Stars…

Recently, I had the opportunity to lay and look at the stars at night. It was at the close of a much needed beach day with a dear friend. We spent the day soaking up the sun, splashing in the waves, swimming in the pool and giggling endlessly. (The angel dog had a blast that day too. Although, he was less than thrilled with my friend’s big black lab who was also along for the ride.)

We ended the day on the porch of my friend’s beach condo just before midnight, laying on loungers soaking up the expansive display of stars twinkling over head. WOW! I can’t remember the last time that I took the time to take in the glory of the night sky. We were blaring praise and worship music, singing to our Father in heaven without a care in the world. It was fabulous!

It occurred to me that I have forgotten, in the chaos of my own life, the importance of simple pleasures. We have a front row seat to a creation that is stunning. Yet, we rarely get our eyes off of our phones long enough to realize it. Our God, the Maker, is crying out to us through His creation to pay attention! His presence is all around us! His radiance sparkled through every star that night. I felt like I was wrapped up in His Glory.

Look up my dear friends! Get rid of the distractions and take some time to look at the stars. I noticed that evening that my struggles and my ego became miraculously smaller. Praise God! He is greater than me!

Be joyful!

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:4‭-‬5 NIV

Life360…

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As I mentioned before, my daughter is now a driver. This past weekend, I told her that we were going to try out this new app as a family, called life360 and that the app will allow us to track each other via our phones.

Believe me, I was ready for the complete teenage “jelly fish” moment (to borrow a term from my Pastor). Those of you with teenagers know this one well…moaning, gnashing of teeth, the cry of injustice that comes from a teenager being put out by their overbearing parents. But, instead, I was met with complete obedience, almost a jovial response and the app was immediately downloaded onto her phone. I must admit I was a bit bewildered, until my daughter exclaimed, “now I will know when you are at home and simply ignoring my texts. You know that really makes me crazy mom, when you ignore my texts and I know you are just simply sitting at home.” As if. She went on to tell me that she has always wanted to see exactly what I do during the day. I started to think that this life360 app was a bad idea.

On Monday, I had a pretty normal day. I taught a class at the gym first thing in the morning, did a couple of errands and headed home to get cleaned up. I had a nail appointment right after lunch and left my phone in my car during the appointment. The last thing on my mind was life360.  I came out of the salon an hour later (with gorgeously polished nails I might add) to find a text from my daughter asking what I was having done at the salon and why I had not responded promptly, thank you very much. I responded “stop stalking me.” Indeed, this life360 app really might be a bad idea.

It occurred to me that this is a lot like how our Father in heaven must feel. He knocks, we invite Him into our heart and He “downloads” His Holy Spirit into us. The heavens rejoice and He has so many blessings in store! Then, we set out to live our lives and sometimes we forget that He has a perfect plan for us.

There was a significant season of my life that I was so busy doing things my way that I never even considered God or His plan for my life. He was there. He was tracking me. He was watching and waiting. He tried several times to get my attention, to get me to answer “His texts”. Yet, I was convinced that my way was the best way. You see, I left my phone in my car. I didn’t really need Him. I had this, thank you very much. When I finally hit rock bottom, I looked up and realized what a mess that I had made of things. And you know what? He met me there, helped me up, dusted me off and restored a new Spirit within me. Glory!

The only way this thing called life works is with Jesus front and center.. I sure do hope that you “download” the app and give your life over to Him. Life360 is only possible with His love, grace, forgiveness and mighty hand leading, watching. tracking, guiding, and protecting.

And on that note, my final analysis is simple: Jesus at the center of my life360 is indeed the only way. He is the Way. The Truth. and the Life. I hope it is true for you too!

Be joyful!

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not o your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6