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I’ve had a case of the blahs this week. Ever happen to you? I’m sure it happens to everyone. The blahs were complicated by the short-term rollercoaster ride that can pop up for a few days every month…nice, huh? Even though I was experiencing my emotions a little more deeply than normal, it doesn’t change the fact that the week included having to manage some disappointments, struggle through some difficult work situations and having to make some hard financial decisions. It’s been a tough week that has left me feeling flat and anxious at the same time at the end of each day. That’s the blahs for you.

When seasons like this hit, I know I’ve got to fight harder to keep looking up, looking for the face of my Savior…the One who promises to be my help, be the lifter of my head.

I love His promises.

Before I went to bed on Wednesday, I pulled out my copy of Spurgeon’s “My Utmost for His Highest.” It’s one of my favorite devotionals and while I don’t read it every day, there’s always a nugget of encouragement for me when I do pick it up. The title of the reading was “Are You Disturbed?” I had to smile when I saw that…I knew it was the Lord’s rhetorical question to me…because, of course, my spirit was quite disturbed…the blahs will do that to you.

John 14:27 was the verse — “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you,” Jesus says. Spurgeon says it is a peace which comes from looking into His face and realizing His undisturbedness.

Jesus is the very picture of undisturbed. He is the source of peace. He is peace. And that peace is mine, it’s ours. With these perfect words, He gives the salve every soul needs to find rest and comfort from whatever circumstances surround us. It’s a shelter, a shield, a protective guard for our hearts and minds when life takes on that rollercoaster quality that leaves us flat. Queasy. With a good case of the blahs.

Spurgeon’s counsel is spot on. Look into His face and see His peace. That’s a challenge when life serves up the blahs. To remember to look into His face. It’s in looking into His face that the blahs are brought into submission. That our strength is renewed. That our hearts are encouraged. Circumstances won’t necessarily change but we are changed from feeling low to remembering that in Christ we have a hope and a future.

I turned the light out Wednesday night determined to focus on Him, on Jesus. As I waited for sleep to come, I closed my eyes and meditated on Him, His goodness, His character, His promises. I had the best night’s sleep in a week that night. His peace is good.

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I love the idea of sharing a bit of randomness…Andrea at Under Grace and Over Coffee does this every Friday and invites others to join in so here’s what’s running around my brain today…don’t hate me ‘cuz it’s decaf!

This weekend, I’m looking forward to…

Sleeping ’till 8 a.m. on Saturday (haven’t done that in awhile!) and having nothing on my calendar for the day!

Seeing my grandmother who I love so much!!

Making banana bread so I don’t have to waste bananas that are too ripe to eat. I hate bananas that are too ripe to eat and I hate to waste food!

Watching a classic movie, something I haven’t had time to do in awhile — but what to watch?

Getting to know my new computer that’s getting set up today — hooray!

Making plans for a little vacation time before the summer runs out…the clock is ticking…tick, tick, tick…

Settling on paint colors for my living room and dining room…what to choose — gold and bold or cream and safe?

Getting a handle on things that need to be done for the ministry at church…managing it all in my head is not going to work for much longer!

We’ll see how well I do with this list. Perhaps I should post a weekend scoreboard on Monday to see how much of this actually happened… Have a great weekend — hope you have a chance to enjoy some randomness of your own!

I wrote last week about my friends and the fellowship we share of helping each other out with summer household projects. Last Saturday was the day my fabulous gal-pals-sisters-in-the-Lord-one-heck-of-a-good-time-bunch came to my house to clean out my garage. Can I just tell you that my garage is now my favorite room in the house — truly!  My wonderful friends helped me sort, decision, clean, dust, sweep, box up and organize all of my mementos, cleaning products, tools and shoes (yes, shoes…I keep my shoes in the garage) into something that is nothing short of glorious.  I have loved going down to the garage to look for things and do laundry.  And I really love raising the garage door when I come home in the car — it’s really something to see all that neatness and order looking back at you! Here’s a look at what my garage looks like now:

My clean garage!

My clean garage!

One of things that I’ve always thought was true is that your environment can be a big contributor to the level of peace you experience.  I think this is especially true during times of stress.  When life is stressful, having a living space that’s chaotic, messy, unorganized can add to the stress.  It’s like having chaos inside, with all of your emotions and thoughts stirred up and chaos on the outside with your living space turned upside down.  There’s no peace anywhere.

Jesus is the source of our peace, this we know from His word. It’s so important to remember that important truth when the Lord allows trials, stresses and challenges to come into our lives and create what feels like chaos. We can experience that peace a little more easily, a little more fully by having the condition of our surroundings under control. Not neat-freak-neat (unless you’re a neat freak, in which case your surroundings are probably already in order) but just together enough as to not add to your stress. It will give you one less thing to worry about (you can eliminate the “I have this huge trial AND my house is a mess” conversation) and give you a bit more room to hear and see what the Lord is trying to say.

I won’t be sitting in my garage, listening for the Lord (although, I could!). But I will let the order that now exists there remind me that even when my life feels out of order, the One who holds all things has everything in order. What feels and looks chaotic to me is neither of those things to Him. That’s a comforting thing.

