Lost Dog Whisperer

12342867_10153157953807751_4145194503088404919_n I must be some kind of dog whisperer because lost dogs everywhere find me—especially neglected lost dogs. The other day I was driving through a neighborhood I liked, scoping out new houses, when four dogs ran across my path.

I was startled but not surprised.

Of course I got out of my car and chased them down. What do other people do? It didn’t hurt that the first dog that ran in front of my car was a little Yorkie with her tongue hanging out all over the place.

How could I leave her tiny self running around alone?—I’d seen a coyote roaming that very neighborhood before.

It turned out that all four dogs lived together at a nearby house with a woman who was also a hoarder. Her neighbor and I tried to figure out a way to return all four dogs into her backyard, which they apparently escaped from on a regular basis. Everything was locked to the nth degree, so we couldn’t figure out a way to get them back in. The neighbor even tried the woman on her phone. Voicemail full.

I felt SO sorry for those dogs.

They obviously lived in a chaotic environment and there was a reason why they were trying to escape so often. One of them actually rolled over in the middle of the street for me to scratch her belly, and I could swear her eyes were begging me—“Please take me home. I need someone who will take good care of me.”

Her awkward bouffant of mats definitely reinforced her tale.

Eventually, or unfortunately—depending on how you look at it, we got the dogs home. One of us finally realized that the woman had actually left her front door open when she left. Yep. So we just gently herded the dogs in the general direction of the door until they walked inside. Then we closed the door, shook our heads sadly, and both of us went our separate ways. I prayed a quick prayer for their care and safety.

I wished I had a better solution for them, but I doubted their living environment qualified as bad enough to call the situation in.

But that dog escapade was not an isolated occurrence for me. I find lost dogs no matter where I go. Either that or they just walk up to my house when I’m home. I’m pretty sure they would ring my doorbell tooif they could reach it.

I’ve opened my front door before and found them. Or I’ve opened my garage and the dogs just come barreling in—see picture below of three dogs that did this just a week ago. I’ve also had dogs walk right up to my car door as I’m opening it.

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And then there are my regulars.

I’ve returned this one cockapoo named Kobie that lives in my subdivision two or three times. One of those times, the owner’s son retrieved the dog from my house and drove him home on a bike. I almost had a panic attack watching the kid peddle away with the dog barely secure in his arms.

The next time I found Kobie, I made sure to drive him home. But the owner didn’t even seem to care that he had been missing or running up and down a bunch of streets. “Oh, did he get out again?” 

I almost asked her if I could just keep him.

But I’ve had my fair share of irritation for pet owners who are flippant in caring for their pets. And I chase the dogs down because it’s not their fault they have negligent owners, you know?

One lady decided to take a shower before she eventually came and picked up her little scottish terrier from my house. I’d had him for at least an hour before she even called me back. In the meantime, my male havenese had a mini panic attack because I made him wait outside, so he completely destroyed the mesh on our screen door. I still haven’t fixed it.

I ended up having to take the terrier out to my front yard while I waited for her to pick him up. It took the owner 20 minutes just to drive down the street to get him—and she didn’t even say thank you. Seriously?

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But yah, I definitely have a spiritual sign on me that says: “Lost dogs? Apply here.”

Apparently my doggy-whisperer gene has also been passed onto my children. Just a few months ago, my son came running in from outside to tell me that my daughter had just pulled a wiener dog out of our neighborhood lake. They’d actually found two lost dogs—including the drowning wiener, and they were now looking to me to solve yet another lost-doggie riddle.

I remember actually groaning to God on that particular occasion: “Ugh—now? I literally have no time for this today. What do I do?”

Thankfully, God knew of my day’s limited availability so He floated me a quick strategy. I’d already tried calling the number from the dog collar—there had been no answer. “Google the last name on the tag together with your city name,” He prompted.

God actually told me to google something—I got the biggest kick out of that. But even better than that, it WORKED. The guy’s address literally popped up on my phone when I googled him. It turned out the dogs only lived one street away. So I left my kids with the dogs, ran to get leashes, and then I walked those two little wanderers home. The owners were gone, but their front door was wide open.

