Tag Archives: God

What If We Stopped Asking Why?

September 5, 2016

Here is a guest post from the phenomenal Sherri Martin of LiveWonderstuck.com. Enjoy:

What if, just for today, we didn’t worry about why we are here? What if, just for today, we stopped asking, “God, why?” What if, just for today, we said, “I am open to Your wonder.” Then, what if, just for today, we paid attention to only what is right in front of us. What might we see, hear, and feel?

We might see how the light shines through the window like a spotlight, how it highlights the gentle curve of the couch arm. How have we never noticed this thing that we use every day? This thing that is both soft and sturdy. This thing that holds us when we are weary, that holds our loved ones.

We might see the mess of shoes by the door. Rather than fretting over tidiness, we might notice how each pair represents someone we love, how some lean on others and some laces intertwine. But isn’t that what family is? A mess of different styles, of different fits, jumbled together, being okay with showing their wear and tear.

Outside, we might see the flowers standing tall, boldly declaring their colors. And if we get closer, we will see how their petals are imperfect, asymmetric, dappled with holes, frayed at the edges, and still these flowers have the audacity to be seen. Do you?

What if, just for today, you stopped asking God why you are here and instead said, “I am here, God. Give me the audacity to see and be seen. Not at some future point when I think I am perfect and ready, but now, God, when you know that I am imperfect and that I am ready anyway.”

What might today look like?

When God Calls, It’s Not a Misdial

August 26, 2015

So, I took an e-hiatus for the birth of my baby girl, Calia, who entered the world in early June. She is an immense blessing and a humbling gift.

My recent transformation into momhood came with delivery trauma, breastfeeding woes, postpartum anxiety and a surge of can-never-do-enough motherly guilt. Every new mom seems socially compelled to blanketly say, “All worth it,” to avoid judgment over their humanity and a feeling of, “I’m doing this wrong if I don’t feel blissful.”

I love my daughter endlessly. In fact, I was inspired to invent our own little ILY testimony: “Do you know how much momma loves you? Around the whole wide universe and back + the space in between (opening arms to demonstrate this space and welcome her in for cuddles).” I soak in the precious coos, big baby stretches, expressive faces, simultaneous hand-feet motions and new capabilities (this week was blowing raspberries and folding hands in a prayer-like pose). I’m all in with my baby girl.

However, I would not be a truth teller if I didn’t admit that the last three months came with lots of tears, sleepless nights, painful body aches and a feeling of being adrift. I prayed a lot. Micro prayers, help me cries, gratitude shout outs, watch-over-my-sweet-baby pleas and lots of show-me-the-way requests. Those prayers showed me that, as a mom and an individual, my knees was the best place to show up.

At times, I felt like the Lord was sitting quietly in wait for me to suck it up or rise to the occasion of motherhood. I felt moments of distance from God in a time that I was sure would bring me closer to Him. I even wondered if I was just so fractured from giving birth that I was no longer worthy of hearing the Spirit. The deceiver knows how to plant doubts and foster fear in times of weakness.

The key for me was to remember that I can call on Him at all times but that does not necessarily mean I will get more than His voicemail, until He is ready to reveal Himself or His plan. What God was doing for me—although I was too exhausted to see it at the moment—was remind me that He was in charge, that my well-being needed nurturing too and that His gift of my daughter was “enough” for that period of time. He was there in her. He was there in me. He was there in my husband’s support. He was there in my friends. He was there in each new dawn. He was there when I kneeled. He was there when I broke down in tears. He was there listening and loving through it all.

As I returned to work last month, my hybrid life of new mom and bold freelancer collided into an internal conflict of where to focus and how to function. Again, I called out to the Lord, asked for clarity and direction, begged for wisdom and hoped beyond hope that I would do right by my daughter. I waited for an answer. I waited some more. I checked my spiritual inbox and felt like all I was hearing was silence. I felt depleted and uncertain how to achieve the dream I had envisioned—holding my baby as she drifted peacefully off for long naps, as I typed in a sunlit room and streamed classical music to enhance her learning slumber . . . or taking calls as I played on the floor with her, immersing her in shapes, colors, textures and smiles. Instead, my intuitive little girl stirs for every call, has food intolerances that trigger gassy distress and bats away technology with her knowing little hands. She’s smart, quirky and perfect exactly as she is. And, as God often works, she is helping me paint an entirely new reality, where I optimize my 2-5 a.m. work time, put away technology while I’m breastfeeding or playing with her, and set boundaries. This allows me to show her that momma works, momma cooks, momma talks to others . . . but, most of all, momma is there to comfort, feed and laugh when I need her.

With the threads of enlightenment slowly emerging and some small pattern in place for now, I took time to reflect on my purpose and path. My giftings (hope, wisdom, mercy and faith) were stirring in new ways, calling me out to do more. But how could I do more if I was already struggling to parent, work and sleep? Ah, but in that vulnerability, God called. I was sure for a moment that it was a wrong number, that He was pranking me or that I just imagined it. Nope. When God calls, it’s not a misdial.

