When to walk away —Surviving Deception

Motivated by a strong desire to help hurting people and an inherent desire to take people at face value probably marks me with naivety to believe people who tell me they are seeking God Or really want to change their life. I truly want everyone to know the peace that passes all understanding. I see the world through rose colored glasses. My rose colored world is a nice pace to be. There are others like me in the world, who, out of desire to do good for someone, have gone back to toxic relationships time and time again in effort to rescue someone from themselves, only to be hurt over and over again. I’ve been watching it for some time in the lives of several with whom I am close.

Some people aren’t being honest with themselves, and we know that hurting people hurt people. Some people are deliberate in their deception, wanting to cause destruction to other people. Perhaps there are people who don’t even realize they’re deceitful because they themselves are being deceived. Whatever the cause, there are those in the world who would deceive others. Those of us with tremendous compassion need to be able to keep them at a healthy distance. Knowing where and when that point is not always easy. Being able to do it requires grit and I dare say help from God Almighty.

The Bible warns believers about those who will come to deceive. In fact, God knows that without Him, we are deceitful in and of ourselves.

Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?

Still, He warms us to be on guard against those who would seek to hurt us with their deception.

Colossians 2:8. See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

2 Corinthians 11:3
But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Romans 16:17-18 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive.

2 Corinthians 11: 13-15 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds.

Interestingly, though, the Bible paints an understanding picture of the depravity of mankind, and in a compassionate way offers a way out to those truly who seek Him.

Titus 3:3-7

For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

Gods desire is that none should perish but all come to an understanding of faith and redemption through Christ Jesus. My desire is The same, and I know the others going through similar experiences are also motivated by a desire that all should know Christ.

1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness

Romans 10:13
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

My prayer today for those who are deceiving, either themselves or other people, is that they would see Jesus; truly experience the life-changing blood of the Savior.

At some point, though, it’s time to cut the toxic relationship out of self preservation, even if the cut is initially painful. When the relationship hurts physically or emotionally, it’s time to cut. Severing the relationship does not mean we don’t still want what’s best for the person; it only means that for now, we can’t be a part of it.

Get to a healthy distance in the relationship, particularly if the hurt has been physical. Let them hit rock bottom. Keep praying for the hurt soul, that they would find peace through Jesus. Never stop. I’ve seen God work miracles in valleys of despair. Sometimes what they truly need is a “Come to Jesus” event to help them find. Pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to draw them, and watch from afar. The truth is, it’s not our responsibility to fix them, or make them know Jesus, especially if they don’t want to. It’s up to the Holy Spirit to draw them, and it’s up the them if they will accept. All we can really do is be ourselves.

God is not hiding. The Bible tells us that we will find him if we seek Him with all of our heart. I pray those who need Him genuinely seek. And genuinely find.

And to those who have been deceived, rest in the hope that God and His angels have you covered by their wings. He will pick you up and put your feet on solid ground. There is recovery from failure.



Copyright 2019 Journey For Life All rights reserved.

The Journey 1000 miles and 1000 lbs

Hi guys! Still making progress, though slow. I mentioned I haven’t been able to get to the gym to get a good bike ride in, BUT! I’ve been consistent on the treadmill all week. Four miles (at least) every day.

I completed over 25 miles this week but the page I’m on in my google maps printout has 82 miles on it. At this rate I’ll be here a while…

Couple small wins this week:

1. I consistently keep pace for ALL on Anticonformity (my 3 minute 5 mph song)

2. Several times I replayed Anticonformity at least once, one time twice, for a total of 9 minutes at 5 mph

3. I bought a bike trainer to mount my hybrid bike to so I can ride at home. However, I have to make a few axle adjustments to make it work. Plus it’s darned cold in my garage now so I haven’t ridden yet but hope to sometime this week!

4. Raspberry banana smoothies

5. Eliminated excess cardboard to the recycler.

be blessed my friends!


All the rooms.

Each summer, our youth group attends Creation Festival Northeast, in Mount Union, PA, a five day festival of Christian music and speakers held every June (kind of like Woodstock, only different. ;-))

Last summer, Todd White was one of the speakers. A bit unconventional with his dreadlocks, Todd passionately delivers the message of how God delivered him from addiction to drugs and changed his life in a powerfully dramatic way. He was reconciled with his wife, and became a radical disciple of Jesus.

