Saturday, May 16, 2015

Where's My Burning Bush?

Hopes, dreams, goals, ambitions.

We all have things we want to do, milestones to conquer, bucket lists to check off, finish lines to cross.

Yet, in the burning desires of our hearts, comes the call of God.  Then arises the question: God, what is it you want me to do?

And we look for that burning bush.

Oh, how we can look back at Moses and become envious, for God revealed himself to Moses through the burning bush.  He told Moses exactly what He wanted him to do.  The expectations, the plan, it was laid out right there before Moses.

How many times, my friend, do we look and pray for that burning bush? For God to clearly reveal His perfect plan to us?

How easy that would make all this decision making!

But wait.

Moses had a problem with this clear plan of God's.

God told Moses, "This is what you are to tell the people and this is what you will do," and proceeded to reveal His plan to Moses.

But Moses said, "Wait! What if they don't believe me?"

God had an answer, and it was in Moses' staff. He would toss it to the ground and it would become a snake. Moses was told to pick it up by its tail (Eeeek!), and it turned back to a staff. The staff would perform miraculous signs so the people would believe.

Fair enough.

But Moses still relented.  He said, "But God, I am not a good speaker. I can't talk to these people! Send someone else."

God told him that he would be fine. God Himself would give Moses the words to share. But still that wasn't enough for Moses, so God gave him his brother Aaron to be his helper.

Does this sound familiar?

How many times do we pray for God's will to be done, to be revealed to us, to be a witness to that burning bush?  Then how many times, when God reveals Himself and His perfect plan to us, do we back away and find excuse after excuse on why we can't proceed?


Life's journey is a long, winding road.  And for those that desire to do the will of God, it can seem to be longer, with more twists and turns.  God doesn't always put that burning bush in front of us.  I think sometimes He tests us, He prepares us, and then eventually helps us to step into that perfect will of His.

If God did reveal Himself to us, face to face, and said, "This is what I want you to do. Go. Do it," would we? Would we jump to the task joyfully and wholeheartedly obey?  Or would we be like Moses and say, "You know God, I really don't think I can do this," and then give Him a list of reasons why we can't do what God's called us to do?

And maybe, that's why God doesn't always clearly reveal His plan to us.  If we see the journey upfront, the heartaches, and the pain, we will back away and say, "God, find someone else. This isn't for me."  Instead, I think God sometimes leads us one step at a time so that we don't always know the path we are on until we get there. He doesn't always give us the chance to back out.

When we ask God's will to be done in our lives, we need to mean it....wholeheartedly, without a shadow of a doubt, truly desire what God wants our lives to mean for Him.

He will lead us to a land flowing with milk and honey, but the journey won't always be easy. It won't always be beautiful. However, it will always be worth it.

When Moses finally obeyed and the Israelites were being lead on their journey, God provided for them. He lit their way and fed them physically and spiritually.  He wouldn't do any less for us.  God loves us, and regardless of what journey He has called us to, He will provide.

We just have to trust and obey.



Friday, May 15, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Follow

There's these little people that follow me everywhere I go.  I can't go to the bathroom without company.  I can't run to the store without a little shopper with me throwing in everything he thinks we need.  I can't sleep through the night without someone crawling under the covers with me.

But I wouldn't have it any other way.....these little guys....I'm their biggest fan.  They are my sunshine.

Yet, I know that they watch me. They learn from me.  They follow me.


I have to ask myself, "Am I leading them in the right direction? Am I leading to where I really want them to follow?"

That's a major self check on my part.

I don't want to be the parent that says, "Do as I say, not as I do."  After all, actions do speak louder than words.  I want to live a life that I would be proud of my children to follow.  I want them to follow me to Christ.

During our Mother's Day service last week, our pastor talked about being proud of your children when they do something great...a home run, a good grade,  a trophy.  All of those things are great, but the greatest achievement....to have a child that has decided to follow Christ.

That is my ultimate goal, not that my children would follow me, but that they would follow Jesus.  He can lead them to greater places than I could ever imagine.