Second time for that open-door scenario.

All in all, I think that entire dog rescue took me 15 minutes. That was about all the discretionary time I had that day and God knew it so He did the heavy lifting that time. Usually, they take me MUCH longer. Sometimes hours…

Sometimes months… like Scruffles—one of my funniest dog-rescue assignments to date.

Scruffles was a horribly-neglected maltipoo that I found years ago (see top picture). He was one of the many dogs that has run across my driving path over the years. When I first saw him barreling down the street towards me, I stopped my car in the middle of the road and waved to oncoming traffic to stop. Then I called Scruffles (my daughter named him later) over to me—and he basically jumped into my car. Easiest rescue ever.

I’ve chased some dogs for blocks…

I drove Scruffles straight to the groomer to get him some relief. When I dropped him off, I actually thought he was a she—he was just so matted that I couldn’t tell. I’m pretty sure my hubby was less than thrilled when he got home from work that day and discovered I’d paid $50 to groom some random dog, in addition to the fact that we now had three dogs to take care of until I could find him a home.

We did eventually re-home him a few months later with a friend of mine who had been looking for a second dog to love. I was told Scruffles was thrilled with his new living accommodations. Last I heard, he loved sitting outside, watching his new boys jump on their trampoline.

The list goes on and on…some quick rescue assignments, some long-term.

Every dog we’ve had as a family, we’ve rescued from a shelter. We have two right now and they are a quirkly little pair.

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At one point, my family was up to four dogs because of two additional rescues—including one that I found online on Freecycle. It was definitely over our comfortable dog limit and my husband joked that he had no room in our bed. It was pretty true actually.

But we did eventually get back to our comfortable dog norm of two.

Sometimes I can’t stop when I see a little lost furbaby running around, and that always pings my heart. But I’ve learned over the years to just pray protection over them and ask God to send them to the nearest dog whisperer—someone else who has been given that spiritual assignment to care for the lost and helpless. I know I’m not the only one.

And I’m pretty sure God knows where the nearest one is….

Nova

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Normalizing

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I think one of my favorite things to say to people is: That’s completely normal. It’s all part of the process.

I try to tell people that a lot in the various capacities that God uses me to speak into another person’s life. I want them to know that my posture is complete acceptance. And I want to foster an atmosphere for safety and spiritual experimentation for people who are still trying to grow.

Spiritual growth is messy.

But I seriously have so much fun telling people: That’s a great question or that’s totally normal. And I continually try to push into that spiritual space where people have been shut down in the past and say: You’re goooood. And yes—you CAN pursue that.

A lot of people are just waiting for recognition and permission to be who God created them to be anyway.

I also try to speak comfort into the areas where people have been shut down or judged by others in the past. Many have been wounded by people who were either dogmatic in their theological orientations or just didn’t know any better.

I’m so sorry is another phrase I often use. People need to know that their pain matters to God and that it was never God’s intention. People are desperate to know that God is rooting for them to BECOME.

So I find that normalizing becomes a big chunk of what I end up doing in the process of mentoring people to grow bigger—whether that is in their healing journeys or in their spiritual growth processes.

And I want them to know: there are NO bad questions—just like the door of my daughter’s 6th-grade classroom says. So I usually tell them: “Feel free to ask me your weirdest spiritual questions.”

People usually have a few. And I REALLY enjoy fostering that safety for others to learn.

But I’m not afraid of not knowing something anymore. People can ask me their questions, and if I don’t know the answer—I’ll for sure tell them. Either that or I’ll defer them to someone who I think might know.

But I’ve been there.

I’ve experienced what it is like to be shut down in a spiritual context by people I respected or looked up to. People who I thought would have the answers. And it’s no fun. I’ve braved vulnerability in public and private settings and been seriously disappointed and embarrassed. I’ve walked away feeling like a loser.