(Todd’s testimony)

Todd receives his fair amount of criticism, but you won’t find that from me. I love Todd’s passion and fire, and found his message to be inspiring.

One of the anecdotes he shared painted such a vivid picture of giving ALL of ourselves to Jesus, I’d like to share it with you. I’ve searched for a recorded version of it but wasn’t able to find, so I’ll do my best to recreate (paraphrased, of course).

One night, a man went to sleep in his house when he heard a loud banging at his door.  The Devil put his elbow in the door and forced his way in, ransacked the house, beat the man up and left.

The next day, there was knock at the door – it was Jesus, and he asked quietly if He could come in.  The man asked Jesus to stay, and gave Him his master bedroom – the best room in the house.  That night, a terrible pounding at the door – the devil forces his way in, ransacks the house and beats him up again.   In the morning, Jesus came downstairs and asked what had happened.  The man said, “Where were you, Jesus??”    Jesus answered, “I was in the only room that you gave me.” 

The man agreed to give Jesus half of the house – the entire upstairs, thinking surely he is safe now – Jesus is on his side.  That night, the devil forced his way in again, and pummeled the man.   The next morning, the man, frustrated with Jesus, said, “Jesus, where were you??”    Jesus replied, “You gave me half of your house.  I want the whole house.” 

Knowing that he needed Jesus to fight the Devil for him, the man agreed to give Jesus every room in the house – except one.  He said, “I’ll give it all to you, except for this one – you wouldn’t like what’s in that room.”   That night, the devil came once again to pummel the man. The man was in the one room he hadn’t given to Jesus, and once again, was beaten up by the devil.

The next morning, the man said to Jesus, “You can have all the rooms in the house.”   That night, when the devil came to the house expecting to pummel the man, he was greeted at the door by Jesus, who said to the man, “I’ll handle this.”

Jesus wants our FULL SURRENDER – for every room in your house to belong to Him.  Most of us, if we’re honest with ourselves, even if we walk with Jesus, have areas of our lives where we haven’t fully surrendered – for many reasons – could be that we like what we’re doing and don’t want to completely give it up – could be that we want to control it ourselves, or think we’ll do a better job with it – who knows.  The reality is, if we’re able to let Go and fully surrender, God will bless us beyond our wildest dreams.

Exodus 14:14  “The Lord will fight for you.  You need only be silent”

All the rooms… does He have all the rooms?

I’m a work in progress, If I’m completely honest. There are days I feel He has all the rooms and days I’m still hiding in a few. I’d guess if we were all honest, we’d perhaps all have some areas of life we hold onto.

Trying to let them go,


Copyright 2019  Journey For Life  all rights reserved.


In previous posts, I’ve mentioned the odd dichotomy that occurs when both blessing and curse happen nearly simultaneously.  For me, as a parent, one of those occasions occurred between April 8 and April 9, 2014.  It’s a dichotomy that I still struggle to wrap my head around despite knowing that God has and will continue to use these events to shape everyone involved.

My then-16-year old daughter played defense on the high school lacrosse team.  Their practices ran from 8 – 10 pm every night, and she’d come home and work diligently on her homework.  The oldest of three, she’s always been a self-starter, hard worker, and an overall excellent student.  She never liked to miss school (unlike her mother, who may have skipped school a time or thirty!).  Her even-tempered nature made her likable, and by all accounts, she was a pretty good kid.  Except on April 8, 2014.  I don’t know what kind of wicked temper overcame her personality late that night after lacrosse practice when she was working on a homework assignment that she apparently despised, but she became like the little girl in the movie, Exorcist.   Sometime after 11 pm that evening, after angrily slamming her school notebooks down on the floor and storming around the house, I calmly said to her, “Go to bed.”   I had had enough of the attitude and just wanted her out of my sight for a while.   The ensuing argument left me bewildered, wondering if this was what everyone complained about “teenage” years – a phenomenon that we had not yet experienced.

“I CAN’T go to bed!” she exclaimed!  “I HAVE to finish this homework!!!!”

To be honest, at that point, I could have cared less if she took a zero on the assignment, but as a type-A honor student, she had always been hell-bent on getting every point she possibly could, and extra credit when possible.   I offered what I thought was a reasonable solution.  “Go to bed, and get some rest.  Stay home from school tomorrow and finish the assignment.”

