I could learn a lot from a chicken

It’s not uncommon to hear a cackle here, a cackle there, a cackling throughout the day as our free range flock visits the coop to lay an egg. I love to hear them gently announcing the prize for their hard work. Often times, Elvis, our kind-hearted and only free-ranging rooster, will lead a few hens in a chorus of support for the happy egg layer. The egg song is heard often and unobtrusively. Until tonight.

In one of our smaller coops is a very special flock. It’s a coop full of 9 silkies. They are fluffy, they are docile, and they are the teddy bears and lap dogs of chickendom.  They cuddle by day and huddle by night, confined to the safety of their coop and run. These young pullets and cockerels are the highlight of my flock and my friends and family love to gander at these lovely little puff balls. These puffy fluffy little sweethearts often don’t lay until at least a year, according to my research. So they’ve got a ways to go, or so I thought.

Suddenly, in an instant, an absolute ruckus rang across the chicken yard from the cozy coop just out the back door to the free range flock’s house on the other side of the goat pen. I flew to the window to see every chicken in sight had joined in this very egcited egg song. The breeding coops were singing their hearts out, the bantams and the cochins, the speckled sussex and the Easter Eggers, all singing along while the free rangers were crooning at the top of the their beaks. Every chicken near and far rejoicing because 1 small silkie laid an egg.

I could learn a lot from a chicken. Romans 12:15 (NLT) says be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Yeah, on Facebook, it’s easy to show happy and easy to shop weeping, but what about those real days where your friend is giddy over her promotion – the one you didn’t get? Or when my child excitedly built their 457th lego castle that day? Or the friend that is still sighing over the breakup or the loss?

We could learn a lot from a chicken. 

We need to learn to celebrate, even when we don’t feel like it. We need to learn to show empathy, even when our heart isn’t on straight. So we swallow and choke down that pride of ours, and we set aside our broken dreams or our elated hopes and we sing that egg song or we sing that song of mourning. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. It isn’t always easy, but it is always the loving thing to do.

Cackle along, my friends. Cackle along.

Dirt.

Dirt.

I find it splattered on the knees of little pairs of blue jeans and caked on the bottoms of little shoes, ground into the carpet and scattered across the foyer floor.

Dirt.

It’s not that exciting, really. It’s just dirt, it gets washed out, wiped up, swept away, and scrubbed clean. You might not even notice it, unless you don’t have good dirt. Around, the soil is a hard clay clumpy kind of dirt. The water jsut pools and kinds of runs off; it doesn’t soak in deep until it floods. And in the gardens, we have to fix our dirt. So we pile on the compost and we pile on the manure and we pile on the straw and then we set the chickens loose to dig and dig and turn that clumpy clay dirt into rich, healthy soil. And this doesn’t happen overnight, but it’s a process of years of working that dirt until it becomes a life-giving source of nutrients and moisture.

And Jesus said our hearts are just like the dirt when He told His story about the sower planting seeds. The seeds that fell on top of the well-worn path were snatched away by the birds; those seeds never had a chance to grow. And the seeds that fell on the gravel shot up fast, but the lack of roots and the lack of dirt couldn’t sustain the growth. And those tender shoots couldn’t withstand the wind or the storm. And the seeds that fell among the thorny weeds grew up strong but were quickly choked away. But the seeds that were sown into rich, healthy soil grew big and strong and produced much fruit. And if the seeds are like God’s Word, and our hearts are like that dirt, which one are you? Is your seed being stolen away by the distractions of this world or by the devil himself? Is your seed sown into gravel, where you don’t have a strong foundation to withstand the wind and the rain? Or is your seed being choked out by the thorny worries and cares and pleasures of this world?

I hope your seed is sown in good dirt. I hope you’ve worked your soil, and screened out all the rocks, pulled up all the thorny weeds, and fertilized with compost and worm castings and lots of manure. And I hope your seed grows up big and strong and that you can produce fruit, the kind that can only come from being rooted deeply in the Word of God and watered by the love of the Savior.

