No resolutions for 2015

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It’s a new year again. 2015. Each year I set goals, better known as resolutions. I have made changes in my life and had some moderate success but it is hard to make lasting change, to actually become a different and better person. Over the last two years I’ve lost 45 pounds, and gained back 10. Still ahead of the game, but I see the pattern. I’ve resolved to be more devoted to Bible study and prayer, and my word for last year was “connect”. To connect with God, church, and other people. Last year I found a church, but have not yet connected. I haven’t made any new friendships outside of work. I’ve struggled to maintain self-control in my eating and drinking, and self-discipline to work out regularly. I’m holding my own and continue to persevere but it often takes strength I don’t seem to have. So, is it beneficial to create new resolutions for 2015? Now don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is value in goal setting, but there is also the reality that success is hard to come by. This is the annual struggle to create resolutions that can actually be accomplished.

During the last few days of 2014, I certainly had the desire for a new start, for more self-discipline/self-control, and to become a better person, a better version of myself. Along with the desire was that hesitation and doubt that comes from knowing that I have failed so many times before. As I wrestled with the idea of goal setting for the New Year, insight came from an unexpected place. On New Years Eve 2014, I attended my usual yoga class. The instructor began our class with some thoughts. She said resolutions always fail because we are not in control. Life just happens and we must learn to flow with whatever happens as a result. She said we should determine to allow life to happen and learn to breathe through it, learn to bend our spirit to be content and resilient to whatever may happen. The thoughts shared by yoga instructors before classes are often focused on alternate philosophies and they don’t always resonate with me. I use my yoga classes to care for my body and meditate on God and what He has done for me through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So on this particular day, I had God as my focus, and when the instructor said resolutions always fail because we are not in control, I recognized truth.

I am not in control, God is.

On my own I can do nothing, but with Jesus, I can do all things because the strength to overcome and accomplish goals comes from Him. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength [Phil 4:13].

So my resolutions that required self-control and self-discipline were doomed to fail because they relied on self and not God. Still, there is value in having a focus and some goals. For 2015 I am changing focus, from resolution (to resolve) to surrender.   To resolve means to come to a definite, earnest decision to do something. A resolution is a determination made to follow a course of action. The subject of the verb is always personal, and self-focused. In contrast, surrender is defined as to give oneself up, submit or yield as into the power of another. As I’ve already acknowledged, I am not in control, God is. Since I’m not in control anyway, maybe surrender to the one who is might be a good course of action.

I have surrendered myself to God before and acknowledged that He is God and He sent His Son to free me from my sin. I have salvation in Jesus, but not a fully changed life.

Insight has also come from some year-end reading and devotions (Charles Spurgeon). These devotions have shown me that I have not fully come to drink from Jesus and so I remain thirsty, “Come, all you who thirst and drink from me….”. This fact alone stirs in my heart to know that my life is not fully surrendered to God. Some parts of my life are surrendered, but there are parts I have retained control of, and I know honestly that is the reason I fail.

So 2015 will be a different journey. No resolutions but a new focus, a new study on what it means to surrender. To fully surrender to the most Sovereign God and His Son Jesus.   As the journey begins, as I read God’s word and pray, I am going to be focused on looking for insight into what it means to surrender fully to God and to have the strength of Jesus Christ in my corner. I wonder how my life will change this year….

I’ll write and post more about what I learn.

A Red Letter Life – Do I know Him…

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In my previous post I talked about finding a new church after seeking for quite some time.  I also talked about an Easter message that was very unique and powerful, and it kicked off a new series, “Discipled by Jesus”.  Luke 24:15 was the key verse from the Easter service, specifically the reminder that Jesus Himself was present with the disciples on the road to Emmaus.  A critical reminder that Jesus is alive, and Jesus walks with me even today.  The Sunday after Easter, the Pastor began with a comment about how Christian believers so often ask others if they know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior, and then he said, “Do YOU know Jesus Christ as Your personal Lord and Savior?”  As I sat there I thought, “well of course I do!”  And then I had to do some self-reflection.  I absolutely know and claim Jesus as my personal Lord and Savior, but I had to admit that I get stuck in my head knowledge.  I believe that Jesus died for me and I believe that Jesus rose again, but do I really believe that Jesus walks with me today?  I had to admit that I most often picture Jesus sitting at the right hand of God in heaven, and have a harder time seeing Him walking down the road with me today.  I know that His Spirit is present and I believe that but I realize that I haven’t fully owned the reality that Jesus can walk with me today.  And if that is true, then Jesus can disciple me directly!