And I don’t EVER want to see that happen to anyone on my watch.

I remember being at a prophetic seminar years ago at a pretty well-known church. I was thrilled to be in that setting of growth where people could ask questions. I figured if anyone could handle my questions, it would be this place. So I pushed past my fear of public speaking and asked my question. It didn’t go well.

I still remember the leader’s awkward response and inability to answer it.

But today, if someone were to ask me that SAME question, I could answer it in a heartbeat. It is no longer a great mystery to me, nor was it weird. I eventually discovered that the way I hear from God is multi-layered—so I’ve grown to understand my own cadences with God. And it happened so organically that I could now coach someone through a similar process of questions and growth.

I often feel like a spiritual cheerleader: “You GOT this! You can do it!”

Right now, I have a couple friends that I’m encouraging in the growth of their prophetic giftings. Each one has a really strong gift—possibly greater than my own. And even a couple years ago, I might have felt intimidated by that. But not anymore.

I’m now in a place where I can recognize and bless another person’s gifting, without feeling like my own is diminished.

And I know that God can expand my spiritual giftings whenever He wants. But even if He doesn’t and they stay the same, I’m okay with that. I trust His executive delegation on things. So it’s fun for me to help other people discover and tap into their spiritual gifts to a greater degree.

I always think of it as a treasure hunt.

And I know that one of my God-given assignments is to walk alongside of the people that He brings me, to help them synchronize with God, and to help them get up to that next level where God is calling them to go. God has already given them access and permission, but many people just need somebody cheering them on.

So I do LOTS of normalizing and celebrating in my mentoring conversations.

One of the women that I’m working with right now has a very clear seeing/ discerning gift. She’s finally starting to get some spiritual traction. She doubted herself a ton when we first met, but now she’s learned to trust and lean into the gift that God has given her. And it’s thrilling for me to watch.

And I’ve told her when she’s ready, I want her on my team—if she wants to be on it.

I’ve just helped her weed out some of the background noise from her life that was getting in the way. But the biggest thing that I did was normalizing. I continually told her that what she was experiencing was normal, and then I watered the heck out of the seeds that God had placed within her with a ton of celebration.

And celebration makes things grow.

Nova

Respecting Denial

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It’s really hard to talk to someone who already knows everything—much less help them. People are entitled to their own lenses of denial. I’ve actually learned to respect them over time, because if someone doesn’t want to do the hard work to get unstuck, there’s not much I can do to help them. Other than pray of course.

Even in prayer I try to tread carefully because manipulative prayer is NOT godly and God certainly does not need to be coached on how to do His job. So I’ll often pray something like this:

“Father, show them how much you love them. Heal what is broken and show them what you want them to see right now.”

But let’s be real. The benefits of staying stuck often outweigh the desire to get free. Freedom takes WORK. Staying stuck is painful yah—but it’s familiar pain. New things are scary. New pain is unpredictable.

Changing mindsets and learned behaviors is tough. And if a person already knows everything…or if a Christian already knows everything about God—then why come searching for help?

I am reminded again of one of our culture’s definitions of insanity:

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

Insanity? Maybe. But that for SURE sounds like denial to me. Like maybe if I just keep doing MORE of the same thing, or maybe if I just do it harder and faster—you know, add a little obsessive-compulsive factor into the mix, maybe THEN it will change and actually work.

Besides, why should I try something new? This is already totally-not-working REALLY well. And I’m super good at it.

I experienced this denial dynamic the other day. I was praying for a woman who had come to me because she was stuck. Life had beaten her down. She was battling multiple things including childhood trauma, probable soul fracturing, tough current circumstances, and lots of warring but unrecognized emotions from within.

I could hear her feelings of grief, rejection, and abandonment, as well as judgment against others pouring out of her mouth.

It was so sad. 

I kind of knew going into the conversation that this would just be a time of giving her dignity and listening to her story. I FELT the demonic stuff she was carrying around with her. I knew I could pray some of it off of her temporarily. But I also knew that once she left and re-engaged with those same mindsets, agreements and behaviors—that the demonic stuff had every right to reattach.

