Today I opened a new devotional that a sweet new friend gave to me. It's called "At the Feet of Jesus-Daily Devotions to Nurture a Mary Heart" by Joanna Weaver.
Even more precious for me is that the woman who gave it to me exemplifies someone with a Mary heart who truly does sit at the feet of Jesus, Joanna Weaver herself.
As I opened the book I couldn't wait to see what I would read on the July 21st date. I was preparing myself to be blown away.
Funny thing is, I was, but not in the way that I thought. I was blown away in the simplicity of the stillness that this days devotional writing brought, and how it basically stopped me in my tracks.
The devotion pulled from a book called "The Indwelling Life of Christ" where Major Ian Thomas talked about our lives being lived for Christ. At the end of this Joanna points the reader to Acts 4:13
"Now when they beheld the boldness of Peter and John, and had perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus."
Joanna then asks the simple, yet powerful question "What would you like people to note about your life?"
There it was...BOOM. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The way it spoke to me, it wasn't asking about all the believers who come to my concerts, the women I speak to at retreats, the readers of my blogs, my children, my husband and all those who think so highly of me. For me, it was asking what do I want the people of this world, those who are lost, hurting, without Christ, living in the dark to take note about my life. What do I want THEM to see.
It made me reflect and ask myself, what does the world see through me. It reminded me that the world IS taking note whether I like it or not. It caused me to pause, it caused me to pray. It caused me to think about my response.
So, as a reminder to me, to keep me accountable, I want to share it with you. This is what I wrote down...
"That I trust God...no matter what...good, bad, joy, uncertain times. That I simply believe what He says."
More eloquently translated, I want the world to somehow take note that in times of trouble and pain, I kept my head up when most people would have hunched over in despair, because there was something greater than me, greater than my circumstances that kept my head up even when I didn't have the strength to lift it.
I want the world to know that in times of joy, that I lived for something beyond my own ambitions and the things that brought me true joy may not have been the things that most people would have strived to live for. I hope they would see that there was a quiet and boisterous joy that overflowed in my life, a joy that knew how to rejoice with others, a joy that knew how to rejoice in pain even if the world thought I was crazy.
I hope they would take note of these things and then ask themselves "Why?" and I pray that they would see clearly through their seeking that it was and is Jesus, simply, powerfully and inexplicably Jesus. Jesus, Jesus.
My friend, this day, I ask you the same question that Joanna asked me through her book "What would you like people to note about YOUR life?"
I love you in the Lord, Mia
I am in the middle of texting my sweet friend in Nashville dates and times for me to just get away, rest, retreat and re-energize at her home. It's going to be a trip with no gigs and no expectations. There will be time alone and time together filled with girl talk, laughter and encouragement.
My husband has given me his full blessing and I have an accumulation of miles to cover my flight so I am ready to go!! Then it hit me... as I talked to my husband, I asked him if he was sure that it was ok for me to leave. He teased me a bit and then reminded me what his schedule will be like that week of finals and graduation at the high school where he is the Executive Director and Principal. Then, I felt a little more at ease leaving.
I think I found myself baulking because I actually felt a little guilty and anxious. Anxious because it is not a work trip, because there is no agenda, because I might actually be still for a solid length of time and that can be scary.
As my husband and I discussed this anxiety, we realized how hard it is to be still when life goes 100 miles an hour for so long, which is why we both love hiking together so often as it sometimes seems to be the one place we can go to get away from it all, even if it's for a moment. Sometimes, being still, in actuality, can put us in shock mode and we don't even know how to act and we sometimes forget how to listen.
So, I have put away the guilt, I embrace what is to come and I look forward to a week in Nashville away from the laundry, dishes, and daily chores and I am ready to receive the gift of stillness, the gift of fellowship and the gift of friendship.
We may not always be able to fly across the country, but pressing into stillness in vital. So whatever you need to do to find that place of quiet, that place of stillness, that place where you can be re-vived, JUST DO IT, even if it's for a moment!
