Religion.

In his book, On Writing, Stephen King opens with a section he calls his C.V. It is filled with short anecdotes about his life and how he grew up and what led him to be a writer. At one point he mentions that he believes in God but has "no use for organized religion.” I highlighted this line in the book because I kind of wonder what he means by it – what anyone means when they say that. The internet will tell you that organized religion by definition is, "religion in which belief systems and rituals are systematically arranged and formally established." But if you believe in God on some level, well then I would imagine you might want to talk about that sometime. And if you talk about that and have any really good thing to say about it, other people might want to join in. And when you have a group of more than about 20 people coming together to talk about anything, well then you have to kind of, well, organize it. What’s this going to look like? Is it a meeting? Who gets to talk at the meeting? There has to be a beginning, a middle, and an end to this gathering so what will each contain? Are there rules for the meeting? Any organization has rules. So there have to be rules for membership. Well then all of a sudden it looks like you’re organized - you've got rituals arranged and established. So you're gathering to talk about God and there are rules for doing so.

So if that’s what they mean, if that’s what people have no use for, then maybe what they really dislike are the rules. Maybe you just don’t like the rules and rituals put in place by these groups of people that gather to talk about God. But one thing you might want to consider is that, if you find yourself fleeing from all “organized religion” perhaps you're fleeing because you don’t want anyone telling you what you can and can’t do. Maybe you want to be God and you believe, instead, in yourself. You can tell yourself what to do – you don’t have to go to an organized meeting where they might press on you - on your ideas about what's right - or tell you that you’re wrong about this or that. In speaking about a critic of Christianity, G.K. Chesterton said, “The restraints of Christians saddened him simply because he was more hedonist than a healthy man should be.” Perhaps you are that man and the restraints sadden you - they press on you just a little too much. E. Paul Hovey said, "Men do not reject the Bible because it contradicts itself, but because it contradicts them."

Christianity will always press on you and me because we are not God and we will be constantly sanctified - shaped, molded, growing - in some way until Heaven. I wrongly believed that becoming a Christian meant you were done - like it was this one time moment and from then on you were ready for Heaven and everything was easy and there was no sin and no struggle, only perfection. Like maybe we just went to church because we wanted to glory in our perfection in Jesus. But the truth is I wasn’t perfect – I was a mess (and still am! Ask my husband!) And I didn’t know how to wrestle with my sin. I didn’t know about sanctification at all. I didn’t know that the whole of the Christian life is more of a two steps forward, one step back kind of deal. Belief in the gospel is an everyday need, not a one time prayer. I missed that in Sunday School. I think they left that part out. 

So, if I grew up in church and didn't understand it, then I wonder about people who didn't grow up in church. When people say they don't like organized religion I wonder what gospel they've heard in their life that has made them flee. Because if the gospel is good news (and it is!), then it shouldn’t make you flee, it should make you cling to it, white knuckle death grip on those crutches carrying you through til glory. And if it’s not, then why not? What have you missed?

A lot of people have too many doubts to trust a god other than themselves. They'll tell you, "I just feel a lot of doubt about _____." Well, welcome to the club. We all feel doubts sometimes. I listened to a sermon on the plane ride home last month and he said it’s okay to have doubts, but instead of sitting in them, you must doubt your doubts and ask Jesus for clarity. It’s okay to have doubts. It’s okay to not get it. Jesus’s disciples walked with him in the flesh for three whole years every single day and still didn’t get it. It's what you do with your doubts that matters. Criticize them. Turn them over in your hand and ask why they're there. Dig down to the roots of your doubts and find out what it is you really believe. Don't just trust your doubts because then you end up believing in them over believing in Jesus.

Growing up in Christian circles and working in a church for several years and also just being a Christian myself, I find that a lot of times we have doubts because we think we can control God with our behavior and then one day it just doesn't work anymore. We follow Jesus and think it’s all great because everything is going just how we planned, and then one day it’s not and we’re left blindsided because we thought we were in control of this bargain. We start to doubt because the god we trusted didn't trust our plan. Whoa, whoa, whoa, Jesus. Who do you think you are? Didn’t you see how I tithed my whole life? Didn’t you see how I helped that homeless guy back there? Didn’t you see me when I went to church every week? Didn't you see how I always obeyed my parents? Hello? Didn’t you see my perfect family? Things were going great for us according to my plan, so what gives?

