What if?

I haven’t written in quite some time. I’ve had a lot of thoughts jumbled in my brain and needed to take a bit of a break to sort through it all. I’ve been writing still but not posting.

Today I felt compelled to pour out what’s been on my heart this morning. I have more questions than answers and I hope you’ll ponder the answers with me. Here we go…

What if..

What if the evil one actually answers prayers to make you think you’re in touch with God? Would he do that? What if we’re praying to a tree or a flower or a statue and the prayer gets answered? Do we give honor to God for the answered prayer and yet continue to worship the statue? Does it strengthen our belief in the power of the flower or in God?

Are our “religious traditions” based squarely on Godly principles or are they designed for us to check a box and make ourselves feel good? Do these traditions make us feel like we’re in touch but the reality being that’s not the case? Are they a false sense of security?

A direct one on one relationship with God can help us discern these answers and help us be grounded in our faith and actually glorify God.

So then what?

There are plenty of items we can buy with WWJD on it to remind us to think about how Jesus would act in any given situation.

Does that bracelet or t-shirt serve the intended purpose of causing us to pause and be mindful of the true answer of what Jesus would do? I’m going with No. Here’s why – My answer is No because we find plenty of ways to justify our blatant disregard for the answer and trudge right on froward with what we want to do versus the real and true answer of WWJD.

Think about it – Would Jesus yell at someone in traffic? Nope. Would Jesus let anything get in the way of a relationship with God the Father? Nope! But we do. Why? We justify it. There’s this and there’s that and blah blah blah. Those are excuses not reasons.

Maybe you pat yourself on the back because once a year you actually extend yourself and do what Jesus would do. Good for you! That’s probably more than most do.

How would our world – YOUR WORLD – be different if it started with YOU? What if you did what Jesus would do with greater frequency and passion?

I hear you saying – “oh so wait… I not only need to do it but I have to want to do it?” Yes, the answer that is yes.

Jesus didn’t say “Well I guess I’ll go heal this guy because my Father wants me to do it.” He knew His purpose. He embraced His purpose. Are we? Do we know our purpose?

He’s a slight clue to that answer. We are the living body of Christ. That means we are his hands and feet. HANDS AND FEET, people! Let that sit for a minute.

So back to WWJD and the frequency. What if you increase your frequency of focusing on WWJD and actually doing that. Start slowly. Let it develop. Start with your thoughts and be kinder to yourself. Let the process flow. Show grace to yourself and those around you.

Let’s pause there for a second. What is Grace? Grace is an undeserved gift. Mercy is not getting the punishment you deserved. Focus on those two words today. Where can you extend Grace and Mercy?

So back to where we started… Where’s your focus? Is it on checking a box? Does God want box checkers? I sincerely doubt it. Don’t get caught up in the ritual. Rituals aren’t bad. They serve a purpose but don’t hang your eternity on rituals and the smells and bells.

God wants doers. He wants us to live our faith. He wants us to have a relationship with him. He misses you. Check in with Him. You’ll be surprised. He’s ready to show you grace and mercy too.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, the evil one is the great deceiver! Be on guard.

I’m not sure who needed to hear this today but I hope this helps some of you. It felt really good to me to write today and post it and I hope you take at least one small nugget away from my rambling. I hope you take a few moment today to pause and think about WWJD and then actually follow through and do it.

May God Bless you and keep you safe. Make Today Count!

Your works or His?

I’ve been wrestling with this for a while and that is part of why I haven’t written in a while. While reading “Undomesticating God” by Jennifer O’Sullivan (www.HolyJustLove.com) I finally had a moment of clarity…. several actually.

It’s the age old question of what’s my purpose? What’s the point in all of this? What is Heaven? I know you ask those questions too. Here’s my take. Your view may be entirely different than mine and I’m absolutely open to hearing your thoughts. Stick with me though as I pour this out of my brain and my heart….