Why is He calling me now? Well, that’s oddly simple. He wanted me to be at a humble place, ready for His direction. He knew I needed to truly be hungry for His guidance. He had to show me that at no time in life within this fractured world will everything move out of the way to fall comfortably into place. He had to let it sink in that Calia is His child first. He helped me to see, by calling me now, that His grace is sufficient. The Spirit is always there breathing and pushing me toward His greater purpose, not based on my calls or timeline but His.

What is He calling me to do? Well, that’s between us. But I can say that it’s not so much do as embrace. I hear the call to be a light worker, to find new ways to share hope, to help the grieving to heal and to share Spirit-driven insight. Like any good parent, He’s calling me to be still and truly listen . . . because He said so and knows best.

Open Heart, Clear Head

February 19, 2014

Do your greatest hopes ever scare you?

It’s an honest question. One I was called to ponder over the last 10 days or so. Hopes are beautifully diverse, varying in intensity and impact.

Some hopes are like happy sprinkles on the cupcake of life (yes, mine would be gluten-free, dairy-free and oh so chocolatey, but that’s beside the point) such as hoping it doesn’t rain, hoping for a call back on a key question or hoping for a sale at your favorite store. There is nothing at all wrong with hoping for these tidbits of delight and comfort. These are the hopes that simply make me smile.

Other hopes seem aspirational and may be related to career growth, an opportunity to experience something or, perhaps, resculpting your physical body. These have definite merit, and are tied more to progressive concepts or positive changes. Many times, they have an associated timeline, an expectation of completion or a destination. These are the hopes that call me to act as your cheerleader.

Our next set of hopes is related to more intimate interactions like the hope for the recovery of a loved one, the hope to be a parent, the hope of lasting partnership or the hope to regain spiritual balance. This category of hopes is often more reverent, strikes deeper chords and, for some, comes with self-imposed pressure or angst. These are the hopes I pray are answered for you.

Then, ah yes, there are the hopes that are woven into our very core. The hopes that bubble up from a few inches outside the heart, race to the mind, bounce around our consciousness and bring a flush to the skin. Hopes like this can jog loose past hurts, unspoken longings and our most raw energies. These hopes may have been carefully submerged under the pull and push of our everyday lives, only to reveal themselves boldly when we encounter a person, awareness or opportunity beyond our expectations.

So, what then? Your hope bursts forth like fireworks, an onslaught to your senses and a dizzying jolt to your entire system. Do you let doubt rush in? Do you fortify your walls to keep yourself from potential harm? Do you embrace it fully? Do you absolutely let go?

For me, I was blessed to encounter two deeply spiritual people who fit instantly. One a teacher and friend across time, with a heart of gold and a graceful energy truly beyond words. I could not decide whether to laugh, cry or rejoice in song. So, I did all of that. Wow. Such encounters are amazing. It opened my heart entirely and inspired a solace that passes explanation.

The second knocked me right into a weightless spin. This person embodied a hope that I had all but abandoned . . . believed could not ever manifest. God likes to show me I’m wrong. This driven individual challenges me, makes me belly laugh, somehow seems to “get” my quirky ways and has a heart that has been bounced around like mine—only to keep beating strong and loud. By entering my life, this amazing spirit shook loose my defenses, uncovered my hesitations and made me reflect at length about whether a hope can be “too good to be true.” Mind you, all of this is blessing enough. But, as a truly experiential being, I look forward to further discovery.

Does it freak me out? Actually, yes. But the best things often do at first. I’m not used to being seen. What do I hope for now? The grace to simply be present, the clarity to let all my walls crumble and the passion to show the world what the full glory of hopeful sunshine looks like.

No matter what transpires or how long this journey lasts, I surrender. Thank you, God, for keeping me guessing.

Dear December

December 1, 2013

Sunrise Snow

As you make your way onto the scene, I have a few small requests.

Please let hope shine in every light, twinkle from every tree and sparkle in the eyes of every child. Let it be a light of heavenly glory and deepest gratitude. Let it be the hope that glows from each heart and inspires playful celebration.

Please watch over the grieving, the lonely and the hurting. Let the depressed discover God’s grace and feel the support of the universe. Let it be a hope that heals, a hope that comforts and a hope that transforms pain into strength.

Please safeguard the unwell, the addicted and the homeless. Let the vices and crutches fall away against the resilience of hope. Let each precious soul be protected and cherished as the invaluable being that it is. Let their families be held in hopeful prayer.

Please deliver hope to the hungry, the orphaned and the jobless. Let them be able to hope for more than survival and the essential love that we all crave. Let them find nourishment, safe shelter and the light of a hopeful hearth to warm them into the new year.

December, the icy chill of winter need not fill our hearts. Snowflakes, like people, are unique and sometimes fall . . . may we all focus on the blessings around us, the beautiful journey and the hopeful knowledge that we are united in a global community of infinite love.

As we close 2013, gently remind us that giving without expectation is the greatest exercise of hope and that loving without exception is the greatest testimony to joy.

God bless one and all,

Sara