Roadblocks, Bumps, and Fiery Trials

September 29, 2015

In two weeks I will be moved. I am ready to be done with the driving even though it’s three days a week. I am ready to become a part of the new church family I have found. I am ready to explore the city.

The preparation to move has not been a smooth transition. There has been car trouble with one car quit running. The  car I replaced it with needed brakes, complete muffler system, oil change and cleaning. The insurance premium increased by by a significant amount of money and the inspection of the apartment did not pass and needed some extensive repairs.

The date has been reset and I am waiting for the next move date. Now I get a letter that my income may come under a change in the next few months.

This verse has been going through my mind since the plan to move was set in motion. “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. ” 1 Peter 4:12 NIV

All these little things may not be “trials” but they are certainly inconveniences and stressors and they cause anxiety. The inconveniences are an opportunity to trust them to my Father. Ask for his help, seek his peace and listen for direction and experience his leading.  Or to let worry and anxiety and frustration turn to anger and sleepless nights.

On Sunday, October 4 my Father let me know He loved me and would take care of me. Those words shine light on this darkness and I let his  peace flood my spirit.  Now to keep walking, believing and knowing my Father is loving and taking care of me. I am going to trust my Father.

October 19

I am picking this post up after I have moved.  There were some more “fiery trials” like a moving truck that was too small, more than one trip, not enough boxes, and no coolers for the refrigerator food and still left stuff in Muskegon. The good things were enough people to load and unload, an added truck, jeep and trailer, some unpacking done and organizing done,  someone to drive the moving truck and someone to take the stuff to their house.

The gift of my new apartment is wonderful. All the rooms have been painted, new flooring in the kitchen, new carpet in the other 3 rooms and getting ready for a new bathroom.  I have storage in the basement. Today was a day of setting up my office, rearranging my bedroom and kitchen and living room. I will continue to settle in my new home.

I am also settling in at church with weekly worship and membership classes start next week that I will participate in.

I am still waiting to see how the income will be changed but there is an opportunity for more hours at work. My Father is taking care of me. He will take care of you too. Just trust Him.

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End of a chapter

The time has arrived. I have been packing and sorting for most of the month now and next Saturday a truck will get loaded and head to a new city to start a new chapter. It is exhausting and exhilarating all at the same time. I leave behind many memories, friends, experiences and sadness and I turn the page to new memories, friends, experiences, and emotions.

I am encountering roadblocks to this move however and that is discouraging. Trying to get enough people to help load the truck, someone to drive the truck, others to unload at the new house and on top of that having car trouble in multiple fashion and having a very limited amount of money. Tears have been abundant and that has kept me sane in many ways.  But right now that alone feeling is encompassing and overwhelming. So I send an email. Try a phone number. Or just continue to cry a while.

Really, nothing can be done tonight but just vent and cry. Tomorrow will be phone calls and estimates and all that other stuff. Will I actually be moving on Saturday? Time will tell.

Liminal Space

Liminal comes from the latin meaning, “threshold”.

Right now I feel like I am living in a liminal space, I am on the threshold of the next big thing. Maybe not so big but the next thing at least. I am getting ready to move to Grand Rapids but can’t set a date because the place needs an inspection and occupancy permit and is still being worked on.

At the job we are waiting for another project to begin but waiting on another company to give the ok.

The church I have been attending in Muskegon is now looking for another Senior Pastor because the one that has been there for the last 11 years is now retiring.

I have a difficult time living in “liminal space” I have the need to plan, secure things, order things and believe I have some idea of what will happen next in my life. The idea that I have control of my life is a fallacy but I enjoy thinking I have some control. To help me on this journey I did some YouTube searches to see if anyone out there has talked about this space and how they handled it and I was not disappointed. I listened to the sermon and took away her 4 points.

Embrace the space. Embrace waiting? She is kidding right. But it is a novel concept to embrace this space I am in and just wait.  With a prayer for help from Holy Spirit I am attempting to embrace the space.

Be curious.  This I can do and  I am curious about what is coming next because I am not totally sure what this move will bring about in the next chapter of my life. What will I learn? Who will I meet? What can I get involved in? Being curious is a lot easier than embracing the space.

Find a healthy mantra. What, you gotta be kidding me find a mantra? Well, that is not so over the edge as my initial reaction and my mantra has been, “Be anxious for nothing” or “Thank you, Father for your faithfulness or blessings” or to borrow a book title “Help, Thanks, Wow”. A mantra that is a reminder that this thing will happen just trust God for who he is. A graceful, loving Father.

Use my memory. Remember how far I have come. Remember His faithfulness. Remember His love. Remember that this too will pass and another thing will come along to challenge me, stretch me, and mold me more into the Christ likeness he has promised.

Liminal Space…it is ok.

(Thank you Rev. Barbara Callaghan)

Speak Up Conference ’15

This was my second Speak Up Conference but the first one I have attended with the newer format. The first one I went to was in 2001 so the format has really changed!

I was at Speak Up for direction from God and He answered that prayer for me. I was encouraged and that is so difficult since I have been struggling with depression since 2005. I must admit that was a part of me that didn’t want to get all excited because I’m just going to be disappointed again and the next giant is going to get in my way. Yet His voice says, “Trust Me.”

I cried. I cried during worship, during the devotions, driving into GR and going home. But I let the tears flow…for the most part. Seeing where I was driving was important.

I met some more of my family in this big family God has. I exchanged emails, facebook pages, and websites. We talked about our families, our struggles and how good God is. And we prayed.

And I was blessed to connect with Carol again who is such a wonderful encourager to all.

I don’t know what a year will bring but I have the dates etched on my calendar for next years Speak Up.

Hello world!

I am blogging on a new site that I learned about at a Speak Up Conference this weekend. It was a fantastic weekend of learning, making new friends, and being refreshed by so many teaching and sharing the word of God.

Speak Up Conference is a conference that helps speakers and writers learn skills that help them share the message. It is a Christian conference so the word of God is expounded on and Jesus is lifted up in praise and worship. This is my second conference and I went to sessions in the writing track which will really help me whenever I have to put together a devotion or a teaching.

I did leave  renewed and encouraged to push on in my faith. More than learning skills I needed the pouring in of the living water from the word of God. I become discouraged rather easily. And it can be any little thing that sets me on that downward spiral and I have some big things happening right now. Like a move to Grand Rapids, getting settled in a new job still, and our pastor in Muskegon is retiring in a month. And I am leaving Muskegon anyway. But it is all change and I don’t transition smoothly yet.

How good and pleasant it is when brothers (and sisters) live together in unity! Psalm 133:1 (NIV)  It was so good to be in that unity and there was a blessing poured out. We cried and rejoiced together and loved on one another.

My hope for this blog is to testify to God’s faithfulness, His blessing, and His plans in the low times, good times, bad times and horrible times of my life. I hope to encourage, teach and inform. Read, enjoy, and join me turning the pages of life.