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Archive for the ‘Wait’ Category

My Life Verse

Proverbs 3:5-6

This is my life verse. It has been for as long as I can remember. Although I do not fully grasp its complexities – at the very base of my own simplicity – I accept it.

Even years before I knew God‘s plan for my life – I know He had His hand upon me. I didn’t always make the right choices – and yet He always showed mercy to me. And the only thing that was ever required of me – was to just simply – trust.

Long before things made any sense to me – I still held on to this verse and tried to do as it said – and yet I sometimes failed miserably. It is easier to try to figure things out in a human way – and try to ‘fix’ our circumstances in our own way – without God’s help.

And if I’m really honest – I would have to admit that I didn’t trust that God would ‘do it right’ concerning things in my life – and more importantly – people in my life that I desperately wanted to be there. I did try to do things my own way – several times in my life – and messed it up pretty badly too.

I’ve loved and lost. I’ve been misunderstood and rejected. I’ve ‘leaned on my own understanding’ of situations and been confused and disappointed. I’ve felt helpless in the midst of a friendship gone terribly wrong. I’m human. I’ve cried out to God – and asked the ‘questions’ that all of us ask. “Don’t you care? Don’t you notice that I’m suffering? Can’t you fix this? How long oh Lord? How long?”

My path in front of me is crooked and has many barriers and hindrances in my way.  Walking forward is miserable – especially when I step out on my own.  God promises that when we lean on Him – He will make our crooked paths straight – and He will direct us on that path.  How easy it sounds – how hard it is to do.  I do not see it – until I step out in simple trust.

I’ve been reluctant to step out in complete reckless abandon and ‘trust with my whole heart’ – because in doing so – it means that I no longer have any say in what happens. I have to give up all of my choice – and all of my control – and just – trust.

I am still waiting for a few things. I am a reluctant ‘truster’. I want to. But even though I ‘trust’ in my head – it is hard to let go entirely – when things don’t make any sense to me – and ‘trust’ with all my heart. There are still some ‘crooked’ areas in my path ahead – so I know I haven’t totally surrendered trust yet.  But I’m working on it.  I’m waiting for the crooked path in front of me to straighten out once and for all.

I know and have some limited understanding of the very nature of God – even though it is hard to grasp – He loves me – and wants the very best for me. Why can’t I believe it? Why don’t I always trust it? I don’t know. And I’m ashamed to admit it.

Even now – I wait. I wait for resolution. I wait for truth to win out. I wait for peace in the midst of pain. I still wait. And because I know I will mess up and take back my ‘trusting’ – try again to do it my way – and I will yet again ‘lean on my own understanding’ instead of His – the process will take longer.

I guess I have many more life lessons to learn on this journey of learning to trust. I guess He is not finished teaching me. I am thankful that even though I don’t deserve it – He loves me and He’s not finished with me yet. He cares enough about me and my situations in life – my feelings and emotions – that He is willing to take me on a journey through pain and hard times to bring some understanding of the great things that are brought out of that pain – compassion for others – empathy and softening of my hard, uncaring and selfish heart. He is not unmoved or uncaring – as sometimes it seems to me. There is a right time for everything – and I must simply trust that the right time has not come yet. But it will. And one day I am convinced that I will understand. And there will be some sweet surprises when He is through working behind the scenes in me and in others.

That’s trust. That’s faith. And I am trying to hang on to both. Until that day – when I can see all the reasons – for everything in my life – that’s what I must do.

So each day – I begin again – I take a baby step – a step toward – trust. A baby step toward – leaning. A baby step toward stepping out in faith.  And someday – I will understand – someday – I will really get it.

God Bless

Keeping My Eye On The Ball

Heard a great ‘message/personal story’ by new pastor Stephen Collins at LifePoint Church yesterday.  His main illustration and emphasis was about baseball.  He talked about how his Dad taught him at a young age to ‘keep his eye on the ball’.

If you play ball – or know anything about it from others who do – then you know that this advice from coaches is not just a suggestion – but a tried and true method in which you connect with the ball.  You take your eyes off – and you not only lose the possibility of connection – but you can miss altogether.  This is a great ‘life lesson’ as well.

There are many distractions in life – those things that can take our focus off what is really important.  Oh – sometimes they are really little things – hardly detectable by anyone else – but for you – they can mean the difference between having a ‘win’ – or ‘striking out’.

I believe that things happen for a reason.  Emotions and situations are neutral.  It is how I process them – and choose to react to them that makes the difference between a ‘win’ for me – or a ‘loss’.  When I understand this – I am able to find my focus and not let others distract me – or try to pull me to one side or another.  If God is truly the central focus of my life – and He is – then the ‘other things’ become neutral. My responsibility is to do what He asks me to do – nothing else.  That – for me – is ‘keeping my eye on the ball’.

In every heart – in our deepest part of our soul – we have a ‘God space’ – that no one else can go.  It is our ‘secret place’ with Him alone.  Others can not fill us up – it is for Him alone.  When we try to fill it with other things in life – or other people – thinking these things will be enough and satisfy – we are easily distracted and disappointed – become discouraged and can be depressed.  Especially when our self-worth depends on what others think and say about us or to us directly.  When we keep our eyes on Him alone – the rest does not matter – we don’t need man’s approval – or advice to make us feel better.  We can simply rest in Him.

