Monthly Archives: October 2020

Inward Focusing – My Assistance

So, this is happening this week:

This is actually my puppy, incoming. Breeder’s son. 8wks in this photo.

And eventually this is what will have happened:

Not me, not my breeder. Demonstration of size of fully grown Leo.

But this isn’t my locked personal blog. This is the more general, theological blog. Why am I showing you dog photos?

Because I’m learning the *weirdest* lessons and being directed in the *weirdest* ways right now. Or at least they feel weird, and that weirdness is part of my lesson – to let GO already.

I’m supposed to be chilling out, resting, receiving, and becoming focused on the inner world, both of my own head, and in my literal inner world – my home. I’ve gotten myself so overwrought about being perfect, going outward, that I’m completely out of balance. Even to THINK about looking inward and allowing myself to be cared for is uncomfortable.

I’ve done the things. I’ve put up food for the coming storm. I’ve read my Bible through. I … do the things. I do ALL THE THINGS I CAN THINK OF. Except chill and rest and wait, because SURELY I FORGOT SOMETHING AND I SHOULD BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE AND……

I know I’m out of alignment and this is causing problems. I got a mentor. She’s helping me with this. She had me think through some things and return Scripture to her, and I’m mulling on that. “What is it to you?”

I feel bad about being gifted. Guilty for being loved. But I am not the Creator. He has made all of His creation for His purposes – some for nice things. Even to type that is uncomfortable for me. Terribly.

So. Last week my husband said, “we can get a dog once the fence is fixed” and I went looking for a puppy. I knew breeders (Proper Breeders) want a contract signed in blood and for this breed, waiting lists that span years. I had a bad experience with one some years ago. (Yes, Giant Puppy is very well researched). But you can buy puppies online. It’s a thing. I found one. She’s Leonberger crossed with 20% Newfoundland (which is a little irrelevant, since Leos are part Newf anyway). In CANADA.

To make a long story short, just opening the conversation turned into, ‘well, I have a shipment of puppies coming through on Monday” and I’ll have the pup here Thursday/Friday. (The end of the journey will be by car). YIKES. Big changes.

A puppy will, of necessity, help me become more childlike… I’m super stoked, but DANG. Apparently to learn to receive, I need a board upside the back of my head.

Anyway. Puppy. 😀

Pruning before a Hard Winter

No one. Absolutely No One. No one likes to be pruned.

No American wants to go into a dormant period, quieted down and put into Winter slumber. We are all supposed to be go-go-go, grow-grow-grow, nonstop. Even when we have a “quiet time” we’re supposed to make best use of every second, eyes on the prize.

But trees must be pruned. Trees that are not pruned are trees that end up diseased, with weak limbs, poor fruitbearing, and prone to snapping in high winds.

John 15:2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit.

Note that pruning is what is done to *fruitbearing* branches, not failing branches. Those are taken away. No, pruning is a .. reward? Not really. But it is a thing done to healthy branches. To those that bear, to bear more, they are pulled back.

In nature…. errr… in horticulture, one also prunes back vines and brambles most strongly before a bad winter. Your prize rosebush is trimmed carefully, watered well, and then covered with a very large pile of mulch (perhaps even wrapped in burlap) to withstand winter’s whims.

I’m watching myself being pruned and my branches brought in and THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT. What I want is a life of significance, where I can use the myriad gifts I have been *given* in the Lord’s service. I want a direction, work to sink my teeth and my soul into, I want to make a difference. I do *not* want to rest.

But I am tired…….. and the storm is about to break…… and it is time to be turned inward, homeward, ever-more-Christward. As I struggle, I am being turned to face inside the walls of my home, inside the walls of my garden. It is time to rest. Time to listen to the Spirit, time to sink my roots even further down than I had ever imagined.

I can daydream of the bright days of Spring ahead, and hear the Word that someday, all that has been taken will be replaced, with interest, and that those dreams will be fulfilled in ways that I can, today, not even imagine – but for now, those are just whispers for tomorrow. For now, my work is in roots and in rest.

Headed into the Storm

Pretty much everyone will tell you that things are about to get awful. There’s a storm brewing. It’s been brewing for decades. All kinds of ugly are about to start raining down – you thought the rest of this year was bad? Ha. And *everyone* will tell you the same thing. Folks that prophecy, folks that predict via charts and graphs, folks that taste the wind and shake their heads… all the same. Rain’s comin’.

Y’all know that.

It’s time to talk about how we head into this mess. I’m having trouble, folks. I know it’s a storm, but it’s a big ‘un. Yes. The waters will recede, and we will have “the other side”, but that other side might look as strange to us as the new world looked to Noah after the flood. I play at “disrupting the dominant paradigm” but DUDE. This is real. I’m a planner, a dreamer, a focuser. Kaboom, babes. All of that is buh-bye. And no, I’m not coping all that well.

I don’t know what the storm will look like, only that it’s going to rain. No one knows what it’s going to look like.

I tell myself to stop flinching at the little crashes of lightning that are starting. I mean, I already know that my governor is a lunatic. Masking between bites is his latest. What? I … what? But I spend too much time and energy reacting to the crazy. It’s got my nerves in a tizzy. Even when I only let my flinches last for a second, all of that gets me out of my true focus, which needs to be Jesus.

A year ago, pretty much every time I opened my Bible to sit and listen, I got the same passage, and as I type this, that passage comes to mind once again:

Matthew 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” 31 Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.

Yes. There’s a storm. But we are protected, so long as our eyes are upon Jesus. That doesn’t mean we won’t be frightened. The disciples were frightened. But that’s when we look at the storm. Peter sank when he looked at the waves. But he walked on water when his eyes were on Jesus.

I know what to do. But how do I do this thing? How do I tune out the world, the news, the socials, the friends, the family…. ALL of it, and only concentrate on God? I’m not a mystic, hiding on a mountaintop… I’m a mom. A wife. An employee. Responsible to run my house and my kids and keep up with the folly of my local government so I don’t try to drive down this week’s repaving project…. I can’t close my eyes and make it all go away. Would that I could. How do I learn to live undistracted?

It’s going to be … well, no, it’s not going to be “okay”. It’s going to be something different. Raised with unicorns, the first pegasus is born.

As the storm washes through our lives and our land, how will we all be changed?