God has been working on breaking me down and ruining me yet again to build me back up stronger.
Last weekend Mitch and I were doing the same thing to our garden. We were pruning back old growth that didn't produce fruit last year on our apple and peach trees. We cut back new growth in the wrong places from the bushes and shrubs. We tilled under the garden and added new compost in to enrich the soil to be ready for the work it has before it in this upcoming season of growth.
Lots of different things have been working in me. I feel very blessed that it has (for the most part) been things that God has put on my heart or stirred within my soul and I obeyed to follow through. If God calls you to do something and you don't follow through that's a huge issue in your relationship. Our former college minister once said "If God's not showing you the next step maybe its because you didn't do the last thing he called you to do" WOW!
Have you heard "Oceans" by Hillsong yet? O my goodness! Yes, God! This song has been my anthem. The stirrings He's putting within me call me even further away from safety, from tradition, from ordinary. But I've got to tell you the looser I hold on to "me" and my expectations the more beautiful life becomes. The less I focus on me the more I see of Him! The deeper I swim into Him the less I need mundane things. Things that used to be my oxygen are now crumbs. I can't subsist on that stuff anymore.
I watched the IF: Gathering until the free streaming of the conference ended and my world was rocked! Christine Caine was talking about the difference in "deliverance" and "freedom." In Exodus, as soon as the Israelites left Egypt they were delivered out of slavery but it took them 40 years to reach their freedom in the land of Canaan. The journey should have taken 11 days but because of distrust and backsliding the people didn't get to walk into freedom. In the Christian Bible we call the book that contains the story of the time "Numbers" because they count the number of Israelites but in the Jewish Pentatuch it's called "Bemidbar" meaning "in the desert"
That really made me look into my life. Where am I settling for deliverance when I should be thriving in freedom? Once the generation that had doubted passed away Joshua led the new generation into the Promised Land (surprisingly, the story of that is found in the book called "Joshua") But freedom didn't look like what they had expected. The first town they came to that had to be conquered was Jericho... BIG... BAD... HUGE... JERICHO...
God had a plan. He had already given them that place they needed to only do what He had said.
Jericho was nothing compared to our God and His plans.
This was nothing new and was not the last time His Plan looked nothing like our reality.
In John 6, Jesus and his disciples were speaking to people on the hill side. He fed them from a few meager loaves. He fed all of them, thousands of them.
Sarah and Abraham gave birth to Isaac.
Ruth saved the lineage of Israelite people even though she wasn't of the "right stock".
Moses parted the Red Sea.
George Mueller provided safety to thousands of orphans.
Cassidy became a mother to the motherless and gave a home to the homeless. (I say this not because it has happened yet but because, if God plans it, it is as good as done)
None of this is from me, Sarah did nothing, Ruth did nothing, Moses did nothing, Mr. Mueller did nothing... except... except that they did what God told them to do.
You don't need to make the plans. You only need to trust that the God who goes before you has the best plans.
I implore you to run to Him. And do what he has told you to do.
From a practical stand point I wanted to give you examples of a couple of things God has called me to do in this season of life that I have followed His plan on.
1. God called in to me a desire for simplicity and focus on Him. Modern day slavery is a huge burden in my heart as is our Modern World greed that drives the slavery to still exist. He told me to give away half of my clothes. Once I decided to follow through it was really easy. I took all the clothes out of my closet stacked them by type (pants, shorts, dresses, skirts, t's, blouses, etc.)
|Everything on the bed|
On my first pass I picked out my favorite 10% of clothing items. This showed me my main colors and favorite style.
|First pass (see all the pink and floral!)|
|After my second pass|
|My new, half full closet!|
No excuses. Swallow your pride. Lay yourself aside and be the person that God has called you to be! Do the things He has called you to do! Live in freedom, don't settle for deliverance!
This freedom is beautiful. It's addicting. The freer I become the more freedom that I crave. The freer I am from the things of this world the more things of God I crave.
Cherokee lesson: Chesequah (chat-say-kwa) red bird.