College was drawing to a close for me. I stood on the edge of my senior year gazing into the future with wild imaginations of where I hoped my career would lead me. I loved the heartbeat of a big city. The hustle and bustle beckoned me. Buildings reaching for the sky just like my dreams.
I was a journalism major with high aspirations. I was clicking out words in downtown Los Angeles as a columnist for a New York fashion newspaper. I could taste the excitement tingling in my fingers.
Sitting on one of the few grassy knolls on campus, I planned a course that would take me to The City. The Big Apple. Madison Avenue. Slick fashion publications. Thoughts swirled through my mind of sitting at my own desk and peering out a 40th floor window of a city tower that overlooked the heartbeat of the city that never sleeps. Continue reading
Share: Share what you have enjoyed. I mixed and swirled round and round and delicately sprinkled pieces into a bowl like gently falling rose petals. Pieces of paper with precious names of those who lovingly left comments on my blog or joined me as a new encourager on this journey of inspiration.
With a prayer for the Lord to choose just the right one, I reached into those petals and pulled out the one chosen to receive Ann Voskamp’s book, Blessings and Congratulations to
May this book fill your life with the blessing to see the many gifts our Lord gives us each day in our ordinary lives.
Thank you to all who participated in this drawing, leaving your thoughtful comments and joining me on the journey.
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|Image from Google|
I knew it was coming but I couldn’t stop it. It’s that pain every mother feels. That gut-wrenching, ripping, tearing when one of her children is yanked out from her covering pinions. The culprit. Independence. A time to prove myself. A time to cut the apron strings, the hovering. The lure. Adventure. Excitement. Freedom. The reality. It takes more than just an age on a driver’s license. More than just a need to spread one’s own wings. More than just a lark. He placed the flyers, contracts, information sheets carefully in my hand. He said he wanted my opinion but he’d already made up his mind. Highlighted in yellow was the application fee, the security deposit, the hold fee. Above the yellow block was the rental cost. What happened to the talks we had just a few nights before? What happened to the list of things he wanted to accomplish before he moved out with a friend? Why rush into this? (I already knew that answer.) I stared at the computer screen, then glanced at the papers in front of me. Shoulders slumped. He saw me there and quietly sat in the chair behind me. “You’re not happy?” he questioned me. My body language spoke volumes. “What do you think about the apartments,” he continued before I had a chance to answer reasonably. How do you respond to a factual question that is wrought with emotional overtones? “Oh, I think it’s a great deal.”? I tried the accounting approach that would keep my raw feelings undercover. “Have you considered the utilities on top of rent? How will you afford your car insurance as well? Do you know for a fact that you will be getting that higher paying job? Did you ask about the lease and what would happen if you had to break it?” the gentle interrogation went on. “And what if you don’t get along with your friend after awhile? How will you handle that?” the tone became a little more incriminating. “How are you going to return to college in the fall with a full time job and other responsibilities?” His silence dropped the bomb. He was not going back to college in the fall. Maybe next spring. The exterior facade cracked. I could not hold back the figurative finger wagging any longer. I reminded him of his promises to return to school in the fall. Of the importance of a college degree and a career plan. Of his promises to wait until he was more stable financially. Of the wisdom his father had poured out the other night. He wanted to know why I was being so negative. I countered with a reasonable observation that I was being realistic. I stopped and looked at his face. He was trying so hard to be calm, to prove he had considered all these factors, to move in love into the next stage of life. My heart was racing, my head spinning, my stomach twisting in knot. But I knew. I knew I had to let him go. To let him go in love. To practice what I had just heard at Bible Study last night. “Abandonment (of my will and plans) to God is freedom.”
I knew I had to trust the Lord to shelter him under His pinions.
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. …Trust in him at all times, O people; POUR OUT YOUR HEARTS TO HIM, for God is our refuge. Psalm 62:5,6,8 NIV
Is God asking you to trust Him in a special way? To abandon all to Him because He loves you?
Linking with Imperfect Prose
Time to celebrate a journey that began with feeble steps, weak knees, and cry to the Lord sort of like Moses, “I don’t think I can do this..” But the Lord said, “Follow me and trust me.” So here I am one year later, amazed at all I have learned and the many online friendships that have resulted from accepting this challenge.
First of all, I knew nothing about blogging or how to set up a blog. All I knew was that I wanted to write Christian inspirational articles for women. As far as the technical side goes–I would not have made it through the first few rough months without my oldest son’s innate knowledge of computers. Fortunately, he was working right beside me on his computer, and after I whined for awhile, he’d slide his chair over, make me move, sweep his magic fingers across the keyboard, and say, “There.” I never did figure out what he did. I just knew I got the result I wanted. And who cared about the techy stuff anyway? Wrong!
