Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wait for it...

The traffic crawled as my friend, Liz, and I made our way home from a day of shopping. This particular highway was slow due to construction but was the most direct way home.

"Are you sure you don't want to take the back roads? This is taking forever!" Liz said, losing her patience.

" Nope, I know this seems slow but it will be worth it." I replied.

I was kind of surprised to hear myself say that. I'm the queen of "rabbit trails." I've been known to head for the back roads at the very first sign of traffic, but not today. Something in my spirit was telling me to be patient and the hold the course.

Within a mile, we passed through the bottleneck and the flow of traffic opened up. We were once again moving at the posted speed and arrived home before we expected. I couldn't help but wonder where I would have been had I taken the back roads instead. Sitting at a red light somewhere?

Have you ever gone out of your way to make something happen faster? Are you feeling stuck in a traffic jam right now? It can be just as frustrating to work twice as hard for the same result as it is to feel stuck in place. Either way, we end up losing our patience all because we wouldn't wait for it.

We may think we can do things faster by working harder, but at the end of the day, we're wrong (and tired). God's timing is perfect. When we don't see Him moving, we need to trust that He is clearing the path before us. In His timing, the bottleneck will clear and He will lead us on.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

"I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:13-14

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Perspective

I normally write my blogs first thing in the morning. But the inspiration for this post struck me last night. Maybe you'll relate...

Here's what I was thinking:
You won't believe the night I've had!
- I had to drive my daughter to volleyball practice in the pouring rain.
- I waited over two hours while they ran drills and scrimmaged another team.
- I even typed up blog ideas on my husband's iPad just to kill time. (those are so awkward to type on)

But then God showed me:
You won't believe the night I had!
- My van ran perfectly all the way to Paige's volleyball practice. We traveled safe and sound.
- I got to watch her run drills and scrimmage another team. She gave her all for over two hours!
- I was even able to write out some blog ideas using my husband's iPad. (technology is amazing)

Every so often, we may need a little shift in perspective. We can get so caught up in the details of our everyday lives, that we fail to see the wonder in it. Some of our biggest burdens may actually be our greatest blessings.

Choosing to be blessed,

Jennifer

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ." Ephesians 1:3

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A Tale of Two Dogs

As I waited for the light to turn green, I caught a flash of something white in the corner of my eye. I looked to see a sprightly young Jack Russell terrier leaping up and down. Then he'd grab his bone and run around his yard aimlessly. Soon he was leaping again and chasing birds.

Meanwhile, an older hound dog with a silky tan coat was lounging in the sun. He was aware of the younger dog's antics, but didn't seem to care. The sun was warm and bright and this dog was making the most of his sunbathing opportunity. Watching the hound dog roll around to find the perfect tanning position made me laugh out loud.


The stark difference between the two dogs reminded me of a few people we know from the Bible—Mary and Martha. Luke 11 tells the story of Jesus and the disciples coming to dinner in Mary and Martha's home. Like the little terrier, Martha busied herself with several tasks at once. She was so busy preparing the meal, cleaning up, taking care of the details that she didn't slow down to focus on her honored guest. Mary, on the other hand, is like the hound dog. She chose not to help her sister, but instead she sat at the feet of Jesus and basked in His glory.

So which dog are you? Are you the young terrier, running around going from one thing to the next? Or are you the hound dog? Taking time to rest and bask in God's glory. I don't know about you, but I think it's time to unleash my inner hound dog...


Be blessed,

Jennifer

Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Our Best Investment

Today I’ve got one hot investment opportunity to talk with you about! This investment has been performing like crazy and will produce returns beyond your wildest dreams…it’s investing your time.

Now wait a minute, hear me out on this. I already hear the grumbling… ‘Invest my time? I don’t have ANY extra time! I don’t have enough time for the things I have to do right now!’ Sound familiar? Or maybe you’re saying to yourself ‘Well I’d invest time in others, but no one ever seems to have time for me!’ Both are legitimate arguments, so let’s take a minute to talk them through.

If you’re the one who feels you have no extra time to invest in others, welcome to the majority! These days we are pulled in so many different directions between our spouses, our kids, our job, church activities…and the list goes on and on! But have you ever considered that you may be investing your time in things that God didn’t intend for you to be investing in? Or maybe you are simply investing too much time into an activity when some of that time is intended to be used elsewhere.

On the other hand, many people have more time to invest but aren’t sure what to be investing in. This group has usually doesn’t have the large time allotment that kids can take up in your schedule, so their time gets filled with other things. Or perhaps you get stuck in a bit of a rut in how you use your time and each day follows the same pattern. I have good news; there are tons of people who would love for you to invest your time into them…no experience required!

Regardless of which scenario best describes your situation, the final outcome is the same…we all need a little help when it comes to investing our time! So, I have a handy 3 step process that will help you reallocate your time to maximize your returns!

Step 1: Pray daily! Ask God to take your next 24 hours and use it for His glory. Ask Him to show you where you need to reallocate your time.

Step 2: Evaluate! Take a minute to honestly assess your schedule and see where you can trim the fat and see if there are things you need to let go of.

Step 3: Do it! Make the changes He’s prompting you to make and follow through on the things He lays on your heart to do. It gets more comfortable the more you do it!

When we let God be God in our lives and allow Him to open up windows in our schedule for His glory, we are blessed beyond measure! Every time we invest in someone else, God rewards our efforts. Whether you’re packing boxes, visiting your favorite coffee shop or just being a listening ear, you'll be blessing them with your greatest asset…your time.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers”. Galatians 6:9-10



Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A little adventure

The sky was bright blue. The sun was warm despite the crisp, chilly breeze. Today was a perfect day for an adventure. So on my way home I decided to take a road I'd never taken before.

The country back road turned and twisted leading me past beautiful trees and fields. Every time I thought I could predict where the road would go, it surprised me with an unexpected bend. The meandering road would have been frustrating if I had been in a hurry, but today I was up for the journey and had nothing but time.

I began to think about all the times I passed this road. In a hurry to one thing or another, I never considered taking the unknown path. There were things to do, places to go, and appointments to keep. For years I've driven by not knowing what I was missing.

I sometimes treat my spiritual path the same way. I become so used to doing things a certain way that I don't consider other options. I feel comfortable where I am and I ignore the quiet whisper of God prompting me to take a chance.

I'm not a big fan of New Year's resolutions. But this year I think I'll go a little slower, schedule a little less, and be a little more open to an adventure. Where's God leading you?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

"God, who got you started in this spiritual adventure, shares with us the life of his Son and our Master Jesus. He will never give up on you. Never forget that." (1 Corin 1:7 MSG)