Dirt. It’s just dirt, but it changes everything. I’m going to work on my dirt.

 

I wish

I wish we lived in a world where children didn’t have to go to school with empty rumbling tummies, expected to learn and keep up without having enough calories to energize their little bodies and their growing brains. I wish we lived in a world where senior citizens didn’t have to wait around for a government agency to send them dinner, and then fret whether or not there would be enough boxed up meals to go around. I wish we lived in a world where drug addicts could get real help, where they had the support and love and treatment to overcome the situations leading them down the broken path to addiction. I wish we lived in a world where food stamps weren’t needed, and refugees had homes and veterans weren’t out on the streets because they don’t have access to funds or houses or simply basic needs. And I wish we lived in a world where children weren’t lost in the shuffle of broken homes and broken families and broken lives with no choices other than growing up to be broken adults. And I wish single pregnant moms didn’t have to depend on controversial agencies because they already had somebody helping them, loving them, caring for them, championing them. And I wish we didn’t have to fight for equal rights because everyone was already valued, loved, and important enough to already have them. I wish we lived in a world where someone, somewhere, would heal the hurts, feed the sick, help the poor, rescue the lost. And I wish we didn’t have to fight with each other over politics to make these things happen because these needs would have already been met. I wish the government didn’t have to be anything more than just the backup plan when it comes to caring for the underprivileged, underemployed, and underfed. And I really wish we didn’t have to hate each other to help each other make it through this mixed up world.

I wish.

I suppose we all wish for those things, or we wouldn’t be fighting over rights and budgets and health care and meal plans. I suppose we all know the importance of those things or our texts and posts would not burn with passion and fervor and vitriol while we try to find some palatable solution. I suppose we need to find a way to live with ourselves, our choices, and our fervor, and especially, our own agendas and those of both parties of the government attempting to serve us. And I suppose we need to figure out how to live with each other when we fight so hard over all of these important things.

But isn’t it ironic that God has already given us a plan to take care of all these things and none of it involves fighting, and none of it involves hatred for those on the opposite end of the political spectrum and none of it, none of it involves leaving anyone cold, hungry, tired, sick, lost, or alone. Because God has already made a plan to take care of these people and these things and God’s plan is the church.

From almost the beginning of time, God commanded His people to show hospitality to the poor, to care for the sick, to heal the hurts and to feed the hungry. God told His people that there would not be any poor among them because they were to use the blessings He gave to each of them to make sure everyone had everything they needed to live. And when the people faltered, and when the people’s greed and the people’s selfishness overtook the call to care, God wouldn’t hear their worship until they had made a course correction. Because God’s plan for the poor is His people. And when Jesus came and walked on this earth He told His people to sell what they had so that they could cover all of these important needs. And Jesus said that when you give to the least of these even a cup of cold water, you are giving it to Him because caring for the least of these is a special kind of worship that is sweet to the ears of God.

You see, Church, God’s plan to care for the poor wasn’t the government institutions, although government institutions and government agencies make a really great plan B. You see church, God’s plan to care for the poor and the hungry and the weak and the cold is His church. It is you and it is me. We are God’s Plan A for all of these because being a Christian nation doesn’t start with a Christian government. It starts with a people willing to step up for the sake of Christ, a people willing to give from their own budgets to pay the medical bills of the sick. A people willing to share the very food on their very own table when someone else is hungry. A people willing to invite the homeless under the shingles of their very own roof, to support the single mom, to make meals and drive them to the sick and the shut-in. If we have been blessed by God. if we have been loved by God. If we have been saved by God then it is our job, dear church to do all of these things. Oh, sure, we can let the government offer programs and give support and that’s ok but that is simply second best whether you are a democrat, a republican, an independent, or none of these. Because we have been given a holy calling to care for the least of these and why on this side of heaven would we want anyone else, even our good but imperfect government, to take that holy calling away from us? Why would we want to give over our freedom when we can give so freely? Why do we expect our government to act as if we are a Christian nation when we do not even act as if we are the Christians we profess to be?

