Entrusting

Life doesn’t always make sense. I don’t have a problem understanding why bad things happen to some people. They make unwise choices and unpleasant consequences follow. But when something tragic happens to someone who has done all the right things? That’s a difficult pill to swallow.

It’s in those times that I find myself struggling and frustrated. I want to understand and can’t. I want to control and can’t. I work harder and harder to understand and control only to find that in doing so I have less peace and joy.

But what would happen if I stop controlling and instead start entrusting?

Entrust:

* to confer a trust on; to deliver something in trust to
* to commit to another with confidence
*assign the responsibility for doing something to (someone).
*put (something) into someone’s care or protection

What would happen if I entrust that which I don’t understand and that which I hold dear to the Maker of the Universe? What if I relinquish my need for control and instead entrust my dreams, desires and my loved ones to the one who created and birthed them all? Do I not believe He is trustworthy? Do I not believe He is capable?

Queen Esther entrusted herself and a nation to God and went before the worldly king to plead for her people. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego entrusted themselves to God and entered the fiery furnace confident that no matter the outcome their lives were in God’s hands.  Jesus Christ entrusted Himself to the Father as He hung on the cross, and brought salvation to the world.

Today may you and I humbly approach the throne and entrust that which we hold so dear to the faithful One. May we entrust our loved ones, our dreams and even our lives to our beautiful Creator. It’s in the entrusting that we find lasting peace and joy.

He is faithful. He is trustworthy. He is able.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

 

 

 

Timing Is Everything

Are  you are like me? You hate being late but you also hate waiting. I get agitated if I am not at my destination 5 minutes before the appointed time but once that 5 minutes is up, the scheduled time has arrived, and I’m still waiting? Well, let’s just say I can get pretty opinionated on the efficiency of the establishment or the character of the person I am waiting on. Could it be that I have control issues? Hmm…

The truth is, in life, timing isn’t something we can always control. Sure we have goals and deadlines and acceptable standards of conduct in relationships but how often do we wish things to move at a different pace; sometimes faster, sometimes slower? How often do we throw in the towel and simply give up because the fruit of our labor isn’t coming in the timely manner we desire?

Yes, there are seasons when we need to readjust or even quit but how often do we give up simply because we are weary because we don’t see the results when we thought we should see the results?

But what if our timing isn’t everything? What if it’s not about us? What if we never see and reap the fruit we desire in our lifetime? What if we are sowing seeds that a generation yet to be born will harvest?

Today let us dream and set goals. Let us do and implement. Let us engage and interact. But let us never forget that there is One who sees the whole and times things beautifully if we let Him.

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up!” Galatians 6:9

Do not grow weary brave one. We may or may not see the harvest this side of eternity, but make no mistake about it, we will see the harvest. This is our heritage. Timing is everything if timing is the Lord’s!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

Breaking the Silence … India Reflections

Just before Thanksgiving I had the privilege of being one of eleven women traveling to India with the organization Mission India. What would compel a bunch of women to fly to the other side of the world right before the most wonderful time of the year?

As I ponder and process and attempt to put into words my feelings and experience in India, I am surprised by the word that comes to me; silence.

Traveling to India was about the silencing of women, children and the impoverished by illiteracy. It was about the silencing of those following the Living God by intimidation and death. It was about the silencing of beauty and dignity by emptiness and oppression.

I went to India to help break the silence. I went to listen and observe the transformative effects of education and literacy on a person’s life; education bringing hope and empowerment not only to an individual but to a family and community. I went to feel the heart cry of fellow human beings to be seen, heard and touched; to embrace, cup precious faces and lay hands to impart Love. I went to stand with brothers and sisters in the flames of fire; to breathe and blow fresh Wind that refreshes, encourages and strengthens the heart to stay the course. I went to break the silence.

As I listen and observe, feel and stand an interesting thing happened. As I engage with others I hear a voice telling me to be quiet. I hear a voice attempting to silence and isolate me, spouting all sorts of lies and half truths in an attempt to keep me from connecting with those I came to see. But as I press in to hear the heart of the one in front of me, I see the face of one pressing in to hear my heart as well. And in this, the foe that seeks to silence me can’t help but be silenced. Because Love is greater and when we seek to understand another’s heart He is magnified and the truth illuminated and given voice.

