The Yellow Brick Road

Sometimes things can look very nice on the outside, but they are, in fact, a mess on the inside.  Sometimes, we are making progress on the inside, but you really can’t tell on the outside quite yet.  Still looking rather messy.  And, sometimes you are a hot mess both on the inside and the outside.  It just depends.

The last few weeks, I’ve been working very hard to cover many bases, at work and at home.  In the midst of working hard, I am battling some anxiety.  Just when I level the anxiety, I realize that I am experiencing super high energy, which I assume is adrenaline.  I am basically going from high anxiety to high energy.  I really don’t know what that looks like on the outside.  Mainly because I am preoccupied with tending to the inside (and the circumstances).  But truly, I had the sense that I still looked pretty good on the outside.

It was either the fact that I forgot my make-up bag under my desk at work or I truly looked weathered, but three friends who would know the difference reached out to me with the same message.  You are not yourself.  You’re troubled or preoccupied with something.  I can hear it in your voice.  Yes, yes, yes, this I know.  But I didn’t think anyone else did.

Like you, I don’t have a lot of answers.  I have guts when I need to.  I cry when the Spirit touches me.  I try to have a heart after God’s own heart all of the time.  I dig my feet in the firm hold of faith when the horizon is looking bleak.  I ask for help.  I let go of having all of the answers.  I just do the stuff I know He calls me to in the best way I can.

My faith tells me that if I both hold tight and take action when He calls me to, the ending will be the result He had in mind.  We can’t argue with the result He had in mind.  Because it is always good.  Not often easy or what we had in mind. But always good and usually better than what you and I could have come up with on our own.

Like you, I don’t have a lot of answers.  But I had a moment of clarity this weekend.  My horizon is looking bleak lately.  I figured that if God painted a picture of my circumstances, and if I’m honest, maybe even me, it would look like the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma.  My version of what a war torn community looks like.  Trees down, grey coloring.  Silence all around you.

In my moment of clarity, God showed me the Emerald City and the Yellow Brick Road and the pack of friends walking and singing along the way to their Beautiful Destination.  He let me know that He sees the flower patches along my road.  He sees the friendships being made along the path.  He sees that, in community, I’m moving along the path to the Emerald City.  He sees what, right now, I cannot see.

And, now, thankfully, I can see what He sees.  He sees what my world is looking like on the outside, but in His wisdom, has shown me what He sees on the inside.  In our human ways, we can’t always judge what the inside or the outside really looks like.  Some days, the inside and outside don’t match, sometimes they do and sometimes they shouldn’t.  I’m just glad that we serve a God that always sees, always believes in us and always shows us the way down His Yellow Brick Road.

Deciding the Design

Today, I consider time.  The arrangement of when something will happen.  Time is also continued progress.  For it to be both, we have to be intentional and creative, and looking upward.  I find myself in the open space of figuring out what that looks like for me.  I’m in the patches rather than the whole quilt.  But since I already know you also aspire to be the Proverbs 31 woman, you know how important the patches are to completing the whole quilt.  There is so much joy in deciding on the design of the patches while God takes care of the progress.

What I am learning as a person: Leaning away from building the components of my life.  Leaning towards the presence of Christ.  In this miraculous transition, I am seeing more fully who I am and what my life can be about.  If I miss this birth in me, I think I miss living in the center of His will for my life – – which is not fully about the daily grind, but pursuing what makes my heart beat with pleasure for Him.

Verse:  Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts. Acts 2:46

Deep Thought:  I know so little.  But I am capable of so much with Him.  I want to be more intentional, but also a blank slate for Him to write on.  Churning in me is the connection between intention, God’s creativity and time.  My current journey is to work out the tension between my deliberate action and use of imagination towards the time God has given me.  It feels very right, potentially beautiful and worthwhile.

Quote: It’s a beautiful thing when passion and pay align, allowing you to do something you love and be well paid.  If this is your situation, thank God on your knees every day, because you are living the dream.  Very few people ever experience the perfect balance between passion and pay.  It is one of life’s rare and precious blessings.  Simplify by Bill Hybels (Chapter 4)

Book(s)/Blog(s)/People that Shape Me: Simplify by Bill Hybels because he is helping me grab hold of the time I have and guard it for the things to which He has called me and for purposes for which I have been created.  Yes!  – – sigh/breathe/relief – – there is freedom here.

Love Does by Bob Goff also has shaped me. If you are a parent, you really have to read Chapter 20, Ten-Year-Old Adventures and Chapter 10, The Interviews.  It will ignite you to be alive with your kids and to aspire to make everlasting memories with them.  Reading this book gives me something very high to aim for!

Consider reading this recent post from So Beloved.  She gave me peace as I opened my day today.

My Prayer to You: I pray that the bit I shared with you today will begin to set in as a patchwork quilt in your soul.  I pray that you will allow your thoughts to take you to the components of your life: your family, faith, work.  Your community.  Your qualities and desires.  God purposefully imbedded your uniqueness into your soul.  I pray that you would consider your time.  Allow God’s creativity to work out the hours of your day.  Your commitments.  Your priorities.  I pray that you would not miss living in the center of His promising will for your life.

Written by Sasha Katz

When Your Next Step is a Blur

I don’t know any one who sets out to make the wrong decision.  In fact, most of the time, we take great measures to make the right decision.  But, what happens when the “great measures” taken still leave you blurry?

I have a back pack full of decisions waiting to me made.  They are the interconnected kind – – can’t make this one until I make that one . . . this one depends on the outcome of that one . . . It goes on like that in a chain of about a dozen decisions.

I am thankful for the direction when I know I’ve got it.  What I mean is that I typically wait for God to give me the go ahead – – on the big move.  Once I’ve got the go ahead, faith starts pumping through my blood.  Then the confidence makes it’s way to my mouth and brain.

So now that I have my direction – – I still have my whole back pack of interrelated decisions!  For me, that’s heavy.  It’s heavy for you too.  You’ve got your big life decisions like who to marry, what type of education, life long work.  You’ve got your personal decisions like worthwhile passions, friendships, faith.  You’ve got your daily decisions like what to eat, when to exercise or when to drop the schedule to take up another’s burden or just be a good listener.  It’s hard to deny that most of our decisions are interrelated with varying degrees of weight on our backs.  And, sometimes, the path of decision-making feels like a blur.

But blur in my book is a good thing.  The good kind of blur means – – I’ve got my direction, but I can’t see the whole way there.  The journey starts out as heavy and hard, but with God, it ends up light and adventurous.  This is the opportunity of faith.  Go ahead and embrace the blur.  I got the good feeling that end of a thing is better than the beginning.

FF NOv 11