Rear View Mirror

Counselors will say that reflection is a good thing.  It’s where we can see our life now in the reflection of what has happened or decisions we have made in the past, seeing where we have come from, in order to adjust our steps into the future.  It is also a way to “talk back” through what was said and done to allow a person to truly understand the situation they are currently going through or have experienced.

I am in agreement that reflection can be good.   BUT (yes there is always a but), reflection can be the very thing that invokes a paralysis of sorts that will either keep us bound in the place we are currently residing or even cause us to revert back to the comfortable places of the past (no matter how destructive they are). It may well be a cause for correction for the future to get back on track or send us on a detour of self reliance and pride that is fueled by anger, regret, bitterness or unforgiveness. In short, to quote Pastor Steven Furtick,  “our perspective can be our prison or our our passport”, what keeps us in bondage or what releases us to fly.

So now I reflect…on how I started this blog and where it is today.

Beginnings are always just endings of something else.  Like when you left home the first time, new beginning but ending of life as you knew it.  You looked in that rear view mirror until what was left behind disappeared into the horizon.  Or maybe what was behind was too painful to look at so you just didn’t look at all.  Either way, that ending was a new beginning.  And you were walking into what would become your new “normal”.

As I write today, I realize that this blog was birthed out of an ending that was coming, but not yet here, and I, in an effort to navigate my own future, tried to jump ahead to the new without allowing the door to close on the old.  Funny how we do that, wanting to hold on to both what is in front and what is behind all the while wondering why it is tearing us apart.  All that came from that was calamity, frustration and finally quitting.  No writing, no dreaming.

So in this I realized the proverbial “one door closes and another door opens” is not entirely the truth.  You see the choice is always ours.  True that one door opens, but our choice is to walk through the new door and close the old one behind us.  Or we can leave multiple doors open and try to hop in an out of them, never releasing one to fully walk into the next.  Which brings me to the next obstacle…the letting go.

You see, we have a choice to continue to look in that rear view mirror, to long for what has been, to be paralyzed by the mindsets of the past or let it go and move into the new place.  You simply cannot drive in two directions at once and expect to get anywhere!  Or walk through more than one door at a time and see any progress!  That is called making no progress! (some would say insanity!)

But we do exactly this.  Fear whispers that we can never do what is in front of us for multitudes of reasons, and comfort beckons us back to complacency and what will be death to the dreams of the future.  Competing voices…and always a choice…

So today I choose…I choose forward not backward, life not death, dreams not complacency, risk not security, passion not passivity, and Jesus…period.  One yes…one yes I said years ago but today with a renewed, passionate cry from my soul…YES!  Yes to what’s bigger than me, yes to crazy, wild, unimaginable trust and yes to the only One who can truly complete me and fill my soul to overflow.  There is SO much excitement ahead!

Today I look in the rear view mirror and allow many things of my yesterdays to fade into the distance.  Not sure what the future fully holds but knowing my future is in capable hands.  I choose to let go and drive forward, full speed ahead…and in the (somewhat modified) words of Peter Pan with Jesus sprinkled in…

“All it takes if faith, trust and a little ‘Jesus’ dust…to go to a place where dreams are born and time is never planned…”

Believe BIG my Soulife girls, this journey has just begun!  Will you say yes?  Will you allow yourself to dream again, and trust a Jesus who will never let you down? Who wants so much more for you than you ever imagined?

“…I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward-to Jesus.  I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:14 MSG)

Never think small…Never look back…A world in need of brave love and care that only you can give is in front of you!  Would love to hear from you…deesoulife1@gmail.com

Until next time…May God breathe new life into your Soulife!!!

Simplicity

For anyone who knows me, simple would not be a word used to describe me.

Generally crazy, wild and outrageous people are not simple.

And insecure overachievers are definitely not simple.

Yes, there is nothing simple about me.

But today I’m realizing there is even more to me than I realize.

I’m a bit like the old antique dresser I have.  I know thats a crazy analogy and I really should not call myself an antique but follow me for a minute.

This dresser came into my mom’s possession when I was a teenager.  My mom is a finder of things and a lover of old things.  This dresser was hiding out (or hiding behind as we will do) in what we call a “junk” shop with all the other cast away furniture of days gone by.  It was painted a lovely shade of cream but due to the many scratches and dents one knew it was not the only color it had been.  Most would look past and discard this piece.  That is unless you are able to look past the surface and see it’s “bones” (wow…that’s a different perspective).  Antiques are like that; it’s always more about the character of the piece than the actual appearance.  I fact the character usually enhances the outward appearance.  This old dresser had good “lines” as she would say and it was solid.  So we took her home for $25.00.

After some cleaning up and airing out (yes it was a bit smelly from abuse and then lack of use) it became my dresser.  Some time would pass and after a marriage and a move to the other side of the country, the dresser came to reside in a garage in the frozen north.  And it became my project.  Curiousity had gotten the best of me and I had to know what was under that paint.  So began what would be a much longer process than I realized.  What I didn’t know was that the cream paint was just one of many layers that now adorned my dresser.  So began the stripping process.

Pour the stripper, let it melt it away, scrap and sand it off.  Rinse and repeat…and repeat, and repeat, and repeat.  And that was just the easy surfaces first.  Then came the intricate areas.  Remember I said it had nice lines?  Well that means many areas for the paint to have settled in, never to come out.  No simple sanding here.  Chipping away was all I could do.  And did I mention that some of the paint had actually penetrated the original wood?  It was forever part of the surface.

A scar of sorts…a reminder. Of what had been but was now redeemed back.

Days turned into weeks and finally the original surface appeared.  Layer upon layer removed, sanded, chipped away, sanded a bit more until the original piece shone through.

And it was beautiful!

Inlaid wood, painstaking detail, turned legs, solid hardwood maple.  A masterpiece, just like you.

Yes there was more to it than I realized…and it was far more valuable than the $25.00 paid for it.  The shop owner just didn’t know what he had.

We are like that.  We never really know what we’re made of until the tearing away, the stripping down, the chipping away at all the hard to reach places happens. And sometimes we are discarded because people didn’t really know what they had beneath all the “layers”.

The complicated mess we’ve allowed ourselves to become is really a simple masterpiece created by the Master…the one who sees us beyond the surface life we’ve created.

Nothing complicated, yet so very intricate and valuable.

Nothing difficult, just a simple creation of love that fills His heart to overflow.

So who are you REALLY underneath the layers of life you’ve taken on?  Do you know there is a you with an outrageous purpose only you can fulfill?  Have you ever thought there was really more to you than what you’ve painted your surface to be?

People have often asked how to restore antique furniture and I do not have a standard response.  You see, like us, all the pieces are different, covered with different things and each requiring different methods of removal.  But as I look at myself it’s always been so simple, it is I, my own measure of who I am that complicates things.

So the raw reality is I’m just a hot mess girl, covered with less layers than before thanks to His grace and love, who is allowing the Master restorer to strip away until I am the me I was created to be.

So how about you?  Will you allow a small, nearly inaudible whisper of “yes” to escape your lips?  That’s all it takes…simple right? And the Master will gently begin the process.  Is it sometimes long? Yes.  Is is sometimes painful and uncomfortable? Yes.  Do you go it alone? Never!  Is is worth is all?  Absolutely!

One very simple Yes and the journey of restoration begins….Until next time…let it be well with your soul!

Dee

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11;28-29)