Order in my environment helps me remember the Lord and His peace. What about you? What reminds you of His peace in your life?

Over at Internet Cafe Devotions, the Cafe Chat has opened up the topic of operating out of your spiritul comfort zone. Boy, does that ever describe the season I’m in now! Over the last few months, the Lord has very gently shown me something about my character that I had never noticed before. I have always been a person who had great respect for authority. My mother raised my sister and I to obey adults, especially authority figures. Relatives, our friend’s parents, teachers, were all people to be obeyed. That respect for authority carried over to my adult life and I’m pretty sure it’s a major contributor to the work ethic that makes up a big part of who I am.

It also means I’m very comfortable to having people in authority over me, to having people tell me what needs to be done and then going about doing it. It doesn’t really matter the circumstance, it could be work, it could be ministry at church, whatever. I’m good at following instructions! But what if there’s no one to give instructions? What if there’s no one to tell me what to do? How good am I at doing what I should when there’s not a physical person telling me that something needs to be done? These are the quetions the Lord quietly put to me starting a few months back. I’m so glad He speaks quietly sometimes. Because I really had to think about this. And I was a little surprised by what I noticed about myself, what the Lord pointed out to me.

The truth is, I’m not very good at doing what needs to be done if there’s not a physical being in authority over me. And that’s where operating out of my spiritual comfort zone comes in. The Lord is calling me up and out into new areas of ministry which is very cool and very exciting. But these new areas are going to be directed by Him, not by a person He puts over me. John 4:24 tells me that God is spirit. His spirit guides and directs but you can’t see Him or have the interaction you have with a person. But the Lord is my ultimate authority. And what He’s teaching me through this new ministry adventure is that I have to learn to see and respond to Him as THE authority in my life at all times, even (or especially) when He chooses not to place someone over me. He’s going to grow in me the discipline I’ll need to serve Him in this new place. I love it when I can see Him working on my character, molding and shaping the person He wants me to become. It’s just another way He’s transforming me into the image of Jesus…

So my season of operating out of my comfort zone is now. I’m learning to see the Lord in a new way, to be sensitive to His presence and His leading in my life in ways I haven’t before. And I’m learning to be accountable to Him in ways I didn’t realize I needed to be. I’m left quiet by His desire to work this into me so He can use me more. I’m excited to see how He’ll use this newly surrendered part of me!

“All my changes come from Him who never changes.” I love this statement. It’s the opening line from the August 10 entry of “Faith’s Checkbook,” a powerful devotional by Charles Spurgeon. Last year, I started reading classic Christian writers. I had tried to read them as a young Christian but just couldn’t get into the text, it was just too much. I guess I’ve matured some because it’s been a wonderful and powerful experience to read the words of some of the giants of the faith. “Faith’s Checkbook” has become one of my favorite books! If you can find a copy, you should check it out.

How amazing is the idea that the One who never changes brings about change in our lives? There’s so much about me that needs to be different, that needs to be refined, that needs to be transformed. There are hopes and dreams I have for my life that will require significant changes if they are to come to pass. There are changes the Lord has in the works for me that I cannot imagine. My life is very differnt now than it was this time last year. And it will be very different a year from now than it is today. But the one thing that will never change is the Lord. He stays the same. His love stays powerful and constant. His attention never wavers. He stays true.

Does change frighten you? Do you avoid it? I have a love/hate relationship with change. I love it because it means that life is moving, things are happening, the Lord is active in my life. I hate it because it means that life is moving, things are happening, the Lord is active in my life. Change is scary because it’s unknown. But you know what should be our great comfort? The fact that the Lord is not unknown to us. Jesus makes it possible for us to know Him. And if change is swirling around us, we can be confident in the anchor that is the Lord never moves, He stays steady. What a great promise.

I know the Lord has some changes in store for me, maybe even in the near future. I’m not sure what they are or how they’ll come about. But what I don’t know doesn’t matter as much as what I do know. The One who will orchestrate whatever is to come won’t change. Because of that, I can breathe.

Proverbs 17:17 says that a friend loves at all times. And it’s been said that love is not as much feeling as it is an action. Tonight, I spent time with friends who love to love! A few years ago, we started helping each other with home painting projects. We washed walls, we patched holes, we taped, we rolled beautiful colors onto walls and painted ceilings white. Last summer, we painted five bedrooms in three homes in three weeks — it was a lot of work but so much fun! This summer we’re helping each other with different projects. Tonight, we painted base boards, hung closet doors and mounted a headboard for a bed. In the next few weeks, we’ll clean out two garages and purge closets packed with too many clothes. And through it all, we’ll laugh, eat pizza (our traditional painting party meal) and have more fun than you should be allowed to have while working this hard. It’s a wonderful way to show love toward one another. I love my friends, love the way they give of themselves and are willing to get jump in and help with those messy house projects that no one ever wants to do. Getting them done is so much easier when you have friends willing to love you through them. Its just one of the ways we express that precious Jesus-like affection for one another. How about you and your friends? How do you express love to one another?

