Practice What I Teach

Hello to you on this stormy day in Washington!

You know, God always allows us to learn a lesson from our daily life if we let the Holy Spirit teach it to us. My lesson over the last couple of days was that I better listen to my own mouth and what I teach and share and apply it to my own life.  Here is the story…

I have shared that we are moving and how God orchestrated this whole move and the selling and purchasing of our new home. Amazing circumstances that He worked out. So here is the rub…after working so hard to get the condo ready for a new owner, we do not get final closing on Monday as planned. So this also pushes the closing on the new home out the same amount of days. This was due to no fault of ours, or the buyer. It was error on the part of realtors, mortgage people, and the association to which should have provided that information. We aren’t the first owners to sell a condo there. So what happens to me? I am ready to kick behind and take names. How irresponsible of them all, let alone how unprofessional. They all blamed each other. Not one person came forward and said I’m sorry this was my mistake. Now, I have to admit to being totally exhausted and my body hurting from all that we have been doing. I try to leave a home better than I found it when possible and so I work hard to do that. However, it bummed me out and I didn’t want to do one more thing within the walls of the condo yesterday. I just wanted to complain about how ridiculous it all was, and could have totally been avoided. The buyer was probably planning on being out of her place where ever it was too and now had to extend it some days.

So…now where did my faith go? Where did my trust in the God who made this all possible disappear to? In this morning of rest, it was made clear. I lost it and replaced it with all the other emotions that do not do me any good. Did He not perform a miracle in this making it Fan the Flame of Changeall happen? Was He less faithful in this the changes than before? Maybe, just maybe, there is a reason we do not see that this delay took place. Maybe it was just to teach me this lesson. It changes the help we can get to move and delays getting our things in the new house, but we are still moving, and still selling the condo. I believe that I was so focused on what we wanted to have happen, that it was all about me. We always pray about various circumstances in our lives, but when God does it His way, which is usually not our way, then we get all fired up and think He isn’t in it anymore. He is. I’m the one that left my faith at the door from a phone call. Boy did I need to fan the flames of my faith!

This verse comes to mind: “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7

Now I don’t think there was wicked schemes going on in this circumstance, but it was definitely the case of someone not doing their due diligence. However, my attitude is the one in question also. The Holy Spirit did a pretty good job of poking me about it too! God is in our delays, keeping us from things we may not know. He is in our sorrow right beside us. He is active in protecting us. I certainly had to have a Holy Spirit “behind kick” to bring me back to where my heart needed to be. I’m not proud of how quickly it went sideways, but I have also learned to come back to the Lord and ask forgiveness a lot sooner than I used to. These experiences are how we learn life lessons. We can be rather dense at times and in our stubbornness, we have to learn the same lessons over and over to understand a simple truth. Would you agree?

Don’t be like me in how I reacted to the delay. Be like me where you come back to God quickly and tell Him that you trust His timing. You trust Him to take care of you. You trust Him to keep you from being lonely. You trust Him to work in the pain. You trust Him in helping you with parenting. You trust Him in your finances. You trust Him to meet your needs. You trust Him in these perilous times. You. Trust. Him. With. It. All.

It’s quiet where I am today at the cabin. God used this morning to speak to me about my attitude while I had no distractions. In order for me to benefit from hearing His voice, I have to be obedient to pivot in my outlook, surrender my emotions and thinking, and turn it back over to Him. Then, in my case, be willing to share my “not so good behavior”, so that, others might identify and be encouraged to give it up to Him also. It reminds me of when I was a child and did something I shouldn’t do and my parents told me I had to go to that person and apologize or ask forgiveness for what I had done. I didn’t want to do that. But they were teaching me that we are responsible for our actions. God was teaching me this morning that I am responsible for how I react. And so, I was asked to share this with you because God wanted to teach me this lesson. I was to be, vulnerable that you might learn from me the way that God can also work in your life.