My vision of heaven is probably a little different than most people. To me it’s not – fluffy clouds, singing hymns and playing harps, nor one long kumbaya.

To me it’s putting the skills and gifts I have to work for the Kingdom of God. Additionally, just because He may know my name doesn’t mean I have an automatic ticket to enter.

Here’s the point – it’s not about the good deeds that I choose to do. God wants people in his Kingdom that have listened to Him and obeyed Him.

The works you do are nice. That’s great. Go for it. However, what counts is what He asks you do to and do you obey? Are you communicating with Him? Do you know Him? Does He know you?

Look at it this way… If God were in a stadium and you’re in the audience. You’re in the crowd full of screaming fans. Dancing and Waving and full of energy. You can sing all the songs. He glances your way. He gives a casual wave, if you’re even lucky enough for him to glance your way. No different than to any other in the crowd.

The event is over and you go backstage to see him and have the person at the door “Can you tell Him that Marcia is here to see Him?” Does He say “Marcia who?” Or does He say “Send her in. I’m glad she’s here. She’s the one that did what I asked her to do”?

This is where I struggle. I feel those gentle tugs on my heart to do His will. I “try” to do what He’s asked but I’m pretty good and pushing that aside and do what’s comfortable for me instead.

Here’s an example – I was in Chicago last week. As I was walking down the street I saw a young homeless woman. She had to be in her early 20’s. I felt God telling me to talk to her…help her…. speak to her. At the very last minute as I was walking quickly by her, I chickened out but not entirely. I paused and asked her if she wanted a bottle of water. She gratefully accepted it and said thank you. I shoved my hands back in my pockets and hustled down the street. That’s good enough, right? Nope. That brief interaction stuck with me for blocks and blocks… and days and days. I realize that I did more than 99% of the people that walk past her every day. That’s not the point. I did His will half way. I lacked courage. I chickened out. I stayed comfortable.

Would God be happy with me? I gave her water, right? Nope. What if that was my job in heaven? What if I did it half way? What if I never gain the courage to do His full will?UGH!

I do view heaven as me having a role or a job there. It’s not sitting around eating ice cream and not getting fat. I view us as having a role, a function, a purpose.

In this life I work for Him. I don’t work for me. I don’t work for my company. I work for Him. (Colossians 3:23 – Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters)

With that in mind, I view this life as a training ground for the next life when I’m with Jesus in heaven. My struggle is living it for Him and not for me so He knows my name. I strive to have the courage to do what He’s asking of me and not brush it aside. I struggle with staying comfortable and doing the good deeds that I choose versus doing the hard things he wants me to do.

The struggle is real, friends. How will you answer His call? Are you even having the conversations with Him to hear his voice? Please pray for me and I muster the courage to figure all this out and do His will. I pray that you, too, make progress in your journey and have the courage to do His will.

Make Today Count!

Be Still

I have been extremely lax in my meditation and prayer time. I always seemed to have something that took priority over my time with God. Shouldn’t that come first? Well yes, but… there’s this and there’s that and… You know the drill. I’m sure you do it too.

I felt the distance continue to grow as I let myself off the hook and didn’t do what I knew I needed to do. So today I’m back at it. While I may not post, I’m committed to being present with God and not let distractions get in my way.

Me: Good Morning, Lord

God: Welcome back, child. I’ve missed you lately.

Me: I’m sorry. I let the world and all it’s distractions keep me away from you.

God: I’m glad you realize it. It’s within your power to do something about it.

Me: I know.

God: I’d like to sit with you more regularly.

Me: I know and I will. I miss it too.

God: Sit quietly with me for a minute.

<deep breath… ease into the chair…>

Me: Do you have a message for me today?

God: Just sit….

<silence, deep breath…>

God: Doesn’t that feel good?

Me: Yes, is sure does.

God: Calm down and be still.

Me: I feel like that’s your message for me today. Is it?

