Monday, January 11, 2016

Speak Anyway

Finding connection in the normal things of life.

After slipping a blue fleece over my upper torso, it draped pass my waist covered in grey jeans. Wool socks pulled over the jeans leg. Ugg boots covered the socks. An off white North Face fluffy jacket pulled from a hanger. I slipped my arm in swinging it across my back. In the empty sleeve my left arm slipped.

The weekend was full. It was fast. It's gone.

It's Monday morning.

"It's not cold outside," my daughter commented.

"Go crank the car." "Turn on our seat warmers," I told her.

Normal morning drop off routine, I stopped in the carpool line. She grabbed her book bag getting out. Around the edge of the school my car wheeled. Stopped. Looked both ways, turned right up the hill. The car wheels rolled towards the red light.

Thoughts of informing my other daughter to let our elder dog out swished in my mind. The light turned green. The gas pedal pressed by the weight of my foot. Down the road, I pulled my wheels right turning in Walmart. Once parked, I texted my daughter to inform her to let the dog out.

Glancing over the grocery list, I then slipped it in my purse. The pencil tossed in on top.

I walked through the cold. Glass doors slid opened upon approach. Both hands slipped on the front of a buddy. A small tug it separated from the other buggy's. A white sanitizing napkin peeked out from a container. My left hand pulled one placing it on the front buggy bar. Wiped. A trash bucket below, I tossed the napkin. I made my way down the aisles. Light pencil marks slashed through things on my list.

Stockman and stock women covered most aisle I walked.

Awkward silence lanced the air between us.

Jesus juices rush through my veins. I spoke to each stock person. Faces lite-up. Smiles formed. Words spoke back. Life formed. Their souls left enlightened for a better day.

A buggy full. A list crossed through. I turned on register 8. A lady paying for her items. Both of my hands tossed items on the stopped belt as fast as I could. When the lady left, I spoke to the cashier first. I walked the big paper towel and toilet paper bundles over to her. With her mobile scanner she scanned the bar code. As she continued scanning, I placed full bags in my buggy.

Paid.

She loaded the rest of my buggy.

Got my receipt.

Told the cashier, I hoped she had a wonderful day. On to gripping the buggy pushing it forward. I heard the cashier speaking to the next customer who was behind me.

See. The ripple was contiguous. I spoke. Even though she didn't first. Her soul was enlightened. She spoke first.

May we speak first regardless if not spoken too?

Let's make a difference.

Let's be the day game changer.

Let the Jesus juices flow.

Happy Monday.

May your day be bright.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Flip a Coin

Wrestling with God makes for tasty conversations.

The Lord gives us visions of new things for our future. He wants us to talk with Him. He wants to discuss new things headed our way. This allows us to break-through the small things. Small things along the way non-worthy to Him or not representative by His plan for our lives.

Over a two-week holiday break from Bible study, I pondered over new things. One being which Bible study to attend for the new year. Praying over things, even something as small as which Bible study, helps bring clarity. Our vision aligning with His plan navigates our future with purpose. His purpose. His calling. For. Our. Life.

Each week, I meet with a group at my church. The group is called MOMs. You may know of a group similar to this called MOPs. Maybe your church has one or you've heard others talking about it. MOMs and MOPs basically are the same. Only difference: MOMs is geared towards mothers with all age children, MOPs is geared towards mothers with preschoolers only.

One day out of the month at MOMs we meet as a large group for breakfast, worship, fellowship and have a speaker. The other weeks we meet for Bible study.

Semester to Semester - August-December January-May - we start a new Bible study. Leaders often change semester to semester. I even led one semester.

The church has a length approval system for the studies. We might not always know in an orderly fashion which study will be offered. What's the chain of command for approval? I don't have a clue. Trust. Believe. Wait. Patience. Is the name of the game.

Not knowing the Bible study or even the leaders, I begin praying. Praying for God's direction.

I even flipped a coin.

You see there's usually more than one study offered:

A Bible study study (I typically do): Beth Moore, Priscilla Shirer ect.
L3 (I have done this once before): a study tool my church offers to help you learn how to read the Bible. A different passage of scripture reading allotted each day. Then you journal, examine, apply to your life and pray.

Proverbs 18:18 Flipping a coin can end arguments; it settles disputes between powerful opponents.

Tails-my answer was L3.
Heads- His answer was the Bible study.

When I flipped the coin it landed on tails-L3. Victory rein in my heart. His voice even louder over my soul, "I already told you, Ashley. You will attend the Bible study."

I wrestled with Him, "Are you sure, Lord?"

L3 would be an easy out for me. 2016 is a big year for my family. My husband and I both turn 40. We will celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary. Our oldest daughter plans to attend a University in the Fall. Adjusting to an only child feeling left at home with my youngest. Somewhere in between, I want to conquer a passion of mine, finishing up publishing my second book.

L3 has a cool blogger/writer in there-
My heart longs to sit by her. I want to sap up knowledge being around her.

L3 has a leader I know. One I adore her leadership.

L3 my mouth waters when I pass their room. That's how it usually is with what we want or think we need, right?!

An announcement email came confirming the new study/leaders. God confirmed loud for the last time, "Do the Bible study." A giddy feeling, like a kid, rushed over my body. I heard Him. Bible study here I come. The study will be one of Kelly Minter's, What Love Is. I can't wait. I am so happy I listened.

Proverbs 16:33 We may throw the dice, but the LORD determines how they fall.

I don't recommend flipping a coin with God. He does not want to argue with us. We are not His powerful opponent. He is the almighty powerful One.

Ways to help seek His vision for our life:

His word-the Bible
Conscience He built in us
Counsel from other godly people
Prayer

We've got to look, listen and be alert for His calling over our lives.

Ephesians 3:20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,

Do you look?
Do you listen?
Are you alert?