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Day 7 – Father Christmas – JBA

“Daddy, what brings you joy?”

“Well…… you!”

“Aww, daddy that’s sweet, but I’m serious, what brings you joy?”

“You, Season. You. Knowing you’re taken care of, being with you – being together.”

Wrecked.

For many years, since my mom died in 2004, my dad and I have had a great distance between us. Not because of anger or anything dramatic, just the perfect storm of mileage, new family situations, and a huge difference in communication styles and desired ways of connection.

And this is where I get real vulnerable….here’s the ugly truth,

Because I had already dealt with so much death – loosing my mom, two grandmothers, two great aunts, and the death of a marriage, it was easier to consider my father dead than to directly deal with the difficulty and inevitable disappointment of attempting to maintain the connection. Ouch.

In January 2019 I heard the Lord say, “this is the year of the Father.”

I was a bit surprised by this declaration. My response was, “I don’t think I have any distortions about the Father, Lord, but I am open to what you want to teach me.” In my zeal for connection and growth with the Lord, I began to read parts of the Bible that reveal the heart of the Father, have conversations with some of my friends who are passionate about the Father’s heart, and even ask if there were any books that I could read that focus on this subject. My head was all about it….my heart didn’t know what was coming!

When I began to lean in a bit more to the invitation to connect with the Father, I realized my connection to the trinity was a bit lopsided. I am deeply connected and intimate with Jesus, surrendered to and powered by the Holy Spirit (well, that’s my intention anyway!), but if I’m honest, I always came up short with a knowing and being known by the Father.

So what would I do with that?! There was no shame in it, I just didn’t know what to do with the revelation.

In true God-like fashion I didn’t have to do it, He had a plan.

In March, my dad, Jerry Marshall, moved in with us.

An unexpected and painful divorce led him to spiral in every area, mentally, physically, and spiritually. He was broken, lost and confused. My father is the most committed man I’ve ever met. He lost my mother, his wife of 28 years to cancer, has played drums at my family’s church for 40 years, and worked at one job for 38 years! This man doesn’t know how to quit! So what was he to do when his wife of 10 years was done?

My amazing husband says to him, “well sir, you will come live with us.”

That thought didn’t even cross my mind! I am so grateful for the man I married, a father who knows how to love sacrificially, without fear.

At first it was ROUGH! My dad was holding on by a thread. I wasn’t sure he would make it through each day. As he evened out a bit it became very clear that we needed to find a home that was conducive to our new life. Having to walk up and down our stairs, crawling over the baby gate that kept the dogs from the second floor, sharing a bathroom with my teenage daughter, and not having any place for his stuff was not helping him feel settled and safe.

I decided to do a 90 day fast. There were some major things in front of me and I needed to seek and surrender.  I fasted for three things, my dad and his divorce, finding a home, and the future of my job.

On day 30 my dad’s divorce was final. He now had freedom to heal.

On day 40 I was ordained as an Elder in the Free Methodist Church (I was already licensed as a pastor but this was the full ordination).

On day 60 we found and bought a dream house for this season of our lives.

On the final stretch of my fast, I quit my job. I will share more about that another time…you may already know that I have stepped down from my full-time job as a Pastor at Centerpoint Church. I still remain a pastor, and I am still very much a committed member of the best church in the world.

Who buys a house and quits their job?! A daughter who is being taught the abundant love of a Father. That the thing about dads, they love to provide for their children. My father is a gift from the Father to show me what being a loved daughter means. It is so hard to receive! My dad has made it possible for us to buy a house and for me to quit my job and follow Jesus into unfamiliar territory because he’s given me my inheritance so to speak.

He said to me, “All I have is yours. You’re my daughter”

Hmmm, sounds familiar. I am reminded of the Father in the prodigal son story. The younger son demands his inheritance while his father is still alive, and is given it freely! And the other brother who is jealous of that gesture is told that he had everything the father had all along!

The love of the Father comes without earning it. It comes when we don’t feel we deserve it.  And the love of the Father comes with teaching. What dad doesn’t want to teach their children about the things of life?

On October 20th my father went into the hospital for what would be a month of agony for us. I was so thrown!

