Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wider and Higher

A few days ago, I posted about writing my mission and vision statements. Upon closer examination I discovered that my mission statement doesn't quite fit anymore. I must have grown when I wasn't looking -- or else became more aware of myself. Either way, it doesn't fit.

So I went back to the beginning -- "Who am I, Lord, and why am I here?" He reminded me of a few key facts, such as the name He calls me and some verses He gave me years ago. After fiddling around with it, praying, pondering and reading bits of my mission statement help book "The Path" by Laurie Beth Jones, I came up with something.

But I've continued tinkering around with it and now I can't see the forest for the trees. So I think I need to stand back from it all and get some perspective. But as frustrated as I feel that I haven't conquered it yet (which means I can't check it off my to do list) I'm also thankful that it's unfinished.

This is important to me. A mission statement needs to fit well and be able to go the distance. My week has been busy and I've been living on the surface. So when I have time to go deep into the heart of God, then I will come away with more of a sense of my mission.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Times of transition and upheaval provide the greatest opportunity for vision and change. When I first came to Florida with my whole life falling apart, my aunt signed me up to attend a workshop on finding your purpose and passion. I went with no clear idea of what I was going to do or even what I was getting myself into. I came away with a mission statement and a dream of what I want to do with my life.

But survival dictated that I set everything aside and focus on finding a place to live, getting a job, putting the kids in school, etc. So I set that on the back burner, pulling it out from time to time in conversations with people or when I would get frustrated with my current work.

The dream continues to build and expand, taking clearer shape and focus. I've become more aware of the need to write this out in a vision statement. That can be daunting because there is something very powerful about writing down what you really want and describing what it looks like. It can make you even more dissatisfied with what is. It can also be hard to live in the in-between place of not yet.

Yet the act of writing a mission and vision statement can become like a prayer and opens up the heart to believe that God will give what I truly long for. Looking at Jesus and the way He interacted with people, time after time, He asked them, "What do you want?" I believe He still asks and waits for us to be specific and fully aware of our heart's desire, trusting in His goodness and love to make it our reality.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


We went to watch the Endeavor launch last night with some friends from church. My kids and I had never seen a space shuttle launch. We were a several miles away up the beach. But we had a great view.

The whole night sky lit up like a sunrise. And then it was off and what an amazing sight! We watched it go all the way across the sky, passing in front of the full moon. Then the booster rockets fell off and we heard the sonic boom.

It was AWESOME!!! I've never seen anything like it. The thing that really hit me was that there were people on top of all that fire. We watched until it became just a tiny speck of light, like one of the stars.

How very small we are, yet how infinitely precious!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Tongue in Cheek

To my loyal reader (and anyone else who happens to stumble upon this page) I just have one disclaimer to make:

If you find yourself listening to Jennifer Saunders' famous "I Need a Hero" song from Shrek 2, then let me just make this disclaimer -- No, I'm not totally devoid of musical taste.

But on my last post, I kept thinking of that song and decided to add it to my playlist just for the fun of it. Somehow it seemed to fit the mood I was in. And I'll keep it on until I get tired of it. (Oops! I guess that does say something about my lack of musical taste!)

My kids are getting annoyed with me for continuing to play it. Oh well, they've always known their mother is a little strange -- harmless, but strange.

Happy listening!!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


"In my distress, I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help.

I looked for the one my heart loves; I looked for Him but did not find Him. I will get up now and go about the city, through its streets and squares. I will search for the one my heart loves.

Look! Here He comes, leaping across the mountains, bounding over the hills.

Clouds and thick darkness surround him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of His throne. Fire goes out before Him and consumes His foes on every side. His lightening lights up the world. The earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the LORD of all the earth.

He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet. He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind. He made darkness His covering, His canopy around Him -- the dark rain clouds of the sky.

The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded. The voice of the LORD is powerful, the voice of the LORD is majestic. The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars, the voice of the LORD shakes the desert.

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.

My lover spoke and said to me, "Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with me."

"Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace, you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth, and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.

For your Maker is your husband -- the LORD Almighty is His name. The Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; He is called the God of all the earth.

The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit -- a wife who married young, only to be rejected," says your God.

"My dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the hiding places on the mountainside. Show me your face, let me hear your voice: for your voice is sweet and your face is lovely."

I held Him and would not let Him go. This is my lover and this is my friend."

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


A friend recently gave me the book by Ruth Myers called, "31 Days of Praise." It was especially meaningful to me to read in the preface, Ruth's story of how she lost her husband to cancer and was left a young widow with 2 small children to raise. If there is anyone who is familiar with shattered dreams, heartache and loneliness, it's Ruth. So when she talks about praising God in the midst of darkness and suffering, I find myself paying attention because she's been there and she knows.

There is something incredibly powerful about praising the Lord when your whole world has fallen apart. I discovered that for myself several months ago. One morning I got up early because my heart was in turmoil and pain and I couldn't sleep. I just could not believe that anything good could come from my husband filing for divorce and abandoning me and the children. But as I sat wrestling with God, the Holy Spirit asked me to praise Him.

What? Praise Him for this?? How on earth could I do that? But He gently insisted. So as a simple act of my will, with all my emotions protesting loudly, I opened my mouth and through tears I began to praise Him. I thanked Him that my husband had rejected me. I thanked Him for the divorce papers that he had filed. I thanked Him for all those things that felt like little spears thrust into my heart. I thanked Him that He is God.

The strangest thing happened. It was like a quiet, peaceful warmth came over me. My heart was at rest and didn't hurt anymore. It was surreal. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I knew something was different. All that pain, fear, anger was just gone. So I sat for a while just enjoying the quiet in my soul and the love I felt from the Father.

After some reflection, I began to understand more of what had happened. When I choose with my will to praise God even for the things that are destroying my life and causing so much pain, it's like my spirit by faith reaches through the dark and grabs hold of the hand of Jesus. I lay hold of the truth that "all things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose." I am trusting that His heart is good towards me, even when He lets me suffer. I receive hope that even this horrible thing in our lives, in the hands of Jesus, is turning out for our highest good.

Although since that day, I have had many times of anger, pain, fear, doubt, loneliness -- you name it, I have not forgotten that simple truth. I might spend a few days wrestling with God, but eventually, He gets me back to that place of surrender and praise.

And interestingly enough, I'm still married. My husband moved to another state and will have to refile when he becomes a resident. Although nothing has changed in his heart about our marriage and my circumstances as a virtual single mom are still the same, yet the Lord continues day by day to give me reason to praise Him.

Surely our griefs, He Himself bore and our sorrows He carried. Isaiah 53:4

Because You are my help
I sing in the shadow of Your wings.
My soul clings to You;
Your right hand holds me up. Psalm 63: 7,8