And for me this truth is affirmed, that although culturally we may be a world apart, in matters of the heart we are all very much the same; the desire for families to be whole, for babies to be conceived, for physical and spiritual healing and protection, for the freedom to dream and the ability to work to see those dreams become a reality. The truth breaks the silence and reminds that we are all part of humanity and this connects our hearts not only to one another but to the Creator of us all.

And one more truth speaks; that we don’t have to travel far to find those living silenced. It can be as close as our city, the house next-door or the face of the one looking back at us in the mirror.

May we be empowered in the name of the One who always hears our heart and who broke the chains of division, the name above all names, the mighty name of Jesus, to live in such a way that no matter where we go or who stands before us, we hear the heart and break the silence.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

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Love this picture. It speaks of an incredible legacy of hope and empowerment this adult literacy student is passing down to her daughter.

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Such a contrast to me. In the midst of the dirt and foul smell of roaming animals are vibrant colors and smell of spices and oils.

 

 

 

 

 

 

My African Adventure with Compassion International

A month ago I embarked on a two week adventure to the countries of Tanzania and Kenya with my family. The purpose of this vision trip was to journey to Compassion International program sites, meet our sponsor children and their … Continue reading

Expect Delays

I have a love hate relationship with technology.  I love technology when it QUICKLY does what I want.  I hate technology when it doesn’t work or takes longer to accomplish a task than I deem necessary.  Why doesn’t my phone navigate the variety of apps with the ease of the one on the commercial? Where did the rough draft of my blog go?  All I did was touch the screen? And why do I constantly need to reboot my wireless internet?  Frustrating!!

I am not good with glitches or delays.  (Those closest to me might say that’s an understatement!)  But what if the glitches and delays aren’t really my problem.  What if sometimes the real problem is that I am not very good with perseverance?  

Perseverance steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

There will always be obstacles that slow down and impede progress this side of Heaven.  I choose how I respond.  I can play the victim, throw a hissy fit and give up or I can press in, re-adjust and continue on my journey.  Oh that I would press on!

So what are you facing today?  Is there an obstacle in your way that is slowing down your progress?  Are you close to throwing in the towel?  Is it difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel?

Now is not the time to give up but to press in and press on!  Remaining steadfast may be uncomfortable.  It may be the hardest thing you have ever done.  It may take every ounce of your energy.  Giving up control over timing is never easy but you can do this.  You can persevere because the One who formed and gave you all those crazy dreams is right there by your side and He is for, not against, you!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

Resolutions

Happy New Year!  Yes, it is the beginning of a new year and the time when many of us set goals and resolutions for ourselves.

Some of us are fairly disciplined and can maintain action beyond the 30-40 day mark to actually form a positive habit in our lives. Others are not so disciplined and will have abandoned our goals in a couple of weeks. Still others of us are so disillusioned and disheartened by our past inability to stick to a resolution, that all goal setting, dreaming and vision casting are simply abandoned.

Certainly there a number of reasons why goals are discarded.  But what if one reason we fail to stick with our goal and resolution is because it really isn’t ours to begin with?  We just think it is a good idea because everyone else is doing it. But maybe your admirable resolution isn’t something I am physically, financially or emotionally capable of achieving at the moment. Guess what…that’s ok!

Or, what if the goal is for us but the manner we try to achieve it doesn’t fit? What if we are adopting an execution plan of another instead of seeking and implementing one tailored made for us? We may have similar goals, but the way I achieve mine may differ than yours. The action plan of someone who thrives on solitude and structure to accomplish a goal looks vastly different than the one who needs people and variety. And that’s ok!

And what if sometimes it just takes awhile to figure out what works well for us. That’s ok too.

Maybe this year it is time to have a bit of Grace for ourselves and others. Grace to grow and learn. Grace to develop our Divine gifts and talents uniquely. Grace to know that each is fearfully and wonderfully made and Grace to call that forth from one another.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

” Let us consider how we may spur one another to love and good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)

 

Living Loved

Recently a friend of mine felt impressed by God to, “Live as a loved woman!” It’s easy to gloss over the depth and magnitude of what these words mean. Yes, I am loved. Jesus loves me this I know. God loves everyone. Kumbaya.

