This curious little lady got stuck in a coral pool when the tide receded. I dipped my camera down into her little hiding place and she couldn’t quite decide if I was friendly or perhaps hungry :) She’ll be alright though – the tide was coming back in as I was filming.
It’s amazing how things accelerate in our lives when God steps in. It’s been a time of seeing the end results on matters I have been seeking God for and it’s been a time of Him birthing whole new areas in my life, bringing them full-circle in just weeks. It’s been a time of struggle and deep sorrow, as God worked out areas in my character that were of no use to Him or myself. A time of letting go and learning new ways of approaching problems and relying on Him to offer support when I needed it most.
When we seek first the Kingdom of God, all things are added to us. Like gifts that we’ve been waiting for and suddenly, we’re living in them. It’s a wonderful and beautiful thing.
I’ve found that being open to the leading of the Holy Spirit has allowed Him to birth new avenues in my life that never existed beforehand. One minute I’m single with no children – then next I’m part of a team with nearly 200 kids I can call my own. One minute I’m working a typical office job – the next I’m on a tiny island helping other people in this world.
An awakening is occurring. I wish it had taken place in my twenties. But thank God it’s taking place in my thirties. Some people drudge through their entire life thinking one thing about themselves, only to realize their life hasn’t been all that fruitful afterall and they don’t really know who they are anymore, much less what might make them happy. That would be me today had it not been for Jesus.
I told a friend once that our lives were like tapestries being created by God which represented the people, experiences and changes coming and going over a lifetime. Various yarns and fabrics, colors and shapes He works together seamlessly to broaden, enhance and embellish our lives. As God chooses the colors to weave in, it’s up to us to yield to His will for our lives; which at times can be scary, uncertain and possibly disappointing to us. But God knows what is best for us. He knows what colors to choose, where they should go and where they should end. Some colors are weaved throughout the entire piece of work; with us from the beginning to the end. Others are just accents, meant to leave a positive impression, a new hope or comfort when we need it most. And still others may be worked in and out of our lives consistently. Sometimes I can get in God’s way by weaving in things that I shouldn’t. Gently, God will begin to take those threads out – that Ashley thought were so important but were beginning to take their toll on her well-being – and lovingly He replaces them with threads of joy, peace and blessings.
Life is change and we need to embrace it. I’ll be closing a chapter that has defined a pivotal change of course in my own life shortly. The people here have been some of the most beautiful colors that God has worked into my tapestry. My experiences are likely to be shared by few others in this world. I am thankful. He has shown Himself to be faithful and merciful. And I’m happy to let Him create the tapestry of my life as He so chooses. I’m looking forward to these last few months here on what seems like the edge of the earth. And I’m also looking forward to what lies ahead – what new colors, shapes and designs God will be working into my tapestry next.
I indeed stood still these past few hours. The sun rose and did increasingly scorch the earth beneath my feet. But He is the shade at my right hand, my keeper. The sun shall not strike me by day nor the moon by night…and it has been a lonely night…not in company as I am surrounded by those who love me. But somewhere deep He placed His finger upon my heart and I have had to face myself in the mirror of His pureness, righteousness and goodness. In yielding I have made more progress than I thought. But now, He is moving and beckoning me on. I am refreshed, rejuvenated. It is noon, and God makes a promise as the noonday:
Commit your way to the Lord;
Trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
I tuck my journal fearlessly under my arm and peer out over the land. Time to get moving……my day is half gone.
Here’s a video I shot of a Marshallese Christmas Dance. This was taken outside in the new church building which currently has the open night sky for a ceiling. Absolutely gorgeous. Hope you enjoy!
I’m looking forward to a wonderful year in God. I am excited about all that God is doing in my life and the lives of others. I had an interesting thought the other day…I saw the number 2011 and the ’11’ turned into 2 people, smiling, shaking hands and walking off into the future arm-in-arm laughing. I believe this is going to be a year of business partnerships, relationships and beneficial connections. Sometimes you can just know something; for me, this is one of those times.
I had the opportunity to minister to the people at church last night. To bring in the new year, the church has services every night for the first week of January. God did some very powerful things in our hearts last night. It was a message of encouragement and hope that God’s promise to be faithful to us and to grant us the desires of our heart will not fail.
Next week begins the all-night intercessory prayer. It’s a wonderful time in January where the church is open all night for people to come and go as they please to pray, worship God and show our gratitude for His goodness. There are usually no lights; last year there was a small string of Christmas lights at the front around the communion table and it lent a peaceful and joyful atmosphere to the gathering in those wee hours of the morning. Sometimes, as the piano plays softly, the Marshallese begin to sing a harmonious melody while praying…it’s really a beautiful experience. I’m looking forward to it again this year.
Two more weeks and we will be closing the 2nd quarter of school. Only good things in store for the rest of this school year!