What do you need to pivot from today? I hope by sharing this scenario, that you too, will find peace in your circumstances. It’s time. Stand strong.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

The Curve Ball Keeps Rollin’

 

Yesterday was a big day here in the Bungalow! We listed our home and it has now hit the MLS as of last week. It is busy times. We got the condo all staged and it is looking pretty good. But oh my! This gal is sore and pretty tired! Just doesn’t come as easy as it used to. I pray for my body to stay strong and healthy in these times.

When making decisions, we usually base them on what we know at the time. We did in our move from Aberdeen to our current home. But life changes, and that changes us. So with our current situation, we have come to feel that we enjoy a stand alone home more than we enjoy the condo life. That is a hard decision for us at our age again to be making a move. But we are both in agreement to make a change while we can. It’s difficult, but not impossilbe. There will be challenges, especially now. But God…He can do it. He can pave the way. So we trust Him to do just that.

But since I wrote about curve balls, there has been more coming everybody’s way as of late. But I am a firm believer that God knows what is going on and He is in control. We WILL have difficult times and hardships and sickness in our lives. But He is here to help us and walks with us through them all. So each night I pray for good health for others and myself. I pray God will give wisdom to everyone in these times to live out what is required. I also pray that it changes people. Don’t change for today or tomorrow just because you are forced into it by living circumstances. But let’s let this change our hearts. Let’s have more compassion and love for each other. Help each other where we can. Support each other through encouragement. Let it be a life changing experience that is forever a change agent for life in general.

Fan the flame of change!

We have had to dial back and isolate, and it is making some people crazy and antsy. But in reality, this slower life style is what is good for us. We get back to our roots. We now HAVE time to do those things we really enjoy. Do them! Catch up on that good book. Redecorate or change rooms around. Go through closets. Write if you are a writer. Journal this time for future generations to understand how this experience was for you. Self-examine what is important to you. I think this teaches us that family and friends are what counts the most. And we want to have good relationships with both. We have time now…let’s keep that time in the future for them and we will make the future a better place to live for all of us. Why? Because learning from these experiences is what makes the these worst scenarios add value to our lives and give us renewed purpose.

So we are moving forward and hopefully out also! We will enjoy where the Lord takes us next. He always adds value to our lives each time we make the move. It isn’t an easy time to sell a home, so I would ask that you keep us in your prayers.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

One Leap At A Time

None of us, if we can help it, ever want to leap from one place to another place unless we are sure we can reach the other side. Why is that? We don’t trust ourselves? Fear? The unknown? We don’t trust the One who might be asking us to do it? Yes, sometimes we might physically not be able to make it. But I would venture to say that most of the time, it is for other reasons mentioned above.

These last few weeks, I have had to leap even when I didn’t want to, and I have to say, I didn’t know where I was going to land. I knew I would land, so that is a good thing. But what it would look like on the other side, of what felt like an abyss, was very unknown. I was watching myself go from one leap to another without much choice about whether or not I wanted to leap.

God talks to us about sitting beside the still waters and rest for our soul. I am seeking to stay by still waters, and certainly taking rest for my soul. Can you remember a time when you were going to try and cross a wide stream? You might have leaped from rock to rock to make it across. I have done that many times, and even missed a time or two to be refreshed in a cool stream. But now I have made a leap to the middle of the stream of this skin cancer journey and reached a point where I have to stand on the Rock. Just like the first leap, God will be with me in the next leap to the other side of the stream, with a final procedure complete on October 21st. I have chosen this time to use sedation for the procedure, since my stress or anxiety level was a bit high with my blood pressure. It seems like a wise choice.

So what are the honest, challenging and irritating things I deal with? Here are a few:

  • I have had nights where sleep doesn’t come easy, if at all; nerves come alive and the face and nose tingle, and drip.
  • Not having the freedom to sleep as I like creates its own set of circumstances.
  • The nostril on the surgery side is being pushed on from the graft and so breathing is sometimes hard when I try to sleep.
  • See myself a few times of day with the unknown still to come.
  • I still have some draining, even as of today.
  • I tire of the time it takes to do all that I have to do for the best results in the end.
  • It takes me a good 45 minutes just to wash my face and do what I have to do with my face and ear. And that is just my face.

