Can We Ever Measure Up?

What do you think of when you hear about the Grace of God?  I think my response often depends on the lens I’m viewing my life from.  When things are running along smoothly, I’m ashamed to admit, I oftentimes don’t even give it all lot of thought.  I go through life behaving like its something I deserve.

But when the sunny side of life turns out getting scrambled like my morning eggs, I tend to view that Grace from a very different perspective, especially when it’s caused by my foolishness or rebellion.

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How do YOU say I should live?

Ever since we got home, I feel like the Bible is newly alive for me.  Words that I have read  before are now speaking directly into my heart.  It’s like God has stripped away the blinders so I can see how all these truths pertain to me.  Oh for the ability to be obedient…

I recognize that although our situation is difficult and we do not have a lot of answers as of yet to how we are going to work our way through, God is calling me to know him better in the midst of our mess.  I have a stronger sense of my need for a deeper more intimate relationship with Him.

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How did I not see?

Have you ever had one of those days when you are just doing your thing, then WHAM something you read or see hits you square in the face?  This was one of those days for me as I settled in to read this well known (and if I’m honest here… not always well loved) passage of scripture.

I’ve read and heard sermons preached on this scripture many times over the years, but it never pertained to me… after all I didn’t have excess money… I certainly wasn’t rich.

Yet today was different, today I sensed Holy Spirit pointing out something new to me;  this wasn’t just about money and it wasn’t just for the rich… it was more about the desires of my heart.  What were my hearts desires, was it possible to get really honest with myself?

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WELL I’M BACK LORD….What now??

Well here we are back in Calgary, trying to make sense of what direction our new normal  will look like.  It’s overwhelming to know where to start as we dig through the mountain of unknowns for our future.

God has been teaching us daily how to overcome our fear with our faith.  It’s so easy to get caught up in all of the unknowns and if allowed, the enemy would use that to instil doubts and false expectations so that we might wander off the plan God has for us.

I recently heard an acronym for fear that resonated so deeply.  FEAR=False Expectations Appearing Real.

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How exactly am I supposed to do that?

Yesterday we returned home from our vacation in Mexico.  This is the same vacation I mentioned in ‘why a Blog’  ( see my HOME page) , Jesus has changed the desires of my heart to seek Him first.  As we return home, we are faced with the reality of what our life has become.

We have settled into the condo… its not so bad; 3 people, 2 bedroom 2 bath; we each have our privacy, but yet still many decisions to be made… where to start.  We both went through a grieving process as we said goodby to our previous home, we spent 10 years creating a life there.  We knew it was the right decision but that didn’t take the sting of loss out of it.

For Mikes mom, moving back into the condo that she had moved out of a year earlier was a difficult transition, and for Mike, He could only see failure… at one time he owned 8 properties , now all were gone and we were living in the condo he had bought for his Mom.

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How is that possible… Have you seen my life??

Today is our last day on what I suspect will be our last vacation for a very very long time.  I look out at the ocean waves breaking in the distance and I can’t help but see the contrast between the area inside the lagoon, and outside the the ocean berms created to protect the lagoon and keep the large waves and dangerous sea life out.

My mind begins to focus on the waves crashing in the distance, tumbling and turning ferociously… I see this as what awaits me when I return home tomorrow.  How will I stay afloat in those waves?  will I be able to catch my breath?  I quickly feel the anxiety start to rise within me.

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Was I really created for a purpose?

As I basked in the incredible beauty around me, I was overcome with a strong sense of God’s presence.  I sensed He was showing me something… there was a lesson I was going to learn today.

An amazing thing happens when one gives time for God to become your number one focus… He actually responds.  I’ve come to realize that He is always with us, we just lose sight of Him when we get sidetracked with all of our “stuff”.

I’ve felt myself swing from calm to storm and back again, only to realize that these things were actually raging around me all the time, sometimes I just couldn’t see clearly.   The solution was to learn to re-focus and to see things from His perspective.

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Where did this mud & mire come from?

You know that feeling, when you’re standing on the beach and the surf is coming in and pushing out. The way your feet sink into the wet sand and your stability momentarily wobbles? This is how I found myself today, I literally felt like I was walking one step forward and two back.

Maybe it was the frustration of getting around with a broken toe, as every step was painful and everything was a long way away. Yet, I felt like it was something more, it was like this broken toe was maybe meant to teach me something more… I’m going to be honest here, it really sucked.

Regardless, I decided to dig in and pay attention to what God might being saying to me. I tried to focus on the book I was reading, but my mind kept jumping back between; where I currently was ( this beautiful vacation) and where we would soon be (home…filled with pits of mud & mire). I realized that I was once again losing my focus, I was looking at the looming problems rather than making the choice to trust in Jesus.

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Why do things feel hopeless?

Here I am, the day after breaking my toe. I was feeling pretty optimistic yesterday that things would continue moving forward albeit at a much slower pace, then reality kicked in. My toe really was broken… very swollen, black & blue, and extremely difficult to walk.

Unbelievably, I was in so much pain from such a tiny part of my body, then suddenly everything we were facing came rushing in and with no warning life felt hopeless. Seriously Lord its just a toe, why was this happening to me? I mean, just yesterday things seemed so positive… God & I were tracking along nicely, I was sensing His presence and felt His leading. Then I rushed headlong into a piece of coral and suddenly I was sidelined by a tiny toe…and now the whole world felt like it was falling apart.. this was definitely not part of the plan.

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