Sunday, August 26, 2007


a feeling of quiet pleasure or security, often while unaware of some potential danger, defect, or the like; self-satisfaction or smug satisfaction with an existing situation, condition, etc.

Ever wake up with one idea that just sticks out like a neon light in your mind? And not really know why? That's what happened to me today- and the idea concerned complacency. What a deep thought to wake up with on a weekend day. Not something I can say I really enjoyed, because, well, there has to be some time off from the rest of the week, right? Spending my day in deep thought about such a deep subject was just NOT really where I wanted to go. But, the seed had been planted, and would continue to sprout throughout the day.

The initial thought behind it was that it's so easy to become complacent in so many, perhaps all, areas of our lives. I know that for myself this is an issue I struggle with in great detail sometimes. Three areas just popped out at me today, so I'll work with those. I'm sure there's a whole lot more- but God is kind enough, and more than loving enough to understand that dealing with these three was enough for one day!

The first- and the easiest to talk about! After years of working a job I totally hated, I found one that was better suited to my gifts and dreams, and yet I find myself called to start the process of find a job all over again. But I've become complacent- the job I have works for me some of the time, and that allows me the false sense of security that helps me ignore the all too real fact that this job is just not creative enough, doesn't stretch me enough to make me happy in the long run. The danger here- in losing what I've worked really hard to achieve, the danger of losing focus in what God is calling me to do, and straying from the path He has set out in front of me.

The second is, (and by no means are these in any order of importance, because they are ALL important) is relationships. Today the relationship that concerns me is of the S.O. type. I woke up with the thought that when I refuse to ask or acknowledge that I have a need that isn't being met that I am being complacent, that assuming that my needs aren't important, or that whatever it is that is bothering me can wait until another day is dangerous. This so came back to bite me in the rear end today. Before I go any further, let me tell you I consider myself so blessed in this area of my life. I'm in a relationship with a wonderful person who loves God more than he loves anybody- and I consider it truly a gift from God to be able to say that, and to know God is such a part of our path, our lives and our love. The only problem with this relationship is that, well I'm from Venus and he's from Mars, and sometimes we just don't speak each other's love languages. So, I woke up needing to hear that I was loved, in some manner- a simple phone call would have worked, you know, one I didn't dial. (All the women can relate to this and all the men are scratching their heads saying I don't quite get it, and that's ok. This is for me). Anyway, I didn't get that, so I got it in my mind to ignore to some extent a pattern for us, one that I might add means a great deal to me. But I was being a a bit hardheaded, I am Irish-and so I went ahead and did other things. Now, how was that being complacent you might ask. Well, because I totally expected this to blow over and not have an effect on us, me, him. Let me tell you that was so wrong. Not only did I hurt his feelings, (for which he showed me grace and accepted my heartfelt apology), but I cheated myself out of something I enjoyed, and expected it to not have any effect. That's being pretty complacent.

The third thing came at church this morning. The pastor was talking about the ways we connect to God, and walked through 8 different ways. One of the things that hit me so hard about this was that in the two ways I connect to God I had become very complacent.

I feel God the most when I'm doing intellectual connecting- digging deep into what some scripture means, or through sensate connecting- connecting to God through art, music, preferably all my senses. And I haven't been doing this. Intellectually, the ideal is to pick apart some idea, to read something that relates to God and discuss it. Sensate connecting for me can be as simple as listening to worship music on the radio, or as complex as opening myself up to a creative venue, project that God wants me to do. There's not been much of that lately, and I've really felt a disconnect- which is a huge danger. When I, we, become complacent in our ways we connect to God, well, it seems to me that those are the times that other forces fight to control us.

All this was huge stuff for me today. As you can tell from the length of this post. But it matters. It matters to me- I don't want to go through life being complacent.

Lord, Thank you for your grace, for your strength and love, and for your Son. I lift my hands and give thanks for everything in my life, the good, the bad and the ugly, because I know you've brought the beauty, that you will be with me through the bad and that you will protect me from the ugly. Lord I thank you for the thoughts you've given me, for the seeds that you've planted and the roots you've grown. Thank you for the people in my life, and the love they show me. I come before you tonight, asking for strength to walk where you would have me walk, for insight to know and understand the areas in my life where I am threatened with being foolish, and the courage to strive to be the person you call me to be. In Jesus' name, amen.

