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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’

Sometimes it can be challenging to know what God’s vision looks like in our lives. Vision and dreams change. They ebb and flow and sometimes they die. Sorry, don’t mean to be a negative Nellie.

What do you do when your vision, your dream dies, changes or fades so far into the background you can’t see it any longer?  I know for me I usually end up wrestling with God about it. I’m stubborn that way.

I have to once AGAIN get to a point of surrender to God’s sovereignty and trust that He knows what He’s doing.

Sometimes that takes time. But once I get there, I begin to feel God’s peace. I like to call it FLOW. When we are in a state of flow the ideas and creativity will begin to emerge once again.

I like to use several different creative modalities to help me begin to dream again.

1. The tried and true – Vision Board. I just finished mine today. I used several different techniques this time – art journaling pages, tag, and mandala I created and photos from cards and magazines. If you’ve never tried working with a Vision Board, I encourage you to give it a go. Just let you intuition and the Holy Spirit guide you.

IMG_0029

2. Another exercise I’ve been working with is journaling and using Helen Cepero’s book Journaling as a Spiritual Practice. The exercise I found most helpful so far was the Personal Compass exercise.

She asks you to picture yourself standing in the center of your personal compass and look South – to your creativity, West – to your past, East – to your future, and  North – to God’s guidance. She asks questions to get the thoughts flowing. There’s much more to it than that, but that’s the basic concept.

Check out her book to get the full details. http://helencepero.net/?page_id=74

I will probably get my drawing and painting tools out next!

What methods or techniques do you like to use to get ideas for your vision flowing?

Peace to you on your journey!

Till next time,

Pam

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Merry Christmas to you!  I know we still have a week to go, but it never hurts to say it early.  As I look towards Christmas Day I find myself reflecting on 2013.  There is so much to be grateful for, one of which is you!  Thank you for reading and commenting on my “musings” over the years!

Here are just a few highlights from my year. I know this time of year brings much joy, but I also know for many it also brings heartache. Below are 3 Christmas posts that I hope will bring you encouragement, peace and perhaps a laugh or two. Mostly, I hope you will come away with a deep knowing of how much God loves you!

In February Brian and I went to Nashville to record his first CD. It was an amazing experience and we are so grateful for the opportunity. Many thanks to those who supported us through prayer and sponsorship.

The Tracking Room Nashville TN

In May we had the CD release party!  We had a blast spending time with many friends and family! Check out Brian’s music page HERE.

http://musicbybrianday.com

These Hands that are Holding You.

These Hands That Are Holding You

T’was the Day of Christmas

"Twas the Day of Christmas"

Everything I’ve learned, I learned from Rudolph the Red Nosed ReindeerEverything I’ve learned, I learned from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.

Blessings to you this Christmas season,

Pam

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My journal entry this morning was like many other mornings.  I wonder if God ever says, “Do we really have to discuss this yet again?”  My entry goes something like this.

“Father God, I’m worried today.  I feel anxious about the upcoming events and how they are shaping our finances, career transitions, health etc.”  Then I proceeded to talk – blah, blah blah – about how I can’t see how everything will work out.  It makes me feel fearful and vulnerable.  While verbalizing my feelings to God, I realized I didn’t feel anything like I would have, had these life situations happened five years ago.  Whoo hoo, growth!  I am so thankful for it!  So to answer the question, no, He doesn’t get tired of discussing it!

I made the decision to lay all this worry down (AGAIN) at God’s feet.  (Yes, we do have a choice!) When I do this, often times I will see a picture in my mind of myself in front of God, taking the burden and laying it at His feet.  That load usually looks like a large black blob or box.  Interesting, that is telling about how it feels when I carry it around.  I laid it down and Psalm 23 came to mind.  I love The Message version below.

“God, my shepherd!  I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows; you find me quiet pools to drink from.

True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.Sheep- Paths of Discovery Life Coaching

Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure.

You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies.  You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of GOD for the rest of my life.”

I got to thinking about this analogy of the Shepherd and His sheep. I think God is giving us a picture of how He wants our relationship with Him to look like.  Most of us do just fine planning out our lives, sticking to our busy schedule, making a living, forming friendships, handling everyday issues.  We live life with little dependence on God for these everyday things.

However, when the big stuff hits, losing our job, divorce, serious health issues, death, bankruptcy, we come running to God desperately asking for help.  I think Jesus is trying to tell us in these verses that if we can get to a point where we are totally dependent and trust Him for the everyday stuff, food, water, housing, safety, then when the big stuff hits, it may not feel so overwhelming.

How you ask?  I think it’s a life long journey to get to this kind of complete trust, but here is one small step to take.  After reading Psalm 23 this morning, God gave me this picture.  It calmed my worry and confirmed once again that He is there and taking care.  Maybe it will help you too.