I heard that today from someone who knew me before the Lord got hold of me. Long before. Like, who knew me in high school. Through the magic of Facebook, I’ve reconnected with one of my closest friends from high school and today, we had lunch together for the second time since we “found” each other. It’s been fun and interesting to hear about what her life has been like since we lost touch. And I’ve been able to take the plunge and be open about who I was and who I am, something that’s not always easy for me to do.

I shared with my friend that once I came to the Lord, He helped me understand who He created me to be. I told her that for many years after that, I worked hard at avoiding people that knew me before because I felt like I had been such a fraud and I was worried that they would all know that, back in the day, I wasn’t the person they thought I was. “But you weren’t a fraud. I was one of the closest people to you — I would have known!” my friend exclaimed. Inwardly, I sighed. “Oh, if you only knew” I thought to myself. No one, not even the people closest to me, could have known how I struggled with insecurity and anxiety back then. And no one could have imagined the things I did and said to gain the acceptance that always seemed to elude me, no matter how hard I worked to secure it. It was quite a time. It was exhausting. I’ve always suspected that Jesus got tired just watching me spin my wheels and stepped up His pursuit of my heart so He could relax!

John 10:10 is one of my favorite scriptures because it plainly tells me who the enemy of of my life is and confirms and affirms that I have hero who wants to deliver me from the thief who wants to kill and destroy me. The enemy would love for us to continue to keep our pasts hidden away, to be embarrased by what was and to be fearful of being found out. But Jesus came to give those who follow Him life and life to the full. He is the hero of my life, my rescuer, my champion. Because of Him, I don’t have to live in the past, in fear, or in hiding. No one does. I can be found, known and open to anyone. That’s the freedom in Him that Christ promises. I love that!

I couldn’t quite convince my friend that what I was telling her about who I was in high school was true. And that’s okay. The Lord’s still working on me. I’m not the person I was anymore but I’m still in progress. I’m more interested in having her get to know the woman I’m becoming and the One who’s doing all the work.

Do you ever asked the Lord that question? I do. Sometimes more than I should. Okay, sometimes I ask it a lot. It usually comes at the end of the prayer for something that is very close to my heart. You know those prayers that almost hurt to pray because the issue matters so much to you. They usually go something like “Lord, please bless me with a Big Wheel. If you do, I will do everything I can to honor and bring glory to you with it. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.” And then comes the question, “Lord what must I do to earn enough points, collect enough chips, win enough Chuckie Cheese tickets to recieve this blessing from you?”

Several years ago, I was in a season of praying for one of those Big Wheel type of things. I had been praying over it, for it, for some time and the Lord’s voice was quiet on the subject. I heard nothing. Crickets. And the question of what must I do was constantly on my lips. I thought about it, I did things, I efforted. If there was something I could do, I was going to do it. And then, finally, the Lord’s Spirit spoke to my spirit…He said, “There is nothing you can do to make me want to bless you any more than I already do.” And then I was quiet. I pondered and considered what He said. It was freeing and frustrating at the same time. Freeing because He was telling me to stop trying to earn it because I couldn’t. My effort was futile. Frustrating (for my flesh) because it meant my human effort would be left with nothing to do. That’s always a tough place for flesh to be. Because it wants something to do. When it doesnt’ have anything to do, it dies. And that’s what the Lord wants to see happen. He wants to see my flesh die so he can have authority. More on that some other time.

What I love most about what the Lord spoke to me that day is that I can be confident that He wants to bless me. Psalm 84:11 says that He does not withhold any good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him. It’s the answer to the question we ask. “What must I do?” Walk uprightly before Him. And in doing so, we can be assured that everything that is good for me will come from His hand.

That’s one of the many questions I take to the Lord. What about you? What do you ask? What has He answered?

Hi. How are you doing today? Glad you found me! Over the last year, the Lord has really made it clear that He’s in the transformation business. Transformation is hard stuff but so necessary. He knows that. I think that’s why He makes such a point of letting us know that He wants us to be open to His changing work. The transformation the Lord has been working in my life over the last 12 months has been characterized by a lot of things — pain, tears, fear, ugly truths, breaking down, building up, words of life, new thinking, fresh ideas, stepping up, stepping out, moving forward. It’s been quite a ride! All of it at has come at the hand of the One who loves me more than I can wrap my imagination around. It’s all possible because Jesus died so I could live. It’s the life the Lord wants to give me that makes transformation necessary, required. He can’t do what He has in mind, execute the plan He has for my life unless He changes me. Isn’t that something? I love that He loves me in a way that makes Him want and need to make me someonen who can recieve what He has for me. Trasformation is His plan for all of His children. I’m looking forward to sharing my transformation journey with you and hearing about what the Lord is doing in your life. So let’s get to know each other! What has the last year of your walk with God been like?

About Me

I'm Aurora and I'm under transformation! Ever since Jesus Christ took hold of my heart, He's been working on changing me into His image. I'm passionate about growing in my faith and living fully in the freedom Christ paid for me to have. I love hearing about what the Lord is doing in the lives of His people and encouraging them to follow hard after Jesus.

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