I believed for years that I could control God with my behavior. In 2011 I wrote, 

“For YEARS and years I have been pleading with God. Begging and pleading with him for peace and comfort and all the freedom he offers. All the things he says he’s going to offer and give to those who love him. I do love him. I have loved him and tried to follow him, sought after him, tried to point kids toward him, given my money and time to him, prayed my guts out to him, read about him, tried to know him and understand him, listened for him, tried to listen to him, had discussions about him, cried out to him. AND YET, I feel I’ve been drowning in sadness and unmet desires and broken dreams.”

I believed that if I did all this then God would owe me - that somehow I could put God in my debt. Why the unmet dreams if I've done all this work for you, God? If that’s not bargaining with the Lord, I don’t know what is. But the thing is, God doesn’t do bargains. He doesn’t take negotiations. There’s nothing you have that he doesn’t already own. What could you possibly give him? He made it. Out of nothing. The breath in your lungs. The ability to read these words. These are things of God. 

So I realized it’s not about actions and behaviors and bargaining chips. It’s about Jesus. It's about every person, circumstance, trial, or victory leading you to more of Jesus. I just wrote about this in one of my last posts. It’s not about your story or what you want or what you think or feel. It's not about the rules you follow or don't follow. It’s about Jesus and your choice is if you’re going to join in on the epic adventure he has written for you or pull back against it.

I was journaling on that same plane ride and I wrote,

I hope you know at the end of the day it’s really just you and Jesus. He’ll bring people into your life and you’ll invite people in along the way. Some won’t always stay. Some for a season, others a lifetime. But at the end of it all it’s just about you and Jesus. 

What you believe about him, what you say about him, what you think about him, these are the things that are going to matter at the end of it all. It will shape your decisions, your thoughts, your actions, the leanings of your heart. What you think about Jesus will be the only thing that matters when you die. So you can pass on "organized religion" and that’s fine. But what are you going to do with Jesus?

Stephen King's book about the craft of writing was really pretty good. I think he wanted me to get more out of it about writing than about his one sentence worth of thoughts on religion, but for some reason that's where my heart was stuck. So he doesn’t believe in religious rules but neither does Jesus, so that’s pretty good news for all of us – for him, for the doubters among us, for me, for you. Oh, there’s value in the gathering of believers, yes. But forget the rules. Jesus just wants you, not your good behavior. He's after your heart.

Bold.

Aaron and I watched the movie Blood Diamond not too long ago. It’s fairly old now – like ten years old – so I’m late to the party on caring about this, or knowing about this, but I’m usually about five years behind the curve on most things - like puberty and marriage and knowing the proper pronunciation of pho. Anyway, this movie is about diamonds being mined in Sierra Leone and smuggled into Liberia to be sold. It takes place in 1999, when rebels were trying to take over the country. They were ravaging villages and kidnapping children and forcibly using them as soldiers and diamond miners. I can’t recap the entire story for you here, but bring tissues if you plan to watch. As the story progressed, I looked at the diamond ring on my finger and suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of guilt. I had no idea this was even an issue. I mean, I vaguely remember advertising a while ago where people were really quick to say their diamonds were “conflict-free” but I never really knew what that meant. I didn’t even know to ask about that when Aaron and I went ring shopping.

The first thing I did the next morning was call the place where we bought my engagement and wedding ring. I told Aaron after the movie was over that I was going to call and he said, “What if they can’t assure you that it is?” and I said, “Well, then we’ll sell it.” I wasn’t going to wear a child’s blood-soaked work on my finger. I understand that this was just a movie and not necessarily portraying facts with 100% accuracy, but even still, the whole thing was heartbreaking. The movie finished and I laid on the couch thinking, “The world is a terrible place.”

Every day there’s something new to warrant our sadness and outrage. But what are we supposed to do in all of these crises? How do we help in this midst of all the terror and tragedy in the world? Donate twenty dollars and hope to feel better? Write about it on social media? Share an article? Create a hashtag and pat ourselves on the back? Offer thoughts and prayers and move on two seconds later to our own problems? And, we do have our own problems. We're addicted to drugs and I'm not just talking about our smartphones. We're lost in a connected world, lonely and competing and not measuring up. We're drowning out the noise with all manner of prescriptions and vices. Our students are taking guns and killing their classmates for attention because they figure they can't get our attention any other way. 

