Sunday, January 31, 2016

The one with the revelation

I had a revelation this weekend that is so elementary I almost feel silly sharing it with you.

I've actually had a couple of those recently. I'll start with the one I REALLY shouldn't share- and then move to the one that I'll share simply in case it might encourage you. 

I was dropping off a few items at the dry cleaner a couple months ago, when I looked around and realized I didn't see any washing machines, etc. The sweater I was leaving behind for them to take care of was one that REALLY could not go in the washing machine. As I walked away, I had the realization... (yes, I'm truly about to admit this on my public blog).... that's why it's a DRY cleaner. Water is not used. Hmmm. 31 years old and just making that connection. Now. There is a solvent used at the cleaners, but I'd recommend for your own sanity you not google that mess. Trust me.  

But seriously. I walked around for probably the next 24 hours baffled at how I could just be having that revelation. I may or may not have muttered to myself several times as well..."a DRY cleaner..."

Now that you realize how slow I am for some revelations, this next one might not sound AS bad. 

2016 has not been the easiest year. And we're only one month in. 

It's not really the month that's been bad- but several things leading up to the month of January have made for an especially hard month. 

There is a lot of uncertainty right now for me. In more than one area of my life. And I honestly have NO clue what my life will look like in March. (one. month. away.) 

There have been many moments in my life where I've been in a similar position that I'm in right now. BIG decisions needing to be made- but having no clue as to what I'll be doing or where I'll be. Reflecting back on those moments from years past, I'm more confident and more aware that never once has He left me on my own. He's never let me walk that road alone. 

So this time around, I've had a confidence and calmness. 

Yesterday, at leadership retreat for National Community Church, Pastor Mark was talking about our theme for this year: So far, So God. 

He referenced a story from Genesis 33 where Jacob is traveling after a crazy family/relationship/life drama situation and on his way, he stops and sets up an altar and calls it "El Elohe Israel" which means 'Mighty is the God of Israel.' Pastor Mark made note that the name Israel isn't referring to a location or to a country. It's him. God had changed Jacob's name to Israel a couple chapters back. (really. it's a great story. you should check it out.)

But in that moment, all I heard was "Mighty is the God of Minda."

Friends, readers, strangers.... when I heard that, all I could do was weep.

The revelation is this: Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus. 

When we trust, it really is sweet. 

When we fear, there is no sweetness. 

There have been times that I've trusted through tears and through nail biting. It was more fear and little trust. 

This time around, the tables have turned and it's more trust and little fear. I can truly look back on the last decade of my life and say "So far, So God." His fingerprints have been all over my life. 

I cried a lot yesterday. Not out of fear. But out of the understanding that it truly is sweet to trust in Jesus. 

Mighty is the God of Minda. 




Thursday, January 7, 2016

The one with a good surprise

I'm a sucker for a good surprise. Always have been, most likely always will be. I love when an author can write a story line in such a way that keeps me guessing until the last minute. I've been known to yell out loud while reading when such a surprise happens. I'll keep reading the book even if I guess the plot/villain from chapter 1, but it's more exciting to read when I don't know the outcome. Granted, I always like a good ending. But still.

The surprise I remember most clearly was on my 26th birthday. Two friends were taking me to dinner. I had a hunch a few other friends would "surprisingly" be at the restaurant. And they were. Then in walked my parents. Wasn't expecting that. We went to Laura's house after dinner for dessert and I had a hunch a couple more people would be around. And when I walked in- I was STUNNED. The room was full of people. I thought that was it. They did it. They surprised me.

But then.

Out came the biggest surprise. You know the one. The present you've not told anyone you want. The present you've been dreaming about.  The one- that if you actually got- would be a miracle because you hadn't even hinted around about wanting it.

My friends pitched in and got me a red KitchenAid mixer. For some- that doesn't seem like a big deal. But if you know me at all- you know it's a big deal.

I can't imagine being more surprised than I was in that moment.

I've talked some on this blog about how I have not been very good at "asking." For various things. Asking for help, asking for gifts, making a Christmas list, etc. I've known for quite some time that asking doesn't mean I will receive what I ask for. And when you ask for something and receive it- an element of the surprise that I love so much is gone. I contradict myself. I'm aware. :)

So in my unanswered, or seemingly unheard prayers, I wonder if God–who knows my desires more than anyone– is thinking to Himself "she loves a good surprise. That's the Minda I want to speak to today."

So. Today I'm deciding whether or not I should ask or if I should anticipate a surprise.

The one about Jaryn

The year was 2011. I needed a job and m y friend Grace was aware of this. I received a call from Grace and she said, “How do you fe...