The Call-Part 1. The Past

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It’s been a very full last few months that included new courses and new projects. New projects that I had envisioned and now are seeing come to pass. I still have more, ideas in moving pictures that reel endlessly through my mind.

But today, before sharing all that is new, I’m revisiting the past. Sometimes it’s in the looking back to see how we got to where you are today….

Monday, October 17, 2011

The call?

I must admit to you, I’ve been wrestling lately whether I should continue writing this blog and posting pictures to my 365 blog project on my photography blog. I begin to question what is the purpose? what is the result? is it worth the time spent? is it serving others?

All this wrestling leads me to the deeper questions:

What is God’s purpose for my life?
What is He calling me to do?

Do any of you wrestle with this question?

Now the LORD had said to Abram:
“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you
Genesis 12:1

And Abram went, with his large family and all his friends and herding a bunch of sheep. And on camels and on foot they traveled for 800 miles. And this is the kicker.

sheep

He was 75 years old.

But he went, following God’s call, trusting completely even though he did not feel equipped to do His will, and had no idea where he was going and why he was going there.

How did Abram know it was God’s voice?

I’d love it if God’s voice was as loud as, lets say, the 30,000 or more fans at the Edmonton Eskimo football games I attend yelling “GO ESKS GO!”

Can you imagine? What if you heard a large crowd chanting “Go (your name) Go do (your purpose)?”

Would you go or would you still question? Do I have the right stuff? Am I equipped?

Is this really God’s calling? Some questions you may want to ponder…

1) If God is calling you, you will probably feel unqualified. It is not the qualified that is called, it is the call that qualifies.

2) It feels radical. Like Abraham, you are taking a journey where you do not know the steps on how you will get there. To do this, you can’t weigh the benefits or costs, but step out in complete faith, giving up your own will.

3) You feel useful. God’s call advances others. His blessings on you, blesses others.

4) If it feels predictable and safe, good chance it is not God’s voice being expressed in you.

Personally, I struggle to let go of my worldly pre-conceived ideas on how a plan needs to be in place before taking a step—well, more of a leap I’d say— and my insecurities keep me wrapped around the tree branch on the cliff.

WinterPark

Are you holding on or letting go?

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:1).

Linking up with Recharge Wednesday today!  Check out more inspiration by clicking the link below.

 

Soaring with Him Ministries

 If you’d like a taste of my new journal,  Breathing Spaces, come on over to my Facebook and Instagram where I’m posting daily a reflection question and a Breathing Space moment. Have an inspiring day!
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A whispers of rest journey

Whispers of Rest

I’ve been blessed to receive an advanced copy of Bonnie Gray’s latest book that is now available to all as just released today!  Whispers of Rest is a 40 day journey and so far my 21 days in has been a rest journey of insights and breathing spaces during a time when my schedule is so full! Yes, rest and transformation even in the fullness of my days…

A taste of my journey:

May 1, 2017 7:32 am, my facebook post for Whispers of Rest Book Launch

I keep thinking about how Peter didn’t think he was good enough when Jesus called him to follow. How often have I not taken steps on the lighted path just due to thinking I wasn’t good enough for the path Jesus has laid out for me? I’m getting in my own way, and what God wants from me, by not remembering how I am His beloved.
Looking forward to all that God will be showing me over these next days on this #whispersofrest journey with the words of Bonnie Gray and her soon to be released new book.

Day 1: Surrendering Your Heart

My journal entry: I don’t want to try so hard anymore!

Day 7: “We don’t have to do more to be more…be His beloved as we are.”  Bonnie Gray

Day 13: When you pass through waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. Isaiah 43:2

Day 14: Choose Grace-Be present, not perfect

YOU MATTER TO GOD. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE CRITICAL VOICES DIE DOWN.                                                                          DO YOUR ART. BE YOU. NOW. AS IS.                                                                                            Bonnie Gray

Day 19: He also said, “This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain–first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come. Mark 4: 26-29

Journal entry: Maybe I don’t need to know how I will do it….I get filled with doubts. Maybe it is not me to nurture it through? Maybe I am finally beginning to understand that I don’t have to know the how? It’s already there, like a seed beginning to sprout. I really don’t have to try so hard! Instead I can fall into His whispers of rest….

Because I am His Beloved.

Are you wanting to hear His Whispers of Rest?

You can start this 40 day journey of rest, renewal and transformation too at Whispers of Rest. You deserve it, my friend, because you are His beloved.

A quieter voice is calling us to stop–stop worrying and planning for tomorrow as a way of distraction–and listen to what He has to say to us today. Bonnie Gray, Whispers of Rest (2017)

A focused picture journey-

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Over the past couple of weeks I have been doing Bonnie’s Gray’s  Whispers of Rest Challenge in preparation for her soon to be released book Whispers of Rest –a unique 40-day devotional detox that will guide you to a place of intimate rest. 