I am that sheep in the green meadow.  I am laying there in the lush grass, munching away not worrying if there will be any grass for food tomorrow.  I’m basking in the sunshine, rolling around on my back feeling totally peaceful, safe and provided for.  My mind is not filled with thoughts about where the Shepherd is going to lead me next because I trust Him to guide the way.  I don’t worry if there will be enough food, water or shelter on the journey to the next place because finding these things are top priority for Him.  I don’t worry about “the wolves” trying to destroy me along the path because He will protect me.  However, I do keep my eye on my Shepherd.  He moves me around from pasture to pasture quite frequently so I don’t want to lose sight of where He is. I don’t want to be left behind, fending for myself because it’s much harder and causes way too much anxiety!

Simply put, the Shepherd’s job is to take care of His sheep (me & you.) He loves His job and the sheep are His top priority. My job, as the sheep, is to keep my eye on Him.  Follow when He moves, trust Him to take me to the place that is best for me, and don’t worry about it!

It’s your turn.  If you’ve been worrying about something, try putting yourself as the sheep in these verses.  Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your experience.

Till next time,

Pam

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Snakes… I’m doing my best to have a good attitude about my garter snake issue this year. I am even going so far as to try to come up with a riveting analogy or metaphor or something to apply to my life. Hmmm…

Here’s the deal.  I am sure I am not the only one who has a family of garter snakes in their yard every spring. I know all the marvelous things they do, so please no comments. I know there are many of you who wish you had garter snakes instead of the enormous, venomous variety you have in your part of the world. http://pathsofdiscoverylifecoaching.com

Here is my plight. Every year they nest under my deck in the backyard. Not a huge deal, but it becomes a bit unnerving when I step out onto the deck and up they come, bobbing their heads between the slats. Ok, I just saw one head bobbing, but I know there are more under there just waiting their turn. This is slightly a bigger deal, but not a deal breaker. I know they need a place to live too.

However, the deal breaker was when I accidentally stepped on one in my FRONT yard. I forgot that they like to lay right by my front steps as well as my back deck. Stepping on him was a bit much. I began to imagine he was chasing me around the yard, just for the fun of it! Off to the store to buy snake away repellent.”

On this lovely Memorial Day morning, I decided to drink my coffee and have my quiet time on my back porch. Guess what? There he was all cozy under the warm deck, sunning away. I secretly wish he would get a nasty sunburn!  Some snake repellent that was. Well, I didn’t cave and leave, and of course he didn’t either. Are you asking yourself yet, “why in the world do I care about Pam’s ridiculous snake story?” Well, I’m guessing you don’t, but I hope you get a laugh out of it.

I can’t even come up with the riveting analogy I spoke of earlier. However, maybe this mantra will tie this post together with some stretch of the imagination. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” I wrote about this in a post last year. Here is an excerpt. “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. If we want our lives to expand and live “fully alive” in God’s design we have to get used to feeling uncomfortable.”

Why? What is the benefit? Trust. I don’t know about you, but trust is a big deal in my life. Trusting God can be challenging too. But for me it has been the single most thing that has transformed my life.  Learning to deeply trust God (and believe me I am still learning) has led to witnessing miracles, having a deep sense of purpose and experiencing a peace that really does pass all understanding.

Our human nature is to try with all our might to fully control our life. We make a plan, stick to it and measure our worth and who we are by the success we have accomplishing said plan. All this paints the illusion that we are safe and secure.  Therefore we feel, “comfortable.” Why then, would we need to trust in something bigger than ourselves? Something, someONE who asks us to be willing to step outside of that comfort, that so called “safe zone?”

Why? Because, the outcome is completely worth the discomfort. Would I have it any other way? Well, maybe I’d like to have the snake leave, but I digress… If I give this some thought and reflection over what God has done in my life over the past few years, I would have to say, “No, I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Learning to really trust that someONE (Jesus) unlocks those doors that keep our hearts closed, thus keeping us from being all we are designed to be.

How about you? Are you willing to take on this mantra and get comfortable with being uncomfortable? Are you willing to take that risk and begin to learn to trust God?

Till next time, happy snake season.

Pam

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I know I’m opening a can of worms here so here goes…

How do we continue to believe that God is good, He is sovereign, and He is faithful when evil abounds? I’m guessing these questions have been around since the beginning of time.

I was discussing this topic with a friend the other day. We voiced our opinions, deliberated, and analyzed. What did we come up with? Not much! We all have our views, beliefs, experiences, education and theology. It seems like each of us have this internal force within that wants to be right and have everything all figured out. I think it makes us feel better if we can pin an explanation on why situations happen.

When we can’t see, when we can’t understand we come to what I call a crisis of belief. Can we give up our need to be right, to have all the answers and choose to trust? I don’t know about you, but when I’m really honest, I am sometimes a little shaky with my answer. I’d love to jump up and say, “Yes, yes, I always have 100% faith and trust that God is sovereign and knows what He is doing. I believe He is always good and brings good out of every situation.” Sadly, I don’t always have that confidence.

Below is a scenario to ponder. It’s from the book The Shack by William P Young, my paraphrase.

MP900399041What if you were put in the position to be the Judge of the human race, especially those humans who commit heinous and evil acts? You might say, bring it on, I have no problem with that. But wait; there is another person you are to Judge. That person is God. Why? Because He is the one who started it all right? He created Adam and therefore the human race. He created those people who commited those evil deeds. Isn’t He the one to blame, who isn’t to be trusted? If you can so easily agree that God is to blame then you should be able to easily judge the world.

