grow

driven or invited?

a violent landing or a gentle alighting?  My husband & I have a few days in the mountains to celebrate our 20th anniversary & I’m watching the snow quietly sift through the sky to gently alight on the bright yellow aspens and dark green pines, dancing through the air to their final rest.  There’s a stillness and beauty to this routine and it makes me think of the times when I’ve watched a really powerful snow storm pound the ground with several inches every hour.  The wind drives the snow but the earth’s gravity is the steady invitation.  The driving wind can result in mangled flakes while the steady invitation lets each flake land as a gentle whole to the delight of observant spectators.

In our lives, we can be driven by our ambitions and desires, often landing at our destinations mangled, tangled and twisted up.  In contrast, we can follow Jesus’ invitation to grow closer to Him in the steps of our daily living.  Of course God can use our ambitions, drives and desires – but let’s never ignore God’s steady & continuous invitation to stay grounded in God’s presence 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Force Multiplier :)

Recently, I was doing some volunteer work on a house of a flood victim from the horrific flooding that happened last month here in Colorado.  My specific assignment was to remove the carpet tack strips in the house that had been ruined from the water that had flooded the house.  I’ve never had any carpet tack experience so I just plopped on the floor with the metal wedge tool and tried to pry up the strips that were nailed to the floor.  I quickly found out that those little strips were extremely hard to get up & I just settled in my mind that this task was going to take a lot of time and work.  After about 30min of work & having only made about 18 inches of progress, an experienced construction guy came along & encouraged me to use a hammer with the metal wedge.  I asked if that would make the task easier & go more quickly to which he heartily replied, “YES!!!!”  So I grabbed a hammer, watched him for a few seconds, learned the technique & voila!!!  I was removing the carpet tack strips much FASTER!!  The hammer was a force multiplier!!

In our lives, we need lots of force multipliers to help our work be not only efficient but also highly EFFECTIVE!  Based on what the Bible says, wisdom is our force multiplier and through requesting & working with wisdom our lives can be suprenaturally effective.  Let’s frequently ask God to give us wisdom J

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, spiritual, values, watch, 2 comments

prodigal or orphan?

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Being without parents can be challenging – sometimes we may feel like our parents have abandoned us, like an orphan.  Sometimes, we leave our parents for various reasons.  Thankfully with God as our Father, we are never orphans & our Heavenly Father is the epitome of acceptance & restoration (like the father in the Prodigal’s Son parable).  Let’s be careful that we don’t treat our Heavenly Father in the same context of our earthly parents – responding to Him as an orphan or prodigal.  God is the perfect Father & perhaps the various disappointments that we may have with our earthly parents are only to serve as reminders that the human experience is a flawed metaphor for the reality of the Genuine Love of our Heavenly Father 🙂

Saving Moses is an expression of the Father’s Genuine Love 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, watch, 1 comment

Loving People

Whenever I get my hair fixed, it’s always lots of fun because of the different kinds of people I get to meet – some are intense, some are bubbly, some have an über dry whit, others are reflective & observant . . . . . So many different kinda of people & all uniquely wonderful. So whenever I get my hair done, it’s always like a party day to celebrate people & enjoy such unique & delightful personalities. It makes me thankful that God is amazingly creative, extravagant, gracious & most of all, loving!

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Posted by sarahbowling in Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, seeing Jesus, values, watch, 0 comments

Obstacle Course

When I was growing up, I thought obstacle courses were really cool & if the truth be known, I still think they’re cool. I like how they make you use different ways to overcome obstacles – whether it’s climbing a wall, crawling though a pipe, hoping into small platforms, etc, I like all of that stuff (and the TV shows that do the spoofs on obstacle courses are nothing less than hilarious, but I’ll save that for another day). But here’s something to consider: everyday we face various obstacles (big, little, emotional, relational, financial, wisdom, etc). We can perceive these things are obstacles & hardships or we can see them for what they really are: helpful exercises to enable us to be closer & more intimate a God. So let’s celebrate the various obstacle courses in our lives because we are letting them work into our hearts a deeper relationship & trust in God! 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, nightcare, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 2 comments

Rocks & Hard Places

Sometimes I get in situations that seem “tricky” – like being squeezed between a rock & a hard place. I can’t say that I find these experiences to be very enjoyable nor pleasant. In fact, if I had a vote, I’d take alterior routes to avoid the rock & hard place spots. Nevertheless, we all have these kinds of situations & “opportunities” – so what do we do with & in them? Here are a few ideas:
*pray a lot & ask for God’s intervention
*work hard & keep you eyes on God (helps the attitude)
*work out / exercise because it helps to burn off some stress
*drink a lot of water (less caffeine & sugar)
*snag a few Bible verses to memorize so that if your thinking gets whacky, you have some healthy fall back thought replacements 🙂

