Saturday, February 28, 2015

Draw Near to Me



As I stood on top of one of my dining room chairs, reaching to unplug/plug-in our router (for like the hundredth time this week,) hoping it would allow me to have seamless access to the internet... I found myself stuck in that moment.  I was leaning on top of our bureau which holds our printer, waiting for the 6 or 7 little lights to begin their process of showing some signs of life in the router when, I just stopped and prayed.
Being just a foot or so higher off of the ground, I felt closer to God somehow.  I allowed myself a deep cleansing breath, took a bird's eye look at the top of my dining room table, which doubles as my desk, and I told God, "I surrender all of this homework to you God." 

This weekend, I have many, many large in depth assignments due by midnight, Sunday.  I have one course ending, and another one beginning on Monday, with two others that are ongoing.  I have a partner project that I am doing over the phone and e mail with someone that lives several hours away.  As I took a look at the stacks of books, papers, calendars, pens, pencils, and notes, I could see that there was no way I could do this alone.  I need Him.  I need His strength.

In James 4:8 we read, "Come near to God, and God will come near to you. You sinners, clean sin out of your lives. You who are trying to follow God and the world at the same time, make your thinking pure."

That is exactly what I often do.  I think I have the answers, or that my friends or family have all the answers.  But it's God who does.  He provides the answer I am looking for, every single time.  He may use someone to deliver it, but He is the source of all strength, knowledge, and power.  Every single time.

Maybe it's walking on the beach, maybe it's sitting in a pew, maybe it's driving in your car.. or maybe, it's standing on a chair in the middle of a mess... put yourself in places where you can "draw near to Him." He will provide all that you need when you do.  

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie

Monday, February 9, 2015

Finding Your Focus


Focus.  We are strive to have it, keep it, maintain it.  But it sure is easy to lose.  

Distractions, stress, worries, unexpected delays... They are contribute to our loss of focus.  

I have learned through my experience, that focusing on God and His will for my life is not a choice I made once.  It is a choice I have to make every day, sometimes several times a day.  

It's easy to allow the negative thoughts or words of others dictate our feelings and mood.  That's easy.  It can be challenging to let go of our sympathy for ourself and our situation to choose to focus on God and how He is growing us moment to moment.

Psalm 16:11 speaks of how God promises to lead us throughout our whole lives, not just occasionally, but our whole lives.  He also promises us absolute joy when we are in His presence.  And I don't know about you, but the promise of sheer delight is something I am interested in receiving.  

Looking back, whenever I felt lost, stressed, frustrated, I can for sure admit that those were the times I was focused on something other than God and His will for my life.  I allowed myself to be released from these promises, even temporarily.  While focusing on other things, I sure did not experience joy or delight, I experienced fear, concern, and hopelessness.  

But the good news is, we don't have to remain in that situation.  We can choose to switch our focus, fix our eyes on Him.  The moment we do, wholly and completely, we will receive what He has promised us and so much more.  

None of us is perfect.  Our focus will stray.  We will allow outside influences to sway our commitment to following Him.  But God promises Grace when we do.  The gift of His promises are just a choice away.

Let us choose wisely and with a whole, happy heart.

Your Sole Searching Sister,
Julie