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

Let The Waves And Ripples Begin!

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This weekend when I was out taking pictures, I saw something that reminded me of the word that God gave me for this year. My word for this new year is LIGHT. Light shines in the darkness and it shines for all to see. As is the case when I go out, God uses the things around me to speak to my heart and this picture had a message that went right along with my word for this year. I saw a rock in the water. There wasn’t that much of it that was sticking up out of the water, however as I observed, I saw that even the little part of the rock that was out of the water, caused waves to separate around it. The water didn’t just roll over it, it made its own little waves. As little as the waves were, it still caused a ripple effect in the water that was very large. God seemed to say that I needed to stand firm just like that rock. That if I am seeking Him, I am the rock standing on the Rock.  Even though I may not make a big splash in my life, and may not feel like I can have that much influence over those around me, I will have. I may only make a small waves but the effect of those little waves will ripple out exponentially as He has designed. I need to be just like that rock; stand firm, and let my little light shine! God will do the rest. The “Butterfly Effect” (A Book by Andy Andrews) is in motion.

A couple of minutes later, I took the same shot with a different aperture setting and it change the whole look. God said, just like this shot, you may not always be able to see what is going on or what will happen next. But the rock is still there and hasn’t changed. The water waves are still there, and the ripples are still going out whether I can see them or not. I have to trust. God sees and He knows what I can’t see and what I don’t know. If I trust Him, it doesn’t matter that I can’t see what is going on behind the scenes. He knows.

I am looking for what God has for me this year! I am expecting great things! I can trust Him to show me! The message I got at the beach last week was that I need to shine my light for all to see, however that works out in my life. I make not make a big splash, but I WILL affect people and the ripples will go out! That is what my calling is; encourage people to live their lives pursuing what God has for them, living it out in passionate pursuits, and to honor Him for the gifts He has given us to use for His glory. I hope you find some of that on this blog.

What a great picture story I was given. I was so excited! In what way do you want to be used by God this year? Have you taken the time to ask Him, and then listen to what He has for you? If you are quiet and tuned in, he WILL show you. Let the waves and ripples begin!

Walking the journey with you…

Chains and Change

Have you ever had an experience where something you heard, watched or experienced had such an impact on you that you knew you couldn’t do anything else but to change some things in your life? I have recently changed churches at God’s leading, and I attended a class on “Belonging” to this particular church and family. However, as I listened to the pastor share his heart about what belonging to this church means, I knew immediately that I would be challenged in a BIG way!  What is it that really reached down into my heart and stirred me up? Let me share some thoughts with you.

We can so easily get seduced into thinking that what we are doing and the way we are living is “ok” with God. God knows my circumstance and He will understand why I do what I do, say what I say, get mad over anything, call someone a name, say words I shouldn’t say or any number of things we justify. The fact IS? He does care. He asks us to follow Him and leave that all behind us when we accept Him as our personal Savior. I can’t look like the world and live my life for Jesus. I have to do life differently.

So as I listened, God began an excavating process and exposed things for me to change. I have lived all my life for God, but there are areas of my life I don’t like much. My challenge? How am I going to change and adjust my life so I live more fully for Him?

You see, we can get caught up on all kinds of moves and activities; so much so, that we get desensitized to our busyness and begin to justify it to ourselves. We ignore that voice that says, “That isn’t going to take you where I want you to go.” And, let’s face it, change is HARD! It’s so much easier to just ignore it. Shoot, we are so busy doing OUR thing, we don’t even hear that voice trying to encourage us to move toward HIS thing.

So what will I be working on? I will be transparent with you for a minute because I know that is the first step to changing what God wants to change in me. Here I go:

▪                I love to serve, help and encourage people. I love being involved in my church. But in my involvement, I have to be under the authority of the pastor who has a God-given vision and leave my agenda behind. I don’t think that my ideas are the only ideas. I just get excited about what could be! It’s hard for me to keep a lid on it because I’m a visionary! I get all excited about what could be done to help others in their walk with the Lord. But I’m going to work on that submission area.

▪                I’m asking God for control over my mouth, where it can be easy for things to come out that aren’t edifying to anyone.

▪                I’m putting my message that God gave me three years ago and is on my wall, back to work in my life. It says, ” To JoAnn…praying without ceasing. ~God”  Oh, I pray all the time. But I have had a season of time where I have not been as consistent as I was.

▪                I’m expecting that because God is asking me to change these areas, that He will give me the grace to do it; expecting answers to prayers and needs.

▪                I am watching my associations and situations which would get me agitated or riled up. I want the things that stir me up to be God’s agenda.

▪                I will learn with God’s help to be consistently content with what He gives me and also the home where I live. Sometimes, I can get off track when I see others who have more or seem to always have “it”, as my pastor shared last Sunday. I want to be consistent in the area of “living satisfied”.

  • I am creating an environment in my home that says, God lives here, and what I have, I owe to Him. So my husband and I are working on areas that will improve our home to make the atmosphere cozy and inviting. We want our life to me just like a door header I saw that said, “We live to make God famous.”

I’m excited! It’s not going to be easy. But I know God spoke, and He asked me to step up to this challenge from Him and see what He will do! I talk about the journey of my heart on this blog; this is my heart. I’m hopeful that my journey will inspire you to take up the mantle and ask God for the changes that YOU may need in your life, SO THAT, you will have both feet on the side of Jesus! Get your expectation motor started! He will take you to places you never dreamed of! I would love to hear from you! Let me know what God is working on in you! Blessings on your journey!