I plan to ‘keep my eye on the ball’ – I will fail because I’m flawed and capable of really messing it up – but after I blow it – I will again pick myself back up and find my focus once again.  I know I will be distracted by ‘well meaning’ people who try to sway me in one direction or another – but my goal is to be secure in spite of these obstacles – and be confident enough in myself – even when others don’t agree – even when things are slipping out of my hands and my world is shaken – even when I don’t handle it right with people.  I want to be solid and unswayed in my belief that I only need to answer to God alone – and NOT take my focus off what I know He is calling me to do.

What is God calling you to do?  Do you stand alone?  Are there many distractions and troubles?  Is your heart heavy from the weight of it?  Welcome to the club!  Welcome to life. Hold on weary traveler – don’t lose your focus – or be weary in well-doing.  Keep your eye on the ball.

God Bless

Mercy’s Arms

We were visiting Evergreen Foursquare Church yesterday in Auburn, Washington – where our friend Doug Bursch is the pastor.   The message was probably the best one I have ever heard – on the subject of humility.  It is amazing how we can grow up in the church and even see the same passages of scripture and yet – when somebody else reveals another truth from those passages – it can seem like it’s brand new.  This happened yesterday.

I am constantly amazed at how God will speak – using people and things in our lives to drive home a point and whisper truth into our hearts.  We spend so much time and energy on ‘puffing ourselves up’ to look good – or to feel better – even if we don’t openly admit it – and we can sure find fault with everyone else – again to make us feel good.  We may say to ourselves, “well – I don’t do what THEY do – so I’m better than they are”  – or, “good grief – I’m glad I’m not like them – they’re so WEAK.  I would never do that”  Be very careful – for what you see in your neighbor you are VERY capable of having the same thing happen – unless you take care of your own heart.

What Doug pointed out yesterday was this:  All sin is against God alone.  We don’t sin against our brother or they against us – it’s ALWAYS a problem between God and us – and if I don’t get down to the root of the problem with God alone – I will always point fingers and blame – but it won’t do me any good – in the end I need to come to the complete resolution that I have sinned against God and He will hold me accountable.  I cannot control what others do – I can only control me.  I think sometimes I feel justified in feeling as I do – when others harm me – or hurt me.  And it is completely wrong.

Jesus took a position of servant. He didn’t have to.  But He humbled himself and tried to teach it to the men around him – even though they were pretty ‘brain dead’ and just ‘didn’t get it’ most of the time.  His was a model of humility for me – to take the lowest position – become lower and lower – prefer others over me – even if I feel just the opposite.  Even if others use me – discard me – blame me and mistreat me.  It doesn’t come naturally – because it is the sin nature inside of me that wants to blame – deflect and feel justified.  It is not easy to take on humility.  It is just the right thing to do.

And like the song lyrics below – the ‘walls’ of pride around my heart have to crumble – as I learn to surrender to all He has for me – and surrender to “Mercy’s Arms”.  And as I do – I find that my heart is forever changed – I begin to take on the character and humility of  Christ – as He cleans up my heart – becoming less and less like myself and more and more like Him – so others will catch a glimpse of Jesus in me.

God Bless

The mighty fortress walls
I have built around my foolish heart
how they crumble and they fall
as I surrender all
to Mercy’s Arms

Bathed in holy rain
cleansed from sinner’s bitter stain
only love remains
I’m forever changed
by Mercy’s Arms
sweet the surrender
sweet the embrace
sweet the forgiveness
to one forever undeserving of his grace
safety encircled
rested and warmed
sweet is the taste of love that awaits
un Mercy’s Arms

In the light the life the way
is the key unlocking every chain
sin is lost and freedom gained
the price was paid
by Mercy’s Arms

When I reach my journey’s end
how I hope that He will call me friend
and reach out for me again
forever spend
in Mercy’s Arms

I Need You

Sometimes you hear a song and it so perfectly describes what you
are thinking.
This is the song.
This is dedicated to all of my dear friends that are going through
a rough patch right now.  As you listen to it today - I pray that
you will be blessed and know how much you are loved.

God Bless


My heart is restless in me
My wings are all worn out
I'm walking in the wilderness
And I cannot get out

I need You, oh I need You
Blessed savior come
I need You, oh I need You
Fill the every longing of my soul

Oh how I need You Lord
I need Your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed You just today

And my bed is soaked with sadness
My sadness has no end
A downward spiral of despair
That I keep falling in

I need You, oh I need You
To You my soul shall fly
I need You, oh I need You
Yahweh, how I love you more than life

Oh how I need You Lord
I need Your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The sin that I afford
I need to weep and pray
For all the thousand ways
That I have failed You just today

Your silence is like death to me
So won't You hear my desperate plea

Today my soul is soaring
Way over mountains high
Though I can see the valleys
They are all just passing by
Its not that I am stronger
Look at my feeble wings
But I've been lifted higher
Yahweh's lifted me in His own strength

