What is Your “New” Purpose?

For as long as I can remember, my daughter has been in the business of repurposing things. She sees an object differently than most of us. She possesses a unique skill which involves asking the question, “what can this become?”

She has the ability to turn the ordinary into something new.

A Christmases ago, I found her surrounded by tissue paper at the kitchen table. I figured she was just wrapping a present.

A few hours later, she carried out a small gift bag which held her present to her uncle: a giant jaw breaker.

The small bag intrigued me: I hadn’t remembered it among our store of gift wrap and reusable bags.  But the secret was revealed.

Proudly, my daughter explained that she had taken an empty cardboard band-aid box and turned it into a gift bag. Covered in white paint and stamped with glittery gold snowflakes, the box radiated it’s beauty. The final touch was the gold ribbon attached through the punched holes on the side.

Truthfully, the original design of the band-aid box served its purpose. It’s beauty lied in that. Who would want band aids falling out of the now open top when you are in a hurry to treat a wound? How would glittery gold snowflakes convey to a consumer that band aids were actually hidden inside?

God’s words to the Israelites speak into the process of repurposing: for them and for us. ““Forget about what’s happened;
    don’t keep going over old history.
Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

God is always in the business of renaming us in order to fulfill new purposes

What is your “new?”

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The Early Years Seemed So Long But Now I’m Savoring Every Moment

The Early Years Seemed So Long But Now I'm Savoring Every Moment www.herviewfromhome.com

Four months.

How can a set amount of time feel like an eternity in one season and a vapor in another?

Lately, I find myself wrestling with the paradox.

My twenty year old son is preparing to transfer to an out of state school next fall. It’s not as if I haven’t had time to process the transition. In fact, I’ve benefited from having him live at home for the past two years.

As we entered his senior year of high school in 2015, the path after graduation appeared vague. Would he go away? Stay at home? For some the answers may seem obvious. The lure of scholarships, the desire for independence, and following in the footsteps of “tradition” give way to moving away from home.

But our story led to a different way. Read the rest here…https://herviewfromhome.com/the-early-years-seemed-so-long-but-now-im-savoring-every-moment/

Are You Ready to Release Your Confetti….Prayer?

Almost every year, it arrives in my birthday card from my sister.

Confetti.

You would think I would be used to it but I am surprised every year. Yet, isn’t that the point of confetti? It’s connected with surprise-even expected surprise.

It symbolizes celebration.

Think about the last time you threw it. Was it New Year’s? Eve A parade? A wedding? A birthday?

There’s something about those small multi-colored, sometimes glittery, miniscule pieces of paper that add a layer of joy to an experience. Even more so when the confetti is released in a collective fashion.

For a brief moment, you feel transported to a different world. The tiny specks flutter down and adorn all that it covers.

Yet, it requires surrender. Knuckle by knuckle, the fingers draw back allowing for the hands to yield upwards and release that which it has been holding with a clenched fist.

As I was reflecting on my prayers this week, it occurred to me that some requests render themselves so very similar to releasing confetti into the air.

There are longings which spring from our hearts for things that seem so far reaching. Where they land, we do not know. Yet, what is there to lose by releasing those dreams up to God?

Many times, our brains and hearts navigate to doubt. Why would God answer a prayer that could be in line with my heart’s desire for something so extravagant? So seemingly impossible?

But scripture speaks to this fear: May he give you what your heart wishes for.
    May he make all your plans succeed.” Psalm 20:4

Certainly, God’s desire is always in our best interest. Our prayers may indeed land differently than we hoped.

But even that reality is worthy of celebration.

Let’s not confine God to our own expectations. Let’s release those dreams placed on our hearts and watch where they fall. God is so much bigger than what we can grasp. As we share those dreams with others, they too, can release our prayers.

Knuckle by knuckle, our hands retract releasing that which our fists clenched.

And together we will celebrate. We will see the evidence of a great God who knows the desires of our hearts and loves us enough to give us what we need falling over us.

May we keep our eyes open as we wait.

What is your “confetti” prayer?

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What the Women at the Tomb Teach Us About Not Settling for the Status Quo

Their actions demonstrated the power of liberation.

On what appeared to be a solemn, yet, ordinary Saturday evening, they approached Jesus’ tomb. These women who had joined the entourage who followed Jesus in his life and kept watch over him in his death seek him again. They have come to touch the body of the one who touched theirs.

He saw them. He addressed them. He validated them.

For a while, they saw the cultural laws and nuances flipped upside down; in their favor. The confining identity to which they had settled began to tear. It seemed too good to be true.

Perhaps it was.

But their devotion hasn’t waned.  They come to honor his body one last time. They arrive bearing courage along with the spices.

Have they no fear of what they may encounter?

Even guards and rocks are no match for the power ignited in the soul by this alleged Messiah. They can no longer settle for status quo thinking regarding their identity. Love liberates in a way nothing of this world can.

