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Beauty and Danger

beauty danger2Last week I could feel my spirit just dragging. Life had been busy, time with God had been shortened, and I was keenly feeling the effects of not having quality time with my Savior. I knew I needed to get away to the Mountains for at least a couple hours to just sit and be still. My mom was up visiting, so she hung out with Aurora while I took off to the Hills.

I found a spot off a dirt road, parked the jeep, grabbed my blanket, glanced around at the ground and dropped my blanket and settled in. Now, when I picked my spot, I noticed the bigger “beauty” and “danger”. The spot was shaded, full of greenery, with a few flowers. It also had a thorny wild rose bush that I was careful to avoid putting my blanket near. I was sad my spot wasn’t near water, as I really enjoy the sound of waterfalls and creeks. But the waterfall area was crawling with tourists, and not the place to be alone to think.

As I sat in my spot and practiced being still, I started to notice more “beauty” as well as more “danger”. At first I had only noticed a few bugs flying around me. But after 3o-45 minutes, I noticed they were everywhere, and the longer I sat, the more I noticed (and swatted). I also noticed a big ol’ spider web in the thorny rose bush next to my blanket, as well as a watery cocoon. (I’m not a fan of insects, so these are “danger” to me). But I also started to notice more beauty. A few rose buds on the bush I hadn’t noticed. Some white flowers tucked into the greenery below. Sunlight filtering through the trees. And then, after an hour of sitting and being still, I heard the sound of rushing water!

And God had an analogy for me in all of this. In my rushed state when I first picked my spot, I only noticed the immediate and large “beauty” and “danger”. If I’m not still in my spirit, I will only notice the larger beauty and danger to my soul. I will miss the smaller blessings (beauty) from God, and may even come to the point where I doubt His love and goodness towards me because I can’t see the smaller, more intimate ways He’s showing His love towards me. I will also miss the subtle dangers to my spirit, and it seems that’s where the enemy likes to work best. When I first sat down, I only noticed a few bugs, but the longer I sat, I noticed the small ones. Unless I am still before God, I won’t notice the small “gnats” eating away at my spirit.

In the moments of being still, God can reveal to me the dangers to my soul that I’m not noticing. Like when I’m prizing efficiency over loving people. Or trying to pursue rest via my own efforts of control. I find myself thinking “if only I could clean & organize my house, my schedule, my thoughts… then I’ll find rest/peace.” Sure, cleaning and organizing will provide a sense of rest, but it will be temporary, and not the true rest my soul is desperate for. That kind of rest can only come from being still in God’s presence.

It’s takes a peaceful spirit to see God’s intimate and personal ways of loving us. It takes a peaceful spirit to be teachable and humble to God revealing where we are slipping into sin. We might think we’re okay, because we are catching the bigger danger and beauty, but the smaller ones may matter more.

I encourage you to find some time to be still. Regular time. It doesn’t have to be up in the mountains, that’s just where I connect best with God. When we spent some time doing this during our women’s bible study, each girl picked a room in the house, or a spot in the yard, to spend 30 minutes being still with God. One girl received a lot of personal encouragement from God by seeing Moby Dick on my bookshelf and perusing through it. I don’t get it, but God knew she would! Because He is that personal in His love for us!

If you need some help letting God show you the smaller dangers to your spirit, I thought this blog post was pretty right on: 9 Sins the Church Is Surprisingly OK With as Long as You Love Jesus.

 

 

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a baby, fear, & pride

I’ve been thinking about my blog a lot lately. Partly because it’s been a year since I started it. Partly because I’m going through Experiencing God again and as I read about “what has God asked you to do,” this blog keeps coming to mind.

Although it may not seem like it, I have thought about this blog often. But then fear and doubt creep in. I have had so many ideas of things I want to write and share, but not the time to think it through as well as I would like in order to blog it. Getting pregnant affected my ability to write until April (first trimesters are rough!). By mid-April I regained vision for ministry and had things to share. But I didn’t blog them. And more ideas throughout this summer. And I still didn’t write. Then Aurora came, this beautiful baby girl that took up all my energy and time. Two months later, as we figure out this new life, start to gain a “schedule”, and my times with God increase in length and focus, blog ideas are coming to mind — but fear and pride keep me from writing.

So today, I’m choosing to push past it and write instead. I realized that I’m wanting to “think it through” because I want a “legit blog”, which to me means well-written and well formatted and great graphics. But that “goal” is keeping me from writing altogether. And it’s based in pride. God hasn’t asked me to write a professional blog, at least not yet. He’s asked me to share the things He’s speaking to me, as it helps me process them more fully, and along the way others may be encouraged or challenged by those things as well.

So here’s to a new year! 2015 isn’t over just yet! Is there anything God has asked you to do this year? Don’t wait for 2016 — 2015 isn’t over yet!