This Little Light

I’ve worked for the same company, pretty much since I was 18 years old.  In February of 2013 I began my 11th position within the organization and this one involved cross-country relocation.  I was psyched to be working in this new capacity and begin a new adventure.  So, how did my transition go with my new job?  What’s that saying about the best-laid plans?  Oh yes, they go astray! “Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.”  Philippians 4:6  (New Living Translation)

I spent the first several weeks shadowing the person I was replacing – it was a chaotic experience to say the least.  Within 4 weeks of the position being turned over to me officially my boss left to begin his own new adventure within the company, six weeks after that his boss left, oh yea, and my mentor was MIA.  Panic set in.  I didn’t know what I was doing!  I had no one to show me the ropes or back me up in case I made a mistake, which was sure to happen.  Did I make the right choice in coming here?  Was I fabricating the voice of God when I heard this job was for me?  I’d be lying if I said that this new chapter hasn’t been rocky, but I’ve taken comfort in a scripture my Mother had me memorize as a child while vacationing in South Padre Island.

“Throw all your worry on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (International Standard Version)

My sister lives by the YOLO mantra (You Only Live Once).  I honestly had to Google it the first time I heard it.  Casting my cares upon him gives me peace and comfort and makes that mantra work for me too.  The best part is that people are able to see His light shine through me when I’m not constantly clouded by stress & self-doubt.

What’s causing your light to flicker?  Are you under so much pressure at work that you bring it home?  Is your personal life falling to pieces causing you to be unfocused at work?  No matter what the situation God can guide you through it.  Just ask.

Stoplight Prayer:  Father in Heaven, thank you for all you have given me; my family, my job, my friends.  Thank you for taking my pain and my worries and giving me peace so that I might live to show others how to serve you.

Just Around the Riverbend

In the Disney movie, Pocahontas, there's a song entitled, "Just Around the Riverbend". In it, Pocahontas struggles with herself  in deciding which path to take:  the un-chartered and adventurous way vs the smooth and steady stream. She sings, "To be safe, we lose our chance of ever knowing what's around the riverbend.""You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me! I sing for joy because of what you have done. O Lord, what great works you do!"                                                                                                                Psalm 92:4

When you look up the word "thrill", you'll find many definitions. The most common being, "a sense of excitement,", or "a sudden intense feeling". It can also mean, "an almost pleasurable sensation of fright,".

A few months ago, I began to sense the Lord was calling me to a greater adventure. What or where, I did not know, but I knew wherever it was, I would follow. After all, I am in the most capable hands.

Like Abraham, the Lord asked me to leave my family and native land, and go to a place he would show me. That place is now Washington, DC. For a Texas girl, born and bred, a metropolitan city like "The District" can be daunting, but it's the "pleasurable sensation of fight" the Lord is giving me that assures me, his plans plans are to prosper me, and not to harm me.

In Deuteronomy 8:7, the Lord promises to bring us into a good land where fountains and streams gush into the valleys. Take the adventure that lies before you, and when you hear your Savior say "Jump! Let's go!", don't think twice. You may not know "what's around the riverbend", but He does...And it's SPECTACULAR!

Lord God, I praise you. I give you all the honor and glory for this new adventure. Stay with me as I navigate through un-chartered waters, and renew my faith daily, so that I may always know, wherever I am, you are with me. Help keep me from stumbling on traps the enemy is certain to lay. You ARE the lamp to my feet!

"He does great things too marvelous to understand. He performs countless miracles,"  Job 9:10. "When you have eaten your fill, be sure to praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. But that is the time to be careful! Beware that in your plenty you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands, regulations, and decrees that I am giving you today," Deuteronomy 8:16-17.

Fashioned for This Moment

For many of us life has become quite busy, making it less and less likely to live in and enjoy the present.  We rush to get to work and back home, take the kids to school or soccer, coach the team, plan meetings, attend meetings, pick up the kids, shop, cook and clean (take a breath).  We get to bed, only to start the same routine over again in the morning. The created woman is fashioned for the moment. However, with so many ‘must-do’s’ on the list, it requires some effort to take the time to S-T-O-P and smell the roses that have been strategically positioned along life’s journey.

Here are a few reminders to help you slow your pace, take a break and engage in the now moment you are fashioned for:

1.     Enjoy the beauty of your journey.  Life is a gift.  One that is to be cherished, respected and shared.  Each adventure is littered with ups and downs, good times and difficult times, moments of feasting and periods of scarcity.  The interesting fact about this is everyone is affected. There is, however, a power found in working through the difficult times, understanding they are temporary and can be used as fuel for the future.  Another noteworthy truth is we can learn from every single experience.

2.     Walk slowly through the crowd.  This nugget can easily get lost in the daily grind.  In the midst of busy-ness, we sometimes forget to look up and take in the expression of beauty found in the moment.  God placed the people around us – family and friends – along with nature and our environment in our presence, for our pleasure.

3.     Let go of the past.  If you are not careful, yesterday's experiences could have a negative impact on today's perceptions.  It is important to understand that the past does not have to dictate your presence, the present or your future.  Take advantage of the many resources that are available to help navigate through the challenges you may have experienced, so you can fully engage in the present.

While it is important to look back and thank God for bringing us through the past and it is necessary to know that our future is in His hand.  There is nothing like the present.  I challenge you to own it, engage in it and share it with those around you.

As a Created Woman, fashioned for this moment, how do you engage in the present?

Summer Fun Family Style

Friday will mark the last day of my kid’s 2010-11 school year. While my car is sure to have the stereo blasting “schools out for summer” at pickup on Friday. A little planning ahead can help sustain this anthem and keep any of us from singing or thinking, “we ‘re on a highway to hell” by summers end. Now don’t get me wrong I am not one to make an itinerary for the summer. However I do like to have a few tricks up my sleeve if for no other reason than to keep my kids on their toes. It may be as simple as Sonic fountain drink happy hour just to mix up the day or as complex as a surprise GEOCACHING adventure. Here are just a few thoughts that keep our family’s summer fun.

Be cool: neighborhood sprinkler parks or pools or the beauty of Barton Springs water is one way to please all the whole family. Another cool place for our gang is the movie theater. This summer will offer a variety of blockbusters. There are also great alternatives as well, like Alamo Draft House’s family friendly movie day.

Get outa here: Riding bikes, renting a canoe at the lake, hiking or our new adventure of geocaching all make for a great adventure. Any adventure pleases the heart of my son. Additionally we enjoy movies in the park as well as Round Rock Express games followed by fireworks on Friday nights.

Life is art: Zilker Hillside Theater host performances of dance, theater, and music. Austin has an abundance of local museums, and Zed’s or Shady Grove offer summer concert series not to mention the Austin Symphony concerts at Auditorium shores.

Use it our loose it: We‘ve worked hard during the school year for our children to achieve there goals so the library and half price books are frequent summer stops for our family. We’ve also worked hard for our marriage. So dates are a must. Taking a salsa class or just stealing an hour for coffee we make it happen. After all our time with each other is how we got our family in the first place.

Keeping these in mind I’m sure my family will be singing “unforgettable” as summer ends.