31 Days to Just Write

God-Sighting Saturday {just write – day 31!!!}

Well, we made it! I managed to skip only 2 days I think and am hopeful to keep blogging as regularly as possible.  To wrap up, today’s a little different than a normal God-sighting Saturday reflecting on the past week.  Instead, here are few ways I’ve seen God at work specifically through this 31 day blogging challenge:

  • I process best through writing, so many times this month just in the act of writing, whether the entry ended up being publicly posted or not, it helped me pray through and process some things with God.
  • It challenges me to keep my eyes open for where God was at work.  Finding something that seems “blog-worthy” every day can be a challenge, but with such an amazing God He’s always up to something worthy shouting from the mountaintops (or through the blogosphere). 
  • The gift of encouragement is one of my favorite gifts I feel God has given me. I can only hope at least some of what I’ve posted the past 31 days has pointed to Him while brining encouragement and hope.
  • It forced me to put a priority on something I enjoy doing instead of letting the urgent of each day overwhelm moments for me.
  • At times, it made me share parts of what God is doing in my story that perhaps would have been easier to keep to myself, but multiple times God used it for His glory and to help others.

Thanks for joining me along the way! Hope you’ll stick around for what will hopefully continue to be regular posts around here. 

  

31 Days to Just Write

Breakfast on the Beach {just write – day 30}

As I walked along the beach this morning, a story from the gospel of John came to mind.  

It’s in the very last chapter and takes place after Jesus’ resurrection. The disciples had seen Jesus alive again, however, at least according to John’s account he hadn’t given them any direction about what’s next.  It seemed that Peter couldn’t handle the sitting around waiting one day and finally defaulted back to the one thing he knew well, and that probably brought him comfort. “I’m going fishing.” Many of the others joined them.

All night long the fished and fished and fished… Nothing.  The passage doesn’t tell us but I wonder what they thought and said…

“Maybe we just need to get back into the hang of it… You know it has been a few years… Is something wrong with these nets… Surely we can’t be this out of practice, it’s not that difficult.” 

As dawn approached, so did a figure on the shore…

Encouraging them to try once again on the other side of the boat, fish started coming in in numbers that blew their minds. Suddenly they knew…

It was Jesus. 

Peter jumps in the water, despite the fact that they were close to shore… He can’t wait one more second to be with Jesus.  As the other disciples trail in the boat with an incredible catch of fish Jesus invites them to a nearby fire and says, “Come and have breakfast.”

A simple invitation, but probably a welcome one for the disciples. Hungry and tired from a long night of until then unproductive fishing, perhaps a few moments of normality with their friend and Lord Jesus.  

I think sometimes I expect God to show up in my life and the lives of people around me on huge miraculous ways… And sometimes he does. But it’s helpful to remember that more often, his invitations come more like breakfast on the beach. 

  

31 Days to Just Write

Seeing People {just write – day 29}

I’m currently on vacation which means I have way more time to be writing on here, and yet, each day we’ve been here, I struggle to figure out what to write about.  Today is clearly the same as it’s now 10 p.m. and I decided, with hopes of finishing this 31 day challenge strong, to default to this month’s mantra to “just write”.

I guess one of my favorite parts of this trip have been the people.  We’ve encountered young people, old people, friendly people, interesting people, drunk people, helpful people and more.  Here are a few of my favorite interactions so far:

On our first day here, we set out in the rain to tackle the trolley/bus system to get groceries.  Our first challenge came when the stop where our app told us to get on the trolley only had a stop going the opposite directions.  A lovely elderly couple with umbrellas were walking past “not giving up their afternoon walk for a little rain”.  As they past I decided to ask if they knew where the closest trolley stop was. As we walked along with them to the stop, we chit-chatted and they shared they were from Buffalo, NY. As they turned to ask us where we were from we could only laugh our reply that we too were from Buffalo. Once we discovered we were all in the presence of WNYers we found out they were REALLY from Angola and us from Tonawanda.  As we were sitting at a different trolley stop this evening they drove past and even pulled over to wave.  I hope we get to see these wonderful people again and learn their names! 

Another wonderful woman I met is Soon. She runs the food mart just a few buildings down. When I went in there to get milk our first morning here we had quite the conversation with another woman Ronnie who lives in a condo just across from where Megan and I are staying.  Soon is a beautiful woman who was excited to see me again and meet Megan today when we stopped in for something else.  

We also have met some super helpful people the past few days like the man from the surf/skate shop where we rented kayaks today. Not only did he do his job well but went out of his way to share some places to check out while out on the water and had all kinds of tips as we left of fun things to do during our stay.

I’m learning that one of the things I love most about being on vacation with a VERY lose schedule is that I take the time to look a little deeper and actually SEE people.  While I can’t stay in Florida forever, I hope that’s one way I can keep the “vacation mode”going long after I return. 

