Fall Leaves & Fellow Commuters: Discovering Beauty All Around Us

I love fall. The changing of the seasons. The brisk, cooler air. Everything pumpkin. The chance to get some variation in my wardrobe again. But probably most of all, I love the colorful leaves. They are simply gorgeous.

Each tree is different. The varying, distinct shades of green, orange, yellow, red. My personal favorites are the trees that get bright red on top, while staying a rich green underneath.

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Spring is Here

Spring is definitely here, and I’m not talking about the weather or the time of year. I’m talking about this season of life. About 9 months ago I wrote a post called Embracing This Season. (click the title to read it in a new window) God had been speaking to me in themes, about the different seasons of life. We had been feeling really restless, like we were in a state of limbo, not sure of where we were supposed to be, or what we were supposed to be doing. We knew that God was preparing us for something. We just didn’t know what or when.
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The Road to Now

If you missed my last post, “Taking the Leap”, please read it by clicking here & then continuing on. The rest of this will make more sense if you know what I’m talking about.

It’s been a long road to get to here. To now. To this point where I feel like we’re about to jump off of a cliff. To say goodbye to everything that has kept us comfortable – probably too comfortable – for the last couple of years.

You might say that God has been leading us down this road our entire lives. He always knew where we’d end up at this exact moment. There’s something quite encouraging in that. He is the one who has led us down this path. All of our past experiences, melding with our God-given passions, are colliding together in this next big adventure.

He put me together with an amazing man who shared the same vision and passions. He planted us in Nashville for a wonderful 5 years. But somewhere along the way, we started to feel like something wasn’t right. We were content, but deep down we were restless. We were in a season of winterWe were here for now, but knew that God was somehow preparing us for something else. We just didn’t know what… or where… or when…

To share one fun piece of the puzzle… About three years ago I saw a job opening at IJM that caught my eye. It was for a Director of Marketing position. It was a complete long shot for that period in my life, but I printed it off to save as inspiration. I called it my dream job. Life went on, but I always kept my eye on IJM. I have always been a big fan of their work and have wondered that whenever it was my time to leave Thomas Nelson, it could potentially be for either IJM or World Vision. That’s just how God wired me.

A couple of weeks ago I found that folded up piece of paper while cleaning out our study. It has the date I printed it at the bottom… 1/08/2009. Now, three years later, almost exactly to the day, I will start my training at IJM.  January 9th, 2012.

And God knew it all along.

There have been many interesting pieces of the puzzle that have come together along the way. Hopefully I’ll get a chance to share more of them with you. But that is one that just makes me smile.

How have you seen evidence of God’s hand moving in your life lately? Please leave a comment below and tell us about it. We’d love to hear.

Get Less Busy

My most recent revelation is an obvious one, but it needs said.

We, as a culture, are far too busy.

We hurry from one thing to the next, constantly filling our schedules to the brim until there is no time left. It’s like an addiction. Why do we do this to ourselves?

I can be as guilty as anyone else, and I surely do have my seasons. Especially as I’ve been pursuing my MBA these last couple of years. (And I can’t even imagine what it’s like once you have kids.) But right now, I’m trying to soak up the opportunities that present themselves, while I have a little break.

In general we leave ourselves with no margin. We have little to no room for anything “extra”. The things that suffer: real quality time with our spouse/family, with friends, time to serve, time to be able to stop & help someone else with a need, time spent sitting still in God’s presence. What about time to actually relax for a few minutes and feel refreshed. There is no margin to be able to seize opportunities like this one, when we’re going 70 mph.

So what do we need to do?

  • Quit something. Create some space.
    This is most often easier said than done. There are definitely seasons of life that might dictate this. But it’s a good idea to take a good, hard look at our weekly schedules and see what we can eliminate in order to save space for other important things that might come up spontaneously. We are a culture of doers. It might be time to quit something.
  • Learn to live more intentionally.
    Don’t go through life filling up time with just anything. Figure out what the things are that you really want to be spending your time on. Prioritize. Figure out what is best (not just what is good).
  • Spend more time reaching out to others.
    Call that friend you haven’t talked to in a while. Send an email or a card. Ask someone to go grab coffee or a meal. Invite some neighbors over for dinner. Relationships are often one of the things that suffer most from our activity-packed lives. And it’s a tragedy. Life is meant to be lived in community.
  • Carve out times to be still (Psalm 46:10).
    I’ve had a really hard time with this one lately and I’m seeking to improve. I’m finding it really difficult to quiet my mind and to be still with the Lord. But it’s so important.

What other tips do you have for shaking off our addiction to busyness?

Get less busy. Start now. Go.