Yesterday I rested for a moment. I looked out my large bedroom window and saw so much life. The beauty from our apple tree, birds flying about and butterflies fluttering amidst other plants, revealed so much abundance. As I breathed deep, my eye caught some movement in a neighboring tree. I saw the color yellow and thought at first that it was only fall leaves. As I focused further there were three yellow birds.Yellow is a significant color for me. It holds memories and special messages I carry deep within me.
Seeing those three yellow birds made me feel so special in that moment. I knew God was reminding me that I mattered big to Him and that He was my promise keeper.
The small things matter big!
Yes, even the small negative things hold just as much power to overtake the good. But we must not let that occur. It does only take a little bit of yeast to take over the bread. In that moment of rest I was battling some bad that had occurred. My heart ached over the depravity of the situation. But God’s goodness came and filled up the deep aching cavern within me.
When life doesn’t make sense God sends yellow birds to remind you that He will never fail you.
If you are waiting for promises, look for the small things. It is often in those small details where it will matter big to you. A sunset. A flower. Birds. A hug. None of these things were intended for us to just pass by.
I have to admit that I have enjoyed the past month (even though it feels like two or three) in more ways than I have struggled with the changes it has brought. I have enjoyed the new and creative ways we have come together as a family. In many ways it has increased the love and connection that schedules and the busy often can decrease.
I have learned the value in boredom. Kids can return back to their imaginations more than before much like life used to be before phones, tablets and other electronics. Being a kid in the grass and roasting s’mores. Magical lands once again return to life. This was my favorite part of my childhood and I have to admit that I have returned a bit myself during the longer days and have written adventures again.
It is also okay to not have plans. Return to rest and learn what it means to relax together. Love grows in these moments if it is allowed to, even if there is tension with the unknown. Perhaps once life returns post covid19 we can keep these moments? I want the deeper connections to stay and magical lands to continue to grow.
What is your focus on today? During these days of slowing down and coming close in your homes we have time, finally, to get “unbusy”… We have been forced to halt and stop what has become our normal.
I love the unbusy… I love the slow. For me it means we get to focus on relationship better. I see so much hope for families and spouses reconnecting during this time.
At the same time I know that a lot is up in the air, and many are scared about many things. When the unknown hits, when tragedy hits the world or your own small world it can be so easy to focus on what we’ve lost versus what we’ve gained. It can be easy to focus on the chaos of fear.
But today I say, focus on hope. Focus on every hour kissing the faces of your kids, hug your spouse extra long… Go out of your way today to love those around you bigger and better than the day before. If you know cleaning the toilet would make someone happy and feel loved then clean that toilet. If it means making coffee and sitting down just to be close and that is what fills someone’s love cup, then get to it!
In the time where things keep getting banned, sickness takes over and grief of your normal sets in– turn to hope. Hope helps you see the many opportunities before you now.
I keep hearing phrases like, “In these uncertain times” or ” These are uncertain times”… And I don’t like it. I get it but I don’t like it. I like knowing what is going on. I like having a sense of certainty.
Even though we don’t know what is going on… How severe things really are or aren’t… Even though life has changed drastically so suddenly, I do know one thing for certain: God is good and He can be your certainty. He can be your source of peace. He can be trusted!
We see in the gospels where Jesus commanded storms to be still… He healed the sick. He delivered people from oppressive demons. He never faltered, never stammered and certainly he never doubted. He was available even on the Sabbath to help someone.
If fear is making your heart race, your thoughts go round and round and stealing sleep, and moments of joy… Let God come. Peace. Be still. Fear go back to hell. Peace. Be still.
He is not scared. Let Him take care of you and your family. To any storm you face, He can and will speak,
As a child I remember believing in impossibly big things. Adults, friends even family would all make sure to tell me the reality of life. Simply put, some things would never happen. But when you are born a dreamer, it is a part of you that never dies. It is big faith.
No matter what has happened in my life I have always come back to the impossible. The impossible is a challenge. What looks like a mountain could be moved or if you’re Mary Poppins, you could simply fly over it.
I have lived through many soul crushing things. I may have suffered times of doubt or felt extreme defeat but I was not defeated. The beautiful thing about God is that circumstances can change in an instant. Feelings come and go but God does not. God remains good. God remains the same. God is faithful.
Because of God hope rises as the sun awakes in the early morning. Dreams can and often do become reality. The impossible becomes possible.
Yes, Mary Poppins, anything is possible. But I would say, especially the impossible.
This is a picture of my dog while I am gone. To some it may look like a dog who is in deep sleep. What this is, is a dog incredibly sad that I am gone. He almost looks a bit defeated.
I have been thinking about my sweet dog and this picture the rest of this week. He has separation anxiety because he believes the lie that when I leave, I will not come back. He lets that lie defeat him. I am also told that while I am gone he is mopey and sad. When I return he is renewed and exudes a joy that he is unable to contain.
We are not much different (forgive me for comparing us to a dog but the reminders from him are good to note).
This is what our souls look like when we don’t make time to be with the Lord. We get depleted. Ever so slowly we are exhausted by life circumstances and our souls become heavy laden. We want to give up. Sometimes we give in to the surrounding darkness. This is what happens when we believe lies about ourselves and about our circumstances.
If we could only remember the truths about our King. He will never leave us or forsake us. He has won our victory. He is always present. He loves us with an everlasting love. He waits for us to let him into our lives. Our growth and our joy is our choice because he will never force his way on anyone.
I encourage you to spend more time in prayer. Read more of the Bible. Get to know who God is. In his presence lies are destroyed, faith grows and hope rises.
There is no better way to live.
“God, thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for giving me strength to love through the storms. Thank you for helping me remain steadfast no matter how much my heart may break. Thank you for the gift of joy. Thank you for the gift of the Holy Spirit. I cannot and will not live life without you. I choose you. Thank you for choosing me first.”
