Saturday, October 31, 2009

Enough

As has become our custom each Saturday, today Tiger and I spent some time in the back yard enjoying the stillness of the morning. I breathed in deeply the sweet morning air as I gathered my arms closer in, trying to avoid the chill of this new Fall day.

While standing there debating about whether to go in after a jacket, something caught my eye. I noticed that the yard was completely saturated with the morning dew. It was so laden that I could actually see droplets of water falling to the ground from single blades of grass. Immediately a scripture came to mind from Genesis.

"...but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the earth." Genesis 2:6

Long before rain ever touched the earth the Lord watered it through the mist or dew as we often call it, and that was enough to sustain it. Well with all the dew in my back yard, I could see how that would be possible.

While pondering this thought, the word "enough" began to resonate in my heart and I knew I was not being captivated by this generous watering of my back yard for no reason. The Lord was speaking to me of something more. He is enough. In everything I encounter, He is enough.

Whatever it is you need, He is enough. We sometimes forget that or fail to recognize that it is true in every circumstance, even for ourselves. I know all too well how much easier it is to tell someone else that He is enough to sustain them through their current situation, while all the while struggling to believe the same truth for my own. It is however, the truth for all of us.

Where in your life do you need for God to be enough? What crisis has you weary? What trial has stolen your peace? Perhaps it's none of these. Maybe you have just become bogged down with the everyday maintenance of life and have simply forgotten you were not meant to go it alone. If this is you, there is hope. If your life fits any or all of these descriptions I have good news for you.

"Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

In other words, He is enough.







Monday, October 26, 2009

The Blessing Called Friends

Let's talk about friends! I have been told by some very observant people that I have great friends. They are so right!

I have a friend who loans me her car when mine is in the shop, and whenever I do something new to the house, I can't tell which of us is more excited. It's good to have a friend who shares in your joys.

I have a friend that can make me laugh like no other. We have stories that few believe and no one would ever publish because they are simply unbelievably hysterical. She totally gets me and I get her. It's good to have a friend who knows who you really are and can make you laugh without even trying.

I have a friend that loves me no matter what. She caters to my flights of fancy which may not necessarily always be a good thing. Never the less, it makes me feel like a princess! She cooks for me, too. Actually, she'll cook for just about anyone but she saves her special dishes for me. If I am having a gathering at my home, she doesn't ask "if". She tells me what she's bringing! It's good to have a friend you can count on and one who always makes you feel special.

I have a friend that gave me a memory I will never forget. During her engagement, we were running around doing fun wedding stuff when all of a sudden she turned to me and said, "I can't wait until we're doing this for your wedding!" No one had ever said that to me before and I have done the "wedding thing" with LOTS of friends. During one of the most exciting times of a girl's life when it really is mostly all about you, the bride, my friend saw that there was someone else there. It's good to have a friend who "sees" you and considers your heart in the matter.

I have many other amazing friends as well. One who mothers me and makes sure I'm eating. Ha! She's still getting to know me!

A friend who knows my favorite songs - the ones that touch me so deeply that I scarcely want to breath. When the ocassion arises, she chooses them just for me.

A friend who does stuff around the house for me simply because he realizes that someone should.

A friend who I talk with regularly on the phone - the ONLY friend I talk with regularly on the phone. She keeps a close eye on me and always wants to know what's going on in my life even though it's been less than a week since we've last spoken.

I could go on and on and on, but the point is this. My life is rich with the blessing of friends. They've held me through my darkest hours and stood watch when I could not. They have caused my sides to ache and my breathing to stop with their hilarious antics. They have lended a hand when I needed it most and even when I didn't realize I did. Without asking they've pitched in, packed up, taken me away, humored me and given me the royal treatment. Above all, they've stood in the gap for me on more occasions than I will ever know.

How does one get through life without friends?

I have mixed emotions when people say things to me like, "Wow! You have such great friends!" I feel both gratitude and sorrow for while I know their words are more than accurate, I realize their experience may be considerably less than what they see before them.

I've come to appreciate my friends much more over the years. I now value in greater measure the quality of our time together than over the volume of personalities gathered together in one place. Each one is a treasure, carefully uncovered over the years. I would not trade a single one although they may not say the same! ;D

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Here We Go Again!

I am finding that with the new home, comes the fulfillment of many dreams and desires, one of which I began this month.

I am leading a bible study in my home every other week. It's nothing fancy and certainly not written by anyone of note. It's just some thoughts and revelations passed down from the Father's heart to mine and shared with a few friends who evidently have nowhere else to be on a Tuesday evening.

This study is fulfilling a need - a need to talk more than I already do. Hopefully, something of lasting importance will be passed on to someone who needs to hear it.

However, I must confess. I am a thinker, a planner, the creative mind behind countless ideas that have never materialized beyond that point. It's what I do best - create. Now following through... Isn't that supposed to be someone else's job?

Please don't get me wrong, when I think about teaching my lessons, my heart skips a beat and I can think of nothing I would rather be doing for the moment. In fact, when I first sat down to write out some notes, I knew what I would share each time we met as well as the personal stories and many of the scriptures we would discuss.