I tried anyway to reach her heart—because I’ve seen God do amazing things. I’ve seen the God of supernatural intervention in action, the God who knows how to get through the ONE crack in a person’s armor.

So I usually expect Him to do something rad or at least to teach me something new. 

I just try to follow the clues along the way and go where He leads, listening quietly the whole time in case He tosses me any words of knowledge that might help the process.

But I’m definitely past the point of trying to be anyone’s savior anymore—though I definitely used to have that mentality. I used to believe that I COULD help fix every person that crossed my path.

It’s so laughable now as I actually type that out—like talk about an OVER-exaggerated ego.

Nowadays, when someone crosses my path, I approach it more as a wait-and-see interaction. I recognize when God brings someone into my daily path, but I no longer approach these relational pop-ups with a codependent mindset.

It’s more like—Okay, God. What’s up? What’s my small part to play in this moment? What piece do I have that they need right now?

So that’s how I approached this woman who came up to me for help. I welcomed her into conversation and just listened to her story. And boy did it spill out. In about ten minutes, I heard story after traumatic story pour out of those internal wells of pain.

I brought compassion and empathy to the table. But after that, I tried suggesting a few tools. She had come to me to get unstuck after all. Unfortunately, it was to no avail—each attempt got promptly blocked.

My first attempt was offering her a strategy for a challenging relationship dynamic she had mentioned. “Oh no”, she responded. “We’re actually doing just fine.”

So I moved on and tried another angle, addressing a different topic in which she had requested help. I asked a couple data-gathering questions to look for patterns. Had she ever prayed through generational dynamics? “Oh no”, she countered. “I don’t believe in that.”

Okay, moving on.

Then I very gently tried to address the trauma dynamics. Had she ever seen a counselor to address the trauma or family member loss? “No, but that was years ago. I’m not still dealing with that.”

Okay…but your pain and stories are crying out otherwise.

At one point, her denial stepped aside and I finally heard an honest answer in response to one of my questions. “No, I haven’t tried doing that”, she said. “But that would take work.”

I agreed with her—Yep. That would definitely take proactive intention and work. It wouldn’t be easy.

I felt for her. I really did. I totally understood the comfort of the pain and the self-pity. Staying in Victimville had it’s perks. I’d lived there for a time myself. But after a while it just got old. And when the pain became too intense, I was finally motivated enough to seek out new tools to leverage change.

I hoped she’d get there too. 

Pain IS such a great motivator for change—if a person chooses to use it as such.

We ended our conversation together with prayer. I blessed her, prayed some of that oppressive junk off of her, and asked the Father for more spiritual clarity for her to see and receive His strategies in this current season.

She walked away in a more peaceful atmosphere for sure—while still clinging tightly to her previous spiritual construct of self-deliverance.

She had high hopes that if she just put greater effort into the things that HADN’T worked before that she could climb out of that pit.

Maybe if she just tried a little harder….

Nova

Leaving Shimitaland aka MOVING

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I have such mixed feelings about having to move. On the one hand, my spirit is cheering: “YAY! New land! New house! New possibilities on the horizon!” And on the other hand, my soul is clamoring with a plethora of mixed emotions.

I definitely feel sadness. I’ve loved it here.

This property has been seriously refreshing in its land dynamics for our family. God told me through a dream before we moved here that this house would be our Shimita Land—and He was absolutely right. Shimita references the 7th year in Hebrew culture. The Shimita year was a God-mandated Hebrew tradition back in Biblical times, where every 7th year the Israelites were required to rest their land and NOT to work their fields. The Shimita year was a sort of prequel to the future sabbaticals that people would take in more modern times.

It was a time for people AND land to regroup, heal, and rest.

I love it so much that God CARES about the need for rest in our lives. He purposefully created a whole day of the week for us to rest—not that most people actually take it. But He WAS intentional to tell us: “Hey! You guys need to rest on a regular basis. Oh—and your land needs to rest too.” 

