“…As Jesus passes by, everything is transformed. Sadness leaves and joy takes its place.”
I was struck by the truth in these lyrics. When Jesus passes by, truly everything is transformed. EVERYTHING. Perhaps life if mostly about these encounters with Jesus. Sometimes life is hard, but then we get to see Jesus come and transform everything. Sometimes life is sad, but then we get so see joy rise up in the midst of pain. Isn’t this beautiful?! I love that Jesus does not just pass us by, but He is constantly with us. I want to remember that I get to walk side by side with this life transforming Jesus. The amazing thing is, even when we are not aware, Jesus is still transforming everything around us. I want to look like Jesus. I want to know the truth of what I carry and see lives transform as Holy Spirit and I simply pass by. From this perspective, life is remarkable.
“…As Jesus passes by, everything is transformed.”
Today I checked the mail… twice. I was disappointed, because there was absolutely nothing in the cute black rectangle. NOTHING. Not even an annoying coupon. Then I remembered that today is a holiday. It was good to remember that the mail WILL come again. I am sure the postman is just fine and was not eaten by the neighbors dog. *whew*
Why am I telling you this?
I am telling you this simple story because I think it relates to expectations that we have in life. It is easy to loose sight of the truth when you are focused on a particular outcome. My expectation was to get a fabulous letter in the mail, but the outcome was different than I had hoped. The truth helped make sense of my experience and cleared up my disappointment. It is unrealistic to expect mail on a national holiday.
I went to hear Graham Cooke speak a few nights ago and came away wrecked (in the best way possible). Essentially, I walked away with the understanding that “problems are simply possibilities with both a promise and provision attached.” I usually experience pain or a problem and hope to get around it. My first reaction is not to celebrate the possibility that this problem presents.
PERSPECTIVE. Ultimately, with these new thoughts floating in my head, it would be wise to readjust my thinking a bit and remember the kindness of God in the midst of pain. It is easier to do this when I see problems as possibilities and talk to God about the possibility versus whining about the problem. I am sure this mind renewal will take a bit of time, but it is so worth it.
The mail did not come today. I am still hopeful about a fabulous letter tomorrow, because I remembered that the mail is rather consistent and the possibility of it coming tomorrow is very high.
You might have some hard things happening in your life. The pain is real. I encourage you to seek the possibilities of the situation and remember God’s kindness towards you. There is hope. Nothing is too big for God. He sees you and He loves you more than you may remember at this particular moment in time. Choose to rearrange your thinking and look for the kindness of God in your life. His kindness and goodness towards you is consistent, much like the mail but without holidays.
Sorry I have been absent… I have been traveling and such!
If you want to see some super amazing photos from my travels, take a look at my sisters bee-log (she is a marvelous photographer, I know): http://carynnoel.com/wordpress/europe-9-countries-in-30-images/
In any case, I explored 9 countries in Europe. *whew* I also moseyed on over to the BEAUTIFUL Australia, moved into an adorable house with two fabulous friends, and participated in welcome week activities with Origins.
Now I am recuperating. It is nice to be in one place, for the time being, and figure out a flow of life.
I wanted to post a little update for your reading pleasure. It is brief. In fact, this post has now come to an end.
This is Switzerland + two Werner sisters.
Those two specks are my sister and I. We jumped into the FREEZING cold water in the Swiss Alps and now feel very accomplished for having done so.
We are just cute, so I had to include this photo.
More substantial posts to come soon…
She smiles through her eyes and lips,
her hair speaks of much wisdom.
I do not know her name,
but I see her heart so clearly.
She is transparent and fully alive,
a mere child when she praises her Father.
You can feel God’s pleasure through her eyes.
It looks like a combination between liquid love and fierce hope.
She is in love with Love and it is evident.
It is as if her heart shouts this love from the depths of her being.
Unassuming in her childlike joy,
her very presence rocks nations.
This kind of love and complete dependence on the Father changes things more than words ever could.
Grace and beauty surround her and she is clothed in intense serenity.
She has a confident assurance of good things to come.
All of this neatly packaged in a floral dress.
She is both old and youthful in the very same breath.
I am left longing for more of Jesus.
I lost my car keys and never found them. This is a true story.
Sometimes often things do not turn out as you would anticipate.
I imagined that my car keys would magically appear on my bed or in someones purse. The $200+ price for a new key was not something that made my heart sing. I prayed for my keys to reappear and searched for a full week until I finally bought a new key. I felt disheartened.
I lost my car keys and did not find them. There was no miraculous ending, but I did learn something amazing from the tow truck driver. I learned how to laugh. He told me story after story of his kids calling him to ask him for money. He works seven days a week and has two sets of twins. Instead of complaining about his circumstances, or the fact that his grown kids constantly called for money, he laughed. He laughed about the time his daughters spent $700 on a shopping spree and he laughed when his son called and told him that he had lost his car keys. It wasn’t a sarcastic or demeaning laugh, it was genuine and filled with love. I was amazed.
