Author: Beth
•Sunday, January 24, 2010


[continued from Part 2]

A sturdy pair of hiking boots.

I stare at them for a moment… they look rather familiar. Oh yes. I wore them the last time I learned this lesson. Here I go again, for round two (or is it twenty-two?) I looked out at the road ahead of me: two jobs, a growing church family, a lot of learning left to do and a lot of ministry.

The steps begin.

Faithfulness. Contentment. Perseverance. Contentment. Patience. Contentment.

The themes echo in my heart again and again. The scenery changes very little. Sometimes the trees seem so very tall and the trail never ends. Other times, the path opens into a wide field that is just teeming with sunshine, dancing leaves, and clear blue skies.

A new trail off to the left seems appealing.

................“Not yet, my child. Not yet.”

I venture a step to the right … maybe this trail, Lord?

.................“Not yet, my child. Not yet. Will You trust me?

The ever-so-loving question rings in my ears. Will I trust Him? Even when the trail seems boring or meaningless? Even when I can’t see the ending?

He promises that He will never leave me. He will work everything together for my good and His glory. His timing is perfect…He is never late.

Will I believe?

The year draws to a close.

A few days into the new year, I find myself standing on a beach in Mexico late at night. Before me stretches the wide expanse of the ocean, with frothy white waves crashing against the moonlight shores. The sky above is an array of light as the stars shine forth with such brilliance as I have never seen.

It was here that the year 2009 flashed before my eyes. The running shoes. The traveling sandals. The ice skates. The hiking boots. Now, the memory of bare feet running along the sand...

And You asking me to be still.

“Be still and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!

The Lord of Hosts is with [me]

The God of Jacob is [my] fortress.”

Psalm 46:10

The journey in 2009 was a long one, but one of indescribable worth. I can look back and see Your sovereignty shining through every single step. That knowledge alone makes me excited and thrilled to run into 2010.

It is a new year. May it be one filled with more of You, Lord Jesus.

He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?

Micah 6:8



Read Part 1 ---- ~ ---- Read Part 2

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Author: Beth
•Sunday, January 24, 2010


[continued from Part 1]

...You slip some traveling sandals on my feet.

Away we fly together to a faraway land.

I see a place I have only dreamed about. I looked into the dark eyes of human souls. I see colors and sights and faces that harmonize together to make a melody that sings right into the deepest part of my heart.

It is beautiful. It is heartbreaking.

Beautiful because I see a glimpse of Your glory. Of Your Bride. I see my brothers and sisters worshiping the same God that I know. I see the smile of a little child who understands the love of Jesus. I see the unity of heart and mind of a team who desires to bear Your Name. I see your Kingdom being advanced. My eyes well up with tears because of the beauty of it all.

Heartbreaking because I realize just how much I need to change. My heart is stretched all the way around the world. I look back across the ocean and see my own life from a perspective that I couldn’t see before. My eyes are opened to the needs of hundreds of thousands of people… and the needs of my own heart to seek You more fully.

I realize in a whole new way what it means to live.

I don’t want this to end. Ever.

You’re asking me to change my shoes again, God?

Ice skates.

Seriously?

God, its July now! Putting on skates now totally goes against the norm. I mean, I am perfectly content to walk around on the only solid ground that I know… why would I venture into the unknown, standing on nothing but a thin piece of metal? I’m still new at that sport, God. I’m wobbly, weak, and I always have to hang on to someone else. I…

*silence*

You’re right, God. You haven’t failed me yet. I need to stop complaining…and stop looking back.

Ice skates it is.

Ouch! It’s every bit as wobbly as I thought it would be. I don’t know what to think about this sensation. So much to think about! How do I coordinate myself on this slippery plane? Figuring out why I’m here and what You would have me to do next is every bit as disconcerting as this skating thing.

I feel like a little kid again. I have so much to learn!

