Ok, Lessons from a Turtle?

IMG_6818I’m not sure why, but this last weekend when I was down at the ocean, I saw a little decor turtle and felt I was supposed to get it and bring it home with me.  I am a very visual person and so I have many things that I keep around me on my desk and in my office that are reminders to me of how I should live and think regarding my daily life.  Here are a few thoughts that came to mind as I wondered about the reasoning behind making that purchase.  You can google many ideas about lessons from a turtle, and some of them will be a part of why God may have laid that on my heart.

  • 1.  Turtles may be slow but they will get where they are going.

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare.  We know that lesson!  We may know it by heart.  But, we sure forget it quickly when it is something we want.  All living things have a time of growth.  A tree doesn’t just become a tree.  It takes a long time to get tall and sturdy.  So it is with us. We are and should be constantly growing.  How fast is not as important as taking a steady pace, and we keep at it.

  • 2.  They are very determined.

When baby turtles are born, they go by instinct to the nearest water.  They face all kind of challenges to get there, but they are determined to go through the scary trials to make it.  Sand may be hard for them to get over because even the smallest hill of sand presents a challenge to them as tiny creatures.  They may be eagle food, but they instinctively have that determination and drive to get where they are going.  They don’t give up at the first sign of challenge; even at that young age.

  • 3.  They have been called a symbol of peace.

I would guess this reasoning has to do with the quiet, but sure way of living.  If you watch a turtle, they are very observant.  They watch you carefully and they are aware of what is around them  This reminds us to slow down our pace in life and look around.  Enjoy what we see as we go.  Hurry is not peaceful but slowing down is, or can be.

  • 4.  If there is something they are having difficulty with, they will focus on that issue until they can figure out what to do.

As a child, my cousin had a turtle and that turtle was older than me by several  years at that time, and they still had him long after I became an adult, married and had children.  Amazing!  One time I watched that turtle struggle with a stick that had been put in the wrong way, and now was in its way and messing with his environment.  Oh how he would struggle to right that stick so it would be in the correct place.  He didn’t give up until it was moved correctly to his liking.

  • 5.  They must stick their neck out if they want to get somewhere.

That’s right!  If we want to grow, we have to stick our neck out and try something new or different.  We have to put ourselves out there!  But many times, we may be like the turtle in fear, and pull our necks back in,  and in our case, tuck and curl in defeat.  However, if we want growth in our life, and a better relationship with those around us, we have to stick our neck out there!

  • 6.  If you were to pick a turtle up that is going on one direction, and you turned it around to the opposite direction, they will turn around in their shell so they can keep going in the same direction they were headed.

What does that tell us?  That turtle knows its direction; it has an inner sense of direction.  No matter which way it is turned, it knows the path it needs to take.  We need to have our compass to true north; that is, to the direction of God and His promises.  We want to “know” in our hearts and mind what direction that is.  And if we are truly in tune with God, just the like the turtle, we can always know which way is the right way to go.  U-turns are awesome, aren’t they?!?

So, I brought that little turtle home with me to have on my desk, so that I too, can remember the message of the turtle and the reasons why God may have put that on my heart.  I hope you will remember the lessons of a turtle and let it be a life lesson for you as it was for me!  God is good to teach us in big and small ways if we are tune, and listen to Him, and respond.

To life at a turtle pace…slow and sure…walking the journey with you…

~JoAnn

2012 ~ My Year of Jubilee

Here we are at the end of another year. To some of us, this is exciting! We look back on our year and see all the things that God has done for us, accomplishments we have made, and it helps us decide what we might want to change in our new year. We might be thinking of areas of our life that might need “adjustments”, or just plain need to be changed. Whatever it is for you, there is a way to make it fun and exciting. Don’t entertain the thought that you don’t need them. You do! Don’t think of them as resolutions. If you don’t make them, you just made a resolution anyway; that is, to no do anything for fear it might not happen.

So how do we handle them?

1. I have always been a BIG proponent of setting goals each year. Every December, and sometimes even earlier, I begin to ask God to shed some light on things for next year. I never get picky about what I write down. I write down EVERYTHING big or small. I allow God the opportunity to choose what He will bring about in my life.

2. Over the last several years, God has given me a word for my year. It is something that I pray for Him to give me. I research it, and because I am a visual person, I look for pictures that will represent that word for me. I purchase a few items of visual reminders. I put the picture on my office, iPad, my desktop, my iPhone and anywhere else I may need to put it so that it is in front of my eyes. I explore. I dream. I envision. ~~> I. Get. Excited!

2012? Wow! Let me share what God has laid upon my heart. This year, God gave me the word…wait for it……..JUBILEE!!! I’m so excited about it. I think of the Biblical times regarding the Year of Jubilee and it is a time of celebration; shouts of joy! Reflections on what God has done and then listening to what He wants you to do next. The idea of Jubilee comes into our current times too with celebrations of 25, 50 and 60 year anniversaries. But I like to think of it in more biblical terms and that it is a year of forgiveness of debt, the ground is left alone to replenish itself for future crops and then during that time, it is a time of reflection and trust. You see, in those times, they wouldn’t have the crops they would normally depend on either. So they had to trust that other items would be enough to sustain them until they planted once again. I like to think that as God gives me this word, He is asking me to trust Him deeper, be a noticer of His work in my life, supernaturally work in my finances, and give me direction where He wants me to work with Him. But I am open to His leading this next year.

God has given me a word for the year for about the last 5 years or more. Last year it was Celebrate and this year Jubilee. But He added another this year and that word is, relentless. Just a few days after that word came to me, I ran across John Bevere’s book CALLED Relentless. I purchased the book! I believe He has something to tell me about being relentless, not giving up, seeking, learning, and listening. So I will be relentless in my pursuit of my year of Jubilee.  It is like a well-spring stirring up inside ready to spill out!

So, as I was looking for something to represent my year of Jubilee I came across something that I really liked.  I am a gal that loves red. Why? About 13 years ago, God began speaking to me about the color red and the cross. I came to see it as a reminder of what Christ did for me on the cross and His blood that was shed so that I might be given salvation. And in the years following, I started adding that color to my home. I haven’t stopped. It is the primary color of my kitchen, master bedroom and I have a little of the red color in each room. Red is a color that is action oriented, deep need for physical fulfillment, compassionate, and likes to experience life through five senses. That is SO me.  However, I’m also a blue person. Blue people have an inner need to find peace and truth. They like to live their life according to their ideals and beliefs. Color is important. With the right color you can change how a room looks, how you look with the right color of clothing, and also what it does for your skin tone and eyes. That’s not to mention what it can do for your overall well-being to have colors you love around you! So I am concentrating on bringing those colors into my world in 2012!

If you visit my Facebook page, you can see my picture for My Year of Jubilee. The diamonds representing the Jubilee or celebration and the color red because that is my main color. I will also be adding from the blue category, some blue/turquoise into my vision. I will be on the hunt for good finds to include that in my home, which I found just today for my toast this evening for New Years!

What about my goals? I write those goals of mine down in a little book. I have it right by me to read through. When God meets a need on that list, answers the desires on that list, I highlight it. At the end of the year, I have a wonderful “altar of remembrance” for that year. It brings me joy and gratitude to see what He has done for me. He cares about everything on your list. Don’t limit Him! Go get out that tablet or journal and begin dream with God! See what He will do! He is faithful and wants you to trust Him. Dream big and watch Him be faithful to answer! I would love to hear what you have planned for the new year. Leave a comment! ♥

Walking the journey with you…