It is frustrating, but I know it is necessary in order give my face and nose the best chance to heal well. At times it seems discouraging to see how healing is coming, and then, poof, I will have to begin this all over again after the 21st. But then… I will have made it through and final healing can begin!

And then… begins another journey… what my heart, will and emotions does with the rest of the journey. Do I grieve when I see a scar running down my face because skin cancer took a portion of my nose? Yes, I do. Would I have preferred other choices? Yes. I would have, and who wouldn’t? Am I thankful for the cancer to be gone? Yes I am. Can I look at it as an opportunity to see many more days I have been given to share how God walked with me through this journey?  Yes I can. Why? Because I don’t believe it is a wasted “something” that happened to me. It has a purpose, and that is for me to encourage someone else in the process of something that is hard to go through. Maybe this will be an encouragement to them. It always good to know you don’t walk the road alone.

You say, “It isn’t that simple!” Well, it is if you believe it. I kind of appreciated having good skin too. Always took care of it and will continue to do so with more diligence. I already have an arm that has burn and graft scars. I didn’t really want to add my face to the mix. But just like those circumstances of burning my arm weren’t a choice, this isn’t either. So…I keep walkin’. I thank God I don’t walk alone. I never have and that is my comfort. I have to give credit to my hubby who has stood by me during this whole process, cheering me on when I would get frustrated. A blessing…

I share this photo with you because as I do, it helps me see the changes, and reminds me that this IS me now. I won’t always look this way, I won’t always have the scar looking like it does, but I will bear the scars none the less. We all have them, whether we wear them on the outside or the inside. I will just have more to show off on the outside, as I talk about what God kept me from. I have quite a story on my arm, and He even shared the reason why it all happened, and that was in 1973! This will be no different. I trust that, because I trust God.

Will I just go off into the wild and happy yonder October 21st, or even after a year when the scars are no longer quite so visible? Nope, I don’t think so. This experience will always be with me, a thorn in my side so to speak, so that, I tell the story that might not have gotten told otherwise. You see, I have walked with Him for many years. I have seen God bring strangers into my life just to bless me, so it is my goal that God will allow me to be that for someone else.

Until next time…

~JoAnn

Staying the Course

 

 

Well my friends, a lot of the people have followed my last update this last week on Facebook, but since many of you are my cyber friends, I thought I would give you an update since I last posted.

I had my Mohs surgery on Thursday, two weeks ago, and found some more difficult steps had to be taken.  Mohs surgery is when they remove a layer of skin one at a time until they get a clean margin. After three rounds of removal from the right side of my nose, they finally got all the cancer.  However, it has left me with a large crater looking spot on my nose; deep and quite large. My options are not such that I could close the site with stitches, or stretch skin over that spot.  So this means a cosmetic surgeon will be needed for repairing the spot.  As most would know, it isn’t so great to think about the procedure or how this may look on my face. After this news, and seeing it, my emotions were all over the place and I could come up with all kinds of scenarios regarding its outcome.

  • I will now have areas of healing spots, where the flap was taken from (incision) my cheek, and the area of the repair of the top of the nose, and they took cartilage from my ear in order to support a nostril that was almost gone now.
  • I have to look like this with a flap on the side of my nose for three weeks.
  • I’m not a great healer and tend to get scar tissue easily, so how will this heal?
  • How long will the healing process take where I feel like I want to go out in public? So far, not even…
  • How will the outcome actually look?
  • How will I feel about “being seen” afterwards. I had a hard time with the little patch that started this whole thing.
  • I had to do what I did under local anesthetic and will have to do the next procedure of cosmetic repair in the same way.  Not. Fun.

