As I was walking home from the gym today, I came upon this flower. It was outside a fence, next to the sidewalk, no garden, no other plants, just this lone, rogue, beautiful flower. It sprouted up in the middle of the rocks near a busy main street.
What was it doing there? Why was there such a beautiful thing all alone in the rocks? What if someone walked by and stepped on it, what if some kids passed by and pulled it out? How was this flower going to survive?
Yet, there it was. I wondered if it had been there the other day when I walked by? I couldn’t remember. How could I not have noticed it? But today, as I walked home in the Phoenix heat, tired after working out at the gym and fatigued from my battle with #ValleyFever, I stopped. This flower made me smile, it made me pause and it reminded me of Jesus and His love for me in the midst my exhaustion.
This flower chose to bloom. This flower didn't care that it was alone. This flower didn't say "I want to root in a better location." This flower didn't worry about it's own safety. This flower did the only thing it knew how to do.... bloom and grow.
What I was reminded of today and what I so joyfully want to share with you is this: it's not always the best and prettiest place, it's not always the safest place and it's not always the place we pick to root and grow, but may you (and I) always remember to bloom where you are planted because you never know who will be blessed because you grew roots in the rocks in the middle of the desert.
We are called to listen, love, and obey. I am fully aware that we may not always see the fruit of our love and the fruit of our obedience, but what I marvel at today is how God sometimes allows us little glimpses of the seeds we plant and the investments we make in others lives as we live out Jesus.
Today was such a day for me. I decided to run into the Fry's store near the high school where I was making my after school pick-ups. I normally don't go there, mostly because I like my local Frys, the one by my house where I know how to find everything, but today I did.
After grabbing a few thing and loading my car, I was approached by a man selling his jewelry. He asked if I wanted to buy any. I looked at him with a big smile and said "I know you!" Confused, he asked me how. I shared with him how some time ago, I met him in a different parking lot and he was asking for some money so he could purchase some inventory to sell.
Since I typically done hand out large amounts of cash to strangers, I offered to meet him at the shop and buy the perfume for him as an investment into his business (an investment into his life). Suddenly he remembered our fleeting encounter.
He was able to then share with me what that meant to him and how important that investment was. What I did not remember was the fact that at the time he was homeless, struggling to make ends meat. That little investment in his life was pivotal when he needed it most.
Today, he is no longer homeless, but thriving, working, creating art in jewelry and still smiling BIG.
I was reminded today that sometimes we are called to pour into other's lives simply because God says so, even when it is inconvenient and others think we are crazy. Sometimes, like today, we get to see a bit of the fruit of our obedience, but most of the time we don't. But still, we obey, love and pour into other's SO THAT they can turn and pour into someone else.
I feel blessed to have gotten the opportunity to see that Aaron is doing well. If you ever see him, may sure to say "hi" and grab a bracelet.
Love you in the Lord, Mia
If you have read my writings in the past or followed my adventures for any length of time, you may have noticed that I love to hike, I love to push my limits. Pretty much, every time time that I get out on the trail, God has a word for me. Today, was no exception. I hit the trailhead early this morning to beat the 100+ degree heat and powered up the first incline.
I planned my trip. I would go up the mountain down and follow the long trail around the mountain before heading back. Immediately, I heard God say, "No, you are not to go on the long trail today." For me, hearing His voice takes form in those words that jump into my mind, invade my Spirit and move my heart and gut. It is a voice that He has trained me well to hear, to know and to discern that it is Him and knowing this voice has taught me to obey.
Upon hearing my new directive, I said ok, I will just go up the mountain and down to my prayer spot before I make the decent back down to my car. Again, I heard Him say, "No, you may only go to the top, sit there and then head right back down" To this, I simply said ok, makes no sense to me, but I will do what you say, you must have your reasons.
In my life, I have found a few different reasons why God gives me specific directions. A few of them being:
1. For my good and wellbeing (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. Gives me opportunities to obey (Deuteronomy 5:27; Psalm 119:34;
3. Trains me to recognize and know His voice, so the next time He speaks for my safety and well being, I will know His voice and not hesitate to obey. (John 10:4; John 10:27)
To give you a little background info, that I neglected to take into account at the time, my hike today was only the 3rd hike in the past 2 weeks. Typically, I am on the trail at least 5 times a week. I had taken time off from exercise because I was battling illness and my body was simply worn and fatigued. During those times, I do not like to push it, so I rest.
