Tag Archives: Spiritual growth

An April Recap

Learned in AprilLast month I started the practice of recounting what I learned each month.  I believe it’s important to see how I’ve grown instead of always focusing on where I need to grow. This practice of looking back to look ahead is helping me be more grateful, more intentional, and just more me. Grab a journal or piece of paper and join in why don’t you.  Click on over here to see how others are recounting their Aprils.

1. I still love watching my husband preach/speak.

Early in the month Keith and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend at a Hispanic church participating in their missions-focused weekend.  I took the above picture Friday night when Keith was speaking (with an interpreter since it was an all hispanic congregation). While he spoke, I was once again so proud that he’s my husband and so grateful that he allows God to use him however he chooses.

2. Being a 1-car family in a family of four is not fun.

Recently our son’s car decided it wanted to visit the repair shop and require some not-in-the-budget car repairs. Needless to say, keeping up with four different people’s driving needs with one car is near impossible and daily frustrating. When Keith and I were young married, one car suited our needs just fine. But when the 17-year-old prefers you drop him off down the street from the school, someone’s needs aren’t getting met:)  This lesson leads me to #3 . . .

3. Dogs are vital to the stuck-at-home mom.

With just one car in the family for now, I get to stay home a lot. While this allows me to work efficiently, it also forces me to deal with cabin fever on a weekly basis. Harvey keeps me sane with his daily walks and companionship. Please note just because you see me chatting with him doesn’t mean I’ve totally lost it: I’ve just become Tom Hanks and made him my Wilson.

4. I’m a fan of hiking, but my knees aren’t.

Earlier this month, Keith and I did an 8-mile mountainous hike with some friends. The view from the top was spectacular and worth the hike. However, my knees weren’t convinced.  In fact, the last mile down had me interceding for supernatural strength or a piggy-back ride.

5. God’s new nickname is Jehovah-Nick-of-Time

We are finally moving into a new place this weekend. There was a time I was worried we’d be sleeping in the car. But that worry quickly disappeared as God provided everything we needed at just the right time we needed it.  Seven days before our lease was up, we found a place that we love. Then we were able to extend our apartment lease for a few days until the house was available (that’s only because the next renters backed out). Finally, I went to the mailbox one afternoon and discovered a sweet and unbelievably generous gift, one that was a direct answer to prayer. All this occurred one week before becoming “homeless.”  The truth is while I think God is working in the nick-of-time, He knows it’s simply right on time.

6. God sees dreams and clears paths as we work.

For quite a while I’ve wanted to attend a writing conference. If you’ve never investigated one, they don’t tend to be affordable. A friend told me about one taking place this July in Michigan. I checked into it and then applied for a scholarship.  I went back to working on my writing class website and forgot about it.  Recently,  I got an email saying I’d been approved for one of the scholarships.  I was overjoyed and knew that God was clearing a path for me to continue pursuing His purpose for me.  Can’t wait to see what else he does as I pursue this dream.

Okay, that’s my “learnables” from this month.  I wanna hear about yours. Leave a comment and let me know what you learn in April: the good, the bad, the ugly, or even the funny.

Traveling in Hope

Spring Peekaboo QuoteI drove to church last night, and it was spring. I rolled the windows down to listen to the frog symphony performed from the water-filled ditches along the road. The breeze fluttered through my hair. The sun peeked out around a few lonely clouds defying them with his glorious hues. Just a few days ago the ground was covered in white and the temperatures required coats, beanies, gloves as well as extra socks – winter asserting its power.

The spring-like weather was a simple peek-a-boo that evening. Today the sky is once again all gray and pouring out iced rain and snow. Winter isn’t giving up so easily. Even though it was only for a few hours, the hint of spring renewed me. I suddenly remembered the sun’s warmth on my face, the freedom of shorts and a t-shirt, the leaves dancing in radiant green as balmy breezes brush over them. The doldrums of gray days, biting winds, and painful shivers wouldn’t last forever.

And so it is with any winter. No matter if winter comes dressed as an unexpected illness, sudden tragedy, or ill-prepared life change, the hard part cannot last forever. The ground must thaw. The trees must relinquish their buds. The sky must perform the sun’s show. All becomes new once again.

There are moments in life when the winter seems interminable, and then out of the blue a hint of spring fills our soul. Spring might come in the form of an encouraging word from a friend filled with the exact words you needed to hear. Or it could be an unexpected blessing of money, friendship, or beauty. Sometimes it shows up as laughter, a song, or a smile.

It’s those hints that renew our souls again. Give us strength to turn our shoulder to the winter wind and push through another day. We know spring is coming; it always does. That’s how God designed the earth. It’s how he designed our walk with Him. So when spring plays peek-a-boo with your soul don’t mourn its brevity, rejoice in its inevitability.

Recently, life has been difficult for many different reasons. Our family is living in a tough stage of ministry – the one where all you do is wait and long. But with that one glimpse of spring, God allowed me to remember all the times he has sent a hint of spring my way, especially in the area of my missions journey. He reminded me that seasons must change; it cannot remain cold and dreary forever. Those moments when spring peeks through let me know that good things are coming, the landscape of my life with burst forth again with color and warmth. So I cling to this thought and choose to travel in hope toward the oncoming spring.

Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Look, the winter is past,
and the rains are over and gone.

The flowers are springing up, the season of singing birds has come,
and the cooing of turtledoves fills the air.

The fig trees are forming young fruit,
 and the fragrant grapevines are blossoming.
Rise up, my darling!
 Come away with me, my fair one!”