When you don’t know what to do.

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If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5 ESV

I drafted a different kind of post yesterday, thinking that God wanted me to take a break from writing these weekly blogs.  When I talked it over with Mike, he responded that this is one of those neutral issues, that I am free to cease or to continue. When we prayed before dinner, he asked the Lord to guide me in this decision.

After dinner, since I always check emails before settling down to read, I caught a text that gave me pause. Valerie had written me to say how much my last blog piece had helped her in the midst of some self-reproach. Wow!  I took that a guidance from Jesus to keep writing. And then this morning, Linda reenforced that encouragement with her kind words.

So, I will continue.  Below is what I THOUGHT I was going to post.  But, God!

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For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:a time to keep silence, and a time to speak….Ecclesiastes 3: -1, 7 ESV

I have been blogging regularly since 23 November 2009.  That is thirteen years.

I started writing publicly in order to capture those thoughts God generated in me based on Scripture. I had filled notebooks with them, but never went back to read my ‘nuggets’.  I ended up throwing my journals away. In shifting to blogging, my reasoning went like this:  ‘At least I’ll have a permanent record of this growing in understanding God.’

Sometimes something I heard on a Christian podcast or read in a book would prompt me to think more deeply and apply what the Lord was showing me.

No doubt you recognize my vanity in believing that my reflections can help others see something new and fresh about God.

But, even if these posts don’t connect with anyone, my life is proof of one of Mike’s favorite quotes, ‘Writing is thinking’.

But recently I have wondered if my self-generated weekly commitment to post something publicly hasn’t caused me to think too much and too often about myself and what I am feeling or going through.

This morning, the Holy Spirit focused that line of thinking, directing me to the suggestion that I ‘fast’ from writing these blogs.  I noted in my journal: “Is my blogging perpetuating this ongoing inward focus on Maria?”

You’ve heard the description of humility, no doubt: “Don’t think less of yourself, just think of yourself less.”

To that end, I am initiating an Advent fast. Will I still write?  Yes, but with a focus on magnifying God.  And privately. 

My goal is to grow into the kind of woman described in 1 Peter 3:4 and 6.  You remember that glimpse of Abraham’s wife Sarah whose inner beauty came from her faith in God during scary times?

And you are her (Sarah’s) children, if you do good and do not fear anything that is frightening…..” Verse 6.   Peter has just written earlier in verse 4, You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God.

I want to cultivate that quiet spirit.

Thank you to all of you who have written kind comments and thoughtful responses. You have encouraged me in both what I have shared and my writing skills. 

So, faithful and kind readers, I bid you ‘au revoir’ or possibly ‘adieu’.  The Lord will direct me. In the meantime, keep mining the Word for the gold that is there.  Our God promises that if we seek him with a sincere and persistent heart, he will meet with us and reveal previously hidden things.

‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3

I need God’s light!

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Light shines in the darkness for the upright – Psalm 112: 4 NASB

Right now, all is dark regarding the ‘Mom Move’. Our almost-94-year-old mom lives in Seattle. Due to her hospitalization in July, she no longer can live independently. The plan is for her to settle in a care facility near Steve and Eve who are moving to Asheville, NC. However, their new construction occupancy permit date keeps being delayed. These constantly changing details about their relocation are making Mom’s transfer to the East Coast appear logistically complicated and huge, a veritable mountain.

We need wisdom, clarity, a plan.  Darkness surrounds us. What does darkness represent?  Confusion, fear, unknowns, questions, blockage, and ignorance about the way to move forward. We need God’s light!

For You are my lamp, LORD; and the LORD illuminates my darkness. 2 Samuel 22: 29 NASB

Whew!  What good news that we actually have access to a source of light in our darkness.  Actually, there is no better light.  We fool ourselves when we think we can furnish our own wisdom. As creatures and living on the horizontal, we see ‘dimly’ as Paul mentions. We focus on human options, common sense.

By design, on purpose, God limits what we can know and understand.  His plan is for us to depend on him.  As the source of all that exists, seen and unseen, he holds all resources, including the supernatural. He will reveal them when the time is right.

When His lamp shone over my head, by His light I walked through darkness. Job 29: 3 NASB

Job experienced a long period of darkness.  I can imagine his depression, sadness and fear. Nothing good to look forward to on earth as he cast his mind forward. No light to reveal his actual past faithfulness to God, vindicating his character. Nothing but nothingness.  But then God’s light broke through his gloom, bringing hope and life and something new.

He reveals mysteries from the darkness, and brings the deep darkness into light. Job 12:22 NASB

Boy, do we need to see God’s plan for Mom’s move, up to now still a ‘mystery’ to us.  What a relief that he promises to bring our dark path into the light. 

…..for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move…..Matthew 17:20 NASB

Okay, Lord, I’m taking you at your word.  You promised your followers that if they trust you, if they believed what you said, they could declare that the mountain be moved. Therefore, we, Mom’s kids and spouses, also exercise our right as your adopted children.  We say: “Father, move Mom to Asheville!”

I know she WILL get moved.  I feel reassured.  I don’t know just how or when the Father will unfold his plan.  But that he will provide the path and the energy, I don’t doubt.  Today, that is enough for me to enjoy his gift of supernatural peace.

My favorite word about resting in his promise is this: 

…..(the one) who keeps faith….you keep in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts you. Isaiah 26: 2-3 ESV

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