I watched a documentary recently about Cyntoia Brown. At 16, she was convicted of first degree murder for killing a man she thought was going to rape or kill her and there’s much more the story, including the fact that this man picked her up as a prostitute and her “boyfriend” is the one who sent her out to go make him some money. Gross. But in one of the interviews she said these boys she was with – these guys who she let take advantage of her and harm her –  she said they were all just seeking affirmation. They all wanted someone to tell them they were worth something. They all had wounded pride and they were building themselves back up through money, girls, sex, and power. They wanted approval. And dang it, isn’t that what we’re all seeking though possibly through different means? We're all just crying for attention. Validation. Affirmation. Tell me I'm important!

So dear Jesus, what do we do? What do we do that would be helpful in this chaos? What do we do that would matter? And the only answer that comes to me immediately is, “Share the gospel.” Share the gospel. Okay, yeah, but what else? Nothing else. I’m not even doing that. I could be doing that much, but I’m not. So that’s the only thing to do. That’s the most important thing we can be doing right now in the midst of all the fighting and pain. Share the gospel. Be the gospel. To our neighbors and friends. To our siblings. In our own homes - to our spouses and children. Especially to our children, who will go out in their schools and either spread darkness or light. Since there’s power in the name of Jesus, then just say it, speak it, bring it to the most ordinary places you go every single day. I don’t want to get so caught up in my life that I forget that I'm here to bring the gospel. "Your kingdom come, your will be done," if that's our prayer then we have to be the ones to bring the kingdom near. 

For those who know the gospel, for those who understand that there is a Savior we all desperately need, the only reason we wouldn’t share it is because we don’t think it’s true – we don’t think it’s what people really need or want. Or we do, but we’re too scared that they’ll think we’re dumb and we don’t want to be dumb – we want to be cool! We want to be liked. We want followers and retweets and shares. I know I’m guilty. I’m guilty of thinking, “How do I say this in a way that Christians will understand and non-Christians won’t hate it?’ which is just another way to say, “How do I make Jesus cool enough for everyone?” But I can’t. I can’t do it. He doesn’t need help being cool. He just needs you to speak his name. His word is living and active and he can do what you can’t. Only he can change hearts. Only he can change minds. Only he can calm war-torn nations and ravaged cities and shredded hearts. He’s the only one who can make a real difference in any of it. He can take that twenty dollars you donated and change lives. He can take that hashtag and make it impact the entire country. He can take your start-up and let it influence the world’s most powerful leaders if he wanted to. He just wants to use you to do it, start it, write it, say it, bring his name into the conversation. 

I read an 1873 sermon on the Beatitudes by Charles Spurgeon and he said, “The sight of a vast concourse of people ought always to move us to pity, for it represents a mass of ignorance, sorrow, sin, and necessity, far too great for us to estimate.” Essentially that any crowded room should bring us great sorrow and urgency because within that room are souls, hungry and lost – souls searching and waiting for an answer to their hurt. They don’t look like it on the outside, and they certainly wouldn’t say it, but the gnawing in their hearts is real if they’d only admit as much.

In a sermon a couple of years ago, Matt Chandler said that people who have been Christians for a long time can start to walk around with this attitude of, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus." And it helped me realize that I lived a lot of my twenties where I said, through my thoughts and actions, “Yeah, yeah, yeah, Jesus," and waved him off like he was just a side item at the cafeteria of my life – something I could throw in the backseat and let him ride along as long as he was quiet. He could stay because I was going to need him at the gates of Heaven someday, but other than that he was an afterthought. He was second to anything I was doing. I mean, not always, but especially when it came to dating. I adamantly would not allow him in that corner of my life because I felt like he already failed me there. Because of the lies I believed in that arena, I’ve been shamefully timid, but not anymore. I yanked Jesus out of the back and put him behind the wheel. Now I want to embolden people to share the gospel and speak the name of Jesus. I want people to come out of the darkness and live with hope and faith and I’m a little afraid to suddenly step up and say all of this because I know I pretended it wasn’t the answer - that maybe it was just the answer for me and not necessarily other people. But it’s the only answer to everything going on in the world right now. It’s the only answer.