Oh how I love You Lord
I love your perfect word
With tearful eyes I see
The God who always will endure
Now I will celebrate
For all the thousand ways
That you have shown me grace

And made my heart in grace to stay
You made my heart in grace to stay
Lord, make my heart in grace to stay
I need You, oh I need You

You Are Loved

Taken from my blog journal one year ago…this is still as relevant today as it was then…

John 10:28-30

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

Ever had one of those days? You know the one I mean. The feeling of “running on empty” trying to find that inner strength that gets lost on the mundane – trivial things we must do during the day. Oh they are necessary – but sometimes they “rob” us of motivation and joy. Life can’t be exciting and fresh all the time – that’s not reality. No – it’s not even reasonable – and yet…we search for it – we long for it.

This morning I read the above scripture with fresh eyes. I am thankful for the simple truth in these words of Jesus. I am grateful for what He accomplished for my sake – for your sake – so that we could experience that eternal life – No fear – No dread. A Hope. A Completion. No one – Nothing can prevent us – keep us – hold us back – snatch us away.

I don’t know about you – but there is a reassurance in these words. It is Powerful – and Simple. It is profound. And no matter what is going on in my “mundane” little world – I have the safety net of His grace and love – whispering to me – that I belong to Him – I am loved – I am His.

My prayer for you today is this: That you would experience His love and grace – His safety net of Eternity for you today. As you go about your work, your mundane and ordinary tasks – that you would know the one who loves you – who watches over you – who keeps you in His Hand. Safe. Complete. Loved.

I am praying for you today,

God Bless

I Am Expectant

I was being deep and reflective this morning and posted something on my status update on facebook – something about “feeling a new expectancy” and feeling pretty good about it – when all of a sudden – facebook being what it is – a number of comments came through teasing me and asking if I was “PREGNANT”!!  I laughed at this and it became a joke that Greg and I have been having much fun with today to and from the gym where we both work out.  But being that as it may – I was keenly aware of how the word “expectant” has everyone always assuming that it means a woman is expecting a baby – or in other words, “pregnant”.  So I looked up the word and here is what it said:

Pregnant

adj.

  1. Carrying developing offspring within the body.
    1. Weighty or significant; full of meaning: a conversation occasionally punctuated by pregnant pauses.
    2. Of great or potentially great import, implication, or moment: “It was a politically pregnant time in Poland” (New York).
  2. Filled or fraught; replete: “This was, from the Party’s point of view, both deplorable in itself and pregnant with danger for the future” (Robert Conquest).
  3. Having a profusion of ideas; creative or inventive.
  4. Producing results; fruitful: a pregnant decision.

I like that there are different meanings for this GREAT word that describe so much!  But it is also a complicated word – and you don’t just go throwing it around in a sentence.  I can’t imagine, for instance – using it in a sentence when teaching my Junior High theater students, “Oh Monica – I see you are pregnant with great ideas!!  Let’s see if we can make that happen!”  Can  you just imagine the looks and laughter I would get?  And yet – to be “pregnant” is an adjective and has such great depth of meaning.  It is highly overlooked because of the bias surrounding it.

I also looked up “expectant” – the word I used this morning on my status update.  Here is the definition:

Expectant

adj.

  1. Having or marked by expectation: an expectant look; an expectant hush.
  2. Pregnant: expectant mothers.

Now I really like this.  Have you ever experienced “an expectant hush’?  I know I have!  That is what I am feeling today.  It is a feeling that there are AWESOME things ahead – and somehow over the last year – I have lost sight of that.  I have some great friends in my life right now that are reminding me of this fact.  I am in daily communication with them as we encourage each other and keep each other grounded and full of expectancy and lots of love and laughter!

I challenge you today to be “open” to receive some “expectancy” in your own life.  Allow others to speak to you words of hope and wisdom.  Be open to love in ways you never thought possible as you give away some love to others today.  There’s nothing better for you – nothing healthier than a kind loving word between friends and nothing else that will make your heart “pregnant” with new ideas and challenges – as you spur someone else on – in love!  Two hearts that carry a heavy load are always better than one.  Find some laughter to help lift that load today.

God Bless

Memorials and Other Things That Are Difficult

Today I go to a memorial service for an old friend – someone we go way back with – since our first days attending New Life Church in Renton – some 15 years ago.  My husband Greg has done many of these over the years.  I don’t know how he gets through some of them – I wouldn’t do so well keeping my composure – especially the services for children and the unsaved.

There are many things in our lives that are hard for us to do.  That is just one of them.  We all are born – and we all die.  It is a hard cold reality.

Other things are hard for each one of us on a personal level.  Each of us has to face difficult things – and instead of running away – we MUST face them – eventually.  I wrestle with this fact.  I don’t like it.  And yet – today – even I must face another difficult thing.  Or perhaps it would be trivial for you – but for me – it’s difficult and will take every ounce of my will – not to back out – but just face it.

The time has come.  The choice is mine.  I choose the higher road.  And so my journey continues…

God Bless

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