Dear Church, we can wish and we can fight but if we want to worship in a way that is sweet to the ears of Jesus we will feed, and we will shelter, and we will share what we have and we will show love until there are no more thirsty or hungry or sick or poor or homeless or lonely people left for our good but imperfect government to help on our behalf. And then, dear Church, we will truly be a Christian nation whose God is the Lord and whose worship is very, very sweet.

Homestead Happenings

Grab your coffee and find out what’s happening on the homestead.

With daylight stretching longer and longer, and the sun beginning to warm the soil, I cannot wait for spring planting. My fingers itch to get in the dirt and I am already craving fresh summer squash and tomatoes still warm on the vines. I keep reminding myself it’s not really safe to plant for another 6 weeks! But it is time to be working on spring preparations, starting seeds, and getting organized.

Captain Jack II, Blue Andalusian

As our homestead grows, we are working on implementing some permaculture models. The

idea with permaculture is that you work with nature, not against her. Rather than spending hours tilling up so for our new pumpkin patch and in the garden, we put our chickens to work. Operation chicken tractor is in full swing! Ok, we don’t have real chicken tractors, just small coops that we got for a great deal at our local Tractor Supply. We plunked one small farmhouse coop in our garden, which we’ve mulched with old straw bedding from the goat shed. And it’s new residents are the offering of my original 6 Tractor Supply silkie mixes. These white fluffies are having a blast digging up bits of kale and carrot that overwintered and digging for grubs. When it’s time to plant, they will have turned the soil, fertilized, and debugged the garden. It’s a win-win!

Betty the Barred Rock

Up on the hill, we placed our other farmhouse coop with the first 5 chickens I hatched from my Brinsea Octagon Eco Incubator. They hatched from a mix of eggs from Meyer Hatchery: a blue andalusian cockerel, a Rhode Island Red, Buff Orpington, Buff Brahma, and and a slightly peckish barred rock hen. They’re still on the young side, but they should have our pumpkin patch free of weeds and bugs in a month or two. Hubby carries out food and water every morning! Of course, we still have our main coop with a mix of hens – silver laced Wyandottes, EE’s, RIRs, astralorps, and a beautiful splash Ameraucauna rooster. Egg production is picking up, and I’m hoping for a broody mama hen or two! We have one more coop of chickens – they’re extra special. I have a tiny coop in my home office with 9 various silkies – beautiful month old babies that I hatched from eggs from Wright Fancy Feet Farm. I love watching them feather out and they are getting so fluffy and beautiful!
We’ve had a problem with hawks, which is a sad reality of free ranging. A good rooster is a great help to the flock, of course, but we also have some surprising new guard dogs. A couple of crows have taken up residence in our trees. I thought they were just a creepy nuisance until I heard them, angrily chasing off a hawk circling our chicken yard. Somebody give those crows a great big hug!

We’re also looking at new greenhouse plastic for our hoophouse, an additional hoop house, an looking for perennials to add to our garden. I can’t wait to plant sunchokes, heirloom beans, and all kinds of squash. We’re hoping to add a Nigerian Dwarf doe to our herd and look into breeding our sweet Maisy as soon as she is old enough. Maisy and Jasper are enjoying the sun and love frisking and frolicking! We are searching for a good goat fence to give them room to forage and to pasture our chickens, and I can’t wait to sell our extra produce this summer. We love our fresh, chemical free veggies!

Since I couldn’t wait any longer to get my fingers in the dirt, I had to bring

Elvis, the silkie roo

some dirt into my kitchen. I planted some 21 day radishes, a pot full of lettuce, started some sweet potatoes for slips, and sprouted a handful of soup beans. It amazes me every time that a tiny seed can become a plant that provides food for my family. Only God’s creative nature could have come up with that plan! Every time a seed sprouts, I see God’s hand at work. If God can bring about delicious fruit from a meager seed, how much more can He do in our lives when we just open up to Him. I can’t wait to see what He and our garden will be up to this spring!