Jesus is alive and Jesus Himself will walk with me and teach me.  With that basic realization behind me, I embark on the next stage of my faith journey – to live a A Red Letter Life, a life where Jesus speaks directly to me and teaches me directly.  This is going to be an exciting part of my faith journey.  Stay tuned once again…

A Red Letter Life – A new beginning…Again!

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The move took place last June, and so much change began again.  Moving is always hard and it takes so much time to settle in.  Then it begins, establishing a new life in a new location.  Even when the move is still in the same metro area.  24 miles away to be exact, but still a new life, new identity is established in the new location.  A new route to work, a new grocery store, a new yoga studio, and new routines all around.  One of the most significant new choices to make is what church will we attend now?  Where will we worship and connect?

It took two months to unpack and settle in to the new house and neighborhood.  The search for a church had begun.  We had 2 churches within a couple miles and both were Christian churches.  One was large, the other small so we had a good start.  When searching for a new church we always aim to attend 3-4 weeks in a row to really get a sense of the church and the people there.   I believe this is a well-rounded approach, but it can require some time to try enough to find a church that feels like “home”.  So, to summarize; we moved in June and by December of 2013 we still hadn’t found a church home.  Discouraging when you want to have a place to take your family for Christmas Eve service.  I’m not sure if it should be so hard to find a new church home, but my husband and I are in very different places spiritually so finding a good fit for both of us can be a bit challenging.  In March of 2014 we found ourselves still searching for a good church home.  Good news though, we finally found a church right before Easter and we both felt like it was “home”.

Why do I tell you all this?  Well, because it is an important part of the journey, my journey.  I have been a believer, an immersed believer for many, many years and an avid studier of God’s word.  My life has been changed in so many ways due to my faith journey and studies.  I am a new person, a new creation and yet always learning.

Now, back to the point.  This new church is a good fit, and it is filling me up again.  The Easter service was one of the best Easter services I’ve ever attended.  It wasn’t just a typical Easter message, but the beginning of a new series and the message was POWERFUL!  The traditional hope of Easter – Jesus is our hope, Jesus overcame death, but most importantly, Jesus is ALIVE.  And since He is alive, I can be discipled by Jesus HIMSELF.  My head knows this and has known it for some time but my heart sensed a stirring, there is something different here for me, something Jesus wants me to know and learn.

Join me as I explore what it means to live a Red Letter Life, to be discipled by Jesus Himself!

Stay tuned…this should be quite a ride!

Lost again…

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What happened?  It has been so long since I created a new blog post.  Why?  I’m not entirely sure….  Life has been full of change and transition once again, and it appears I got lost…  once again ….  I’m not even sure how it happened.  My thoughts were flowing, my words were clear, and I had messages to share.  Then suddenly, the well dried up.  I haven’t even written in my private journal.  There just haven’t been any words.  I’m not even sure I get lost in my life, but rather that my life gets lost in relation to others in my life.  I am the family glue, the one who always knows what other family members are struggling with or rejoicing in.  The one who says, “Once I get my kids through school, or through this challenging situation, or once I see my husband through this job struggle, then I can jump back into my life.”  The only problem with that is that it is easy to lose your way, your life.  Jesus tells us that in order to follow Him we must lose our lives, but I know that this is not really what He meant.  I believe He intended that we lose our lives to Him, to fully abandon the pull of the world and to pursue Him.

I know that during this time of silence, that I have not lost sight of Jesus, but perhaps I have lost the passionate pursuit of Jesus.  I am the person who has let the cares of this world obstruct my sight.  Not selfish cares mind you, but even caring for the struggles my family faces has created an obstructed view and I have lost my way.  I still trust God, but it seems I have wrapped my arms around the challenges and tried to carry them on my own once again.  Why is it so difficult to truly let go and stay fully surrendered to Jesus?

I seriously don’t believe that I am in control and can fix anything, yet I continue to behave like I am.  I have spend so much time problem solving these last few months that I have forgotten I was never really in control.  Recently, I have had several significant reminders about how little I really can control and I feel the anxiety rising, the fear creeping back in.  I’ve been through this before, but suddenly can’t remember how I pulled myself through it before.

