The dawn of a new day

light that shines words


It’s that time of day – it’s day, but it’s night.

Awakened in the middle of the night was not what I expected today. The clock showed 4:00 a.m. and I just wanted to tell the clock to turn back time, let me sleep! I was tired, cranky and to tell the truth, not feeling well. My body needed sleep, but my mind wouldn’t rest. After 35 minutes it was time.. so up I rose.

Stepping out my bedroom, darkness closed in on me from all around. Light, light – I needed light! Flipping the light on brought an instant sense of OH my eyes. Ouch, adjust already!  I moved slowly around, half asleep and not even close to half awake, I found myself putting the kettle on – time for tea.

As the world laid quiet and asleep around me, I started my day. Opening windows bringing in fresh air into the home –  breathing in deep. Looking up to the sky you could see it. Dark, with just a hint of light. A new tone was added to the darkness all around.

Dawn.

As I puttered around the house, the more lights I threw on, the greater the darkness went away. I could see. I could see clearly. I pulled a chair up to watch the dawn unfold and all of a sudden, what’s this? I couldn’t see. I needed the lights off  so I could watch the majesty of a new day awakening. It was that time of early morning where if I turned the light on I couldn’t witness and enjoy what was happening in the sky above me. I needed it dark inside, so I could see the details and majesty of the lighting and dawning of a new day, outside.

Isn’t that the truth?

Sometimes we don’t see the light unless we are in the dark. Often we gather glimmers of light shining in, but to bask in the presence of it and witness it unfold into a new day – we need to pull up a chair and let the light of His Presence surround us and light the path to the new day.

Hear the birds? They began to awaken and sing out a new song as the shadows of the sun hit the treetops and harken the dawning of  a new day. Trumpet songs as they sing out, the sun has come, rejoice! Before we even see the fullness of the blue sky, we hear the cascade of voices. Just listen. With melodies that only they can atune to -they welcome and rejoice in the revelation of a new day.

Shouldn’t you?

A new day to make a new start. A new day to feel the sun on your face. A new day. We can focus on yesterday. We can bring up all the failures that have unfolded. But that is not why the birds sing. They sing because of the newness of the day.

As the sun lifts higher in the sky, it’s rays bursting through the trees, I am reminded of His promises to love. Nothing speaks more of the power of God to me, than watching His majesty as a new day awakens.

Sometimes the best view, is in the dark.

Often we are so mired in the our own darkness, our own failures, our own circumstances that we miss the simplicity of the a new day. Schedules overtake us, responsibilities hound us. We focus on the pain, the hurt, the rejection. Whatever your dark thoughts, they can encase you quickly.

I encourage you, take a moment to witness God’s power and might. Pull up your chair in your darkness. Sit down and take a load off. Stop focusing on the ways your stumble in the dark, look up – see the dawn.

It may be the start of a new day, or hearing the oceans roar, perhaps the view from the mountain top or the soft touch of a babies skin. Whatever way He speaks to you, listen.

Find God in the moments of your life.

Let the light overcome your darkness. Let it shine into your soul and nourish – so you can thrive.

 

Listening as you wait

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I sat by the water’s edge – and listened.

Closing my eyes I could hear the water lap upon the shore. Oh.  It’s a beautiful sound! The tide was gently coming in and with each passing wave came a deeper sense of purpose and truth. It’s as if each wave washed new insight and peace to my soul, the longer I was still, the clearer it became.

In the quiet, you hear.

Often we think the more ways we love and serve, the more counsel we have or the greater sense of purpose we reach for in life defines and sharpens our listening ears. Somehow we think we can find peace in moments with others that bring us joy and security.

Simply put – no.

The moment I let others define who I am and define for me what brings me joy, brings me contentment and offer solitude for my soul – well, that’s the very moment I sacrificed it. My soul that is. I am the only one who can chart the course of my life. I am the only one who can determine the direction I head. It’s a choice I have, it’s a choice you have.

Choose – I must.

See, you are in control. You don’t have control, but you are in control. You choose how to spend your time, where to focus your energies and in what way you will live each day. Only you can choose that. I encourage you today, to not wait for the tide to change, but rather become the voice that chooses the path for you. God gave you a voice and a vision, listen to your heart and let it speak.  Choose.

Jesus often made choices that others probably thought absurd.  He spent evenings on the mountain in prayer. In fact, “as often as possible Jesus withdrew to out-of-the-way places for prayer. (Luke 5:16)” In fact, one account said, “the next morning, Jesus sneaks away. He finds a place away from the crowds…. (Luke 4:42)

How often do we sneak away to be with Jesus? How about finding a place away from the crowds – are you intentional in that? When was the last time you got up in the middle of the night to pray?  Climbed a mountain to commune with God?

These are not hard questions.

