Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘security’

A great and thrilling start to my new school year was a bonding adventure with my co-workers. The really thrilling part was that it was at an undisclosed location, doing an undisclosed activity.

I was nervous!

There were those thoughts of:

-what will I be ‘expected’ to do?

-will I make a fool out of myself?

-what if I cannot do what the others can?

… and more.

But, I had no choice but to look at the integrity and reputation of the administrative team, and trust that they had a plan that was safe.

After a number of twists and turns (a couple of them u-turns), and great quantities (and volumes) of hoots and hollers, we arrived at our destination … a ropes course. I’ve always wanted to do a ropes course!

20130827-203218.jpgAccording to the information I read, the course takes you from 2m to 18m up into the trees. It includes climbing, swinging, zip lining, tightropes and many, many challenges.

It was such great fun, and so very mentally challenging.

There was one point, when my arms felt as though they had been transformed into jello, and I had to pull myself along a rope (while balancing, precariously, meters up in the air) from one platform to the next. I was …

d o n e

After exerting much energy, and seemingly going nowhere, I said to myself, ‘I’m safe in the harness, I will not fall, so to heck with balancing, just plunge forward, there is no risk.’

And so I did … it was probably not very graceful or pretty (not much of what I do is), but I made it to that next platform much faster … because I trusted in the integrity and historical safety of what I was attached to.

As I sat at home that evening, fretting and worrying about how my professional skills and abilities are like … Jello. About how I could not possibly go to work with the strength I need to meet the needs of the students I will be working with …

I remembered the harness, and how I stopped trying to balance on my own strength, and simply rest in the integrity and historical safety of what I was attached to.

There’s a harness that can provide such security, support and balance in every area of life, and it is a harness of integrity and proven throughout history.

It is faith in God.

1 Thessalonians 5:24 reminds us, “He who calls you is faithful, who will also do it.”

That’s the harness offered to all, we just need to rest in the integrity, and how He has proven throughout history to be safe.

Read Full Post »

I am not, nor have ever been Catholic, but on this particular day, I went to confession … at Starbucks.

I was sitting in a cozy orange chair (cozy because my squatty feet actually touched the floor when I sat down … and I smiled with pleasure … it takes so little to make me happy) in Warrenton, Oregon.

I needed to just get away with my laptop and God. Funny really, since I had been at a Christian Conference Center for days, worshiping in music, listening to fine speakers and enjoying the pleasure of sharing in the lives of dear friends who share a common faith.

But, for me, my intimate relationship with God is one that flourishes when it is just He and me.

As I had been driving to my coffee break, I heard a song on the radio, and immediately Shazammed it. Then, when at the coffee shop I went to Youtube to hear it, while absorbing the lyrics, and reading about it’s meaning, or background.

Sitting there, listening, watching and reading, with about thirty Harley Davidson bikers all around me, the tears started to fall, with no end in sight.

Now some would say it was simply the effects of too many nights of poor sleep, or the ingestion of too much bacon, but I know it was something different.

Like a child who has been away at summer camp, I caught sight of my Daddy, and I needed with every fiber within me, to be reunited with Him. And not just reunited, but, like the prodigal son whose father ran TO him, God, through the radio and internet, ran TO me, and reminded me that nothing and no one compares to His embrace.

So often we look to our politicians, our family, our theology to provide security, or hope. But, as I sat, and poured out my confessions to my heavenly father, I was reminded that:

The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

“For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—-to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:14-19

Read Full Post »

Abbott and Costello made that one question an entire comedy sketch, that has lasted, and been retold, for about sixty-seven years. It is one which can make just about anyone laugh. It is a comedy sketch told to give people a giggle, about how easy it is to misunderstand what others are trying to communicate.

The main question that is being asked, throughout the sketch, is “who’s on first?”

That question is a good one to also ask ourselves in relations to life, and priorities.

Who’s on first in our life?

As a Christian, I would say that God is on first, but, in reality, I do not always live as though that is my reality.

There are those who say, look to where you spend your money, and you will see what you put first in your life. Or where you spend your time, is the indicator of greatest priority. Or what you think most often about.

Exodus 20:3 says that God comes first. In different translations and versions, it is communicated with different words, but the meaning is the same … God’s on first.

I have said before that one of my biggest struggles, in marriage, has been in confusing the expectations I have of my God and my hubby. Now, don’t get me wrong, there has never been a time when I have bowed down, sacrificed burnt offerings and worshiped hubby (although I did put his socks on for him, once, when he was sick). Nonetheless, I have still struggled with not expecting God-like results from his very human person.

There are things that I think we often look for in others that, when they don’t (can’t) follow through and provide for us, we feel greatly let down.

I can only speak for myself, but I have often looked to my hubby as the provider of my security, of my future. That is a terribly big expectation to heap upon a mere mortal. And, of course, the disappointment that happens when hubby is not able to live up to that expectation I have had on him, is immense. He is no more able to control my future than I am.

It is only God who should hold on to that expectation.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “for I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God, and only God, can provide the security of the future. And, it is only when we make the decision to put Him first, that the security of our future, both now and for all eternity, is truly secure.

 

Read Full Post »

It is end of the year at school, with exams, report cards, prom and graduation the main talks around the water fountain.

The students who are graduating out of the school system are a totally different group than when they entered.

In the beginning they were possibly still struggling with toileting, could barely print their names, might have been dealing with separation anxiety, and possibly still even needed a car seat .

Now, thirteen years later, they can fix an engine, write a manuscript, run for miles and recite Shakespeare. They can drive a car, survive alone at home, and are just months away from being able to elect our politicians.