Lord! This is supposed to be the year where you reveal the goodness of the Father to me and now I am a caretaker for my dad! WHAT’S THE DEAL?! This is hard and painful, and I hate it!

That’s exactly what the Father was trying to teach me. The love of the Father includes sacrifice. Love isn’t only about receiving! In fact you’d be hard pressed to find much in scripture about love being anything other than self-less, sacrificial, and HARD! We have so missed the point when it comes to love.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son….

To know the love of the Father is to know sacrifice. In my new experiences of pain and sacrifice I know it’s only a glimpse of the pain of what my father must have felt in 10 years of being estranged from me, all for the sake of my discomfort.

But this isn’t payback.

The Lord is so faithful. He does not punish us. He only longs to draw us near. It’s in the nearness of my father that I have learned more about the love of my Father in heaven.

This is an ongoing discovery. Please understand that I am not done. I have only begun to comprehend the Father’s love. I have been broken by my selfishness and restored by the love and kindness of Jesus and Jerry Marshall. Though I don’t deserve it, the Father has given me the gift of my daddy this Christmas.

The Father will stop at nothing to be reunited with his children.

I bless you this Christmas to learn more about the love of the Father. If you have a painful experience with your earthly dad or he may be no longer on this earth, your Father in heaven has so much to reveal to you. And if you have a wonderful relationship with your earthly dad, hold him close and thank the Lord.

Joyfully a loved daughter,

Season

P.S. One of my favorite ways to connect with the love of the Father is through my friend Aeron Brown’s album, The Father’s House. You can stream it on any platform or buy it here.  Be sure to have tissues!

advent, blended family, christmas, joy, step kids, step mom, Uncategorized

Day 6 – A Christmas Miracle – JBA

December 25th, 2011.

The day I met my daughters.

I didn’t know how I would become a mom – well, technically I knew how I could, but I didn’t know how God was going to make it happen. I always knew that I would have a family, but my marriage ended without any children and I hadn’t thought much beyond that.

When I came across a super good-looking, passionately devoted Christ-follower on ChristianMingle.com, my interest was peaked. That is, until I got to the bottom of his profile page and saw,

“And I have three beautiful daughters.”

Que the record scratch.

Call me naive, but I had never thought about the idea of being a mother to someone else’s children. It freaked me out. So much so that I didn’t reach out or even like his profile, I just signed out of my account for a week. Clearly I had stuff to think about and I needed to seek the Lord about this new idea.

Could I love someone else’s children?

I prayed earnestly about this everyday for a week. I didn’t really hear anything specific from the Lord about it, I just surrendered my heart and told God,

“I trust you. I give you permission to make me a mom any way you would like.”

Seven days after I logged out of my account, I received an email from ChristianMingle.com saying that someone was trying to reach me via email. YUP! You guessed it – the super good looking father of three! He had seen my profile and was interested.

I read his email and it said all the typical things, “I love what you say about your love for Jesus. I would love to get to know you, and I think you’re super cute.” Eek! Then he finished with, “Check out my profile and get back to me.” I thought, well, funny thing, sir, I’ve already seen your profile, freaked out about your kids, and have been praying about you for a week!

I said something a bit less crazy than that, and it began a great conversation.

It went fast. We knew what we wanted. Within a few weeks it was time to meet the girls. I had spent the week leading up to Christmas in Maine and before I came home I was invited to spend Christmas day with him and his daughters.

I was so nervous! I didn’t want to come empty handed, so while I was on the east coast I filled a stocking for each girl, complete with a personalized name thingy I made for each one. I wasn’t even a mom yet, but I enjoyed every minute of searching for the right stuff based on their ages, 6, 8, and 10. Girly, fun stuff! I was falling hard and fast for girls I hadn’t even met yet.

I landed at 9 am on Christmas morning and made the hour long drive from the airport to his house in 40 minutes flat. The day is a bit of a blur. I remember smiles and laughing, long hair, one at a time showing me all the things they loved (hours of listening to softball cheers), and ending the night watching a movie with three little girls piled on top of me.

It was love at first sight. The Lord did a miracle in my heart and life that day. He gave me a family. We got married about 8 weeks later and I became and insta-mom.