“I CAN’T miss school tomorrow!  I have a Lacrosse game on Thursday and if I’m not there tomorrow, I can’t practice!  and if I can’t practice, I can’t play in the game!!!”    She was angry like I had never seen before in her entire life.   I offered another solution:  “Go to bed  – work on it in the morning – you can go in late.  What’s the latest that you can go in and not be considered absent for the day?”

She seemed to settle with this suggestion, we agreed she’d get up in the morning and finish and I’d take her to school late.   With that, she went off to bed and I went to make a cup of tea to calm my nerves.

My son, a fifteen year-old freshmen at the time, was very good-natured and empathetic, and genuinely cares about people.  He had asked me if I could take him to school early the next morning.  Our youth group was getting ready for a spring retreat and he wanted to ask a friend of his to come.  He had taken some flyers for the event and wanted to pass them out before school began.

On the morning of April 9, 2014, we got up early.  I ordered three books on Amazon: The Art of Loving One Another, Building Up One Another, and Encouraging On Another (books I had selected as part of my self-development).  We left early for school as my son requested.  We prayed for his day, as we had done every day for the previous ten years.  We said an extra prayer for his friends – specifically the one he’d been praying for to come to the youth retreat.

A short time later, we learned of an incident that occurred at the school that morning where a student stabbed 21 people with two 8 inch kitchen knives.  (for the details, please see previous posts:

The Blood That was spilled)

(Keep ‘em Safe in the Hallways)

I naively called my boss that morning to let him know I’d be late to work because of an incident at the school.  As I texted the rest of my direct staff to let them know I’d be late, I learned the incident had already made national news.  Still, I didn’t quite have the presence of mind to contact family members who might learn of the events.  Quite honestly, I think in hindsight that I may have been somewhat in a state of shock.

We received calls from the school district informing us what to do to retrieve our kids.  Of course, because my son was considered a “witness” to the event, he needed to stay at school to make a statement to the FBI.   It was hours before the non-witness kids came home from school, even longer before I could get my son.  I remember pulling up to the school, being directed by police where to park, where to enter, and where I could wait for my son to be interviewed.  I was ushered to a classroom to wait with other parents, similarly dazed and very somber, were waiting for their kids.  Occasionally, as a student was reunited with their parents, the room would break out into tears, but was otherwise relatively quiet as each person tried to comprehend what had happened.

It well after noon when my son and I returned home.  By that time, our house was filled with teenagers who had come over to decompress with one another.  Our youth pastor called to see if I’d help plan a service for our kids that night – he felt they would need some time to be with one another in the presence of God.  We got together to plan the service, which, at the time, was intended to be for our own youth group.  Little did we know that hundreds and hundreds of people would pack our church – including CNN and other large news networks.  Again, we prayed for the victims and sang songs to help us feel the presence of God in the face of the evil that had just occurred, everyone still trying to fully grasp the magnitude.

In the days that followed, I spent countless hours hanging out with our teens – driving them from hospital to hospital visiting their friends who had been stabbed.  Miraculously, none of the victims died, although some of their injuries were life altering and very touch-and-go for a while.  At various points, I found myself alone with my son, who was working very hard to process everything.  He said to me, “mom, I saw things that day that I can never un-see.  I heard things that day that I can never un-hear”   and I knew he was right.  He grew up in a heartbeat that day.   On one hand, I was incredibly proud that his Godly leadership allowed him to bless others with prayer that day – on the other hand, I was incredibly sorry for what he and his classmates had experienced.

The dichotomy for me, as a parent, comes in knowing full well that God had somehow allowed my daughter’s immature behavior the night before to keep her from being present.  I know full well that if she had been, she would have been beside her boyfriend, and could possibly have been stabbed herself.   Ironically, however, I know that if I hadn’t taken my son to school early that day, he would not have been there.  For me to reconcile that God prevented one child from being there while seemingly delivered the other child to be there to face evil is something I don’t think I’ll ever understand on this side of Heaven.  I have seen first hand how this event has shaped both of my children’s lives (as well as those of their friends who also experienced it first hand), and know well enough that God will use all of it for His glory somehow; however, the duplexity of the blessed curse or cursed blessing will haunt me for years to come.

Mostly blessed (sometimes cursed  ;-)),


copyright Journey For Life 2019.  All rights reserved.


Fix your home

Ten years ago – or more – an idea popped into my head– an idea to build a business that would honor God. I was super pumped about the idea and was sure God would be, too. In fact, I was sure the idea was His. I prayed about it, expecting God to show me the details. What I heard was the inaudible yet unmistakable voice of God say, “fix your home”. Almost as if I didn’t believe my ears, I prayed again, this time telling God that I was on fire for Him and wanted to spread His love across the world. Again I heard, “fix your home”.

