When the faith-rubber meets the road…

faith 2

It’s been a few months since my husband and I have answered the Lord’s lead in entering a season of new employment.  It’s been a fantastic journey with lots of learning along the way.  We’ve witnessed the Lord provide in ways too numerous to count.

And yet…

The reality of the situation smacked me upside the face.  Hard.  Just yesterday.  Because I sat down to write the bills.

And this is where the faith-rubber meets the road.

This is where logic screams at me, “HOW?”

And this is where reality says, “I don’t know.”

And then I remember.

I recall the times when things looked bleak, and somehow we made it.  I recall the times when we were in plenty, and perhaps we could have given more.  I recall the moments when we put our house up for sale, and moments when we took the sign down.  I recall the moment I felt nudged to stay home and the months to follow in which business boomed.

And we’ve heard countless stories of other men leaving the corporate world and entering into ministry.  Stories of needs met and hearts overflowing with a new satisfaction in their daily work.  And I take a breath.  And I stand on his word.  I choose to both stand still and move forward in faith.

when-you-have-come-to-the-edge-of-all-light-that-you-know

And I don’t know for certain what the future holds, but I do know who holds my future.  And in choosing faith, I’m saying no to worry, anxiety, doubt, and self-control.  Suddenly, the “how” doesn’t need to be answered.  The pressure of control is released, and peace reigns.  Does this release me from responsibility?  Of course not, but it frees me from pressures of guessing unknown outcomes.  I can live in the current moment, not fogged by nagging unknown answers.

And in living this way, I’m making a choice.

I choose God’s truth.

I choose to believe in His faithfulness.

I choose to trust in what I cannot see, cannot know, and cannot predict.

I choose to love those around me with whatever He chooses to bless me with.

I choose to honor, and support, and hug my husband.

We choose to live as Jesus did – a servant and a child.

And this I know…. It has made all the difference in the world.

Faith-in-God-includes-faith-in-his-timing

So those bills.  We will continue to pay them.  Our tithes?  First, and foremost.  Not because we’re super-Christians but because we want to put actions to our faith.

James writes that faith without actions is dead.  Not sure about you, but what’s the use of something dead?  I want my faith to be alive and active.  Words are easy, actions give evidence of your heart.

In what areas of your life is God asking you to put your faith into action?  What is holding you back?  What fear could be at the root?  How much more does He offer us while we stand with closed fists?

I’m learning to open up.  Learning being the key word.  I’m choosing to act on the concept that God can do much more with “my money” than I could ever do in my limited capacity.

While fasting, I’m watching Him sustain… and it’s so good.

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Taking the next step…

mother-daughter

I’ve learned a thing or two about “steps” the past few months…

1.  They only happen one at a time.

2.  In order to move forward, a step needs to take place.

3.  Some steps happen without thought, others happen only after tons of thought.

4.  Some are taken with joy, others are taken with agony.

5.  In order to “see” where steps will lead, sometimes you move forward blindly.

In my current season of life, I’m gaining a broader perspective of what it truly means to be in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25).  My natural inclination bends to doing the same, familiar routine over and over, simply because it’s predictable.  And in this state of familiarity, nothing has to be placed on the table called “risk”.

Not so for me over these past years of preparation while living life at home with little ones.  And as these little ones grew, and spend many hours at school, my recent season has experienced anything but predictability, and I learned one amazing crazy lesson – this can actually be fun!  For this is where I learned to develop my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  This is the soil where seeds grew in the fertility of time spent reading the Word and having conversations with the Holy Spirit.  This is where I trod with baby steps in tuning into the gentle guidance of the plan the Lord had for me in the moment to moment days.  This fertile soil fed not only my mind and my body, it fed my soul.  And I was content beyond my wildest dreams.

And then the Spirit led me into a “static” season.  A season of the routine of a 40-hour employed week in addition to my former roles and tasks.  And my intellect was awakened in a new way.  Though dusty at first, I was intrigued by this new sense of opening a valve of brain flow that had not been tapped into for awhile.  Ideas flowed and terminology was re-introduced, and a new sense of mental challenge was well on it’s way.  And most days were great.  And some days were not.  Some days brought about some fruits of labor, other days I simply felt like a failure.  It was in those moments of “hard” when I sensed a testing of my roots.  Did I build roots in soil of nourishing, deeply-toiled God- truth, or when my world grew a little stormy, had I grown comfortable in allowing seed to grow in shallow soil, seeming fine above ground, but limp and wimpy below ground level?