The Lord can create a beautiful family out of anything. The Christmas story is a great example of how, when we have willing hearts and open minds, the glory of love wins, and family is born. It’s love that creates it, and love that keeps it alive.

It doesn’t matter what your family looks like: traditional, blended (smooth or choppy), or with no DNA to be found. Family is made by the miracle of love.

Jesus said, “who are my mother and brothers?” It wasn’t dishonoring to his blood family, it was a confirmation of what unity in love can look like and accomplish.

The holidays can trudge up drama and pain within families. Today, I want to encourage you to reflect on the miracle of love — the gift of family.  My family isn’t perfect. It could be easy to look back on the 2011 miracle and be disappointed, jaded even, if I compare that sparkle and shine to the dull glow of today. But I tell this story to encourage you, and REMIND MYSELF that found at the heart of the miracle of love is commitment, follow through, and perseverance. Jesus certainly models this with us, right?!

Family may not be easy, but where there is love, miracles can be found.

What is your miracle made of?

Joyfully,

Season

advent, christmas, joy

Day 5 – My Dog Ate The Christmas Tree – JBA

“Why can’t we have nice things?!”

Last year we had a one year old Irish Wolfhound weighing in at 120 lbs (he’s now 150 lbs), and a 12 week old wiener dog weighing in at three lbs (now five lbs). They are best friends and quite a pair. There is something so fun about having puppies at Christmastime – in theory.  It’s more like in commercials and movies it looks fun to have a puppy at Christmas, that is until they discover the pretty things.

The phrase “my dog ate my —— (fill in the blank)” has come out of my mouth more than I can count. Most recently my dog ate my brand new computer’s cord. The little one, Pippin, likes to chew through things. The big one, Samson, just swallows them whole. We find whole socks, underwear, partial shoes, and pieces of all manner of things in the piles of you know what in the backyard. But they sure are cute, which is why they are still living with us.

We were excited to deck the halls and complete the romantic picture of Christmas in our home. Lights, trees, boughs of holly, and puppies – what could be sweeter?!

I wasn’t sure how they would react to the new additions. It began with the nose, of course. Even though it was a fake tree, it sure smelled good to them! We hadn’t put the ornaments on it yet, but there was great satisfaction in getting it up and lit – so much so that we decided to put off the adornment for another day. It was just so pretty the way it was.

The next morning, it was less pretty. As I came downstairs, I noticed the branches were hanging in strange formation, with fake pine needles EVERYWHERE. Yup, they did it. The two of them went to town and ate the Christmas tree. The strings of lights were chewed through, the branches were stripped and wonky. Our poor tree lost the battle of the beasts.

It was so discouraging. I cleaned up the fake pine needles. I unplugged the ragged end of the string of lights. And then you know what we did? Left it up – mangled limbs and all. I didn’t have the heart to fix it. We just sort of cleaned up around it and left it the way it was. The truth is we didn’t need it to be anything other than it was.

That’s the thing about Christmas – it’s not about the polish or the perfection. It’s about welcoming Jesus into our world, right where we are. The one who came to save us, even though we didn’t deserve it, didn’t wait until it was pretty.

Our home didn’t look good, but neither did the stable and feeding trough. But it didn’t disqualify the love that was brought to us. We had Christmas. We had love. We have Jesus, and that’s all we need.

But with all that said, I’m hoping this year is different and our tree lasts more than one night!

Joyfully,

Season

Joy Bringer’s Advent

advent, christmas, joy

Day 4 – Jesus is the reason – JBA

Season Elizabeth Marshall

I hated my name when I was little – especially on the first day of school and during the Christmas season. That’s why, right there. At Christmastime, my name is everywhere!

When you’re little and get made fun of for something, any extra opportunity for attention and possible ridicule isn’t welcome. At Christmas, my name appears all over the place! Flyers, billboards, commercials, greeting cards, and pretty much every Christmas song includes the word season. So when I already had a hard time with the comments, Christmas made it so much worse.