How we use our time, how we move in our lives and what we choose in those moments to take the next step forward effects us. We have choices, free will, to choose each day how to spend our time.  The thing is – it might not feel like we have choices. Sometimes life throws us curve balls, we have circumstances that obliterate our perception of what is before us, we get confused, stuck, trapped – bound by indecision.

Choose – we must.

There is calm assurance in routine and repetition. We repeat patterns that have been engraved upon our hearts and our minds through the years. We slip them on like comforting notions without a thought to where they might bring us. Blindly sometimes we accessorize our life weighed down with the shame and neglect of the past. Carrying it around like victims and focusing our attention and focus there, rather than on the choice we can make to move beyond it all.

Climb up whatever mountain you need to so you can commune with God. Sneak away to out of the way places to find your own moments of solitude and strength. Whatever ways speak to your soul. Listen.

In the quiet, you hear.

5 Minute Friday ~ Hands

It’s been a while, but it’s good to refresh myself with this community I had joined a some months back. Tonight I decided to return and join in the Five Minute Friday party with Lisa Jo Baker. 

dirty-hands

 

My hands are caked with grime and dirt that won’t let go. It seems the  harder I scrub to get them clean, the more they cling to the deepest crevices.

That’s the thing about our hands – they are dirty.

Marred with the stains of sin, of misspoken words, angry looks, dishonest gains, broken trust. So much ugliness in our lives that our hands reflect the places in which we reach.

Tar from the pit of self pity. Stained from the depth of shame. Twisted and wrenching we move them back and forth. Trying to get them clean.

Like scrubbing them off will release the burden of the weight upon our backs.

No matter how hard we rub, scratch and rake our fingers across our skin. There is nothing we can ever do to make them clean.

Let Jesus renew you.

 

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This post is part of Five Minute Friday’s, a five minute weekly reflection on a word prompt. No edits, no do overs, just write.  “No extreme editing; no worrying about perfect grammar, font, or punctuation. Unscripted. Unedited. Real.

Trusting yourself to God

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Trust.

Life is measured by moments of trust.

The smallest of words can grab your entire heart  – t.r.u.s.t. When times get tough, questions rise up and fears overcome you. When you shout out “WHY?” and are buried in waves of grief threatening to consume you.

Then what?

Either you trust someone or you don’t – it’s just that simple. We open our hearts and lives to others and let them join with us. It could be our spouse, our family, our close friends, our significant other. You know whom you love and whom you long for. Whomever it is in your life that you allow access to deep and intimate places in your heart – it’s them!

Are you confident in times of unrelenting trial that they will stand with you?  Do you know without a doubt that they will be for you? Can you find the comfort you need in the arms of those you love?

Do you truly trust them?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him,
and he will make your paths straight.”

Scripture tells us to trust in the Lord will all your heart. That means there is nothing I should be holding back from Him.  I may not be aware of what that could be in the moments of weakness, but when the Light comes, He reveals it clearly.

For years I have been hung up on this verse of Scripture, getting snagged  about not leaning on my own understanding. Funny thing is, all the time I was trying not to do that – it’s exactly what I ended up doing!

My trust in God comes when I give my whole heart to Him, even the painful stuff. My trust in God comes when I submit my ways to Him. Just let it all go to Him and trust Him to speak as He makes the paths straight. Those paths might be straightened by the Lord – yet if I am standing back in worry about the right road to take, that’s far from trusting Him, isn’t it?

I trust myself much more than I trust God.

I don’t know what this might look like in your life, but I do know what it looks like in mine. If trust has been broken in a relationship I tend to look to my own measurements of how to rebuild that trust and what it might look like. I contemplate decisions but hold off on making them.  Playing the victim much longer than I should, wallowing in my pain than in the victory that comes in trusting God. Rebuilding and restoring relationships takes great courage and effort.

God must be at the center.

We all have people in our lives we love. Some of those we love, we yearn for them to love us in return.  Broken families and relationships scatter the globe and cross into the pathways of our lives in raw and emotional ways. We ache for love and find ourselves doing things we might not have otherwise done in our quest to be filled.

We can pretend we have it all together – but see my hand raised over here. I admit right now – I don’t. Sometimes I don’t even know what trust looks like – but oh how I yearn for it in the broken places. To stop trusting myself and freely dropping all the pretenses and let God just take it.  Submitting my ways to Him and trusting Him to make the paths clear and giving me the light to see my steps.

Just  one.

I like how the Proverbs 3:5-7 is written in The Message:

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
    don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
    he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.

Trust. Don’t try to figure out everything.

Listen. He will keep you on track.

Of all the relationships that might be broken in  your life – God wants to be at the very center of them – in  my heart, and in yours -guiding our ways and our minds to Him.

So, reach out – hang on.

Trust.

 

 New International Version. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1986 

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs: NavPress, 2002.