Monthly Archives: March 2017

Trust

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I’ve been writing a little book about gratitude. It’s sort of a cross between a collection of essays and an acrostic poem.

But good golly, Miss Molly – the thought of publishing anything that even comes close to being a book is a bit yikes, so I thought I’d just stick my toe in the water a little and give you a preview. Here is just a part of one entitled simply Trust.

As we navigate through the foreign waters of in everything give thanks, we experience a strange tension. When the sky falls in, the world urges us to shake our fists at the heavens. Sometimes, we just convince ourselves to power through when the going gets rough.

But during those hours when life seems the most bleak, Heaven asks that we trust God, the Father…

…We are not told that earthly things will always work out.

God never said He would fix everything.

Answers and easy solutions are often elusive or missing completely.

However, the hope of the future is freely and generously given to all of us. The Father tells us time and time and time again that He loves us and holds us close. He speaks through every prophet and disciple – even Jesus himself – and sends the same message: Have faith, my children. Trust in My wisdom, a wisdom so vast that it cannot be contained by the minds of men. We can be sure the God of the Universe sees every tear, watches every stumble, feels every heartache, every heart break.

I am compiling a list of questions to ask at the St. Peter’s Information Booth. Like What happens to our pets? and Is there really a guardian angel for everybody, or do some of us have to share? And a real biggie: Why DO the good die young? I don’t think those things will be important when we get there, but it’s my way of handling some of the issues I wrestle with.

For now, I choose to offer thanks for the blessings I enjoy. It is not always my first response to trouble. But it is always my goal.

Jesus did not tell us to be thankful for our circumstances. He doesn’t expect cartwheels when the flight is cancelled or the Check Engine light comes on. He doesn’t dismiss our feelings of despair when the phone call comes in the middle of the night. He is not cruel or heartless. He does not expect us to be thankful for things that inevitably cause us pain or harm.

But, in His holy goodness, He stands with us during those storms. He is faithful and true. I am thankful because I know I can trust the Father. I can trust Him completely.

I have a plan for this project – hoping that it will not only bless those of you who read my words but also those we’d like to invite to our party.

It’s gonna be a minute before it’s ready, with a cover and preface and ISBN and all of that writerly shenanigans. Things I’m not used to choosing or figuring out or arranging.

But until that time, my lovelies, I thought we could talk a little about thankfulness, and maybe start with how trusting God the Father is so important to our spiritual health and sense of gratitude.

Any comments? or questions? Perhaps something you’d like to add that would make Trust even better.

I’m looking forward to what y’all have to say.

 

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Measureable Difference

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tape-1056224_1920I take a lot of notes. Whenever I hear something clever, interesting, thought-provoking or hilarious, I try to write it down as quickly as I can. You just never know when your next writing inspiration will spring up.

Unfortunately, these aforementioned notes are frequently on random papers or the back of a napkin because, unlike other more organized artists, I don’t always have my writer’s notebook with me. Like this, written on the back of a not-quite-finished coloring sheet:

“Jesus asks His followers to do the impossible every day – even when we know it is a drop in the bucket, futile at best.
Even when we know our greatest effort will not make a humanly-measureable difference.”
Humanly  measurable difference.
That’s it.
The hinge, the lynch pin for all of the angst of teaching and studying and writing.
Serving on the Welcome Team and Production Team. Leading Pioneer Girls. Twelve years of questions and doubt about teaching.
Watching others.
Pleasing others.
Wanting,
waiting,
fixing,
struggling.
For years, I have measured … . Well, that’s it. I have measured.
I’ve measured me and you and success and numbers and work. I have lined us up and marked the door jam.

I’m not sure when I wrote those words or who said humanly measureable difference. But it feels like today was the right time for them to emerge from the pile of scattered writing notes.

I have two events coming up – this weekend and the end of April – about which I am feeling a bit unnerved.

You see, on Tuesday, I woke up with a sore throat. My history on sore throats is that no matter the cause – strep, cold, virus, whatever – I am left with at least two days of no more than a whisper before I am completely well again.

And this Saturday, I’m speaking on the practice of the Daily Examen, a spiritual discipline I can’t recommend highly enough. Not a big group, but our Women’s Ministry team has made an effort to present something nice and inviting. I’d hate to show up with my visuals and hand-outs only to sheepishly point, playing charades and offering raspy phrases and uncomfortable silences.

And then, at the end of April, I am hosting a 2-day retreat, In the Hands of the Potter, which you can read about here. I’ve been planning it since last July and it involves not a small amount of money, which means that registrations are important. And let’s just say that we’re not full up yet.

Good golly, Miss Molly.

I have absolutely no healing skills of my own – save for throat lozenges and friends with powerful healing prayers – and no control over the plans or finances of anyone who may be considering the retreat.

Yet, I continue to fret. I continue to believe that my anxiety will make a measurable difference in the outcome of these events. I am convinced that if I wring my hands hard enough, make lists, dot the t’s and cross the i’s, post on Facebook, make the calls, prepare the supplies, and , each event will find success.

It’s not that I haven’t given them to God. I have. Several times – because I keep taking them back. Maybe just parts of them, but I find myself retrieving control of the meeting or the retreat.

I take them back so I can make another mark on the door jam. As if that measure has any eternal value. As if it makes any humanly measureable difference.

Both events, this Saturday and in April, are worthy of careful planning and attention. We have met and reviewed the details and what we need to do. We have assigned jobs and double-checked finances. We have prayed over them and asked God to bless each in His own way.

But, my lovelies, honest to goodness that’s about all we can do. Because we have no human measuring tape or scale to determine how or if hearts and souls are moving toward Jesus.

Accurately measuring the condition of hearts and souls is way above my pay grade.

That’s His job.

 

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