The reality is that I probably did not pull myself through, but rather God pulled me through some how.  I wish I could remember how, and what steps I took, but no matter how hard I try, I can’t seem to find the right formula.  I suppose that is how God continues His work in me.  I suppose it is necessary so that human nature doesn’t make me feel like I have it all figured out.  Being lost again forces me to seek direction, and God promises when I seek, I will find.

I’m thankful that God has shown me that I have to first realize that I am lost, before I can seek and find; before I can seek and be found.  Perhaps in allowing God to find me again, I will find myself and direction in this crazy season of life.

Words cannot describe…

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It’s been a while.  A while since I’ve blogged, and a while since I felt well enough to blog.  I have been down and out with a nasty case of food poisoning.  Almost a full week out of work and feeling under the weather for the entire 4th of July weekend!  Fever and intense headache pain were enough to keep me in bed.  Then finally, I turned the corner, and I can at last say I feel human again.  I’m back!  Back on my feet, and back to my blog.  So what’s on my mind?

Well, the latest thing I was struck with was how wonderful it is when God speaks to me during my quiet time each morning, but how difficult it is for me to articulate fully His message to me and to capture His essence and His goodness with mere words.  God has been so good to me in so many ways.  God knows that the most important thing to me is my family, and that by blessing them He blesses me.  God has blessed my husband, my son, and my daughter in significant ways in just the last few weeks.  God has also blessed me individually by how faithful He has been to show up each morning during my quiet time with Him, and by how He has spoken to me.

So much of what has been spoken to me has been in the way of insight as I’ve studied God’s word, and God’s quiet whisper during my prayer times.  Sometimes, the insight He gives is so wonderful I just want to be able to share it, especially when I get insight to answered prayer.  His spirit speaks to me and I can just grasp the essence of something wonderful that is being spoken and given to me.  So why is it so hard to be able to capture that and put it into words to share with others?  Perhaps, it’s because God is God and it is hard to capture His wisdom and essence.  It could also be that hearing from God is a personal encounter and meant for me in that moment.

I have often wondered while reading God’s word, especially Paul’s letters to the churches, why Paul often states a truth and then continues to circle around it with his words.  Reinforcing, restating, and re-iterating like he is trying to communicate a powerful truth, an important concept that has been revealed to him, but words are just not sufficient.  It makes me wonder if even Paul who had face to face encounters with the Lord Jesus and God’s messengers, found it difficult to articulate the glory and wonder of what he saw and heard from God?

No matter what, I am simply encouraged that God still speaks today and that we can have those quiet, but amazing encounters with God through His word and time with Him.

Moses and me …..

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So in my last post I told you I was the porcupine.  Throughout this weeks devotions and studies, I was reminded that I share a lot in common with Moses too.  Nothing as noble as saving my people, doing miraculous works, or parting the red sea, and certainly not in the way of looking upon God’s glory face to face.  Nope, what we share in common is the doubt and disobedience.  Now I think I listen very carefully to God and really try to stay in His will, but my disobedience comes much like Moses’ did.  When Moses was told to speak to Pharaoh and the people, he actually “argued” with God about his ability because he had a stutter.  I can’t imagine being physically in God’s presence, and hearing God command me so clearly to do something, and arguing, “but God I can’t, you have the wrong person.”   Of course this is really no different than being in His spiritual presence and having Him impress His will upon my spirit, and never taking action because in my mind I am saying the same thing, “God, you have the wrong person; I don’t have those skills so You must be mistaken?”  Self-doubt in the face of God’s will is the same as disobedience.  I try so hard to remember that God wouldn’t ask me to do something if He wasn’t going to provide the strength or skill to see me through it.

In my study this week we looked at Moses disobedience again when God commanded Moses to speak to a rock and bring forth water.  We watch as Moses speaks to the rock and then hits it twice with his rod.  Water springs forth and his people have their thirst quenched, and their animals are taken care of, but Moses loses out and doesn’t get to enter the promised land.  Moses in his doubt, spoke to the rock but then used the rod that had produced so many miracles as “insurance” that the rock would yield water.  He chose to retain some control over the situation instead of simply believing if he obeyed God, that his spoken word would bring forth water.  Moses certainly understood that God created the heavens and the earth simply by speaking them into existence.  Moses was after all, the one God told about it and told him to create a record of it.  I do much the same thing time after time.  God instructs me to do something and because I can’t see how to get it done or how it will work out, I assume I have either not heard Him right or that He didn’t really mean me.  Add to that the times that I know I have clearly heard His instruction and I set off to do His will, but I add in my own version of “insurance”.  I try to fully control my circumstances to assure that I will successfully do what God has asked.  Very rarely does this ever turn out quite the way I think it will.  Obedience always brings blessing, but retaining even a portion of control over the situation and trying to orchestrate what I think God wants has usually brought success but with casualties or damage in the wake.  Sometimes the damage is simply that the blessings God wanted to impart on me are lost or not fully realized, and I don’t experience His peace afterward.