In those moments, when my flesh tempted me to undermine God’s true view of my value and worth, I hung on.  I clung to Him in ways that a child clings to the leg of his or her Father in times of desperate need of security.  In my weakness, His strength grew in ways that were far above me.  These lessons could only have been learned in this space of “hard”, for here is where we break the ceiling of “I can’t” and we realize “I can”, through Him.

I had a chance to go for a run this morning in this beautiful unseasonably warm weather today.  As I ran, I saw many people outside.  Some were taking down Christmas lights, still others were walking with a friend (be it two-legged or four-legged).  The smell of melted snow filled my nostrils, and the sight of moisture drifting off of formerly-frozen bodies of water could be seen, smelled, and felt.  It was a visual example of the start of a new “season” (however short it may last) both in my heart and in my soul.  It’s that beautiful time when a season of” seeking” results in a little more understanding, indicating the start of yet another spring (even if still a bit of time away).

bridgeAfter much thought and prayer, I will be spending time a bit more differently starting on Monday.  I’m taking steps towards a more flexible schedule that allows time to focus on my priority of family, knowing and trusting that this is the next step God is directing me to take.  My soul is in a state of indescribable peace.  I know that I know that it’s the right step.  I’m looking forward in anticipation of this next leg of the “race”.  I feel a bit lighter, a bit wiser, and a bit more focused on the availability of a schedule dedicated to faith, family, and fellowship.

I’m so thankful for so many things.  I can glance back and see the value of all the Lord provided.  In this rear-view mirror glance, I gain more and more confidence as I watch my roots grow deeper and deeper in the soil of belief and truth. I stand firm in my belief of His continued provision, His continued faithfulness, and His continued love for me.  I will trip.  I will fall.  I will fail.  But nothing will ever remove my name from the palm of His hand and the reach of His love.  It only motivates me to press harder into His embrace, for there, my soul finds rest.

I don’t claim to have all the answers.  Not even close.  In fact, I wasn’t even going to write tonight, I thought about curling up on the couch next to my hubbie and putting this off, maybe indefinitely.  Instead, I found myself pushing some buttons and seeing this post through.  I write simply to point to Him.  I write because I want to remember this leg of the journey.  I want to remember my battles to learn to fight another day.  I write out of obedience.  I write to tell someone that you are not alone.

Let me pray for you…

Dear friend, The Lord your Creator knows your name.  In fact He knew you before the beginning of time.  Nothing comes as a surprise for Him, He graciously allows all the events of our life to bring us to a place to be embraced by His love, over and over again.  There is no sin so heinous that will ever cause Him to fall out of love with us.  Nothing can nor will ever separate us from His love.  He knows right where you are and knows the events yet to come.  In fact, while we sit in our sin today, He sent His son to pay off our debt.  We are free.  We are forgiven.  We are given the choice to choose Him.  Every day.  Know that you are never, ever, ever alone.  If you entertain thoughts that you are, Satan is smiling.  Check the source of your thoughts.  It’s either from One or the other.  Choose what you entertain wisely.  The outcomes will make all the difference in the world.  He loves you today.  Don’t ever think otherwise.  May you know that today in a way that rocks  your World.  Thanks for reading today.  Feel free to reach out in prayer.  I would cherish the opportunity to lift you up.  Enjoy a wonderful Sunday.

Amen.

The reason for the season…

HOPE_SHINES_THROUGH_WEB2Today marked the completion of 80 hours of class work over the course of 4 full weekends. Two classes, two fantastic teachers, 2 completed papers, sixty more fellow educators I now know well, one husband who wins the award for best help-mate of the year.

The Conrads have entered our go-season, and it’s quite a ride.  Somehow, the Lord makes a way.  The five of us went five different directions today, and we ended the evening with 7 around our kitchen table sharing a meal, sharing life.  And my God provides.  He provides strength when weary, perspective when selfishness begs to grab hold, thankfulness when entitlement wants to creep in, and resources to meet all our needs.

I have not been able to physically attend church, but he gives me podcasts to listen to.  I have not been able to attend sporting events, but he provides live texts, and video recording to view.  I have a Bible app. and I receive several devotions in my inbox.  This one, by Roy Lessin, grabbed my attention this morning.

