This morning I awoke to an old song:
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!
Until Next Time,
This morning I awoke to an old song:
I will rejoice for He has made me glad!
Until Next Time,
So yesterday I posted about how unhappy I was with my color choices as I started a new page in Lisa Joy Samson’s Colors of Hope (on sale today on CBD). I mentioned that as I colored the Lord revealed to me thoughts about being creative and brave and willing to try new things in life.
Following is what I pondered as I continued coloring that particular page:
I’m still not done with this coloring page or its accompanying verse (When you call out to me and come to me and pray to me, I’ll hear you), but I gotta say, I’m loving how this is coming together–even the yellow and blue I didn’t like at first.
Today three things went through my head as I colored and chatted with Jesus. The first was simply joy. I think the happy colors brought that out! I worshiped, with little praise songs freely bouncing around in my head. I wanted to celebrate His creativity, love, power, and beauty. This mixed with the ponderings I posted yesterday led me to think about what it looks like to be a follower who surrenders fully, like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, without forgetting that life has other gardens, too. Beautiful Eden gardens where we enjoy bounty and beauty and walk in intimacy with our creator.
I want to understand how to live as one who walks in surrender when called to hardship or a season of sacrifice–or even to live without getting angry at God when life sends me a curve ball.
AND I want to be a joyful woman who is adventurous and lifts her face to the breeze. Free. Focused on the glory of the life God desires for us. Believing in His goodness.
The second line of thought was about perspective. As I worked around the edges of my coloring page, I saw previous work differently. I was able to see little flaws I hadn’t noticed and fix them. They didn’t bother me. At this stage of the process I was far enough along to simply handle them. No stress. And as more spaces were colored I started getting a sense of the joy of the whole picture and how it fit together, not just the unfinished parts that made no sense at first. I don’t think I have to explain either of the metaphors popping out there!
The third pondering was simple joy in God’s provision for play and refreshment as I color. In this season of my son’s upcoming wedding, my other son’s graduation, and my efforts to meet a May 1st book deadline, I’m incredibly grateful to the Lord for leading me to play through this devotional coloring book. What delight to see the happy colors, to be creative without need for perfection or plan, to just hang out with him.
The last many years He’s often pulled me out of my more serious approach to time with just the two of us. I’m learning to rest in His wisdom in leading our relationship. There are seasons for all kinds of relating with the Lord, and I love the deeper study times as well as the intensive prayer and journaling times, but He knows I can be too serious, too responsible, so He pulls me out for long walks or gives me a coloring book and asks me just to be in His presence.
To chat or not.
Isn’t our God good?!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this three blog series about the joys of coloring and the things Lisa and I learned while interacting with Colors of Hope. Next week I’ll be talking about navigating empty nest as I interview Vicki Caruana, who wrote, “The Joy of Letting Go.” This book releases April 1, no foolin’! Receiving an advanced copy of her book in the mail the week my oldest son married his beautiful bride was quite timely. (I hope to also blog about the wedding soon. It was a glorious day full of joy and peace! There is joy in letting go. 😉 )
PS If you’re interested in hearing more about my journey out of the “quiet time” box of my past and into more freedom to be playful with the LORD, you can read about it at the end of my book, Soul Scents: Bloom, available now on Amazon.
A crazy image for God to bring to mind.
Since He popped into my head, let’s go with it. Life is like a sailing ship. We have somewhere to go. We have a plan and a mission. It requires fuel and forward momentum.
The problem is sometimes crud attaches, and like a ship with barnacles we waste energy, get slowed down.
“It’s a problem as old as sailing itself. Ever since man set out sea, barnacles have been clinging like, well, barnacles to ships, growing into bumpy masses that slows down vessels and wastes fuel,” says Sarah Zhang. “Turns out these tiny creatures can make a ship burn up to 40 percent more fuel. Their collective mass is small compared to the overall ship, but their little bodies have an outsized effect creating drag around the ship’s otherwise smooth hull.”
Sounds like the crud in my life. Is this familiar to anyone else?
I’ve worked hard to change some thought and behavior patterns that are really no longer a part of me. Thanks to a good God I’ve had some inside-out healing. I’ve fought through to the truth, and it has set me free.