God: Yes it is. Now focus on your breathing. Focus on releasing tension. Stop flailing and thrashing around. Peace starts internally, not externally. It resonates outwardly from you and spreads. Don’t absorb it from others.

God continues: Do you hear the wind outside?

Me: Yes, it’s quite windy today.

God: Does that make you anxious?

Me: Yes.

God: Why do you think that’s the case?

Me: Because I can’t control it.

God: If you recognize you can’t control it, and you recognize that I have that power, why would you worry? What specifically do you worry about with the wind?

Me: I worry about silly stuff like whether or not the siding will fly off or other things happen to the house. Stuff like that.

God: Has that happened before?

Me: Yes.

God: Did you handle it?

Me: Yes.

God: Ok, then let that go. Reframe the sensation. Go out and embrace the wind. I mean literally… go out and feel the wind. Feel it in your arms. That’s me you feel.

God continues: As the ‘winds of change’ swirl around you, don’t fret. Be still and embrace it.

Me: <sigh>

God: Now let’s sit quietly for a bit.

Me: Thank you, Lord!

I’ve always been uneasy with the heavy winds. Many nightmares have tornadoes in them. It’s an irrational fear that I work on frequently. If I’m calm on the inside, the swirling winds on the outside don’t have the same impact.

I hope you’re able to find calm in the swirling winds that seem to engulf us quite regularly. Be still… He’s got this.

Make Today Count!

You Are Enough

It’s been about 10 days since I last wrote. As I indicated on my last blog God told me it was going to be a rough week for Thanksgiving. It was rough but not how I anticipated. I came down with the flu and was down and out for 4 days. I haven’t had that in quite some time. While I do still pray and meditate every day, I don’t write it here unless I feel that God has a message that is for you and for me. Some days it’s just silence and I sit in his presence. Today I felt this was a good one that you may need to hear as well.

God: Good job.

Me: Good Morning, Lord. Thank you. What was the compliment for? That’s a pretty broad statement.

God: You seem fairly calm today and you’ve been coming every day like I asked.

Me: Yes, it’s getting much easier and I look forward to our time together. It’s not an effort any more to get out of bed earlier to spend time with you. It’s a habit now. I want it and it’s necessary. I do worry though that it’s not enough or I’m doing it wrong or something.

God:Does it feel wrong?

Me: No.

God: Then just go with it. Relax your whole body and take several deep breaths.. in and out…

~ I take a few minutes and pray for several friends and family. My mind starts to wander and I quickly come back~

Me: Lord, I ask you for wisdom, knowledge, courage, and compassion.

God: Get out of your own head.

Me: But how? It’s a constant dialogue. A sound track on repeat that I’m not good enough. go go go… do do do..

God: First of all, you are enough. You are enough because you are are my child.

  • You are enough
  • You have enough
  • You do enough

So enough already (ha ha). Stop that constant sound track loop and focus on being content. I need you to turn this round now. Every time that thought or feeling comes into your brain,stop it in it’s tracks. I want you to say “I AM ENOUGH. I have enough, I do enough. Say it out loud if you need to. There will always be to do or to have. What I want you “to do” is be kind and compassionate. I’m not asking you to boil the ocean. I’m asking you to make a difference where you are – right now – today.

Me: (deep sigh) Thank you for that. (timer goes off but I stick with it because I’m not ready to leave yet_

God: Be ok today. Put the worry, angst, and fear aside. Tomorrow will take care of itself because I already have that in my hands. Focus on being enough, child.

Me: Thank you, Lord Jesus!

God: Great, now go Make Today Count.

It’s funny to me how this short time every morning makes such a difference for me. The simple act of quieting my mind and spending time with God reveals so much and allows me to release things I don’t even realize I’m holding on to.

Yes, it’s the Christmas season and there’s lots more on our plates to plan and do and rush rush rush. My goal is to slow down and make it more memorable one day at a time.