Scripture promised Him. Genesis 3:15

Abraham believed in Him. Galatians 3:6-8,16-18

Moses lived for Him. Hebrews 11:23-26

Isaiah prophesied about Him. Isaiah 53

David knew of Him. Mark 12:35-36

Israel hoped for Him. Jeremiah 17:13-14

Elizabeth blessed Him. Luke 1:43

Mary magnified Him. Luke 1:46-47

Shepherds spoke of Him. Luke 2:17-18

Wise men worshiped Him. Matthew 2:11

Simeon looked upon Him. Luke 2:25-30

Anna testified of Him. Luke 2:36-38

John wrote of Him. John 20:31

God anointed Him. Acts 10:38

Disciples walked with Him. Matthew 4:19

Seekers talked with Him. Luke 24:32

Thomas confessed Him. John 20:28

Peter proclaimed Him. Acts 2:22-36

Paul lived for Him. Philippians 1:21

Believers received Him. John 1:12

All will acknowledge Him, Jesus Christ the Lord. Philippians 2:9-11

Tis, the reason for the season.  As I push holiday entanglements out of my mind, and strive to involve our kids in more giving than receiving, He too provides.  This week, both our garbage man and our recycling man will be receiving some Christmas cheer.  Last week we blessed our mailman and several school employees.  We have opportunities to be involved in the giving of over 300 shoes and boots this week.  Next week we will be involved in a Christmas give called The Manger.  The gifts under our tree is not ALL that Christmas encompasses.  May our celebration this year include gifts for Jesus as well.

Matthew 25

34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

I’m not alone…

I woke up at my normal 6 am time this morning.  I decided to get up and grab a few moments before our kiddos’ internal alarms brought them downstairs at 7 am. I seemed to be pretty alert and started to think about the day ahead…

I needed to leave for a class at 7:30, so first things first, I grabbed a bowl of cereal (Frosted Cherrios with a cut up banana inside – my favorite!), and cracked open my Chronolgical Bible, which forever reminds me of the year reaching it’s end – always amazing.

Why this continues to surprise me, I’m not sure, but  every day that I use my actions in putting the Lord first, right heart-attitudes always seem to follow.  I read about Paul’s amazing journeys, and his current situation in prison – always a perspective grabber.  The moment I finished, the first set of eyeballs appeared.  And I had an idea.  I started the girls on a project (traditional name card holders for our family gathering on Friday), and I challenged Austin to a game of ping pong (an early Christmas present from Grandma and Grandpa!)  The girls and I gathered supplies, started an example, and Austin crushed me in”table tennis” – so fun.  And then it was time for me to leave…

And 9 hours later, I was sitting in “The Hoop”.  I arrived just in time to see the tip off of our 12-year-old’s 2nd game of 4, opening 2012-13 basketball season.  And I loved being there.  I scanned the crowds and found our “usual bunch” of fans.  You see, our boys have been playing together for four years now, and it’s a marvelous sight to watch.  They have not only grown physically, they have grown stronger mentally, are more agile, and their speed and intensity in this series was crazy good.  And after their second win, Austin walked over to me with a big smile.  He’s not one to show tons of expression, so I knew what this smile meant.  He knew I watching, he knew I was yelling, and he knew a big hug was coming.

One of my biggest joys in life is to be a mom.  I write this with wetness in my eyes, I do.  The power of that one word is something that reaches down to the depths of my soul.  It has rooted meaning to me.  It grabs me because there was a time when I didn’t necessarily consider it a joy.  Becoming a mom changed my life in more ways than one.  Before children, I was intensely dedicated to my career.  I knew my direction early on in life, and I never deterred from my focus.  I enjoyed my career, I found satisfaction in my role, and I even placed my identity in this title.  I thought that was I do is who I am.  Then, I became a Mom, and my soul continued to be satisfied in my working role during the day, and my Mommy role early evening and into the night.  And then I became a Mommy again, and something different happened… I fell apart.  Every day.

And I knew, a new season was upon me.  My husband and I followed our hearts and I “hung up” my career, my work clothes, and part of my brain. 🙂  I dove into unknown territory, a bit anxious and honestly afraid.  Who would I become?  A looney-bin lady with the vocabulary of a three-year old who never showered and always had food stains on her clothes?  Or would I become something else…

And here we are 9 years later, and I’m sitting at a basketball game, and one of the Moms asks me, “How’s it going now that you’re back to teaching?”  And I can answer honestly.  After having an opportunity to share my heart with my husband just the evening before, my heart continues to be drawn to my home.  Really, such an amazing conviction to truly know who I am in Christ, not apart from Him, and my role in the powerful gift of motherhood.  I do see the perfect provision in the current position God has provided, and I know in my head that this is the season the Lord has for me to be a part of the campus I visit for 40 hours a week, yet my family trumps my career every time.  I know this now.  What a great learning opportunity to solidify this conviction.

