A New Look

How has your new year started?  Are you feeling energized by the fact that you are starting to write on new pages in your life this year?  Are you feeling a bit like you are in a funk?  Maybe you don’t see this year as any different from the last year?

I have found myself energized by the new year.  I have received a lot in this last year:

  • Insight and wisdom
  • Made it through some very hard times
  • God has strengthened my resolve
  • I have left some old things behind
  • Embraced new things
  • Did some heart excavating
  • The importance of family and friends
  • Seeing life differently both with my eyes and my camera
  • Learning what to say yes to
  • No fear of saying no more often
  • Renewed my love of making music
  • Learning more and more to lean in and listen to the Whisper

I know there is much more to learn this year too, and I am happy to say that I have entered this new year without regrets.  What was hard, made me stronger.  I  reviewed what was going on and examined my reaction to it.  I believe in changing what I can to make it better.  Most of the time, if I am honest, my reaction to something is really just not allowing God to handle it.  I feel excited about what is to come this year!  I have purchased a ukulele and mandolin to learn, got new strings on my guitar, budgeted a little for photography investments, started reading again everyday in those books I purchased.  I approach it just like it is a class I attend.  I give myself time for lessons to learn more, I give myself quiet time to reflect.  I take in the moments in my day rather than moving so fast that I don’t “notice”, or hear God”s whisper.

As I am reading in a current study, I find myself in total agreement with the author who says we can get deafened to hearing from God because we have so many loud noises trying to get our attention.  He also says that we become deaf to God speaking to us.  He needs to be our loudest voice.  I think so too.  When I am living more like I shared above, I am more relaxed and just enjoy the moment for what it is.  A mocha, a phone call from a friend, a prayer request that I immediately pray for, time with a child, listening to a great song, playing a tune I just made up, or spending time with hubby doing some of our favorite things.  For example, I don’t just drink a mocha.  I savor the warmth of the cup, the flavor of the drink, who I am with, where I am at….all those things.  I’m thankful.  Some do not have a warm drink, let alone a warm home.  So I say thank you that I can enjoy this moment because He has been provided for that.  When I sing and play, I am thankful for the gift of a singing voice and that I can even still sing; not like I used to, but at least I can still sing.  I sing my thanks, I listen to the lyrics as I sing…it is all about taking the time to hear what song God even brings up in my spirit TO sing.  That can be a message all by itself!  That is listening! The new year for me brings up all the things that are right in my world, not all the things that are wrong.  I look for good when I make my goals, and let God show me what He will willing to do with this year.

The gift that my hubby and I gave each other this year for Christmas was a spa type hot tub.  It is portable and not real big, but it fits us and has a semi hard casing around it.  We are excited about spending time enjoying a good soak when these bones and muscles are kind of stiff.  It will be outside amongst the trees and cold air, while we are relaxed and refreshed by the heat of the tub.  I can’t wait to try it out with a mocha in hand!  I hope it will be ready soon!

I just got a new journal that I love.  It is very old-fashioned and that draws me to it.  It’s blank pages are screaming for a story, and…I just might have to write one.  It may be for my own eyes only, and something I pass on, but it may be a treasure some day for someone else.  There are mysteries in our lives, and I think we need to be more open to sharing them while we are here to share them.  I encourage my boys to ask me what they want to know if I haven’t shared it with them already.  So if you aren’t a journal type person, remember, it doesn’t have to be a page; it may only be a paragraph.  It may even be a sentence or two.  Great!  Just put it down.

My new year’s wish for you is that you take this new year as an opportunity to mix things up a little bit.  Do something new.  Change what you don’t like and replace it with something you do!  Become a an artist of your own life; a writer of your own story.  There are times in my life where a certain situation comes up and I would love to see God change that, like… immediately.  But of course, that is not the case. God has His own time frame, and His own reasoning for where I am and what I am doing.  So instead of complaining about it, I’m learning to ask Him to help me understand it, AND the process.  That way my focus is more on solution than complaint.  You see, if we change how we look at things, we change everything about it.  I can’t take a picture of a flower if I’m focused on the sky.  I have to get down where the flowers grow, maybe even grovel on the ground a bit to get the best view.  THEN… I can see the beauty that is there to see.  It is all about our perspective.

Let me just say that I hope you will grab that extra cup of coffee or what ever your favorite is, and take a moment to ponder this post.  See and ask what you are supposed to put your eyes and ears to this year.  What does this mean for you?  What is my heart telling me about my adventurous journey?  Not adventurous, you say?  Well then!  You have your first goal for the new year!  Adventure!  Seek out something new!  Go for it! I am!!! 🙂

See you on the Adventure trail!

Until next time…

~JoAnn

 

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Rains of Change

This is a post that I had written quite some time ago, actually in September of 2011 and never posted it. So as I was reviewing it, I realized it started that day! I now see the pieces coming together.

In Washington, we have a lot of experience with rain. However, we also enjoy the beautiful lush green color that goes with it! We know a refreshing rain is good for many things. One of those things is the freshness to the air we breathe. So, as I sat yesterday inside my cozy office, I was thinking about that. I decided to take a moment and I went outside to listen and to watch as the rains came down.

As I watched the rain and saw this little plant, I realized, or God chose to remind me, “so it is with our lives”. We need times of refreshing so that we can continue to grow and revive our weary souls. New beginnings so to speak; renewed every morning. We may decide on a different direction for our lives, a move, re-arrange our home or decor, or maybe even our change our schedules so that we CAN have more times for the soft rain of change to happen. It brings peace and calmness to our souls. You may be in a torrent of rain right now, but all the more important for you to really pray over these words for your life circumstances. Ask God to reveal Himself in the circumstances.

So here is what I felt as I watched the rain. I feel change coming. Have you ever had one of those seasons where you feel like something is about to happen and you aren’t sure what? You are kind of excited but not sure what God is up to? I have been living with this feeling for a long time. I feel God calling me to rely on the Holy Spirit for direction. I am in preparation for something yet unknown, but its going to be great! Crazy, huh? But…exciting!

I think that is the whole idea, though, don’t you? He wants us to live in expectancy of His next move or work. But we have to lay a foundation for that work before hand. Think about this…satan lays his groundwork before he plays out his full hand. Have you ever thought about that? He doesn’t just hit you with an attack. He has been laying ground work by planting doubt, discouraging you with circumstances, causing insecurities, hurt in relationships and anything else he can come up with. Then, before we know it, he is inside our door! One little chink in our armor and he will use that to turn your life upside down. Spend time with the Lord and let His refreshing rain fall over you and give you what you need when you need it. Use the Word to stand against it, pray always, so you are laying a solid groundwork!

What refreshing rains are falling on you?  What will you re-arrange so that you can have times of refreshing in your life? You see, 10 months later, I am finding out that there is a move in my future to a different home, and selling the home we have lived in for over three years. He is moving me into a different season and I am moving forward TOWARDS it as each day passes!

Funny isn’t it? No…not funny, but exciting to see the hand of God move in our lives and see all the pieces of the puzzle start coming together. God bless you as you throw the umbrella away and let the soft rains of change wash over you! Walking the journey with you…in the rain!