Yes, there’s always more I can do and should do. Today I’ll focus on being enough and forgiving myself for things left undone.

I hope this message spoke to you and you can relate. You heard him… You Are Enough!

Make Today Count!

Holiday Planning

Welcome to a bright and sunny Saturday. I slept in a little and sat down with my coffee in my hand. I read for a bit. I’m in Exodus right now and I get lost in the details of the specifics of the tabernacle and the ark and all that. That’s a whole lot of detail which makes my head spin a bit. Anyway…Thanksgiving is this week and I’m excited to have my kids home from college. We’re planning on seeing many friends and I’m hoping for a great week. Here’s how the conversation with God went this morning…

God: You ready?

Me: Good morning, Lord. Yes I’m ready.

God: Set your timer for 20 minutes today. You’re going to write your blog today.

Me: Ok great. Is there a message for folks today?

God: It’s going to be a rough week.

Me: For every one or me specifically?

God: Both

Me: What? No! I want to have a really good week with the kids both home.

God: You will if you prepare. You’ll be fine.

~my mind starts racing with every possible horrible scenario. I pray for protection for everyone close to me. You’re on that list, I’m sure.~

Me: Lord, please let it be me and not them.

God: You’re going to be fine.

Me: Then why even tell me this? That’s not fair.

God: Calm down, child. Your imagination tends to get the better of you. All I said was it’s going to be a rough week. Quit trying to figure it out and plan for a tragedy. Rough does not equal tragedy.

Me: Can you tell me something good today?

God: You’re doing fine. Keep it up. You make a difference.

Me: I don’t feel joy again today. I feel the weight of the sorrow of the world.

God: That’s totally on you. You control your feelings. The victory has already been won. You know that.

~ I sit in silence for a bit and focus on my breathing… my mind begins to race…~

God: Marcia, stop talking.

Me: Yes, Lord.

God: How will you prepare for this week? I mean emotionally not food wise.

Me: Normally I guess I don’t.

God: Ok so let’s start there. Know that friction is bound to happen in any gathering during the holidays. What can you do in advance?

Me: Stay centered and do my prayer and meditation time every day.

God: What else?

Me: Role play in my brain? Role play how I’ll remain calm. Role play how to recognize it’s about to occur.

God: Good… keep going. What else?

Me: Recognize we all bring different perspectives and baggage to the table.

God: And?

Me: And it’s not personal.

God: Even when it feels personal, it’s up to you to own what you should and release the rest. Did you catch that part? OWN IT when it’s yours to own but not more than that.

Me: Ok, got it.

God: Plan for it. It’s going to happen but this time you can make a different outcome.

Me: Thank you, Lord. Thank you for counting me worthy to spend time with you. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit and allow me to do your work.

God: ok now go write.

As usual my mind went to the worse case scenario when I heard it would be a rough week. I feel better now though having spent this time with God and thinking through how to make a different outcome this year.

For me, I’ll take a deep breath before responding in anger. I’ll be kinder with my words. I’ll share the peace and love of God wherever and whenever I can. It starts with me. What about you?

Make Today Count

If you aren’t grateful…

I took a pass on blogging yesterday because I was feeling tapped out. I struggled to find joy in the mundane. The well was dry. I struggled to find a way to fill my spirit back up. I was still reading. I was still writing but all of a sudden I was disconnected. Here’s how the conversation(s) went today. I say multiple because it didn’t end after my prayer/meditation time.

Me: Good morning, Lord. I really need to feel a connection to you today.

God: You feel like you lost the connection?

Me: Yes, actually I do. I don’t know what’s different.

God: Settle in, child and spend some time with me.

Me: I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m …

God: Stop. I know and those are great but why is your heart become hardened?

Me: I don’t know. I just want to feel like I’m doing what you want me to do. I feel like I have a lot to share and give.

God: And you do and you will.