  

31 Days to Just Write

When the locksmith doesn’t show but Jesus does {just write – day 28}

It was a little after 10 a few nights ago when my upstairs neighbor knocked on my door.  He had locked his keys in his car and had no clue what to do.  His mom had suggests a locksmith so he was going to go call one.  

After saying this he walked back to his car leaving me at my door confused as to why he even knocked in the first place. After a minute standing their confused, I decided to invite him in while he waited for the locksmith to arrive.  I could hear him on the phone as the person on the other line assured him they were only 5-10 minutes away.

To make a long story really short, 2 and a half hours later, after calling 5 locksmiths and trying ourselves to get in with some metal kabob sticks the keys remained in his car as I drove him to his aunts house to sleep for the night and figure it out in the morning.

My neighbor and I have always had a pretty good relationship passing each other in the parking lot as we head in an our and occasional longer conversations here and there, but it has been a long time since I had seen him let alone been able to talk to him.  

The little I do know about him leads me to believe he is often lonely and his family isn’t the most supportive.  He has dreams but has given them up due to discouragement from his parents and instead spends his days working at Wegman’s and coming home to play video games for hours on end.  In short, I can only imagine his need for the kind of joy and love and peace that come from Jesus.

I’ve prayed off and on throughout the past year and a half that maybe, just maybe, God might use me in his life.  However, I didn’t see how that was going to happen having not seen him lately.  So I had been praying for a while, and even more since stating the Joining Jesus on His Mission book study for more opportunities.

God answered as I got to over my neighbor 2.5 hours of my time and attention.  As I drove him to his aunts house, I could not even count the number of times he thanked me, completely unable to understand why I would have done all this for him. 

The locksmiths may have never showed up that night, but perhaps that was only so that Jesus could.

    

31 Days to Just Write

Prove Them Wrong, Please!?! {just write – day 26}

A few days ago I mentioned how much I LOVE high schoolers, especially laughing with them. Because of that love, my heart broke when I was in a conversation with a group of students not too long ago and heard the the following kinds of things come out of their mouths:

Adults don’t really want to hear what I have to say.” 

“They wouldn’t think anything I say is relevant.” 

“They don’t care about the things going on in my life.”

My heart broke because I also get to interact a lot with adults and I know how untrue those statements are from the adult’s perspective. I know SO many adults who would LOVE to engage, but THEY feel like the irrelevant ones. I talk to people who would give anything to hear what a high schooler has to say on a certain topic but assume they wouldn’t want to talk to them.

So adults, I beg you, take the first step… prove them wrong in their impressions of you.  Start a conversation with a high schooler this week, even if it seems awkward at first. They want to talk to you. Take some time to listen. God is doing awesome things in their lives. Celebrate with them, even the little things. Tell them their opinion matters. Tell them THEY matter.

Please!?!

31 Days to Just Write, Uncategorized

Friends that Pray {just write – day 25}

Yesterday I shared about the gift of a friend (or stranger) that shares their story and invites you to share yours.  Another beautiful gift in friendship is a friend that prays.  Once again, I am overwhelmed that I have many friends who can fit in this category while some people have none. (Side note, if you’re in that second category, can I be your friend and pray for you?!?) 

While many friends pray for me and some even with me on a regular basis, I was completely caught off guard this week by something a friend told me: “As I’ve been praying about this for you, God has seemed silent and I’m getting frustrated.”  What struck me wasn’t the fervency with which she had been praying, nor that she was expecting God to speak, nor even that she was frustrated with God’s current silence. Catching me off guard a bit was that all of those things were true about something she was praying FOR ME!  

She was that committed to prayer over something that has very little impact in her own life … except … that she knows it has huge impact in mine.  I only hope that I am offering back that same beautiful gift to her.  

Hebrews 4:16 says: 

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

That second word is SO important… Let US approach God’s throne of grace in prayer. While prayer time alone with God is very scriptural and very important, I believe we also need some time regularly to enter the throne room together. Sometimes this is entering together in praise and thanksgiving as we gather each Saturday or Sunday for a worship service. Other times we gather with just one friend, perhaps carrying each other in, when life seems too overwhelming to approach confidently on our own.

Whatever it looks like, let’s look for, and perhaps more importantly BE, friends that pray.

  

31 Days to Just Write, Uncategorized

Your Story Matters {just write – day 24}

Yesterday I received a beautiful gift. It’s nothing tangible nor is it easy to describe. Yet, in its simplicity I found myself filled with gratitude.

The gift: someone shared part of their story with me in honesty and vulnerability and invited me to do the same. 

I realized that this gift, while extremely simple to give (maybe not always easy, but simple), it’s one that many people never receive. 

I am extremely thankful for my brother in Christ who took time to both share and listen. It was truly a gift. So rather than write more here now (or read for those of you on the other end of this blog), how about we just go out and give this gift.

Your story matters! 

So do those of people around you.

Let’s share them, today!