Friday, April 9, 2010

For Such A Time As This...

"For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise from another place...Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
- Esther 4:14 (paraphrase)

Have you ever wondered how and even when your "mission" would be made clear?  Have you found yourself at war with reality, running here and there feeling like a chicken with her head cut off?  I'm open to the possibility that these questions only apply to me, however, it is my experience that I am not alone in my search for purpose and a mission driven life.  

Jeff, my darling husband and I have been seeking God on this very subject - desiring to be about His business.  We had begun to understand the necessity of "surrendering ALL" of our thoughts and plans in order to truly see God's direction and purpose for our lives.  This process of surrender has not been easy, nor is it over; I have, however, begun to identify areas of letting go that I can choose in addition to the areas chosen for me.  This matter of laying down my will and allowing God's will for me I imagine is similar to that which Jesus underwent in the Garden of Gethsemane when he plead, "Not my will, but thine be done".  I am confident that ultimate peace and life more abundant is found when we can consistently align our will to our Heavenly Father.  

So, here I am seeking God, believing for opportunities to be a blessing; all the while limiting the big picture to only what I could imagine.  It was in this place, that Jeff reminded me of the possibility of expanding my vision to encompass more.  What a concept!  In "The Prayer of Jabez" he asks God to "enlarge his territory".  I began pondering what it means to enlarge my territory.  After surrendering my initial thoughts and beliefs, what I've learned is that God's desire is to increase us, bless us!  Enlarging our territory is NOT a process of taking on more things to do, becoming unbalanced.  It is, however, an opportunity to allow God and the Holy Spirit to move through us more freely and thereby giving us a greater capacity and opportunity to serve.

As I become aware of this opportunity, and choose to lay down my agendas, I notice numerous opportunities to encourage and uplift others.  I also find joy in my journey - my children and husband become more of a delight to me.  I've also been blessed with a place to mentor in Performing Arts - talents I am passionate about, however, wondered if this was a selfish desire.

This is where I see Heavenly Father's tender heart and great love!!!  I have been training for nearly 30 years in the areas of piano and voice.  I have had numerous opportunities to perform in various venues.  This is a talent and skill that has so richly blessed my life, however, as a wife and mother, where do these skills apply.  Well, I could justify sharing them with my children, and in various church assignments, but felt that much more would move me from sharing to selfish.  As I've taken on the intention to surrender my will, Heavenly Father has shown me how talents are given for a reason.  The things we are passionate about, He can use and wants to access for His glory.  I finally began to receive permission to BE and express my gifts in a new way.  The moment I considered God had a bigger vision for me, an opportunity opened immediately for me to play keyboard with a Contemporary Christian Worship Band, The Bridge Effect.  Now this seemed WAY too cool for me, however, God said you can do it!!  Shortly after I took on this assignment, I began feeling more confident in God's ability to maximize my passions, desires, and skills in fulfilling my mission.  I've also learned that in the place of surrender, God's Favor begins flowing more freely, and Mission Moments (as I'm calling them) find us!!!

So, I'm out there sewing seeds of time and talent into The Bridge Effect, and very quickly, and opportunity shows up for me to take on mentoring adults and children in Performing Arts through an incredibly, well established local Dance Studio, Wagner Dance Arts!!  This new assignment puts me in position to be Mission driven!!  What an awesome place to be!!  Now, this does not take away my mission as a wife, mother, and daughter of God.  It simply adds to it, which creates a full, deep experience for me!!

Now, I'm not suggesting that in any way I've arrived.  I'm simply recording the process of letting go, so I can receive....choosing to sift through the business to clearly identify my passions and desires, and then being willing to receive a larger context for my life!  My heart is FULL of joy (like giddy delight) and peace in being about my business - God's Mission Moments for me!!!  It is my prayer that like Esther, we too will choose to rise up in courage and wisdom to be about our Father's business; and then enjoy the blessings that comes when we step up For Such A Time As This!!

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Reason to Start Over New...

I am SO blessed by the grace and mercy of our Savior, Jesus Christ!!!  It is with a quiet heart that I reflect on the life and love of this One who gave his life that I might be free!  How sweet it is!!  It is my heart desire that this Easter Season be filled with the message of hope and joy knowing that He Lives and Loves!  If you don't know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, I invite you to make this decision TODAY!  Salvation is just one heart beat away, and I am FOREVER grateful for the decision I made many years ago!!  "A Reason to start over new, and the Reason is You!!"

Blessings & Happy Easter,