My mom played it up, big time! She would make me record our answering machine message with something like, “Season’s greetings! You’ve reached the Marshall residence…” She also loved to sign our family Christmas cards,

Love,

Jerry, Debby, and Season’s greetings!

Okay, I give her credit, she was cleaver – cheesy, but cleaver. But my little self hated it!  Okay, maybe hate is a strong word, but I definitely didn’t appreciate it.

The one that bugged me most was the saying,

Jesus is the reason for the season.

I don’t know why. Maybe because of the rhyme or the embarrassing way my mom would say it to me, but it made me cringe. Until now.

Something shifted in me. Call it maturity or spiritual development, but suddenly that phrase makes me sit up straight and beam with joy. IT’S TRUE! Jesus IS the reason for the season…for me! Yes, Jesus is the only reason I exist. God made me. I am His. He is mine. Nothing brings me more joy – nothing.

We are knee deep in the holidays, and with all the obligations and stresses we face, it’s easy to loose sight of the true reason for the season (Ha! It’s still hard to write that!).

Jesus is the star of the season.

Duh, you say. But from my experience the spotlight so easily shifts to things like family drama, gift buying, lack of money, parties, decorations, and all the other traditions that aren’t centered around the birth of Jesus Christ.

So, please allow me to pass onto you my new found delight.

Whenever you see the phrase, Jesus is the reason for the season, I want you to supplant your name for mine. I want you to see it as,

Jesus is the reason for Elizabeth, or Matt, or Donna, or Michael, or Sarah, or Lauren, or whatever your name is. Jesus is the reason for your life, your hope, your future, and your joy.

Jesus is the reason for you!

Joyfully,

Season

Joy Bringer’s Advent

 

advent, christmas, joy

Day 3 – Under the poop stick – JBA

Mistletoe.

Scary, lonely, or romantic?

Well, most of the time it’s just plain weird. Please don’t try to kiss me if I’m unknowingly standing under a piece of greenery hanging from a door jam. However, if you are my love, and I am intentionally positioned under the little green and red bunch, then by all means, grab a kiss, baby!

What is it about the Christmas season that makes it so romantic? Should we blame Hallmark?! The reason for the season is Jesus being born…but not like the easy and pretty versions of the story. No, first of all, giving birth is, well, not pretty. Second, he was born in a smelly, dirty barn and laid in a feeding trough! GROSS! So how did the celebration of the birth of Jesus come to be associated with romance and kissing?!

I really have no answer to this question. But I thought I would do a bit of research on the tradition of mistletoe. Here are some of my findings:

  • It’s a parasitic plant that grows on trees and shrubs, and can be found all around the world.
  • Mistletoe pops up in many ancient mythical traditions and customs that span place and time.
  • It has been linked to fertility, protection against evil spirits, healing powers, peace, good fortune, and romance.

And here’s where it gets even weirder

The name mistletoe comes from two Anglo Saxon words ‘Mistel’ meaning dung, and ‘tan’ meaning twig or stick! That means that we could actually translate Mistletoe as ‘poop stick’!

So, how did the poop stick weasel it’s way into Christmas?

It was a Nordic myth that first associated mistletoe with kissing, and from there an English tradition was born. The custom was that a gentleman would pluck a white berry from the hanging bunch and kiss a lady on the cheek. As long as there were berries left, kisses could happen. No more berries, no more kisses. But there would be drama if a lady refused a kiss, her punishment could be no marriage proposals for at least a year! That certainly wouldn’t fly today!

I am not sure how the Christmas season became associated with romance, but what makes my heart flutter this time of year is Jesus’ quest for love.  The romantic version of this story is that he sought you out. He saw us in our misery – hopeless and alone.  He battled the elements and humbled himself to the lowest. He left it all to enter into the world. He gave it up for you. You were worth it. He had one goal, to bring you into his love and into the arms of the Father. You and I are the bride of Christ. He did it all so that we may be spotless and worthy.

This season is about so much more than the birth of a baby, it’s about the victory of love.

May you be filled with the love and romance of heaven this Christmas! And may you get a kiss under the poop stick – but only if you want one!

