Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Fearless Living

Here are some pics of my home decorating. I've even gotten fearless about making changes in decor! (Thanks to all kind of help!)
Don't you love when it becomes clear that the Lord has a message for you...like when you see the message all over the place? The message for me this week has been "Be fearless". One devotional I read said to have fear is to be disobedient to what God is directing you to do - that would be the opposite of fearlessness. I didn't understand at first how fear went side by side with disobedience until I asked the Lord to show me the relation they had to one another and it hit me! When we sense the Lord is leading us to do something or to make a certain decision or change directions - whatever it is, and we don't do it, it is disobedience and it's because of fear. What do we fear? Perhaps that we aren't good enough, smart enough, trained enough. Perhaps it's that we are afraid to fail or afraid we aren't hearing God right and we'll make a fool of ourselves. Maybe it's because we don't think we can afford to do it - financially or emotionally. But here's the end result - fear equals disobedience. Fear is a like a road block between us and God, our choices and His will.

So...what if I'm wrong about what I think He telling me? Can I trust Him that He'll lead me rightly if I am truly praying and doing something out of obedience? He looks upon the heart and He loves an obedient heart. That's all we need to care about. So how does this play a part in this season of my life? I need not be afraid of the journey I believe God's taking me on. I am pursuing a change in careers and will start my own business. It may turn out to be a part time business on the side. It might turn out to be astronomically successful. I don't know but I'm pursuing it fearlessly and trusting Him with the whole thing. I am going to be a Christian Life Coach and I'm going to specialize in coaching widows to rebuild their lives after the death of their husbands. I am so excited that God has lead me to this point. He's lead me to people who are in this field - a field that until two months ago I didn't even know existed. He lead me to a wonderful Christian training program. He's even lead me to people that will probably refer clients to me. God is so good.

I have big dreams and there's more to the dreams than the little I've told here but if they don't come true it doesn't matter to me. What matters is that after many, many months of trying to discern what God's been directing me to do in my life, I believe I've received the most direction now than ever before. Everything makes sense now and it all fits together. And...I'm just being obedient to what I believe he's telling me to do. What if I'm wrong? What if I fail? I believe God will keep redirecting me and I won't fail because even if the path doesn't go as planned (my plan) something good will come from it (Romans 8:28).

So what's this mean for you, the reader? I believe we are fearful. We think we can't. We think we're aren't ______ (fill in the blank). We are more willing to believe lies and hear them, and justify them than we are willing to believe that God is bigger than us and wants to do God sized things in us. I want to be part of a big plan, a big effective work of God's. I want to be used by God and I want others to see God in my life. It's not going to happen if I second guess Him. It's not going to happen if I think "I can't". Maybe it's true that "I" can't but He can and will if I let Him. It seems I am living a whole new way, thinking a whole new way. No longer am I holding back and being afraid of failure or of myself. For you...ponder these things and live without fear!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A Generous Family

If you have read any of the stories on this blog site, you probably know that I have two daughters, a step daughter, three grandchildren, five step grandchildren, a sister who lives nearby (and one that lives a few hours away), and my mother. I have other relatives of course, but they are distant and I don't see them much. But...I also have a great BIG family in Christ!

I do remember a time when our church was going through several transitions and Vinnie and I, like many others, considered if God had a plan for us to worship in another church. Mind you, the thought took less than a minute to decide but still, we did give it a thought. One of Vinnie's responses at the time was something like, "If something ever happened to me, I know there'd be a lot of people in our church family that would take care of you." He was right! The love of family in our church gave him great comfort then, and now they comfort me.

Let me tell you what an awesome church family I have. Most of them are people young enough to be my own children, and many of them whom I wouldn't have even known if it weren't for the news of my losses last year. There are a number of young mothers who invited me to join their freezer swap group when they heard that I was eating weird 'meals' because I found it difficult to cook for myself. There's a young man who comes to cut my lawn every single week. Another has come and done free electrical work for me. Others have helped me move things from storage to my new house in the process of sorting and eliminating things I no longer need to keep. One has been cutting the grass at my old house while it was on the market (he is buying the house now! Yeah!). He has also offered to install wood flooring that Vinnie bought for me over a year ago, into my new house. One is coming to chop up large brush that takes over the perimeter of my yard, and one large Bible study group in the church is coming over to do at least a dozen home improvement projects around my house next week!

Why are so many willing to all this for me? It's not that I deserve any of it! It's not like I am a great person that people flock to. It's more than that. First, it comes from a desire to help those who are needy and many know that my life this year has required many, many changes and adjustments (emotionally needy). Second, I believe it is a return for the many generous acts of kindness Vinnie bestowed on many people in our church and community while he was alive. Third, there are men in the church that can assume that there would be things I'd need to have done in my home now that I that I don't have any men in my life to help me. And fourth, it comes from passages in Scripture about God's people taking care of widows.

With all the things I've written about on this blog site, it must be said that I don't even know where I'd be without this great big, HUGE family that God has placed me in the middle of. I am humbled and though it's not being special in any way that makes them do these things for me, I feel pretty special all the same. I may have many things to still adjust to in this new season of life, but I don't think I'd have made it this far, and this well, without any one of these loving Believing family members! I love them to pieces!