Monday, November 28, 2011

It's all your fault

With his jaw clenched and eyes glaring, my soon-to-be eighteen year old son stood in defiance.

“If you would have just made me do it, I wouldn't be in this mess!” Jordan informed me.

“I asked you to do this over and over again, but you always had a reason why you couldn't.” I explained, “Now you're feeling the pressure of putting it off.”

It's college application time in the Mersberger household. Truth be told, it's been college application time since the beginning of summer. In Jordan's busy schedule, he hasn't taken time to actually apply to the schools he'd like to attend. With the deadline looming just a few weeks away, he's beginning to feel the pressure.


As his rant continued, I began thinking about all the times I've had the same conversation with my Heavenly Father.

I complain to Him:

“Why didn't You just make me do it?”

“Why does this have to be so hard?”

“Why can't You just tell me where I'll end up?”


I hear Him answer in my spirit:

“I won't make you do something that's not in your heart to do.”

“I'm sorry it's hard. Unfortunately, you've made it harder than it needed to be.”

“I'm here to lead you if you'll let me.”

Like a teenager wrestling between freedom and dependence, I can be easily torn. I want to spread my wings and fly without giving up the comforts of my familiar nest. I want to stand on the top of the mountain but I don't want to difficulty of the climb. So why am I surprised that Jordan feels the same way?

Once he vented his frustration, Jordan and I were able to have a really good talk. Now he feels more confident in the decisions he's making and has a plan to complete everything on time. Even though some questions are left unanswered, Jordan is moving down the path again, waiting for God to direct his steps. I think I'll follow his lead...

Be blessed,

Jennifer

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.” Jeremiah 29:11



Monday, November 21, 2011

The Pause Button

We spent months planning our London trip. We did research, bought tickets, made plans and waited with great anticipation. When we finally landed we hit the ground running, checking off everything we wanted to see and explore. Before we knew it, the week was almost over.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed by the rich history of everything we had seen. But as I sat in the middle of St. Paul's Cathedral, I found my pause button. I gazed at the magnificent detail of the domed ceiling and let God's glory wash over me. There was no audio lesson or list of details to be seen. There was only me and God in the house He inspired.

As I sat in the silence of the church, I reflected on everything we had experienced on our trip. While I appreciated each one at the time, only then did I actually absorb it. Like a dry sponge, my soul finally took in every moment of our trip and made it a part of me. My pause button allowed me to appreciate the moment before it passed me by.

Now that I'm home again, I'm determined to remember that day in St. Paul's Cathedral. The day that God allowed me to be still before Him and take in everything He had shown me. The day He revealed a pause button in my spirit allowing me to stop everything, just for a moment, and actually absorb the experience.

What a wonderful reminder, now before the busy holiday season, that we have a pause button. We can choose to stop for just a few moments to absorb the experience into our soul. In the midst of 'to do' lists and tight schedules, we have the ability to remember why we are doing all of this in the first place. When we think about the people we love and the God who loved us first, we write our own rich history. But they only become a part of our soul when we hit the pause button...

Be blessed and Happy Thanksgiving,


Jennifer

Be still, and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10

Monday, November 7, 2011

Excess Baggage

This week I'm crossing the pond. Accompanied by my mom and two sisters, I'll be spending the week in London and Paris. I've been to London before. However, this time I will actually be leaving the airport.

Before I can watch the changing of the royal guard or climb the steps to Notre Dame, I have to pack my bags. Packing for seven days and variable weather conditions is a challenge. Dressing in layers is a good idea but takes up a lot more space in the suitcase. Maintaining the balance between looking cute and being comfortable results in more items to pack.

But how much is too much? At what point am I carrying far more than I need? Just because my suitcase has wheels doesn't mean it won't be hard to drag along. Once I've gathered everything I think I'll need, I realize I'm weighing myself down.

Some of us don't need to be traveling to have baggage. We gather up our hurt and pain and stuff it all into an emotional suitcase. We carry it along everywhere we go. Some things we carry as a reminder to never let those experiences happen again. Other things we carry because we don't know how to let them go. The bags get heavier over time and slow us down under their weight.

Determined not to take my largest suitcase, I begin the editing process. I make a pile of 'must haves' and a pile of the 'just in case'. The 'just in case' pile is much larger than I expected. In fact, in effort to prepare for just about any situation, I've managed to completely overwhelm myself with stuff. So I gather a few choice 'just in case' items and leave the rest behind—and take a smaller suitcase.

Anything that is not essential will only drag us down. Some life lessons teach right from wrong, good from evil and keep us from getting hurt. Other life lessons shame and condemn us, lock us in bondage and keep us from being happy. The good news is, we control the editing process. We get to choose what we'll carry around in an emotional suitcase and what we won't. With God's help and some serious soul searching, we may realize it's time to leave some stuff behind and finally carry a smaller suitcase.

Be blessed,

Jennifer


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” Hebrews 12:1-2