In the Spring of last year, I took a Blogging Workshop, “31 Days to Build a Better Blog” focused around and E book by Darren Rowse. High Calling Blogs and Our Church.com combined to offer the workshop. I wrote more during that time than I think I did in my whole writing career. It was a great experience with a lot of interaction among the participants. Some of us still follow each others’ blogs and have developed genuine friendships.
Since then, I’ve learned about blog hopping, memes, how chopping off parts of a picture is as an art form in photography, (from my dear friend Claire Burge), how to change headers (which I still have to do), how to allow people to contact me, and a whole host of other techniques peculiar to the blogging world. Most importantly, I’ve grown in my faith through writers like Ann Voskamp, Laura Bogess, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Michelle De Rusha, Bonnie Gray of Faith Barista, Lori and AmyDeanne from the Internet Cafe, Holly Gerth, Lisa Jo and all the staff of (in Courage). If you have not paid a visit to these lovely blog homes, please do. You will be blessed. More of my story lies behind that link in the first paragraph, next to Moses.
Hope this blog has blessed you and ministered to you.
Drop me a comment and let me know what you liked best from the posts, what ministered most, and what other topics you would like to see me cover. Thank you, all, for making this a ONEderful year.
“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” Isaiah 30:21 NIV
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|Orange leaves unfurling|
Like a mother checking on her babes as they rest peacefully, I tiptoe out to the garden. Not wanting to disturb the hopes within me, I measure my steps to our injured, dormant citrus trees. Could there be any signs of growth, yet?
I peek through left over leaves and freeze-dried branches, gazing upon my “babies” as a mother pulls back the blanket to behold her sweet one’s angel face. There I find the hope and joy for which I have been searching.Mini-sized green balls hold the new growth of unfurled leaves on the orange trees. Hope bursts anew that this tree will live. Whether we’ll see oranges next year or not until 2013 is still a question mark.
Then I turn to gaze at the lemon tree, or what is left of it. Dismay washes over me as I observe the brittle brown branches that once bore life.
I wish to see some hope of life, some streak of green amongst the brown. And then my eye sees the tender shoots of new growth rising from the stick-like branch.
|New shoots on the lemon tree|
Just babies stretching to the sky, they call out hope, a future of produce, and new life. The Lord has blessed even when there was no fruit on the vines. He has touched the barren trees that they may yield crops once more. To God be the Glory.
“If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.” Romans 11:17-18 NIV
We need to remember, Christ is the root and He supports us. He has grafted us in with His blood.
This week, I thank the Lord: 483) for renewing life in our citrus trees. I can hardly wait to fertilize them and deep water them 484) for having a whole day to myself in our quiet home 485) for the joy of a day spent blogging and answering comments. It warmed my heart. 486) for family getting over bronchitis 487) for order beginning to take shape in different rooms of our house, and for some cleaning getting done 488) for a powerful teaching on compassion–the kind Jesus had 489) for drinking in God’s word and drawing near through Cynthia Heald’s Bible Study on “Becoming A Woman Of simplicity.” 490) for a Friday evening of rest, a good book, and pizza 491) for watching our college basketball team become the Pac-10 champions–yes, Sports Center is alive and well in our home 492) for my friend healing in all the ways that matter 493) for co-workers coming to my assistance when I needed a brief break from teaching 494) for finding new teaching tools and games to help my second-grade student learn with more enthusiasm 495) for being able to grocery shop on the “Big Sale” day and save a bundle 496) for the application for my passport going smoothly 497) for a morning to sleep in 498) for warm coffee on cool mornings and cool breezes on warm days–all within one week 499) for sunsets and clouds, for music and notes from friends, for pictures of the family in California
500) FOR ONE YEAR OF BLOGGING–time to celebrate. And halfway to a thousand gratitudes.
In celebration of this milestone, I will be giving away one copy of Anne Voskamp’s new book, One Thousand Gifts.
Everyone who comments in the next week from Monday, March 7 through Sunday, March 13 or becomes a new follower will be entered in the drawing. Thank you to all who have encouraged me along the way with your comments and suggestions. You, and the Lord, have kept me going on this project. May He be glorified and work in and through me to bless my readers.
Linking with the Gratitude Community at Anne Voskamp’s Multitude Monday and Playdates with God at The Wellspring
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