Refreshing Hearts One Sentence At A Time
I like watching “One Tree Hill.” I admit, the writing inspires me:
“You gotta open up your heart to somebody,” Keith says to his love, Karen. “You gotta let someone discover how staggering you are.”
We mommas all deserve this reminder. We spend so much time trying to improve upon the current state that we don’t see how fabulous we are. While often harried, hurried, clumsy, and forgetful, we are, indeed, fashioned by flawless hands. We were created in the depths of perfection, in the shadow of unspoiled eyes.
You are staggering.
Name your faults or claim your failures: they are beside the point. David was a kid going up against a nine foot-tall sack of muscle and hair. Look what he did. He owned his place with his Creator, saying, “Then all the world will know that Israel has a God, and this whole assembly will know that it is not by sword or by spear that the Lord saves, for the battle is the Lord’s” (1 Samuel 17:46b-47). I’m guessing he said it rather loudly. I would.
The battle is the Lord’s. The insurmountable guilt, melancholy, potty training, and dusty floorboards; eh, those are just a little housework to the One who made it all. As we continue to wipe shelves and highchair legs, so the Father wipes away tears. He mops up our scandals; melts away fears.
This journey is not about our abilities. We can’t earn the privilege of being staggering. Jaw-dropping. Compelling. We are God’s workmanship, created to do the good works he prepared for us to do (Ephesians 2:10). The good works may not always feel like fun works or easy works, and they may not be in the place you want the work to be, but they are prepared specifically for you. Remember that this world isn’t the last word.
Pick up a rock and throw it. God will aim and finish the task.
Sometimes those imaginary monsters like The Laundry Pile or Asking For Forgiveness or Getting Out Of Bed need to be told who’s boss. Regardless of the adversary, they wilt in the gaze of the Lord of Hosts.
David also said, “You come against me with a dagger, spear, and sword, but I come against you in the name of Yahweh of Hosts …The Lord will hand you over to me” (1 Samuel 17:45-46). Take that, Toilet Grime. Take and eat it, Clumsiness, Ache, Loneliness, and Loss.
Remember this proclamation, tuck it inside your heart, and do not lose grip on the most powerful weapon we have to face the day. The Creator, the Great Love, is staggering. And he designed you.
Whether caught between a grassy field and a desert, drowning under the waves, or wedged into a dark hole, look up. Take the hand of the One who made you and walk in his steady stride, until the giants fall away.
Okay, well really, let's say it's Flash Sale Thursday AND Friday!
I'm working on getting my book out to more readers, so I need your help! It's not easy being my own marketing manager, so I'm giving everybody a discount. Don't we all just need a discount every now and then?
Today and tomorrow, my book is 50% off, which means you can stock up on gifts for friends and family, at a great discounted price! For only $10.00, "Sara's Lemonade Stand" is available for many to enjoy! Shipping will be $1 if you live outside of Brownwood, Texas. See, even that is a discount!
“Maybe this is a time to learn how to forge ahead when there is no plan, when all direction seems to be short-lived or silent. It’s a time to search, to seek, and simply enjoy.” There are ups and downs to being a writer, a work-at-home mom, and a Cleaner Of All Laundry And Things Washable. Do you struggle with purpose, with resting in the hands of a Providing Rescuer, or sticking to a plan? Me too. That's partially why I wrote this book, so that we can journey together and remind ourselves of God's goodness.
So I'd like your help! Share this page or my website, and purchase a book or two today! None of us are experts, but let's share some encouragement and draw closer to the Provider of Strength.
Click HERE to purchase!
Today Barbie enjoyed a day with some new friends at a carnival. Here are some mementos from the adventure:
For anybody else who is thoroughly thrilled about Tax Day today, let's have a little sale! (Sarcasm noted, anybody?) (Wink and smile) This week I'm offering books for $15, in honor of the 15th of the month being past!
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Act now and get ahead on personalized Easter, birthday, or graduation presents for your loved ones! And for a discount, so that is even better! Happy Taxes-Are-Done Day!
What is effective communication?
Dictionary.com defines "Effective" as: adequate to accomplish a purpose; producing a deep or vivid impression; prepared and available for service. Communication is defined as: the imparting or interchange of thoughts, opinions, or information by speech, writing, or signs; something imparted, interchanged, or transmitted.
