Not what I was expecting

It’s October, which means we’re officially in Fall. At my house we’re discussing Halloween costume choices – my son will again be a Star Wars character and my daughter a princess. We’re also planning our annual apple-picking trip. Then there’s Thanksgiving dinner to think of.

I’m sure it’s the same for you. But not quite.

::

Curious about how my season differs from yours?

Follow me over to Connecting to Impact where

I’m guest posting for Jason.

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**I’ve turned off comments because I would love for you to be a part of the discussion happening over at Jason’s blog.

A Sign of the Times

Leaves change from green to brilliant shades of yellow, orange and red.

Despite the bright sun, the air is crisp and snaps against your cheeks, turning them the same red as the leaves on the ground.

Schoolchildren stand on street corners, waiting for the big yellow bus that will deposit them at school.

Your tastes change from iced tea and smoothies to hot cocoa and apple cider.

There’s no doubt what season it is.

Stay Between the Lines

When I walk with my children across the street I make sure they know to stay between the lines of the cross walk. I laughed today as we were walking, because my son stepped a foot outside the line.

“Mom! I could have gotten hit by a car!”

He thinks there’s something magical about those white lines that keeps him safe.

There’s nothing magical about those lines, but there’s definitely something about staying within God’s will that can make life easier to live. I don’t mean by this that we won’t have trouble, because Jesus told us to expect trouble.

The ease comes in knowing that we’re in God’s will, so we can trust Him to walk us safely through it.

Here’s Your Sign

The Pharisees and Sadducees came up, and testing Jesus, they asked Him to show them a sign from heaven. But He replied to them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fairweather, for the sky is red.’ And in the morning, ‘There will be a storm today, for the sky is read and threatening.’ Do you know how to discern the appearance of the sky, but cannot discern the signs of the times?Matthew 16:1-3 (emphasis added)

My desire, above all else, is to follow the will of God for my life.

Yet, so often I find myself asking God to give me a sign, directing me to what His will is. I don’t just want a little arrow on a map though. I want a giant, flashing, neon billboard that spells out the steps for me.

Looking at the “signs” above, without questioning my abilities, I know it’s Fall. I trust my instinct and experience enough to positively assert what season it is. Why is it then, that I question my ability to discern what God is doing in my life?

Why don’t I trust my inner voice and experience as much here as in other instances? Why do decisions have to be agonized over? Why does the opinion of every person around need to be sought?

Fear.

Fear of making the wrong choice. Fear of hearing God wrong. Fear of hurting ourselves or others.*

Yet here is Jesus, chastising the Pharisees and Sadducees for that exact thing. Jesus had already provided numerous signs of His power as the Son of God.

The difference was in the sign.

What He’d done already wasn’t good enough in their minds and they were asking Him to provide the sign they wanted.

God’s Will for Dummies

Don’t you wish there was a “Dummies” book out there that helped us to discern God’s will? Wouldn’t it be easy to just flip to a chapter on “Calling” and take a little quiz that showed us what we were supposed to do with our lives?

The problem with that scenario is that God is no longer necessary. In our self-sufficiency we can follow the step-by-step guide to reach the desired outcome. What then is the purpose in a relationship with the Father?

Life is a highway.

We are called to travel a path with God, one that bends, turns and loops back on itself. Clinging to Him, we watch as the signs begin to present themselves.

Change Ahead 2 mi.

Detour 500 feet

Low bridge

God is not trying to trick us.

He is not malicious, He is loving and wants to be known.

Listen to Mark’s account of Jesus’ reaction to the Pharisees and Sadducees:

Sighing deeply in His spirit, He said, “Why does this generation seek for a sign?” Mark 8:12

Rather than seeking out a sign from God to guess at His will, lets seek out God. As our familiarity with Him and His ways increases we’ll see that His will in any given situation will be abundantly clear.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33

*In no way am I suggesting that it is wrong or sinful to take time to seek God and godly council. I’m talking about those instances where all of the signs are before us, pointing us in a direction, yet we’re still unwilling to move forward. Our stalling then becomes distrust and fear.
{All photos courtesy of photobucket.com}

Turning

Transition. Change. Growth. Maturity.

Baby boy — too tall now for footie pajamas, feet dangling as we carry him to bed. This week he heads off into the great unknown of Kindergarten. Release being forced, as hands want to grip tight.

Hold on, you’re moving too fast.

Just pause for a second longer.

His impatience to be independent reminds me so much of myself.

Turning instead to One who holds us both.

::

Students return to college campus, a place that is now behind us. A completion that sometimes felt impossible.

Yet he returns there as a leader; a college-age ministry in a way we never foresaw. Is ministry only in the church or is it possible to impact the lives of those you supervise?

Can he be a pastor without having the title?

::

A decision looms on the horizon for me. A change in my life I don’t know that I’m ready for.

Four

children

in

six

years.

A quiver full that are now poised for flight. My life has consisted of growing, birthing, nourishing and nurturing children and now I’m looking to put a stop to it.

Regardless of the fact that one thing has nothing to do with the other, my friends who want so desperately to conceive do not leave my mind; it turns my stomach. I pray for peace, yet have none.

For now I’m waiting on the Lord.

::

Yesterday I felt a change in the air.

I felt Fall.

The season is turning…

There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven -

A time to give birth and a time to die;

A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.

A time to kill and a time to heal;

A time to tear down and a time to build up.

A time to weep and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn and a time to dance.

A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones;

A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.

A time to search and a time to give up as lost;

A time to keep and a time to throw away.

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together;

A time to be silent and a time to speak.

A time to love and a time to hate;

A time for war and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8