So once again I share this affinity with Moses and make the decision to keep trying.  I know God loves me and cares that I try to be in His will even through all of my flawed efforts.  He still blesses me, but I can’t imagine what blessings He had in store for me if I had been simply and fully obedient.  I know this is human nature, but in this week’s study the question I was prompted to ask was, “Why do I allow my fear of failure or fear of rejection to keep me from being obedient, when God, the Creator has asked me to do something? ”  Just a good reflection question to keep before me this week as I continue to examine my faith and obedience to His will.

I love the way God teaches from His word!

I am the porcupine

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So…why am I the porcupine?  Well, before I can explain this more fully we have to back track to January of this year.  I was listening to K-love in early January and they were talking about a new approach to New Year’s Resolutions.  Instead of resolving to change things in our lives, they were talking about “My One Word”.  Basically, because change can be so hard and we are most often not as successful as we would like to be, the focus should be on asking God to give us each a “word” for this year.  The thought is that each day throughout the year, if I keep my one word before me, then I will see real change according to God’s will for me.  I really didn’t think much of the campaign and did not pay full attention because I don’t typically do New Year’s Resolutions anyway.  Through the month of January the DJ’s kept reminding the audience to seek out what their word for the year was.  I really just listened to this casually and didn’t give it much more thought.  The last day of January, I was listening to the radio and suddenly I heard it.   Almost like an audible voice.  “Connect”, I want you to connect.  I knew at that moment that God had spoken my word to me, even though I had not planned on being a part of this.  Instantly, I knew He was right, it fit, it was biblical and it was just for me. I logged on to the website and posted my word and began to keep it before me each day.  The My One Word site also sends out blog posts related to the area of my word as encouragement.  I received one recently that could have been written from my journal, from my secret thoughts.  It was called, “Pat the Porcupine” and was written by Tony Ripa.

He talks about porcupines and how they either hide or attack and shared his personal journey as a “porcupine”.  I could definitely relate.  Most of my younger years were spent hiding as a painfully shy, socially awkward person.  Years of hurt that comes from being invisible or overlooked, led to a period of time in my early to mid-twenties where I lived in attack mode.  I know my deep empathy for others and do not feel like a “mean person”, but during this period I was definitely pretty prickly; it was truly self-preservation.  After that I had a time of connection, but after strife in our church family I withdrew yet again and have spent the last few years “hiding”.   I believe this is why God spoke the word “connect” to me so clearly in January.  Since that time I have worked to build connection.  I joined the choir at church.  I reconnected with some friends.  I joined the summer Bible study.  Still…I have to work so hard to keep my one word before me.  It is amazing how well porcupine people can hide even within a social circle like a choir, a Bible study, or even at work.  It is still a challenge, but one worth pursuing.  Tony Ripa finishes off his blog post by saying, “to be fully loved an individual must be fully known.”  Holy cow – that is the scariest thing I have ever heard!  I can’t imaging anyone wanting to be fully known, let alone a porcupine who has hidden for years, but I fully believe the truth in it.  What a relief it would be to be able to have people know you and still accept you, flaws and all.  For today, I’m going to continue to keep my word before me and look for opportunities to connect.  I’m also going to be purposeful in being known in the groups of people I come in contact with through my new activities and connections.

I feel like the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek, only not so boldly going where no porcupine has gone before.  Guess that’s why it’s called faith.