Thank you for joining me here for this edition of Five Minute Friday.  I can't wait to hear from you.  Don't forget to join in with your own post at katemotaung.com.  See you there!


Saturday, May 09, 2015

Writer's Block or Writer's Fear? Whatever, It's Got to be in God's Will

My dream is to write....for real....all the time...write.

The first thing I ever wrote was a book for Young Author's. If I recall, I wrote it with my friend, Bonnie.  I think we were in 6th grade.  Throughout the years, I've written poetry and blog posts, but the goal.....I want to write a book.  About what I have no idea.

I get these ideas and then fear sets in.

A young friend of mine wrote a blog post recently at her new blog A Lovely Mayhem (check it out) about the the Writing Process. 

It was so true. She is wise beyond her years.

We (or I) begin writing. The momentum is great. The ideas are flowing. The keyboard is on fire!

Then

That first bit of doubt eases in.  What began as a beautiful flower has now wilted.

It's dumb. It doesn't make any sense.  No one will care.

Ouch.  I hate that.

As a writer (can I call myself that?), I want my words to move people.  I want my words to change lives.  That's a big task.  Can I handle it? Do I have what it takes? Can I take raw emotion, real life experiences, and honesty then blend it with the right words and say something worth saying?

I want to. Oh, so badly, I want to.

Some days it feels as if I have nothing to say, no words to share.  There are the days when I have the words, but I hold them back. I don't want to offend. I don't want to point fingers. I don't want bring shame.  Then there are days when I don't hold back.  The words flow from my fingertips and I eagerly click post.

Those days are refreshing.
Those days are far and few right now.

I've got to convince myself that words are worth sharing. I have to let go of the insecurity.  I have to believe in myself. I have to just do it.

What are your dreams? What is holding you back?  We live in a time of possibilities, and seriously, with My God.....ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE!

When I first began this blog, I made a deal with Him. (Come on, I know I am not the only one out there that makes deals with God!) This was a to be a place to bring Him honor and glory.  Whether I was going to write a devotional or share about my family or tell about the military, whatever the words that were to come, they were supposed to honor Him.  I would not spend time here if I wasn't spending time with Him.  I've tried my best to honor that deal.

Some days, I'll admit, it is difficult.  I may have a really great idea for a blog post and worry that my readers, dare I say followers, think I've fallen off the face of the earth, but I fail to come here because I haven't held up my part of the deal.  If I've not spent time with the Lord and had Him move my soul, I can't come here and share.  And for someone who wants to share words, that's difficult.

Whatever our dreams are, whether sharing words, music, athletic talent, those dreams must be aligned with God's will.  Sometimes those dreams come with seasons of our lives.  God's perfect plan takes us on paths we've never imagined possible. My job is to strengthen my relationship with Him, to grow and allow Him to guide me.  If He wants me to write, the words will come.  If God wants me doing something else, He will open other doors for me.  I do have to realized that He did not place within me a spirit of fear.  When I truly feel I have something worth sharing, I need to lean on Him and let His spirit guide my words.



Five Minute Friday (on Saturday): Meet

I get so nervous when it comes to meeting new people.  I usually don't have a lot of anxiety, but when I am with strangers....oh, I don't care for that.  I really want people to like me.  I don't want to feel left out.  Life is too full of that anyway.

I REALLY wanted to register for the first ever Five Minute Friday Retreat. I even sent the link to my husband, and he kept encouraging me to register.  I told him, "But I've never done anything like that before." And he said, "Yeah, and I never went to Afghanistan before either."  How do you argue with your Soldier who has been to war?  You don't.

So I did it. I signed up. I'm all registered and almost giddy about it.

Its a new adventure for me.  To go on a weekend getaway with a bunch of women to talk about life and writing.  Oh, it sounds so great.  I know I will meet some amazing people.

I do worry about whether or not they will like me.  Ultimately, I know it will be ok. I am going out of my comfort zone. Meeting these amazing people in a beautiful place is going to be awesome.  I can't wait.