I had all kinds of thoughts going through my mind.  Not withstanding was, the very things I was praying WOULD NOT happen, actually happened.  Thanks for that God.  But as soon as that thought came to mind, the Holy Spirit seemed to speak God’s message to my spirit…”So…do you really trust me?  In this too?? You say you do, so…”  Ok…Yep.  Buck it up buttercup. It is a scary thing. My surgeon said this isn’t life threatening. Ok. That’s something to be thankful for. So I said, “Ok Doc coming from you who has never had to have this done. For me,  however, it IS life altering. This kind of experience makes you rethink a lot of things. I believe there is a purpose for everything that happens in our lives. It can teach, correct, bring us back if we have taken some detours, allow us to share our story to help another, and many other blessings if we allow ourselves to see it.  So, if I believe that, then I have to trust His purpose for me in this also. It’s an all or nothing thing. I either believe Him in all circumstances, or I don’t believe. I believe God’s promises are bigger than anything I face. For this reason, I have decided to share my experience in words and pictures. There is always someone else that needs to hear that they too, can make it through a challeging time. I want to make it count for something. It has also brought me to a place of examining my priorities, asking God what He has next for me, getting myself into a position of pouring into my own soul and spirit, so that, I can be ready to do the same for others that God places in my path.

I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say that there are times when I look in the mirror and don’t like what I see, but I realize I have to trust God with what I see and its outcome. It’s all or nothing for me.  I either believe in Him, or I don’t. I do… so I trust. He has a plan which is certainly not mine, but He knows the end of this from the beginning in this also. So a new JoAnn emerges with a stronger countenance and purpose. I stand at the edge of a huge ocean ready to put my foot in the water in faith, my spear in hand ready for the darts of enemy, and the Word is in my mouth to speak out boldly.

The week of October 21st, will be the second part of the surgical cosmetic repair, and I would ask if you think of it, remember me that day. I really don’t want to go back in that chair again, but I have to. I also will look forward to have this extra off my face. Please pray for skilled hands, and good healing for me. This upcoming Tuesday, I have a one week follow up appointment and I hope the skin tape comes off and that will be another step to feeling better. It’s a journey for me dealing with something so public as my face… not in a vain way, but just because of what it looks like. See??? God still has some work to do in me. 🙂 I leave you with this vulnerable photo of today, six days post surgery. I can’t wear makeup, have my hair around my face or ear, so hair pins and a hat work. My cauliflower ear is still visible but much better then even two days ago.

I am thankful for each of you who visit the blog.  Always a joy to hear that it encourages others.  My hope is that being transparent about my struggles will bring hope to you.

Until next time,

~JoAnn

What Can We Learn From The Autumn Leaf?

I think there is a message in the falling of leaves in Autumn.   I was out with my camera yesterday, and saw a leaf that was hanging on to the branch.  It was the only one that had turned autumn color, but still remaining on the branch.  The wind was blowing it around, up and down, and sideways.  But still it remained.

We can be a bit like that leaf.  We know a change of season is upon us, and we also know that in a change of season, we must change.  We can sense that still small whisper that tells us to move forward, and that He will take care of it and be there.  But we are like a leaf that hangs on for dear life to what it knows.  In our case it is what we have come to be comfortable with.  The leaf knows that it can sustain itself on this branch a little while longer, so its hanging on.  However, we all know what happens.  As the season moves forward, it becomes colder, and that leaf will no longer receive what it needs, because the tree itself is going into a season of rest.  The good thing?  We don’t have to be afraid of change.  We don’t see a leaf that let’s go only to fals like a brick to the ground.  Nope.  That isn’t like God.  The leaf will just float on down to the ground with a beauty all its own.  It allows the season to change its color, and then gracefully drops from the branch.

