My sentimental journey

An ordinary girl's walk with an extraordinary God.


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Oh Snap

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Oh no you didn’t rolled off my tongue with frustration as I tried to peer out our ice encrusted windows. Mother Nature’s cold snap was well into her third week of stellar performances. Gone was my initial happy dance at the first snow fall. Now the lather, rinse repeat of snow and ice made me want to wash this storm right out of my hair. Coupled with Columbia Gorge’s intense weather patterns only added to these unsolicited encores; producing vigorous storms for no extra charge. Yet it still cost those who faced its’ tempest super-size portions of snow, ice, and gale winds.
That day I found myself weary of this continuing storm, my spirits drooped much like the ice laden trees buckling from the sheer weight. Desiring to be stout in spirit capable to forge through this chilly adversity, hoping to counter the hand dealt to me with a sunshiny Pollyanna perspective. Instead, my cheery outlook was covered by a foreboding nimbostratus cloud. No way would you be hearing me belt out, “Let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway” what was Elsa thinking? And though the storm’s fury paled in comparison to the poor folks I watched suffer on the nightly news, this storm was enough to wear me down .
As I looked to thaw my frigid faith I grabbed my Bible deciding to turn to Job 38, right off the bat the first verse grabbed my attention. It read, “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm”. Could it be God was trying to get my attention with this long screeching halt, intrusion to my day to day schedule as I know it?
Just maybe He wants me to be still and enjoy the stillness. Or perhaps to fall down into the glistening snows’ brisk arms to make an angel out of its powdery wonder, allowing my eyes to gaze towards heavens expanse. Being present in the moment not waiting for the storms to pass, rather choosing to dance in the rain or snow for that matter.
Further on God asks Job this question,* “Have you entered the treasures of the snow? or seen the treasures of hail?”
Whenever personal storm clouds of disappointment brew, cabin fever of restlessness and irritability overrides my desire to seek the hidden treasures of the snow. Not to mention treasures can be hard to find when storms assail, buried in deep snowdrifts of heartbreak, grief, illness or other blizzards of loss. My snow blinded faith can make it impossible to see God’s bigger picture of provision and purpose. Many times life treasures lay concealed until we let our cold hearts’ slowly thaw from grief and disappointment.
Arctic blasts of doubt and fear blocked out God’s warming presence from fully reaching my anguished soul. God never left me, it was only I that had lost my way.
It reminds me how as a child I lost my warm knit glove while walking home from school one snowy day. Arriving home I sadly told my mom what had happened; with a sense of hope in her voice she said, “let’s keep this one in case the other one shows up.
Eventually the snow melted and winter gave way to spring… my little glove now a distant memory. Cherry blossom trees lined the sidewalk as my friend and I intermittently skipped and giggled our way home. Stopping to catch my breath my eyes suddenly spotted my little glove pushed up against a cyclone fence, nestling among a bed of dry furled leaves. Hope reborn as lost is found, a treasure laid bare from melted snow.
God lovingly waits for us to partner with Him, syncing up to His truths, knowing in our “knower” His plans for us, for our good and not evil. Those little gloves remain a beautiful reminder of what was lost can be still be found…even when we have lost our faith!
Eugene H. Peterson’s introduction to Habakkuk is this: “Habakkuk started out exactly where we started out with our puzzled complaints and God accusations, but he didn’t stay there. He ended up in a world, along with us, where every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.”
Like Habakkuk I no longer want to have my faith wheels stuck in drifts of why questions, rather have the traction of trust produce forward movement as*I lean my entire human personality on Him in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom and goodness.
God invites us to build a snowman, gathering splendid treasures from His majesty. Each unique snowflake of life experiences rolled up and fashioned into a something new. Bringing a smile to our face from a jolly new creation, a gift wrapped up in His loving sovereignty. Patted down and molded with child like faith gloves.
So my friend … Do you want to build a snowman ?

Job 38: 1-22, Colossians 1:4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Bye-Bye Pack Rat

Anyone that knows me well is privy to the fact I tend to collect things. A self proclaimed Pack Rat of doohickey’s, whatchamacallits, sentimental momentos and all things shiny. Our attic a land of misfit objects poised to spring ­­­­­into action whether to provoke tender memories or some form of creativity.

Due to my tendencies of over accumulation… shrinking attic space has become the end result; now bursting at the seams, it groans from over stuffing. Like a S.O.S banner capturing my attention to begin the journey of downsizing. Heck, even a pack rats nature is to let go of certain found treasures to grab a hold of something new and more desirable.

Through processes such as these I’ve noticed a correlation pertaining to deep physical housecleaning and emotional housecleaning. For me they seem to go hand in hand. In times past when saying good-bye to these tangibles, it usually reveals an unhealthy thought pattern that needs to go as well. Though the interweaving of the physical and emotional purging is key, the actual letting go process can be painful. There is a bitter sweet underlying tone that sets the mood for change. Change is hard even if it is for the better especially  since we are creatures of habit. Whenever my reliable apple cart gets upset, I tend to scramble picking up my disrupted pile of apples… even the damaged ones. I scoop them up carrying them close to my heart as I climb back onto my rickety cart of familiarity.

The dichotomy of God’s Kingdom runs interference with my unwholesome attachments and misguided thinking.

God loves us for who we are, but too much to leave us that way. We no longer need to cling to the status quo or our tired worn out coping mechanisms. God is saying *”Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?”

I don’t know about you but I’m so ready for 2017! Traveling lighter by emptying my suitcase of fear, worry, doubt, unforgiveness or anything crowding out Jesus’s truth and goodness. Packing instead more intentional kindness, love, joy , laughter, and forgiveness . No longer traveling with my neck poised to look in the rear view mirror of yesterdays or what if’s. Rather, keeping my eye on the prize, His promises as hope rises from the ashes of my past.

There are still doodads, whatnots and precious family memories tucked away in our attic now a healthy balance of treasures. Today this self professed pack rat is more of a mouse. Through all the decluttering process my personal growth is blossoming, saying good-bye to non essentials to grab a hold of the essential. How refreshing!

Lord, we ask for a fresh new start for 2017 bursting with your visions, dreams and endless possibilities. May our minds and hearts de-clutter from anything that crowds out your plans and purposes for our lives. Thank you, that *if anyone in Christ, the new creation has come, old has gone, the new is here!

“Behold I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5

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“Every loss leaves a space that can be filled with God’s presence.” Amy Boucher Pye.
*Isaiah 43:19 The Message *2Corinthians 5:17 NIV Bible