Splashing in the Puddles…

SPLASHING (1)And oh, what a puddle yesterday was looking to be. I mean, it was clearly shaping up to be a day I’d wished I could have just stayed in bed and pulled the covers way up over my face. Before the sun even shone above the horizon, I woke up thinking about all the things today would hold…and feeling the strain come up from deep within; longing for it to be easy and simple and lovely, though it felt completely opposite.

My mind was heavy thinking about some situations I’ve been dealing with over my car and getting it fixed (properly) from an accident that wasn’t my fault. (Poor customer service kind of makes me crazy.) I had a pretty important meeting that I was asked to sit in on concerning some changes that would be taking place in my classroom and I just couldn’t figure out how I’d ever find enough time to get all of the things done on my to-do list for the day.

I know we’ve all had days like this. Days we wish life could be canceled for just a brief moment while everything worked itself out…and we could rest easy in the comfort of the faraway places our dreams and hopes and wishes could take us. Oh, but life isn’t meant to be canceled….it’s meant to be lived.

And living means we take on the rain and the unbelievable circumstances we sometimes find ourselves in and call it adventure. We call it what we see it when we choose to look at it through open eyes of optimism and open hearts of hope. What was written in my story yesterday didn’t have to be tales of difficult meetings, unfortunate car situations, rainy weather, and other “stuff” that I wish I didn’t have to be a part of, rather I could choose to see it differently. What today will become will be solely dependent on how choose to see it.

Everything about yesterday felt uncomfortable….it was a day I could literally and metaphorically speaking, feel the rain falling. And quite honestly, I felt like in the midst of it all, I was standing-feet planted- in the puddles of what was intended to be a day of promise and hope, yet what seemed to be lacking every promise of hope and adventure.

The truth in all of this is that God doesn’t call us out of our comfortable places to make us comfortable again. We’re stretched and challenged to a life outside the lines of easy and comfortable and, if I can be candid for just a moment, convenient. We’re called to live a life that looks a little more like splashing through the puddles instead of avoiding them altogether.

God’s Word says, in 1 Peter 2:9-10 (MSG):

But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

We once were in darkness, but now we’re in light. We were called by name. Chosen by God Himself to do His work. So why do we sometimes get stuck in the puddles? Why do we lose sight of the good works He’s doing in us and through us? I’m challenged to look not at the rain falling around me as a bad day, but to see it as an opportunity to dance a little in it, to splash around in the promises that God has for my life, to accept and remember that God has chosen me and called me by name to do something special here. The stretching and pulling, the difficult days I’ll walk through are preparing me for the high calling I’ve been chosen for. And He’s preparing you too.

Lord, there are times we feel like the rain falling around us washes our hopes and dreams to the ground. It feels like we can’t keep it all together. The hope we once held in our hearts has been washed away and we’re standing in them on the ground. Help us to see that you’re holding us in the palm of your hand even still and keeping us together. Help us to change our perspective so that we can see You at work in our lives. We want to splash around in the goodness of who you are and remember that we were called and chosen by you for the high calling of your work. Amen.



Do Less With More Focus


“I can’t continue to live like this,” I finally told myself.Screen-Shot-2014-10-02-at-9.13.40-PM

It was Autumn. School was back in full swing, piano lessons had started again and my days were feeling less and less fulfilling.

“It shouldn’t be like this,” I kept reminding myself. “It just shouldn’t feel like this.”

What began as a way to touch lives and make a difference was quickly turning into something I never wanted it to be….and I knew it. I knew that if I didn’t take some steps to clear a little space in my day, then I’d find myself lost in the deep, deep world of work and worn-out wishes constantly searching for ways to somehow, someway be a little less consumed. My time, my hopes and dreams, all of that was taken up by a much too crowded “to-do” list and it ultimately left me feeling like there was only time to do and work and never any time to be and give in ways that I truly wanted to be and give. I began to see that while God allows doors of opportunity to open to us, He also allows doors to close at the right time.

I began to see that while God allows doors of opportunity to open to us, He also allows doors to close at the right time.

I struggled with God on several occasions; especially the times I could sense Him urging me to give some things up and make some room to grow. I was overbooked and becoming increasingly overwhelmed, yet I was comfortable being caught up in the steady pace of the life I’d created. For years, this is all I’d known, teach school, teach piano. Day in and day out. And honestly, as fulfilling as that may sound to some, I knew that the door was closing and I needed to step through it with unbridled faith before it was too late.

So I did. I walked away from requiring myself to keep a busy schedule. I laid down the pen and paper and began learning to listen to God not only tell me when to walk through doors that were opening, but also when to walk forward and let other doors close behind me.

Life became fulfilling when I learned to do less with more focus.

Today, I’m excited about what the future holds. Through all of this I’ve learned that it is A-okay doing less and living more. I still teach my 6th graders and my afternoons are still somewhat busy, but they’re busy in a really good way. I’m able to write and pursue some dreams. Who knows, maybe I’ll write a book someday! I’m able to share meals with family and friends. I’m able to sit on the front porch in the evening and watch the sky grow dark and listen to the purr of passing cars. It’s the little things.

I’m not sure where you’ll find yourself reading this. Maybe you’re longing for more…maybe less. Maybe you’re like me and looking for God’s next step for you. I knew I’d never find it if I didn’t clear some space and time to listen and live it out. As much as I pray for God to open the next door, I find that praying He’ll close the doors that need to be closed is just as important.



Photo courtesy of smallfryblog.com