Tag Archives: meaning

Step Forward

As a native Chicagoan, I’ve flown into O’Hare Airport more times than I can count. Sometimes, when the plane is coming in from the west, the pilot takes a curious route. Instead of heading straight to the airport, the plane passes over the city and heads east, out over Lake Michigan. To those not familiar with this pattern, flying over the lake brings some dreadful questions. “Why did we fly right by the airport? Are we out of control? Will we be landing in the lake?” Eventually, the plane will make a series of turns, head west and land safely at the airport.

When chasing a dream, we often take alternate routes like this one. We’ve been working so hard, concentrating on the destination. Just when it appears to be in sight, God bypasses around our goal. And sometimes, God takes us over rough waters instead of seeing us safely to our objective. It can be so frustrating.

I believe God plans detours in our slow march to our dreams. It isn’t because He doesn’t love us. It is because He loves us beyond belief. He doesn’t want us to just achieve our dream; He wants us to grow in character, to become more God-like, to see His glory in every step on the way to our destination. He wants our journeys to be more about what we might do for Him, rather than what might be in it for ourselves. God desires we remain focused on every step of the journey so we can feel and appreciate His power, love and wisdom.

When I face a painful detour, I spend too much time focusing on the negatives. But if I take a step back and examine the path God has planned for me, I can also spot all the gifts He showers along the way. I see the friends who have backed me up, the prayers offered over me, but more importantly the opportunities for spiritual maturity as I trust God with my life.

It is hard work, but in the difficult no’s, in the unexpected changes and in the broken heartbumpy roads, God wipes away our tears. He cups our broken hearts. And when we wail loudly from the pain, He answers, “I know you hurt. I’m stimulating growth in your life.” Isaiah 43:19 states: Behold, I will do something new. Now it will spring forth; Will you not be aware of it?

If you find yourself in a difficult spot, in the place of discouragement and doubt, if you feel like a dream has passed you by, take a step back and count a blessing. See the love in the face of a friend. Enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. Find a quiet place and pray in order to hear Him gently whisper back to you, “I came for you. I came to hold you. I want to carry you, to save you.”

Until you see your dream fulfilled, the work can be tough and lonely at times. But do the rare and wonderful thing: allow the tough times to help you experience the love of Jesus in new, different and exciting ways. Find a gift in each moment, step forward with the belief that God really does know best and His plan is truly perfect – even if you have trouble seeing that today.

A Walk in the Cornfields

image001The end of the rope was near. Involved in several projects that were zapping my strength instead of replenishing it, I knew a break was necessary despite some very pressing deadlines. I was smack dab in the middle – the uncomfortable in between of roaring pressure and endless tasks. Working inside when I longed to be outdoors was tough, especially when summer fades into autumn. The crispness in the air was lovely, but unfortunately also a reminder these warm, sunny days luring me outside were limited in number.

I needed to pull back to sit down and relax on the inside. So I grabbed my dog, got in the car and headed north to walk in the cornfields of the numerous farms in the area. If you are in northern Illinois, it seemed like an appropriate way of taking a breather without shrinking back.

You can embrace quiet without giving in. You can say no to the hustle of your projects, of your life and still be saying yes in obedience. Choosing relaxation does not mean shutting down or worse, giving up. Chasing a still moment doesn’t mean your work has to suffer or you’ll miss an opportunity. Finding a way of putting up a Do Not Disturb sign is actually a gift to your soul.

Intentionally scheduling a quiet break when your soul has had enough and your body is exhausted is recognizing your limits. Society glorifies busy, but busyness can actually harm your relationship with God and others. Sometimes we just need the quiet to wrestle with our thoughts, to bathe in God’s love telling us we are brave, strong and beautiful. And to silently give control back to the One who always had it, God.

Frustration, anger and loneliness can cause tension when all you see are the piles, projects and programs and not the heart of God. Exodus 14:14 tells us, “The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still.” No matter how squeezed you feel, God can breathe in something new. He can tend to whatever wounds bruise your soul.

In the hushed quiet of cornstalks gently waving in the breeze, I recognized those things in my life that made my life worth living, my story worth telling. In a place of your own choosing, you also can find the same confidence, courage and dignity.

We must work. We must complete our projects. We must finish those daily checklists. But it is not normal to live so hurried. Our doing should never explain our being. When we are so busy doing, we tend to lose sight of all we are.

Yes, I got behind a little during my day on the farm. Yes, I felt the pressure of not pushing myself further. But the hushed cathedral of cornfields stretching as far as the eye could see brought a healing. As I walked among the silence, the pressure inside started to lessen and eventually turned to sweet relief. I didn’t know how much I craved the silence until all the noise disappeared. Then I was happy I had listened to the pull inside my heart to take the day and find a quieter place; a place that was washed with the presence of God.

The day brought radiance to my soul. That alone felt so good. Sometimes we need to savor the silence, to embrace rest and chose the unhurried path. Occasionally running the race He has called us to do means slowing down, embracing the silence and snuggling close to God. Only then can we unwind with relief.

Who Are You?

1who-are-youThe world will say that you aren’t valued. You are small…that you are the product of other people’s opinions.

But you are not!

You are not your mistakes,

You are not your blunders,

You are not what others say you are when they whisper about you in cold, callous tones.

You are worthy,

You are significant,

You are deserving of praise for who you are and what you have done.

You are no longer a slave to your insecurities and how the world discourages you. His perfect love will drown out all your fears and doubts.

You are able to change the world when you reflect back the glory of God.

You are a child of the Most High God.

His son or daughter,




Cherished and Whole.

You are all that and more.

He only sees the best you, your most beautiful you.

Listen to Him! Listen to His comforting voice telling you how much He loves you.

The battle to live a rewarding, self-confident life is won by believing the right voice.

Lord, speak life over me, over my friends. Help us to hear Your inspirational whispers. Let us drink in Your words of encouragement. We need to hear Your voice. Forgive us for letting the other voices rule us. Help us feel Your favor. Help us rest in Your pleasure right now. Amen.