And he wasn’t finished.

Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew,[a]“Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). 17 Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.” (John 20:16-18)

Plenty of voices from the world could dictate their next steps. But these women encountered Jesus. And he has the last word.

 

How do you need Jesus to speak into your life?

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Why I’m Learning to Surrender My Longing for Routine

Recently, I finally ventured into the Enneagram phenomenon. As someone who is passionate about others pursuing their God given purpose in this world, it ironically took a while to jump on this train.

I’m not sure what I was waiting for. I teach SHAPE and spiritual gifts classes at my church, obsess about the Meyers-Briggs, and love all insight into the ways God has masterfully created us.

So it was no surprise that my assessment indicated that I was a “one.” To summarize, I fall into the category of “Reformer.”  The Enneagram Institute’s short description is eerily accurate:

“Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic”

Surprises make my heart race-not in the euphoric, whimsical manner. My mind spins as I attempt to find a way to grap onto a morsel of control. What am I to do with my expectations that have been interrupted?

I thrive on routine.  It brings security to my spirit. But it doesn’t mean it’s always in my best interest.

Who we are is connected to so many factors. Our God who knits us together uses a variety of threads. Some of the handiwork begins in the womb. More stitches are added as we discern our movements and engage in the world around us. Those beautiful threads of mercy and grace continue to patch up holes and create a beautiful work out of us

Through it all, our Creator’s purpose for us never ceases. Never.

The Enneagram explains much of who I am. But I am grateful that God doesn’t let us sit with contentment in human observations. 

Recently, my routine has been altered.  Growing children, new jobs, emerging callings and the intentional touch of my Creator’s hand in my heart push me toward embracing life out of my comfort zone. New stitches have begun.

But I find comfort in the reshaping. I am being shaped in the image of my Creator. And that’s where my true identity is found.

What have you discovered about yourself? How are you being stretched?

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Believing in God’s Provision While We Wait

The dream lied buried deep in their hearts. For they held onto it…year after year.

Praying. Hoping. Believing.

Surely, the gift of life does not seem too much to ask. Does it?

And then it happens. God announces that the dream has been freed from it’s deeply burrowed place.

The Lord took Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky. Count the stars, if you can.” Then he said to him, “That’s how many children will be born into your family.”

  Abram believed the Lord. The Lord was pleased with Abram because he believed. So Abram’s faith made him right with the Lord (Genesis 15:5-6)

The vision emerges. Expectation is birthed.

But….

Waiting ensues. Frustration takes root in the place the dreams had burrowed.

God promised to provide.

How long do you wait?

The longing for fulfillment of a dream lingers. The vision was cast. The lips tasted the words of thanksgiving.  The seduction for immediate gratification lures. Earthly wisdom speaks into the heart.

lies.

The dream becomes idolotry-worthy of attaining at any cost.

And the consequences commence.

Jealousy. Abuse of power. Confusion. Broken Relationship.

God promised to provide. In His timing and in His way.

If only they could have waited.

If only we learn to wait.

When Abram was 99 years old, the Lord appeared to him. He said, “I am the Mighty God. Walk faithfully with me. Live in a way that pleases me. I will now act on my covenant between me and you. I will greatly increase the number of your children after you.” (Genesis 17:1-2)

Human nature hasn’t changed. We see ourselves in the lives of those who have came before us.

God hasn’t changed. We see God’s character through the lives of those who came before us.

Though God blessed Ishmael, we are reminded of the consequences when we don’t surrender our dreams to the One who gave them to us.

God’s question wasn’t directed only to Abraham and Sarah :

“Is anything too hard for me?” (Genesis 18:14)
What are you afraid to surrender?
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Gratefulness for Our God Who Doesn’t Sleep

Resisting the force of sleep’s beckoning call has never been my strength.

Repeatedly, I always claimed the title of being the first to fall asleep at slumber parties.

When my husband and I dated, he watched the ending of many movies alone. As much as I tried, my eyes just could not stay open. The phenomenon became a joke.

Socializing with friends in my twenties presented the same challenges. How can I walk out the door at the time I usually go to bed?

Fast forward to motherhood. I was blessed with three kids; two of whom awoke every two hours for feedings for the first six months.  There are plenty of unknowns when one enters parenthood; chronic fatigue is one of them.

Being tired becomes the norm.

Pushing through it and embracing God’s purposes becomes challenging but not impossible. Because we are reminded that God fills the gap in our weakness.

God sees us.

God sees us because we are never out of sight. No closed eyes.

He will not let your foot be moved;
    he who keeps you will not slumber.
He who keeps Israel
    will neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3-4

Throughout history, the children of God have needed assurance that we have not been abandoned. Our cries may be loud. The temptation to hide in shame may lure.

But God is awake. Moving. Creating, Comforting, Redeeming.

Thanks be to God.

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