Joyfully,

Season

Joy Bringer’s Advent

advent, christmas, joy

Day 2 – Change Your Life Lyrics – JBA

I love Christmas music!! The glorious melodies, orchestrations, and specific voices that we have come to identify with the music of Christmas are visceral. We hear them and are whisked to a place that, for most of us, is cozy and safe, familiar, and full of wonder. But if I may, I would like to suggest that the familiarity we have with the music overshadows the next level goodness found in the lyrics.

The music soars through our ears and pierces our hearts, but it’s the lyrics that can change our lives.

During the Joy Bringer’s Advent I have chosen specific songs with powerful truths to share with you so that you too can share in my joy.

It begins with one of my least favorite songs. Yup, you read that right – LEAST.

The Little Drummer Boy

Shall I play for you, pa rum pum pum pum,
On my drum?
Mary nodded, pa rum pum pum pum
The ox and lamb kept time, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my drum for Him, pa rum pum pum pum
I played my best for Him, pa rum pum pum pum,
rum pum pum pum, rum pum pum pum,
Then He smiled at me, pa rum pum pum pum
Me and my drum.

Next to Feliz Navidad, this is my least favorite Christmas song. However, my husband, who isn’t a big Christmas music fan, has been wrecked by this song lately. He cries every time he hears it. Yup, actually cries at The Little Drummer Boy!

So, what is it that gets him?

The little boy approaches Jesus with nothing but his drum. There was nothing flashy about his gift. Was it even a gift? A simple song on his drum. He had nothing else. There was no grand gesture, and yet baby Jesus was pleased.

Often we think we need to be perfect, polished, or have something grand to offer the King. The truth is he simply wants us. When we offer ourselves (and the things we love) to the Lord, He is delighted. We don’t need to make some high and lofty gesture. The little boy loved to play the drum. He didn’t bring gold, he brought himself and his passion.

We don’t have songs about how Jesus was pleased with the gold, frankincense, and myrrh brought by the Wise Men. Not that he wasn’t pleased with those things….but the beautiful and deep truth highlighted in this song is,

what causes God to smile is when we simply bring ourselves to him.

He is worthy of our all – our best.

I pray that during the madness of the season you are able to block out the noise and simply give the King all he wants – you.

You make God smile.

REJOICE!

Season

Joy Bringer’s Advent

advent, christmas, joy

Day 1 – The candle of HOPE – Joy Bringer’s Advent

Have you ever been in a place so dark it was hard to even imagine light?

I have. I would bet you have as well.

Darkness can be scary. It can so easily consume us. In darkness, our senses are skewed, our perceptions are altered, and we can loose our grip on the truth.

It’s no wonder the enemy of our souls is also called both the prince of darkness and the father of lies.

Today is the first day of Advent. Traditionally, the first candle is lit – the candle of Hope.

Imagine with me for a moment that we are sitting together around a table. The lights are off and we can barely see. We know we are safe, but there is a void. Something is missing – the light, the source that gives us peace and confidence in our reality.

A match is struct and suddenly there is a glow. A warmth fills our room and lights up our surroundings. As we light the first candle, the candle of Hope, we are invited to remember the promise.

The world was dark and cold. Not because it was winter. Not because it was snowy. But because they had lost hope. They were buried beneath the weight of their sin. Their efforts to make things right fell short. They were in desperate need for a savior, and God, in His loving kindness, had a plan.

“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.”  – Isaiah 7:14

Emmanuel – God with us.

There was no greater gift than restoration of God with us. The garden, where God and man once dwelt together, was Eden – the place of delight. Now even in their sin, God would return. God with us. Hope for the future.

The promises of God are real. They are meant to restore hope in the darkness.

When we cannot see the light and joy of our future, we are called to remember what God has already said and done.

And here is the best part – Jesus has come. We are no longer waiting for a savior. We no longer have to bear the weight of our sin and shame. He is the answer to our every need. But still, you may be waiting. What is it that you are longing for? God hears your cry. God will answer your plea. He has before, and he will again.

In this moment, turn your attention to the faithfulness of God. What has he done for you? How has the mighty and loving hand of God touched your life? And what is he currently doing? Can you see it? Can you feel it?