Today’s challenge is Focus, something that I do struggle with as curious about so many things!

“I run in the path of your commands for you have set my heart free” Psalm 119.
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One of my favourite places to ‘run’ that is close to home is Elk Island National Park. It is also a bison park, so you will see the buffalo roaming free too!  They are free, yet they are also fenced in for protection.

That’s what God does for us too, doesn’t He?

His fences are protection. His commands for us bring freedom. When we focus on His ways and His path, we gain peace by being in the freedom in who He made us to be. We become ourselves, unattached to the shiny things of this world that do not last, and attached to the source that is forever.

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To help focus, I am taking time to listen to God’s whispers more, and pay attention to that unsettling feeling when my focus is off the path of what is best for me, others, and the world. There are so many shiny objects! Yet, there really is only one true Light, isn’t there?

What are the ways that help you stay focused away from the shiny objects and on the Light?

In a couple of weeks, I’ll be launching my new journal-Breathing Spaces, a 21 day journal of rest, reflection, & renewal.

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For the first 21 days of June, I’ll be posting a Breathing Space picture and the day’s reflection question on my Facebook Page  and Instagram. I hope you’ll follow and join us, for one day, or 10 days, or all of them! And even post your own Breathing Spaces pictures using the hashtag #inspiringhopeinyou. We’d love to see your places of rest and renewal!

Did you know that just looking at an image of nature can lower stress levels and increase happiness?

And the smell of coffee? Oh, so glad for that!!
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The perfect road

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I write this as land moves past me below, yet I am still. A pane of glass protects me from what I imagine would be a deafening whirl of air. In about 180 minutes I’ll be landing on concrete again in a city that is ‘much more faster,’ using the words of a gentleman I met just before boarding my flight. He’s hoping to move back to my home city where he feels he can breathe better in a space not quite so occupied. And with traffic that moves much more steady, and maybe just a bit slower, he tells me.

I am reminded of my time just a couple of weeks ago, navigating the highways of Florida and Georgia. And, must admit, while keeping up with the speed of the traffic, I found myself glancing to the odometer often, trying to do the math in my head between miles ph to km ph, to figure out how fast I was going. ‘Cause it sure felt faster than what I normally drove at home.  But I knew if I slowed down, it wouldn’t be wise. I didn’t want to hand-in my rental car with a crushed rear-end!

road

I had to follow the speed set by the multitude of other drivers to stay safe, to blend in, and to not cause harm to myself or others.

It’s the rules of the road.

Thankfully though, God’s road is much different. He isn’t going to give me a mean gesture, or get angry at me if I try to make U-turn in front of Him, or make me go at a speed that isn’t right for me. Instead He gives me assurance He has a plan for me that is good.

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. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29: 11-13

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If I do get off the wrong exit because I wasn’t paying attention, He doesn’t want me to be anxious or upset. Instead He wants me to take all my cares to Him and He will redirect my path.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4: 6:7

And even if I do make an error of judgement, and cause harm to myself and others, He never will condemn me. Instead He wants me to navigate the roads knowing that I am always His beloved.

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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. Proverbs 3: 5-6

May you know, my friend, that unlike the speeding traffic of a highway, there is no speed you need to keep up with when it comes to our road with God, to be safe and unharmed. You are always, always loved by Him.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

        traditional gaelic blessing

Love,

Lynn

Do you truly believe?

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I just want another head, I lamented to my girlfriend the other day. But it isn’t happening. So maybe it is just a perspective change I need?

Maybe, she says, it is to truly believe in God’s words. He’s already provided all you need at this moment.

“If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don’t fuss about what’s on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds. Matthew 6-25-34

Yes, it’s to believe I already have all that I need to pursue, do the work, be obedient with the gifts and talents He has given even though I feel like I need more. And in my case, as a single Christian woman,  that more can be wrapped in a man where love, respect and compatibility ties us, and he wants to come along side me to build His kingdom.

Yes, it’s to believe that God has already given me all that I need so I do not hesitate to take that next step.

staircase

It is to believe that I have enough–enough resources and the right mind on my own  (even though it may seem crazy to the world) to pursue my dreams and visions.

For the Word says….

If we are “out of our mind,” as some say, it is for God; if we are in our right mind, it is for you. 2 Corinthians 5:13

And we are never alone.

“Be strong. Be brave. Be fearless. You are never alone.” Joshua 1:9

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

“You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you.” Romans 5:6

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Is there something you feel God is calling you to do yet you are holding back, feeling like you do not have the right frame of mind, the resources, or people to pursue it?

I pray you know that God has chosen you.

For we know, brothers and sisters, loved by God, that He has chosen you. 1 Thessalonians 1:4

And that He will give you direction on the way to go as you step out in faith.

I will instruct you and teach you the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Psalms 32:8

And that you know He equips you with everything you need as you do His will for you.

