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THE JOURNEY BEGINS

MY MUSINGS THIS WEEK…

*It’s Saturday, and Mr. Van and I have used part of the day to finish the work needed to ready our half-acre for winter. He mowed the lawn one more time—has taken him all afternoon. He loves counting all those steps! And he has mulched all the leaves that have fallen.

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I took apart our patio tables, removing the tiles and the lounger cushions to be stored for the winter. The tables and chairs are all stacked and arranged so that they won’t blow away in the cold winter winds.

God has given us a beautiful fall season. Most of the area surrounding us here in northern Alberta has already had snow, but, so far, we have been spared. We know it’s coming!

*My Dad turned 85 this week—wow!! I sometimes feel like I have lived a long time already, and yet I can’t imagine being twenty-two years older than I am. That is probably a good thing…

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*This has also been a hard week in some ways. I was suddenly thrust into the realization that my pace of life is out of control and that I need to do something about it. I was chatting recently with a friend about how it can seem that we have taken on too many responsibilities at once, and that can be a frustrating and discouraging experience.

BUT…

There are also times when God stretches us to do more for a period of time than we know we can handle in order to help us to learn to depend on Him in ways we never have before.

This isn’t the first time I have been so overwhelmed that I feel like I need to give up everything I am doing. And I am sure it won’t be the last.

My pace of life has been impacted by some of the choices I am making right now. It might be easier to just slow it all down and hide away in seclusion from those in my sphere of influence. But I don’t think that’s what God has for me. However,

I need to slow down in the deep part of my soul and be still and know that He is God and in control of my moments and my days.

I need to refocus and be sure that all that I am doing is God-given, but also to learn to “stay-in-the-day” and not run ahead of myself or God.

I need to, again, intentionally choose God’s direction, and then, when circumstances seem to change unexpectedly for any reason, rest in Him, believing that He is in control.

1 Thessalonians 4:11 reminds me,

“and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you”

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THE JOURNEY…

My musings bring us back again to living with hope and purpose because whatever our age or stage of life, whatever our circumstances, there will always be change and transition…

We are all on a journey, our spiritual pilgrimage.

On the timeline of history, we are just one little dot, living in this particular period of time, but with the opportunity to impact history forever.

Many of us have already chosen to believe and follow God. Some of us are several years down that road. Others have just begun, or perhaps you are still considering whether to take that first step towards Him.

When the routines of life are suddenly jolted out of what we perceive to be “normal”, there is often a time of experiencing more blips than patterns. We end up floundering and wonder how this can all come together to bring order and routine once again. Those interrupted patterns could be related to some of the places we all find ourselves—changes in family life, work, church-life, schooling, health, etc. Some fairly easy and some very difficult—hard times.

That’s where I found myself this week. Adjusting to a new series of responsibilities that have disrupted my regular routine and so are stressful. I do have a desire to always live my life with intention, but there is a cost and a learning curve involved.

I stumble and I fall and I get up again and take the next step.

I have seen God direct my path in the right direction again and again.

I know that this is true for many of you as well.

So what definition does the dictionary give for the word INTENTION?

“the thing that you plan to do or achieve: an aim or purpose; a determination to act in a certain way: to resolve; what one intends to do or bring about.”

Another definition, from a biblical perspective, comes out of Jean Fleming’s amazing book, Pursue the Intentional Life. In this book, Jean Fleming informs us that to pursue an intentional life is

“to see the big picture of our life and God’s purposes. It is for those of us who do not want to revert to default or to live a haphazard life on cruise control but to seek to live meaningfully and intentionally in the present while preparing well for the future.”

I believe that God desires for us to choose to live intentionally, no matter our circumstances.

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THE JOY…

So, how do we, as women, learn to live knowing the hope to which God has called us, rooted, built up in Jesus, and established in our faith with intention and expectation?

God has been teaching me, in these past few years, more about how to journey with Him as I simplify and narrow my focus and trust Him, no matter what life brings to me or to those I love.

And what has been my takeaway from this hard week?

*Take some time to slow life down.

*Take some time to just sit with God and talk to Him about how I’m feeling and ask for His help to re-focus. I started working through Beth Moore’s new study, The Quest, An Excursion Towards Intimacy With God. I am excited to take the time to learn what God has to teach me.

*Make a long list of every to-do item I could think of, and evaluate each one as to when it must be done. This helps me to separate the necessary for today, the urgent, the able-to-be-delegated, and the non-urgent.

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YOUR MUSINGS THIS WEEK

What are you struggling with as far as coping with your schedule? Your responsibilities? Your family life? Your serving opportunities? Take some time to talk with God and process.

Do you know why you are spending your time doing the things you are doing? It’s always good to know what we should be doing and why we are doing it.

Stay tuned for some practical steps to help you.

Thanks for walking with us to discover more about what your life of intentionality might look like. Have a great week!

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