inspiredness TM

Copyright 2013


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What is time?

The-Passage-of-Time

The following comes from the mind of my amazing husband, Mark Sole. He posted this tonight as a status update on his personal Facebook page but he frequently posts similar things to his public page, Mark Sole – Life On Fire.

What is time? Is it a measuring stick to complete our appointed tasks? Or is it a collection of instances, or memories? I believe time can stand still. I have seen it, felt it, witnessed it. The most common occurrence being when I hold one of our babies as they fall asleep. It is an escape, really, from this world. For an instant, there is nothing else. Only HEARTBEATS…and BREATHING. Maybe the creak of the rocking chair. So warm, safe, comforting, and loved we both are in that instant.

Some of us do not have pleasant memories. This world is messy. Some moments, time can stand still in the pain, suffering, rage, anger, depression, and hopelessness. Even though you may not believe, I believe for you, that there is a loving Savior standing right there with us, in the midst of the hurt.

I have been reading a lot lately. Mostly personal development, leadership development, and health. My reason is simple, I want to be better at what I do. I want to get deep into people’s lives and love them. I want change to burst forth from their hearts. I want to show them that walking the narrow road is not easy nor am I perfect, but I want them to do it WITH me. I am on a quest to continually create ACTION in my life and my family’s life, so that we may love others more. But all the leadership books, all the motivational speakers, all the audio and seminars cannot trump the most important thing I hold on to…God‘s promise to us found in the Bible.

If you want to see what love really is, it is action. Because in one instant, God’s son, Jesus, died, in our place, out of love for us, so that we might trust in Him and live. LOVE became ACTION. I know many of you do not feel the same way I do. You do not believe this really happened, or what really happened that instant. And that is OK. BUT what I do know it this. Even though we may operate by time, and “time is all we have.” GOD has more than that. And He wants you. And He is knocking. And He will wait for you to be ready.

I truly love everyone. I believe we are all created in the image of God. I also believe God has a very specific plan for all our lives, and how He uses TIME may be different for you than for me. I know there will come a time, when you will open that door, and take that chance to let Him in. I don’t know when it will be. But I do know that in that moment of pain, hurting, suffering, anger, frustration, and hopelessness, He will be there. He will NOT fail you. And time will stop. And Love will feel like two things…

Heartbeats…and breathing

 


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Where do the homeless go…

 

if they don’t have a home?

This is image is from Mobile Loaves & Fishes (mlf.org)

 

How many of us look the other way when we see a homeless man or woman holding up a cardboard sign on a street corner? How many of us wave a homeless person off when they are asking for money? How many of us assume we know what they’re going to use that money for? How many of us pass judgement on these brother & sisters in Christ? I’ll be the first to admit that I have and I’m still working on only exuding love for the people who wander the streets.

How many of you have really gotten to know a person without a home? Where are they from? What’s their story?

I have a couple of friends that have–and are presently waiting for this man with whom they’ve spent hours of beautiful time to pass from this earth. This is a link to another blog (a friend of my friends’) that describes the rawness and the beauty of what they are going through.

Please take a moment to read this…I promise you won’t regret it!

Tall Monastic Guy–Holding the Tension: befriending Ed

 


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Comfort Zones

by theologian Reinhold Niebuhr

Where are your comfort zones? Are they centered in Christ? Or do they center around having all the control to yourself? Do they center around fear, worry and unbelief that the Lord won’t pull through for you?

For most of my life…okay, all of my life…I have known nothing more and nothing less than the comfort zones that hold me in a place of worry, fear, mistrust, unbelief, and total self-control and control of others (and my environment).

The fear of failing has always been one of my central comfort zones. What will people think if they see me fail? I will feel utter humiliation, embarrassment, and I know I’ll be a let-down. I won’t try again because I don’t want to fail again; I don’t want to go through the stomach-wrenching emotions again. Even as I write this my heart is racing and my insides feel like they are about to come out! Why would anyone want to stay in a comfort zone when it’s not a comfort?! Because stepping out of those boundaries means you have to do something uncomfortable, something foreign and something scary. Some people thrive on the adrenaline of doing things like this but others, like myself, can only see the failure in it all and that scares me to my bones.

Something that is helping me to reframe my thoughts on fear and failure is a bit I read from a book titled “99 Things You Wish You Knew Before…Stressing Out!” by Lauren E. Miller. Lauren has spoken at my MOPS group a couple times and has such an inspirational story and a strong, healthy presence.