In our instant gratification type world, the process within our lives can often be a struggle. We doubt our faith. We doubt our actions when results do not occur quickly or within the time frame we might expect. Why are we so quick to doubt or even begin to complain about the process? Are we just whiners? The world does not revolve around us.
I feel that most often we desire results without much work or sacrifice. We think that we must feel a certain way all of the time or that certain things must be in order, otherwise God is not good. Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the life of Jesus? He was outcasted, slandered, ignored, considered crazy, betrayed, lied about, and murdered for other people’s wrongdoing. Do you think that Jesus thought that through all of that, that his Father was not good? Absolutely not!
God is good and he wants to give us good things when we ask him. What we get caught up with is the fact that we often think that we know what is better for us than God does. Too often we want someone else to be blamed for our sin, our apathy and our selfish desires. All of this decreases joy because we are the ones choosing the opposite of it.
My prayer is that it would become normal to ask God to have his mind and desire what he wants, rather than getting caught up in selfishness or pride, thinking that we know best. It can be so easy to cast blame if that is what is normal. In our culture it is normal and has come to be accepted in several large circles. Those in leadership are applauded when they do so.
But do not applaud so quickly. Ones own pride comes at a price. Sin comes with a price. It is too heavy for one to measure.
Let us return once again to repentance. Let us return to asking, seeking and knocking without complaining after “too much time” has passed and you have been outside the door waiting.
God is good. He has the best waiting for you if you get out of the way.
Have you ever felt like God was taking things away from you?
The past year has been a life-changing year. My heart has been broken and wrecked in ways I never thought possible. Unimaginable things have occurred, both good and bad. We are still staring evil in the face. God’s gaze is my focal point.
Through it all I have asked God, “what are you doing?” My entire mindset has changed. My view on my career, personal goals and “plans” have all changed. I technically do not have a “plan” anymore and that is a good thing considering “planning” is usually what I do. I plan and make goals and then feel fulfilled after it is done. This year was the first year I felt incomplete after accomplishing some big goals. It led me to make some drastic changes. It made me realize that I was placing too much of my worth on accomplishments rather than on God alone.
This shift in mindset has not been easy. Letting go of huge loves of mine has not been easy. Completely pursuing God’s promises has not been easy either because His plans have been different than my own. He has taken a lot away.
He has taken certain things away in order for me to be ready to embrace the best! He gives far more than I could ever imagine.
The beautiful thing about God is that his plans are better than my own. Even though I am in the waiting I know that his intentions are good. In the letting go and letting God it has opened the door of heaven over me and my household. In the process peace has made it’s home permanently in me. No matter what circumstances I face it doesn’t knock me over like it once did. Because of this, letting go of all I’ve known for more of him is worth it. It is hard because dying to oneself is never easy. But his ways are better.
What has he taken away so that you may receive the best?
When we were children we never knew what our Mommas were feeling or going through. But the truth is that they often were grieving or struggling in some way. Sure, many years were great when this day came but so many brave souls overcame a day feeling less than, forgotten or were without someone they loved.
For those who have lost their Mom and/or sweet children of your own, rest in the fact that God loves them even to this day, more than you. I say this phrase as a blessing to you.
Today after church I was able to take a deep breathe in the car ride home. As I allowed myself to soak in all the love, hugs, and notes I had received, I saw an image of my Mom holding my son in her arms in heaven. How perfect they looked!
I realized in that moment how well taken care of both of them are. I know this but to “see” it and to see my Mom loving and holding my boy so close was exactly what my Momma heart needed. This would have (should have) been my first Mother’s day with a baby in my arms.
Despite the hint of sadness from loss, my heart is so full. I am one blessed woman. I am loved. I am lacking nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.
The same goes for you. You are blessed. You are loved. You lack nothing because all of God’s promises are yes and amen.
Honorable, virtuous, strong woman, shed a tear if you need but arise and lift up your head for you are victorious!
Adventures are full of perilous battles, and travels. Memories are made to last a lifetime during such times.
Waiting for an end of one journey and the beginning of another is an adventure all on its own. Depending on ones perspective during the intense seasons, one can often either give up or keep believing that the long days and opposition is worth what is waiting at the end, even if there seems to be no end in sight.
The past year has been intense. There have been so many moments where I have told myself, “Kara, you can do this. You are strong. Stay focused. Breathe in and then exhale.”
Several weeks ago someone shared with me that I’m living my life like Noah building the ark. I am stewarding Gods promises. I am preparing for the improbable. I know what God has spoken to me. I know what He has in store for my family. Many may look at me and wonder why I am doing the things that I am simply because it has not rained yet. But I know the rain is coming and I will be ready for when it does.
After this conversation I decided to refresh myself on the details about Noah. By the time he had all of his sons he was 500. Somewhere in between that time and the rain God gave him instructions to build the arc. Each year the sky was dry. Noah met opposition and was preparing for something that others could not fathom. Noah was faithful. Finally at 600 years of age the heavens opened and it began to rain. One hundred years seems like such a long stretch of time to build, and steward what God had given him to do!
One hundred years long was worth it. What Noah did seemed crazy to so many people until it began to rain.
People who look through the lens of doubt and cynicism will never be the ones to do impossible tasks nor will they be the ones to enjoy the gifts along the journey of one epic adventure after another.
Faith requires deaf ears to ridicule and lies. Faith requires radiant eyes to focus on the rainbow that has yet to be seen in the skies. The more time is spent with Him, listening to His voice, the more faith grows.
God is good. He is willing.
Are you willing to let go of everything you know? Are you ready for the rain?
Look to the heavens. He is willing and ready to bring the rain and paint the rainbow for you.