And then our conversation continued.  I am experiencing a new found appreciation for the art of balancing.  Every day I experience a sense that someone gets slighted, to some degree.  Between my students, my husband, and my children, someone doesn’t receive my best. I try my best to use the moments I am given with my family in the midst of these adjustments, but some days I just end up short, and tired.  I’m learning to let go – of expectations I place on myself, of my desire to be in five places at one time, of a “plan” to change my circumstances to fit my needs.  I’m learning to let go, because I want to rest.  In Him.  I want to allow my actions to follow my head, and in my heart, trust.

And I am once again reminded that this decision many mothers face of going to work or staying home, and what that looks likes, and how to provide, is one that is never easy.  We doubt.  We question.  We have guilt.  And this other Mother and I, sitting at a basketball game, both uttered the same words at the same time…

It’s hard.

No simple solutions.  Not cute quips.  Just two women desiring to be nothing else but children of God, seeking His will for our lives, in this season of life.  And in this state, I draw from truth.

Romans 8:1
[ Life Through the Spirit ] Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,

Romans 12:2
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Ephesians 1:11
In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thank you Jesus.  Amen.

Change – friend or foe?

So… yeah.

Change.

And I’m not talking about the amount you get back after a purchase.  I’m talking about a change in your lifestyle, your “normal” routine, out-with- the-old and in-with-the-new type of change.  Do you want to “love it or list it”? (a little HGTV humor)

ME? Not a big fan of the “c” word.  I’ve learned the benefits that come along with being “open” to it, yet it still takes me a long time to mentally prepare, and then there’s the actual walking-through-it thing.

I do realize that change happens in different ways.  There are times when I commit to a change (pledging to floss my teeth every day) and truly intend to stick with it for the long haul, yet eventually it fades.  There are other times when my dedication runs hard and fast (marathon training).  And other times, there are changes that affect many aspects of your daily life (job loss and job change).  This last example has been the most recent journey for myself and our family.

It’s been a ride (and it’s only just begun!)  As I was driving home from school today, I started thinking about this concept.  I’ve realized that it’s one thing to prepare for it through thought, and it truly is another concept to walk it through daily.  Our “old normal” included days of morning time with the kids (dressing, breakfast, chores, and Jesus time), a slot of time to run, “lunch time ministries”, volunteer opportunities, and part-time provider work, amongst the normal daily living chores.  Aaron has worked out of our home for over 12 years.  We’ve had someone “in-home”, near the kids at school, since they began schooling.  Now, we’re three weeks into my role as a leave-at-7:00am Mom, and a SAHD.  Role-reversal.  And he has done a smashing job!  And then he gets the call…

It’s official.  We are a family in ministry.  Aaron has joined the top-notch team at Rock City Church in the role of Executive Director.  And I’m thrilled for him!  The Lord gave me 2 months to be able to say this in full honesty.  I am thrilled! I can recall specific moments over the past year or two that gave me this indication.  It just had to be God’s perfect timing, and in looking back, it is.  It is this, this line that traces God’s faithfulness, is what allows me to stand on the truths that I’ve come to cherish with all that I am.  These truths speak louder than the voice of doubt, the voice of condemnation, the voice of speculation.  The one that speaks the strongest is the voice of both earthly and eternal hope.  The reason this voice is the strongest is because I entertain it.  I choose to believe it.  And in that truth, lies the sweetest peace.  Peace like I never thought possible.

Has this been easy?  Nope.  The first week, I felt overwhelmed, and in my exhaustion, I looked over my shoulder.  I pouted.  I missed the kids.  I missed people.  I longed for a bit of my “former ways”.  And yet, Iwas so grateful that this job was even an option for me.  I knew I was to be here.  I was thankful for the provision.  I really kept smiling and plowing forward in His strength.  And yet, I came face to face with my biggest nemesis – limitations.

I wanted to be able to plan these amazing lessons, I wanted to be able to jump into American Sign Language without skipping those 9 years, I wanted to learn the computer systems/copier/email/progress reports/IEP access on the first attempt, I wanted to continue to plan family meals and activities same as before, I wanted to fit in running time early as to not miss out on time with family, and yet my mind, body, and soul tells me I have flesh and a brain that WILL shut down.  I had to learn afresh what I can so easily tell others – Heather, you simply must extend your perfection-driven-self some grace.  Items will be accomplished, one day at a time.  Check-in with your heart, it’s a great indicator.