~my mind wanders and goes a bit hay wire. Ok… centered… I’m back…. breath deep… .put all those worries in a box and send it down stream. Oops… box is too big today. It won’t fit in the stream. Crap, now what? And… .we’re back ~

God: Well that was interesting. Child, what are you doing? Come take my hands. Now relax. I need you to work on you today. That’s what this time is for. It’s important and cannot be rushed or skipped. Soften your heart towards yourself.

Me: I feel stuck in a rut.

God: You’re not stuck. You’re re-energizing.

Me: There’s so much pain in the world.

God: I know. I hear their cries in the dark and I know you do too.

Me: Let me do this then… I’ll put my prayer requests at your feet….

Me: Lord, my prayer for today is this… .Please…. no… wait… back up… Let me restart.

Me: Thank you, Lord for all that you have given me and all that you are. You are the Almighty… Creator of all things known and unknown. (pause)

God: Keep going. What’s you’re “wish” today. By the way, I’m not a genie in a bottle or a magic lamp that you can rub the side of for 3 wishes.

Me: I know. ( I continue but won’t bore you with the details)

God: Ok. Anything else?

Me: Yes. Please help me to love more fully and deeply those that you put in my path. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

God: Good job, Marcia. Now spend a few minutes with me.

After I was done with my mediation and prayer time I got my day started. I was in the shower and I hear “If you aren’t grateful and appreciative of all that I have given you, why would I give you more?

Ouch! My eye flew open. THAT’S IT! Thank you for clean hot water. Thank you for soft towels… I start naming everything in sight that I’m thankful for. Heat that works… and the list goes on.

As I continued to get ready the conversation with God continued and I realized the source of some of my unsettledness. Yesterday I struggled to find Joy in the Mundane. Questions like What is Joy? Such simple words but hard to describe, hard to grasp, hard to quantify. When I took a step back and focused on be thankful and grateful it came into sharper focus.

It’s almost Thanksgiving and I think the word “thankful” is over used and watered down. We toss it around so freely and willy nilly but are we really thankful? Or are we going through the motions?

I challenge you today… what are you thankful for? Sometimes it takes those things being gone before we realize how important they are to us.

Here’s an example… I didn’t realize how important my health was until I got the dreaded news of cancer 3 1/2 years ago. Through that ordeal I became thankful for a lot! When I lost my taste buds in chemo…boy was I thankful to have those back. When I lost my hair… boy was I thankful for having that back. Even today.. if I have a bad hair day I’m thankful I have hair to worry about. Even in the struggle with cancer I made it a point to find joy in the mundane and be thankful for EVERY THING! I’m thankful for each day I get to enjoy.

I hope you don’t have to go through something like that but the point is still the same regardless of where you are and what you’re dealing with. Start small… name the things you’re thankful for throughout the day. See what a difference it can make.

Most of all…. Make Today Count. You make a difference!

Then there’s silence

Today I get the sense I’m supposed to just sit and listen. No agenda. No questions. No wrestling. No message.

I settle in and take a few deep breaths. I sink into the comfort of His arms. There’s no sound except my heart beat and my breathing.

Me: Good morning, Lord.

God: Thank you for coming this morning. I’m glad you’re here.

Me: It feels really good.

~ then my mind races around like a toddler getting ready for bath time. I reel my thoughts back in and focus on my breathing and spending time with God.~

God: You’re starting to wrestle again.

Me: Yes, sorry.

God: Stop writing.

Me: You mean right now – like quit trying to write this while we talk?

God: No. I want you to stop writing the blog for a bit. You can write today then stop.

Me: What? Why? You’ve led so many to the site to hear your messages. Why stop now?

God: You got them started. They need to seek me out on their own right now. I need them to talk to me directly. Not though you.

Me: I’m feeling a little scolded and confused.

God: You’re not being scolded. Don’t worry. We’ll use that again but not right now. You’ve been joyfully faithful for these past 30 days. That’s what I asked of you. Now I need you to take a break.