While I was feeling great today, ready to take on the world, what I didn't know is that about half way in, my body would remind me that I am not where I was two weeks ago. I became very tired, very quickly and by the time I nearly reached the top my lungs were crying for rest. Had I pushed myself to go on, I would have been much worse for the wear.
Those words that God gave me as I began the accent and made my plans, were not only words for me to obey, and discern His voice, but they were for my well being. God knew I would tucker out. God knew that on my own, I probably would have kept going and been out several miles without the ability to turn back. Would I have survived?... sure, but the joy of knowing and being reminded that God has my back in the littlest of things, strengthened my faith to know that He has my back in the difficult things as well, those times when I feel like my world is caving in.
He knows the plans He has for me and they are good. And it's not just me...It's for you too, you who are called according to His purposes!! He knows the plans He has for YOU, and friend, they are oh, so good!
Press in to listen. Press in to obey. Press in to learn the sound of His voice in your life. Be quick to listen friends and don't delay. Each moment we delay our obedience, the closer we are to stepping the other way, finding an excuse or simply forgetting what He said in the first place.. Let's keep our footing sure, stand firm in the promises of God, trust Him for our good and share the truth of the Gospel with those who so desperately need it and need to see us living it.
Let us be faithful to listen to the small stuff, SO THAT we may be fit to be faithful when the BIG directives come. (Luke 16:10)
I love you in the Lord, Mia
Recently, I was assigned the task of going through over a hundred emails and links searching for a few artists in Arizona that would be a good fit for a music tour that the production company I work for needed filled. I love the work that I do and I appreciate the little bit that I can do in the music industry to point people to Christ and walk alongside others as they find their voice in this crazy music business ministry.
I remember the first time I was asked to open and sing with one of the artists that I had heard so many times on the radio. It was exciting and it was an open door that God used to allow me to lift HIS name high above the rest. So the thought of being able to do that for someone else was a job that I accepted wholeheartedly.
It can be very tedious going through the emails, listening to the sound samples, watching youtube videos and seeing beyond the sound and technical quality and into their hearts, giftings and talents. But through God's direction and guidance, He leads!
Through this process, here are a few things that have struck me.
1. There are companies (not the one I work for -THANK GOD!) that will take your money, using the name of Jesus Christ, and tell you that you have talent and a future in the business, instead of telling you the truth. The truth is, not everyone can sing well and that's ok. God didn't create all of us to have the same talents even though a person might want to be front and center on a stage holding a mic and singing their heart out. (rant over)
2. There are artists out there that have no clue how gifted they are and there is something very humbling when you see this. That naiveté pulls you in and makes you want to hear more. Because of their genuine humility, Jesus can be seen so much more clearly. Pride blocks my view of Jesus.
3. Name dropping, accolades, and awards don't impress me. Jesus in you impresses me.
4. And the most important and most ironic is this. What I think of you, doesn't matter. Even though I am put in a position where I have to go through and make judgements if people are a good fit for the tour, at the end of the day, I am one person, with a few slots to offer artists. What I think should not effect God's call on your life. Listen to God!
I know that if I had stopped doing what I do or got discouraged because someone thought I wasn't good enough or not a good fit, I would have been done years ago and never would have written many of the songs that I see God using to minister to his people. What God thinks, matters most!
Beyond the walls of the music industry, these truths can apply to us in many areas of our life. For myself, I want people around that speak truth to me. I want to be serving in the area where God has called me, not just in an area that I want to go.
I do not want to block peoples view of Jesus because of my pride, I want a heart of humility, a heart of love. And who cares what I have done in the past, who I have sung alongside of, what matters most is this "Am I singing for Christ, with Christ in me, making HIM known instead of being known on my own?"
May I seek to remember what God says about me above what others may think. God says I am chosen and redeemed, He says that I AM ENOUGH! Knowing that and believing that have been the biggest hurdles in my life. But when I know and believe that I am enough for what God is calling me to do...WATCH OUT!! It's a game changer.
And the same goes for YOU! You are enough for what God is calling you to do. Believe it. Receive it. Live it!!
Can you imagine if all God's people believed this, believed that Christ in us was enough....more than enough? WATCH OUT WORLD!!
"To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory." Colossians 1:27
I love you in the Lord, Mia
We are now on the fourth and final week of our journey with Mary. Feel free to catch up by reading the previous three entries, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3. They are pretty quick reads.
Last week we were given the encouragement and reminder that we are not alone in the tasks that God has for us. He is with us, Father , Son and Spirit. That's good news.
This week we wrap up with verse 38. Just as a reminder, let's re-read the entire passage.
"In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”
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.