What are you doing new (or old) in your garden this year?

Back to Basics

“10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

IMG_1364I want the full life. I want all of the abundance that Christ can give. But there is an innate restlessness in me. An appetite that is never filled, a thirst that is never relieved. I can drown it out, for a bit, with blogs and facebooks and my cause of the week, pouring myself into something new and fresh and exciting. But the familiar ache always returns.

It is that ever increasing desire for something greater, something better. I’m always seeker the more, the better, the newer. Never content, never satisfied. At times, it is a good quality, as it propels me forward, always looking to make myself better and to improve the world around me. At times, it is a waste, when I try to fill that hole with something other, something less.

Just a few nights ago, I had a dream. Dare I claim to say it was a vision? Quite possibly. Or perhaps it was just a dream.

In my dream, I heard my Dad’s voice, reminding me of a conversation we once had. He told me, as Christ’s return became near, that Satan would replicate all of God’s miracles, in order to bring confusion, temptation, and to lure us from Truth. My mind conjured up all kinds of crazy things, but what I saw in my dream was totally normal. Or so we think.

I saw people, hoardes of people, staring at their phones. Lost in Facebook, and Hulu, and Netflix. Choosing to live in the virtual world, rather than the beautiful one that God created.

I saw people, eating plate after plate of processed food, chock full of preservatives and things that we can’t pronounce, instead of choosing to eat the fresh, live food that God provided us.

Oh, technology isn’t bad. Preserving food isn’t bad. Both of those things save lives, help others, and offer enjoyment. But what I saw in that dream made me wonder, in my quest for the best – is that what God intended for us? Why would we choose the virtual, the fake, when God wants us to choose His abundance? Why do we want to watch someone else’s life unfold on a screen when we can create life and love in the real world? Jesus said that He came so that we can life to the full – I don’t think He was just talking heaven. I think He meant earth, too. I don’t want to limp along through life, placating myself with fake food and fake relationships. I don’t want to treat myself with medications for diseases that happened because I ate too much food that wasn’t the best for me. I want that life to the full, not the virtual second best.

I’m already contemplating how I can live more fully. As spring draws near, I’m planning on expanding my gardens. Why? So that I can feed the ones I love with real, fresh food. Food that God grew. We are working to implement permaculture strategies, using nature’s abilities to farm our little homestead and live more simply. No, I’m not going off grid. At least not today nor in the immediate future. But I am making small daily choices to live more simply and to be present in the moment. Daily choices to grow closer to God. To cut the clutter. And live a real, abundant life.

I don’t want to just sit by and watch those farmers growing things on YouTube. I want to feel the dirt under my toes, the warmth of the sun on my face. I want to smell the rich, dewey grasses and taste the sun-ripened tomatoes and the earthy green mint. I don’t want to just watch someone else live the life I love, and I want to get out there and build it. One seed at a time, one baby chick at a time, one bleating goat, and one budding leaf in every moment. Moments brought to us by a God that loves us and wants to see us living in His abundance.

Will you join me in living life to the full?

Are You Ready for Christmas?

Are you ready for Christmas?

The closer the big day looms, the more frequently those very words are uttered. Are you ready for Christmas? 73063_10200132888625462_345328533_n

It’s quite the loaded question, really. We love to be busy about Christmas. We love the frenetic shopping, the baking, the parties, the clothes. Making magic and meals and mastering the art of all things festive.  Are you ready for Christmas?