Me: I’ll still read and write in my journal, though. Right?

God: Absolutely. but the focus in changing. I have another exciting ministry for you.

Me: It feels strange to not right the post though.

God: The next step is bigger but patience is required now.

Me: Patience feels like inactivity. It feels like no forward progress is happening.

God: Just because you don’t see it, doesn’t mean that things aren’t happening. You’ve come a long way in the past 30 days. However, it’s time to pause. It’ll be a brief pause.

Me: What if I just… (trying to negotiate)

God: Don’t press it.

Me: Ok… I got it. Thank you

God: Now go write.

Well friends…. this is truly not the message I was expecting this morning. I’m not quite sure what to make of it yet.

I appreciate the fact that you have taken time to read these. I hope they sparked some new thoughts and forward progress in your own spiritual journey. They have made a huge impact on me. Writing these have truly taken me out of my comfort zone. Imagine letting all internet read your diary. To be honest, that’s what it feels like.

I am very confident I’ll be back writing periodically but I hope you’ll take the time and develop your relationship with Jesus in your own special way. We’re all on a journey and we need to support each other. Please don’t judge some one who is on a different path than you. But forge your own path and bring others along with you for the journey.

Until we meet again… May the grace of God and the light of Christ shine through you each and every day. Be kind to each other.

Make Today (and every day) Count.

Love the Unlovable

I almost didn’t take the time to be with God this morning. It’s Sunday and we’ll head to church in a bit. I was about to give myself a pass but then I realized how much I would miss it so I sat down and read, prayed and wrote.

God: Welcome, child. I wasn’t sure I’d see you this morning.

Me: I wasn’t sure either but I’m glad I’m here.

God: Me too. Sit with me for a while.

God: How are you today?

Me: I have a bit of a headache but overall pretty good. I probably have been eating too much sugar. That can sometimes give me a headache.

God: Probably.

Me: Why do we like stuff that’s not good for us?

God: Hmm… feels like there’s a message in there.

Me: I love sweets. I know it’s not good for me but sometimes I just can’t resist.

God: You can resist. You choose not to.

Me: I really don’t want to focus on that today. Can I promise I’ll do better?

God: What makes you think the future is going to be different? Will power?

Me: maybe…

God: You’re forcing the conversation right now looking for an easy answer. There is none.

Me: I thought is was funny yesterday when I asked you what Heaven was like. You said “Why? Do you want to pack a bag?”

God: Even if I could tell you what it’s like, you wouldn’t understand it. By the way, I noticed how you changed the subject there. Nice try. We’ll come back to that sugar thing later.

Me: Seriously though, can I have a message for your people today?

God: Sure. Tell them I love them. Tell them they need to love the unlovable.

Me: Oh good one. I have that up on my bulletin board.

God: It’s easy to love someone who is nice to us and is pleasant, isn’t it?

Me: Sure.

God: There’s going to be a lot of social gatherings over the next several weeks. These events are going to be filled with challenging situations. I need them to let the light of Christ shine through them by loving someone that seems undeserving. See what happens when you do that. They’ll be amazed.

God: Sit with that for a minute and let it sink in more.

God: Here’s an example – Even if a person just cut you off in traffic… say a prayer for them. Show them some grace.

God: Only the light of Christ can dispel the darkness. More darkness in darkness is still just darkness. You bring the light of Christ into this broken world. Yes, the world is a dark place sometimes but you can be the difference.

Me: Love the Unloveable, got it.

God: Here’s some situations that might help – maybe it’s a child that is on their last nerve. Maybe it’s an annoying coworker. Maybe it’s an in-law or a relative. Be the light of hope and love.

Me: Anything else?

God: Tell them this is not going to be easy at first but it’s worth it.

Me: Thank you, Lord for all that you have done for me. Thank you for granting me peace and allowing me to spend time with you. Thank you for giving me the courage to share our time together with others.

God: Thank you for hearing my call. Now go tell them what I said. See you tomorrow.

