Thursday, January 23, 2014

Closed Doors




My hand hurts. I’ve been knocking on this closed door for far too long. I know God chooses which doors to open and which to close, but I really liked what was behind this door. I enjoyed it. I miss it. But the door has closed and I can’t stop wondering why.

Ever been there? Has God ever closed a door in your life leaving you dazed and confused? Are you still looking at it? I have a feeling there are a lot of us standing around in the hallway.

I may not know why He has closed this (or any other) door, but here’s what I do know:

God is purposeful
God has a plan for our lives. Not only does He have a plan, He has a purpose. To fulfill that purpose He will move us from one place to another but usually just for a season. Sometimes the closed door is God saying “No”, sometimes it’s His way of saying “Not now”. Either way, it’s time to move on.

God is personal
We don’t serve a “one size fits all” God. He knows the number of hairs on our heads. He knows our dreams and what breaks our hearts. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses. He knows the sins we struggle with and the victories we have claimed in Him. Wouldn't someone who knows us that intimately also know what is best for us?

God is powerful
God created the heavens and the earth and all things that live among us. We are fooling ourselves to think God cannot blast open the door! But He chooses not to. That should be enough for us to move on and not look back and yet…

Believer, it’s time for us to stop milling around in the hallway. When we finally turn our back to the closed door we will be able to see the new door God has opened. He’s waiting patiently to bless us and draw us closer to Him. God is doing a new thing, it’s time to open our eyes and see it. I’m ready to turn away from the closed door, are you? Let’s do it together.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5

Monday, January 13, 2014

It is well





Speed doesn’t usually scare me. I’m fine to buzz right along with traffic each morning on my way to work. I’ve even been known to have a bit of a lead foot. This was different. This was wind whipping through your hair, snow flurries in your face, control your turns or face certain death kind of speed.  I was scared.

My family recently rode snow mobiles along the Continental Divide in Colorado. Greg and the kids are avid dirt bike riders so they were thrilled to push their machines to the limit. I, on the other hand, was not. I envisioned a tangled mess of broken body parts and twisted metal as I plummeted off the side of the mountain.

In time, I got a hang of it. I even pushed myself to go faster than I would normally go. It was really fun! Not wanting to press my luck, I decided after a few hours to head back earlier than the rest so they could have fun at top speed. My daughter decided she was done too, so she offered to lead me back to the rental cabin.
At first she stayed pretty close as we motored through the trails. But her love of speed kicked in and she was gone. I was completely alone on the trail. My initial reaction was to panic. I knew I could follow the trail and find my way back, but what if something happened on the way? I felt myself chocking back the fear. 

I immediately cried out to God. Almost as clearly as I saw the wind dance through the trees, I heard Him speak to my heart, “It is well.”

Peace landed like snowflakes as I began to sing the verses of the sweet old hymn. My perspective changed and I once again enjoyed my surroundings, maybe more than ever, seeing God’s hands everywhere I looked. It was well with my soul.

What does your journey look like right now? Do you need to leave your comfort zone and try something new? Or maybe you’ve stepped out in faith but feel you may have lost sight of which way to go. I’ll admit, I didn’t know how it would turn out. But God did. When I stepped out and tried something new, He met me there and changed my perspective. There are a lot of things in this world we can be afraid of but how many more things are there to be amazed by? Is it well with your soul?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

  “Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds.” Isaiah 3:10

Monday, November 11, 2013

Give Me a Break




I’m a walker. I know we all walk, but walking is my chosen form of exercise. It’s common for me to walk several miles a day, several days a week. But lately, my walking has felt a little different.

I’m pushing myself
Goals are a great thing! They can inspire and motivate us to keep going even when we want to quit. But do we ever push too hard? I don’t know about you, but I try to set goals I couldn’t reach on my own. I know I will need God’s help. But I’ve had to ask myself lately – did God intend that goal for me? Am I really supposed to be pushing myself this hard?

The ‘get to’ has become a ‘have to’
I’m thankful to have time to myself to think, worship, pray or even just zone out while I’m walking. Normally, it’s a time to feed my body and my soul. But lately, it feels more like a ‘have to.’ I’m so tired from a busy schedule that I lack the energy. When I don’t do it, I feel guilty. Can you relate? What has become a ‘have to’ in your life? Our energy wanes and our mindsets forget these things are something we ‘get to’ do.

I go when I should stop
We live in a busy world and it’s difficult to stop and rest. But God created this world and even He rested on the seventh day – amen? If you’re like me, you probably fill most of your time with things that need to get done. Some of it is fun, some is monotonous, and some is just necessary. But when do you do nothing? When do you rest? My knee reminded me the other day that I should have been resting instead of walking. I shouldn’t require pain to stop and listen.

I’ve shared before that I’m trying to find a new balance in my life. Seasons have changed, and even though the change has been good, everything feels different. So I’m going to make a temporary change – I’m taking a break from my blog. I have written every week for almost 5 years. I have loved it and it has grown me in ways I never expected. But I’m tired and I need some rest. I invite you to look through the archives when you need a word of encouragement. I believe God will lead you to the exact thing He wants you to know. Keep walking… I’ll catch up with you soon!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A treat for you




I was on vacation enjoying my quiet time on the back deck with a steaming cup of coffee and my favorite blanket when nature took center stage. As the sun rose, nature woke up and inspired me to write a poem. I hope you enjoy it!

As a new day dawns, the world comes alive
Awakened from slumber creation now thrives
Creating a rhythm they start a new day
Busy at work in their own unique way
I wonder if any are able to see
How very important their life seems to be
An intricate part of God’s perfect plan
Each detail designed by His very own hand
With divine purpose they were born out of love
Every breath sanctioned from heaven above
Would they live their life differently if somehow they knew
The sacrificial love from which their life grew

Be blessed,
Jennifer
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

Monday, October 28, 2013

Seasons change




Have you found yourself in a new season of life? I have. After several years of full time writing and ministry, I have gone back to a “day job.”  My new day job has a flexible schedule that allows me to still have ministry events and activities but it’s been a huge adjustment. If you’re in a new season, are you having a hard time finding your new balance?

I’ve been praying about this issue in my own life, and God’s been faithful to show me a few things through the transition going on all around me.

Change is good
Nature is changing her gown all around us. It’s good. It’s natural. It’s necessary. My little corner of the world is adapting to the change in the weather. Shedding what it doesn’t need and preparing for what’s to come. Are we doing that too? Are we embracing the changes in our lives or are we clinging to the way things were as we gather all the fallen “leaves” of the past?

Change takes time
While we may not notice the subtle changes in the things around us, it’s happening all the time. I don’t know about the changes you are going through in your life, but I’m trying to find a new normal. I haven’t found the balance between God, work, family, and friends yet. My priorities are still fighting for attention and I feel more reactive than proactive. That’s okay. That’s what change is all about – finding our new normal. It doesn’t happen overnight, but it will happen if we want it to. Aye, there’s the rub! We have to allow change in our lives and accommodate it in our behavior. If we are resistant to change, we rarely find balance.

Change is necessary
One of my favorite life quotes is “I may not be where I’m going, but I’m not where I was.” Amen? Praise God that we’re not the same person we were when He found us! We had to change. God is refining us moment by moment. Some of the changes are easy, others take longer and are painful. But all are necessary. God loves us too much to leave us where we are. 

Watching the world shift from summer to fall reminds me that change will always be for the better. We may not like it or even agree with it but if it’s ordained by God, we can trust the end result will be magnificent! 

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28