Archive for the ‘Change’ Category

Paddling together in the ocean, each in a 48-inch color-whirl inner-tube, not too far from shore but away from the busyness of children playing – we floated. My husband kept me anchored, ensuring I didn’t bob off into international waters. While everyone else played, we saw dolphins jumping high out of the water.

Looking down into the water, I was startled to see 3 pairs of eyes looking at me – eyes belonging to 3 grey-sand-colored looking fish trimmed in yellow. Other fish nipped at my heals dipped in the water. Minutes later, little bee-like stings caused me to yank those heals out of the water.

Oddly, nothing stung my human anchor. Except for the little stings, our late morning paddles in the ocean were a treasure.

The last morning, though, my husband had a business call to take, so I pulled myself out into the ocean, past the busyness of play, beyond the sandbar, past a fisherman, and another studying the waters net in hand. I looked down – and there was my little grey-looking fish friend, trimmed in yellow, seemingly escorting me. As I settled into my last holiday ocean bob, the stings started gain but were much more intense, circling ankle and all over my feet. This time, it didn’t stop.

There I was bobbing out in the ocean, feet pulled to the top of the inner tube – which was really challenging because that’s where much of the rest of me was.

I asked the man with the net, “What’s stinging me?”

“Jelly fish,” he answsered. “They’ve been here all week, but today they’re worse.” He walked over to show me one he’d just caught. “There’s one with a 4-foot diameter behind the gate,” he said.

There, in the little net, was a jelly-fish, resembling a clear round lunch-baggy filled with water .

I could have frumped out of the ocean, my reverie interrupted, bewailed the stinging and the unfairness of it all – I do love bobbing about in the ocean on an inner-tube. I could have whined that my knight in shining armor wasn’t there to protect me.

I didn’t, though those jelly fish changed my routine, changed the course of my day and sent me off doing other things.

I’m starting to understand that sometimes life’s little stings, like little mother pinches urging to “get a move on” are designed to move us from one place to another – not necessarily physically but spiritually.

I shouldn’t be surprised that when God does a new thing in our lives (Isaiah 43:18-21) – that these new things are often preceded by emotional or physical discomfort – think of childbirth.

Think of how different the life of the rich young man if he hadn’t walked away from the sting of exchanging worldly riches for eternal life.

Saul experienced a stinging prelude to change before he was transformed to Paul.

The crippled man was willing to accept the sting of a potential fall by attempting to stand in faith.

The woman with the issue of blood risked the sting of rejection to be healed.

The apostles risked the sting of their family’s judgement about their responsibilities in making the seismic decision to leave their nets(jobs) and follow Jesus.

Esther experienced the sting of change, moving from her community to the palace, not realizing the change would save her community.

Naomi and Ruth’s stinging loss of their spouses, propelled them on a journey that not only would find them both fulfilled but become part of the geneology that would fulfill God’s plan of salvation.

Mary risked the sting of stoning when she told the angel, “Yes.”

It is in the aftermath of the sting, that change manifests – and it is the behavior in that aftermath that affects not just the journey of that change but result of that change.

Think of how the sting of infertility brought Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah closer to the Father, though sometimes their choices complicated the journey to the sting’s intended result.

Think how different the sting of responsibility would have been for Samson had his choices in the journey been different. Yes, Samson fulfilled God’s plan for his life – though his choices affected the journey to fulfill that plan.

That day as I bobbed on the ocean in the midst of a school of jelly fish,  the Father was trying to tell me something – to tell me sometimes in order to create His changes, to shepherd us in His direction, to move us closer to His plan’s path, that sometimes I need to change. Those changes might be inside heart-changes or out-side changes.

“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect” (Romans 12:2)

That day in the ocean, instead of fussing about physical fish-stings, I knew I needed to look for the message – and once I translated the message, I readied myself for upcoming change.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day” (2 Cor 4:16))

There have been changes, both relatively immediate and on the horizon. I am praying for guidance on these journey changes – hoping that my choices do not negatively affect that journey.

Maybe one day, I will not need the sting to make the changes God wants in my life. However, right now, I would rather have them to shepherd me to God-change than to remain un-changed, un-shaped, un-transformed.

808) laundry folded
809) reading The Hobbit with my youngest son
810) who went off to read it by himself and returned totally amused and detailing the introduction of each dwarf and hood color – all this from a little boy who does not like chapter books.
811) when a day stretches and there is more than enough time for all things big and small
812) an answered prayer unfolding
813) the hope in that answered prayer of a future restored
814) peace, rising up in my home, an ahhhh, soaking-kind of peace
815) the energy to make my special hot chocolate and surprise the boys
816) smiles, one by one, son by son
817) squirrels scampering across the outside of my window
818) clear blue skies on a Saturday morning – touching flaming yellows, red and orange leaves to bring joy in a 3 hour ride
819) the marching band playing in the afternoons when I leave work
820) every day with my husband, his strength, faithfulness and sense of humor
821) holding grandbaby girl for 10 minutes
822) listening to my mom talk about how God protected her when she fell leaving church
823) leaves that swirled, dipped and danced, in a teasing wind on my ride home from work
824) tomatoe still from my garden on a grilled hamburger
825) zinnias still blooming
826) people that live kindness in so many different ways that touch my life each week – a smile walking down a hallway, a knitted gift, a hug at church, grandfather words for my sons from a dear friend at church

