Our Crooked Path

It’s hard to believe that LIT was two weeks ago, but the richness is still soaking in.  One of the things that came out of this amazing day was to not question or feel guilty for taking my time with Jesus each day.  I had started to feel guilty, allowing the “should” excuses to creep in.  I ‘should’ be studying Joshua right now.  I ‘should’ be working outside in the berries.  I ‘should’ be cleaning house.  I ‘should’…. the list goes on.

So lately I haven’t felt one bit guilty for spending an hour or more for my quiet time each day.  It doesn’t happen in the early morning, our house and my early risers don’t easily allow for that in this season.  But once the kids are at school, the deck is cleared and it’s an open notebook and my bible with no sense of guilt.  What a gift!

One of the limitations I’ve argued for myself over the past year is that I have never read the entire bible.  So if I’ve never read the entire bible, how in the world can I possibly write a bible study?  Part of my desire for a long quiet time stems from a desire to take in long pieces of scripture in one sitting, so that I can take things in context of the whole.  It’s been awesome. 

During LIT, Beth Moore mentioned Ecclesiastes 7:16.  I jotted it down in my notes, making plans to look it up later.  Turns out that it is an interesting verse, with ample warning.  And I completely get it in context of what she was speaking to in that moment, to a room full of young women.  I had never read the whole of Ecclesiastes, until now. 

Ecclesiastes 7:13 totally captivated me the other day.                                                        “Consider the work of God : who can make straight what he has made crooked?”   (ESV)

This verse speaks so much truth.  So much time and energy can be spent trying to see what is coming, making sure that the path is straight enough to see ahead.  Young ladies spend time planning out their weddings, husbands, homes, families, careers and retirements.  Like it’s going to be a straight shot from point A, B and C.  And like a jolting curve in the road, a baby is lost, a job doesn’t come through, nest eggs are lost, life on earth happens.  All of a sudden, our straight and narrow path isn’t so straight and narrow. 

I was never really one to dream about my wedding, or my husband.  I just prayed and desired that it would be filled with love and last so that we would all be spared the heartache of divorce.  But when I got married, the plans began.  The jobs, the house, the straight and narrow path was imagined and planned.

Then the path got crooked.  We couldn’t find the house in our timeline, the job was difficult, the baby took longer than expected.  And just when the path starts to straighten out an election, dream, job, and direction are lost, the economy tanks, and the plans go out the window. 

Our life is full of twists and turns.  Who can possibly make the path God has made crooked, straight?  No one.  What can be done though, is to enjoy each moment in the present.  We can be grateful for the twists and turns.

screen-shot-2017-02-27-at-10-41-46-amIt kind of reminds me of a summer vacation we took to the Smoky Mountains a few years ago.  We didn’t have much of a plan, but looking at our atlas thought we would take this road to get from point A to point B.  It looked like a scenic route and would save us from driving all the way back from where we had been.  Come to find out, it was called Tail of the Dragon (Highway 129) and well known for those who seek a thrilling and scenic drive.  The twists and turns in our life that day were unexpected.  I’m grateful, it was beautiful.  It’s also one experience I hope to never have again, at least not pregnant with an already queasy belly.

What part of your crooked path are you most grateful for?  Can you hold a stance of gratitude for the twists and turns yet to be seen? 

I would never in a million years have tried to plan out what my life looks like right now.  In fact, I would be scared to death.  But it’s all the twists and turns in the path which have led up to this moment and season for our family.  I wouldn’t trade all those curves for anything.  It’s those curves which help to mold us and hold opportunities to teach the biggest lessons.  We can choose to trust the curves, slowing down when necessary, and take the scenic route.  We can choose to spend so much energy on planning out a straight path, or we can choose to enjoy and accept the crooked one presently placed before us. For me, this crooked path has been one wild ride.  I’ll take His crooked path over my straight path any day. 

“Consider the work of God : who can make straight what he has made crooked?”   (Ecclesiastes 7:13, ESV)

#LPMLIT

What do you do with an experience so holy and unduplicatable?  You lose your voice; so that all you can do is sit and listen to God with open ears and an open heart, soak in His presence, and begin to digest all that has taken place.  Or at least that’s what I’m doing right now.

img_3852This past Saturday, I had the joy and privilege of being a part of Living Proof Ministry’s LIT.  One solid day devoted to and designed for women in their 20’s and 30’s who are being called to writing, teaching and speaking the Gospel.  I was blown away by the women who could have been speaking, teaching or ministering any where on the globe, but chose to spend it pouring into us.  And they did so in a powerful and loving way, not forsaking honesty and truth.  The intimacy level between each other and the Lord was palpable.

I don’t know where to begin unfolding my experience at LIT.  So many answers to prayer and confirmation.  But for every answer and confirmation, came five more prayers and questions.  So I’m grateful for the forced silence and rest which provide time to unpack questions and praises, and place it all before Him.  I desired to know the next step(s) on this journey He has me on, it was given.  Now, with faith I’m asking for the wisdom and discernment in knowing when to take them. 

I’m not even going to begin expelling everything that took place.  It was amazing.  I was in awe of the generosity and wisdom from all those involved, so that we all might prosper on the ground created for us to claim.  We worshiped, laughed, cried, stirred our brains and hearts, got real, and were trusted with so much.  Wow.

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One thing I can easily share, is the gratitude I have towards two women who shared it with me.  I’m so grateful for their willingness to road-trip with me, pray, laugh, encourage, teach, speak truth, and bear witness (especially divine appointments!).  Pam & Mary, you are precious to me.  And I’m certain part of my voice loss is all because we laughed so much!  Thank you.

There were so many quotable statements I could share in attempt to sum it up, but I realize they are worthless unless the commitment to put them into practice, or take them to heart, is there. There is a stirring in my soul, and within so many others, that I can not help but be excited!  A desired goal of Ms. Beth’s (Beth Moore) for LIT was for the 750 young women attending to “Get LIT” with the gospel and the gifting and be unleashed on this globe.   Ms. Beth, I am LIT!  I am LIT and praying a fresh commitment to keep it fanned into a flame, with the help of Holy Spirit.