Storm Surge

New. Everything. New and different.

The polished wood desk is icy beneath my fingertips, shreds of self-assurance slip, my confidence suddenly a shipwreck.

Breathe.

Just sit here for a while. Take in this new place, this strange, foreign place.

I prayed, planned, vaulted every hurdle, passed every test, beat out the competition.

I’m here.

Doubts race in on the tsunami my mind has become. Have I done the right thing?

Leaving a secure job, one with everything . . .

. . . everything including the proverbial glass ceiling.

I went as far as I could go.

And I had a dream.

I risked it all, stepped out in faith.

The steely edge of panic presses its blade against my neck, set on supplanting my trust.

No! 

And my eyes fall on a single manual. A small reassuring link from my past to my future.

I haven’t come here alone.

Are you in the midst of a storm?

Do you stand on a heaving deck, reeling, desperate, barely hanging onto the rail?

Do you fear your life is about to go under? Terrified of the rocks of failure, illness, grief, or a thousand other things?

You are not alone.

Ever.

Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the Lord, and His wonders in the deep.

For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea.

They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble.

They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end.

Then they cry out to the Lord in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses.

He calms the storm, so that its waves are still.

Then they are glad because they are quiet; so He guides them to their desired haven.

Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! (Psalm 107:23-31 NKJV)

God hears your cry.

He saves you from your distress.

He calms your storms.

He stills the waves.

And in the ensuing quiet

He guides you into safe havens.

The Captain of your ship will never leave you or forsake you.

There’s joy at the end of that rainbow!

I am not afraid of storms for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~Louisa May Alcott

Please share your story.

Love,

Sally

 

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Running Toward Christmas

This year, I’m running toward Christmas . . .

Running like crazy, with joy, as a child would run toward a father or a beloved big brother. Running headlong, arms open, as fast as my little legs will carry me . . .

Into joy

With my eyes focused on the Christ Child.I run to remember Bethlehem one star-strewn night.

To remember a hillside of quiet sheep, resting after a shining day full of grazing.

I run to remember . . .

I settle back in against the hard wood pew, breathing in the light pine scent from fresh wreaths of pine boughs that grace the church as Christmas nears.

I close my eyes for a few seconds, thankful for a good year, anticipating the final two holidays before a brand new year.

Reverend Hatch rises and walks to the pulpit.

Like a silent snow, holy quiet falls over the sanctuary

My back straightens as the Holy Spirit nudges me into deep listening. I pull in a breath.

I’m about to hear something wonderful.

Hatchie, as we lovingly call him, looks out over us and smiles and begins

“When God walked down the stairway of heaven with a tiny Baby in His arms, He came bearing the greatest gift the world has ever been given.”

The words race like a gentle fire into my mind, body, soul, and spirit—into the realm of wonder. Brushstrokes of color flow across my imagination.

From impossible white clouds in a star-pierced violet blue night sky, a figure of brilliant light descends a wide staircase.

Within God’s arms, a small, moving, living Being nestles in a blanket of light.

Above them hovers a transparent Presence, crystal waves of movement aglow with a palpable sense of power and love.

The Holy enters Creation.

Everything in me wants to kneel before the Holy Triumvirate.

I cannot move, captured in breathless awe.

The Gift.

Delivered as I was and you were.

The Holy into humanity. Born to fill the void we came into the world with.

Born to fill the emptiness that nothing—no one but Jesus—can fill.

God is love, but He is just.

Born to save and free us from sin, He, the Lamb of God, came to sacrifice His humanity in our place . . .

and to prepare a place for us in Eternity.

God’s offered Gift.

Is our choice.

Jesus told us “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3 NKJV).

An angel spoke to shepherds and to us “. . . and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord'” (Luke 2:9b-11 NKJV).

To the woman at the well “Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life’” (John 4:13-14 NKJV).

Will you run in thankfulness toward Christmas? Will you look up in joy and wonder and remember . . . ?

If you have a special Christmas memory I’d love for you to share it in the comments!

And just in case I don’t post again before Christmas, I’ll leave you with this~

A very Merry Christmas full of joy and blessings to you and those you love!

Love,

Sally

Elegant Staircases     #Christmasjoy    #MerryChristmas

Reflections, Ripples, and Hanna

 [Beautiful photo above is by David Morgan, courtesy Flickr CC]
Reflections

Reflections

Empty, alone, and exhausted, Hanna knelt in the grass beside the pool of satin-smooth blue water and gazed at the reflected clouds. What was she supposed to do now?

He was gone, yet he seemed to stand beside her, in her grief, in her turmoil—in her heart. And she remembered his words.

“Keep your mind on the Lord, sweetheart, and focus on your dream. You’ve set your heart on it, hoped, worked, and prayed for it. You’ve set goals and prepared yourself. Have faith. ‘Dreams are the stuff reality is made of.’”

Hanna reached to touch the shimmering water and watched the ripples transform the sapphire flatness into soft circular wrinkles moving ever outward . . .

Here’s a fun challenge for you: In the comments section add to or change the last paragraph of Hanna’s mini-story, or write an additional paragraph that finishes it–your way!

Do you have a dream that seems to be in limbo, just not going anywhere?

Here are a few thoughts to help you jump-start that dream.

1]  Let your God-given imagination flow freely as you picture yourself in vivid detail as having achieved your dream.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory . . . “ (Ephesians 3:20-21a NIV).

2]  Ask the Lord to walk with you through your journey, have faith that he will, and thank him for every milestone.
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV).

3]  Use every available circumstance to practice and prepare.
“Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15 NKJV).

4]  Allow yourself to experience joy in the present as it becomes the future from the practices of the past.
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11 NKJV).

 

Young Dreamer

What’s your story? Do you believe God is leading you in paths that are preparing you for your future, the fulfillment of your dreams and goals? Trust him to guide you in and through circumstances.

Yesterday I practiced for the dream that is becoming today, and today I joy in the practice for tomorrow—my future.

After many years of working through “all of the above” thoughts, a dream I had is fast becoming a reality!

I’d love it if you shared one of your dreams here.