There’s more… what if you have 2 children. Because you are the Judge, you have to choose one child to go to heaven and one child to go to hell. How would you choose? Maybe you would send the child who doesn’t give you problems, the one who is kind and thoughtful, to heaven. And the one who is the “black sheep”, who keeps you up at night crying and worrying, this one should go to hell. Impossible? Isn’t this what you believe God does even though He loves and knows each person He created so much deeper than we could ever know our own children?

So how about it, which child of yours would you choose? I’m guessing that you couldn’t choose that you would refuse to choose because you love each of them deeply. Even if one is “bad” and one is “good.” But what if you were forced to choose? What would you do? What if you refused to choose and chose to go in their place? Isn’t that what Jesus did for each of us, the “bad” and the “good?”

So how can a loving God let bad things happen? Again, there are no answers that will fully satisfy us. But, have you ever thought maybe He isn’t sitting up there just watching it all go by? Maybe He isn’t the dictator that we imagine Him to be? Have you ever thought He might be crying for His child who has gone astray, who has turned against Him and followed evil? And how His heart breaks for those whose lives have been turned upside down because of evil?

I think that’s the crux of it all. God is inherently love and because of this He does everything out of love. Even if we can’t’ see it, feel it, believe it or fathom it.
Can we trust this kind of love? It’s up to you, you get to choose.


Blessings,

Pam

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January 1, 2013.  Happy New Year!New Year Pic

It’s that time of year when hundreds of people across the country begin to set their New Year’s goals.  They become all fired up and initiate a vigorous work out program into their busy schedule.  They write down all the reasons they should stop smoking.  They make a “wish list” for their home remodeling project.  They write out a strategic plan as to how they are going to make more money to be more successful and financially secure.

Of course you know what happens next, in less than two months the majority of people have lost focus and give up their goals completely.   Why do you think this happens? Frankly, I don’t have an answer, but the “experts” say it is because the goals are not realistic, or attainable.  Or we set ourselves up for failure because we set too many goals, or the goals we set are the same as last year and the year before.

If goals are not your thing, meaning they are not working for you, then maybe the following might be helpful to change the way you are operating in your life.

December 2011 I was having dinner with friends.  The question was asked, “What do you want to see happen in your life in 2012?”  As I listened to each one share about what they wanted, what they were planning, what goals they were going to set, I began to feel a bit panicky and embarrassed.  I honestly could not come up with anything that felt authentic.  All I could say was, I really don’t know, I have no expectations.  I had not written down a single “goal.”  I had no “plans” on how I was going to make anything happen in my life.   This was a first for me and it was quite uncomfortable.

Since I had no goals, did I sit around in a stupor, watching TV every day and eat bon- bons?  No, actually 2012 was one of the most exciting, adventuresome years in my life.  I felt fully alive.  I lived completely out of my comfort zone and in turn experienced God in profound and miraculous ways.  I had the privilege to travel to Nepal, something I had never dreamed of doing.  I went on a music tour with my husband across the country for two months, again something I would have never imagined myself doing.

You may be thinking, “if we are not striving towards something, how will ever achieve, have a standard of excellence, feel successful, have purpose and be the best that we can be?”  There is truth to that, but just like anything in life, when we take it to the extreme then it no longer serves us.  When we plan for all our ducks to be in a row, and have no room in our lives to experience God’s mystery, His purposes and His plans, then in my opinion we have gone too far with the planning and goal setting.  At that point I believe we are just trying to control our lives and are living in fear.

So here’s a challenge for you for 2013.  What do you think would happen if this year you made the decision to live with no expectations and to quit striving to make things happen in your life?  What if you asked God to reveal Himself and His plans?  And what if you had the willingness to act on His plans, even if they are something you would never have imagined?  Give it a go; He will not let you down.

Until next time,

Peace,

Pam

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It’s the day after Christmas today.  I am especially thankful for family this year, hence the reason for my rendition of ”Twas the night before Christmas.”

Twas the Day of Christmas

It’s Christmas day, when what do we hear,

But laughter and singing to all who come near.

 

The stockings are empty; the presents unwrapped,

Our bellies are full from eating too many snacks!

The women swap stories, while the men play cards,

The children are happy, sledding out in the yard.

 

The family has gathered from near and afar,

To be with each other who are so dear to our hearts.

There is one, who we deeply miss this year,

The gathering isn’t the same without his laughter and cheer.

We feel grateful to have known him, our dear brother,

And find comfort to know he’s with Jesus, our Savior.

 

It’s evening now and all is quiet,

We gather ‘round the tree to listen to Dad tell us about the Messiah.IMG_2434

“That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.  Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.  The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!  And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”  Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”   Luke 2:8-14 – NLT

 

After Dad’s story we all scurried off to bed,

Thankful for Jesus and the life that He led.

 

Blessings to you this new coming year,

I pray God will reveal Himself to you and cause you to revere.

 

Till next time.

Pam

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