I called the store where we bought my engagement ring. The woman I talked to assured me that because of the Kimberley Process, implemented in 2002, they were confident that the diamonds they sold were conflict-free. I breathed out a little, knowing this bit of information, although at the end of the movie, they note that even with the Kimberley Process, conflict diamonds still enter the diamond trade. But a lot of bad stuff happens, regardless of the rules and regulations in place to stop it, so we just have to do our best to make sure we’re not participating. There will always be sin. There will always be terrible things happening in the world. And that’s why the gospel is so important. Only it can step into the darkest places. It can change the darkest heart. It can stop sin and sadness and hatred and violence in its tracks.  Only it can give the validation and affirmation we're all so desperately seeking. And maybe people will say, "That's nice for you, but Jesus isn't for me. Keep that to yourself." Well, I'll be bold here and just tell you, you're wrong. Jesus is for everyone, and if you don't think so, then you haven't understood him correctly. If you think, "Well, I just don't believe that," that doesn't make it any less true. Pray for the faith to believe.

I just finished a Beth Moore study, but I read a lot of her tweets and follow her on Instagram, so I don’t know where I read this, but somewhere, plain and simple, she wrote, “May Jesus be obvious.” The cry of her life is, “May Jesus be obvious.” Amen. Can that be the banner over our lives? Since that’s what the world needs more than anything, can we just stand up and boldly live it? Stop living halfway. Stop rationalizing sin and start getting honest. Can we share the gospel? Can we contribute our little piece to this larger story by just living and being the very picture of love in the midst of seemingly insurmountable hurt? Look for lonely people. Show love. Share the gospel. And make Jesus obvious.

For the record, I don’t think the world is a terrible place. It’s a terribly broken place, but there’s a lot of Light too. And we need more people bold enough to speak up about it. 

“Therefore having such a hope, we use great boldness in our speech…”
2 Corinthians 3:12

Saved.

I spent six summers as a lifeguard in high school and college. Looking back now, it is still one of the best jobs I've ever had. There was such a camaraderie among the lifeguards each summer and I don’t know that I often complained about going to work. Sunshine, friends and snack breaks – what more could you want? The pool I worked at was considered a water park, although it only had two short waterslides, but what defined it as a water park was that it had a zero entry pool. This means that you walk right into the water and it gradually gets deeper and deeper. It’s great for the moms who want to sit on the side in about an inch of water and watch their kids swim, but it’s bad for kids who walk in and splash around and are suddenly too deep to touch the bottom. We saw it all the time – enthusiastic swimmers would walk out just far enough that they couldn’t touch so they'd start flailing their arms and swallowing the deep end and we’d blow three whistles to let the head guard know we were jumping in to save them. 

I have a good friend that never learned how to swim. I think he could keep himself from not drowning long enough for someone to get to him, but I don’t know that for sure. Because of all my lifeguard experience, I always tell him, “If you’re ever in a situation where you think you’re going to drown, don’t panic. I will save you.” I feel really confident of this even though he's both heavier and taller than me. While it's not Aaron that can't swim, he and I have practiced this in both a pool and the ocean - him letting all his weight sink and me pulling him up and swimming to the side. Of course the only way this is possible is if he stays calm. You’ve probably seen it before where the person drowning starts to panic so they grab on to the rescuer and try to use them for leverage to get above the water and in an effort to stay up they push the other person under. So I said to my friend, “I’ll save you, but if you start to panic, I’ll have to punch you in the face so you don’t drown us both.” I laugh at my own self when I think about the sight of that. I mean I can’t imagine punching anyone in the face, let alone enough to knock the calm into them.

I recently read, Nothing to Prove by Jennie Allen and a section that really hit me was on the idea of rest and how God provides rest for our weary souls if only we'll let him. Does anyone feel weary right now? Can I get an Amen? I think we're all a little weary sometimes. In the same chapter Allen asked, “In what way are you fighting against God right now?” I read that line and it's when this visual of drowning came to mind. Is your weariness a result of fighting? How often is God trying to rescue us but we’re flailing our arms in a panic? God’s trying to gently say, “Relax. I will save you,” and yet we’re flipping out while spouting off a million “what about’s”. You know, like, what about these bills? What about my relationship with my mom/dad/family? What about my kid? What about my debt? What about my dreams? What about my boyfriend/girlfriend? What about meeting this need? What about this illness? Flail. Gasp. Panic.

For over ten years I was flailing in the arms of God while he was waiting there to rescue me. My what about's were, “What about giving me a husband? What about a new job? What about my dreams and my timeline?" I had zero confidence in God’s ability or even desire to give me a husband. I was willing to give God everything else in my life, but specifically sectioned off this area and wouldn’t let him touch it because I did not believe he would provide. Too many times I had been let down. Too many times I thought I was trusting him and doing what he wanted and still I was heartbroken. Too many times I felt abandoned by God in the relationship arena while I was used up. So I was flailing hard against him, refusing to rest and if I were him, I would have certainly punched me in the face. 