Until next time...
Proverbs 1:32: "For the waywardness of the naive will kill them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Running and Soaring

Isaiah 40:31 -Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.

Have you ever felt like life was a storm, and you were being battered?
Have you ever been so tired that you felt you couldn't hang on until the next calm spot in the storm- which is usually the calm before the next storm?

That kinda sums up 2007 for me- the few calm spots followed by the next unbearable storm. That might sound pretty depressing, and at face value it is. BUT what a learning experience this year has been. I've learned more about strength, about trusting, about leaning into others, and about love than I've probably ever learned in my life. I've learned, and grown in faith, and come closer to God than ever before in my life. The verse above really true- we do gain new strength when we wait for the Lord.

Not only do we gain strength, but we are blessed in so many ways when we wait patiently on God. Even when the waiting is hard, God has a plan for us, and lets us know what that plan is one small bit at a time. We just have to take the time to trust, to take that leap of faith, that small first step. For me that step was really hard. I feel like I've been trying to do it my way all my life, and that my way should have been God's way- but I was so wrong. God doesn't work in the way I do, and more often than not we need to wait for Him.And I'm so glad I did, because if things had gone my way I would have missed out on so many blessings.

I want to share a story with anyone who is reading this. It might sound like a silly story, but it's one that reminded me of God- a blessing.
My daughter and I were painting the other day, I had enlisted her help in painting a mural, not something she wanted to do, but she did anyway. A fly flew into the paint can she was using. As I watched, she tried, in vain, to free the fly. She gently scooped it out from the paint, and took it to the bathroom to attempt to clean it off. While this was a futile effort, she really tried. Her logic was that the fly was God's creature, and deserved a chance. A few days later my son came downstairs carrying something. He went outside, and came right back in. I asked him what he was doing, and he said that there had been a fly in his room, and rather than kill it because it was bothering him, he had caught it, and went outside to let it go.As I reflected on these two events, they were a real life reminder that God cares about the smallest creatures and counts every hair on our heads, and that maybe, just maybe, my kids' compassion to a lowly fly should be a reminder to me of the care and love He gives us.

Lord, I come before you tonight to give thanks, thanks for giving me strength to not get tired, thanks for holding me up when I am tired. Lord, your grace and love are truly a gift that I desire to always appreciate. Lord, guide me and love me, and lead me to do your work, in your way, in your time. In Christ's name. Amen.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

A Plan? or a crossroad?

Jer. 29:11 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.

I think I'm having some type of crisis of faith. I want to believe that God has some plan for me, but I can't seem to figure out what it is for the life of me. Every have one of those days, (or weeks or months?) And when you do, do you have a hard time seeing the good you do? I guess that assumes we all do some good. I would like to make that assumption, especially about myself, but days, weeks, like this make it hard to see that.

I used to think that God was calling me to ministry, some type of work that would reach people through some form of art. I'm not sure about that anymore. At all. It's hard to be creative when you feel as if the life has been sucked right out of you. That's where I'm at. It makes me wonder if God can even use me at all, or for what. Not a pleasant thought.

I wonder if the times like this are the times when satan works in us. I find myself searching for good in all the areas of my life, and yet I come up lacking. Is it me, I wonder. What is it that seems like nothing ever goes right, or the way you really want it too?

I've put a lot of thought into walking away from everything and everyone. I guess you might call it running. Sometimes it doesn't sound so bad. Some days it sounds really, really good. Just think about it- going away where no one knows you, no one has any idea of who you are. Starting fresh. Except wherever you run too, well two things happen- one, if God wants you, and I do believe he wants us all, well, He is still there, pulling at you and calling you. And 2- well, I would still be with me, I can't very well run from myself. Kinda sucks, but hey, that's life. Then there's the people you would leave behind. I might not be a great person, but I'd like to think that the people in my life value me as much as I value them, but there's a good portion of the time I'm not so sure about that.

So it's a kind of crossroads- keeping on the path that I feel God has for me- even when I have ABSOLUTELY no idea what that path entails, or turning away from it all together- but what of the my soul. Where does that lead me? That's a little scary to even think about.

I'm not even sure why I'm writing this, because I feel as if it's me against the world today, and no one is hearing my voice. Why blog? Can't tell you right now. Maybe that will change.

Lord, be with me today. Show me your plan, guide me to where you want me to be. Help me to be the loving person you desire me to be. In Jesus name, Amen.