Tag Archives: personal growth

When the earth shakes, change happens

IRIS Seismic Monitor
Image by Xevi V via Flickr

Maybe a mountain grows,  a sea widens, or ice melts, but something happens.

The ground under my feet feels like jello.  My oh-so-quivering knees keep banging together, because I sense change in the air.  Keep your eyes open and your ears ready, because it is coming.

Something’s happening beneath the surface of this humble little blog.  More info will arrive as it’s ready, but it’s a big beautiful thing and you’re going to love it.

Do you fear going splat on the rocks of life?

by freedigitalphotos.net

Visualize this.

A fourteen year old girl goes hiking with her friends.  They explore parts of northern Arizona and discover a creek with a box canyon.  You know the type, where water gathers in various spaces to make swimming holes for adventurous teens.

Once they discover the canyon, kids begin crawling and jumping into its small 9 x 9 foot pool of water. For safety, one person does a test dive to decide its depth, easily 10 feet or more.

They begin jumping off an 8 foot cliff into the pool and shouting their enthusiasm.  Soon, this minor adrenaline moment doesn’t satisfy.  What next?

Eyes venture higher.  A twenty-foot cliff.  One by one the teens burst off the higher rock into the chilly pool below.  They invite others to join.  “Come on!” they say, “You can do it!”

Eventually the teens all venture up to higher ground.  But what about that one 14-year-old girl?

The whole time, she timidly explored her personal unknown.  She has no hiking experience.  She internally grins at her moments of bravery, no one knowing her challenge.

She wears contacts.  For this journey, she knew it would be unwise to wear them. However, insecurity required her to leave the glasses at home.  She can barely see. 

Everything dances before her in shapes and shadows.  She checks out the pool for herself, holding her breath and forcing her body down as far as possible, to find its depth.  She doesn’t touch bottom.  It’s deep.

After an hour of hearing the laughter and splashes, she slowly creeps to the low cliff, which is already higher than she’s ever jumped.  Blindly trusting friends and water, she leaps.  Yes!

It’s all she ever hoped for!  The thrill of the leap, the cool of the water, the enjoyment of her friends.  She contentedly remains at the lower cliff exalting in her moments of courage.  But then she hears the call.

“Come on!” they say, “You can do it!”

Are they crazy?  This has already been the biggest adventure of her life, why mess with that?  Why risk more?

Her friends tell her she’d feel bad if she left and never accomplished this goal.  She doubts them.

She cannot even see the cliff from which they’ve jumped.  Though it stands only a few feet from her current location, her cloudy eyes mask its location.  She hears the shouts and looks up knowing it’s much more than she’s ever done.  But she has no image to grasp.

Because of peer pressure and the clear enjoyment of  others, she decides to hike to the other side of the cliff, to move upward.  She’ll think about leaping.  Maybe.

She crosses the creek and climbs up the trail to the higher cliff site.  The air feels different.  The breeze pushes more.  She steps out to look over this daunting precipice.  Her heart thunders in her chest. She feel exposed and vulnerable.

She cannot see the pool.  To her eyes, it’s a giant, fuzzy, open space.  Her brain knows the water would catch her as it caught her friends, but her eyes don’t believe.  She shakes.

The teens encourage their fearful friend, they remind her of their success.  She remains frozen glaring into emptiness, dreaming of success but nailed to the ground with fear.  What if she’s the one who misses the pool?  What if she simply goes splat on the rocks?

When people speak of a leap of faith, they forget the reason we don’t easily leap.  They fail to remember our fear of going splat. Trusting in the unseen God of the Bible can feel like jumping off a cliff into the unknown, but He has proved Himself over and over, and like the water below, His depth is capable of catching us when we imagine our rocky doom.

What happened to that young teen?

After an hour of staring, imagining and fearing, she moved forward. Into the air blindly, she left the safety of the cliff. Less like a leap and more like a step, she found herself midair, falling.  As she flew through the air, still the fears grabbed at her heart, but the water caught her as smoothly as a catcher at home plate. She did it!

And so can you.

Whatever your leap is, whatever splat you fear, the Living Water wants to catch, comfort and refresh you.  May you know His comfort and care in the midst of your struggle.

“Guard my life, for I am faithful to you; save your servant who trusts in you. You are my God;” Psalm 86:2

I wrote a guest post on this topic in seven short sentences, click here to read for yourself. 

My choice today:

Jump into the arms of Jesus when fear attempts to capture my heart.

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Who has the power?

Television remote control
Image via Wikipedia

In our house, whoever holds the television remote control, “has the power”, as we define it.

As we seek to make faithful choices, we need to realize who has the power.

Jesus spoke here: “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.”  John 15:16

My choice today:

Put down the remote.

Top choices for July

Red computer mouse
Image via Wikipedia

As you know, each post contains a choice for the day.  Looking at the choices which you read the most, these posts stood out from the crowd.  You can click the link, if you missed it the first time.  If you think these choices matter and can help someone you know, pass them on.

1.  Warning on pointless arguments, someone always gets stabbed

2.  Go ahead, bite the shark

3.  What lense are you using?

4.  6 reasons to see Cars 2

5.  Dancing in the daylight

6.  How do you find peace?

7.  Lessons from the garden: An unexpected guide to family growth (part 2)

8.  5 ways to make your marriage a team sport

9.  Superfood for the spirit

10.  Lessons from the garden: an unexpected guide to family growth

Thank you, dear friends, for taking the time with me to think through each one.

My choice today:

Celebrate successes.

What lense are you using?

I’ve started to learn how to improve my photography because of a website called Digital Photography School.  Each week I receive an email with a weekly photographic assignment.  This week’s task involves perspectives.

Instead of taking pictures while standing upright, the task of the week includes searching for unusual angles on everyday things.  On the website, many people submitted their beautiful photos and I felt inspired.   My hunt began.

My oldest daughter takes these challenges with me.  We motivate one another to think broadly and search for unusual photographic angles.

This approach to photos also applies to life. 

Instead of staring into our problems head-on, what if we pause and attempt to think differently. 

As parents, we tend to repeat the same patterns of discipline and reward on our children, even though the response we receive doesn’t match what we want.  On the job hunt, many people have experienced rejection where once acceptance met them.  In dating or marital relationships,  taking an alternate approach could also prove helpful. 

Adjusting our photographic lense involves sitting or standing or even lying down while looking at the same subject.  In life, we do this by trying to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes.  What would they tell us?  We can even invite others into our story.  What if we ask what they would do or what they see from their perspective?  They could be helpful or not, but we’ll never know if we don’t ask. 

Check out how my daughter and I approached photos of the same light from differing directions.  The difference lies in our individual perspectives.  Each holds its own beauty, but I wouldn’t be open her angle, if she weren’t invited to share.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8)

My choice today:

Re-aim the lense of my life, seek a new perspective.