I am not ready for Christmas. Not one little bit.  The shopping has not even been started. Admittedly, I don’t even have a list, rather a distant, vague understanding of my family’s wishes. The Christmas tree is still waiting – down the road, with all of the other Christmas trees at the Lyon’s Club fundraiser in the local grocer’s parking lot. Maybe tomorrow we’ll get the tree, I assure my hopeful wee ones. Christmas decorations? Yeah, there are a few out and about but most are still stuffed in their boxes, barely put away from last year’s extravaganza. The Christmas lights were all deported to the local landfill, useless, shorted out, burned out, and dead from the flooded basement after last winter’s blizzard. The cookies are not baked and the meals are not planned and I haven’t the faintest idea where the leftover wrapping paper has gone. In this season of preparation, I am not too well prepared. And that’s ok.

In the Lutheran tradition, Christmas Carols are not sung until Christmas. Instead, only Advent Hymns echo through the church, melodiously proclaiming the coming birth of the baby Jesus, and the return of Christ, the King. It is a season of preparation. Preparing our hearts to receive our Savior, preparing our lives for the return of the King.  Are you too busy celebrating Christmas to celebrate Him? Or is your heart getting ready to worship, ready for God to do something new in your life, ready to accept the challenge of living for Him in the new year ahead? Let me ask you, are you ready? If Christ came today, are you ready?

If His return were today, or tomorrow or the next, what would He find? A bustling family battling for bargains and begging for gifts or contentedness, service, and hope? It’s prep time, for sure, but are your prepping your presents or prepping your heart? I have a lot of prep work to do. My heart is too busy, my days are too full, and the noise in my life is just plain loud and threatens to drown out the beautful strains of Christmas joy and the Savior’s love. If I am not intentional with prepping my heart to thank and praise and worship Jesus this time of preparation will slip right by. And once the cookies have left behind nothing but crumbs and the presents are unwrapped and ribbons are scattered and the pine needles are dropping from their Christmas boughs, will my heart be satisfied? Or will I be longing for more of Christmas that can only be filled by the gift of God’s Son?

Let me ask you, just once more, are you ready for Christmas?

 

 

Just Watch

imageI know that God is always working, never sleeping, never lazy. He is not loligagging about on Sunday morning with coffee, and paper, and slightly crooked reading glasses while He waits for the Mrs. to make His over-easy eggs. I know that God is ever loving; He is not standing back and pointing fingers, consternation in His eyes, glaring at my paltry attempts of goodness or rightness or simply being honest. I know that God has purpose, and plan, and wisdom for those who seek. He is not willy-nilly sending lightning bolts or sickness or creating obstacles for us to overcome and yet those things come. Somehow, they still come.

I know that God is good and He is mystery and love and light and strength and depth and joy and I cannot comprehend how I can know these things and yet feel the awful dread begin to rise, like a knotted up stomach dawning like the sun, growing hotter, bigger, faster.  It’s as if my head and heart just aren’t on speaking terms when one knows that God is good and one is faced with fear, and weakness, and yes, yes, a faltering, failing, knee-weakening anxiety. And what must have I done to deserve this fear and yes, yes, this faltering, failing, knee-weakening anxiety?

My thoughts toss around like a toy boat in a whirl pool, and I question imageeverything I’ve thought so far. And I wish that God would speak to me, and comfort me, and tell me I am on the right path, the right track, not lagging in the passing lane or stalling in the turn with broken blinker, without brakes. I ask God to show me what He’s up to, what He’s planted, what will grow, and where I’ll go. If I only knew what He was thinking. And speaks to me, He does, with gentle, prodding words that are a healing soothing balm that seals the cracks in my weary little soul. He says in words that only my heart can hear,

“Just watch.”

And peace settles in like the dust, and my heart is calmed like the moonbeam shadows on a cool clear night. God’s voice, softer than a whisper, louder than the ocean, restores my faith, bandages my broken places, sparking deep-rooted joy that only comes riding on the waves of His mercies.

imageHis voice, His words. his Words  created the world, His words  stilled the storm, his words written in His Book, His words spoken in my heart. There is unspoken power in His words. Unending Grace. Indefatigable hope.