While driving home that afternoon, I realized that I had experienced a beautiful picture of God. Through the tow truck driver I got to see how God responds to some of my silly and unexpected life circumstances… He chuckles. He is more than capable of providing for all of my needs. Nothing is too big for God. It makes me want to just relax and laugh more. If my Papa is not worried, then I shouldn’t be either.
I may have lost my car keys, but I gained a greater appreciation for laughter and felt a warmth in my heart when I remembered the kindness of God.
Happy day of Thurs. Besides the fact that today is Thursday, I am without a particularly substantial reason as to why I have decided to finally launch my new creative website. The simple truth is that I have a peculiar love of Thursdays and felt like it might be time to let people know about my new creative outlet. So, here I am doing this very thing on this very day and I could use your support.
Here is what you can do to help me:
A. If you feel so inclined, you can go to http://paintandparcel.com/ and subscribe to my fabulous email list.
B. Eat a cookie on my behalf and smile.
C. “Like” Paint & Parcel on Facebook. You can also like it in general.
D. Add Paint & Parcel on Instagram
D. Repin things, post things, like things, smile, and comment. If you comment, please leave your very own wonderful blogs//websites for others to discover and explore. After all, this is a creative experiment of sorts.
E. All of the above, especially B.
Thank you and have a splendid day.
Today I was remembering Gita, a sweet little friend of mine. She taught me so much about love. We didn’t speak the same language, but we were able to laugh. We might not have understood each others words, but I understood her heart. When noises were absent we smiled.
I am beginning see more and more that love is very simple.
I desire to be like Gita. She wasn’t caught up in figuring out what to say, because she was more concerned with love. She was hungry for love and wasn’t afraid to go for it. Love looks like something. It looks like this little girl who sought me out every day and shared her smiles and giggles. To this day she comes to mind and I still smile. Her love and her hunger for love have greatly impacted my life.
If you have time, take a moment to click on the following link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQzlJ-GexVk. I watched this a month ago and was greatly encouraged. “There is no dance that He can’t dance with you…” – Paul Manwaring
I have come to find that God enjoys dancing. In fact, He is a marvelous dancer. As such, He is a brilliant lead. He does a great job showing me off even when I feel incompetent.
In dancing you don’t simply go back and forth, you also move from side to side. In other words, life is not just about moving forwards. It is a lot more like a dance. The more you let go and trust the lead, the easier it becomes to flow.
I don’t know about you, but this is thrilling. When life is seen as a dance there is room for mistakes. There is room for growth. The more you increase in intimacy with the Lead, the easier it becomes to glide and enjoy each step.
Even amidst the pain and uncertainty that comes with life, I can lean closer in and remember His heartbeat for me. It will be okay. He is with me every step of the journey. This must be what it feels like to remain calm amidst the storms of life. It feels like pressing in, remembering his Huge heart, and knowing that Love really is enough. He is enough. This is comforting.
Imagine if everyone just stopped for one person and bared some pearly whites to form an upward half circle. This imagery may at first seem a little strange, but stay with me…
This afternoon, I told an older lady that she was beautiful. She genuinely thought that I was trying to sell her something and asked me what I was doing. I told her that I wasn’t selling anything, but just wanted to let her know that she is beautiful. I had to say it twice because she didn’t believe me. This same scenario happened last week and many times before. People really don’t realize how amazing they are. They don’t realize that they are absolutely wonderful and beautiful. I don’t want to forget to stop for the one. To stop for the strangers walking by that are unaware that they have immense purpose and value. This simple action, an intentional grin and maybe the exchange of a kind words, changes things.
It may feel a bit strange at first, but I encourage you to give it a try! I would love to know what happens. It is always so encouraging to hear stories about people encountering Love.
It was cold outside and I sat in my car waiting to meet a friend for dinner. Whilst waiting, I decided to read a little bit of the Bible. To be honest, this thought doesn’t always occur to me, but I am so glad that it did. I stumbled upon Jeremiah 31 and tangibly felt God’s love as I read through the verses.
I encourage you to read it and put your name in the place of Israel.
This is the way God put it:
“They found grace out in the desert,
these people who survived the killing.
Israel, out looking for a place to rest,
met God out looking for them!”
God told them, “I’ve never quit loving you and never will.
Expect love, love, and more love!
And so now I’ll start over with you and build you up again,
dear virgin Israel.
You’ll resume your singing,
grabbing tambourines and joining the dance.
You’ll go back to your old work of planting vineyards
on the Samaritan hillsides,
And sit back and enjoy the fruit—
oh, how you’ll enjoy those harvests!
The time’s coming when watchmen will call out
from the hilltops of Ephraim:
‘On your feet! Let’s go to Zion,
go to meet our God!’”
- Jeremiah 31:2-6 (emphasis totally added).
——————-You’re welcome. *wink*