Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD… (Psalm 40:4)

Posts tagged ‘#YesToGod’

Fresh Vision for a New Season

The view outside my window shows the subtle signs of a new season.

Change is coming!

I’m sitting here looking out my window at the beautiful green trees.  In New Hampshire, where we lived for many years, September is a time of change.  The trees are already beginning to dress up in their autumn colors.  Where I sit here in North Carolina, the leaves are mostly still green.  Ah, but there are some signs of change if you look closely enough – a hint of red near the leaf stems on one tree, with some beautiful red berries forming.  Autumn is on her way!

I once read that we as women live our lives in seasons – seasons marked in large part by our relationships and roles. As we move from season to season, God may use us in fresh ways and give us fresh vision and goals.  But the stirrings of change do not always wait for life-changing events like the birth of a child or an empty nest.  God’s timing is His own.

In my own life, God began sending signs of a new season a little over a year ago.  He laid it on my heart to resign my full-time position and seek part-time work.  At the same time, he gave a dear friend a message that He wanted to use me to speak into others’ lives of His faithfulness and trustworthiness.

At first the changes came slowly, like the subtle hints of red in the leaves outside my window this afternoon.  My new job was a part-time position doing the same thing as my former full-time job, with the same employer.  The idea of writing was an appealing friend with which I sat and pondered life from time to time – but nothing more.

Slowly more changes began to unveil this fresh vision.  An opportunity arose for me to attend the She Speaks conference in the coming summer.  Then I received notice that my job was ending and I would need to reapply.  After prayer and consulting with my husband, I chose not to return to the same position. What?  No job?  Lord, what do you want me to do now?  So I applied for part-time jobs and waited to see what God would open up.  Or maybe He would provide in some other way if this was to be a full transition to the role of writing.

The time came for the She Speaks conference and what should be in my email that first morning but an invitation to interview for a part-time job – the only response to all the applications I had completed. “So what about writing, Lord?  Do You still want me to do that or am I here so You can show me that this is not Your plan for me?”

In the days that followed, I interviewed for the job and received an offer – all the time asking God if this was the direction I should go.  “So, Lord,  I’m supposed to work now and postpone the idea of writing?”  Well, maybe not!  On the day I was offered the job, I also received an opportunity to contribute to a devotional book.

So this is my new season so far – a new part-time job doing what I love and the opportunity to obey God by writing about Him.  Oh, and the renewed assurance that He will lead as I seek to follow Him and commit to saying Yes to Him.  I’m looking forward to finding out just what changes lie ahead in this season of my life.

Are the stirrings of a new season appearing in your life?  Trust our Heavenly Father, who makes all things beautiful in their time (Ecclesiastes 3:11).  He will lead you as you seek and obey Him.

See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up;
do you not perceive it?
Isaiah 43:19

Heavenly Father, as the seasons change, both in nature and in our lives, may we trust in Your unfailing love and faithfulness to reveal the beauty of each new season.  May we focus on You as You bring about new things in our lives.

Sticking With It

This week’s focus in the What Happens When Women Say Yes to God online Bible study has been “Stick with it!”  How timely!  In the midst of so many distractions, it can be hard to stick with our decisions to listen to and obey God’s voice.

Let me tell you about some of the distractions that have been clamoring for my attention in the past two weeks.  A week ago Monday I started a new part-time job.  It’s an hour away, more than doubling my commute time.  But it’s part-time so that should be okay, right?  Well, when you’re a teacher in a new school and classes are about to start, the words “part-time” lose their meaning.  There are new procedures and curricula to learn, a website page to set up, colleagues to meet, lesson plans to prepare, paperwork to fill out, records to set up… And then come the students!  So now there are new names and faces to learn, new personalities to get to know, more paperwork to prepare and process, beginning assessments to score… The lists seem endless.

Add to that the fact that my 11-year-old son started school this Monday – his first year in middle school.  So along come an orientation meeting, supply shopping, clothes shopping, getting back into the school-year morning and evening routines … and then all the paperwork from his school for parents to sign.

Oops!  Forgot the laundry – and picking up more milk – and doing my Bible study…

We’ve all been there, in these busy times when the clamor of life tries to pull us away from our focus on God.  It’s not my first rodeo, so to speak.  But this time there’s a difference.  Why?  Because God has gotten my attention through this Bible study and refocused my heart and mind on Himself.  I’ve made the choice to say YES to Him, no matter what.  (Okay, you may know me well enough to know that I don’t get this perfect – but that is the desire of my heart.) So even though I got sidetracked from doing my online Bible study for a few days, He has continually called my attention back to Himself.  How?

  • At many such times in the past, I have “taken a break” from my daily time of prayer and reading the Bible.  By His grace, I have said YES to Him each morning through this hectic time of change.
  • When faced with the pressure of getting to school on time when I don’t know how long it will take in school-year morning traffic (and I left a few minutes later than I wanted), I could feel the anxiety growing inside me. I could hear the call to give up, stop trying to do this crazy thing, just go back to what is comfortable – and in the past I have let such thoughts dominate my emotions.  But then I heard the voice of my Savior.  “Praise me.”  Okay, Jesus, here goes.  And songs of praise lifted my anxiety and assured me of His strength to get through this.  (Oh, and I got to work on time.)
  • After getting behind on the Bible study, my natural inclination would have been to say, “Well, I guess this is just not a good time to do this right now, what with the new job and all its demands on my time and attention.”  But thanks be to God, He placed in my heart an eagerness to dig into the study this morning when I had some time off.  And there He spoke His encouragement to my heart… not to give up, not to live in my “I can’t” world, but to follow Him in His strength.

But He said to me,
“My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness.”
2 Corinthians 12:9

Thank You, Lord Jesus, for Your great love that calls me from where I am into Your presence, into growth in my walk of faith with You.  Thank You for forgiving me when I mess things up and forget to trust You, and for gently calling my attention back to Yourself.  Thank You that when I am weak, You are strong in and for me.