"...but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” John 4:14
I love you in the Lord, Mia
PS. Ticket is booked, no turning back!!
I'm a pretty chill person most of the time, so when I slip into hyper slow mode, to the untrained eye, most people would have no clue that I am struggling. In fact, the changes can be so subtle, that even I don't know.
I have some deadlines from various places coming up and I have been on the road for some trips, some of which were expected and some that were not. These little events in my life start stacking up and before I know it, it turns into crunch time.
When I am stressed, instead of running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I tend to procrastinate and fall prey to distractions, still unaware of what is going on until........
BOOM, my body starts screaming out "I'M STRESSED, HELP ME!" The screams come in the form of hives. Yep, because apparently it's the only way I will listen.
So here I am a few days before an event with ugly blotches on my arms.
But, here I am. Here I am ready to listen, ready to take a look at my priorities and focus on what is important, ready to be accountable, ready to press into God's strength and NOT my own.
Here I am...ready to fix my eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of my faith.
Here I am, ready to Breath.
How do you handle stress? Do you recognize it quickly or do you need to get hit by a bus (figuratively) before you stop and re-evaluate.
What really helped me this time was sitting down with my husband and simply writing down all the deadlines and things I needed to get done. And you know what, it's not as bad as I thought. I saw more clearly those things that I could let go and those things that were important and now, I'm off to get 'er done (and go hiking)!
Peace out friends! Don't forget to breath!
One of the treasured milestones that a mother looks forward to with her little girl is...getting a tattoo...right? OK, well maybe not all Moms. But, since I am a fan of tattoos, it really did warm my heart when Baby Girl asked if I would go with her to get her first tattoo on her 19th birthday.
With excitement, she shared with me what she wanted eternally printed on her body. It was two words, Be Still. I thought it was beautiful, but it was when she shared with me why she wanted it, that my heart became overwhelmed with joy.
Instead of trying to explain it, I am simply going to show you what she, in her own words, shared on her Instagram account with all her friends.
"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." - Psalms 46:10
"Earlier this year I was sitting in the prayer chapel when I saw the words "be still" written on the wall. When I saw those words my mind was cleared from all the distractions going on in my life and it was just me and God. In that moment of stillness I was filled with this joy and peace that is hard for me to explain. It was then that I decided to fully give my life to Christ and let me tell ya, it's been the best decision that I have ever made❤️ "~ Miriam Koehne
Over that past few weeks God has used this verse to minister, to teach and to grow me in so many areas. It is in the stillness that we are able to hear. It is in the stillness that He fights for us. It is in the stillness that we are comforted and in the stillness that we wait. It is in the stillness that the storms cease.
I am overjoyed that she knows. I pray that you know His peace, His love and His strength. I pray you know that He is God.
Where do you need the stillness of God in your life today?
Where do you need to know that without a doubt He is God?
Know, that as you are still, He will be known.
I love you in the Lord, Mia
Earlier today, I was in the back room reading the Bible and just being a still for a bit. Now, I am sitting at my computer, getting some work done. During both of these experiences I was listening to the sounds of my son and his friend. His friend is happy, very happy. She loves to laugh, she loves to giggle and she finds humor and joy in just about every situation.
Listening to her giggle, made me want to giggle, to smile to join in joy she felt. She has a contagious personality. I love being around people like that. I want to be like that. Contagious!
And here is the reality....we are all contagious, but sometimes the contagions...
a : rapid communication of an influence (as a doctrine or emotional state)
b : an influence that spreads rapidly)
.....we spread are complete seriousness, foul moods, negativity and lack of humor.
My prayer today is that I would spread joy, reflective of what has been given to me.
Today I want to SHINE!...and tomorrow...and the day after that! SHINE!!!
A collection of writings from a life based on the truth that about midnight anything can happen.
As an imperfect servant of the Lord, I often feel I am fumbling my way through life, looking upward for guidance and outward to love. So, I write about it, to break up the noise in my head.