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Out Of The Darkness

I have heard it said that a messy desk is the sign of a cluttered mind. I say that a cluttered mind is the result of an unclear path.

I have spent untold hours and so much mental energy trying to create a niche for myself that is completely unique and could become a business. In the late 70s I thought about parlaying my love for words and calligraphy into a lettering/logo business. I bought the supplies, practiced, and moved on. In the early to mid 80s it was crochet; I dreamed of winning a crochet design contest that would land me in a magazine, thus launching a career. By the 90s I was happily married, had a job I liked and all my energy went into these things as well as my new again religious fervor. I jumped in with both feet and even took classes at a local Bible college. Then in 2003 my granddaughter was born and my world changed forever. I had a solid relationship with God, my husband and family. I entered the absolute happiest time of life. I was full and content. My entire life was spent wanting to be a wife and a mom and now I was living that dream I had a daughter by marriage and a granddaughter I was able to care for while her mom worked. Then, I made a decision which led me down an uncharted path.

By 2005 I had taken up knitting and felt like it was time to do something for myself, so I joined a social knitting group where I met the woman who would become my business partner. Together we opened a yarn shop. This sounds like an innocuous enough undertaking, but it altered me in ways I could have never imagined.

The details are not as important as the end result. The end result was that I began trusting more in my own understanding and slowly removed the light from my life. The farther away from God I got the more circuitous my path and the deeper my anxiety and confusion. So what is the answer? Light is the answer.

Most of us have experienced being in total darkness for one reason or another; it is natural to feel anxious and fearful of taking the next step. But put a flashlight in our hands and suddenly that step forward is clear…as long as we walk in the direction of the light.

But that light only shines for a defined distance. What is beyond that? We will never know until we take a step, then we are allowed to see a little more. Stand still, nothing is revelealed. Move to the right or the left and it could be safe but then again, who knows. That is where the anxiety is produced. It is only moving forward in the direction of the light that we can be confident and secure.

My word is a lamp to your feet; My presence is a light for your path. Psalm 119:105

When I worship God through reading scripture, praying and listening then I have a light for my path the rest of the day. Giving thanks at the end of the day prepares my mind and spirit for rest. And then, I’m ready for tomorrow.

So, if you are like me and put God’s lamp on the bookshelf or in a drawer, go find it. Let Him illuminate your day and your life. Let His peace wash over you and rest in His loving care.

Until tomorrow…

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The Way Forward

I often feel stuck. Stuck in a place, a state of mind, a routine, or a cycle of dreaming. I drown in my stuckness.

In reading through journal entries from the past year I discovered that the things I am doing now and the things I dream about, were also the things I was dreaming about a year ago. In my imagination I hop from thing to thing and never accomplish anything. That is only partly true. I am not accomplishing much. But I am surprisingly consistent in the big picture.

So if the problem is not what I am doing what is the problem? Why do I feel a sense of discontent? Why am I always searching for something that will make me happy and whole? Why am I stuck?

Well, it turns out the answer is really quite simple. I have been leaning on my own limited understanding of what needs to be done to solve the problem. I get a knot in my stomach and worry that I am making the wrong decision and that leads to doing nothing so that the knot will go away. The problem is not solved but I feel better for the moment.

By trusting myself more than I trust God I am pinching myself off from the vastness of His blessings. I want to know that I am on the right path but I don’t stop to listen, submit, trust, follow, and give thanks. Is it any wonder I am a spinning around in circles?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6

The life I want is a simple one. I don’t desire wealth or possessions, I don’t desire power or position. I desire to live simply with God and feel the peace that passes all understanding. To live humbly and honorably. But right now my path seems like a child’s scribbling on paper…wild and confused with stops and starts going nowhere at all.

Thankfully the solution is simple and there is a straight path for me, I just need to listen and follow.