Truly, if anyone has, they have experienced the reality of metamorphosis. Who they were in the beginning of their schooling is barely a shadow of who they are today.

Those who are graduating this year are fully immersed into all of the farewells, from all that they have known for the past thirteen years. They are having celebrations, receiving gifts and making plans for the rest of their lives. They may not know what their immediate or long term future will look like, but they all share one common bond … they are leaving home.

Now they might not be leaving their parent’s home, but they are leaving their school, and whether they spent just a year or all thirteen years there, they are leaving home.

School is not just a place of education, it is also a microcosm, or small picture, of society and more specifically, of family. Within the walls of every school are:

* the ‘perfect’ cousins, who do it all the right way … always!
* the uncle or aunt who is always carrying mints.
* the grandfather with a flatulence problem.
* the grandmother who cannot match her clothing colors.
* the weird uncle.

The list goes on and on.

The school family, like the ones we share Christmas with, is not perfect. It is often unpredictable, nosy, odd and embarrassing. It can make you feel as though it is ruling and ruining your life. It can seem like the only chance at freedom and a good and healthy future is to leave.

And then the day comes, and you hold that diploma, and it is time to leave … forever.

And whether you loved your school home, or were convinced that you never should have been there, all that you knew is done, over and gone … and it is never, ever going to be the same again.

The school family was not just the negative, the strange, the obscure. It was also the place where you had, not just moments of failure, but also moments of success. It was where that one teacher would say, “how are you?” and you knew that he or she really wanted to know. It was where you got your first taste of a gift or ability that you could be passionate about … in the lab, the computer room, the drama class, the gym, the English class, or in chatting it up with the custodian. It was where you first dealt with your fear of public speaking, test taking, sports, an engine, or computers (okay, that is just the staff).

When a graduate leaves their school home, there is adjustment coming. The expected is no more, the unexpected is all that is before you. The safe places to hide, and the spotlight to shine on you are changed. A temporary homelessness descends, and adjustment is necessary.

It was the school home. It is the place where students have gone from child to adult.

Read Full Post »

It was a beautiful day for a walk on my favorite trail, with my beast. A little podalic (things pertaining to feet 😉 ) therapy!

I felt as though it had been forever since we had the freedom for this most favorite activity, and that my fuzzy brain cells were calling out for it.

For a change, we did not speed walk. Instead it was a leisurely wander through the trails, taking in all of the details of change that spring brings along the path. Even my beast seemed unbothered by the change in pace.

As I started to walk, I exhaled. The kind of exhale that says, I need to purge my mind of all that is within it, of all that is overloading it. To purge it, though, means to first acknowledge all that is being, mentally, held on to.

I had been preoccupied about my husbands job security, and how that affects everything about our family’s life. I had been thinking about what I want my professional future to look like. About our eldest daughter’s plans to move away in the fall. About my other daughter’s summer. Wondering if we were being intentional enough with our son to build a firm foundation for the teen years to come. If we were meeting the needs of our International students , and if their presence was coming between ourselves and our own kids. Wondering about the future, about homes, and money and travel, and where our future would take us.

I was allowing my insecurities, and lack of vision of the future to hinder my ability to enjoy the present.

I stopped, and sat on a bench to enjoy the river. I thought of how the rising river made it fit it’s banks so much better than it had a couple of weeks earlier. On the other hand, the rising river could also mean impending doom for people whose homes or businesses are near the river. The future of the rising river is unseen.

Then I thought of my Magnolia tree, that is ready to burst into full flower. It will not bloom, though, until those hard, ugly shells open up with the pressure of the petals to burst free. Those hard, boring, ugly shells have kept the beauty hidden and safe, while they grew and prepared to show themselves in spring. If I did not know what is unseen, I might pluck those ugly shells off of them. But, because I know of the beauty that is currently out of sight, I wait for the beauty within to open up.

Then I looked at my beast, who had just plopped herself down on a bunch of dandelions. She has no insecurities in this world. She looks to me, as her co-master, and trusts that, although her bowl might get empty, it will be refilled again. She is not worried about much of anything (other than an intruder on the property, like a cat, or squirrel, or stray leaf blowing in the wind), because she trusts that as long as her masters are near, her needs will be met, because her masters care for her.

I realized that true beauty and true security do not come from what we know, or from what we can see. I remembered the words of 2 Corinthians 4:18, “so we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

My brain cells are still a bit fuzzy, and I am still concerned about some of the aspects of life that endanger my understanding of security, but, I know that what is unseen might just be the most beautiful thing to come, and that I can be confident of how much my master cares for me, and this gives me fresh air to inhale.

Read Full Post »

Sealed in Christ

An Outreach of Sixth Seal Ministries

Amazing Tangled Grace

A blog about my spiritual journey in the Lord Jesus Christ.

FisherofMen

Cast The Net To Rescue Those In Need

Following the Son

One man's spiritual journey

Fortnite Fatherhood

A father's digital age journey with his family and his faith

Frijdom

encouraging space to think deeply

His Wings Shadow

Trust ~ Delight ~ Commit ~ Rest

Perfect Chaos

The Blog of Philosopher Steven Colborne

Life- All over the map

A family journey through childhood cancer and around the world

A L!fe Lived

seeking the full life that only Jesus offers

J. A. Allen

Scribbles on Cocktail Napkins

The Mustard Seed Kingdom

A Blog of the Evangelical Anabaptist Partners

Brittany Wheaton

reflections on living intentionality and soulfully in the midst of the grind