However, I must confess that many times I do not approach life from this place of ‘loved’. Sadly, I often live from the place of trying to ‘earn love’. Subtle as it may be, they are very different places.

Earning love is on-going, insecure and constantly shifting because it’s dependent on my behavior and circumstances which can be extremely inconsistent. On the other hand, loved is a gift which is secure, final, complete; a God centered place of grace that motivates and gives meaning to my life as I receive it.

So, how would our world change if we stopped trying to earn love and instead received and embraced the gift of true Love? What would life look like if you and I lived in this place of security and grace? What if we lived as loved people?

The Apostle John writes in 1 John 4:19, ” We love because He first loved us!” God loves you. He loves me. We are loved. And He calls out, “Live as loved people!”

Oh that it would be the most natural thing to do!

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

Square Peg Round Hole

Ever try to put a square peg in a round hole? Doesn’t work. A round hole is for a round peg. Seems pretty logical and basic, doesn’t it? It’s something a toddler can learn playing with any shape sorter toy.

Then, why as adults do we often live frustrated, aimless or stuck? Could it be that we have been trying to put a square peg in a round hole?

The goal of a shape sorter toy is to place all the varying shaped pieces into a box through a corresponding shaped opening. Similarly, there is a common goal and purpose for our lives; to glorify Love. Yet, we are each shaped uniquely and, therefore, how we each go about fulfilling our purpose will be unique. I can only live as me and you can only live as you. To live exactly as another is not possible. When we neglect to see this uniqueness and attempt to create carbon copies of each other we will live frustrated. It is like trying to place a square peg in a round hole.

Certainly there are basic principles that should guide and direct all of our paths. (The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Gal.5:22)  Yes, we can learn important things from one another. (As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Prov.27:17) However, even Jesus’ ministry, whose purpose is always constant and consistent, chose to manifest Divine Life in a variety of  ways; from placing spit-filled mud on eyes to speaking just a word, from over throwing money changing tables to touching the untouchables. Consistent in purpose but varied in outward manifestation.

Today may we remember that we are not a copy but an original. May we be bold and brave to live as ourselves and not someone else. And may we be free to be consistent in the purpose of Love but varied in its outward manifestation.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

 

 

 

There’s Just Something About a Name

A dear friend of mine was out for a run one morning and passed a ragged looking woman dragging a small suitcase.  LOVE spoke to her heart as she ran by and said, “She has a name.”  Faced with the choice to continue or turn around and acknowledge the woman, my friend chose the latter.  The woman lifted her downcast eyes in surprise as my friend approached.  Eyes now locked on each other, my friend was struck by how beautiful the woman was and said, “Hi, I am Susie. What’s your name?”  The woman’s name was Jane. “You are beautiful Jane. I have two dollars with me. Would that help you buy a burger or something?”  The woman’s eyes filled with tears as she accepted the money and the compliment. She was not invisible. She was not insignificant. She had a name.

There is just something about a name. A connection happens when someone knows our name. We are no longer just part of the crowd. We are identified and given uniqueness. For some this need of significance can be so strong that great extremes of good and, sadly, evil are done to make their names known.

So then, what if you and I sought to purposely ask people their names? What affect could that have; to know and be known even just a little?

We don’t have to go far to find those who long to be seen and known. Perhaps that person is staring back at you in the mirror. Well, LOVE is not a respecter of persons. He knows Jane’s name and you can be confident that He knows yours as well.

Today may we see ourselves and others with the eyes of the ONE who intimately knows us. May this knowing emboldened us to action; to recognize and give Divine significance to those so desperately in need. It cost my friend two dollars and 30 seconds of her time to pause and be a light under that bridge. A seemingly small act of kindness, but to LOVE, absolutely beautiful.

Unhindered…live the masterpiece!

“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are mine.” Isaiah 43:2

Hanging it on the Wall

ArtPrize!  Downtown Grand Rapids is once again transformed into a city wide art gallery. The competition hosts 1500 artists in over 160 venues and brings 400,000+ visitors to the downtown area. It’s an incredible event that celebrates imagination, creativity and vulnerability. Art … Continue reading