Joy in the journey!

Joy in the journey!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

It's time to dance!

As I sat listening to my favorite song from Hillsong, and as I sung the words about God’s love, His power, and the beauty of His presence..... I could not help but just start dancing. How could I sit still? It was impossible. So there with my dogs beside me....we danced. It wasn’t pretty... oh, but it was freeing. I knew heaven was dancing with me.

I find myself dancing with praise many times throughout the day. Sometimes on my morning runs I run with my arms up in the air as I am just feeling God’s freedom. In fact someone asked me the other day, out of all the hurdles this year brought, what stood out to me the most? My reply? “I learned how to dance.”

To me dance is all about the heart. The heart is where the Lord engages us in an intimate exchange of love, conversation, communion and fellowship. We are drawn into His presence...He is writing in the chapters of our lives. Everyday I wake up I can hear Him saying “Lisa, will you dance with me today?”

It is so easy to get our focus on things that take us away from that presence. I heard someone say one day “It’s so easy to get caught up in the ministry and get our eyes off of the Master.” What can keep me close to you Lord? How can I walk through this journey of unknowns and “unexpecteds”? ....I hear His voice gently reminding me....”Lisa...remember the dance.” He is my eternal dance partner.

I want to be like David. He was a man after God’s own heart. He danced before the Lord with all his might. He celebrated before the Lord. He habitually ran into the presence of God and his dancing resulted in amazing ministry...including killing a giant! I think that is so cool!

I am learning that my quiet time with the Lord is where my dancing shoes begin their journey. How else can I learn more about the Lead in my life if I am not spending time with Him? So this year....I learned to focus on that Lead. And an exciting adventure has been the amazing result of our dance together. I have learned that when I dance with Him I see God accomplish more than I ever dreamed for, asked for, or imagined. (Eph 3:20) It has been through this dance that I am learning about having a heart of devotion to God and prioritizing my alone time with Him. My quiet time alone with God is at the heart of the dance with Him. It’s where I engage in the most precious parts of the dance - communion, prayer, reading His word, surrender, and committment. It is where God helps me find my purpose again. (Ever felt like you have lost your purpose?)

My greatest challenge this year in the dance has been surrendering to the Lord on those very difficult days. Those days when there are things that happen I cannot possibly wrap my mind around. And this year my life has been full of those days. I specifically remember when the Doctor told me my Mother had cancer.....I felt like I had been punched in the gut. I couldn’t breathe. All I could hear was a whirrring sound in my ears, and then there it was.....that still small voice, my dance partner, telling me to let Him take the lead and for me to “be still and know who He was....” Psalms 46:10. I could hear Him saying to me “Lisa your precious life is a dance with me.....even in this situation...we can dance.” He would pick me up and dance with me, only this dance I would be in His arms. I have been in His arms a lot this year. And I have to tell you, my most amazing dances have been when I am hurting the most and I am in His arms..... because I am completely surrendered to Him taking the lead.

This year I have begun to truly understand how important devotion is when it comes to the dance with my Savior and how it has led me to complete surrender. I have learned about the importance of my quiet time with Him. I have learned the importance of making decisions and resolutions from the truths I have seen in God’s Word. His promises are true! He will not leave me on the dance floor alone!

As the writer of Ecclesiastes said, “There is a dance.” This has been one of the hardest years of my life, but I learned how to dance.....that makes it the best year of my life. My time was this year....and who would have thought through one of the darkest times in my life.....I learned how to dance?

It is my prayer that no matter where you are in this life....if you are in the most wonderful place, or the darkest....your dance partner awaits! Embrace, and surrender to His love and follow His lead. You will truly dance....a dance that will change your life forever.

Shall we dance?

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

My Mom's "Hair Raising" Journey.......

As I drove my Mother to her hair appointment today, my mind couldn’t help but go back to where I was driving exactly 1 year ago. We were on our way to the hospital...only a few feet away from where we were going for her hair appointment today. It was the beginning of one of the hardest journeys my family would ever take. I remember it like it was yesterday. I remember hearing the words I prayed I would never hear....and I was the first to hear them. “Your Mother has cancer.” I felt like I was having an out of body was heart wrenching. I remember having to tell my Father. That day was the hardest day of my life. I also remember the day that my Mother lost all of her hair because of chemotherapy. It fell out on Easter, and my father shaved her head. They did it together, and her comment was....”Jesus rose today, and my hair will rise again too!” She never wavered. I never once heard my Mother utter a complaint, but I ached for her, because I knew it had to be so hard. She loved her dark hair and colored that gray the second she saw any. I always told her to let it go to her natural color. I knew she would look beautiful. She couldn’t stand the thought of having gray hair. My what a year can bring. And my oh my.... how perspectives and priorities can change in an instant!

As we drove together we began to talk. How precious her words are to me. She is my inspiration. She inspires me everyday and is the reason I even put my thoughts on paper.....and blog. She said to me today, “Lisa, I wish I could blog, and write beautiful words of how I feel....” She went on to say “I would write about my hair.” I would write about how losing my dark head of hair, and it being resurrected to the most beautiful gray frost ever.... showed me God’s love in ways I never dreamed.” As she sat there beaming, that beautiful head of hair, styled, and so gorgeous she went on to say.....”Jesus cared about my hair, Lisa, He gave me....a thicker, more beautiful head of hair!” In fact He did one better and gave me a “heavenly frost!” He walked me through my healing of cancer, and He cared about the little things as well...even my hair!” As we walked out of the hair salon, the precious lady who cut her hair said with a smile in her voice... “Do you know how much money people would pay to have that color of hair?” We smiled at each other.....yep, it’s the little things.

I have to say I have never seen my Mother more happy, more beautiful, and more active in life than she is right now. We started talking about God’s attention to every detail. Many times we miss those details because we are so focused on the big problems. My Mother has taught me to catch every little miracle, because sometimes they can be just as important as the big answers. And she is right! Many times in my discouragement, if I would just look a little harder, a miracle was standing right there in front of me. Little miracles like how I was protected, how God gave me favor in a situation, put me in the right place at the right time, gave me the right doctor for a surgery, and provided unexpected little financial miracles I might have overlooked if I was not looking for them. God’s little miracles have even been not answering some of my prayers....His answers turned out to be better! Who’da thought! On my worst day, when I really look closely....God was there. I just had my eyes on the wrong things. My Mom has taught me to pray and expect great things with my eyes, not on my difficulties, but on God. Amazing how that changes things.

My mom’s words once again, bring such joy to my soul. Every time I leave my mother from a day with her, or from a minute with her...I leave a better person. We walked through many surgeries together this year, many chemo appointments together, and many doctor’s visits. Her joy permeated every second. We have laughed, cried, and prayed together harder than we ever have this year. I don’t know what is ahead, but my Mother has taught me, whatever comes my way....God will take care of the big things, and the little things. My joy comes straight from His heart to mine....even on the hardest of days.

Yes, my Mother was she always is. God gave her what He promised. She is walking in her healing, and this Easter she has the most beautiful head of hair again. It indeed was resurrected just as she said it would be. He paid attention to every single detail of her life....Guess you could say it was a “Hair Raising, Perspective changing” year for our family. It doesn’t get better than that.