Wow! That seems so simple yet if you look at your day, you’ll see that’s a lot harder than it first seems. I heard this message in a sermon several years ago and wrote it on my white board so I can focus on it when I have a difficult situation to deal with at work. I think it’s also critically important that we aren’t the ones that are proving to be unlovable. I ask myself that question alot too. Is it me? Awh… nope. Couldn’t be me. I’m perfect! NOT! This is a good gut check for us and our behavior as well.

I hope you found an interesting nugget or two in here today. I hope you can make a difference in the life of another today by loving the unlovable.

Make Today County.

Back to Basics

Today is LINK food distribution day and I”m up super early for a Saturday. Today is the day I know I can make a difference for many. I can truly see that I am the hands and feet of God and see his people in action. It will be an exhausting yet exhilarating day. I settle in quickly because I know I don’t have a lot of time.

Me: Good morning, Lord.

God: Good morning. It’s nice to see you this morning. I wasn’t sure if you’d get up early enough to spend time together.

Me: I wasn’t so sure either. But I remembered that you told me that if I spend this time with you it sets the tone for the whole day.

God: Yes that’s true and you’ve seen that, haven’t you?

Me: Yes I have.

~ I sit quietly for a few minutes and settle in~

God: Get out of your head, Marcia. I need you to calm down. Listen, listen, listen. We need to talk.

~ I feel like I’m about to get scolded~

God: You’ve got a lot of work to do today. You’re going to need all the points we’ve talked about. Stay focused and calm. Let the light of Jesus shine through you today and every day.

God: I need you to get out of your head. You’re over analyzing everything.

Me: But I’m afraid I’ll miss something or forget something. I’m afraid I’ll miss an opportunity or miss a sign.

God: Do you think I’d let you forget? Do you think I’ll not nudge you firmly when I need you do act?

Me: No I guess not.

God: Child… go back to basics if that makes you feel better. You’re beyond the basics at this point but it’s ok to go back and make sure you’re solid.

Me: What does that mean? Back to Basics… I don’t get it.

God: Love my people. My people need you. Keep coming back every day. Sit quietly with me. Spend time with me. Keep reading. Keep writing.

Me: Sounds simple but the reality of it is hard.

God: You make it hard. It’s not really that hard.

Me: So back to basics, huh? That’s the message today?

God: Yes. You should go back and read the prior messages that you’ve posted the past couple of weeks. You need a refresher. You’re going to need it for what’s ahead. I will fulfill my promises.

Me: I feel like I’m supposed to do more now.

God: I’ll let you know when you’re ready. Sit quietly with me now and take some deep breaths.

~ I sit quietly and before I know it the timer goes off. Yes, I set a timer so I don’t end up spending all day there. In the beginning the timer was so I would spend enough time with God but now it’s the opposite.~

Me: Can’t I stay here with you all day?

God: No you can’t. However, I am with you all day and you know that. You can have this sense of peace all the time. That part is up to you.

Me: I know.

God: Do you? You seem to forget that a lot and try to do this on your own. You’re pretty stubborn, Marcia. That will serve you well in the long run but right now it’s only going to frustrate you. Right now you need to relax and stay focused on the basics. I’m actually impressed and pleased that you’ve followed through so far and remained faithful to our morning time together. Keep going. You’re doing fine. I got this. I just need you to stay focused on the basics right now.

Me: Ok. I got it.

God: Now go write.

~ I end with the Our Father and start to write~

Back to basics, huh? Easier said than done. I know I over complicate most things I do. Clearly this is another example. I don’t have any clever stories or wonderful anecdotes for this one this morning. So I’ll leave you with this thought… What are you over complicating that you need to get Back to Basics? I’d love to hear how this spoke to you today.

Make Today Count!

Joy in the Journey

We’re now half way through November. Gosh that’s hard to believe. It’s a really chilly morning. Winter is definitely here. It’s dark in the morning and dark in the evenings. The lack of sunlight is already weighing on me.

