, even with VERY hard circumstances going on, I look forward to adding some exciting changes and new joy to this season of my life story. I hope you too, are inspired to do the same, however that looks for you.
Until next time…