musings

What Holds You Back?

There is a good chance that, right now, you have something burning a hole in your mind, all because you read a single question. What holds you back?

Is there a dream you are, at best, half-heartedly pursuing?

Is there a project left unfinished, longing to see the light of day?

Are you too busy helping other people, not out of genuine care, but because it's easier to help others accomplish their goals than to see to the fruition of your own?

Are you waiting for permission from outside sources, when maybe it's you who needs to give yourself a green light?

Are you afraid no one will like it, no one will care, no one will help you?

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Perhaps, dear heart, you need to get on your feet, dust yourself off, and try another way.

Perhaps, dear heart, there are a dozen people just waiting to cheer you on.

Perhaps, dear heart, the realization of your dreams will be an incredible blessing to others.

Create. Build up. Nurture. Discover. Connect. Love. Tend. Restore.

You may find that the fear that holds you back, in the end, was hardly more than a phantom.


Photos are of various scenes at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County, MD.

Welcoming 2017

In three hours, it will be a new year.

Thankful for friends in Patapsco State Park

Frankly, two weeks ago, I feared I was going to crawl across the finish line, just barely making it through December.  I had allowed myself to be weighed down with frustrations that could have been alleviated with, perhaps, a few simple phone calls.  And indeed, thanks to the generous kindness of many friends this past week, I find myself refreshed and ready for a new year.  It is incredible what a listening ear, some time outside, and some prayer together can do to rejuvenate one's spirit.

Thankful for the chance to catch up with college friends

2017 is coming.  Let this be a chance to restart those forgotten dreams.  To hit the reset button on troubled storylines.  To restore hurting relationships.  You have the power to change, to love, to heal, to grow.

Jesus is making all things new, and He can do so even in the darkest places of our lives.  He knocks - will we open the door?

Thankful for photo adventures with Light.

May 2017 bring you joy and healing and abundance!

Jeff

Remember

Why are you lonely? Do you not remember?

 

What about the night I took the sorrow of a sixteen-year-old boy and filled his heart with joy inexpressible?

What about the time a college senior sat solitary in the forest at his campfire, fully aware of my presence?

What about the time a younger man was pulling out of his parents' driveway, suddenly keenly aware that in the midst of his grandparents' ill health, a failed relationship, and several other trials, I would carry him through his heartache?

 

Why are you lonely? Do you not remember?

 

Did I not say that I would never leave and never forsake?

Did I not adopt you into my family with eternal finality?

Did I not rescue your soul from darkness?

 

Remember, my son, that you are called by My name and are by rights my child.

Remember, my son, that I have taken your calcified heart and utterly transformed it.

Remember, my son, that I will faithfully love you regardless of your stumbles along the way.

 

Be not lonely, my son, and remember that I am with you now and forever.

Remember that I am God, who calls you out from darkness and into marvelous light.

He Will Withhold No Good Thing

I have a tendency towards pessimism.  I can focus far too easily on that one thing which went wrong instead of the multitude of things that went right.  Significant failures can plague me for weeks and even years.

Such-and-such isn't working

So-and-so is too difficult to deal with

This-and-that are endlessly frustrating

Light dispels darkness.

Light dispels darkness.

Yesterday, a friend reminded me to look around and choose to be thankful for all the undeserved gifts that come daily.  Posted prominently on the wall at home, she has these words written:

For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.   - Psalm 84:11

She finds life and encouragement in these words, believing as I do that God is a good Father who gives good gifts to His children.  This stuck with me and as I went on with my day, it rang through my mind - No good thing does he withhold.

Discovering a new forest path on a rainy afternoon.  Wonderful conversations with close friends.  Previously abandoned hopes unexpectedly fulfilled.  Cool breeze in the early mornings.  Unexpected camping trips.  As I think on events large and small over the last month, I see many of them as wonderful and undeserved gifts.

Look for those gifts.  Look for those good things - even and especially when life is difficult.

What gifts have you been given recently?

This life has much goodness, if we have eyes to see.

This life has much goodness, if we have eyes to see.