Remember that God made rocks, rivers & erosion ,)

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Posted by Sarah in Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, saving moses, seeing Jesus, spiritual, values, watch, 1 comment

getting stronger

This has been a fairly crazy year for me with travel, particularly during the 1st half of the year.  As a result, it has come to my attention that I’ve put on a few pounds (did you like how I suddenly got formal? smile).  Thankfully, no one has made any overtly rude comments or observations, but I can most definitely tell a difference with my clothes.  So I’m getting my rear in gear to see what great things can happen from endeavoring to get back into shape 🙂

In order to be more fit, to be stronger & more healthy, I have to put some work into these areas – a truth that can apply to every area in our lives.  Discipline, effort, work & committment can have some very glorious results in our lives, particularly when we join with God’s grace & power working in our lives.  Without some effort & engagement I can quickly get flabby – just a little food for thought ,)

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, cooking, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

Mawwage is what bwings us together

I’m trying to spell out the Bill Crystal line in Princess Bride about “marriage is what brings us together” & you probably think my computers spell check went funky ,)
I’m writing on marriage today as my husband & I are celebrating our 20th anniversary today & I think that’s some noteworthy evidence of God’s grace 🙂
Here are some things I’m learning about marriage along the way:
*lots of grace, patience & flexibility is a foundational necessity toward both myself & my husband
*dont say everything you think – it’s often better to think through my thoughts & feelings before I just let it rip
*relationships have ebb & flow so take off the pressure of expectations & performance & enjoy the moments for what they are
*speak life, hope, honor, grace & affirmation – these words help keep our relationship strong
*when there’s conflict, be mindful to discuss behaviors rather than attacking the person
*pray alot & understand that God is using your mate to help you grow in intimacy & as a person
*be gentle
*love is a choice more than a feeling 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, 0 comments

adapting :)

I’m learning that prayer is a bit of a learning adventure. Some things that I used to think about prayer (viable components, to be sure)

  • prayer is about asking God for stuff
  • prayer was about dumping all my problems on God
  • prayer is about making me feel better

There have been times that I’ve been disappointed with prayer because I didn’t feel anything, I didn’t get an answer, or I didn’t hear something – I even felt like my prayer time was “flat”.  But here are some cool things that I’m learning:

  • prayer can simply be the space & time of our presence that we give to God – keeping company with God
  • sometimes the closest relationships require the smallest communications
  • prayer can be the simple act of “letting my hair down” – being vulnerable & available to God
  • as I grow in prayer, I’m learning that prayer opens the door for me to cooperate with God more fully & wholly with fewer boundaries & “compartments” (giving God more access & fewer limits in my life)

Happy praying & happy adapting!

 

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, seeing Jesus, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

speak, think, feed

I’m not a big fan of onions – when I chop them, they make my eyes water and sometimes they can have a really sharp odor & flavor.  But they can serve as an interesting metaphor with some helpful thoughts.  If you think about it, onions have many layers – you can keep peeling & peeling, ulimately finding that an onion may have up to 20 layers!

The layers of an onion are a little like our lives, with the first layer being what we say.  The things that we say are very important & since I’ve had children, I’m more convinced of this than ever.  Our words can give life, encouragment and be uplifting or they can be negative, discouraging and death oriented.  So our words are important, but our words are often a reflection of what we think, which is another layer of the onion, so to speak.

Second layer – Have you ever thought about what you think about – a thought inventory?  Many of our thoughts are about getting stuff done and general maintainence thinking (cooking, grocery lists, auto repair, etc).  But we also think about many other things – conversations, what we think people think about us, priorities, time management, how we feel, reactions to various people & interactions, etc.  What we let ourselves think about is very important because our thoughts affect our actions, words, decisions, etc.

But here’s the center of the onion:  what we feed our hearts is what affects our thinking & ultimately our words & actions.  So let me encourage you to take a few minutes to consider the things that you feed your thoughts, emotions & heart.  What are the inputs that you allow in your life?  Do these inputs give life?  Are they uplifting?  Are they truthful?  Do they have genuine love?  Our words are shaped by our thoughts which are shaped by the inputs we allow – so let’s chose these inputs with discernment, discretion, wisdom & love 🙂

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, values, watch, 0 comments