Therefore, effective communication is a vivid interchange of thoughts that makes an impression. As you work toward the goal of effective communication, some questions to keep in mind are: What are you going to accomplish? What are you going to exchange with others? How do you express and leave a good impression?
Here are 7 tips for relaying your message in a positive, thoughtful manner.
1. Use a thesis sentence.
If you are planning an event, requesting assistance, needing supplies, the person to whom you are communicating needs to know why you are communicating, if there is a deadline, and what is going on. A thesis simply helps you have a backbone to what you are writing, providing purpose and limiting your conversation to be concise and effective.
The thesis statement provides readers with the intentions and purpose of your writing.
Here's my secret formula: (which is not so secret, so feel free to share and use it!)
Topic + Controlling idea + Details = Purpose
Here's an example:
Broccoli + provides a rich staple for every diet + because of its versatility, nutrient value, and seasonality.
Narrow down your topic (food > vegetables > broccoli), pick the point you are making (controlling idea = why eat broccoli? Why discuss it? What do you want your audience to do with this information?), and list the details you will discuss in the speech, email, ad, paper, whatever.
2. Be specific.
Assume your audience needs the nitty gritty details. Provide the important facts – 5Ws -- who, what, when, where, why, and how. Don’t leave your audience hanging!
a. Examples of vagueness: “There are a lot of things people like about animals.” What people? What kind of things? What kind of animals? Example of specifics: Jacob loved catching frogs because their bumpy, green skin reminded him of the day his grandmother first let him eat homemade green eggs and ham. (Avoid those vague words like “things,” “something” or “someone.”)
b. Use sensory imagery. Involve the senses – smell, taste, touch, sight, hearing. Think of life and communicating it as a poet would. (Show, don’t tell)
c. Hint: If you can’t use the word – the noun – what imagery will you use to describe it?
Example: The car drove slowly.
Better example: The tan Buick crept along the asphalt, ten miles under the speed limit, and a long line of cars waited impatiently to pass from behind.
Example: We ate Mexican food today.
Better example: The shredded chicken enchiladas at Mi Familia were tangy and spicy, filled with cheesy goodness and covered in their famous sour cream sauce.
d. Using acronyms – the first time a new acronym is used, explain the name and then insert the acronym in parenthesis after. For example: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
3. Consider your audience.
They may not share your perspective, opinion, or background. Think about the topic as someone with a different perspective than you. If you are providing information about a new product or trying to gather interest, assume that you need to provide all the necessary information to fill in the gaps.
a. Example : watch out using “we,” “our,” “us,” or “you,” because the audience may not share your opinion.
Further example: We Martians must follow a strict diet of broccoli and kale, and share this vital diet with all we meet. [Is your audience going to be Martians? What if your audience is filled with Earthlings or Venusians? Will they listen to you or believe what you have to say?]
4. Stay positive.
There are positive words and negative words. When you write a sentence, read over it carefully to see if the words carry a positive outlook and message or one that contrives anger. Even if you are in a negative situation and need to fix a problem, you hold the key to helping create positive energy from the inside out. The difference in the communication types is inspiration versus entrapment. Do you want to encourage or lay down the law? You may be stressed out, struggling, or compromised, but your words have the power to change your situation for the better. Positive does not mean “fluff,” but a purposeful intent to utilize the power of inspiration over discouragement. You have the power to change and impact someone’s day -- every person you come in contact with is the opportunity to make a lasting, good impression.
For example, Positive words: fantastic, marvelous, potential, searching, options
Negative words: waste, fail, should have, missing, blame, forget
a. Instead of placing blame, take the responsibility—this is not only good customer service, but considerate of others. Someone forgot to attach a document to an email that was sent to you. Ways to phrase a reply email:
Example: You didn’t attach the document that I needed for the report. I have to give the presentation this afternoon so send it over asap.
Better Example: Hi Susan, after checking my email, I didn’t see the attachment you mentioned. Do you mind sending that again, please? Thank you so much! I hope you have a great day.
b. Give constructive ideas versus a list of “don’t’s”
As I teach my daughter right versus wrong, I have to give positive examples versus what NOT to do. People learn more and garner more understanding from a To Do list rather than a NOT To Do list.
5. Avoid unnecessary phrases.
Examples are, “In my opinion,” “I feel,” “I think,” or “Just sayin’.” What you write and express is, of course, your opinion. And “just sayin” is pretty much flipping the polite bird to everyone who hears you.
