Thursday, March 26, 2015

When you're just not seeing it

Recently, I found a treasure at a used bookstore...Soul Gardening: Cultivating the Good Life.

It's one of those books that calls my heart and soul to "come and dine".

Today the author shared about the first time he planted a seed...and it took me back...

To when I was a child, holding my first seed...rolling it around between my fingers...wondering how something so small could ever grow to look like the flower on the seed packet.

I remember the scene so well...the noble rock behind me, which seemed so big at the time. The field of grass spread before me. And a little hole in the ground that I had grand dreams for.

I think it was a Hibiscus....because I remember thinking if I grew enough of them, I could make a necklace.

All I know is that the packet promised that if I put that seed into the ground, out would come this HUGE BRILLIANT flower.

It took my breath away.

So, with the faith of a child, I planted it, placing it gently in the hole and covering it...patting it like a small kitten, content that I would soon experience a miracle.

Day after day after day I ran to my rock and sat on it, staring intently at the site, believing with all my heart that my flower was going to poke up from the ground, any second now.  

But it never, ever came.

I remember standing there, feeling betrayed...wondering what I had done wrong. It was supposed to be so different.

I returned to that site many times over the next year...always expectant. Always hoping. Even in the snow of winter.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Is it worth it? Does it make a difference? I'm glad you asked!

Sometimes I want to quit.

Not life. Blogging.

On days like today I it worth it?

Questions pop through my mind like popcorn in a hot air popper. Is anyone reading it? Does it make a difference in anyone's life? What ever made me think I have anything to say? It's all been said before. Somewhere. Someplace. By someone who can handle words infinitely better than I.

The world will go on if I never strike another keyboard key.

Pity party? Maybe.

Or maybe something deeper, something I need at times...the doubts and discouragement that God allows into my life to drive me back to Him. To realign my vision, to forge a deeper trust and faith in Him. And not myself.

As a frail, weak-kneed human, it's so easy to forget why I do what I this case, blogging.

I can grow weary. Disillusioned. Unsettled. And that's when doubts and discouragement can set in.

Like wheels on a car that have hit too many curbs, I begin to wobble.

I need to be realigned.

In the past, like any tried and true New Englander, I would have picked myself up by my bootstraps and pressed on.

Until the day came I was too tired to even bend over and find those infamous bootstraps.

That's when God showed me that doubts and discouragement can be tools in His hands, if only I will see them that opportunities to search my heart and try my motives.

To see if I am still on His track and in His will.

And if I am, to recommit myself to Him, renewed and strengthened to press on in His power.

And that brings me back to this blogging thing.

Why do I blog?

Several years ago, when God and I were spending a lot of time together wandering in the Wilderness, He planted the desire to blog into my dry and barren heart.

Three years later, He finally allowed that desire to break ground and come forth...with a purpose I never could have seen back then.

You see, this blog isn't written only to bless and encourage others, though I am so thankful if it does.

And it's not just a way to be faithful in using the gifts He has given me, though that brings me great joy.

No, there's another, stronger, what-my-heart-beats-for purpose. He's known it all along, but it's only recently that I've come to understand it...

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Walking in Truth or truth?

I have this crazy besetting sin.

Well, not just one...sigh...I have many.

But today I am going to talk about one particular that can drive me crazy.

Ready? True confession...I am obsessed with truth.

Now you may not think that is a bad thing, but I am living testimony that it can be.

For instance you say? Bear with me, non-photography-type people...

Let's talk about Photoshop. No, it's not a place you go to online to shop for photos to decorate your home with.

Rather, Photoshop is A) a noun, as in the program "Adobe Photoshop".

Or B) a verb...Pho·to·shop ˈfōdōˌSHäp/verb/to alter (a photographic image) digitally using Photoshop image-editing software. "The pictures have obviously been Photoshopped." 

And this is where it starts to get sticky for me...where my truth obsession starts giving me myopic vision...myopic as in "unimaginative", "uncreative", "unadventurous", "narrow-minded". Ouch.

You see, as a budding photographer, very budding, I have been trying to reach a conclusion about the need to photoshop my pictures.

I mean, really, shouldn't it be possible to get the picture right the first time and not have to play with it later?

And doesn't altering any of the qualities of the picture make it "impure"? Give a false representation of the reality?

My "truthy" self cannot bear such a thought!

Some of my justifications? Let's take two of them...

Thursday, March 5, 2015

To feed the monster or not, that is the question

This is definitely not the type of picture I usually lead my blog with...agreed?

But it's necessary to get you where I want to take you.

Because today I want to ramble about a subject that none of us are too fond of...discipline...especially the self kind.

I hear those rumblings..."Yes! Just the topic I wanted to hear about today! And the monster picture? Right up my alley. Now, let's see if I can find a more edifying blog out there"

I understand. But bear with me...if you want to find out about the monster, you'll need to keep on reading!

So, what do you think of when you hear the word "discipline"? If you're like me, I bet certain things come to a child I was spanked, sent to my room, put in a corner, or made to sit next to the teacher's desk for an entire day. I won't say how many times I had a bar of soap put into my that was the absolute worst!

The truth is, I always knew I needed to be disciplined...I just didn't like it! Even though I was told it was for my own good, I still pouted and complained and got angry. Thankfully those who loved me continued to discipline me, saying they loved me too much to leave me the way I was.

Is it any wonder then, as we become adults, that God continues this process? After all, He loves us passionately and desires that we be conformed to the image of His Son. And discipline is one way He accomplishes this...always because He loves us and knows what is best for us.

But that's not the discipline I want to talk about today, as important as it is. No, it's that other kind of discipline...the hard one. The one where it's not done to us, but where we get to do it to ourselves!


And this is where it gets hard...