“Just watch”

 

When you don’t feel spiritual

Lest we feel like less of a God-follower. Lest we feel unspiritual. Lest we feel like we aren’t spiritual enough, good enough, holy enough to have visions and dreams and holy moments that are unmistakably from God. Lest we compare our walk with God to the walk of the ancients, the mystics, the monks. Lest we feel less, God loves our efforts made in faith, our moments crafted in hope, our days tagged by belief.

Yet, I love reading about the early Christians and their mystical exIMG_6765periences with God. I find their stories to be amazing and beautiful expressions of the unfathomable mysteries of our God. Some of them seem far-fetched, yet the authors of the stories – Julian of Norwich, Bernard of Clairveaux, Francis of Assisi – believed in their personal experiences of God.  Visions, dreams, and other special experiences of God are beautiful gifts, sparkling gems in the dark of night! These are gifts to be cherished, yes. Special blessings, yes. Daily occurrences? Not necessarily.

I IMG_6501love my quiet times with Jesus. I need them. I crave them. I miss them when I don’t have one. They are like a healing balm for the chapped places of my soul, a convicting presence in the wayward moments of my thoughts, and an unceasing hope for my weakness and weariness. But not every quiet moment with Jesus is a shining gem of mystery, not every verse is a defining moment for my soul. Some prayers are rife with my own distracting thoughts, some interrupted by the presence of others, some verses lost to the busy of my day. Every day touched by the supernatural God, miraculously blessed, but not every day is rife with visions or dotted with mystical experiences of our Maker.

We don’t have to have the ‘feeling’ of God’s presence to know and trust that He is near.

We don’t have to have the ‘feeling’ of God’s ear to know that He hears the cry of our hearts and the cry of our voices.

IMG_7380We don’t have to see visions or dream dreams to know that God is speaking through His Word and speaking through His world and speaking through His people.

Perhaps we forget that God is in the mundane as much as He is in the mysterious.

Perhaps we forget that God speaks into the daily rhythms of life even as He speaks in the miraculous.

Perhaps we forget that God is always with us and often, it is we who are not present with Him.

Perhaps the spiritual life is not an endless defining moment of overpowering IMG_7443Presence, but a daily cultivating of the knowledge and awareness of His presence. Perhaps the spiritual life is a pressing on, a pressing forward, a growing up into the heart of Christ, the knowledge of Christ, the wisdom of Christ, in spite of the challenges that threaten to hold us back. An intentional effort of belief against all odds, a faith that never gives in despite the world’s pressing in. Perhaps the greatest rewards will come when we believe what God has spoken no matter what we feel. No matter what we’re doing. No matter when.

God is near.

God hears.

God loves.

Do you believe it?

20 excuses we tell God

IMG_7380God called Moses to a very special task. A grand adventure, the moment of a lifetime, an incredible opportunity, to leadership, to the desert, to the Promised Land. God called Moses to lead His people out of Egypt, where they were being mistreated, to the Promised Land, where they could grow and thrive. I can only wonder what it would have been like, to stand there, in front of that burning bush, feeling the heat of the flame and the heat of his own shame as Moses gave God reasons excuses as to why he couldn’t do the task that was set before him. Moses, who came to be known as God’s friend, who broke the tablet containing the 10 commandments, whose face shone with the glory of God, who did incredible miracles, that Moses was called by God and then argued with God when he said:

I can’t do it because I am a nobody.

I can’t do it, because I don’t know what to say.

I can’t do it, because I don’t think they’ll believe me.

I can’t do it, because I’m not a good speaker.

Do you know what happened next? God got mad! Because Moses asked God to send someone else to complete the work that was set out for him. How many times have we argue, not me, God, send someone else? Clearly, God was not surprised by all these reasons excuses and met each one with a plan of action (You can read it for yourself in Exodus chapters 3 and 4). God even had Aaron, his brother, already on the road to meet him in the desert and be the spokesperson for Moses. Seems to me that Moses, one of my favorite Bible heroes, ran out of reasons excuses for why he couldn’t do the work God told him to do. So off he went, on the grandest adventure of his life, side by side with his brother, and doing miraculous works all along the way.

