snowboarding

In the Moment

Yesterday, I enjoyed my first day of snowboarding for this season. I really like snowboarding because it’s the sequence of lots of exhilarating moments strung together over the course of a day. Yesterday was particularly enjoyable because my drive to the slopes was filled with interesting podcasts and I could sense Holy Spirit’s presence in the car and talking with me through these podcasts. The enjoyment continued when I strapped on my board and pointed it down the slope, reminding myself that this is a warm up run and not the Olympics. I had a quick adrenaline rush when I made a sharp turn, caught an edge and almost biffed it, but I caught myself before the crash! I found more moments of pleasure enjoying the spectacular scenery, breathing crisp and fresh air, going really fast without getting injured, along with some quiet reflection on the lift going up the mountain for another run.

While I’m grateful for lots of continuous moments of pleasure yesterday, I’ve also been reading about Absalom, the son of David. And reading about him, shows me a man who had lots of continuous moments of pain, anger, stress, dissatisfaction, disappointment and rejection. I’d encourage you to read about him in 2Samuel, to see a person who lived in continuous moments of pain.

We can observe these moments of pain in Absalom’s life in how he responded to his sister, Tamar, after she was raped by their half brother. Absalom told Tamar to stay in his house and he would look after her, but he never said word one to their half brother, Amnon, for two years. After these two years, Absalom threw a party as a convenient context to kill Amnon. Absalom’s behavior and choices show me a man who lived in continuous moments of anger and revenge.

These moments of pain continued for Absalom as he was exiled for two years from his dad, David, for killing Amnon. Upon returning to Jerusalem, Absalom still didn’t see his dad for another two years, likely perpetuating more moments of hurt, rejection and disconnection. Once Absalom was accepted by his dad, David the king, it’s still obvious that Absalom stays in his continuous moments of pain, because he plots for some years to win the heart of Israel and displace his dad as king.

I would suggest that the culmination of these painful moments happened when Absalom declared himself as king, David ran for his life and Absalom began a war against his dad to position himself as Israel’s king. The end of Absalom’s life of continual tragic moments is when he gets caught in a tree, swinging by his hair and David’s army commander throws spears into Absalom’s heart to kill him.

To me, this story is an epic tragedy, portraying a life stacked full of tragedies, pain, destruction, isolation and grief. While I’m sure that Absalom had some good moments over the course of his life, it seems to me that he became swallowed by the bad moments such that his life became a continuous bad moment and he perpetuated the bad with his hurtful choices.

When I think about how this applies to us, we will have good moments and bad moments in our lives. If we choose to live in the bad moments, we run the risk of getting sour and disillusioned, resulting in hurt to ourselves and others. Additionally, watching Absalom’s choices is a vivid reminder that I actively choose forgiveness whenever I’m hurt. I’m also grateful that God gives us good moments, like my snowboarding day ☺

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, enemies to intimacy, fellowship, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, uncertainty, values, watch, 0 comments

The Trade Off

I just finished some really fun snowboarding & although it was cold & windy with some icy patches, the speed was glorious. So there’s some trade off to get the adrenaline rush that comes from going super fast, safely of course. 

In contrast, however, our relationship with Jesus can seem to have trade off points, but in reality we always win. So let me encourage you over this weekend to do some trade offs with Jesus:

  • Peace for anxiety 
  • Truth for confusion 
  • Genuine love for apathy 
  • Joy for worry 
  • Forgiveness for unforgiveness 
  • Trust for independence 

Such trades with Jesus are most certainly upgrade trades ,)

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Toxic Desires

Recently, I went snowboarding with the men in my family and had a wonderful time, minus the crowded lift lines.  The sun was out, snow was pretty good, it wasn’t too cold and I stayed warm throughout the day (except for getting some snow down my pants).  The toxic desire part, however, happens for me when I want to keep the same speed as my teenage sons.  They have been skiing for more than ten years and they’re very proficient and fast.  The problem is that I also like to go really fast and watching them jet ahead of me, is like throwing down the gauntlet with an irresistable challenge.  But alas, from innumerable injuries that need no details here, I’ve concluded that snowboarding as fast as my teenage sons isn’t good for my health, regardless of what I want.

So let’s remember that not all of our desires come from God (Ps 37:4) and let’s stay mindful not to allow the toxic desires to override common sense and obedience to God’s Word 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, Christmas, enemies to intimacy, family, fasting, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, thought life, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Changing Plans

I changed my plans for today at the last minute. I was going to go snowboarding, but decided that there are more pressing needs at home than my snowboarding interests.
In 1Samuel 13, Saul changed his plans as well. He & Samuel made a plan to make a sacrifice together but he got scared & offered the sacrifice without Samuel. This was a major downfall for Saul & Samuel explained shortly after Saul’s fearful decision, that God had sought out a different leader for Israel, a man after His heart (1San 13:14).
Saul changed the plan he had made with Samuel because he was afraid of his enemy, the Philistines, & saw the Israelite’ support of his leadership rapidly eroding.
While I’m a massive advocate of flexible planning, I’m growing to appreciate the importance of keeping God’s goals as unchanging piers to anchor my soul, regardless of my environs, feelings or selfish preferences.
God’s goals always related to genuine love & connecting humanity to God’s heart in deep intimacy. Let’s be sure that we keep God’s plans more central to our choices rather than our selfish interests, including my snowboarding plans 🙂

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

Try Something New!!