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Whether you are a newcomer or a regular, thank you for joining me this weekend for Five Minute Friday. Have a wonderful day!




Friday, May 01, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Door

I've not been one to try new things.

When I was in the third grade, I took gymnastics for one day.  Got scared after that and gave up.

The older I've gotten, the more risks I've taken. By risks, I mean choosing an open door.

I don't want to get to the end of  my life and have regrets. Oh, sure. I know there are some things that I will probably be wishing I'd changed, but for the most part, I don't want to look back and regret all the things I missed out on just because I chose not to open a door or walk through one that was already opened for me.

My husband will do anything.  I think he is so brave.  He may have me fooled, but in the 24 years we've been together, he as done and accomplished so much.  Not everything has worked out to his advantage, but he has these experiences that were life changing nonetheless.

And that's what I want.

I want to be brave. I want to walk through doors and have experiences that I never dreamed possible. I want to be able to share what I've done with God's strength to help others along whichever door their path is leading.

I don't want to stand at the door and wonder what's on the other side.

I want to walk in and live.




Friday, April 24, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Hide

Some days there is the urge to hide. To stay under the covers and away from the world.

The world. It just seems so much, too much.  It brings trouble, anxiety and fear.  It brings that urge to hide.

What good does it do to hide?

When finally we emerge, the world is still there.  Hiding doesn't make it go away. Hiding does no good.

We have to learn to find refuge in Him.  He will lead us, guide us, comfort us, protect us.  He goes before us.  With Him, there is no reason to hide.



Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.
Because He lives, all fear is gone.
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living 
Just because He lives.


With Him, there is no reason to hide.




Thank you for stopping by. I hope you are joining in with your Five Minute Friday post.  It is time to write for five minutes. No over thinking. No editing. Just writing.  Head on over to katemotaung.com to get started and read some other amazing posts.



Oh, and don't forget to find out about the first ever Five Minute Friday retreat.  I am soooooo excited about it. I still can't believe I am going!



Saturday, April 18, 2015

Five Minute Friday: Tomorrow

It's tomorrow, Saturday, and I am finally getting to my Five Minute Friday.  That's ok though. I lived yesterday and didn't go by timelines and schedules other than knowing my son had a baseball game and spending time at the ball park.

I am not worried about tomorrow.  Sometimes, though, I put things off for tomorrow, and yet, never get to them.  Do you do that?

I don't do things because I'm chicken. I am fearful.  You know, I don't even pick what's for dinner because I don't want to be responsible if it's gross or we have poor service.

What does that have to do with tomorrow?

I have to remember not to put things off. Not to be fearful. I have to remember to live and take chances and try new things.

My husband has been encouraging me to register for the Five Minute Friday Retreat. I told him, "I've never done anything like that before."

He responded in this way....."And I had never gone to Afghanistan before either."

He knows how to put things in perspective.

He is so much braver than I am, always willing to take a risk and try new things.  I wish I could be more like him.

We are not promised tomorrow. I can't live for tomorrow. Now is the time. Now is the time to live and try and experience...



I'm excited to tell you that I did it! I registered and I couldn't be happier.  I have NEVER in my life done anything like this, but I am super excited to be able to attend the first ever Five Minute Friday Retreat. 

Thank you for stopping by this lovely day!  Enjoy your weekend!  


Friday, April 10, 2015

Living A Love Song

Last year, I "met" Kori Yates through a study of her book Olive Drab Pom Poms.  Shortly after that, she launched an amazing online ministry called Planting Roots.  This ministry is geared toward reaching military families with the Gospel.

I have had the privilege of having Kori and her team of amazing women share a couple of my blog posts.  My most recent one is called Living a Love Song.  I hope you will head over to Planting Roots to read it.



How Our Children Became Military Children

April is the Month of the Military Child.  The life of a military child is unlike that of any other.  Some are born into military families and others "join" with their families.  To celebrate my own military children, I'd love to share with you how they entered into this journey.