Truly Blessed

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I had one of “those” nights.  The kind where I just didn’t sleep well.  No problem falling asleep, just one of those nights where I felt like I slept very lightly all night and tossed and turned throughout most of it.  For me this is a normal challenge at times.  Then I woke up early to some very noisy birds outside the window.  Tired is not a good way to start the day.  Nevertheless, I am truly blessed.  My brief time with God this morning yielded a scripture that I found very relevant and was an unexpected blessing.  Next, I anticipated a tedious day at work.  Nothing different, just a “normal” day.  Uneventful, often tedious and sometimes a little difficult to keep my energy up.  Still a blessing to have a job but I do need to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus so I remain thankful for the provision, and not burdened by the boredom of normal.

In spite of being tired, and feeling rushed during my brief study time, then getting a late start on my shower, I managed to get my day back to normal and get back on schedule, arriving at work just in time.  Yes, you guessed it, I walked in to the normal routine of email, voice mail, and my regular to do list.  Just another normal day.  One where it is sometimes hard to see the blessings in normal, and one where you pray that today something will be different, more meaningful or rewarding somehow.  My morning was busy, from one task to another.  I was already dreading the routine of the day, and how long the afternoon was going to feel because it was just a normal day.   I sat down to my normal lunch at my normal time and wondered how I would stay awake through the rest of the normal day (especially after my restless night).  Then my cell phone rang, or rather vibrated on my desk …

One look at the display and I saw Hannah-Kenya.  As you may know she left at the end of May for a 6-month internship in Africa.  It has been a rough two weeks for her, and subsequently for me.  First, jet lag, then illness, and finally local food and stomach upset.  Add in anti-malarial meds with side effects of anxiety and depression and you have a recipe for misery for Hannah, and lots of worry for mom.  I had spoken with her several times and was alarmed at how deeply she was struggling.  The last time I heard from her, she was starting to sound better physically but still tentative emotionally.  Today when she called, I heard my daughter for the first time in over two weeks.  It was really her, she is finally back, and I realized I was hearing “normal”.  I could hear joy in her voice, and hope for the grand adventure she is on, and even amusement at her commuting escapades today.  As I hung up the phone I was in awe at how blessed I could feel in the presence of “normal”, routine, or just the usual.  I love how God blesses and speaks to us, and ties all of our circumstances together to remind us of His blessings.  Especially through the ordinary of “normal”.

Isn’t God good?

Self-examination or self-focus

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I have always thought self-examination was important.  To know myself, my strengths, my gifts, and of course my weaknesses.  It has always seemed to me that it is critically important to understand ourselves, what makes us tick so to speak.  To understand how our life circumstances and experiences have formed and sometimes scarred us.  I have taken numerous spiritual gifts assessments, to determine how God wired me up so that I could figure out how to use my strengths to serve in His kingdom.  It is logical that the more I can figure out my gifts, the more effective I can be in service.  Right?

I have not only spent time evaluating gifts, but also many years have been spent in understanding myself.  I’ve undertaken many self-improvement strategies to be the best I can be, to live the life and destiny that God created me for.  I’ve learned many valuable insights about myself, understanding how past hurts have left me with some trust and control issues, and how hurtful experiences in my childhood have warped my self-image.  I’ve learned why some people can trigger extreme responses and reactions in me, and why I struggle to love or forgive some people more than others.  All valuable insights, and it has given me incredible power in making changes in myself for the better.

My study time this morning was not really related to self-examination or self-improvement, but rather on keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus, abiding in Him.  And then it hit me… I spend time with God every morning, I read His word searching for His truths and for wisdom, I fix my eyes on Jesus, and then I begin my day.  The issue is simply that I have spent so much time in self-examination, self-reflection, self-understanding that my natural focus, my instinct goes inward first.  Now I think if you ask others around me, they would say that I often look around and outside of myself to help others.  That I am giving, and unselfish.  So I would not consider myself self-centered and I don’t think my friends and family would think that either.  The reality though is that anything to do with self, whether examination, reflection, understanding, and that inward focus is really self-centered.  It may not be the ugly connotation of how society defines being self-centered, but how does God see it?  All I have to do is look back at what I just wrote and see how many times the word self is listed.  The answer is plain to see.

I have invested so much time and learning into understanding myself, but is that really what I’ve needed to learn and know?  It has been helpful as I said, in understanding why I respond in certain ways, and why I enjoy some activities more than others, but is that what God really wants me to know?  Or would He prefer I know Jesus, and Him crucified for me, because He so loved the world and I am included in that?  After that, what wisdom do I need, what is important for me to know?  As Jesus summed it up, the two greatest commandments are to love God, and to love others.  Can it really be that simple?  I’m not saying that the loving part is simple, but God’s commands are really quite simple.  Jesus’ life was complex, but He lived simply and He loved God and loved others.  Day in and day out, no exceptions.