#47 Failure is a perspective

Did you know failure is simply a label you use when you don’t get certain desirable outcomes in life? When something happens in life that you feel is insufficient or falls short of your expectations or assumptions of how it was supposed to be, from your perception, you often label it as failure; this can lead to “less than” feelings about yourself or others.

If you can watch for this in life and choose to observe yourself making these kinds of choices (to label undesirable outcomes as failure), you give yourself the opportunity to reframe into a positive. Whenever you choose to reframe any negative response into a positive, you open yourself up to creative solutions.

Often you say to yourself, “I can’t do that!” This automatic response instantly aligns yourself with your experience of failure. How about saying, “I just don’t know how to do that yet, but I have the confidence in my ability to learn.” Words are powerful to help you link to your God given strengths and abilities to overcome.

Part of moving through those moments in life that you label as “failure” is to practice the prayer of serenity. “God grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to accept the things I can the wisdom to know the difference.” Any time you resist what is before you, you set yourself up for remaining stuck in life. Yes, you will remain in a place of emotional paralysis each time you do accept the things you cannot change…

Know that whatever label you chose to define a situation in life will directly affect the outcome.


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On My Mind Today

“The only platform Christ ever came to was a mound at Calvary — a place to come and *die*…

He calls us to come and *die* … and if art is about applause instead of altar, it becomes ugly. I wonder if art is only art when it’s about an altar — because real beauty is always found in sacrifice.”~Ann Voskamp 

“Real beauty is always found in sacrifice”

Laying down yourself, surrendering yourself, your life, to Christ…every moment of every single day…therein lies sacrifice.

I remember to do this in times of hurt, trouble, despair…sometimes. I forget when in the land of plenty, when life is beautiful or when I’ve talked myself into believing it’s beautiful…sometimes.

There are those moments when the view takes my breath away and I thank Him.

Moments when the laughter peaks and has the great potential to shatter a heart of stone and I thank Him.

But mostly, in my busy world, my busy mind I forget. Forget that He is there, watching my every move, crying with me, bursting with the joy that I can be, calling me his beloved child…perfectly His, perfectly loved no matter my shortcomings.

Is this what grace is? Where do I find this? How can I be this to someone else when I can’t even define it in my own head?


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Walk with Him Wednesdays: Fasting

(Every Wednesday, we Walk with Him, posting a spiritual practice that draws us nearer to His heart. To read the entire series of spiritual practices
This week, and the next two weeks, as we walk with Him towards Easter, might we consider: The Practice of Fasting. We look forward to your thoughts, stories, ideas….–Ann Voskamp)

I knew today was Ash Wednesday; our church has been talking about the service they will hold tonight. I have probably even taken part in an Ash Wednesday service sometime in my past, but I realized…do I really know what it means, what it is? It marks the first official day of Lent…a season of repentance, fasting. I’m sure there are misconceptions…it’s only a “Catholic thing” might be one. People all over Twitter are “tweeting” about what they are going to give up for Lent…chocolate, drinking, sugar, Facebook, etc. Do those people really know why they’re giving these things up? Is it a mindless ritual? Is it a personal feat to overcome? Is it the “popular” thing to do? I’m just speculating here, no accusations, no judgement…just wonder.

I would consider myself a “baby Christian,” having been saved about 8 years ago. I feel like I have some much to learn, so much to read, so much more to experience.

Is our observance of Lent just a tiny speck of sand in comparison to what Christ experienced those 40 days in the wilderness and later on the cross? How does giving up chocolate even compare to the torture Jesus was put through? We can live without chocolate, can we live without Christ? It’s all symbolic…dying to our earthly desires, possessions, lives so we may be resurrected with Jesus.

I am human and a sinner. It is possible to give up those things that I covet…such a strong word, but I’m being truthful. Do I want to give up those things…probably not. Did Jesus want to die on the cross? I don’t know…I’m going to venture out on a limb and say no, but He did and He did it for us.20120222-115056.jpg

So, I am willing to give up those things that I feel have a strong hold on me in this current season of my life…I know I’ll look at the words and feel that I am such a shallow person…this is nothing compared to the wilderness.

  • Starbucks
  • Soda
  • Desserts
  • Holding grudges, not forgiving
  • Putting up a fake front…everything is okay