We can learn a lot from the leaf.  Here are a few thoughts:

  • Change is good because it moves us forward.  We aren’t the only leaf on the tree to fall.  They will all fall at some point.  So when we feel the squeeze of change upon us, know that there are others around you sensing the same thing for themselves; that is, if they are tuned in to God and what He is doing.  You can be a support and prayer partner with those who are experiencing what you are…a step toward the unknown.  I have found when I share that with others through a prayer request, I will find many who are in the same place.  Remember as a child when the all the leaves would be swept together and you couldn’t resist falling into the pile, or throwing them up in the air?  We can rejoice with others the same way.   As we begin to recognize others who are in the midst of a move of God, we can rejoice together as we move toward a new thing. It can be a fun journey when shared.
  • We also don’t have to worry about God dropping us.  Just as the leaf gracefully falls in the wind or just floats to the ground, so God will catch us in His arms and set us on our feet on new territory.  He won’t leave us alone.  He will feel joy at our willingness to step forward into something new, give us what we need to walk it out, and lovingly walk with us along the way.
  • It will definitely change how we look. The leaves are most beautiful when they fall off the branch…they are vibrant, in fact.  Do you know that the color of yellow, orange, or even red, is present in the leaf all through the growing process?  This means while the leaf is green, the colors are still there…BEFORE it turns color.  The color has been there all along!  That could preach right there!!!  That means that through the process of letting go, our true colors or gifts or talents or passions, can show itself in us!!  We will become vibrant with new life!  I love that!  When we allow God to move us and change us, we are best using what He has given us for His purposes.

We will begin to look more vibrant, when we are willing to let go, and let God take the lead in our journey.  We might even begin to notice a more colorful world in the new place He has taken us.  New found color = new found passion.

So…let the winds and the waves come.  I know the Master of the wind.  We know Who is in charge of the winds and the waves.  We can weather the change together.  You may be the first to let go, but we will all come to a time in our lives where we too, have to let go of one season to walk forward into the next season of our life.  We can throw up our hands in the air just like we did with the leaves, only this time, it will be to receive the blessings of obedience flowing down on us like rain.  It’s like a song lyric I listened to yesterday that goes along with this thought…He brings us out, to bring us IN!

Until next time…

~JoAnn

Be REAL!

Words…

  • time…
  • changes…
  • feelings…
  • pressures…
  • struggles…
  • determination to grow

We all deal with these words.  We have time.  Goodness knows, we have changes.  Our feelings react to what is going on.  Pressures?  Yes we have those often too.  God tells us we will have struggles.  What about a determination to grow?  Do we have that?  Are we determined not to stay in the pit some of us are in?  Are we willing to do the shoveling out that needs to be done in order for the changes to occur?

This is where my thoughts have been lately.  If I want any of the above to occur, I must be willing to take on the path of peace and joy.  I have to forget living in the past and what has been done to me.  I have to leave the hurts where they belong…in my past, and at the feet of Jesus.  Why?  Because God tells us that we are to give it ALL over to Him when we accept Him.  We don’t have to carry them anymore!  What a blessing that is!  And…when we do carry them, guess what?  We know that satan has entered the building.  He is the author of confusion, doubt, and disbelief.  Don’t let him rob you over and over again by reliving it.  Open the door wide and I mean WIDE open, and let Jesus take it on!  If its everyday you have to do it for a while, its everyday.  One day it won’t be that way.  A life surrendered, is a life of joy and peace.

It makes me sad to see believers getting big on hype only.  We run around in our lives seeking this and seeking that.  I see this, so I must worship like that.  I see that, and think, I have to do it like that.  That hype can even start looking like the Holy Spirit.  But I say it is not.  There is a big difference in celebrating what God has done for you in your life, and getting caught up more in the world then in the Spirit.  It isn’t about showing anyone else, for the sake of the hype, of how it looks to love Jesus.  It’s personal.  You know what people want to see in us?  They want real.  They want you to have something that is different from what their lives look like, but it isn’t hype and isn’t fake.  Give them a life that shows Jesus.  It should look the same in ALL areas of our lives.  What if we got real with God, and admitted that a lot of what we think is right to do, is not effective.  What if we ask God to come to us in a complete and personal way into our lives.  No hype, just plain relationship.  Not just raising our hands and then looking around to see who is raising theirs, or seeing what you think YOU should do based on what you see.  I believe it is what you feel when you come before God.  But more that, you are telling God in your very own personal and thankful way, how your love abounds for what God has done in your life.  It doesn’t have to look like Mrs or Mister Super Christian.  It just has to be authentic and true.  God knows any way.  Stop the hype and pretense and be who God has made YOU to be.