Fortunately, he doesn't work that way and there came a point in my life where I had to admit to God that I was a wreck - that I was trying to shove him under the water and save myself, that I didn’t believe. I said to him, “I don’t trust you, God. I don’t trust you to provide. I don’t trust you in this area. I want to, but I don’t.” And it was in that moment that I finally stopped flapping my arms around like a lunatic and started to rest. I prayed the words of Mark 9 where the father says to Jesus, “I do believe. Help my unbelief!”

I do believe, God. At least I want to! Help my raging unbelief in you. Help me to take that unbelief and turn it into unwavering faith. I do believe. I repeated this in my prayers. I wrote it out in my journal. I do believe. Help my unbelief, God! It’s kind of like one of my previous posts about how negativity begets negativity. If you keep telling yourself you don’t trust him and you don’t believe him, well then you won’t. Believe me on that. So instead remind yourself – remind your heart – that you do believe that he will save you. He will provide the answer to all of your what about's! He will. But faith isn't a permission slip for passivity. Rather it will give you the strength to keep doing the next right thing. 

It's also not to say he will answer those "what about's" how you would like and on your timeline. I thought I would be married ten years ago and have three kids by now, but at this point I’m 32 and only three months into marriage. After we got married, we moved across the country to a new place even though I told God and Aaron multiple times, "I'm never moving to Hawaii." I'm sure you can still hear me laughing myself all the way across the ocean because God loves to take our never and turn it into yes. So in my marriage and moving, God answered my unending, “What about?” question and now I’m thinking, “Wait… this wasn't my plan! I mean I’m a Nebraska girl. I can't live in Hawaii. Oh no, oh no.” And let me tell you what, it has been hard. It's been good, of course, but it has also been very hard in a lot of ways.

And in the midst of it being hard, I'm back in a position where I have a choice to start flailing my arms. I feel faced with that choice every day – the one where I can panic and take back this area of my life, put a rope around it and not let God in because oftentimes it's more comfortable when we feel in control. But instead I’m reminded each day in a fresh way that I don’t have to flail. I don’t have to save myself. He's here. Whether it’s something on the radio, or something I’m reading, or the comforts of friends and family, I know in my heart that this is the right next step and that being here now has always been the plan for my life.

In her book, Allen writes,

“Why risk our comfort? Because on the other side of God-oriented, Scripture-informed risk is everything we are looking for: nearness to Jesus, greater faith in His power; deeper, richer experiences and relationships; satisfaction and enjoyment of the short life we have been given.”

Take the risk. Step out in faith to do the next right thing that God is calling you to do. Even if all you can say as you take that step is, “I do believe. Help my unbelief!" In the midst of fear. In the midst of letting go of comfort. In whatever way you're fighting against him, right in the thick of it all, resist the temptation to flail and just rest in faith.

Where are you struggling to believe him today and why? I'm guessing it's because, like me, you feel let down or left out or left behind in some way and now you're rehearsing all the reasons why He can't be trusted and exhausting yourself while you drink in the deep end of the pool. But, we have a God who wants you to stop flailing your arms when he’s asking you to rest. He will save you. Rest. Breathe. Believe. 

New.

I wrote a whole post last week about being in a new city but didn’t feel peace about posting it, I guess because it felt a little complain-y - and that’s not even a word but I’m writing it anyway. I don’t want to be a complainer and I especially don’t want to publicly complain on my blog. So I’m starting fresh here and trying to let God speak new words to my fragile heart.

I don’t feel much like myself right now, and that’s the honest truth. I feel chaotic – like I’m trying to live someone else’s life, fumbling around and lost. I wrote on Instagram last week that it’s been a comedy of errors and if I really feel like it I could focus a whole lot on the errors – like how I messed up the self-checkout at the store and just ran away from it instead of get help, like how parking in Honolulu is a bit like musical chairs where there is always one less spot than there are cars, like how Safeway doesn’t have the things I liked at Trader Joe’s (RIP Trader Joe’s) and it’s all twice as expensive. Oh, see, here I go again complaining.

