Sunday, August 28, 2016

Knocking on Doors That Don’t Open

Not long ago, I saw an opportunity online that looked like it would be perfect for me. I was looking for a way to combine my love for writing with adding to the household income, and this opportunity looked like it could accomplish that.

I thought about it for weeks before I did anything, and asked God a few times what He thought about it. Although I didn’t hear a clear opinion from Him, I finally decided to apply. As requested, I carefully composed my e-mail and chose just the right writing samples before I clicked “Send.”

There was no response.

I waited for two weeks without a reply. I had a growing feeling this wasn’t something in God’s plans for me, but decided a polite follow-up e-mail would be appropriate.

Again, there was no response.

I had knocked on a door that apparently wasn’t meant to open. Part of me wanted to remind God why this might have been a good fit for me, but the other part reminded myself that God has other plans.
We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps. Proverbs 16:9 NLT
Sometimes God lets us knock on a door He’s not going to open. {Tweet this}

Not everything we try is going to work out the way we would like it to, but through the process of trying we keep learning.

My time hadn’t been wasted because any writing I do is good practice, even if it never gets past my own computer screen. Perhaps for you it’s something different, but any time spent trying something new or working on a craft is time well spent.

God has good plans for us, even when we don’t know what they are. {Tweet this}

What looks to me to be just the right thing for my life may be far from what God has planned. Even when faced with disappointment when something doesn’t work out, I have to remind myself that God knows best.

If the door I knocked on didn’t open, then I have to trust that He has a different plan for me. There’s a different door I haven’t stepped up to yet, and that will be the door He’ll open.

God sees success differently that the world sees it. {Tweet this}

Life doesn’t always work out the way we think it should. The world sees success as achieving the goal we aim for, accomplishing what we set out to do, and everything going according to our own plans. When we don’t get the end result we want, it might be seen as a failure.

However, that’s not God’s definition of success. His goal might not be the end result, but rather what’s in-between. He wants us to experience the process of getting there because that’s when we grow and learn. When we submit to God’s plans instead of insisting on our own, that is when we are successful.
Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 NLT
Failure is not knocking on a door that does not open, but rather choosing not to knock at all. {Tweet this}

Then, if the door remains closed, it’s time to let it go and move on, knowing God has other plans for us.

In Christ,

[Photo credit:]

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Reacting to Change {Anger Series}

Change. Sometimes you see it coming. Other times it is unexpected.

I’m experiencing change in a couple of different areas right now—one I’ve been preparing for. The other was sudden. Both will take some getting used to.

The sudden change has caused a range of emotions, but the one I’m not feeling is anger. I guess I could be angry. I could hold a grudge. But, it wouldn’t help the situation. And, I’m really not feeling angry, so why fabricate it?

I’ve been thinking about anger, though, because of some of the opinions expressed to me.

“If I were you....”

“You should….”

They were negative suggestions that could fuel the fire of anger, if there was a spark. But I didn’t accept the match. Instead, I just moved away.

I won’t wear someone else’s anger. If that’s the load someone chooses to carry, that’s their choice. But, when it’s forcefully shared with me, I don’t have to accept it. (I’ve learned that over the years.)

Reactions say a lot about us to other people. {Tweet this} Some reactions touched my heart. Others made me want to run in the opposite direction. I don’t know what my reactions said, but I hope they were an example of optimism in this unanticipated change.

I hope my reaction to change reflects Christ, no matter how easy or difficult the next steps may be. When I say “I trust God,” I hope people see that I really do.

Anger is a normal human emotion, but it can be consuming, and it can blind us to the positive possibilities God can bring about through change.

I don’t want to miss those new opportunities. Do you?

In Christ,

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

God’s Grace in God’s Time

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 

I don’t understand God’s timing. So often, I wish God would hurry up! But at the same time, in different situations, I wish time would slow down.

I can’t understand God’s timing because I can’t see the big picture. I can only see what is around me, what is affecting me, and what I can comprehend…from my viewpoint and opinion.

But God sees it all. He knows the big picture because He planned it. Every. Little. Detail. From the tiniest of details to the biggest part of the plan. He has it all laid out.

Most likely, I would try to negotiate the timing of His plan for my life. (If He chose to share it with me.) And undoubtedly, I would be surprised at the details He has planned for me because they are more than I even know to ask for.

Like grace. God’s undeserved favor and kindness.

God’s grace is more than anyone could have ever thought to ask for and more than we can possibly understand. He planned every single detail with precision, to take place at just the right time.

The perfect time.

God’s time.

But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law…

Every detail planned perfectly, from the when, to the how, and everything in between.

For us.

By God’s grace.

Heavenly Father, You shower us with Your grace, while we complain about the timing. Please forgive us. May we remember that You have every detail planned…more than we can imagine or ask for…and that Your timing is always the right time. Help us to let go of trying to understand Your work, and to accept that we don’t need to know everything. Your grace and Your timing is sufficient. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Christ,

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

When Your Vacation Gets Hijacked

Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Last month, my daughter and I planned a short vacation to visit family. We planned carefully, packed the car, and looked forward to getting away for a few days. Although it’s a long drive, we enjoyed our trip and arrived at our destination on time.

We made plans of places to go and things to do for the following days, and went to bed that first night in anticipation.

And then…a stomach virus hijacked our vacation. 

I'm excited to be sharing my story of our spoiled vacation and a perspective of thankfulness at The Laundry Moms today! I hope you'll join me there to continue reading --> When Your Vacation Gets Hijacked.

In Christ,

[Photo credit: The Laundry Moms]

Linking up with: Coffee for Your Heart, Thought Provoking Thursday, Grace & Truth, #FreshMarketFriday