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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Worth It

I decided to take advantage of my ability to be spontaneous this spring break and just get in the car and drive south by myself. I have an iPhone, and fairly new vehicle, and On-Star. I'll be fine, right? Well, I forgot to take into account EVERYONE travels I-75S, and as I did not have a reservation, it took me three towns and five hotels (and one near nervous breakdown) before I found a vacancy late Friday night... In a Super 8... In a smoking room. Not the greatest accommodations. However the sheets were clean (I ignored the cigarette burn in the blanket) and the bathroom was clean (the shampoo was in what appeared to be large ketchup packets... I guess Super 8 doesn't trust me with a tiny bottle), and I got a fairly decent night's sleep (until at 5am I started to hear everyone filling their coolers with ice from the machine right outside my door). But I made it out alive.

When I finally got Jacksonville (around two hours later than I'd planned thanks to two days worth of traffic), I was exhausted but I decided that if I needed a nap I might as well take one on the beach. So I checked into hotel, grabbed my beach stuff, and headed back out. After the 15 minute drive to the beach I started to look for parking. On a beautiful Saturday afternoon this is not an easy task. After driving around for 30 minutes I finally found a space. I parked the car, grabbed my stuff, and headed towards the water.

As soon as I saw the ocean, I had to stop and take this picture and post it online with the simple caption "Worth it."




This morning, I drove back to that same spot to have my own personal Easter Sunrise Service. As I sat there watching the sun peek over the ocean, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Gratitude for answered prayers, for unanswered prayers, for times when God has given me what I want, and more importantly, for Him giving me what he knows I need. And this time as I looked at the ocean, I was struck by my caption yesterday, and I can't help but hope, after all Jesus went through, that sometimes He looks at us and simply says "Worth it."





Happy Easter everyone.
Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Doors


We had this guest speaker at church this past Sunday, Bob Goff.  He was amazing, he's all about putting actions behind your faith and not just resting on it. He's done some amazing things with his life for others, including teaching kids in Uganda how to surf. (Seriously, watch at least part of this video!)

He also wrote a book called "Love Does" which I downloaded from Amazon and spent all of Sunday afternoon reading it. In this book, Bob (and I feel like he'd want me to call him Bob, not "Goff" or "Mr. Goff") recounts a story of being denied admission to law school, but knowing God's plan for him was to get in, so he met with the Dean, and when he was told "No" again, simply told the Dean that he had the power to let him in, all he had to say was "Go buy your books."  Well he waited outside the Dean's office every day for over a week, and finally SPOILER ALERT: the Dean winked at him and told him, "Go buy your books." Bob follows the story with this quote:
“I’ve always wondered if, when we want to do something that we know is
right and good, God places that desire deep in our hearts because He
wants it for us and it honors Him. Maybe there are times when we think a
door has been closed and, instead of misinterpreting the circumstances,
God wants us to kick it down. Or perhaps sit outside of it long enough until someone tells us we can come in."

Sometimes I feel stuck at this place where I wonder... Do I kick down the door? Or at least continue knocking hoping someone will answer? What if this isn't the right door and I waste all of my time waiting outside for someone to tell me "Go buy your books", but no one ever does? Some doors look like the right ones, but what's inside, God doesn't want for us.  Some doors might open to reveal exactly what we need, but we don't even knock on them.
Last year, in the midst of a job change, I prayed that God would close the doors where He didn't want me, and open those where He did, and I firmly believe that is what happened (and I try to thank Him daily that I ended up where I am.)  I supposed this is the prayer I will continue to pray, only now that I hear Bob's voice in my head,  I think I will add "If you do want me to sit outside and wait for someone to tell me to buy my books, I am okay with that, just please, let me know."