And it happened.  The morning “heaviness” subsided, the brain-fog of details cleared, the fast-heart beat slowed, and the stay-at-home lessons on choosing contentment in the day washed over me with no self-effort what-so-ever.  It’s here.  It’s resided in me all week.  And today, I am excited for my husband.  As he sent me a text while setting up his new work space, he spoke of his feelings.  And they ran straight to our children.  He’s already missing his newly-found time with them.  And my heart rejoices in this natural occurrence.  He’s now beginning his 3-week process of adapting to the “change”.  And three weeks later, I know it will be good.

And I am encouraged.  This is my new normal, and soon it will be our new normal.  We’re entering a new season as the final leaves of the season fall.  And I don’t know what this season will hold,  but I know it will be good.  I know that God loves my children, even more than I do.  I know His plan includes a plan for them.  I know that He is with them when I cannot.  And I can release my stress.  I can peacefully reside in the comfort afforded to me in the release of control.

Change?  I suppose it can be both a foe and a friend.

What are your experiences with change?

Dinner is served…

 

Dinner time!  Perhaps these two words conjure up watering taste buds, perhaps a sense of glee, or perhaps (as a Mom) even a sense of dread.  Yes, another meal thought of, shopped for, prepped for, cooked for, and eventually, cleaned up.  For me, the kitchen is not my first choice for rooms to spend time in, however, I’ve learned a few tricks to help me find the joy in serving my family without the feelings of failure.  In other words, some days I can do fancy, other days not.

Many of us expel mental energies on thoughts as to what will be on the menu for the family the Lord has given, but how often are we thinking outside our “box”?  How about times of thinking to include our extended family?  Perhaps you find yourself in a season far from family.  I understand that.  Or perhaps, you do have family “in the area”, and, like me, somehow get-togethers only happen on holidays or birthdays.  Oh, you might have spoken words such as “we should get together some time”, or “we really need to plan better”… and plans never come about.  Perhaps you have family, not necessarily blood relatives, but family none the less.  What if we got just a little radical.  What if we actually SET plans??!!

Well, through Beth Moore, the Lord placed a seed, and plans we made.  I call them Multitudes on Mondays.  Every Monday, yes, every Monday, dinner at our home is served, 6:00.  I decided not to sweat the details, place any expectations on it being fancy and/or my home having to be SUPER clean.  I simply wanted to put actions to the words, “our home is open”.  So, just yesterday, it happened.  My family received it well.  Eight adults and seven children gathered for a meal.  Super fancy? Not really.  We call eating on real plates instead of paper, fancy around here.  Was it about the food? Not really.  It was about an opportunity to share life, for a short time in the evening.  And the beauty of this plan is it’s ongoing, flexible with life, understanding of the maybe-I-can’t-make-it-every-week, but come when you can.  In a word, it was beautiful.

In all honesty, the dining room in our home is not as long as this one pictured, but if I could fit this one in, I would.  I truly cherish time around the table.  I really do.  Somehow, in the fast-paced, over-scheduled lives we live, we’ve lost the art of gathering around the table.  I remember traveling to the furniture store with my husband and I simply felt a compulsion to look at every single choice they offered.  You see, this wasn’t just some wood and screws carefully crafted and drilled together, this would be the representation of so much more.  This would be the gathering place for the weary.  A place to sit, eat, and share.  This would be the centerpiece for late night talks and card games.  This would be where our family came to be a family.

So how about you?  Would you be open to a gathering at your home?  Size – doesn’t matter, food – take-out works just as well, cleanliness of home – people are more welcomed by you than are they worried about some dust and clutter.  Let’s call these details what they are – roadblocks and obstacles that lead to excuses.  Let’s take another look.  Think about it.  Pray about it.  Do it.  You won’t regret it.  You might if you don’t.  Bon appetite! And don’t forget to share your story! Bring back table time!!

 

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.  – Proverbs 31:14

TAKE OUT ladies!  We have permission! Enjoy!

A night of surprises…

I got a text yesterday afternoon while swimming at the pool with the kiddos.  My hubbie wrote,

What do you think about going to the Shoe tonight to watch “Remember the Titans”? Proceeds go to Peletonia. Starts at 8:45.