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The house where I came from
where long before I came the dog trot became
a hallway and grew stairs
where the original kitchen became a reading room
with a big fireplace
with a door that once led to a porch
that became the new kitchen
that became
a small bedroom
with a door
that led to a newer porch
that became a family room with a floor furnace
with two doors
one that led to a kitchen and dining room built after the war
that didn’t turn into anything else
and the dining room had the most doors
one that led
to a room that I only knew as
the parlor
where Christmas was celebrated
bridge was played
where the big occasions
were remarked upon
and where one could always find
a quiet place
to contemplate

“In Him the whole structure is joined (bound, welded) together harmoniously, and it continues to rise (grow, increase) into a holy temple in the Lord [a sanctuary dedicated, consecrated, and sacred to the presence of the Lord]”(Ephesians 2: 21)

Long ago, all alone, I was a one room house. Marriage revealed a before unseen door that opened into another room. When I first walked to take my place at the classroom podium, upon returning home I found yet another door where none had been.With each child, other doors revealed themselves. Change adds to the house that is me.

When I was 7, dressed up for my First Communion, a door appeared – but I didn’t know I was allowed to open it. When I was 35, I opened it – and walked into a sunroom that led onto a yard, that led to a pool that led to a secret garden. When I walked back, there were more additional rooms – a library, a media room, a gift-wrapping room, a room just for contemplating. There is so much more to me than I ever realized – God had it all planned out. Not just house plans but soul plans. A Holy Expansion. Each room. Each design.

God is the same Yesterday, Today and Forever but for us, we are called to change, to continually be moving closer toward Him, to live out His divine design – building on, re-designing one room at a time to compensate for the growing of my soul – kind of like my grandmother’s house.

“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” (2 Cor 3:18).

258) Watching my 16 and 13 year old walk together on Mountain trails, talking – reaching that magical age where the great divide has been overcome.
259) An old-fashioned thunder storm – no tornadoes, no severe warnings – just thunder rumbling, rain falling and I love it.
260) Doors opening to give dreams a place
261) “Faith-is-the-substance-of-things-hoped-for-the-evidence-of-things-not-seen” moments (Hebrews 11:1) – when what you have been walking in faith for starts showing itself.
262) Quiet times at home while the boys visit their Nanny, learning to miss the noise and the fullness of our house
263) Saturday Morning Soccer games in sunshine and warmth
264) Old and New friends on the soccer field
265) The beauty of the white blooms on a pear tree
266) A Butterfly visiting those same white Pear blossoms, staying long enough for me to get a picture
267) Still have that can-do spirit that allowed me to run with my grocery cart through a downpour
268) A table for 2 at a favorite restaurant,watching basketball, eating appetizers, spending time with my guy and listening to how God worked in his life this week.
269) An hour during lunch with my knitting group, showing me that good things are there; sometimes you just have to push yourself to have them
270) The dr identifying the pain in my side: gallbladder’s got to go sometime.Identifying the problem is the blessing. The not knowing challenged.
271) A husband who prays over me for healing
272) Willingness to make changes, like a full-time job,diet and the different kind of mothering of my sons out of the nest
273) A skinny, sugar-free salted caramel mocha
274) Crab Bisque on a Sunday afternoon and my littlest son loving it
275) A gift-from-God friend who has taught me so much about love. She made her special Filipino rice for my boys. It teaches them how to love beyond family, too. They want to keep her.
276) Holding sweet baby girl, her laughing when I said asparagus, her laughing at her youngest uncle, and beautiful smiles for her grandpa
277) Thinning the ivy around the porch with my husband.

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I hate change.  Especially when I don’t want to, whether it is moving to another town, Starbucks dropping my Chocolate Truffle, my boys not dragging their blankets into my room in the middle of the night to snuggle into bed with us, or something as simple as leaving my favorite season – Fall

Some seasons are so hard to release – to just let go
But Seasons Change, whether we want them to or not
Being a child of God
a daughter of the King
a princess in His Kingdom
does not stop seasons from changing
While God never changes, we do
Because we are a continual work in progress
being sculpted into the work of heart we were created to become
Big changes and little Changes
little and Big
Trail Blazers of Change, those willing to step on the path of change
Abram, Naomi, Moses, Ruth, David, Esther, Jacob, Mary, Elijah, Rachael, Peter, Leah, Saul

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …” (Ecc. 3:1-22)

A time to change
Is God calling you to a seasonal change?
One You are not eager for?
But out of faith, would not pass for the world?

 Dear Father, give me not just strength, but courage and desire to not only step on the path, but to stay on this path of change you have called me to. Let me not look back in regret, missing the familiar, the comfortable. Let me not look too far forward to become overwhelmed with this journey. Rather, let open my eyes to the joy in each daily step that leads me closer to completing this change you are working in my life. Let me seek pleasure in the cardinal that shoots out ahead of my path.  Let me be comforted in the brightness of the sun on a cold moment. Let me find delight in the determination of a squirrel’s business of gathering nuts, preparing for winter – to and fro, to and fro until dusk comes and the snow falls. Let me find joy in the journey, similar to traveling a path covered with crisp autumn leaves – kicking them into the air just to hear the beauty of the noise and the smell of the season.  Instead of crying tears that threaten to drown heart for this mission of change, let those tears be like water to hungry roots of change. Let me rest in peace knowing that this journey of change will be successfully complete
because you are with me all the way.


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