Declaring His Greatness…

Summertime…it’s always a crazy time around here with two fire conferences, weekend BBQ competitions and several rounds of library visits. As if that wasn’t enough to keep us busy, this year I attended the Romance Writers of America national conference in San Antonio. That meant extra hours hunched over my laptop, pounding out my story so that it would be complete before the conference and preparing for pitches. 

Before August is over, we will return to Texas for a combination fire and writing research trip, and will squeeze in a trip to DC to help our son move. You know how sometimes events just keep piling on your calendar until suddenly you’ve lost control? That’s us right now. The whirlwind won’t calm down until November. 

God knows that I get discombobulated being outside my routine and normal environment. He carried me during those stressful moments at the conference. “I’ve got you covered. You can do this,” His soft whispers fluttered soul-deep and wrapped me in peace. 

Today, I‘m declaring His greatness…

He’s my yesterday, my tomorrow, my today. 
He’s my redeemer, my hiding place, my refuge.
He’s the grace who covers a multitude of wrongsthe beauty in my ugly, the bridge to forever.
He’s the restorer of my soul, the quiet in my storm, the still water of perfect peace.
He’s my champion, my hero, my rock.
He’s the sweet spot in my day, my reason for being, 
my very next breath.

Maybe you’re going through a storm right now. Like a ship without a speck of land in sight, the rogue waves of life curl high and toss you from one swell to the next with no chance to catch your breath. You can trust Him to navigate your ship into a calm harbor, to give you perfect peace in the midst of your storm. 

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
    and he brought them out of their distress.
He stilled the storm to a whisper;
    the waves of the sea were hushed.
They were glad when it grew calm,
    and he guided them to their desired haven.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love

    and his wonderful deeds for mankind. ~Ps 107:28-31 NIV

How has God revealed Himself to you lately?

When Distractions Clamor…

Recently, hubby and I purchased a new car. Before that, I drove a Ford Explorer, which I loved, but now that it’s mostly me and the dog tooling around, it seemed pointless to drive such a big car. And gas? Sheesh, nothing like watching $70 drain out of a tank, right?

Our new baby ~a Hyundai Santa Fe
So when the Explorer got to be of age, I determined to find a car with better gas mileage, but it had to be sporty and big enough to accommodate Bruiser, our full-figured Golden Retriever.

What do you think? Isn’t she adorable?

I could ramble all day about the features. Heated seats, shiftronic capability (the ability to switch between automatic and stick~don’t get me going on that!), great gas mileage, and …

An electronic digital display estimates my average miles per gallon. What?? Do you know that you can boost your gas mileage by taking your foot off the accelerator, just for a minute, or shifting into a higher gear? Well, I am all over that! That’s why I got the car, right? 
So, instead of focusing on the road, I honed in on that blue line, getting all giddy as it edged closer to 50 mpg. I mean, really. How cool is that? 

But then a honk would get my attention. Or moseying off the side of the road…

We do that with God sometimes, don’t we? Allow distractions to take our gaze off Him? 

Forgot the birthday gift for the party this weekend. Basketball practice tonight, and the kid can’t go without new sneakers. (OK, well that’s not on my list anymore, but it may be on yours!) If the laundry doesn’t get washed soon, you’ll be out of ____(you fill in the blank!). If the lawn grows any higher, you’ll be killing snakes. A forgotten blog post won’t write itself.

Sometimes God gives us a gentle nudge to draw us back to Him. Other times, we may need something a little stronger. But, get our attention, He will. One of my favorite verses is Isaiah 26:3 (NIV):

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, 
because they trust in you.” 

Perfect peace sounds great to me. What about you? But my focus, my mind, needs to be honed on Him, not on the constant clamors for my attention.

So what to do…what to do…when all I can hear is the constant hammering of voices and chores calling my name?

“Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart 
and shattered the rocks before the Lord, 
but the Lord was not in the wind
After the wind there was an earthquake, 
but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 
After the earthquake came a fire, 
but the Lord was not in the fire
And after the fire came 
a gentle whisper.”
1 King 19:11b-12 (NIV)

That’s where God is. That’s where I’ll find rest, that perfect peace…in the quiet times spent cuddling on His lap, leaning closer to Him, listening for His sweet, gentle whisper.

Oh, Lord, when the world’s loud and all I can think about is how much I haven’t done, help me keep my focus on You. Help me to always seek You, to meet with You, to be open to Your priorities for my life. Don’t allow distractions to take my gaze off of You. 
Bless my words, Oh Lord, both spoken and written. All the glory belongs to You. Amen.