And then there’s me. And then there’s you. And there is a grand adventure waiting for us, too. So think about it for a IMG_1528moment, just what exactly is it that you are called to do? I bet you already know exactly what that is.

Did God give you a dream? A passion? Or a purpose? What are you doing with that dream? Are you going all in and following what God has asked of you or are you just letting it all simmer on the inside, leaving you feeling empty, unfulfilled, annoyed, bored, and wasted?  You want to make a difference, you want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, you want to change the world, or just do something anything to make this dull heartache stop, but you can’t seem to move it along. You are stuck. Stuck in the pain, stuck in the misery, stuck feeling like you’ll never do anything worthwhile or anything will ever change and you just don’t like yourself or your life because you are not where you think should be. It doesn’t feel good to be so stuck in our spaces and stuck in our selves and stuck on our selves and you can feel the heat of your own shame hotter than that burning bush, can’t you? It doesn’t feel good when we aren’t pursuing the path that God has set us on.

Life has a way of never going like we think it should.

Life has a way of making us end up where we never thought we would.

But life can be fulfilling or you can leave your calling unfilled.  I can let those giant reasons excuses that get in my way stop me, stall me, hit the pause button on my life and stand by while life unfolds however it goes and limp along life with a vague dissatisfaction or I can hurdle those obstacles, slay those misery-inducing giants, and power ahead, fueled by purpose and God’s power no matter what circumstances come my way. Which will it be? I’m sure that I, and I’m sure that you, have used those very same reasons excuses Moses used. Who am I to do this? I’m a nobody. Who am I to tell people about You, God? I don’t know what to say. Who am I to tell anyone anything? They’re not going to believe me. Who am I? I’m not good at this, God, send someone else…..

Here, 20 more reasons excuses that stall us and stop us from being everything we should or could or would or even want and hope to be. 20 more reasons excuses that stop us from taking off on that grand adventure that God has called us to. Which one of these giants will you slay today? Which one are you letting define you or defeat you? What plan of action will God give you for each one, until there are no more to get in your way?

  1. IMG_1523I don’t feel like it. We sabotage our efforts when we let feelings control our actions. Most of the time we won’t ‘feel like’ doing the hard stuff, the dirty stuff, the boring stuff… but if we put it off until we feel like it, it won’t get done. So just do it.
  2. I’ll do it later. Procrastination puts it off until later – but if it needs done, it needs done so get it out of the way. The longer you wait, the harder it is, the worse it gets, and the less likely you are to get it done. Just do it.
  3. I’m too tired. Tired, or bored, or just lazy? Take a nap and get to work.
  4. I’m too busy. Maybe it’s time to say no to lesser (but still good) things and focus on the better things. There are so many many things I love to do, but I just don’t have time for all of it. We get to and we have to choose or the things will choose us, keep us busy, and keep us from the best things.
  5. I have to check my email. Sure, but please, only once or twice a day. Any more than that is just obsessing.
  6. I have to see what’s happening on Facebook. Really? You do? Facebook is known to cause depression and polarization. Just close it and move on. Yup, close it. And Twitter, and Snapchat, and Instagram, and….
  7. I forgot. You really actually forgot, or you didn’t plan to remember?
  8. I didn’t know. 
  9. It’s not my problem. Make it your problem and take care of it so it doesn’t trip you up. Or find someone who will take care of that problem.
  10. I don’t care. Apathy is the hardest to cure… what is the thing you are most passionate about?
  11. I can’t afford it. You really can’t afford? Or you need to restructure your budget so you can afford the things that are most important?
  12. I’m too afraid. Don’t let fear be the defining factor in your life. Do it anyway…. because God tells us over and over and over, Do not be afraid.
  13. It’s not my choice. Sometimes, we have to work withing circumstances we didn’t create. It stinks, but are you going to let someone else’s choice define your life?
  14. It’s not my style. So? Trends change and quickly. Besides, anything out of style today will be back in 20 years… 
  15. I don’t like who is in charge. It’s hard when you don’t respect or like the person in authority…. but God puts people in positions of authority, so it’s our job to just roll with it.
  16. I’m better than that. Maybe, but everyone has to start somewhere. And we are always called to serve others before ourselves, even if it isn’t pretty or glamours.
  17. It’s not a priority right now. Does it need to be?
  18. I need to pray. Yes, you do. We always need to pray, all the time. But using prayer as an excuse not to act on what we know we need to do? How is that helpful?
  19. I’m waiting on God. Yes, you do need to wait on God and so do I. But waiting can never replace obedience to what God has called us to do.
  20. I have kids. Don’t use your kids as your excuse, but as a reason to make this world better. Of course we need good boundaries and balance, so our children don’t suffer as a result of our passion, but if God has set you on a path, and you have kids, He’ll give you a way to make it work.

