Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Celebrating Who I Am

There are few times a year that we are compelled to pause and take inventory of ourselves and our lives. We often celebrate these times as new beginnings. One of those times is of course the new year. Another may be the season of Spring which we have just entered. Another one for me is my birthday which is only a few days away. I can't believe that I'll be turning 38! Yes, I said it. When I was a teenager, I used to think that being 40 years old was well, old. But now that I'm creeping closer to the big 4-0, I don't quite agree anymore. I'm told that 50 is now the new 40 and I like that. I'm not getting old, just old-er.

I think that we as women have been given a bad wrap on this age thing. We are suppose to look like we're 25 when we're 45; however, men who are 45 can have gray hair and a some wrinkles and still be handsome since those age factors only add "character". However you see age for men or women, it should not be something that defines us, but instead improves us. Scripture tells us:

"Gray hair is a crown of splendor; it is attained by a righteous life."
Proverbs 16:31

"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." Psalm 139:13-14

God doesn't want us to necessarily grow old, but rather grow up and grow wiser. With that wisdom comes understanding and celebrating how fearfully and wonderfully made we are in Him. He designed every fiber of our being inside and out, even those things we don't particularly like about ourselves, like my big knees. Even so, it's a powerful thing to know that there is no one on earth quite like you or quite like me. We are each an original.

So as my gray hair is starting to peek through again, God reminds me that I am growing wiser in Him. This birthday, I will be thankful for everything God has done in my life so far and for all that He will do in the coming year. I will celebrate who I am in Him....yes, even the gray hair and wrinkles!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Hand in Hand

Are you waiting on God for something right now? Perhaps, it is an answer to a specific prayer or clarity on His direction. Maybe you already know what you need to do, and are now waiting on His timing. That can be hard at times.

Being in ministry has made me realize that God has a definite plan for me and with His plan comes His perfect timing. At times I am anxious and want to go ahead of Him. Other times, I am fearful or uncertain and delay my obedience to Him. The best way I have learned to follow Him is to walk with Him "hand in hand." I do that by being in daily relationship with Him. As long as I am holding onto His hand, I can feel His gentle tug to slow down or His tightening pull to move forward.

Lately, I confess that I have been feeling a bit anxious and I hear Him telling me, "Be patient." At the same time, I can picture a big grin on His face letting me know something GREAT is coming just around the corner. Well, I don't know if you are like me, but patience is NOT my best virtue! However, I'm learning. Learning to wait on my God and trust His timing. I know He has everything worked out for my good even when I don't see it and He knows exactly when it will come to pass.

The daily relationship of seeking Him in prayer and His word allows me to be able to hear and recognize His voice. Do you recognize when He speaks to you?

"The gatekeeper opens the gate for him (the true Shepherd), and the sheep recognize his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out....they follow him because they know his voice. They won’t follow a stranger..." John 10:2-5a (NLT)

He knows you by name and knows exactly how to lead you. Walk hand in hand with Him daily and trust His timing. He will give you what you need including patience to wait or courage to move forward. Believe that He has something great for you around the corner as you choose to walk with Him. He is grinning at you from ear to ear!