Tuesday, March 31

be's and do's

it seems for quite some time i have been wondering and really wanting to know (warning: cliches ahead) what my "niche" is, where my place in this world/my world is, what i "do". 

"Hi, my name is Sarah, and you should be my friend because ____________ ." 

i want to have a "thing" - something i am known for - an identity. 

when i word it that way, a number of things become clear. 

my identity? i am a child of God. it's not what i do; it's who i am. and He has created me to be exactly who i am supposed to be. i can try all i want to be someone else, but i will be most fruitful when i simply am. when i am me. it is pride and selfishness that want an identity apart from this. to be known for something, for doing. i am unimportant. that's just a fact. i am capable of nothing of true value and worth. yet, in His great mercy, God chose me, "having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we . . might be for the praise of his glory" (Eph1:11-12)... for His name's sake, not my own name or identity. 

He has given me a be, and He doesn't even stop there! He blesses me with a do. for he says i am "God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for [me] to do" (Eph2:10). until i can get it through my thick skull and even thicker ego that it is not about me, how can i expect to be used for His glory? anything done on my own efforts would bring praise or criticism back to me. a thought that sickens my soul... i must identify myself as His child, seek Him and Him alone, and this will free me to be and do.

hands off the reins. He must lead. i must follow. it's not going to start with me. and it's not going to end with me either.

Tuesday, March 24

in the stillness...

and when it is finally still, i hear the Voice. all of my "what if's" have but one answer... I AM.

Monday, March 23

monday morning (september 15 2008)

after a busy, tiring and AMAZING weekend, i found myself driving to work this morning in an hypnotic-like state. my focus was solely on the car in front of me - in particular on hoping and praying that the lady driving said car would put down her mascara wand and turn her focus on keeping her vehicle in between the yellow and white lines. about 3/4 of the way through my "commute" i broke my daze and looked out my side window to notice, or rather, be blown away by, what i saw. a bold blue expanse interrupted by sharp silver clouds, framing rolling green hills. ok, ok... that may sound a bit cliche but it was gorgeous and it took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. (it's monday morning - i'm allowed to overuse cliches!) i couldn't believe i'd missed this for most of my drive - the beauty and romancing of my heart by my Creator. being focused is a good thing. having focus allows you to make decisions with confidence and ease and live a life of purpose and direction. but how often are we so focused on what lies ahead or where we are going that we miss out on the right here and right now? does our focus sometimes hinder us from simply enjoying life, the moment we're in, the beauty of our surroundings? take some time to look around and see what you may be overlooking. love life and don't be afraid to enjoy it! (end cliche monday!)

Friday, March 13

when life gives you lemons...

ever have times where life seems to be caught up in taking a big crap on you? like when you make it very clear you do not want tomatoes on your tuna sandwich at panera and, sure enough, when you get your order... there are 3 gorgeous bright red and ripe slices of tomato on it. or when you go to finally pick up the new season of a show you've already put money on a preorder for (which, mind you, was advertised for a very enticing cheap price when it came out that tuesday) only to find that by sunday the store had jacked the price back up to the original one. or when your car window decides to die on you while it's rolled down in the middle of a beautiful day. but that's nothing to worry about. it's gorgeous out... until that rainstorm comes through. or how about how it's already bad enough that your window won't close more than halfway but your trunk decides to screw with you as well. after you put all your valuable belongings in it for safekeeping. again nothing to worry about, they're safe alright. no one's getting in that thing! right, so... big dumps. well, i find you have two options. let it wipe itself all over you, leaving skid marks and putrid smells. or roll up your sleeves, get down and dirty with it, and make mud pies. then sell the pies for money to pay to get your car fixed. as for me, i'm currently concocting a new pie recipe. i should probably apologize to those who found the subject of my post too much to handle. sorry, maybe a disclaimer was in order. but... everybody poops. i would also like to point out here that restraint on details was cautiously enacted. here's to lemon "mudringue" pie!

Wednesday, March 11

knock, knock, knockin'

the other morning my car began to make a strange noise. it went something like this... SCRRRAAAAAAATCHHHH! ok so the noise doesn't translate well into word but it was loud and terrifying and definitely not one i'd ever heard it make before (and believe you me, in the last few months there have been plenty of 'em!)

this was quite a distressing situation to me because it seems every time i get one problem fixed on my car another rears an ugly and usually quite costly head. i drove to work as my car made this novel noise, speculating all the way there what it could be using of course my extensive knowledge of cars and their mechanics. (hehehe ;) yes, i'm still 13 at heart and hormones.)

when i got to work i headed around to the passenger side where the noise was originating from to only burst out laughing as i realized all my worries about my car were completely unjustified.

a tree branch was sticking out of the door, clearly having gotten stuck in there the last time i closed that door.

the next day i began my drive to work without incident. as i stopped to pick up mail, i got out of my car and, for the first time ever, closed my finger in the door. it still makes me shudder, thinking about the throb that befriended my undeserving pointer finger for the day.


closed doors. open doors.

it is not uncommon for us to talk about a door that has either closed or opened on our journeys in life. they make us worry, they make us laugh, they make us hurt. sometimes we wish a closed door would open or other times that an open door would close. we relate our walks through life as a series of doors that have either been slammed in our face stopping us from where we thought we might be going or have opened widely inviting us to the next phase of our lives. when we are faced with too many open doors, we hope that all but the one we are "supposed" to take will close.

however, when a door that we hoped to be stepping through closes, we spend time wishing that it would have stayed open and welcomed us over its threshold. i'm at a point right now where i'm standing before a doorway with my hand knocking but it's looking as though my knocking will not be answered. or perhaps that no one is home. (: in any case, it seems i am looking at a closed door.

on the other hand, i have a friend who feels like she is standing in front of a number of open doors, and she finds herself hesitant, wanting to make sure she picks the "right" one to walk through. i'm not sure which situation i would prefer. closed doors can actually provide direction and closure, while open doors leave it up to us to take the risk of stepping through.

 so what is the appropriate response when we find ourselves in another hallway of open or closed doors?

i'm finding the only thing to do is to be thankful. be thankful whether we're starting another chapter or seeing one close before it has the chance to begin. and the only way i can be thankful is by first trusting the One who opens and closes these doors. i trust that He knows better than i do the way my life should go; that He knows the best doorways for me to walk through. and while i lack this foresight i can be thankful that in hindsight i will see the best. so even though closed doors may evoke fear and worry and even hurt, in the end, they bring you new doors or at least some of the best laughs. (:
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