Category Archives: spiritual

Expect the Unexpected.

Expectation.
Anticipation.
Exhaustion.

These are three words that I think we all feel during the Christmas season.

We create expectations of ourselves, and others, based on what we see on TV or social media or in the $18 magazines calling our names at the checkout daunting the perfect table setting with headlines like “Seven Tips to A Simpler Christmas”.

We anticipate what’s to come. Excitement at out-of-town family coming home or the giving of that unique gift to the very special person.  Maybe we can’t wait for the friends gathering to exchange cookies and create memories from the white elephant gift exchange.  Or maybe we have heavy hearts as we anticipate the first Christmas without a loved one or the tense gathering of broken families.

Through all the striving and anticipation,  we may realize we have hit exhaustion.  We’ve tried so hard to make everything perfect and live up to unrealistic expectations that we have driven ourselves into a frenzy of clouded thinking and achy feet.

We have lost sight of the real expectation; the real anticipation; the real meaning of Christmas.  Instead we find ourselves worried, cranky and exhausted.

I don’t know where you are right now during this busy season, but I wonder if you are in a place of exhaustion like me.
Are you worried, cranky or tired of  waiting on God to work in your circumstances?
Have you been anticipating something big from God and He hasn’t delivered?
Have you taken things into your own hands and now you are exhausted from trying to “fix” it?  Do you need a little peace, hope and joy?

It can all be found in the One we celebrate this season.
Peace. Hope. Joy.

Whatever it is that has you fighting or worrying or exhausted, give it up and just trust Jesus.

Trust the One who is the ultimate unexpected surprise.
He came in such unexpected ways – through a virgin birth, born in a barn and sleeping in an animal trough.
No gender reveal parties.
No beautiful 4th generation cradles.
No cute Christmas outfit with matching hat and socks.

Just a humble baby sent by God to save the world.  It’s a true story.  And Jesus is still on the throne today.  Only He’s not a baby anymore.  He grew. He saved.  He healed.  He died. He rose.  He is alive today and His Spirit can live in us if we will just believe, trust and follow Him.

Through that trust, we can know that He is going to make a way where there is no way.  We know His thoughts are better than our thoughts and His plan is better than our plan.

It’s hard to give up control, but I am here to tell you, that together, we can do it.  We can give up whatever we are trying to control and change.  We can give up the worry and the striving.  We can have peace during this Christmas season.

Celebrate His birth.
Trust Him.
And then…….Expect the Unexpected.

Merry Christmas.

Are You Where Your Feet Are?

“Be where your feet are.”

This sentence seems to be a given.   Like seriously, folks….how could I be anywhere else except where my feet are?   I can’t be in the kitchen when my feet are in the living room.  I can’t be outside when my feet are inside.  I can’t be in Hawaii when my feet are in Indiana.

Oh trust me… yes, I can.

How?  By not being present in the moment.

Have you ever been having a conversation with your child after school hearing all of the excitement of the day and then your mind wanders and you realize you missed the story?

Have you ever been with someone having a serious talk and they look at their phone or even start texting while you’re talking?!!  Rude!

Have you ever seen that far away look in someone’s eyes, that staring-into-space look, while you’re telling a story and you realize you could be telling them you were an alien and they would have agreed because they were not listening to one word?

That’s what I mean by “be where your feet are”.

I didn’t create the concept but I heard, Becky Keife, author of The Simple Difference, talk about this very simple idea created by her Volleyball Coach Husband who used this saying with his team for a physical concept and then carried it over to their family for a more mindful concept.

It was profound to me.

It really did make a simple difference, and now I try to be more intentional about listening and being present.
I try to not be multitasking while on a work meeting or phone call with my daughters.
I try to look at the person I’m with and really focus.
I try to enjoy the sunshine and beauty as I make a long drive.
Or savor the food from the restaurant I’ve been craving for months.

It’s simple. It’s huge. It’s important.

Be in the moment.
Be focused.
Be intentional.

Be right where your feet are.

These Shoes Were Made for (More Than) Walkin’

These shoes.

Yes they are made for walking but today in a true Spirit-filled moment, I realized they were the reminder that God is walking with ME.

You see, I lost my expensive insoles a couple months ago.  I looked everywhere.  I even prayed asking God to show me where those insoles were.  I’ve had them for 15 years and only wear them when my planter fasciitis flares up.  I was going shopping with my daughter and thought I might need them.  No luck.

Fast forward to yesterday.  I had a bit of a rough day.  You know how sometimes you just say, “God, do you hear me?”  “God, are you there?”

I knew He was there but He wasn’t answering me fast enough. (Can I get an Amen?  🙂  )

This morning I was putting something away in the closet and saw the box of some of my favorite summer tennis shoes.  (Okay.  True confession:  I bought them because Kate Middleton wore this brand and they were only $40.  haha)

This warm feeling came over me.  My heart started racing.  I knew I had to open that box.  And when I did……. there they were.  Those insoles – inside my summer tennis shoes that I put away after vacation!

God waited to have me find those insoles today as a reminder that He is walking with me every day and showing up in big ways in His perfect timing.

I didn’t necessarily need those insoles as much as I needed the lesson of finding them at just the right time.  Thank you, God for always hearing, always being there, always loving and using my tennis shoes to remind me that sometimes they are used for more than just walking.

Let Your Light Shine.

Oh the beauty of flying into the city at night!

As my time away from home was coming to an end, I looked out the airplane window and just marveled at all the bright dotted lights filling the black night.  I saw traffic lights, car headlights, parking lot security lights, and even emergency flashing lights.

Multiple signs of life…portrayed through lights.

We can be those lights.  In this dark world, we can be the light.  Yes we can.  Every positive word can be a shining light.  Every kind act can be a shining light.  Every smile.  Every piece of encouragement to a hurting heart.  Every gift to a stranger.  Every visit to a lonely soul.

Every time we do something kind, we radiate light.  If we all do just one thing, collectively we can be just like those city lights in the dark of the night.

John 8:12 – When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Shine bright, my friends.  Shine bright.