It mattered to God and it surprisingly ended up mattering to us too.

Incidentally, God was right about this house being our Shimita Land. It would become a refreshing and RESTFUL sanctuary for us after leaving our previous house and accompanying season of extreme busyness—a time that was full of birthing and raising small children. The new Shimita house ended up being a perfect place for us to decompress and disengage for a few years. It has still been busy—that dynamic kind of comes with having four children and two dogs, but rest HAS been a huge component as well.

Our Shimita Land has nourished our souls in ways that I can’t fully quantify.

Another funny nuance about our time here in Shimita Land is that it lasted three years. Even in that detail, there is a Biblical link. God used to provide 3 years of food ahead of time for the Israelites in anticipation of the Shimita year, so that they’d have enough to live on during the 6th, 7th, and 8th years.

Our time here has been FULL of metaphorical tie-ins like that.

Just the nature aspects alone have been soothing. Our backyard has bordered a plush green golf course with mountains behind it in the distance. I’ve got a thing for mountains. I’ve treasured watching the sunrises every morning from my bedroom window, as well as the two hawks that live in the tree behind our house. I’m totally going to miss stargazing from my balcony at night and marveling over God’s immensity. I’m going to miss the crickets and frogs’ joyful symphony and serenade.

I’m also going to miss my lake. It’s actually the neighborhood lake—but it FEELS like mine. I’ve made good friends with the chatty ducks that live there, as well as the quirky little mud hens, paranoid turtles, and the flighty cranes.

I’m seriously going to miss the conversations with my little friends.

Besides feeling sad, I also feel anxious. On the one hand, I work well under pressure. But on the other hand, I DETEST having so many responsibilities falling on just my shoulders all at one time. Especially since I can’t pause normal life responsibilities. 

Everything that usually occupies my daily life STILL needs to get done, but now I also have to figure out a way to cram in other activities like finding boxes, cleaning out our possessions, packing boxes, and searching for a new home.

I think I’d rather be taking my yearly trip to Colorado to visit friends. Yep—I’m DEFINITELY overdue there.

I wish I DIDN’T have to think about the ortho appointments, carpool planning, school functions, and homework that I still have to facilitate. Not to mention the fact that our finances are seriously trashed at the moment—they are the worst they’ve ever been. And now we need to throw in moving expenses? In the natural, it just sounds like a terrible idea.

It seems like the WORST time to move.

But God KNEW all of these details before we did. He knew how bad it would look in the natural for us and He wanted to assure me that it would be okay. So He actually prepared me ahead of time, the night BEFORE we got our landlord notification, by giving me a dream. That dream told me that our family needed to move.

I was SO thankful for the heads-up—not to mention that the dream itself was such a rich experience. In the dream, I looked around our home and savored the memories that we made. I also anticipated good things for the future.

God knew that I needed His confirmation ahead of time. He knew unexpected BIG changes were not easy for me.

And in general, moving is NOT my favorite activity. I’ve moved twice while pregnant, twice with a newborn, and our last moving experience nearly did me in. We had to completely move out of one house and into another one all in the same day. No margin for error or breaks.

This will be the seventh move for our family.

BUT … I’m believing for a different experience with this next move. I’m believing for God to show up in even bigger ways than He did the last time. My faith and trust in His strategic interventions grew HUGE during the last moving process. The way He stepped in and shuffled things around to work on our behalf was incredible. So I expect my trust to deepen still more in this next move of faith.

All of that to say, I’m feeling excited too. 

It’s not just negative emotions. I also feel curiosity, intrigue, and elpis—which is hopeful expectation of good (in Greek).

So far, God has only given me a few directions for this process. He keeps telling me:

1) To keep my eyes and ears open and stay flexible

2) That HE is in charge of timing

3) That WE are in charge of preparation.