6. Use grammar and spell check!
7. Keep YOU and me out of it!
Keep the focus on the topic at hand, not the audience.
Example: As you set out to fish you think that you know that you want to shark fish that day. You pick that spot. You can see the glisten of the sun on the water, you can taste and feel salt of the water in the air. You think and you look for the bait that you want to choose to fish with. This is the biggest decision that you will make for the day. (What is the focus and topic of this paragraph? YOU are! But are you really fishing?! No! The fisherman is fishing.)
Better Example: Fishing is a tactile and sensory sport requiring the knowledge of many tools of the trade. Any rookie angler can enjoy the glistening of the sun on the water and the tart taste of sea salt on the air, but a true sportsman searches for technique among the lapping of the waves.
Utilizing Story in Everyday Life
What is "story"? What does that mean?
The Definition of the noun “story”: A narrative designed to interest, amuse, or educate
A Story puts an order to events and gives them purpose; Story is a carefully crafted telling of events. Story is conflict. Story is manufactured with a compilation of catalysts, twists, turning points, resolution, antagonists, protagonists, and imagery.
Why do we need story? We need this tool to enjoy the beauty in life, to see the purpose in life, and to know there is more to our story than what is happening right now.
1) Elements of story
i. Protagonist – the main character, the hero
ii. Antagonist – who is the antagonist? The bad guy, the villain. The antagonist is also the perfect opposite for the protagonist. Not always riddled with evil, the antagonist is the “Polo” to the “Marco.” It’s the “Yang,” to the “Yin.” It’s the “Cream” for the “Oreo.” The antagonist completes the protagonist, and hence conflict between the two usually grows and strengthens the protagonist, often after struggling and great gloom. What is your antagonist? Who is your antagonist? And are you your own antagonist? Are you someone else's antagonist?
iii. Supporting characters – the loyal sidekick, the waiter in the kitchen with a full tray of dishes in a chase scene, the unlikely friend
b. Plot – storyline, involving, quite usually in this order: Set up of the situation and location, a catalyst to move the character, turning point in which the hero makes a conscious decision for change, new conflict at the midpoint, followed by the Big Gloom. Then once the hero has recovered a bit, there is the next big turning point, the climax with lots of action, then the falling action (denouement) and resolution.
Very often our lives are like a hero story. The magnificent plan gets muddled or muddied with all the turning points, plot twists, moving boxes, take out containers, and electricity bills. But if you are able, stand back and see that life, business, and community quite often follow the hero plot. In books, sometimes this plan is followed, and movies do stray from time to time, but overall, this is the story of our lives. We are heroes. Quite ordinary super heroes. But you are intrinsically plotted within the story.
c. Aspects of story:
1. Imagery – senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hear)
What is the story about?
What questions does the story make the reader ask? What will the reader take away from the story?
3. Point of View- from whose point of view is the story told?
a. First person (me and my story)
b. Third person (he, she, they went)
The point of view will dramatically shift each story. What if Hunger Games were written from the point of view of the President? What if Pride and Prejudice were written from Darcy’s perspective? How does the story twist? What if we took the time to look outside our own narrative and see a bigger plan at work? What other characters may need to be a pivotal character, a protagonist, or antagonist? What is the theme of this chapter, and how is it influencing you?
All these are questions that apply to both fiction and non-fiction. What we take away from the process and procedure of storytelling is that the formula works. Why have the formula? Who did we get the formula from? And...Is there someone bigger out there with an even more amazing formula we are trying to find? What if we could see this entire story from beginning to end? What will we see when we cross from this life into the next?
Today is a new opportunity for you. Maybe you need to reconnect with a friend, a business partner, a spouse, an old acquaintance. Maybe you just need a new set of ideas for life in general. I hope you can use some of these tips and ideas to help you communicate more effectively with yourself and others. When I was earning my Master’s degree, working full time, and trying to maintain my home life, I found that my lessons in writing and poetry changed my life. Once I took the time to really think about what I needed to say; once I thought about imagery and how there is more to lunch than a menu; once I understood the desperate need for kairoi (enjoyed moments) and not just chronos (a ticking clock); that is when life started making more sense.
Communicating effectively, finding and enjoying the story in your life, is a never-ending practice. Even when you are mid-turning point, mid-gloom, mid-resolution.
