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Resting in the Moment

Very recently I alluded to being in a place now where I am trying to find my “greater purpose,” or my path for the future.  This is why I left teaching.  I felt there was something more for me.  And now I’m not really doing much of anything, which is strange, because I’m always doing something.  I thought the recent mission trip to Guatemala would somehow open my eyes immediately, yet though it was an amazing trip, I may have put too much on that alone, instead of seeing it as part of something.  I’ve been inwardly reflecting on my lack of purpose more lately as I see my former colleagues heading back into the teaching trenches.  I feel they, and many other people in my life, are watching me and expecting that either I will find this “greater purpose” and it will be amazing, or that I will fail and return to teaching.  I still feel I left for the right reasons, which leaves the amazing purpose as my only option.  So why don’t I feel like God has revealed it to me yet?

After I dropped off Robert at work yesterday, this song came on the radio.

And it hit me then.

One thing I need more of in my life is patience.  I think I am on the right path, but in this moment I need to rest.  It’s not that nothing is happening, but I cannot always see that it is and I get frustrated.  So this song is my prayer, that God will give me peace in the moment as I wait.  It will happen in His timing if I continue to wait on Him.  As long as I was teaching I was not ready to move forward. That had to be cut, or pruned, from my life, and it’s still a fresh change, so maybe God is still preparing me.

As I walked back in the door of my home I also remembered a card I had hanging on our refrigerator from Kenneth Copeland Ministries that I had put there when we were struggling through Robert’s unemployment.  The message had been about Resting in the Blessing.  Part of it is written as a message from God and when I read this again it brought me comfort.  I knew there was a reason I always keep these things.

“Come on up here.  Now sit down with Me.  Sit down here on the throne with Me.  Everything is going to be all right.  My angels are at work.  THE BLESSING is working for you.  Just sit down here.  Take your rest.  Take it easy.  Everything is in good shape.  The walls are up.  My power is in operation.  Now just take your rest.”

I leave this as my final prayer

Psalm 25: 4-5 (NIV)Psalm 25:4-5

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.


My Own God Story

For the longest time, I really only understood the idea of God doing great works for and through biblical figures.  Somehow it escaped me that He still does amazing works for and through people today… but you know, other people.  I’ve heard some seriously awesome (the word gets thrown around like kids throwing fits in Walmart, but in this case, it is more reverent and appropriate) stories from other people.

Then I started thinking, Why exactly do I feel these things cannot happen to me?  All these biblical figures were just people with a little faith.  The personal stories I’ve heard have come from ordinary people who just happened to exercise some faith.  God actually wants to bless us, but we tend to hold Him back by our own lack of faith in receiving what He has to offer.  Seriously, if God wants to give you something, take it.  Duh!  And yet, many of us often miss it.  Yes, us- I include myself.

This time, I believed and received.  It works! Go figure.

I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica last summer.  It was an eye-opening and wonderful experience, and I saw God in it.  However, when I felt called to go on that trip, Robert had just regained employment and we had fundraised so much for our favorite organization Love 146 before that, we really didn’t feel right reaching out for money from others to help pay my way for the trip, and we took care of about 2/3 of it ourselves.  Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t a pride thing as much as it was that we were grateful for Robert’s job and figured we should give our thanks through this, because we finally could.

This January was the deadline to apply for this summer’s mission trips.  Robert had been so moved through my experience last year that he wanted to go back with me.  This time around, the price went up for individuals and we would have to pay for two instead of one.  And oh, yeah, we were already pretty sure I was going to be leaving the security of my job as a teacher, meaning that by the time the money would all be due (July 1), we would be on the last of that income.  Financially, this would be a stretch.

Then sometimes our plans get changed.  So few people applied for the trip to Costa Rica that it had to be cancelled, but there were openings in one of the trips to Guatemala.  For just a moment I thought it was a way to escape the financial burden and we could bow out gracefully.  But that thought was overridden by the possibility that the plan change was by God’s design and He really just wanted us to go to Guatemala instead, so we agreed to the change.  Good news: this trip was actually a few hundred dollars less per person, so that helped ease my worries, but not much.