It sure takes the pressure off and you will find your heart more at peace with yourself.  Because God DOES love us, He wants to change us to be come more like Him.  It requires something of you though.  It requires you and me to live our lives in such a way, that they see Jesus in us in ALL circumstances.  All that you see out there in media world, is NOT the real world.  We DO however, have a chance to be a change agent; a steady example of how to live for Him.  The best thing is, you will have a relationship grow between you and God that is unshakeable.  What do you see?  What is your chosen perspective?  Do you trust God enough to know that He is with you through it?  Do you see it as a necessary journey or circumstance in order to push you through to the other side?  The more we feel shaky in our faith, the more advantage the devil has to plant those thoughts in your head.  Get with people of faith and share what God has done.  There is nothing more faith building than to hear and see God working in the lives of those around you.  Be honest with yourself about where your trouble lies.  It is the only way the Holy Spirit can do his work in you.  Go some place where you can have time alone to have a good conversation with the Lord.  Mine is the beach.  What about you?  Where do you seem to hear from the God the best?  Special place in your house?  On the deck?  In the mountains?  Go there and talk God’s ear off!  He wants to hear from you!

What NOT to do?  Be on social media so much and believing everything on there!  Live life!  Don’t buy into all this junk going around.  If you truly believe God is in control, then you know how the story ends.  If we spend so much time dousing ourselves with social media negative

stuff, it just arouses that in you, AND the people you are sharing it with.   We all talk to ourselves and there is statistics out there to show that we you say to yourself actually changes how you think.  And…it effects you immediately and has an impact on you.  So if you are speaking negative and bad comments, posts, or telling people off in your thoughts and words you say out loud, then you are changing your thinking and the feelings follow.  Then when ever you think about that person, you think about what they have done to you, or said to hurt you.  And THAT my friend, is just what the devil likes.  He is rubbing his hands together and saying, “This is actually working!!  Can’t believe they bought that one, hook, line, and sinker!!!”  *insert ugly snicker here*.

I want more and more to have God’s perspective as my own.  I want Him to keep shedding light on my path to guide me.  After listening to the messages the last few Sundays on James, that is enough to make me say, “Wakey, wakey, JoAnn!”  I have become more diligent to ask Him daily to show me what to say, what not to say, and how I need to act.  I don’t always get it right.  I can be critical of people at times.  I can get real down like this last week.  I can say things in a way to my hubby that doesn’t exactly show the kind of love I want to show.  But I don’t have to live in regret of that.  My pastor said last Sunday, “If we learn to control our tongue, then other bad habits will fall way”.  I have become very quick to ask forgiveness of God for those things.  And I am wanting to be quick to ask forgiveness of others.  Then, I can move on in joy and allow Him to take away those down feelings, and…take action!  I turn on the good music, read an uplifting book and scripture, working on a Bible Study, and God will bring me out.  Stop trying to do it yourself.  You can NOT.  You just beat yourself up trying.  Don’t look at things that take you there.  Don’t hang with people who take you there.  Don’t do the things in your daily life the same way anymore.  Do something different.  Ask God to show you what it is, and then do the thing!

I don’t know who this is for today, but once I started writing, it just came out.  So maybe it was just for me.  But I kind of doubt that.  So I hope someone finds help, encouragement, or a kick in the behind out there from this post.  I speak from a place of experience and have had to do all of the above at some time in my life.  Actually, I lot of times in my life.  But I have a Holy Determination to never give up and never give in.  And God, He has been my Rock.  Stay close to the Rock, and you will see your feelings of despair flowing down stream, away from you and in to God’s capable hands.

Until next time,

~JoAnn

Don’t Forget Your Directions

Do you think God allows us to go through tests?  Do you feel like you are passing the test?  Or, do you feel like you might need to study more, maybe even get yourself a mentor?