So I’m doing my due diligence: I’ve got a growing stack of boxes in my garage; I’m trying to fix the small things that my crazy dogs have broken; and my hubby is working with a loan department to see if we can qualify to buy. It may or may not work out. So many things are still up in the air, so we are just waiting and preparing.

And as we wait, I’m trying to steep myself in the BIGNESS of God. Because the bigger that He becomes inside of me and my limited understanding, the smaller this move seems.

Nova

Control Addict

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Control gets old after a while—whether it’s allowing someone else to control your life or trying to control other people or situations. I’ve experienced both. But no matter how hard I’ve TRIED to control things, I just can’t seem to get that elusive ball in the hole. My trajectory gets skewed every time if I’m trying to PLAY GOD.

I was never meant to play God.

I was meant to partner with God, to embrace His agenda and where He is going–which means I HAVE to surrender this bad boy of control. I can’t serve both. And if God is going to use me to any great degree, I know that this idol has to die.

It’s been a LONG process for me—not instantaneous. Christianity often propagates a lot of ideas that growth and healing CAN be these microwave, quick light-switch moments of instant deliverance. God is sovereign and DOES often do supernatural healings. But more often than not, walking with God is usually defined by time, process, and following His sequences for growth. Growth takes TIME—everything in Creation testifies to this.

The greatest fruit in my life has come from embracing productive pain and leaning into whatever God brings before me as the next dot in His connect-the-dot sequences. I’ve stopped fighting Him and just leaned in.

For years now, I’ve battled control—learning to release people and situations into God’s hands and trusting that He KNOWS what He is doing. I’ve also had to work to get out from other people’s thumbs and agendas for my life—people that I’ve passively allowed to dictate some portion of my life or time.

I think one of my greatest sources of freedom has come from realizing two things:

1) I truly cannot CONTROL anything (I can only believe the deception that I do.)

2) Other people aren’t meant to control me either.

I’ve realized over time that God ALWAYS gives us choices and that any community or person that is trying to force me or manipulate me into doing ANYTHING—should hopefully make me pause and reassess the situation.

And as I’ve leaned into getting free from CONTROL, darned if God didn’t send me a MILLION different people trying to control, manipulate, or pressure me to fulfill their agenda for some portion of my life. I can only laugh that’s He’s facilitating my healing and growth in such a way. But He’s cool like that. I’ve needed tons of practice. This process has put a strength in my soul—an assertiveness that wasn’t there before. And He’s been teaching me how to season all these things, including boundaries and assertiveness—with grace, honor, and kindness.

Control is a nasty little bugger. Manipulation can be SO subtle. But I’m starting to see clearer through the matrix.

God’s end game is always transformation, redemption, glory to glory, strength to strength, and greater freedom. And those that get free, God then uses to lead others into those same areas of victory.

GOT PAIN? Get ready to lean into it and let God heal and grow you out of it.

GOT VICTORY? Get ready to be used.

❤️

Nova

 

BREAKING UP with 2017

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Dear 2017,

I’m breaking up with you but I hope we can still be friends. Your season in my life has finally come to a close. I do recognize and honor the productive part you played in my life, but I’ve met someone else—a new year, 2018 to be exact, and I’m ready for a change in scene. But don’t worry—I’ll NEVER forget you. You will be a part of my heart forever.

You were truly a painfully complex and glorious suitor. Our story together was in essence BEAUTIFUL. We journeyed together through SO many chapters of mystery and intrigue in God. We tackled pages of new risks…AND we found tons of surprising discoveries and epiphanies along the way. We battled old foes and fears together and took lots of fresh ground. We saw new friendships, resources, and attitudes arrive on the scene, while simultaneously watching old mentors, assets, and mindsets phase out.

Our story together included much divine intervention and rescue, multiple times of divine withholding and pain, and LOTS of soul searching. We wrestled together between the realities of denial and truth and between the old and new man. We experienced a deepening of trust and intimacy with our Creator and also a time of new BEING and mindfulness within ourselves.

You really taught me how to partner with process and God’s connect-the-dots sequences, and I will be forever grateful to you.