I really fought a tough mental battle this week. You saw the wrestling I was doing with God. That wrestling continued through out the day and wouldn’t let up. I fought to remain upbeat and positive and not let fear and complacency lure me back into status quo. I’m not saying the fight is over yet but I’m going to continue to march forward every day. It’s mostly me not being patient. I expect BIG THINGS from little effort. That’s what our society seems to be teaching us these days, isn’t it? “Everybody get a trophy. Yippee”. Does anyone at your office say “here’s your paycheck for showing up” ? No? They don’t at mine either.

I like to play the lottery. “Give me $5 and I’ll give you a million”. How’s that working out for you, Marcia? (yes I do refer to myself in the 3rd person sometimes). Really? Why do I fall for that? Someone has to win though. Don’t they? ~ ok.. I’m off track~

What do I do with this wrestling then? I keep coming back…every morning. So I’m here today. I’m home in my comfy chair with my slippers on and a heater to warm the room. Today I commit to find the positive in every situation and keep coming back with no expectation of gain, fame, or fortune. (Good pep talk, Marcia)

Me: Ok, I’m ready, Lord. Good morning! Thank you for the many blessings – both big and small. Thank you for sending your only Son, Jesus, as my personal savior. Please open my eyes and ears and allow me to be fully present for you today and everyday. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

God: Well good morning, child. You are certainly off to a better start today, aren’t you?

Me: Yes, I feel better today. I was reading Exodus this morning where you kept hardening the heart of the Pharoah when Moses was asking to take your people out of Egypt. Are you doing that to my heart too to test me and make sure I’m fully committed you and this journey? (note: you should read and see how it applies to your situation… why are you still in the desert?)

God: Maybe. Is it working? Let me ask you this… Where’s the reward if it’s automatically given? It’s not a vending machine. I like your intro this morning. It’s very insightful.

Me: Lord, I’m feeling inadequate for the job you’ve given me. I’m feeling scattered and forgetful. I could sure use some help there.

God: You’re fine. You need to focus, though. You’re letting a lot of things distract you that are pointless and out of your control. You’re losing your joy on this journey. Do you really think you can let the light of Christ shine through you if you’re cranky and moping around? Take a deep breath.

~deep breath~

God: Ok, now get centered and just enjoy our time together for a few minutes.

God: Quite putting deadlines and timelines on me. That’s really important. Remember. My time not yours.

~ I make a frowny face~

Me: So what message can I deliver for you today? I fell like we’ve had several important topics today.

God: We sure do. What do you think is the most important?

Me: Questions, questions, questions! You’re full of questions today and not many answers.

God: Fun isn’t it?

~ I pause and reflect for a bit~

Me: What I heard from you the most today is to find Joy in Journey.

God: YOU GOT IT! Can you do that? Can you find Joy in the Journey even when you feel like I’m leading you wandering about the desert for years and year?

Me: Yes, I can with you help.

God: Ok that’s great. Now spend a few minutes with me before you go write. Take a deep breath and relax. Find the joy in the most mundane things today. Now go write.

Me: Thank you, Lord. I will.

Find Joy in the Journey. Even when it’s sucky? Yep. But how do you do that? Here’s what’s worked for me before and apparently I’ve gotten away from it. When I’m faced with an obstacle I find three positive things. For example, I’m running late and I have to stop at a stop light. What three things are positive in that? Doesn’t seem like much good in that, is there?

Well, stop for a second and find Christ in that situation. Maybe that stop light actually saved your life from being in an accident down the road. Use that time to say a quick prayer. Don’t know who to pray for? Pray for the person who just zoomed in front of you. Pray for the person you have to have a difficult conversation with at work when you get there. Pray for peace and patience and understanding. Find the joy and God in these mundane things. It does make a difference.

oh boy… I almost forgot… Make Today Count!