Friends, I’ve got to be honest. I know how to fix a lot of things. Being an engineer, I’ve come up with creative was to fix all kinds of problems. But my home? My home was a wreck at that point of my life. Truthfully.

Six years prior to that argument with God, I had made a very deliberate decision to stop feeling. The decision was made out of self preservation, a defense mechanism to protect my heart. My heart had been trampled so many times, I was tired of hurting and was in a very, very dark place.

Just prior to that decision, I began to reach toward Jesus to help me out of my depths of despair, which, at its worst, included thoughts of suicide. Over the course of a couple of years, God truly reached down and rescued me, and I was living for Him in most areas of my life. I was not only attending church and Bible studies, but I was serving Him in music ministry.

Still one of the areas of my life I found difficult to surrender to Him was my home. In truth, I had tried to submit my home to Him years before, but for reasons I don’t want to share yet, that part of my life wasn’t on the table for God to have.

I didn’t realize it was actually possible to turn feelings off, but I learned it was. It worked remarkably well actually until the moment God said, “fix you home”.  I had no idea how to do that. I felt like I had surrendered all other areas of my life to God, but He wanted this one. My heart was so cold and dead I couldn’t even pray for my husband.

Needless to say, God and I were at an impass. I knew that He wouldn’t honor my wishes until I obeyed his command. I had to lay my home before his feet and ask Him to do it for me… not even help because I truly didn’t know where to begin, but just ask Him to do it.  It was a process for sure.

Often, I think, we rely on ourselves to change things, but God works best when we get out of the way of ourselves and turn our hot mess completely over to Him. In the case of my home, I knew I couldn’t fix it. It was broken far beyond what I could repair. Interestingly, it was probably As much about changing my heart as it was changing my husbands. It was definitely not instantaneous. There were additional heartbreaks that God allowed in our life to begin to soften us (see my post: Applegate Miracle)  I will also tell you it isn’t done. I can tell you, though, the place where I stand today is much different than that muddy pit I stood in all those years ago. I can honestly say that I love him and am confident he loves me. I will also confess that the path has not been a straight one; a crooked one filled with potholes and wrong turns, but I am learning to trust That God makes all things beautiful in His time. We will celebrate 24 years married (33 total together) this summer, and I’m thankful neither of us gave up.

Once again, i learned it was about full surrender to a God who loves me and wants what’s best for me.

I am a recovering control freak (can’t think of another name for it, but I feel like I need to know the details and plans). For those of you in recovery you know that sometimes life is about one day or one hour at a time. For this hour (maybe not the next, though), I am content to rest in His plan. He has brought me this far, He will bring me home.

Philippians 1:6, “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Be blessed today, my friends.

Humbly waiting for the fulfillment of His plan in me,


Copyright 2019 Journey For Life. All rights reserved

Wait expectantly…

Psalm 5:3

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly. (NIV)

For Christmas, I received a very cool gift from our youth pastor, for whom I have the pleasure of serving in minisrry. It was a 5×7 picture frame with a custom made word picture, using our names and words he specifically used to describe our characteristics. He made on of these for each of his leaders, and took the time to make each and every one unique, and as he gave them out, he explained his thought on each one

The background of mine is a beautiful, snow covered mountain range because he said I have “faith to move mountains”. Adjectives like “determined”, “crazy about Jesus”, “genuine”, “invest in the next generation”, “music”, “beast piano player” decorate the landscape around my name. In addition to the descriptors hand selected by Alec, the verse Psalm 5:3 appears across the front of the picture. He selected this scripture because he felt it describes my life and relationship with God-and my faith that He will deliver.

You may remember a few months ago, I met a man in recovery looking for guidance and publishing his amazing story of deliverance. Every so often, he’ll text me a scripture verse as a reminder that God is with us. On the morning after I received this gift, the scripture he texted me was, Psalm 5:3.

I texted back a picture of the frame I received, along with the verse. He said, “coincidence? Or Godincidence? God is speaking to you.”

Is God speaking to you today? Has He done something radical lately to truly capture your attention? Don’t ignore it. Listen to his beckoning. Seek Him with all your heart. Follow His lead. He’s looking for your full surrender, every room in your house.