This is a picture of South Park in Colorado. My son & I are grabbing a day over Christmas break to get some skiing / snowboarding & today I decided to try a new route to get up to the mountains & man was it GORGEOUS!! The views on the drive were entirely enchanting, serene & ethereal – almost like driving in a picture!

I’m really glad that I tried this new route even though there were some icy patches & a few parts were a little touch & go.

Seems like this could be a good mindset for starting out 2017! Let’s be determined to try some new stuff, even if some parts might be a little tricky to navigate. I find that often the rewards of new things can be better than the risks! Let’s GO!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in busy, Christmas, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, saving moses, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 0 comments

No Concussion 👍

Today, I took my kids skiing / snowboarding, my first time since I fell last ski season & got a concussion. So today is wonderful! Fun with my boys & fantastic runs!

Sometimes we have to get back on the horse & keep riding when we get bucked off, learning the appropriate lessons that go w the fall 🙂
Of course there’s a time to quit, but let’s do that when we’re succeeding & not when stuff is going poorly.
Keep on, keeping on!!

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Posted by sarahbowling in family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, spiritual, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Concussion

Recently, I was snowboarding, fell & got a concussion. Needless to say, this isn’t in my top five exciting experiences. Recovering from a concussion requires rest, again not in my top five exciting experiences. Furthermore, I’m not supposed to concentrate for long amounts of time, again not in my top five exciting experiences. So I’d rate the concussion thing at a 2 because there’s a little up side with people being more patient & kind, generally. All that being said, I wouldn’t recommend this adventure. 
But here are some things I’m learning from God that might help you as well:

  • Being still & quiet can be a massive opportunity to experience supernatural peace
  • Being strong & independent doesn’t help us to be close to people or God
  • God is big enough to handle stuff that can feel overwhelming
  • I can trust the Holy Spirit to take better care of things than when I try on my own

Have a really excellent weekend & don’t forget to grab your copy of Heavenly Help!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, values, watch, 1 comment

Concussion

Recently, I was snowboarding, fell & got a concussion. Needless to say, this isn’t in my top five exciting experiences. Recovering from a concussion requires rest, again not in my top five exciting experiences. Furthermore, I’m not supposed to concentrate for long amounts of time, again not in my top five exciting experiences. So I’d rate the concussion thing at a 2 because there’s a little up side with people being more patient & kind, generally. All that being said, I wouldn’t recommend this adventure. 
But here are some things I’m learning from God that might help you as well:

  • Being still & quiet can be a massive opportunity to experience supernatural peace
  • Being strong & independent doesn’t help us to be close to people or God
  • God is big enough to handle stuff that can feel overwhelming
  • I can trust the Holy Spirit to take better care of things than when I try on my own

Have a really excellent weekend & don’t forget to grab your copy of Heavenly Help!

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, Holy Spirit, listen, living, prayer, relationships, values, watch, 1 comment

Keep Practicing

  

This picture is at the top of a black ski run. I didn’t take a picture of the din because it was a steep drop 🙂
I’ve been snowboarding with my this week as they’ve been on Spring Break & I decided to try a black run (translation: advanced as opposed to beginner or intermediate). The first time I tried it, I conquered! The second time, I was conquered ,)

So I’ll keep practicing. Practice is a good thing – it’s the space where we can mistakes, learn, grow & improve without feeling shame or embarrassment, usually. 

There are heaps of things in which I want to do better & honestly, I sometimes get discouraged with myself for not improving more quickly. So I remind myself, “Keep practicing, you’re getting better & better!”

You too! Keep practicing 🙂

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Posted by Sarah in busy, enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Heavenly Help, listen, living, Pentecost, saving moses, travel, values, watch, 1 comment

Dislocating My Shoulder & Important Lessons

Yesterday I dislocated my shoulder with some snowboarding stuff & ski patrol helped me a lot. When they came, they got close to me because my face was kind of buried in the snow. He introduced himself & asked my name along with some pertinent questions (what day of the week, who’s the president, when’s your bday, etc). They were super helpful, trying to get off my snowboard & helping me to sit up, getting me into the sled & coaching me all along the way: what’s coming next, how’s it going, are you doing ok, grab my hand & I’ll help you, always using my name, protecting me in the sled on the way down (I watched some but mostly tried to say 1Cor 2 to keep my mind off the pain), being very gracious & patient.
While I didn’t know either of these men, they were extremely helpful & got me to a place where I could get my shoulder back in place. I was with them maybe for 30min, but their help was entirely invaluable.
Going through this experience has made me think a lot about Who the Holy Spirit is in my life. Let’s remember that Jesus called the Holy Spirit, our “Helper” when first teaching His disciples about the Holy Spirit in John 14.
Some of my take always that could help you as well in relation to the Holy Spirit:
*Help is always very close & not repelled by any brokenness
*Help coaches you along the journey, even when it’s painful
*Help us strong & available – stop trying to be independent
*I panic less when I listen to the Helper’s voice
*keeping my focus on the Helper empowers me to go through difficult adventures

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Posted by sarahbowling in enemies to intimacy, family, Genuine love, grow, Holy Spirit, Jesus Chix, listen, living, values, watch, 2 comments