I found myself continually stumbling across various pieces of faith literature that just happened to be about having faith to receive, following God’s plan, and believing that He will always provide.  Then one morning while I was getting ready for work, I had an epiphany (that is such a fun word).  I was looking at the “mountain” of not having an extra $3200 in my pocket, instead of telling the mountain to move, which is what we are told to do in Matthew 17:20.  It wasn’t an audible voice, but I felt in that moment that God told me to stop worrying because He was going to move that mountain and that we wouldn’t have to pay a penny.  One other important part of that scripture is that we can’t just think our mountain will move, but we have to tell it to move, so I began to thank God for providing the finances for our trip and I told Robert it would be all taken care of.

We made our list of people to send support request letters, typed them up, and mailed them out.  We were getting a steady flow of donations for a while and it was encouraging.

Then there was a lull.  We had made it just beyond the halfway mark, and then we had nothing else coming in.  Honestly, I began to feel a bit discouraged.  I was grateful for what had been provided, but since it didn’t seem like anything else was coming, I was bummed that we were going to have to put in our own funds after all.  I figured this meant God was going to provide a way for us to come up with that money for ourselves, but I had really hoped to have one of those amazing God stories to tell people about how God had told me the trip would be taken care of and all the money came flowing in.   Now it just seemed that although I was sure we would manage, the story just wouldn’t be as cool, and I wanted a way cool God story… like the ones other people have.

God also wanted me to have a story to tell others, a way to spread the word about how awesome He is and how He still makes amazing things happen today.

Through a friend of Robert’s family, someone I’ve never even met in person and only have the honor of knowing through Facebook, God provided $1800 in a really cool way.  She and her husband had given to their church to help plant a new church, but it just hadn’t worked out and the group had decided to not pursue it any further and each person could request their fair amount to go towards some other charity, and  this couple chose us for their portion.  Not only did we end up with enough money to cover our trip, but God provided beyond what was needed!  And now I have my own really cool God story I can tell people.

Then Robert and I had a conversation about faith just last night.  He was talking about how sometimes we (Christians in general) tend to forget about having faith for the simple little things in life because we focus on those big mountains.  I totally agree with him because I really wanted a way cool God story so that I could tell others about it and they could see His amazingness.   I think in our world we’re so used to needing to have something big to show and impress people that I guess I’m afraid if I tell people about something small like, “Since peanut butter was on sale at Publix I actually stayed within my grocery budget to the penny this month,” they’ll just think, “So what?”  But those little things add up and are just proof that we can trust God for everything from peanut butter to completely paid for mission trips, and so much more (just add your own little to big issues here).

Hope and a Future

I’ve neglected my writing lately, both in blog posts and creatively for my book sequel.  My mind has been a jumbled mess and I just haven’t had the time to sort out all the pieces.  This sounds bad, I know, but it really isn’t.  Ok, I concede that the neglecting my writing part is far from good, but my jumbled mind is not so much.  Changes are looming and I just haven’t really felt I can write about it all yet.  It’s all about timing, right?  That’s what “they” say anyway.

I’ve been going through a time of learning and preparation for changes, I think.

A recent lesson:  Robert and I signed up to go with our church on a mission trip to Costa Rica (click here to read my post recapping this trip). I went last summer and it was an amazing experience in many ways.  Robert was excited to have this opportunity, and I was thrilled that we would be doing it together this year.  Our hearts were set on it for months, since I came home actually.  Those who know me know that I am a planner and when I get set on something, well, change is not good.  Yet, change is sometimes necessary.

One evening, I got a phone call in which I was informed that the Costa Rica trip was cancelled, but there were still a few spots open to go on one of the Guatemala trips.  I hung up the phone, told Robert, and waited to see if I was going to be angry or sad, and to see his reaction.  We both took it well and quickly decided this was for a reason and we now had a new opportunity, one we had not expected.  No tears were shed, no items were thrown across the room, and no yelling was uttered from either of us.  We were immediately accepting of the change.  Now we are both excited about going to Guatemala.  If this was for a purpose, I cannot wait to see what that purpose is.

I know other changes are on my horizon and preparation continues.  I’m not sure where all of this will lead, but I’m starting to appreciate the adventure.  Also, I know that whatever may come, it is part of God’s plan for my life, and He always has good plans.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.