Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5 NIV
When I was growing up, I recall numerous short trips that my family would take, both near and far. So many memories wrapped tightly around these vacations. One in particular that sticks in my mind was a trip to the Dunes State Park off Lake Michigan.
Like most of our adventures, my mom had lovingly packed a cooler filled with goodies. Instead of heading straight for the beach we decided to try our hand at one of the trails. After carefully examining the map, we determined to tackle Mount Baldy. It wasn’t like we were scaling Mount Everest or even Pikes Peak, just a sand dune in Michigan. How hard could it be?
This is a portion of an article that I have featured on Encouragement Café and Crosswalk today. I would love for you to read and then come back and share your thoughts and something you are holding on to in the comment section.
If you read my devotion on Encouragement Café or Crosswalk and are here for the first time, Welcome. Feel free to look at the “About Me” page to learn more about me and then share something about yourself in the comment section. I would love to get to know my readers better.
I went sailing for the first time in my life this past weekend on Kentucky Lake. Besides going out on our lake fishing with my husband, I really hadn’t been on a boat before. It was so much fun! I learned which side was the port versus starboard, as well as, bow versus stern. The captain of the boat even let us hoist the main sail and learned when you needed to loosen and tighten the ropes for the jib sail. I quickly discovered that to adequately and efficiently sail, one needed to be willing to work as a team and listen to the instructions of the captain.
The captain was able to look out onto the lake to help the crew know which direction we needed to steer the boat in order to maintain a safe distance from other vessels. He also knew where we needed to go in order to “catch the wind”.
The lessons I learned on my sailboat excursion can easily be applied to our everyday lives. First of all, we need to be willing to work with and help others. We were never created to go it alone. Just like the ropes on the jib sail, the small sail in the front of the boat, there has to be a give and take. If both people decide they are not willing to give or take, the sail will not work correctly.
In addition, just like life, in order to safely and efficiently maneuver we must listen, follow and obey the commands of our captain — God. He can easily see what lies ahead and can direct us in the path to catch the wind, so we can be sailing along instead of being stuck out in the middle of a vast body of water just bobbing along. Follow the captain and He will lead you safely through life’s voyage.
Just a quick reminder, the online study “The Girl’s Still Got It” begins this week. If you have not signed up, you still can. Simply subscribe to my blog and I will email you this week’s assignments. For all those already signed up, don’t forget to go to the comment section and introduce yourself to the group. This is going to be an amazing journey through the book of Ruth, won’t you join us for the journey?
One of my least favorite tasks when returning from a trip, second only to laundry, would have to be unpacking. Carrying all my heavy, overstuffed bags into the house is exhausting. I survey the work that lies ahead and can think of several of things I would rather do with my time. However, this time is going to be different. After attending the She Speaks Conference in North Carolina last weekend I have so much that I want to share with you. So, grab a cup of coffee, have a seat and relax as I being to unpack.
I began this journey with God some time ago. Along this path there have been many twists and turns. However, through it all I knew without a doubt that God was right by my side. This isn’t to say that I haven’t struggled from time to time and even wondered whether I was headed in the right direction. I mean did the Lord really understand it was me He was dealing with? Of course, He did. My dreams seemed so small compared to what He had in mind. How often we try and limit our lives simply because we do not dream big enough. I will tell you today, without a doubt, God has big plans for each and every one of us. We simply need to yield to His plan and follow His leading. This does not mean that it will necessarily be the time frame or direction we had in mind, but God has promised that it will be good.
I started my blog over a year ago with lots of nudging from friends and loved ones. I didn’t really even believe people would want to take the time to read it. Who cared what I had to say? But then I realized that the Enemy was trying to keep me sitting on the sidelines stricken with fears and insecurities. This is not the way God intended it, so I decided to pack up and follow Him. I wrote about things that were heavy on my heart and mind. I soon found others could relate to these same themes and ideas. It then hit me; God had bigger things in mind than this blog.
It amazes me the things that God uses in my life to teach me a lesson. Okay, let me step back for just a moment. Before I can tell you what item God used this particular time, I need to give you just a little background.
With Memorial Day weekend upon us, the very start of summer, it only seemed fitting to take a trip in my blog today. I hope that you have the time to come along with me. Be sure to pack your sunscreen and wear comfy shoes. This is a trip; I hope you will not soon forget. The destination is The Land of Someday.
As we pull into town you will notice lots of locals around ready to talk about their goals and dreams. The good news is you don’t have to worry about taking up their precious time because they are not planning on going anywhere. The Land of Someday is the land that time forgot. You will quickly notice that no one here seems willing to do much of anything. They are all simply waiting for someday to come around when everything is right. There are not many children in The Land of Someday because most couples are waiting for the perfect time when they are financially, emotionally and physically ready, which rarely happens.
Unlike many places that I have visited, this is not one I want to spend much time at. I see clearly how waiting for everything to be perfect is just an excuse to not live out the calling God has for me. It is not just for me. God has a calling or purpose for each one of us; “God has always thought of you as valuable and has a purpose in mind for you” (Jeremiah 1:5). Not only does He have a purpose for us, but we are also valuable – never forget that.
Anyhow, making excuses is exactly what I have been doing for sometime. God has been nudging me in the areas of writing and speaking. For those you who do not know me well, this is so far outside my comfort zone; I cannot even see the box. Obviously, this is exactly where God wanted me – relying on His power and strength instead of my own. God has given me this passion to help others through speaking and writing and He wants me to go for it. I have been content to just sit on the sidelines because there are so many talented individuals already out there. However, God has given me a message that is unique based on my experiences. I do not know where this journey will take me, but I am certain I do not want to stay in The Land of Someday. I want to get out and do and chase hard after this purpose.
I challenge you to do the same thing. Do not be satisfied with sitting and watching life pass by. You need to get up and get going on your own journey.