Rush, Ruin, and Spirit Led Seasons

Yesterday afternoon, I popped my ear buds in and went for a walk since the snow escaped us here. While walking, I was listening to Annie F. Down’s podcast “That Sounds Fun” where she was interviewing contemporary christian music artist Tauren Wells. Tauren sings the song “Hills and Valleys.” It was a good thing I had my phone along so I could take notes because Tauren was PREACHING y’all!!!

One of the first quotes I wrote down from Tauren was this: “Faith is obedience in reverse.” Now think about that for a moment. He is so spot on. Faith is often defined as trust. But we cannot trust if we are not obedient to who God is. A year ago, it was really hard to trust God in the midst of living in liminal space. Yet because I was able to be obedient to God, faith followed me and held me in the midst of my fears and doubts.

In the midst of our own fears and doubts, it can be so easy to rush from one thing to the next; trying to grasp for where God might be leading us along this journey. “Rush always leads to ruin.” (Tauren Wells) But when we rush, things get lost and left behind. If I rush through my day without even thinking about what I am doing, I might not get the job done as completely as if I take my time. We must be patient and watch and listen to where God might be leading us along life’s journey.

As we watch and listen, we are led to “Spirit led seasons.” I don’t know about you, friends, but I have definitely sat in the midst of those Spirit led seasons. The Spirit blowing one way while I was searching and waiting it for it to blow another direction. Those Spirit led seasons have taught me much about obedience and what it means to trust in our God who promises to never leave us or forsake us. This God who holds us most especially during those Spirit led seasons! It is here that we come to feel and grasp what it means to have faith in the one who loves us so very much that he sent his one and only son into the world for each and every one of us.

Linking up with Kelly and the Ra Ra linkup and Jennifer and Tell His Story.

 

  

Sunday Blessings 210

(1) Awesome Confirmation night.

(2) A hug from one of my faves telling me how awesome I did at worship

(3) First Communion take two!

(4) Fun LLR mail

(5) Getting to see all my faves!!

(6) Youth for Christ banquet

(7) Driving to Minot with CG

(8) Finally giving KG her Christmas gift.

(9) Texting with my favorite

(10) A Vox from TM

(11) Technology so I can be a part of a friends book launch party at the Festival of Faith and Writers.

(12) Thin Mint brownies

(13) A gorgeous Spring day

(14) Annie F Down’s podcast with Tauren Wells.

(15) A great walk on a beautiful Spring day.

(16) Watching the ACM awards and getting to hear some classic songs from 25 years ago.

(17) A mini PLN

Who is the Other?

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “other.” We would love to have you join us.

Spring on the farm is a holy time as new life springs forth. There were so many times I stood on one side of the fence while baby calves were being born on the other side of the fence. Sometimes I’d stick a baby bottle through the slats to feed a calf or we’d have to crawl over to the other side.

Have you ever wondered what happens on the other side of the houses you walk by or drive by each day? Is it a lonely single woman like me? Or is it an elderly couple? Or is it a family gathered around a hospice bed saying goodbye? Or is it a new infant keeping new parents up at all hours of the night? Or a poor individual working to meet ends meet?

Who is that other? But the reality is we aren’t so different after all. We are all beloved children of God. God gave his son for us; for the others in our midst.

And of course I couldn’t not share this too!

Sunday Blessings 209

(1) A fantastic Easter Monday!!

(2) Tax return money!!

(3) Cinnamon Taffy

(4) Supper with KD and her family.

(5) Winning a Madison skirt as part of a live sale.

(6) Generous people reimbursing me for my train ticket to my friends funeral.

(7) Texting with my faves

(8) The musical Rent

(9) A beautiful nap on my day off

(10) A fun relaxing day off

(11) A PLN!!

(12) Lots of compliments on my sermon

(13) Jelly beans.

(14) Another sweet gift from KD and RD

(15) Many compliments on my sermon today. Thanks for showing up Holy Spirit!

Release Yourself

I am linking up for the Five Minute Friday. The FMF is hosted by Kate Motaung over at our Five Minute Friday website. Today’s word prompt is “release” We would love to have you join us.

Nailed to a tree
A crown of thorns
upon his head.

Voices yelling out
“If you are the Messiah
Release yourself.”

Haunting silence.

Jesus cries out
“Father, forgive them
For they know not
What they are doing.”

Mary, his mother
looking on.

He breathes his last.

Three days later
The women arrive
at the tomb
and find it empty.

Where is Jesus’ body?

He is not here.

Jesus has overcome
Death and the grave.
Jesus is risen!

In the resurrection,
Jesus reminds us of
God’s love
For us.

Let’s Do Better!

Yesterday, as I was scrolling through Facebook, I came across a Facebook post that really really bothered me. The post came from what looked like a television weather source somewhere and read the words “Missing Person: Police are searching for mother nature. She is bi-polar and believed to be off her meds.” The first time I saw this post, my skin began to crawl and I couldn’t shake how awful this post is.

You see, I know all too well the realities of living with mental illness in my family. I am the oldest daughter of a woman who lives daily with a mental illness. Our mom had a nervous breakdown right after my little sister was born. So I haven’t known different. I would say at least once a year, my mom would end up in the hospital due to this illness. I have seen my mom at her highest highs and her lowest lows, yet she is one of the most faith filled woman that I know.

And our story is not the only story of people living with the realities of mental illness. According to the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, 43.8 million adults experience mental illness in a given year. (For more facts, look at these statistics!) In other words, mental illness is a reality for far too many people in this world. And when the world gets flippant about posting things like this post on Facebook, we only make it worse.

Mental illness is not something to poke fun at. People who live with this illness are beautiful beloved children of God. They are constantly trying to figure out how to live with their illnesses–what medications work for them etc. When we make it a joke, I believe we make it even harder for them to live in this world.

Friends, I believe we can and should do better!

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For more information about the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) social statement on Mental Illness, click HERE!

I am linking up with Holley and Coffee for your Heart and Kristin and Porch Stories.

Sunday Blessings 207 and 208

(1) So much love from friends and family.

(2) Free ice cream day at DQ

(3) Running into BP while at the ARC to vote.

(4) Words!!

(5) A parishioner bringing me a new nativity for my collection.

(6) Chatting with a youth as she waited to be picked up.

(7) A phone call from JL

(8) Succeeding at putting a smile on friends faces.

(9) A sweet note from a friend. Thanks CZ!

(10) A yummy yummy Blue Apron meal.

(11) A short lived snow storm

(12) Halo Top Black Cherry ice cream

(13) A great Palm Sunday

(14) A hug from Z

(15) The written word

(16) Finishing A Place to Land. So good KM!!

(17) Hanging with KD and her family

(18) A short PLN

(19) Texting with my faves!

(20) A nice visit with a parishioner

(21) Awesome Maundy Thursday worship.

(22) A little Easter treat left in my office

(23) A hs classmate driving to Williston to hear me preach. Thanks HB!

(24) Awesome youth fundraiser despite the crummy weather.

(25) Papa John’s pizza and pizza delivery workers who have to work on Easter.

(26) A beautiful PLN

(27) Carlos Creek peach wine

(28) Resurrection promises!!