The problem lies in the preparing. That is where I get hung up. In the past I've failed to complete this stage of the process in various areas of my life. Preparation. Isn't that the most imporatant step? It has happened so much that I have begun to see a pattern.

I am not a good finisher. Oh, I do well enough when it is a requirement or something I am doing for someone else. However, when it comes to personal things, if I donot have a strong support system or a team to motivate and encourage me, I fall short almost every time. I now realize that this has got to change.

So I made a list. I call it my Finishing List. It is a list of things I have begun but not finished. Projects around the house, crafting ideas, studies, personal goals, etc. Everything on this list will eventually have an end date for when I plan on completing these tasks.

Being one who shows others how to better organize their homes, work spaces and lives, you would think I would be better at this myself. I struggle like everyone else. Being extremely organized just helps me conceal it better.

Notice that earlier I said eventually all these tasks would have an end date. Truth is, I do not have every project on the list yet. I know how my mind works. If everything I have begun but not finished was on my list today, I would become overwhelmed just by looking at it! That would be one long list!

That is why each month, I write down several projects (2 - 3 total, and all ongoing) I would like to complete by month's end. What I have found so far, is that along the way I end up completing a few more tasks that were never on the original list. Nice!

So, what's any of this got to do with the bible study I'm leading? Well, haven't you been listening? Someone has to write this thing! That means starting and finishing a lesson before it is even taught. Although I have lived them already, it is the recording of these truths that give me a bit of trouble. My love for writing helps me very little in this area.

I want to sit down with these women each time we meet and simply share with them the message in my heart. But it is in the preparing of those lessons that my words have added value and weight. Winging it, as I have been known to do in the past, will not fly here.

Thankfully, I serve a merciful and all-knowing God who long before this study was even a thought in my mind, prompted me to begin writing another study. I found it this past week as I was searching for some notes I had written earlier which pertained to my next lesson.

At first glance, I thought they were the notes I was looking for, but as I read on I realized these were written over three years ago. Yet it was the exact theme as the lesson I am currently working on. How did that happen?

That lead me to wonder. Is this current study the soon to be completed version of the one I began three years ago? Not only that but the one I am working on now was birthed from revelations I gained through my journey over the past three or so years. I began writing the other one about that long ago. They are not even remotely related through titles although they do have some underlying themes.

While pondering all of this and looking through those notes, I bet you can imagine what began to happen. I was motivated! I no longer dreaded the task before me of finishing this week's study! Here in my hands were the words in my heart, penned long before I ever knew I needed a finishing list.

Knowing my propensity for weakness in the area of completion, the Lord lead me to something He began through me years ago, in hopes that at this point in my life I would finally finish it.

Well if He's not willing to let it go, then why should I!

"...Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

"Perseverance must finish it's work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything." James 1:4

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Foreign Thoughts

I was asked the saddest question today. It caught me so off guard that I forgot about what we were discussing and began to wonder what would cause this person to ask such a thing.
It's not often that someone renders me almost speechless. So when it does, I take note.

In speaking with someone about my upcoming Open House and describing the event, another vendor asked, "Why would you invite other people to sell their products as well, and not keep the benefits (bookings, profits) all to yourself?"

HUH? What? I was so bewildered by her question. I'm sure I must have yelled into the phone, "Well, why wouldn't I?"

Her idea was so foreign to me. To not share? I'm not patting myself on the back or tooting my own horn at all. I hope this is not how I sound. I was just so shocked to hear someone actually say something like that out loud and mean it! I felt so sad for her.

I went on to say that I enjoy helping others succeed and that I get great joy from being a part of that process. Plus, let's face it. I am a networking guru! I know a little of everybody and I will gladly tell you so if I think it might help you find what you need. She agreed to enjoying networking as much as I. I somehow doubt it given her initial response to my invite.

...but back to my original point.

Here lately, I am encountering the same sort of thing at work. I am assisting three separate individuals who all have a specific list of duties they want me to complete each day, or as time permits.

At times, when one of them is out or seriously behind in her work, she gets first dibs on me and gets me all to herself. She is the only one with this privilege and she DOES NOT LIKE TO SHARE! I won't go into details but suffice it to say that if I don't stop what I am doing at the very moment she needs me, she lets me know she is not pleased. Fortunately, I don't typically let other people's stress issues become mine. She doesn't like that either. Oh well!

Just how do you get to the point where YOU are all that matters? How do you get to the point where no one else does?

There is more joy in helping another to accomplish something than in succeeding all alone. That is what I am persistently trying to teach my coworker as I assist her. I try to do so always with a willing heart, a smile on my face and all while humming loudly with my earphones on. Even she can't help but laugh at how seemingly unmoved I am by the enormous workload and her increasingly elevated stress level. I just keep humming!

Now as for today's conversation, I pray this vendor is blessed next week when she comes to my home. I pray she experiences a brand new way of networking. Not one that is out to get as much as it can but one that is determined to give even more, looking to meet the needs of others and receiving a much bigger blessing in the process. Perhaps then she will understand.