Dreading the change of seasons?

To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn)… I know the song better than the Scripture, but the fact remains, time keeps on moving on. The pages on the calendar keep changing, rapidly becoming out of date. Summer is drawing to a close—this crazy, hectic summer—and most people’s schedules are starting ...

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GRAPHIC there is a time

To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season (turn, turn, turn)… I know the song better than the Scripture, but the fact remains, time keeps on moving on. The pages on the calendar keep changing, rapidly becoming out of date. Summer is drawing to a close—this crazy, hectic summer—and most people’s schedules are starting to ramp up for fall. I know it’s still July, but my son returns to school on August 12, so that’s not very far away.

In Ecclesiastes 3, it says:

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

Some of our seasons are literal—the leaves changing color or the temperatures rising or the snow falling. But some are more abstract, even as they affect us more profoundly. I’m in a season of creating. At the same time, this is a season of changes for me—releasing and learning to promote my book, doing some speaking, and now cutting back on work, focusing on writing the next one, moving my two daughters to new colleges next month, and having my son enter high school.

Whatever kind of season you’re in, no matter how hard it might be, don’t despair. There’s a time for everything. And the fact that each of these is a season should bring hope—there will be an end to it. I realize that, if you’re facing something like a child leaving home, or a parent dying, you’re dreading the change of seasons. But I find it comforting to know that time keeps on passing, and relationships and trials and challenges and emotions ebb and flow. If I’m down, there will be an up. I just have to hold on and wait for it to come.

What season are you in? How do you feel about it? Is it a comfort to know things will continue to change, or does that freak you out?


Speaking of time, the August prayer prompt calendar is now available—always free to blog subscribers. You can go here to download or click on the Products page of my website to see all of them. Here’s the low-res preview to tempt you:

Aug 2015 prayer prompts

 

 

Sitting at God’s feet

I’ve spent a lot of time writing about God, feeling Him, thinking about Him, talking to Him—like a friend. Sitting beside Him. Walking next to Him. But this morning at church, as I knelt at the altar in prayer, I realized something. I’ve spent time side-by-side, but not enough time at His feet. It’s a ...

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I’ve spent a lot of time writing about God, feeling Him, thinking about Him, talking to Him—like a friend. Sitting beside Him. Walking next to Him.

But this morning at church, as I knelt at the altar in prayer, I realized something. I’ve spent time side-by-side, but not enough time at His feet. It’s a posture of surrender. The physical position is important. Because as I sit at His feet, I remember how big He is. How powerful.

I realize that I’m not worthy of being granted that kind of access. But He allows me to approach Him in His sanctuary, this place of peace, away from the chaos and noise. To rest in the shadows of His glory. To draw near in the shelter of His wings. To not have to do anything. To simply be. To be with Him.

Nothing more is required.

Resting my head and shoulder against the throne, leaning near Him, imagining His hand resting on my head, I feel the weight of His majesty. A fatherly gesture of familiarity and comfort. The bestowal of a blessing.

The sweetest of gifts. The greatest.

What are you doing today? Want to join me at the foot of the Almighty God?

There’s plenty of room for all of us.

Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

Holy ground

I found this tonight, something I typed on my iPad in the coffee shop one morning several years ago. It’s just a short piece about saying goodbye to the old house right before we handed over the keys. Those two years with two houses were long and hard, but there were some beautiful moments in there, too. ...

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I found this tonight, something I typed on my iPad in the coffee shop one morning several years ago. It’s just a short piece about saying goodbye to the old house right before we handed over the keys. Those two years with two houses were long and hard, but there were some beautiful moments in there, too. Which you can all read about as of May 1, when my book is published :-). In the meantime, I wanted to share this little bit, this little moment…one of the few times when I wasn’t in a hurry to let the house go.


I walk down the stairs, the old wood creaking under my weight, and go into the living room, closing the tall, painted plantation shutters to block out prying eyes. Lights are low, TV is off, kids are quietly snoozing and Tim is working nights. I sink into my chair, safely nestled in the corner of the room. The air is charged, though the house is peaceful. I am uncertain and nervous and excited. Full of expectation and hope that my God will meet me here. That I will find Him, here and now, in this place.

***

Years later, my friends and I walk through the now-empty rooms in the same house. Light pours in from the windows that stretch to the top of the eleven and a half foot ceilings. The wooden floors have dust bunnies in the corners, and the carpet looks bedraggled—creased and smashed from furniture, dark stains where sippy cups once spilled.

We spread out and walk through the house, praying individually. Anointing this space for the new owners. Like the Israelites, we build altars of remembrance. This is where Katie opened presents at her second birthday party. This is the wall of shelves Dad built for my office. This is where I was when my friend Michelle called and said her six-year-old son had been Lifelined, and would I pray? This is the place where the Christmas tree bulb, buried under piles of gifts and decorations, melted the carpet fibers but miraculously didn’t burn.

This house is a sacred place because of the life we had here. As excited as Tim and I are about the new place, it is sad to let this one go.

As the words died down, as our wandering selves came back together, I knelt down on the floor at one end of the living room—my holy ground. This is the place. Right here. I wanted to curl up on the floor and recapture that moment. Those moments. The nights, while Tim worked and the kids slept in their rooms above me, when I met with God. The Almighty—here in my living room.

The magnitude of that. The possibility. The blessing.

Suddenly, I don’t want to leave the house after all. This is where I found Him. This is where I cried, wrestling with questions and doubts. This is where I let go of my fears and found faith. This is where I built a previously unimagined intimacy with the lover of my soul. What I found with Him isn’t common, I don’t think. It’s too precious to take it for granted, but I did.

We wanted the new house. We agonized about finding a buyer and worried about the financial strain those two years put on us. But now that I’m faced with the reality of letting go, my fears take my breath away. I’m overcome with sorrow for what I’ve lost, what I once had. Can I find that again?

He is the same God, no matter where I am. The temple is inside—inside me, not present only in a certain room or building or sanctuary. But still, I know I’m standing on this piece of hallowed ground for the last time.

And I wonder. Where do I go? Will I ever find Him again, in the same way? Can I go back—and move forward—at the same time?

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