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December 12, 2017

Gathering Stones —- before the first step

My feet are unsure, the river is swift and the stones slippery!  How do I get across these rivers without falling, getting soaked, scraped up or swept away in the currents.  I see where I want to go, but there is a lot of maneuvering and obstacles between here and there!  Several times I while hiking, I have found myself at a river crossing. 

One time in particular, I was wearing jeans and cheap tennis shoes.  I was not equipped, I walked with hesitancy and I failed.  I screamed as I hit the icy water!  I slipped, scraped, bruised myself on the rocks that were supposed to help me. And I got soaked in the ice cold water!  I had to stay behind, strip off the cold wet clothes and let them dry by the fire.  I fell way behind the others and had to work twice as hard to catch up.  All this made for a good story that night with lots of laughter.  Failure is not the end, when failure is put in God’s hands, He can turn it into a point of humor even for the one suffering the bruises.

Like none other for me, this is my time of transitions. I have become very familiar with change – which is a oxymoron, but true!  This summer IS one big transitioning!  Transitioning as my ‘baby’ recently graduated the university and entered true adulting.  Transitioning as my mom recently exited her struggle with Alzheimer’s and entered Heaven.  Transitioning as we care of my now widowed father who lives in an apartment attached to our home.  Transitioning as I leave my position teaching three year olds in KDO to become a full-time equipper for PI.  Transitioning as I celebrate 50 years of walking with God and begin a new season with God.  Transitioning as we also celebrate 15 years of Prepare International and jump into multiplication of projects never before seen by PI.   Life is full of transitions.  But at this point, my life is more than full, it is saturated with transition.  How do I do this well?  How do I keep my sanity?  How do I mature in the process?

So I asked God for a story in the Bible to help me maneuver the crossings.  I found Joshua as he led the children of Israel into the Promise Land.  The significant act glaring in my heart was that God had Joshua to command the tribes to collect stones from the crossing of the Jordon (the time of transition).  On the other side they were to stack the stones probably in a circle because the name of the place is Gilgal which means circle.

I am now in the ‘stone gathering’ phase, BUT there has been a year like none other before now!

On June 1 of last year I decided to join Boone, my son-in-law in a year of the Nazarite.  Sounds spooky spiritual, but it is actually a simple time of intense war on any darkness of lack of sef-control in our lives.  I’m not know as an overly merciful person by nature (minus the work and grace of God), so I love this verse:  Make no treaty, show no mercy (Deut. 7:2).  This is a cry of war against sin and darkness in our hearts.  How I joined Boone in this adventure is pretty funny.

We had just visited Boone and Beth.  Boone had announced he was entering a year of type of Nazarite, an outward sign of this time is not to cut your hair and obstain from various foods.  I, being such a supportive spiritual mom-in-law, teased him.  On our return, as I was showering the next day, God convicted me of my lack encouragement to Boone.  I thought, “OK.  I will call, ask forgiveness and be his best prayer person.”  But then I felt challenged by God to join him!  Awwww man a year of no haircuts!

Little did I know that this year of going after purity in my attitudes and not excusing my lack of self-discipline in exercising and eating habits was just what God ordered Joshua to do before they started the transitioning into the Promised Land!  Smile.  God’s always a step ahead!

So the year began.  My struggle was to rely on the grace of God to mingle with the fruit of the spirit of self-discipline to eat healthy, exercise admidst our travels as well as exposing and repenting of hidden agendas and attitudes.  I’d walked the path around this mountain so much my path had become a moat. I failed and failed and failed again.  But these last two months I have become more focused, more desperate, more dependent!  I am learning that the Grace of God is always there, the question is am I desperate, disciplined enough to lean into His Grace!  (AND in a couple of weeks I get a haircut!)

I am thankful for this year of intense ‘no mercy’ on sin in my life.  I am not perfect by any means but I am way more equipped for the crossing!  This summer marks the crossing over – my ‘transition’, I will be writing blogs as I collect the stones, please follow me as I follow Christ during this adventure, learning Kingdom ways in order to transition well. Fun Times.

Let me know about your times of transition that you are experiencing.

Come gather stones with me

Originally posted May 20th, 2017