Why- Week 1

So I’m writing from my CLEAN patio with a  glass of peach mint iced tea.  Slightly sweet, slightly southern 100% delicious.

The promo videos for the “why” series had me really sort of nervous about it.  They showed an old man grieving his daughter through flashbacks of birthdays and tea parties, and they made me cry.  The “why” of death and tragedy is something I spent a lot of time on, what if my church made a stand that fly in the face of that?  Would I wind up feeling alone and confrontational?  Because that would suck.

Turns out that’s not even a concern and today’s message was all about Why we don’t always feel God’s presence, and since I’m a human type person I can say with honesty that I don’t always feel it.

Check out Craig Groeschel Why wk 1 here

God's love is like radio waves, how far is your antenna extended?  (bc I love a cheesy christian pun)

God's love is like radio waves, how far is your antenna extended? (bc I love a cheesy christian pun)

“Serving and knowing God is more about faith than about feelings” and I would add that it’s about faithfulness.  I seriously enjoy the concept of God’s love as a radio frequency thats floating through the air around us.  This concept ties right into my determination to choose joy and have gratitude in my life, no matter what.  If we aren’t feeling God’s love, his power or his blessings it’s only because we are picking up other, less nourishing signals.  We are honing in on the wrong things like the dishes, what other people are doing or worse still country music or even worse The Jersey Shore.

What I loved about this teaching is that it made feeling God’s presence into something we could act upon, not something we have to wait around for.  Not that I am saying that I don’t over sensationalize it and that there isn’t sin between God and I but I will say again that my biggest problem in this area is that I am simply too distracted to make time for God or to notice that he is in fact the author of all the beauty that surrounds me.

If I think back over my life upon the times where I did feel God’s presence the most it would have to be the season that surrounded the death of my Mom.  I can honestly say that in that season my soul didn’t really walk the earth, rather I floated through, carried by a wave of prayer and support.  God was always with me, like gray light and I don’t think I breathed a prayer much more complex than, please get me through, help me heal and thank you for your provision.

And I think that’s the essence of the presence of God, it’s small gifts and constant awareness that amounts to a powerful relationship that changes everything.  His presence brings strength, power, joy and contentment.  It’s just the best possible way you could ever do life.

Extend your antenna, clean the grime from your eyes and see that raw beauty that is God’s presence in your every waking moment.  You’ll start to feel him and his provision sustaining you through the calm of a hot shower or the simple gift of a peanut butter sandwich.  All the sudden you realize that all the songs you sing at church are real, he is the composer of your life.

May we feel him almost physically this week.

– What is the roadblock that is keeping you from feeling God’s presence in your life?

– In what season of your journey did you feel God’s presence the most?

– If you did church with me today, what struck you the most memorably?  If you were to post a sticky note thought, what would it say?

Less is More, Less is Better

Good Morning, I’m still alive, just drowning in snot with a cold that has had me down for the count for a couple of days.  However, I have maintained a positive attitude and although its failed to chase my illness away, it certainly has made enduring it loads easier.

Moving on from snot, which is always a good thing, I’m still reeling from the message I heard at church Sunday morning, entitled “Better.”  I don’t want you to feel like I am always trying to coax you to watch/listen to our church’s sermons but I can almost guarantee you that if you check this out you won’t regret it.  I know your time is valuable and your resources limited, but if you take 35 minutes to listen to this in your car or while you workout you may find your year will take a completely different turn.  If you don’t I’ll buy you a cup of coffee or something…

Check it out Here

If you don’t get a chance to listen to it, here is my quick summary:

Our culture is obsessed with more, we do more, have more and take in more than any other culture at any other time on this earth.  We are overwhelmed, distracted and exhausted and if we are asked what our top priorities are we would say something like: God, family, giving, wellness, friends, etc.  But typically if we were to look at how we spend our time, it doesn’t line up with what we claim is most important.  This message will challenge you to cut back your spending and commitments, throw out what you don’t need both literally and figuratively, and turn off the TV and computer more often so that you can connect with what will sustain and last.

Lately, I have felt overwhelmed with trying to be and do too many different versions of myself.  Last week my good friend and guru Jenni challenged me to look at my interests and commitments as different versions of myself:  Such as gourmet cook Leanne, crafty Leanne, Author Leanne, Health-Nut Leanne, Wife Leanne, Mother Leanne, Friend Leanne, Budget Leanne,  etc… Then she challenged me with this question:  Can all of these Leanne Co-exist and thrive during this season in your life?  Or do some “Leannes” need to warm the bench for a while?  Can crafty Leanne make curtains and hand sew party favors while Author Leanne gets her book proposal done?  Can budget Leanne keep the grocery bill in check while Gourmet Leanne prepares involved food, taking huge chunks of time away from Mom Leanne who wants to connect with the kids?

No… there are too many “good” Leannes and they are taking away from what is “better.”  A streamlined and more peaceful Leanne… Who may or may not wear a cape… but crafty Leanne has no time to make streamlined Leanne a cape, so I shall remain cape-less… for now…

So.. Essentially some of my desires and ideas, which are great, need to go in the “someday pile” so that the most important callings and passions can be realized now.  My house will have to be a bit chaotic and go without window treatments if I want to get a book proposal done.  My meals may be simpler for a while because I have a 1 and a 2 year old who want my attention and will only be little for a few more precious years.

So this week I packed away a lot of my crafts and I literally got rid of over 350 items in our house to simplify, prioritize and streamline.  My hands are too full and my life stuffed with too much good, that I am constantly frustrated and unable to achieve the great “God things” that I can feel in my heart.

Better has been a word that has always stood to remind me of all I am not, yet this teaching series from Lifechurch is reminding me of who I really am, of all the color that I bring to this world.  This new view of Better is helping me lay down the demanding way that the enemy wants me to view myself and pick up the way God is calling me to live “better”, fuller and free.

I can actually feel some clean corners start to open up in my soul, and I am excited to see what God has in store for them.