Wow… You are such a wise Father. I’m so glad that You don’t listen to my petty grouchiness, but instead listen to what my heart really needs. This ice skating thing is still really hard, but there is something beautiful about it. My hands are stronger because I’ve been clinging so hard to You. My feet are more sure of themselves because You put me on the ice. Dare I say that it’s worth it? Even though it’s weird to be ice skating at this time of life, I’m so glad that You never let go. You’re just teaching me to work in harmony with You… to glide more gracefully through whatever season comes next. I couldn’t do that if I was so sure of myself. The only thing I can be sure of is You.

Now what, Lord?

The leaves are falling. It’s autumn now, and I’m ready to move forward. Maybe it’s time for a new pair of shoes?

I can feel You gently replacing the ice skates with something firm. Something hard. Something tight…


Read Part 1 ---- ~ ---- Read Part 3


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Author: Beth
•Saturday, January 23, 2010

Writing a “year-end” review is rather a daunting task. I mean, seriously. That’s 365 days of life that just went by. That’s 728 times around the clock. Yet, there is a sense of deep awe at the mercy of God when reflecting on how much life has changed in the past year. I am so grateful that God loves me exactly the way I am, and yet loves me too much to let me STAY the way I am. So, here is a peek into what God’s been doing in my life in ’09. It’s my prayer that this will cause you to reflect upon your own life and revel in God’s goodness in continuing to change you day by day.

Reflections on 2009

Well, here I am, Lord. One blink and I’m launched into this new year of 2009. Life with You has always been quite an adventure. This year is going to be no exception… I can just feel it in the air. You know, sometimes I wonder if my prayers are somewhat na├»ve. I’ve always heard that I shouldn’t pray for something unless I’m completely open to however You will answer. Praying that You will change me and use me for Your glory seems like such a good, Christian prayer to pray. It’s funny how my finite mind seems to limit the ways You could answer such a prayer.

Here, I was thinking that it was going to be so easy, until I heard… what?

You want to use my feet?

My FEET?

That seems rather strange. Wouldn’t you rather use my hands, maybe? Or my head? I mean, those seem like more likely options to me…

Oh, right. I forgot (I seem to always do!). I’m not the one in charge here.

You’ve handed me a pair of running shoes.

Hmm. I’m pretty sure I know what this means. Life is going on the fast track for awhile. What an interesting way to start off this new year. I can see this mountain looming ahead of me. So much to do!

I start off going so strong. I can feel the wind in my face and can see the pavement whizzing by underneath my feet. Work, school, friends, family, church…the responsibilities start piling up. It’s getting a little harder now… I can’t see the starting point anymore.

Now, my breath is getting faster, my steps are slowing down. Lord, where are you? This is getting too hard! If I could just tear my eyes off my feet, I would be able to see the finish line. The pain is burning now. I’m out of breath.

I finally look up and realize that You’ve been right in front of me all along. The finish line isn’t too far away. You keep coaxing my eyes back up… telling me to put one foot in front of the other in faith. I don’t need to see where I’m going. I just need to see You.

Finally, I take the final step and cross the finish line. Graduation. My muscles are weary, my breath is still gone, but there is a smile on my face. I look back at the winding road and realize that it wasn’t me running there – it was Your faithfulness that brought me through. Seeing that alone made it all worth it.

‘Now,” You smile gently, “I want you to see something...”


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Author: Beth
•Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Hello dear friends,

Here I am again, attempting to form a few words. It’s been quite some time since I’ve written here. The silence has just been a catalyst for me to process all that God has done in this life of mine lately…and believe me, it has far surpassed what I ever could have imagined.

The picture that comes to mind is that of a little glass bottle bobbing along the ripples of a bubbly creek. Inside contains a little piece of paper, written by some invisible person far upstream. I can relate to how a person might feel as they release the bottle to the waves… not knowing where it will end or what eyes will read the scribbled words. It contains a feeling of hope, however - a feeble attempt to connect with another human being who might understand.

Well, communication has advanced rather well over the years, so this is the “high tech” version of a note in a bottle. :-) If I were to write one now, this is what it would say.

Life happens fast. God is the evermore the same.

Bear with me as I attempt to sort out all of the jumbled up thoughts that have come flooding in the last several weeks. God has done some incredible things, both inwardly and outwardly, and I’m excited to share bits and pieces of it with you in the near future.

~ Beth
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