Monday, October 20, 2014

When You Can’t See What Change Will Look Like


Change has been going on around me lately, and it’s been hard to see what it will look like when the dust settles. It’s not change of my making, so there is uncertainty of how it will affect me, as well as others.

Maybe you’re there too…waiting to see what the upcoming days will look like…standing by until everything settles down and a new normal begins…fighting the feeling of not being able to control anything.

…a new boss.

…a job transfer away from family and friends.

…layoffs and unemployment.

…the diagnosis and future check-ups.

…separation and divorce.

Change, whether personal or work-related, is unsettling. It creates questions that can’t be answered right away. It puts us in wait-and-see mode.

I don’t particularly like wait-and-see because it gives me time to imagine different scenarios, which cause me to worry and grow negative. It gives me time to get stressed out before anything has actually happened.

That’s how I started waiting. It was easy to grumble because others were grumbling with me. And when I was alone, I stewed. I complained under my breath, and to God.

And then I realized a couple of things. One, I didn’t like what it was doing to me. Frankly, I have enough to deal with this year without adding something else that hasn’t even happened yet.

Second, and more importantly, I realized that if this change is something which God has brought about, who am I to question it?  

I knew I needed a change of heart and attitude—and it wasn’t something I could just convince myself of. 

I needed God to change my heart and my attitude.

I laid it before Him and I prayed. Then, because I tend to take things back, I gave it to Him again and kept praying.

And I felt something start to change. I started to relax.

Nothing in the situation had changed yet. The unsettled dust was still thick and impossible to see through, and I was still in wait-and-see mode with others.

But God was there. I had invited Him in and He was at work—starting with me.

I stopped worrying and started wondering if the what-ifs would be positive instead negative.

I kept Romans 8:28 in front of me…
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
And I reminded myself of the times I’ve seen God bring something good from a situation that seemed bad—especially things that have happened this year and how they worked together. I couldn’t see it at the time, but in hindsight, the pieces fit together perfectly…as only God’s plans can.

I felt God changing my attitude. I was seeing things from a positive perspective…both in the situation, and in my growth with Him.

And I felt God changing my heart. I know that not all change is what I would like to see happen, but I know I can trust Him. If the change that comes about is not in my favor, then God has something different planned for me. Something He hasn’t shown me yet.

And where that normally brings fear, I felt peace and comfort.

Have you gone through a time when you knew change was coming, but you couldn’t see what it would look like? How did you walk through it, and did you feel God walking along side of you?

In Christ,
Laura 

Photo credit: K. Rath, Oct. 2014

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Library Lion and Other Go-to Books for Kids (and Kids at Heart)

This post feels a little strange to write considering my daughter is a teenager. However, as this year has been a bit of a struggle for us, we’ve realized something…

No matter how old you are, sometimes you still need someone to read to you. Out loud. Because there’s nothing like hearing your favorite book when you’re feeling low.

We own our two all-time favorites—Library Lion by Michelle Knudsen and Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes—so they’re easy to find when we need them. But, as we reminisced about other favorites we used to read when she was younger, we decided it was time to make a trip to the library…to the children’s section.

We went on a weekend when it wasn’t busy and we could take our time going down memory lane. I think she was slightly embarrassed when I asked the librarian for help remembering titles and authors, but she smiled when we found them and brought them home.  

Follow me over to Next Level Mama where I'm sharing five of our favorite go-to books…

In Christ,
Laura

Saturday, October 4, 2014

When the Waiting Gets to Be Too Hard


I remember as a child waiting in anticipation for my birthday or for Christmas to arrive. Time moved slowly and the waiting dragged on forever.

As an adult, that time moves much more quickly. It seems like Christmas is around the corner again before last year’s gifts are put away. And birthdays…well, each one is not quite as exciting anymore. The anticipated wait doesn’t drag anymore. Now it flies by.

Waiting for the calendar page to turn—that’s not so hard. Unless time ends, one month will flow into the next, guaranteed.

But waiting on God? It. Is. Hard. Some days waiting on God feels impossible. And other days it takes me right to my knees in tears and frustration.

Please join me at 5 Minutes for Faith to continue reading...

In Christ,
Laura

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

When You Don’t Want to Admit You’re a Little Jealous

It happened again. I read about something new. Something really cool. Something that would’ve been fun to participate in. But I wasn’t asked.

It wasn’t a slight against me—there is absolutely no reason I should have been asked. And to be honest, being a part wasn’t even my first thought. It was just something I was perusing…and then I saw her picture.

Ouch. I don’t like to admit that, even to myself, but the feeling was there. Thankfully, so was logic. I asked myself why I felt like that—I don’t have time for another commitment. My focus has been pulled elsewhere this year, and I’ve accepted that because I know that’s where God has moved me.

But that feeling…that niggling bit of why-not-me that gets into my heart and then my stomach. I know it has to be stopped before it grows into the monster jealously becomes.

So, I took it to God.

God, I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but…why not me?

That’s not what I planned for you.

(Deep breath.)

You have planned other things for me…places where I’m needed right now, things to do today, and something for later which I don’t even know about yet.

That’s right.

(Another deep breath.)

Okay, thanks. I think I’m good now.

Admit it.

Um, I just did—to You. So…can You take away the icky feeling now?

Yes, but you need to admit it again so you can let it go.

(Sigh.) I know.

There really is something about shedding light to the dark little parts I’d rather not tell you about.

Jealously is meant to be kept in the dark because there it grows—fast and without being noticed. It’s harder to stop after it’s grown vines around your heart and clouded your thinking. It overshadows common sense and distorts perception.

Jealously changes who we are—who God made us to be. (<== Click to tweet.)

It makes us think less of what God has purposed us for because we’re focused on what someone else has.

Jealously causes us to lose what God has placed in front of us—we miss out on His plan for us.

And the thing is, if it’s what God Himself designed, then it’s better than what we see somewhere else—because His plans for you were not meant for me, and His plans for me were not for you.

That’s the perfectness of God’s plans—they are specific for each of us. God’s plans are personal—creatively thought out and set up individually—for you and for me.

In Christ,
Laura