When Jeff and I first got married, not once did it cross my mind that we would become a military family.

As adults, we make choices for our futures and our families.  Jeff and I don't make any decisions without considering the effects they will have on our children.

Needless to say, making the choice to become a military family was one that took lots of thought and prayer.

When the decision was made, our oldest boys were 3 and 6 years old and our youngest was still in the womb.  He was the only one that was born into the military family.

We are not an active duty military family.  Therefore, some people may consider us to be "not really a military family."  We don't live on a military post, but live in the same house we've lived in since my oldest son was born almost 13 years ago.  We have not been relocated, but we have experienced much of what the military has to "offer."

When my husband decided to enlist in the Army Reserves, he was to become a Chaplain.  To do this, he had to attend seminary and take about 96 hours of masters classes.  He attended CH-BOLC which is basically basic training for Chaplains.  He was gone from June to September of 2010. My youngest son was just 3 months old when he left. During that time, we saw him during the Fourth of July holiday and then reunited at his graduation.  Still, he continued to take his masters classes.  Finally, after what seemed like forever, my husband received his masters in divinity and was officially a chaplain.  He attended his annual trainings and monthly battle assemblies/drills.  Then deployment. We were fortunate enough to have a short deployment, 6 months.  In that time, my boys did extremely well.  It was great that we were able to Skype with their daddy and talk with him on the phone as much as we did.  We had our routines. They had school and church and sports.  Time passed as quickly as it could when a family goes through deployment.  My husband was home just in time for summer vacation.  We were able to travel and just enjoy being a family again.

I do look at all of the challenges the military has brought to our family and how it has affected our children.  I say they have handled things well. My oldest son loves all things military and even speaks of joining when he is older. My middle child doesn't say much about it at all.  He is not one to express his feelings much and internalizes things.  This worries me because I am a feelings type of person.....just let it all out and express yourself.  My youngest is a bit different in the fact that this is all he knows.  He is definitely a Mama's Boy and I wonder if it's because he is the baby or because his daddy has spent a lot of time away during his 5 years.

Regardless of what we've been through, my children are proud of their daddy and his service.  They have a strong since of patriotism and honor.  They support their daddy and what he strives to do with his service in the military.  Please join me this month as we honor all military children.  They serve and sacrifice along their service member.





Five Minute Friday: Relief

This morning, I checked Facebook before I ever rolled out of bed. An acquaintance of mine had posted one of those Timehop photos of her and her husband at the airport the day he was deployed 7 years ago.  It took me back to the day I took my husband to the airport for his deployment.

My chest hurt.

My heart raised.

I couldn't breathe.

I couldn't talk for fear of crying. I had promised myself I wouldn't cry.  I would be strong for him, our children, and his parents.

It was hard.

The months he spent away were very difficult.  Especially the night we were Skyping and his compound came under attack.  There are no words to describe that feeling.

We prayed and prayed and prayed.

Then one night at 1am, he called me and told me he had just landed in Bangor, Maine.  What relief that brought! I could breathe a little easier.

The best moment of all.....being reunited at the same airport where months earlier, I was filled with anxiety and fear.  I no longer had lingering fears of his safety. He was back in my arms, back with our family, back where he belonged.  The relief that comes with holding your Soldier for the first time after war.....well, there's no words for that either.  The tears come.  The praises for God's provision come.  The thankfulness.  It's all overwhelming.


Thank you for stopping by on the Friday.  I would like to add this final thought even though my five minutes are up....Jesus was the source of our strength through this deployment.  I got so many comments of, "How do you do it?"  The truth of the matter is, I didn't. Jesus did.  I don't get through one day of my life with Him.  All too often people look for relief elsewhere....gambling, alcohol, retail therapy.....but true relief comes from Christ.  We were never promised an easy life, but Jesus promised He would always be with us.


Be sure to stop by www.katemotaung.com to read some inspiring thoughts from some other writers.  Happy Friday!