A Time for Reflection

Holiday Island 2

Today is the last day of an incredibly restful and refreshing vacation.  This picture is the view from the deck where I am currently sitting and drinking a cup of tea.  It’s still early and there’s a little mist hovering over the water.  What a reflection of Papa’s heart that He would create such beauty for us to enjoy.

I have been reflecting on the last year or so while I’ve been here.  It’s been a very full year with lots of stretching and growing and seeking.  Seeking His face and His Truth and His peace.  Seeking His way over the world’s way in every situation.  This year I have seen my son graduate from high school and my daughter get married.  As a family, we have said goodbye to my father and hello to new additions to the clan, including the two most adorable baby girls you have ever seen. ūüôā   My son got hydrocephalus and had emergency brain surgery.  I went from teaching classes at the local fabric and craft store, to working there part time, to being the Education Coordinator.  I opened a webstore, published my first book, and turned 50.  And I watched my daughter rise up to make a difference by selling tungsten rings to benefit the tornado victims in the state.

Through it all I have been amazed at the peace I have experienced.  I am blessed beyond words with the company of ones that Papa has knit together with my heart.  In the times that I have felt stretched beyond my limits or dizzy from the shifting paradigms that come with the revelation of His Truth, they have covered me and lifted me up and not allowed me to stay in that place.  They have helped to propel me back up to the throne of Grace where I can once again stand, a Kingdom woman, as I am destined and purposed to be.

I have seen more clearly than ever before that life is not about reaching some nebulous point on the road.  It’s about the journey.  It’s about learning and growing and stretching.  About shedding mindsets and attitudes that don’t reflect  the heart of Papa.  About becoming free of the network of artificially imposed limits and boundaries that the world uses to keep us bound in mediocrity and unfulfilled purpose.  About overcoming fear and insecurity and doing what the heart longs to do.

So, for at least the next 50 years, I will be staging my own personal revolution.  Against what the world says I should and shouldn’t do, against what fear says I can and can’t do, and against what the mindsets say I will and won’t do.  These partial lyrics by LeAnn Squier have become a personal rallying cry:

You were born to be limitless,

You were born for so much more

Than you have known in this life.

You were born for more!

You were born to be unafraid.

Neither height, nor width, nor depth

Can separate you now.

You were born to soar.

You were made for the endless skies.

You were made for the mountain heights.

The God who made us all

Made you limitless!

In Memoriam

Daddy walking my beautiful Ashley down the aisle.

Daddy walking my beautiful Ashley down the aisle.

Last week, my little corner of the world said goodbye to a wonderful man as my father transitioned to his heavenly home.¬† He had fought a 15 year battle with cancer and finally said ‚Äúenough‚ÄĚ.¬† He faced that fight with faith, humor, and incredible courage.¬† And so it was fitting that we celebrated his life with both faith and humor at the service honoring him.¬† It was incredible to hear from those he touched on his earthly journey.¬† Young and old, rich and poor, and from very faith and background, we are still hearing stories about my dad.¬† And in every one there is usually a very bad joke and a wealth of joy; both of which characterized his every waking moment.¬† For 20+ years he served his country in the Air Force all over the world, and for another ¬†20+ years he taught young people at Oklahoma State University.¬† And everywhere he went he modeled integrity, faith, and a zest for life that impacted those around him far more than I think he realized.

Daddy, I am honored and blessed that Papa chose you to be my father.  Thank you for modeling faith, honor, and integrity to me always.  Thank you for honoring and loving Mom the way you did.  Thank you for being a father to my children when they needed one and to countless other young people that came into your life.  And thank you for teaching me the importance of a good sense of humor.  I will love you always and miss you without despairing, because I know that we will be reunited again.

And for goodness sake, don’t tell Saint Peter the one about Foot, Foot Foot, and Foot Foot Foot…

Old Dogs, New Tricks, and Other Urban Legends

In my internet browsing recently I have been drawn to several blogs about families’ adventures in homesteading.¬† I¬†just love the way they are¬†returning to the land and learning about organic gardening, animal husbandry, and traditional foods.¬† One of my favorites is Katie Riddle’s blog, Riddlelove.¬† I am living vicariously through them all¬†for sure.¬† Every time I read one, my heart aches to have my very own piece of land where anything is possible and everything is allowed.

As I was reading the other day, a very disturbing thing happened.¬† From the deep, dark, recesses of my mind came this ugly, mean, nasty voice.¬† It said things like, “Don’t you think you’re a little too old for that kind of thing?”.¬† And, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks, ya know”.¬† After listening to that voice for a few minutes I got really sad.¬† Maybe that voice was right, maybe I was too old.¬† Maybe a single woman doesn’t have any business living out in the country.¬† Blah blah blah¬†blah blah.¬† I almost started crying over all the reasons this deep, heart-felt desire of mine was a bad idea.

Then I started getting mad.¬† How dare that ugly voice try to steal my dream!¬† Just who did that voice belong to anyway?¬† I don’t believe I’m too old!¬† I’m not even 50 yet!¬† And this old mature¬†dog can learn just as many new tricks as she wants to, thank you very much.

Here’s what I learned through this:

1.  The Bible warns us that the devil is here to steal, kill, and destroy.  That includes our dreams and passions,

2.¬† It’s important that you feed your dream and keep it in front of you, and

3.¬† It’s really important that you guard your dream and don’t let anyone talk¬†you out of it.

So, next time you begin to hear that nasty voice trying to talk you out of your dream go get your pointy toed shoes on and kick some devil hinny!  And dream on, Baby, dream on!