In the confidence of Psalm 5:3, this morning I lay my requests and my heart at Jesus’ feet. I’m praying radical prayers of healing today, physical, emotional, spiritual, relational. Confident in His answers.

Be blessed, my friends!

Copyright 2019. Journey for life. All rights reserved

The Journey – the virtual US tour – first stop Dorney Park

Okay, folks, here it is.   I’m not sure why it’s taken me so long to figure this out, but ya’ll know I set a 1000 and 1000 goal for the year (1000 miles….  followed by a long term goal to virtually travel across the US…   and 1000 lbs of clutter removed from my house).   Last night, I was playing with Google Maps and mapped out the route from NYC to Los Angeles, both walking and biking.   Believe it or not, there IS a difference.

To WALK the US (via Rt. 40), Google Maps estimates 913 hours of walking 2,763 miles.  To bike it (on official bike trails), Google Maps estimates 256 hours of biking 3,031 miles.   I mapped and printed both.  (I’m a total geek, I know!)

Because the route literally takes me through the smallest towns in the US, I had to do some work with Google to identify recognizable landmarks along the way. I’ve made notes on my printout so I won’t forget. It’s almost comical, but since this route doesn’t include interstates, it’s made up of short distances on dinky roads, sometimes marked in feet not miles. I love how most of the landmarks noted are food places! Appears that I just passed Rita’s, one of my favorites!

As of now, since I started my journey, I have traveled approximately 100 miles.  According to the route, I am approximately near Allentown, PA (technically, a little west of Allentown, more near Fogelsville or Hamburg).

Being from Pittsburgh, I have many experiences traveling across the state of Pennsylvania, usually via the PA Turnpike (Rt. 76).   In the recent past couple of years, I have two experiences specifically with this area which I appear to be traveling through virtually on my US walking / biking tour.  The first was a visit to Dorney Park. The second was the Cracker Barrel we dined at after my son and his girlfriend completed the Spartan race in Palmerton, Pa. Famished by the time we got there, they were tempted to order one of everything on the menu.

Dorney Park:

My kids and I love to experience amusement parks – and by experience, I mean EXPERIENCE.   We all love thrill rides, and we all have tremendous stamina for fun – we usually do parks from the time they open to the time they close.  We only allow fellow park enthusiasts to accompany (and trust me, it’s a very, very select few who have passed the test – nothing worse than being at an amusement park with someone who doesn’t ride everything!)   Several years ago, we created an Amusement Park Bucket List Challenge for ourselves – specifically to visit as many amusement parks as possible (Usually coupled with a meal at a Cracker Barrel… and we put pins on our Cracker Barrel map to show where we’ve been).  Our loose goal is to visit 3 new parks a year – parks we’ve never been to.  Being from Pittsburgh, of course, we’ve grown up going to Kennywood Park, usually multiple times a year (and frequently been to Hershey Park and Idlewild Park and Sandcastles). Of course, we’ve also been to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH,  which, in our opinion, so far, is our favorite.  We decided we’d like to experience other parks, though, so made a list of all of the Cedar Fair and Six Flags parks and have somewhat systematically been checking them off of our Amusement Park Bucket List.

We visited Dorney Park a few years ago.  It was probably the 3rd or 4th of the Cedar Fair Parks that we’ve visited.  It’s approximately 4 hours from our home near Pittsburgh, so we left early one Saturday morning and drove straight to the park.   We purchased our tickets on-line, and arrived at gate opening.  Since it was so near our home, we were undecided about doing a day-trip, which we’ve done for other parks such as Hershey, Cedar Point, Kings Island, so we didn’t make any hotel reservations beforehand.

We found the park to be very clean, with decent organization (we pay attention to things like line organization, etc).  There are eight thrill coasters there. For the early part of the day, the lines were relatively short – we typcially use this time to ride all of the thrill rides – we map them out in an order that makes sense, and try to cover all of the thrill rides or unique rides (that we haven’t seen at other parks) before riding any of the standards.   On this particular day, we had probably covered all of the thrill rides by 4 pm, even though it was a Saturday. Incidentally, there were several Rita’s stands at Dorney. 🙂

We noticed when we bought our tickets that there was a discount price offered after 4 pm.   We also noticed that, after 4 pm, many people took advantage of these tickets.  The park got significantly more crowded after 4 pm, and the clientele changed significantly as well.  We noticed several times where an individual would stand in line and essentially “hold” a spot for 20-25 of his friends to join at the very last minute – despite signs all around the park indicating that line cutting was forbidden and violators would be kicked out of the park.  Several times, this happened right in front of us.   Typically, if someone held a spot for a friend, or someone in their party joined, I wouldn’t make an issue of it – but to have 25 people jump in front of you in line is beyond rude.  What was disappointing about Dorney Park staff, however, was that, although they were very much aware of the line violations, they did precious little to address.