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepard of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen Hebrews 13:20-21

Maybe one day God will provide me that ‘head,’ bring me together with a man to pursue a Kingdom calling He has that together we are to build. Regardless, I believe that He continues to do a good work in me and in you now.

Being confident of this, that who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

May you step out in faith today, my friend, knowing God has given you all you need today to pursue that nudge, that calling, that vision, that dream.

The world needs you.

Love,

Lynn

 

A forever ‘n ever inspiration

I feel like I have been a bit quiet in this place. And I thought I’d share today a few reasons why.

  1. I’m completing an additional coaching certification program.
  2. I’m designing a website (with the help of a professional designer) that intwines coaching, writing, and photography and will become my new space. My current space here will be attached, so no worries for me to loose connection with you!
  3. I’m designing a new journal to be published in May when my website will be launched.

At times it has been a bit overwhelming, and I experience moments of “what am I doing?’ and “who am I to do this?” 

But then often an affirming word comes from a friend, a teacher, or family member.

God knows exactly what we need, doesn’t He?

Someone who has always been instrumental to my dreams and visions is my child-hood friend, Rhonda. It’s been 2 years now since her passing, and even though many miles separated us during the majority of our friendship, the connection never did.

So today I thought I’d re-post a tribute to my best friend forever ‘n ever.

Rhonda, you inspire me….forever ‘n ever

A Life Tapestry (first published at Connecting Stories)

Tapestry: used in reference to an intricate or complex combination of things or sequence of events
“I wonder,” I said, my mind recalling a phone conversation just days before. “Maybe we should introduce him to Carol? She’s ready to meet someone and loves music. Rob plays in a band. There’s a common interest already!”

My best friend Rhonda, and her husband Sheldon, held their wine glasses up, gesturing a toast. I picked up my glass of water, and we smiled at each other. You know, those mischievous smiles with a sense of excitement too from a grand idea that is even better when three are involved, and the other parties don’t know!

And, yes this was a set-up. A long-distance set-up as Rob resided in Ontario, and Carol in Alberta. A set-up eighteen years ago when the newspaper classifieds were the ‘dating’ sites of the time.

And Rhonda was still healthy.

On the morning of April 12, 2015, Rhonda passed away after 4 years of a hearty battle with cancer. Always a high achiever, she didn’t let her cancer take away her ambitions and zest for life. Those four years, between cancer treatments, she participated in fund-raising events for breast cancer, traveled with her two daughters to New York, and other warmer climates,  her last trip to Cuba just this past February with her three children, husband, and other family members.

We met when we were three so do not remember a moment of my life, my world when she was not in it. She was the ‘Stand By Me’ part of my life–stomping through creeks, swimming in her back yard pool, hacking worms in half and watching both parts squirm, dolls then Barbies then boys, Holly Hobbie party dresses then Levis and Addidas. I moved west when 14 years old but we still connected, always, through letters, cards, calls and my visits back home.

And she believed in my dreams, in my writings. And if I have any regret, it is that she never saw me be published, her name gracing the dedication on the first page.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

At her Celebration of Life, attended by almost 300, I looked over at Rob, Rhonda’s husband’s best-friend, and the husband of Carol, my high school friend, another friend forever ‘n ever. And my heart filled with gratitude for that moment 18 years ago where three got together scheming the set-up of two, a part of His tapestry, the weaving the together of lives for His purpose.

Because God has it all figured out, I am woven to Rhonda, forever ‘n ever.

A schedule defined

(Today’s post, I’m linking up with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday. Each week a word prompt is given and you have 5 minutes to write a post, no editing, no over-thinking, just free writing. This week’s prompt is Define).

 

I’m off schedule this week. My Polestar Day Timer with it’s columns of work, appointments, and personal, is not really exceptionally filled-in, yet many of the penciled descriptions of items to be completed, are left unchecked.

If one was to look at my schedule, one might define it as “open” or “balanced” or maybe even “incomplete.”

Then why, only a few days ago, did I feel this heaviness in my chest as if pressured by a hand pushing, a hand much larger than mine that I couldn’t push away?

It hurt to breathe.

Even though my schedule looked open on paper, deadlines loomed over me like a cloud about to burst on my picnic. Assignments due, work appointments, inventory to make for an upcoming art show, content to be given to my designer for two new projects, family commitments, dishwasher to unload, income taxes….

And even though I dislike the definition as much prefer “full”, the word “busy” kept flashing in my mind like an irritating advertisement.

I’ve heard busy defined as “Being Under Satan’s Yoke.” And I didn’t want to be under THAT yoke.

But then one of the first verses I ever learned replaced that irritating advertisement.

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29

Rest.

Yes.

His word defining my fullness, I begin to breathe easier.

Yes, I can define my schedule as full, and always find rest for my soul with the One who is gentle and humble in heart.

peace