If you’re a fan of bubble baths like I am, you probably would never add fragrant oils or soap to still water. You either add it when the water is running or you fire up those jets on the whirlpool tub. Why? Because as fragrant and lovely as that oil or soap may be while sitting still, its full refreshing, relaxing, fragrant, and bubbly impact is not released until it is stirred.
It would be sad if I sat in my big old tub and added fragrant oils and soaps, but never fired up the whirlpool jets to spread their healing beauty throughout my bath. Well, how much sadder still if we never fully release the fragrant life-giving beauty our Maker so lovingly crafted into us because we avoid the very things (often in the form of painful or challenging decisions, situations, or relationships) that were designed to stir us up in order to release us into our full potential.
So I challenge you… I challenge me… not to be so busy about avoiding the pain of life’s stirring that we miss having our full and intended impact!
Think about that the next time you’re in a bubble bath. Or, think about it the next time life’s circumstances try to get you stirred up. The stirring that rocks our predictable “safe” little worlds sometimes may not be such a bad thing after all.
Growing better together,
So there’s this tree just outside my hotel here in beautiful Virginia that started showing off these beautiful blossoms a couple weeks ago at our first unseasonably warm day. What’s so amazing about this is we’ve had more than a couple hard freezes since then. But this tree continues to blossom – blessing us with beauty in spite of harsh external circumstances.
As God does so often, He reminded me of spiritual truth through a beautiful natural example. Beauty does not have to be diminished by external circumstances.
It is not easy – but it is possible to be so deeply grounded and rooted in the strength and power of our Maker that the deepest freeze the world has to offer cannot rob us of our beauty. In fact – because of the greyness of the world around us, our beauty will be even more vivid in the landscape of the pain around us.
You see, this tree was probably planted by the hotel owners when they opened the place over 20 years ago. Even though it may not be the largest tree from what we can see, it has had years of developing a deep root structure and careful nourishing and tending to by its landscapers.
May my life be a beautiful testimony of the strength that can only be developed over time as I learn to lean in to the deep abiding power of my Maker.
“They are planted in the house of the Lord. They grow strong in the courtyards of our God.” – Psalm 92:13 ERV
“I am the vine, and you are the branches. If you stay joined to me, and I to you, you will produce plenty of fruit. But separated from Me you won’t be able to do anything.” – John 15:5 ERV
Being above the clouds is always inspiring to me. Here are some pictures and thoughts from today’s flight.
So, I’ve been going through a tough season lately and allowed myself to slip into a severely depressed state. So, when I could finally get out of bed – I sought the mental, physical, and spiritual help I needed.
For the spiritual help, I sought wise counsel from my home church, Amazing Church, and was instructed to find the person in the Bible that best matched my current state. To be honest, some days it could be a different persons every minute. (If you’re not a middle-aged woman who is naturally quite emotional anyway and is now dealing with wacked-out hormones – you may not understand this).
Anyway, I was having trouble picking one. But today I figured it out. And it wasn’t a deep exegetical examination of Biblical text that brought my revelation. I finally was able to say “That’s me right now!” when the song, Lazarus, by Trip Lee dropped into my workout mix this morning!
(Click here to listen to the whole song on YouTube).
Here are my favorite lyrics from the track:
He made the blind see and got the lame up
So it’s no surprise he can raise us
Wake them up now
Believers when your life is looking tough now
When you’re at your all time low
Don’t forget that power that he already showed
Listen to the entire song these beautiful words come from by clicking here.
So… because we spend so much time looking down with our faces buried in a smart phone, laptop, or such – I am purposing to be intentional about looking up. And I’m not just talking about looking up mentally as in a positive attitude (though that’s pretty dern important, too), but physically turning my face upward.
There have actually been studies that demonstrate a physical stance of upward turned eyes actually has physical benefits such as increasing endorphins to improve mood and stretching the neck to improve posture and spinal alignment. Designers of historic cathedrals had beautiful works of art crafted on ceiling on purpose to draw the gaze – and therefore the spirit – of the parishioners upward.
So I challenge you to look up today! It will do your soul, spirit, and body good… and you may see a blessing you may have missed if you just kept staring down at that device in your hand!
Let’s keep encouraging each other to look up!
Oh, and check out the cool vintage light fixtures I got to see when I took the time to look up from my laptop in the cute little cafe (click here for more information on it) I’m writing from today!
When I would wake up with nightmares as a little girl, Mom would comfort me by singing “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. And that fact she sang over me all those years ago still allows me to sleep peacefully even during some of the most seemingly uncertain chapters of life.
“And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.” – Colossians 1:17