I heard someone say, “If you can’t hear him, look for him. If you can’t see him, remember him.” This is the time to remember. God has done amazing things in your life, and it all began before you were even born.

It began with the promise of a baby, the Christ child, who would change your life forever.

Hope has a name – it’s Emmanuel, God with us.

Joyfully,

Season

PS – If you haven’t received the gift of Jesus, there is freedom and joy waiting just for you. I would love to introduce you to him! Contact me, seasonbowers@gmail.com

advent, christmas, joy, Uncategorized

Day 1 – ARRIVAL – Joy Bringer’s Advent

ad:vent
noun
the arrival of a notable person, thing, or event.

Confession. I have never known much, nor cared about the season of Advent. I recognize that there are people all over the world that include this in their holiday celebration, but I’ve never really been exposed to it or felt the space in my life to include something else – till now.

With very little searching (I told you, I don’t have much time!), I found that Advent has been celebrated ever since there were only three numbers in the year. While the focus has shifted and traditions vary,

the whole point of the Advent season is to turn our attention, intentionally, to the coming one – the original Joy Bringer, Jesus.

The world had waited for so long.  We needed a savior. We needed the promise fulfilled.  We needed hope, joy, and peace.  We needed the answer to the problem of sin. It was foretold but no one could see it. They thought they knew how it would happen. They looked, but not many had eyes to see. When he came, he brought so much more than they hoped. The season of Advent invites us to pause and recognize some of the gifts that the Christ child brought to the lonely and broken world, and receive them for ourselves today.

Most commonly, the season of Advent is marked by the lighting of five candles, one each Sunday leading up to Christmas, then the final one is lit on Christmas eve. Each candle has a theme and a verse of scripture to meditate on.

  • HOPE – 1st candle  – This first week celebrates the coming Messiah. It’s also traditionally called the Prophecy Candle. It centers around the prophetic declaration, “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Emmanuel.” Isaiah 7:14
  • LOVE – 2nd candle – Our attention is turned to the love that came down at Christmas. In Bethlehem, “This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Luke 2:12
  • JOY – 3rd candle – Fear was turned to great joy as the angels delivered the good news. “And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” Luke 2:8–11
  • PEACE4th candle –  The favor of God is here and it comes with peace! “Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13–14
  • FORGIVENESS5th candle – The good news wasn’t just for the Israelites, we all have the opportunity to receive freedom from our sin and shame. “Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” Isaiah 1:18

This Christmas I am determined to slow down, pause even, to take in all that the Lord wants to reveal to me. What about you? What are you waiting for in this season of your life? What does your heart long for? As we turn our attention to Him, we can trust that the Lord knows us deeply. As we connect our hearts to the Lord, and to each other, He is faithful to reveal His promises and the good news of great joy brought to us by his son, Jesus.

For the next 24 days I will be reflecting on the Joy of the season in the Joy Bringer’s Advent.

Will you join me?

Joyfully,

Season

PS. If you’re not already signed up as a Joy Insider, put in your email and get in on the joy! You’ll also receive a 28 days of joy digital devotional!

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Tell me your story

Tell me your story.

I want to know.

Your life matters. Your experience matters. Your story has the power to change other’s lives.

Believe it or not, you are apart of an incredible story – the greatest story ever told – the story of God’s love for the world, and YOU are a major player.

We have a tendency to think that our stories aren’t important so we live like it. We live as if our small existence is meaningless, fleeting, and uninteresting. But the truth is, every moment, every encounter, and every thought matters. There is a ripple effect that happens in this universe. Science tells us, to every action there is a reaction. The more we understand about our lives and the experiences we’ve had, the more we can take action to change the patterns and the trajectory of our lives.

When we begin to understand the story of God’s love for the world, the place in history where we find ourselves, and the power of our unique stories to effect others, we can go from living a life full of hopelessness and obscurity to one of power and purpose.

Your story matters.

It matters that you see yourself as the Lord does – full of possibilities! When you were created, there were great plans and dreams meant for you to live out. The Master Creator never creates mediocrity. The Lord doesn’t look at you and think, “meh, nothing special.” God sees you and marvels,

WOW! Look at my child! So much inside! So much to release! WATCH WHAT WE CAN DO TOGETHER!”