What do I think? SWEET!  We’ve lived in Columbus for 14 years and have yet to attend a football game.  You mean we get to bring a blanket and camp out on the infield while watching a great movie under the stars?? Ummm, yes!!

And fun we had!  Bonus was wearing pajamas!

While we were waiting for the movie to start, Aaron bumped into a friend from college.  She happened to be the sister of another friend of ours, and I was so excited to see her.  You see, I knew a little about what the Lord had called her to recently (tidbits through social media), but here I had an opportunity to SEE her, and if you know me, to ASK QUESTIONS!  You see Nicolle and her husband Dave have a new addition to their family… and I was just smitten with him…

 

See what I mean!  A smile that simply melts.  He greeted me with that warm smile, a hand extended and a polite bow.  As he went off to play, I was privileged to hear a bit of his story.  He grew up in Haiti, lost his family in the earthquake, learned to survive in ways I can’t even imagine.  He has seen more in his 13 years of life than I will in 80 years, and he stands in front of me, a white woman, with a smile that just burst my heart.

The reason he was allowed to come back to the States?  Severe medical needs.  His Mom shared with me that when tested, his heart was only functioning on 20% capacity!  By medical standards this boy should not even be alive, let alone have lived for his 13 years with the myriad of other health problems never addressed in his native country.  After several surgeries, he’s doing well.  Mentally, spiritually?  The Lord, through his legal guardians, is helping him slowly re-wire.  He not only is learning a new language, culture, and education, but for the first time, is learning the true meaning of love and what is means to trust.

 

I heard myself saying to Nicolle, “What a cool responsibility the Lord has entrusted to you!” With tears in her eyes, she said, “Yes, yes it is.”

This beautiful family has founded a ministry called Eyes Wide Open International.  They are a non-profit organization that focuses on issues related to widows and orphans.  Do me a favor and check out their site when you have a chance.  They are simply servants saying yes in obedience to God, being a cause-agent for change.  They would appreciate it!

To read more about “Mack” and his journey, feel free to visit his caringbridge.org site.  After clicking ‘visit’ – enter ‘makenpierre

Lord, thank you for this special evening to not only hang with my family, but to meet another precious family that you created.  You perform amazing miracles everyday, and I got to witness just one this evening.  As I watched him play soccer before the event, I found myself thinking just how different life was for this child a short year ago.  You have surrounded him with love beyond his wildest dreams.  You pursued him with a never-giving up passion, your words are being written on his heart, he is your child, and he is loved.  Thank you for allowing me to be there.  May I never doubt your loving plan for me.

Looking at the horizon…

Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen. For by it, our ancestors were approved… Now, without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek him.      Hebrews 11:1-2, 6

My husband and I spent the weekend together, in a different city.  We’ve prayed for wisdom, discernment, and direction in the provision of a work position.  We’ve also prayed for open doors, with the decision to take those steps until the door is closed.

This weekend, the reality of these statements hit me.  While the dreams and thoughts of the what-ifs left me giddy, the reality of the true consequences were viewed with human eyes.  I felt something I wasn’t quite ready for.  I felt fear.  I felt it to my core.

That being recognized, called out, and even stated out loud to another (that accountability thing), I had some choices.  I could allow that fear to take root.  I could allow the anxiety, worry, and dread to filter my rational mindset and leave me with either a state of paralysis or the flight syndrome.  OR, I could recognize that emotion for what it is, a temporary emotion, and I could open my thoughts to the reality of His truth.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

Be strong and courageous.

Do not fear.

The truth is, I don’t have to have it all figured out to then acquire the peace I seek.  He doesn’t ask me to do that.  He simply asks me to trust Him.  To take one step, not 50.  He asks me to believe in His love and His plans for me, no matter what they include.  He’s asking me to draw near, and to have faith… faith even as small as a mustard seed.

He had a message for me through the pastor.  Which, in fact, I heard three times last Sunday.  Yes, I can be a little dense.

God is more interested in who you’re becoming, than where you’re going.

Yep.  Character.  The Conrad family is looking at the beautiful horizon of our future, and together we will daily lay it at His feet.  I’m so proud of Aaron.  I witnessed his gifts in a new way this weekend.  I admire him for His faith.  God is rewarding him with peace beyond our understanding.  Our story continues to be written.  It’s going to be a good story, no matter the next chapter.  It’s good because He tells me it’s already written, His plans for us are good, and He is pleased.

What are your eyes straining to see on your horizon?