Now I know Jesus is God and without sin, and I fall far short of that, but what if my focus stayed on Jesus, and I truly kept Him in front of me, day by day, hour by hour, and minute by minute.  Would I abide in Him, and would it be easier to love more often and forgive more freely?  I’d certainly think so.

I do believe that everyone should take some time to examine their lives, and that this has been so helpful to me. I just want to remember not to keep my focus there. After all, focus means just that – to hone in on one thing, and Jesus deserves that honor.


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Inspiration…. we all hope to be inspired and to live for something greater than ourselves.  I am like so many others who hunger and seek after inspiration.  I have been inspired many times by many different people and experiences, and have often been surprised by how God reveals inspiration to me.  At times it has come from beautiful scenery around me.  Other times from deep spiritual revelation during time spent with God.  And sometimes, from my 7 year old grandson and his innocent, untainted (and usually hysterical) insights.

So where is my inspiration coming from these days?  Definitely from God, that goes without saying, but also from some of the most challenging circumstances in my life, and from the people who are at the heart of these challenging times.  You guessed it, my inspiration is coming from my kids.  As I’m sure everyone around me knows, my daughter is in Africa for the next 6 months.  The first month in Kenya, then off to Liberia for 5 months.  What an adventure!  An adventure I have thoroughly supported her in and trusted God for.  An adventure that has me missing her and thinking of her constantly.

While everyone most likely knows about my daughter, I’m not sure if anyone knows that my son has also experienced some very difficult times recently too, and continues to deal with these circumstances.  Watching Hannah and Mike as they work through these times is truly inspiring.  One is attempting to follow God and be obedient no matter how frightening that is sometimes.  The other is working hard to move forward and trust that God is on his side.  Both are working to overcome challenge and in the process to get a clear view of God.

As many of you know, my daughter left full of hope and shortly after her arrival the fatigue and anxiety set in.  Illness followed soon after, and the fear and tears began.  It has been so hard to watch her go through this, especially because she was caught so off guard by her own reaction.  In spite of all this, she is still voicing that she knows this is God’s will.  That God called her to Africa, and that she is still clinging to Him even though she cannot always find Him.  She inspires me because of her deep desire to overcome fear, and adversity in an effort to do what God has called her to do.  I’m seeing a woman who desires to obey God no matter the cost.  Probably most inspiring is simply that she got on the plane and went.

My son has faced one difficult circumstance after another and at times struggled to find hope as well.  His journey now is one of determination to overcome and to be the best dad he can be to his son.  In the process he is changing and growing, and overcoming years of false perception about himself, learning to believe that God loves him and is caring for him.  Daring to hope for better times, hoping they are just around the corner.  Taking it day by day, minute by minute and just putting one foot in front of the other.  He inspires me because he hasn’t given up in the face of all this adversity, he just continues doing what he knows needs to be done day by day.  And I am inspired because though times are tougher, he is more at peace.

I’m inspired because I think of all the things God has nudged me to do that I have simply said, “I can’t, I don’t have the skill, I don’t have the expertise or energy, I’m afraid, what if I fail?”  I can think of so many times that I have failed to get out of the boat, or if I’m honest, failed to even get off the shore and get into the boat.  I think still of other times when adversity has struck and instead of fighting through, I chose the path of least resistance.  I can even think of times that I let depression settle in because I didn’t fight to overcome my circumstances or despair, and simply gave up.

Hannah’s journey reminds me that God has whispered plans to me too.  He has placed thoughts in my heart, even dreams, told me how I could be a vessel for Him.  Watching Hannah’s obedience and her desire to follow God is inspiring me to revisit things God has spoken to me.  Observing her journey as she works to cling to faith and overcome fear inspires me to leave the shore and actually get in the boat.

Watching Mike’s journey is showing me how much can be overcome when adversity strikes.  It is also showing me that sometimes we need to rely on others to help us find our way.  Such a good reminder that I can stand strong and overcome if obstacles are thrown my way once I leave the shore.  I just need to look for God, and connect and allow others to help me in the journey.  His example reminds me to persevere and not give up, no matter what the odds, and to be the best I can be in my present circumstances.

Truly inspiring!