By 8 pm, we had ridden and put up with all the crap from other patrons we wanted to, so we left the park. We’d certainly been able to drive back home that night, but at some point in early afternoon (before the crowd changed), I had made an on line reservation at a local hotel, so we set out to find it. Although it was a chain (that I won’t name), it was different than we expected. Run down and a bit sketchy, my daughter remarked that she’d seen the room before on an episode of Criminal Minds. We noticed a police car a few doors down and figured he wasn’t just visiting. Always up for an adventure, we stayed the night! We got up the next night and ate at the Cracker Barrel in Fogelsville before heading home.

Overall, our Dorney experience was ok, although not as good as some of the other parks we’ve seen. I’ll sure more about them as we travel across the country!

Be virtually blessed from Dorney Park!


copyright 2019 Journey For Life. All rights reserved


Psalm 130

As I settle into this notion of “word of the year”, you all know that the word that has been weighing on me is “WAIT”.    I want to chose a word that will make me grow.

Waiting for God’s perfect plan and perfect timing sounds so idyllic.  The truth is, it’s extremely difficult, and if I’m gut-level honest, I’m terrible at it (which is one of the reasons I believe WAIT will be a good word for my year).   I’d like to understand His plan.  I’d like to understand why He allows certain things to happen, and others not to happen, and why certain people are in our lives and while others have left.  Sometimes I even feel like God owes me (arrogant, I know, and I don’t mean to be, but I’m being truthful). The truth is, He neither owes me a glimpse of that future, nor does he owe me my desires (particularly if they don’t align with His).

In my HEAD, I know and believe Romans 8:28, (“For I know that all things work together for good for those who are in Christ Jesus and are called according to His Promise”), but in my heart, sometimes I’m broken and can’t seem to reconcile the present with what I want the future to be.

This is how I was feeling late last week, while reflecting on recent life events, and I had allowed the darkness to shadow my thinking.   On Saturday morning, while on the treadmill, I got a text from one of my prayer warrior friends that simply said, “I’m praying for you today”.   I’m awed by how God knows what we need when we need it most.  After I finished my workout, I texted her back and, without going into detail, shared that I was struggling with waiting for God to show me something.  I told her that I know in my head He’s teaching me something in the process, but was frustrated with the WAIT.  I told her that I know He’s not my “Genie” but that I feel like I’ve been “delighting myself in Him” and was ready for the “desires of my heart” knowing full well I was being selfish.  She responded by telling me that she understood completely and has been there before and will likely be there again. She said, “when I feel that way, I pray that God would align the desires of my heart and take away any desires I have that are not from Him.”   Good advice.  Hard  to do because we want our desires.

Throughout the day Saturday I kept mulling over a verse that seemed to pop up out of no where. “3 The LORD gives perfect peace to those whose faith is firm.4 So always trust the LORD because he is for ever our mighty rock.”

Isaiah 26:3-4 | CEV

Interestingly enough, Sunday morning sermon was about knowing Gods will for our life.

I’d like to share some of my notes if you don’t mind, because they had such an impact on me (yes, I take notes). They weren’t my words, or even that of out Pastor, but directly from God to my ears.

Psalm 32:8 ” I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go, I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or mule, which have no understanding, but must be controlled with bit and bridle or they will not come to you.”

This verse speaks clearly to me that God wants to show us His will for our lives, but we must be open to hearing it, nor stubborn like a mule or an unbroken horse. This is where it got real for me… when the pastor talked about how sometimes we want what we want because we want it and not necessarily because it’s Gods plan. That’s our stubbornness wanting God to bless our desires. I can sometimes see this stubbornness in others – who say they want to become a disciple of Jesus, but don’t really seem to be seeking His will or trying to learn about Him.  But sometimes I can’t see the stubbornness in myself – the stubbornness that wants things to be the way I want them to be.

The second verse that we discussed:

Matthew 16:24-27,”whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world but forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? For the son of man is going to come with His Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done”.

