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Following His Direction

Following His Direction

The Lie of the To-Do List

January 28, 2017

Did you ever find yourself in an ugly place feeling angry and you didn’t know how you got there or worse, how to get out? I’ve been the church girl (aka the good girl) all my life. At an early age, I made a “to do” list like it was a grocery list and began to check off the things I thought I should do – to live the good girl life.

As a young adult I thought this check-list life would help me go far. I married “Mr. Right.” You know him, he lived with both parents growing up, his family attended church every Sunday and went to Disneyland for family vacations.

We got married, because he asked me.

Well, there truly was more to it than that. But right now, many years later I can’t recall what that was.

After two beautiful children, we got divorced.

There truly was more to it than that. But right now, many years later I can’t recall what it was.

Raising two tiny girls by myself, I woke up to sadness. Life was not pretty or sparkly or anything in between.

For a very long time I blamed myself. I should have done something or been someone different. If I just tried harder, worked harder I’d one day be free from the capital D anchor around my neck. I was an impatient driver, short with store clerks and angry towards anything I viewed as unfair. My hurting heart propelled a feeling of hopelessness.

One daughter learned that a to-do list was her purpose in life.

Do more, be more and someday you’ll be happy.

Heartbreak caused me to give up on myself and finally let God in.  He drew me close and showed me my attempts at finding happiness by doing and being more were for nothing.

God had something better planned. He replaced my brokenness with beauty and I began to see beauty all around me.

There are so many things I am now grateful for and I speak this gratefulness out loud as often as I remember to. My perspective has changed because I realize God doesn’t expect a good girl with a plan.

He expects a girl who looks to Him for everything.

But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul.  Deuteronomy 4:29

Following His Direction

Craig’s List Miracle

December 11, 2016

Have you felt like you were waiting on God? My fellow Word warrior, Kaitlin, from the Barefoot Blog, is hosting a month long series, Life’s Gifts in Unexpected Packages. She asked me to guest post!

 We’ve all been there. God knew what was best for me and the death of my dream brought me hope.

Coming back to work after a vacation, I found the contents of my file drawers removed and drawer locks sitting on my desk. My heart sank, I looked around and realized my employees knew something I didn’t. Like an unexpected fall that leaves you bruised and breathless, my heart ached from the sharp sting of careless words and unfair actions.  I thought, how could this happen to me?

Follow the link to hear about the unexpected gift God gave me:  Life’s Gifts in Unexpected Packages.

 

Following His Direction

Did your father see the beauty in you?

May 14, 2016

My Father sees the beauty in me….

When you read this today, my brother and I will meet our siblings for the first time. The adult children of the two families our father created after leaving our little family of three. From three states, they will interrupt their lives to fly to Seattle, to close the circle and fill in the father-gap. The son he left as an infant and the daughters our father stayed with…until the teen years. Sweet, conclusive closure, for them and for us. God longs for relationships to be restored.

Tony and I didn’t know we had siblings, much less how to find them. In 2011, I did a one-time search on Ancestry.com, using our father’s name. A relative in Norway was using Ancestry to document our family tree. Eric sent an e-mail to the Ness sisters and asked, “What about Nancy?” I didn’t get the e-mails he sent at that time. God’s timing is perfect, his beneficent plan is purposeful and specific for me.

In October 2015, my brother sent a text message to me, “Look at your Facebook page.” I saw a direct message from Courtney who asked, “Did you search Ancestry.com in 2011 for Kenneth Owen Ness?” I followed a link to Courtney’s Facebook page and saw through tear-filled eyes, my mother, brother and grandparents looking back at me. I knew from the photo she posted on her Facebook page we were about to find answers to the questions left unspoken so long ago.

Have you felt the sting of a father who never saw the beauty in you?  Were you that four-year-old who needed him to look into your blue eyes and say, “I love you, it’s going to be okay”?

It’s not too late for me and it’s not too late for you.

God is ordering the steps of my life in a specific, God-filled way. [Tweet that!]

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.  Jeremiah 33:3 NIV

I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 NLT

God’s plan, like the unfolding of a cabbage rose, reveals the center of his safe healing. [Tweet that!

Following His Direction

How to Find Help with Life’s Tough Choices

March 5, 2016

My husband and I went back to the cabin at the southern tip of Puget Sound to live for six months. The harvest gold and burnt orange décor looked like it did in my memory, with mom and Aunt Nancy cooking lunch in the tiny kitchen with the creaking floors.

On a cold, fall evening I lay stretched out on the sectional facing the big windows and marveled at the starry night sky. The pale roundness of the moon hung from the darkness, casting light on the water.

Later we watched with curiosity as lone lights bounced slowly along the water and across the cove to the other side. We stepped out onto the deck and our golden retriever stuck his furry head through the railing in an attempt to help us unravel the mystery.

And then we remembered earlier sunlit days watching teens skim across the water on stand up paddle boards, dipping a single oar, stirring the water, propelling them from the shore and back again. Tonight they navigated past floating docks relying on head lamps to guide their way.

Is there a way for us to navigate the darkness towards the safety and security of the shore?

Do you wake up feeling anxious with current events swirling in your mind? Are you facing decisions not knowing which way to go?

Life is full of tough choices. I’ve been there and I’m still there, we live in an always changing, fast-paced world.

I want to put past fears behind me and live.

I’m finding help when I ask God for direction. I ask him to close a door that isn’t right for me if I’m unsure.

What if I make the wrong choice? What then? I let God know when I’m confused and worried.

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”   John 8:12 NLT

“It is God to whom and with whom we travel, and while he is the end of our journey, he is also at every stopping place.” Elisabeth Elliot

I put my trust in him and his love illuminates the first steps on the path ahead. Faith turns into trust and I feel his embrace.