As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in his poem ‘Ulysses’,
“How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
The long day wanes: the slow moon climbs: the deep
Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.”
I hope this inspires you to sit on your back porch this evening as the sun sets and analyze the colors of the sky, listen to the song of the night, and imagine the wind whispering its secrets to the birds flying home. Then take heart, relish the coming new day, and see how your story plays out.
"Bare branches in winter are a form of writing.
The unclothed body is autobiography.
Every lake is a vowel, every island a noun."
~ Billy Collins, "Winter Syntax"
Just a little heads-up for anyone interested in getting some tips on writing or communicating more effectively with yourself and others -- I have been invited by the Early Chamber of Commerce to speak at the August luncheon at Mi Familia. I've been working on my "speech" (if you want to call it that. It's really a list of tips and ideas) this week and am growing more excited every day! Tonight I am going to watch Star Wars to refresh in my mind the classic hero plotline. I'll have to suffer through it with some popcorn and maybe some decaf coffee! Wink!
I might post my information from the luncheon on here afterwards, for anyone who cannot attend. I would love to see you there, though, and you can enjoy a delicious lunch with that awesome queso and sour cream sauce while I give some tips, examples, and reminders about finding joy in our plotlines and honing our communication techniques.
And yes, you do exist in a plot, and on the current page you may be in the Big Gloom, experiencing a catalyst moment, or twisting in a turning point. What will you do? How will it effect your story? And will you be the hero or the antagonist? And what does all of this have to do with a thesis sentence?!
The tickets were purchased, the map was defined, supplies packed and ready, clouds parting in the sky to reveal a cosmos so blue and sunny that tropical islands yawned in jealous torment; the adventure was set to begin in three, two -- and wait. Hold on.
Pause for a moment.
The phone is ringing.
It's the realtor, and we have a closing date! It is.... tomorrow! Tomorrow? Tomorrow!? That means I need to call -- I need to pack -- I need to unpack -- I need to text Mom -- I need to go to the --
And a new adventure began instead.
"Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on him, because he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:6
Let's get a few words out of the way before we go any further. The word, "exalt," means 1)honor, 2)fill with sublime emotion, 3)heighten or intensify, 4)raise in rank, character, or status. Humble is both an adjective and verb, meaning 1)inferior in station, 2)marked by modesty, 3)of low station, 4)cause to be unpretentious, 5)cause to feel shame or hurt the pride.
I like to make plans. I like to make lists. I like to make plans that incorporate my lists, and then check off the boxes in order. And yes, my clothes closet is ordered by the colors of the rainbow.
Sometimes I make plans for my life. Sometimes I say, “I will go to the park tomorrow,” or “I will get groceries tomorrow,” or “I will watch Bones today.” I am learning that the long-term plans are the ones that seem to fall through. I am learning that not all of the boxes get checked off in order. I am learning that I don’t like it when my boxes are not checked off in order. Where is the excitement in last minute changes, and where is the thrill in flakiness? Um, I’m really not as stuffy as that last sentence makes me sound. I just like an order to the chaos. An order which I create.
But do I look for the adventure?
What if there is an order in the chaos, and I’m simply unaware of it?
I don’t think people plan for loss, broken water heaters, floods, earthquakes, bug bites, and job changes. I don’t want to speculate that most people plan their own worst-case scenario. Do you plan your own worst life? Do you look for ways to hurt others or yourself? I don’t, so I’m going off of my own ideal world. Mine is one similar to that of Neverland or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, where there are lush, green, open fields rolling in the distance, and parks with flowers, and laughing friends nearby, ready to do something fun.
So there’s a gap between the real world and what-could-be.
Because in this real world, the adventure has been filled with rain clouds, plane rides, tears, shiny skyscrapers, hugs with my daughter, bitten nails, crashed computers, divine lunches, and inconsolable loss. The adventure included boat rides, beaches, bridges, boxes, and paradise. The darkness crept nearby, watching with dollar signs in its eyes. He imagined destruction and whispered threats of loneliness. The new adventure was unlike anything I had imagined.
But I did get to ride a camel in the sand.
