Pink Pigs and Black Lab

Her name is Lucy.  She is a black lab that is a little over four months old. Wondering why you haven’t heard much about her?  Because her future has been on shaky ground these first 3 – 4 months…. What was I thinking to go back into Puppyland? But the verdict is in. She is definitely going to live, and live with us. I am so glad because this morning she provided a beautiful “Ah-ha” moment with the Lord about Unanswered Prayers.

The Lord and I have been talking a lot about the difference between feelings, facts and faith. Feelings are good, only not enough to build a life on. Facts are good but can be deceiving.  What are facts to me, may be not quite the whole picture from God’s perspective. My friend Mary made a great distinction between facts and Truth. She said facts are information but Truth is power.  Wow.  I loved that. And then finally, or rather ultimately, there is Faith. Belief in the unseen power, love and goodness of God. Ahhh– the squeeze begins.

“We wrestle not against flesh and blood.”
“Faith proved more precious than gold.”
“His ways are higher than our ways.”

Talk about tension.

God is revealing everything in my life that competes for His affection. I am pretty sure I want this or that. And He says “No, but you can have more of Me.”  I ask for something else. He says “No, but you can have more of Me.”  And on it goes.

I don’t feel bad about the process. I don’t think He does either. He is trying to show me how I go looking for the wrong thing, the lesser thing, the Un-needed thing over and over. He is painfully but lovingly showing me how I believe in what I can see more than what He has promised me. Enter Lucy.

Lucy has a whole bag of toys: Old shoes, a red lobster, an orange pumkin, and her favorite, “Blue,” a blobby blue toy with a face. Go figure. But every single day, I said every single day, Lucy sneaks into Charis’ room and nabs a pink pig slipper and lays down and begins chewing on it.

Every day I say no.  Some days she brings it to me as if to say, “Today?”  Other days, she waits ’til I am distracted and slinks off to her bed with it in her mouth. And of course I see her and take it away and give her one of her own toys. She seems oblivious to the fact that her whole world is governed by me; that I know the condition of her toys. I replace them as needed and buy her new ones just for fun. I buy her food and make sure she eats. I even clean up her many messes, some that are true accidents, and many that are on purpose.  But I do more than provide for her. I enjoy her.  I am here for her, but she is also here for me and my family.  There is an emotional exchange between us.

I am like Lucy more than I care to admit.  Every day, I ask for some stupid pink pig. Every day, I think that I have to scrounge, or that I can sneak, when the reality is, my world is governed by my Living God.  But I am more than a family pet to Him; I am His bride.

Really. You are too. Really.  Maybe faith is believing that those pink pigs are only distractions and the safest place I can be is in His arms.  There has been a Holy Exchange between us. I am here for Him. And He does more than provide; He enjoys me.

“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all—how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32

Can You Feel It?

I was in this crazy meeting the other day, and my friend/mentor said: “The problem with Jana is she has to FEEL everything. She has to have a feeling before she takes action, or a feeling before she believes the facts.”

He kept talking, but I noticed everything went on pause for me as I considered what he said.  Is this a good thing or a bad thing to need to FEEL everything?

Yes. Both. I had to do a lot of work to learn how to feel emotions, love and confidence. I had to dig through a lot of rubbish to find my heart. So I don’t dismiss this progress. That’s the good part. But I also see that if I don’t FEEL the right thing, or enough of some thing, I pause, or stall, or panic. That’s the bad part.

Somewhere in here is the need for Faith.

Faith, I am coming to believe, is not built on feelings, but fact.  There are the FACTS of God that are true whether my feelings line up or not.  These facts have been in existence long before and long after my feelings stir, blaze, and fade.  And my answer to the gap that exists between fact and feeling is worship.

I declare over myself the realities of the Living God. I renounce the “spirit” of despair and announce the goodness of the Spirit of God.  I worship the Truest thing I know, the Love of God. And by faith, I believe my feelings will catch up sooner or later.

How do your feelings dictate, translate and frustrate your life, your successes, even your failures?

Seth Godin’s Blog really hit the spot this morning…  As you read it, do a heart check and get moving.  “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

I don’t feel like it

What’s it?

Why do you need to feel like something in order to do the work? They call it work because it’s difficult, not because it’s something you need to feel like.

Very few people wake up in the morning and feel like taking big risks or feel like digging deep for something that has eluded them. People don’t usually feel like pushing themselves harder than they’ve pushed before or having conversations that might be uncomfortable.

Of course, your feelings are irrelevant to whether or not the market expects great work. Do the work. Ignore the feelings part and the work will follow.

~ Seth Godin