Wednesday, July 27, 2011

a portion of a letter to my sister...

... Sometimes I imagine God leading me by holding a lantern right in front of me and I only get to see a glimpse of the direction he wants me to go... He only lights one step at a time because He wants me to walk that close to Him. He never gives me the full picture. (probably because I'd run the other way). I just move in the direction He's nudging me and keep pushing on doors. Eventually one opens and then the lantern lights the next step. 

The "old" way God led His people was through the law, but He never intended for that way to last. Now we're not asked to follow the law, He wants us to follow Him. He doesn't speak to us through priests and prophets... Now He speaks directly to his sheep. He wants an intimate relationship with his children. He doesn't want us to embrace the law, but to embrace Him. Until we lay down the law, the veil remains and keeps us from the intimacy we were created to have with our Father. 

This kind of talk would have sounded so crazy to me when my hope was in following rules, programs, and formulas. Now I see it's all about relationship. Religion only keeps a distance between me and my "dad". He lives in me and leads me from inside, if I listen. Here I go pondering again. But you are a safe place for my heart to ponder!
Gotta run and cook dinner. Pondering doesn't put food on the table, ha!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

You Can't Enjoy A Gift Unless You Open It...

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.  Catch the tradewinds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  Discover."

Mark Twain

When I read this quote it caught the eye of the dreamer in me. I think we can stay too close to the safe harbor sometimes because we are afraid to go after our dreams. We can be paralyzed by all the "what ifs?" or the "I just don't see hows". The times that I have had the courage and faith to follow the glimmering lights of hope through some very dark and unknown places, have led me to open up some of the most incredible gifts in my life. 

What are some dreams that call out to you from deep inside? We are all so unique, it will probably be different for each of us, and different dreams in different seasons of our lives. There are no dreams too big or too small. Don't let fear hold you back, you may miss out on something beautiful. I'm not advocating being irresponsible or reckless for sure, but I think sometimes we let our fears or limited sight keep us from reaching for something we were created for. Where do those deep desires come from??? Who placed them there???

It's interesting to take a look at what you have bookmarked on your computer. It reveals a lot about what you tend to be drawn to. For me, my longest list of favorites is under "spiritual", my second longest list is under "adoption", my third is "decorating" and my forth is "signing". I also have a passion for reading and writing, but haven't googled too much about those. I do however keep a running list of books in the back of my day timer and you'll never find me without a book, a pen, and a notebook for journaling. The two blogs I've started are about my greatest passions: my family and pondering the deeper, spiritual things in life. 

At different times I feel myself being drawn toward certain things and it's almost like there is a magnet in me that makes it hard to resist. Sometimes they keep me awake at night. I'm learning to listen to my heart's desires and ask God, is this something you have for me??? God says we were created to do "good works." I'd hate to miss out on some of the tasks I was uniquely created for. I don't want to look back in twenty years at all these unwrapped gifts and wonder what my life would have been like if I had opened them.

For quite some time, signing has been a growing desire in me. To me it is the most beautiful language I've ever been exposed to. I recently contacted a deaf school in the area and asked if I could volunteer there in the fall when the girls start school, just so I could be around it and absorb it. Who knows where it will lead? That's not something I need to figure out. I just step in the light that shines before me and see where it leads. I find when I follow these promptings in me, it usually leads to a two way blessing... not only does it bring a deep satisfaction and fullness to my life, but it often benefits another.

Consider what speaks to you, calls out to you, draws you, keeps you awake at night... It may be a gift that God has for you to open. It's up to you to open it. He doesn't force gifts on His children. He doesn't punish you for not opening them. He just offers them to you and invites you to share in some of the beautiful things He's doing.