He moaned at me, arching his long, tan, furry neck toward me, groaning and baring his crooked, yellow teeth. His trainer smacked him smartly on the neck with a small brown stick, demanding some unknown command in Arabic. After a few more moments of groaning, lips quivering and teeth snarling, he began arching his back legs to a standing position. I gripped the saddle horn as the back-end rose higher, and his front knees eventually began to quake and burst with movement upward. Then he was walking, one slow step after another, moaning further, shaking his head in disagreement, as if he was done with the pony ride. I sat far on his back, gripping the old leather, ten feet in the air, on this beast towering above the tourists below. He roamed in a slow circle around the hot, sandy area, guided by the man in the khaki tunic. The camel settled in his spot, front side first, bowing into the sand, folding his legs under his thick, hairy torso. Rocking and quaking, I settled back on the ground and climbed off his back.
And all too soon, I had to fly away from those shiny buildings, sand dunes, and my sister’s warm hugs.
What can I say about riding a camel?
Hold on tight, especially when starting out and ending, because the fall forward could be a hilarious sight to see, though painful for the fall-er.
What can I say about the new adventure?
Hold on tight and a grab a ginger pill, because there’s turbulence up ahead.
Another part of the new adventure was moving to our first house, then turning around and helping my parents leave their house – my “home” – of 25 years. So in between the boxes, airplane rides, boxes, broken computers, leaky house fragments, boxes, shimmering anniversaries, and golden hotel rooms, the year 2013 has been --- an adventure. It’s a tale of remorse, angst, distilled silence, and fresh morning sunshine streaming in through the window. It has been salted and spiced with hummus, take-out, large bills, extraordinary views, pecans, boxes, emptiness, and tears. In the preparation of moving, unpacking, moving, packing, and readying for flying, there was teaching classes, coordinating ministry events, and home-making.
And since the first leg of the adventure, the shiny drama has dissipated into unmotivated laziness. I partially think I’ve earned it. The Big Year is not even halfway over, but all the oil is used up. The Tandoori powder is prepped but the chicken is already eaten.
My husband – my sane half – says this unmotivated feeling is just a let-down after vacation. He says that it is post-year’s-worth-of-suspense-leading-up-to-an-adventure. Now that we bought the cow...we have to care for it. Now that we’ve been to paradise…we have to live with central Texas in a drought.
Not that I’m complaining, really. I’m very grateful to have seen what I’ve seen, to be able to hear the sounds of foreign instruments, to have tasted authentic food, to have stayed up way too late talking with my family, to have stood on the tallest floor on the planet. And I’m grateful for the home I get to come back to, for the soft carpet underfoot, the warm sunshine and cooing doves out the back window. I’m just trying to figure out the emotions that roll along in this tidal wave. What do you say when the grey seems dimmer and the silence seems louder?
My heart has been heavy, my arms weak, and my legs sore. And not just from working out. Although that is a factor.
The clock has been winning recently, ticking along merrily, leaving me behind. The adventure continues into chapter three, and I’m still trying to figure out what happened in chapter two. Each page-turn I fall a little farther behind, and lack the motivation to read along. So I watch tv. Because it is happy. Because it is easier. Because it is observing, rather than having to react myself.
I’m riddled with fear, with this deep sadness, sometimes, when I think about how this adventure continues on, and I’m not ready for it to do so. I’m content with the springtime, and yet the wind continues to steadily blow across the field. Who am I in the midst of this changing planet, this controlling government, this judgemental society? Who am I, that one little session of dusting or creating a website will add to an eternity of importance? What are my words that my viewpoint will help others carry on?
I’ve avoided writing lately. It’s the motivational thing, but also some other feelings of inadequacy that have been whispered into my ear as of late. I was wiping up the mud on my kitchen floor today, the mud my daughter tracked in after playing in the muddy backyard, after the plumbing guys had left the hose in the open back door, after which they had told me we would need a new hot water heater, after which we had found water seeping up in our bathroom. I was wiping up the mud by hand because the Swiffer vacuum is broken, and have been waiting for the next payday to get a new one because I didn’t see room in the budget to get one. It’s a good thing we didn’t have room for a $40 gadget. I’d sure hate to have to buy a new water heater or something.
And I thought, you know, I really want to be dramatic about this. I want to be depressed at how we have had to pay for a rushed passport, and a computer that the cable company broke and refuses to pay for; I want to be depressed that we will not get back the deposit from our apartment because of some silly miscommunications; I want to be depressed and dramatic because this whole new home-owner experience has been just as expensive as I expected.