IMG_2507Don’t let reasons excuses keep you from the Promised Land. Don’t let reasons excuses keep you from the path that God has set before you. God is not surprised, He’s already got a plan to help you soar over these hurdles. Maybe He’ll send you an Aaron, or a staff that turns into a snake, or who knows? Give all those reasons excuses to God and pack your bags for the grandest adventure of your life.

 

Monday

100_8863When it’s Monday, and the alarm clock is yelling to get you out of your bed and the coffee maker is clogged up yet again and you can’t remember if the kids did their homework or if the field trip is today or last week.

God is faithful.

When it’s Monday and all you want to do is sleep, glorious sleep, because it’s your only refuge from the hardness of the weekend but you have to get up because there are tiny hungry tummies and carpools to drive and noses to wipe and work to get done and gardens to plant and music to rehearse and lessons to plan.

God is faithful.

When it’s Monday, and you never did get caught up on those bills that need paid and the laundry that’s mounded up in the laundry room and the hallway and the sun’s not even risen but you’re up and you’re taming tantrums and kissing away booboos and you just don’t want to think.

God is faithful.

When it’s Monday and you’re still tired from the weekend and you’re exhausted and it hurts to move and the morning feels raw and you have regrets for the things you did and regrets for the things you didn’t do and you think you really just messed up.

God is faithful.

IMG_2922When it’s Monday and the lawnmower is broken and the laptop is barely working and the toilet won’t flush and there are bugs where there aren’t supposed to be bugs and you’re pretty much in the worst mood ever.

God is faithful.

When it’s Monday and your week is already falling apart and your life is already falling apart and nothing was supposed to happen this way.

God is faithful.

And when it’s Monday and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and you love your work and your children are happy and everything is right in the world.

God is faithful.

When the kids are singing “King of kings and Lord  of lords” at the top of their lungs all the way to school just because.

God is faithful.

And when the kids are fighting because they were singing “Kind of kings and Lord of lords” at the top of their lungs all the way school and it got to be too loud for their own little ears.

God is faithful.

When your son holds up the entire car line of children trying to get in to school because he just wants you to meet his little friend and they come to the car and run off into school holding hands.

God is faithful.

And when news from work and news from school and news from your friends is nothing but bad news.

God is faithful.

And when you just want life to go back to the way it was and you know that it just can’t ever go back.

God is faithful.

IMG_0906 - CopyAnd when it’s good and it’s bad and it’s both all at the same time and you cannot take it all in so you just don’t even try.

God is faithful.

And when it’s Monday or it’s Tuesday or it’s Friday or it’s Saturday God is faithful.

And when things are going right and things are going wrong and things are completely out of our control all we can do is trust in the one who has always been who always will be faithful.

And when you need to remember that He has pulled you through before and He will overcome again take a big breath and let it out and turn it over to Him.

God is faithful.