This last Friday, hubby and I were going down South of our home to attend a training about helping people walk through the process of grief.  I was all ready on Friday night with only toiletries to put in my bag, take the direction paper from the fridge, and grab my purse as I went out the door.  However, hubby sees no need to get all excited about getting ready…after all, we aren’t leaving until tomorrow morning. :p.  So… it made it rather rushed going out the door on time Friday morning.  As we drive and are way too far out to go back, I realize that the post-it note with the name, address and phone number of the place we were staying that night down south, is not with me.  Now, I tried to think of the name of the place, but couldn’t recall it for the life of me.  I looked at recent calls on my phone because they had called to confirm.  But when I call them, they have turned it to fax-line.  As hubby is telling me that we need to have an address or name to know where to go, I’m saying, “Ya think??!!??”  I’m searching the internet to see if a name rings a bell…nothing.  It’s a pretty helpless feeling when you know the area is very busy with many conferences and you have “one chance place” to stay and you can’t find it.  I thought I recognized a name as I looked, but looking at the picture, that didn’t seem like the right one.  I prayed and asked God to open the line back up for a phone call.  I tried four other times to reach them and the same thing happened.  Finally, by the time we were about thirty minutes out, I reached them.  I got the name and address, and put it my phone maps and we were able to drive right to it.  Given that there were a couple of large conventions going on in the city, there was not another room to be had…so I was one happy lady to finally get through to them to confirm.  Now… even though it is me who has to handle all these arrangements, and usually my fault if I forget something like this, somehow, it seems like if we were all ready like I was the night before, things would have been smoother going out the door, and I would have remembered all that I needed to.  So was this another one of those lessons that I am being taught?  What do you think?

 

As I contemplated this whole scenario after it was over, I realized there really is a lesson here.  We go through our lives and let our circumstances dictate what is going to happen.  We don’t plan well, our time gets rushed, we aren’t prepared as we should be, and it can very easily fall apart.  We go about our life and hurry here and hurry there, going sometimes with no direction or map to help guide us get to our destination.  If we would consider the advice of seeking God in all we do, He will give us the directions and address through His Word on the way we need to go.  I won’t have to panic and try to find it myself.  If I ask Him, He will work on my behalf, just like He did to open the line up to be able to reach the place where we were staying.  We ask first.  However, we can also be like my hubby and say, I will have tomorrow.  It’s no big deal.  I will get ready then.  Well, we may not have a tomorrow.  God wants us to live in a preparative state; especially in these times.  Know where to go for direction and guidance.  Talk to the right person Who can make all things work out.  In my case, I sweat it out for a few hours as I tried unsuccessfully to reach them.  I finally prayed for the solution about thirty minutes out!  What?!?!???  It should have been my first response!  Kind of funny, isn’t it?  Even when we KNOW what to do, we try to do it ourselves instead of asking God to take care of it and then leaving it there!  The way I WAS going, we could have been room-less with a big headache on top of it.

God wants us to give it up sooner.  Why?  So He can show us that every little thing matters to Him where we are concerned.  He wants to show Himself faithful.  That grows our faith.   Note to self:  Ask God sooner so He can show you another time of His love and power to change things in my life!  Note to YOU:  Don’t wait to turn things over.  Be in the Word so you recognize Him and build trust in Him for the Lifetime Trip He has you on.  Know where you are going before you leave home.  If I had turned my morning over to Him before even getting upset over not being ready to just go out the door as I planned for us, then maybe my head would have been in the right place, and I could have avoided it all!  Our journey may look like this ring that has its ups and downs, around a mountain or two, but that journey goes up and that’s how I wear this ring!  I do like the other ring too that says, pray always, and I know my prayers go up.  What I’m learning is how quick I send my prayers up determines how free I am going to be from the stress of the journey!

 

Isn’t He great to teach us when we are willing to lean in to hear what He has to say.  It’s not always easy, but it is always worth it!

Until next time…

~JoAnn