But there’s a measure of sanity in the back of my mind that speaks the truth of, “God will provide.” Cast all your care on Him, because he cares about you. He doesn’t just care for me and my silly and expensive broken water heater, he cares about you and your dust bunnies, your sunny day, your bad choices, your sore back, your justified goals, your fears. He cares, and he has a plan.
I want to be dramatic about the many ups and downs on this rollercoaster ride. I want to sit back in silence and let the game play itself out. I want to have more money in the bank.
However, this adventure is more than dollars and cents. This adventure is a cliff-hanger, where the reader isn’t sure if the traveller will be required to dive into the deepest, darkest, underwater caves, or if this is the chapter of flashbacks to the good ol’ days. Is this the chapter where the audience gets a little insight into the protagonist, or is this the chapter where the protagonist gets thrown into the tar pit and has to fight off the monster alligator-dog?
Regardless, the protagonist has to endure it. Why? Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a very good adventure story.
"Humble yourselves therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on him, because he cares about you." 1 Peter 5:6
I hear a lot about having humility. I think it’s a good practice. But I think there’s a fine line between having just enough, too little, or too much humility. Because I know God has a better plan than I can ever make, but he gave me this adventure so I can become a better version of myself. I can’t be timid, shy, or a quivering sack of dirt. I have to have grit, heart, and spunk. There has to be determination, tenacity, and guts. Who really wants the alligator-dog to win? I think the audience would rather see the under-dog win. Therefore I will remember that I am a character in the story, but one written into the story with purpose and creativity. Because He cares about me.
And remember, he cares about you, too. He has a mighty hand, a mighty plan. So if you have to scrape the dirt from your floor, on your hands and knees, wondering what kind of cents all of this makes, notice that you aren’t alone. And maybe the wind will whisper the promises of a steadfast Creator as you wipe. Use the grit and be refined as a more steadfast being. The chapter continues to play out, and sometimes the reader’s speed is breath-taking. But the Author controls the storyline. He will honor you; he will lift you out of the pit; he will fill you with peace; he will strengthen your character. Use this crazy adventure to become more like your Author. Maybe one day soon he will allow you to see more of his storyboard.
This year began with an idea that I had hoped to fulfill -- to learn how to do everything. Well, as usual, God had different plans. I have done a few items on my list, and while I most certainly can do many activities on the list, I won't guilt myself if I don't end up writing a blog post every week on one of those items. After all, I suppose learning To Not Be Guilt-Ridden should be on the list. Soon I can write about how to ride a camel in the dessert, how to barter in an old-school Arabic market, buying a house, managing stress, and surviving the end of the world. But that will be tomorrow or the day after.
For now, I just wanted to say that I'm still here.
I am taking it one day at a time, and I hope you will too.
Don't be guilt-ridden about the tasks which were supposed to be accomplished. There is a time for everything that is supposed to happen. So if you didn't fulfill your dreams today, your task list yesterday, or the grocery list the day before, pause for a moment and embrace what you did have time to do. And how can you find the gift in it?
After all, maybe your task list isn't as important as the unknown jobs God has created for you, and you may just find them riding camels in the desert.
"But all this happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God, who raises the dead." 2 Corinthians 1:9
I continue to see proof of this verse every day, as the world continues whirring in its rotation and carrying us along. Some days the whirling is a bit much, and sometimes it is not enough; sometimes the the light is bright enough, sometimes the gray clouds match the gray sweat pants, which matches the grey in your dull eyes. But we continue to look up, to see that God is much greater than everyday stress. God provides strong arms to lean upon, strength to run a few more steps, unpack a few more boxes, finish one more project, and write a few more words. We are limited, but our Creator is the Beginning and The End.
So take it from someone who continues to see God's capabilities reflected in my cooperation. When we move, rattle, shake, step, brush, uncover, open, and push through when the end is not in sight, that is when God's abilities shine through, a bright, rushing wind of hope, gently taking our hands and guiding us through the next few moments. And those moments can be ticking second hands along the route of the clock, or lessons learned about God's fullness. Which do we choose? Do we choose to allow in life, strength, and lightness from the Giver of Life? Or do we rattle and shake in the snares of our enemy's lies?
Wake up, this morning! Rely on God, let him raise you from the ashes, the smoke, the dark void. He is more than the schedule, the list, the moving boxes and the broken crumbs of our realities.
But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. (1 Corinthians 1:9)
Sara's Lemonade Stand