You, 2017, were crucial to helping me leave slavery, discover sonship, and look towards new creative options. You helped me recognize the cadence of brideship and what intimacy draws and gifts look like from the bridegroom. But you also taught me how to attune and synchronize with heaven in numerous other ways too—like in my daily rhythm, in nature, in the Spirit’s present leading, and even in transitions.

You helped me discover and unpack myself. You saw things in me that I didn’t know were there. And you gave me a ton of time to practice just being me. I have to admit—a lot of it WAS actually fun.

You brought a lot of pain into my life too, but I forgive you—because it ended up being productive pain with a good return on investment. You also taught me how important it was to make space for pain and process. To honor them—rather than to avoid or ignore them as irrelevant. And you compassionately walked alongside of me as I grieved and felt ambivalent about a lot of life stuff—including the ending of past seasons of fruitfulness.

And in those times when I got kicked abruptly out of my comfortable nests, YOU believed in me—even when I didn’t feel ready to fly.

You believed in my potential SO MUCH that you even taught me how to be intentional with my time and decisions, so that potential would give birth to ability.

You taught me so many lessons during our time together, but I think my ALL-TIME favorites were the simpler ones of know thyself and trust thyself. I also really appreciated how many times you continued to remind me that challenges and snafus were a normal part of the growth curve, and that eventually…victories would come too.

You helped me heal and grow so much…In fact, YOU were the one who helped me finally to grow up and just decide to be who God made me to be all along. I’m not really sure HOW you even did that—because I can be seriously stubborn. You must have slipped that one under the radar when I wasn’t looking.

Anyway—this is goodbye 2017. I bid you adieu. I applaud you for being a faithful companion and an integral component of my journey. I will always remember our time together. It has even given me hope as I enter into a new relationship with 2018.

I find myself poised with earnest expectation of good things as I preview the blank pages to come.

❤️

Nova

DISILLUSIONMENT

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I feel a bit upside down. I am reminded again today just how many things I do NOT have control over. I have this idea in my mind that I’m pro-change. That I like change and can role with it. And to an extent, that’s been relatively true in more recent years. My past was a different story. But I got some upcoming-change news today that really bummed me out and left me in an emotional funk. And so I find myself here again at that same crossroads, where I know that I need to surrender yet another change to Him.

John Eldredge’s prayer comes to mind right now—“God, I surrender everyone and everyTHING to you.” 

Yah, I know that stillness is the eventual route I will need to pursue once I’m ready. I KNOW that when I choose to sit quietly in His presence that I will get to the peace and perspective that I need. But for now, I’m sitting in an emotional swirl of ambivalence. I feel grief and disappointment about how this change will affect my life.

But I’ve realized something over the years: Change is often the avenue that the Father uses to show up in new ways in my life. To facilitate new paradigm shifts and propel me into new–and GOOD things.

I feel like the path of my life over the years has in essence been a journey of surrender. I keep coming back to this place of surrender again and again….and again. Sometimes I can see or sense change coming. This one took me by surprise. I had envisioned the train going one direction, and now the train-tracks have split and the train has jerked into the opposite direction.

And I’m not really sure where that leaves me. 

I’m always REALLY good at imagining the way that things will play out in the future. And so it’s not just about an unexpected change; it’s really about a death to a made-up dream. And that’s okay. I don’t have to like it. I can be real about the way that I feel and still trust God at the same time, knowing that eventually this will all work out for my benefit. But I can’t see it yet.

My spirit knows it’s all good. It’s my soul that is wrestling it out.

It’s just disillusionment, really, so it’s okay that it has to die. And I like this quote about the process of letting illusions go:

 “Dying to an illusion is the way into truth. I’ve learned to embrace disillusionment cause it just shows me that I had an illusion that needed to be dissed.”—John Thomas (Streams Ministries)

Diss away, God.

“Let each thing fall away that isn’t of your making. I trust your building process. I trust your vision and blueprint for my life.”

My emotions will line up eventually.

Nova

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)