I heard a friend tell of a vision they had. It was a glimpse into a moment as the Lord was handing out scrolls of purpose. Each scroll, on the outside, was beautifully ornate but exactly the same. While what was written on the inside was different, each carried the same weight and value.

Your story is not my story.

My story is not your story.

Each of our stories are indeed different tales, but all play vital parts in the greatest story ever told. Each story is a gift meant to be shared.

What would happen if you began to live a life well told? What if you believed that what  you say and do could be a beacon of hope, power, and love that has the power to reach far beyond your natural reach (Matt. 5:14-16)? What might happen if you agree with the Lord – that you’re meant to do greater things than him (John 12:12-14)?

What would it take to change the world around you? That’s a big question, and the answer can be found in the story of Jesus and the woman at the well (John 4:1-42)

She encountered Jesus.

She told her story.

Everything changed.

Your story matters. It’s that powerful. It needs to be told.

Tell me your story.

Joyfully,

Season

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Stop looking! Why searching for your calling is actually holding you back.

The wrestle.

The angst.

The deep search for IT.

“What am I supposed to do?”

The desire to find the zone – the sweet spot – the place you’re meant to be to accomplish what you’re put on this earth to do is a nagging one.

Have you ever felt that itch of discomfort? You know, the one that keeps you distracted and discontented? It’s reminds you that what you’re doing now isn’t what you’re “supposed” to be doing. It keeps you in a perpetual state of comparison, disappointment, and impatience. If you’re in this place in your life, I want to say this…..

STOP LOOKING FOR IT! Stop waiting for the heavens to part and the yellow brick road of your calling that leads to the emerald city of your purpose to appear. We spend our time dabbling in this or that, starting and stopping all kinds of things waiting for something to click. We become the great detective looking over here and over there. I’m here to tell you, your calling isn’t over there.

STOP LOOKING AT THEM! Too often we get stuck looking around at others who are “fulfilling their calling” and we think, if only we could find that for ourselves, then we’d be really living. If you’re looking around wishing you could do what they’re doing, I’m here to tell you that you are not going to do what they are doing.

STOP LOOKING AT YOURSELF! We love to assess ourselves or be evaluated and hold on tight to the results as a prescription for our future. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the tests: Enneagram, Meyers Briggs, DISC, Strength Finders, SDI, you name it, I’ve taken it. There is huge value to learning about your personality but that’s not where you find your calling and purpose!

Don’t you think that the WIN for the enemy is to convince you that you’re on the sidelines? To get you to believe that you aren’t useful until that fateful day when your purpose is found? The tactic is to distract you and confuse you. To keep you looking everywhere else but where you are. When you sit and stare at those around you and twiddle your thumbs with self-pity you are buying the lie that you are useless.

Let me tell you the truth. God isn’t waiting on you to find your purpose. He isn’t limited because you haven’t been given a job, a chance, or a platform. The Lord isn’t waiting around for everything to align so you can really be productive.

What all of this does is breed resentment for the place you are right now. And the place you are right now NEEDS YOU. And contrary to popular belief, YOU NEED the palace you’re in. It’s so easy to look to the future and resent the now. But God doesn’t waste anything. What you are learning and experiencing right now is all intended to help you succeed in the future.

I’ve been there! I know all too well the angst of WHAT?! WHERE? WHEN?!

Your calling isn’t over thereit’s right here, right now.

Your calling isn’t what they are doingyou’re going to do what YOU’RE meant to do.

Your calling isn’t in youit’s a gift from the Lord. Look to him and find everything you need.

Your purpose doesn’t begin at the strike of midnight. When you stop LOOKING for it and start DOING whatever is right in front of you with all the passion, commitment and love you have to give, then you will be LIVING it.

God wants to take you deeper, higher, and farther than you can imagine. Trust that that is the plan and in the meantime make this your goal,

Put your heart and soul into every activity you do, as though you are doing it for the Lord himself and not merely for others.
Colossians 3:23 TPT

When you stop looking for IT and start living out your love for God in everything you do, you’ll find the real YOU – and that is your true calling.

Joyfully,

Season