I don’t know if you’ve ever moved across the country, but it’s pretty hard. On top of that I just got married two and a half weeks ago and am learning how to be a wife and live with someone else for the first time, so I just feel like there’s an abnormally-sized portion of new on my plate and if you took anything from my last post, you know that new is not my forte. I know I’m not the first person to get married and move all at once - I’m just an ordinary girl doing an ordinary thing - but I feel kind of like Bambi on the ice trying to walk. The minute I feel a little confident, I get a snowball to the face, usually in the form of being in the wrong lane and ending up five streets from where I wanted to be. I know these occurrences will come less and less over time and I just need to give myself some time (and grace) to learn. They say you need at least six months in a new place to feel like anything feels normal so since it’s only been two weeks, maybe I can calm down. It’s just the perfectionist in me rearing its head and wanting to know how to do everything and how to get everywhere right away and stop making mistakes.

One thing I’ve had to diligently remind myself over the last two weeks is the verse in Lamentations about God’s mercies being new every morning. It’s fitting that the verse is found in that book of the Bible because I find myself easily lamenting lately. But God says his mercies are new each day – fresh and full and mine for the taking. I drew the verse in my journal the second day we were here in Hawaii. When I start to think about the fact that I won’t see my family and friends and Nebraska until December, I get a little panicky. When I start to think about how lost I feel in this new city, the lamentations start to roll off my tongue. But instead of focus on that very far away December date, I remember this verse and look at this one day in front of me and know that his mercy and grace is sufficient for today and tomorrow’s portion will be sufficient for tomorrow until all those portions string together to get me through. And when everything about me screams, “I’m new here!” at least I know his mercies are new so that no matter how often I screw up, I can start again and again until this new little life here starts to feel normal.

Speaking of normal, I went to the gym yesterday. It didn’t feel like my gym and the kettlebells smell a bit like bandaids and it’s pretty small and hot in there, but working out felt normal for me and I need that bit of routine in my life. I told Aaron I did prayer sprints at the gym and he said he had never heard of that and that’s because I made them up! All you do is set the treadmill at 10 mph and for ten minutes you sprint 30 seconds and rest 30 seconds but during the 30 second sprint, you pick one thing to pray about – just one thing. And during those 30 seconds you mentally pray every single thing you can think about regarding that one person or circumstance. And you don’t really get to choose what you pray about, you just have to pray whatever comes to your head, so that could be really any person or situation on your heart. It’s kind of like mentally shouting things out, but God doesn’t care how you come to him, he just cares that you come.

A lot of my sprints yesterday resulted in prayers about my heart and attitude, but also family and friends and finding a job. I went to a conference back in February and Beth Moore said that we have ground we’re supposed to take through prayer – we have things in our lives that we are to pray about and you don’t want to miss the blessings that will come through your prayer about something – so take that ground! Intercede for others. Maybe that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, but there is one thing I know about prayer: it doesn’t change your circumstance immediately, but it can change your heart. So while I went to the gym yesterday with a bit of a bad attitude about the traffic situation on H1 west (like I actually texted Aaron, “How do people live here?”), I left with a new heart and better perspective.  And I remembered again that his mercies were new that day. Just like they are today.

Before I left Nebraska two weeks ago, my 5 year old niece asked me if I was scared to move to Hawaii. Children are so perceptive sometimes it’s a little frightening. I told her I was and she said, “Well, when I’m scared I just remember this verse, ‘Let the peace of Christ fill your heart.’” Ugh. I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING. How often God uses the small things to remind us of the truth and how often I’ve repeated that verse to myself over the last couple of weeks. Beth Moore also reminded us that we should be praying for supernatural things in our lives so I have prayed for supernatural peace that cannot be explained. And every time I start to feel a little scared or make another mistake or start to miss home, I remember Lux’s gentle reminder and her tiny voice reciting scripture.

The last two weeks I've found myself feeling a bit like the first half of these illustrations by Mari Andrew:

I trust that in a few more months, or by the end of our time here in Hawaii I’ll feel like the second half of each drawing. I won’t be making all the wrong turns and I’ll know the ins and outs of living here and I’ll find my favorites at Safeway like I did at Trader Joe’s. I know that new things just take time to get used to – that new rhythms and routines will come. And the thing is, every time I feel like Bambi on ice, I've got Aaron as my little Thumper, encouraging me and helping me see the fun in it all. He keeps the comedy in all my errors and straightens out my legs when I get wobbly.

So if you're feeling a little lost today - a little unsure or you feel like you keep making mistake after mistake, I guess I just want to remind you and me this morning with this short little post that his mercies are new every morning and when you’re feeling a little scared, "Let the peace of Christ fill your heart." He’s been faithful to show up each day.

Now I'm headed to Target. I think I'll have to prayer sprint the whole way.