When we let go of our selfish wants, denying our selfish wants and open ourselves to what He wants to do in our lives, then and only then are we prepared to hear His will for our lives. Sometimes we aren’t ready to let go, and we miss the blessing.

In a previous post I mentioned I’d share one time in my life where I was able to fully surrender to Gods will. It was my first job out of college. I’d been there for about 18 months and hated it. I couldn’t stand my boss, who was the owner of the company, nor any of the associates. I started looking for a job and, being an engineer, thought it should be easy to find a new one. After three months of looking, I was frustrated. I took myself to lunch one day and wrestled with God over my plight. At some point in my silent tirade, I decided to lay all of it at His feet. I remember praying and asking God to forgive me for being selfish, and that if there was a reason He wanted me to stay in that job, I was willing to stay. Exactly 4 days later, I was visiting a customer when the director of operations mentioned they were looking for an engineer. I happened to have a resume on me so I handed it to him. He interviewed me and offered me a job on the spot. I started the following Monday. I realized in that moment that it wasn’t about the job specifically, but about me being willing to submit to Gods will… and guess what? He gave me the desires of my heart. God was waiting for me to align my will with His.

My friend keeps telling me I don’t need to have all the answers. I am working on letting go and just allowing life to be. Trying to learn to Rest in God and allow Him to sort through my thoughts.  Curious to know how you all handle this?  Are you better at it than I am?  any words of wisdom for me?

Listening all the while for Gods whispers….

Be blessed, my friends


Copyright 2019 journey for life. All rights reserved

The whole playlist

Hi, friends! For those who have been following me, you may have seen individual posts on the songs that currently make up my gym playlist – you know, the songs I play super loud through my earbuds while I’m walking / jogging on the treadmill. While they work really well for my feet to keep a steady pace on the treadmill, I have discovered that they don’t work quite as well on a bike (I guess because the more steady you pedal, the faster you go, which messes up your pace… or maybe I’m just less systematic on a bike, I’m not sure). Whatever the reason, the list is probably most appropriately titled the “Treadmill Playlist” Be that as it may, it was already named when I began the series, so it sticks.

Here it is in its entirety:

Gym Playlist # 1: Walk This Way (Aerosmith)

The Gym Playlist # 2: Back on the Chain Gang

Gym Playlist # 3 – Sweet Dreams are Made of This

Gym Playlist # 4 – Monster (Skillet)

Gym Playlist # 5: Back from the Dead (Skillet)

Gym playlist #6 Burn it down (Skillet)

Gym Playlist # 7 – Anticonfirmity (Krystal Meyers)

Gym playlist #8. Walk. (Foo Fighters)

Gym playlist # 9 I ran (flock of seagulls)

Gym Playlist # 10 – A Thousand Miles (Vanessa Carlton)

Gym playlist # 11. Rio (Duran Duran)

Gym playlist #12. Everlong (Foo fighters)

 Gym playlist # 13 Meant to Live (switchfoot)

When I keep pace with the beat on all the songs in my list (even Anticonformity), my pace ranges from 3.8 to 5.0 mph, and I finish at 3.564 miles and 502 calories burned.

I’m not sure if it’s because of OCD or I’m just strange, but I like when things end “evenly”. It would be nice if exactly 50 minutes would be exactly 3.5 miles and exactly 500 calories. I’ve discovered that there is always a compromise as the workout never worked out exactly evenly. In my mind, I struggle with this: which number is most importantly even: the distance? The calories? Or the time?

And then, of course, I feel frustrated that I spend nearly an hour of my crazy-schedule life and have ONLY progressed 3.5 miles. Sure, it’s 3 miles more than before I tied my laces, but it’ll take forever to get to 1000 at that pace.

The struggle is real, my friends.

By the way, over the past few weeks, I’ve had quite a few distractions in life which are trying to get in the way of fitness progress (and, in fact vying for my attention on many other ways, too). I refuse to let them win, and am working to reprioritize / juggle some things in order to continue the workouts.   Although I have continued hoping on the treadmill, using my recumbent bike and rower, and taken a few “long” bike rides at the gym, I’ve been less good about actually tracking my total mileage.  Ive honestly lost tract of my total mileage. One of my 2019 presents to myself is a wellness journal, though, and I’m hoping to get meticulous about tracking immediately.

Keeping it real, my friends.  

 Copyright 2019 Journey For Life all rights reserved