In freedom it is full steam ahead.
And I’ll be sailing along just fine, then I seem to slow down. It takes more emotional/physical/mental/spiritual energy to move forward.
Usually when I think to ask why, I discover stuff has attached itself to me that drags me down. A few that seem to cling too quickly to me are: worry, fear, perfectionism, self-doubt, frustration. I blogged about some of that last week.
And sometimes there’s just a general darkness making me feel sad or discouraged or inadequate.
Do you have anything that seems to easily attach to the ship of your life?
A friend and I prayed together about this stuff last week. She urged me to hold onto my joy. To take time out to say thank you. To praise my God.
As I typed I just got a picture of a barnacle slipping because I turned my thoughts toward good things and speak out positive, holy, joyful, stuff instead of letting my mind dwell on the bad.
The picture of the barnacle letting go sent me back to Goggle. According to The Economist The best way to deal with barnacles is to prevent them from attaching in the first place. The recommend a couple of chemicals, confusing the barnacles, and making the surface so smooth they find it difficult to attach.
I think praise and thanksgiving are like those chemicals that repel the barnacles of my life.
The method of confusing barnacles includes checker-boarding molecules that attract water with molecules that repel water. My analogy is this–what if I seek to confusing negativity by admitting its existence rather than living in denial of the stuff that hurts me. But instead of giving into it, what if I thank God anyway, saying, “I trust you, Jesus,” in good times and bad.
A lifestyle of joy is like that paint that makes a smooth service where it is hard for the barnacles to attach. What’s interesting about this analogy is that it works better for ships that are swift and active than for boats that spent a lot of time at harbor. That tells me that I need to keep moving forward, following my destiny in joy.
Here’s what I think. You and I are moving forward because God has called us forward, and He never loses. But there’s crud in this world that wants to slow us down, steal our energy, and make us work harder than necessary to cover the same space. So we need to be proactive, focusing on the good, praising and thanking the God of the Universe, admitting difficulties rather than living in denial, but choosing to believe in GOOD anyway. As we do this we seek to learn a lifestyle of living in forward momentum and joy, not grinding to a standstill when crud hits, but choosing to keep moving focused on positives.
I’m liking this.
I’m sure I don’t have it all figured out, and what I do have figured out I haven’t lived fully. This post is processing, me and God together, in an attempt to sail full steam ahead instead of giving into the barnacles of life that what to attach to the ship of my destiny and slow me down.
How do you reduce the drag of barnacles in your life? Wanna join me in full-steam ahead living?
Moving forward until next time,
PS I know not everyone who reads this blog sees God the same way I do. I hope you’ll still hang around and here at A Benew Journey and glean whatever makes sense to you. We can learn from each other even if we don’t always see things exactly the same way!
Here’s what I posted to Facebook when I returned home after three miles of walking, singing, praying, and just ENJOYING being out there:
Wonderful, glorious day. First I shed my gloves, then my scarf, and finally my coat. Couldn’t help but start singin’, too. Praising God for the snow-topped mountains, the abundant blue sky, the warm sunshine, and the smiles of those I passed.
THEN hubby decided he was strong enough to walk a short ways, despite his back issue. So I got another 20 minutes in the sunshine, this time with my lover, and burned 131 calories.
So . . . I’m making one of my favorite dinners tonight even though the calorie count is a little higher. I can afford it because I walked roughly four miles total. The meal is still pretty healthy—chicken breasts in a wonderful garlic sauce . . . and I’ll have my salad instead of a whole bunch of pasta. Off to make dinner ya’ll . . . until next time! ~ January 16, 2013
Real Time Update:
It’s been a crazy week at the Moldenhauer’s. After 20 years of neglect, we totally decluttered our shared office and moved it upstairs into a gorgeous, freshly painted room. we’ve done a lot of shedding of weight in so many areas of our life! I’m down a steady 40 pounds now. Our home lost many more pounds in old files, old books, and stuff that is no longer needed. But as freeing as the increased space and decreased clutter is the emotional freedom that comes from letting go. Gone are files from old jobs, old dreams, our old life. I found a card in the midst of the decluttering:
The past, dissolving in the mist of time
Our future, ready for birth,
This moment, bright with promise,
Is yours and mine.