Reading the Road Signs Well

I love the whole process of going on a trip. It forces me to examine what I really do and do not need. It also exposes props that I use to make myself comfortable, or worse, presentable. However, when you try to get four people in a small car, your props sometimes have to go. I have to admit, though, deep down I like the freedom that comes without the extra baggage. I remember when Chuck and I went to Paris for 10 days and each of us only took one carry on bag. It was wonderful to roll through customs without lugging more “necessities.”   Beach trips are even better. Swimsuit, sunscreen, sundresses, towels, books, lotion, toothbrush, done.

Which brings me to the question rolling around in my head. What is it we really need?  We spend our lives on the supposed “necessities” and wear ourselves out lugging around the extra bags, but could we really, really streamline and focus?

Apply this metaphor to your thought life. How many pieces of luggage are you dragging around there?  Did you really mean to pack fear, anxiety, inaction, doubt? Do you really “need” those?

Scripture says we have the “mind of Christ”  so how does that impact  our ability to think clearly, without all the baggage? And what does He think about anyway? 

Just for fun let me share how He directed my thoughts on the way home from Florida.  We have this long standing exercise of conversing via billboards. All the way down there, it didn’t even enter my mind to look. But on the way home I began to feel the familiar tug and opened my heart to whatever He said. I realized He was answering questions that I had asked while we walked on the beach.

I had asked for direction for my life, my family and my work. I also surrendered the need to have life go “my way.”  In His loving way, He revealed how my “plans” to do His work were still about me. He said, “Jana, you just make it all about Me. I will take care of the rest.”

So my response to Him was honest but confused.  “I love that idea, but how do you do that? Do I do nothing and wait on you?” And this is the ah-ha.

“Of course not,” was His reply. Because He is always working. He explained that really making my life revolve around Him, about being for Him, through Him, to Him, was to be my main objective. The other stuff, my supposed props and necessities, were just baggage that was wearing me out. All that luggage was full of stuff trying to make me comfortable and be presentable. Those bags were full of stuff about me, for me, to me.

Here is what He had to say just to remind me that He is present, working, able and inspiring:

Let’s Make a Big Impression.

Making a Difference for Hurting People.

Spread Your Wings and Fly

Tested. Trusted. True.

Total Support is a Beautiful Thing.

Think Big.

An Alluring Business.

Winning Happens.

Be Blessed.

Going Strong.

Adventure above the Rest.

Lighten Up.

Pride. Tradition. Excellence.

Preparation with a Purpose.

Try today to travel light. You might find that you and Jesus really is enough.  His thoughts really are higher than ours and He wants us to be where He is… I love traveling with Him.

Whole Heart

You know as well as I do that it was not the book, but the prayer.  You know also, it could have happened in a moment. Instead the Lord chose to take me back to the places where I lost it. Rejection, denial, anger, jealousy. Any of those bus stops sound familiar?

The Lord used this journey, the “scenic” route I had traveled, to birth a whole new understanding of what a woman is and is not, who she is and is not, because of who He is and is not.

Go read Psalm 139 again.

It is astounding to think that God thinks of us more often than there are grains of sand in the ocean. Do we really get that He knit us together? He made us. He loves us.

He made you. He loves you. Completely. Right now.

I have heard it said that when we lose sight of God we lose sight of the value of life. We then lose sight of the wonder of creation, and thus lose sight of the majesty of the Creator. The more we try to conform to each other and try to be the same, the more we miss out on the beauty of our God. The more we miss out on the beauty of our God, the more we miss out on our beauty as an expression of Him.

It works the other way around as well. The more I read my Bible, the bigger God gets. The more I see what He wants to do with and through His children, the more I see how He wants relationship rather than duty. Freedom more than boxes.

The more I understood freedom from God’s perspective, the easier it was to push out of the boxes that had enclosed me. Instead of walls, there was His glory as my glory. Beauty for ashes.

Excerpt taken from Unhindered, Chapter 39.

Let’s Get Real Here:

What do you really think God thinks about you?  How would it feel to revisit some of those bus stops in the light of His truth?