Faith Like Baking Powder

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Sequential. That’s the way recipes work. Sometimes doing things in a particular order is crucial to a recipe coming out the way it looks in the picture. Specifically with baking. Now I’m not much of a cook,
but I do find myself heating up the kitchen now and then making cookies, brownies, cakes, and other
sweets to please my two ladybugs, Sky and Rain. Step by step and ingredient after ingredient, about 30 minutes later you have yourself a yummy treat…it’s that simple right? Well for the most part it is, assuming that you include every ingredient and that your measurements are correct.

To read the rest of my blog and find out how faith is like baking powder, please join me as I guest post on: http://www.sheisblankspace.com/blog/having-faith-like-baking-powder

Praying you have Faith Like Baking Powder this week…..

Hope and a Wire

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The man whose picture you see above is Philippe Petit.  Known all over the world as the one who conquered the 1,850 ft. high, tightrope walk across the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers in 1974.  Undoubtedly Petit’s most famous walk, yet definitely not his only one.   Crowds gathered at about 7 or so in the morning to witness the amazing feat being gracefully carried out by Petit as he walked back and forth between the two towers showcasing his skill and expertise on nothing but Hope and a Wire!

Certainly there were distractions; the murmuring of the cops telling him he was crazy and needed to get off the wire, the gusts of wind threatening to throw Petit into the bottomless abyss, and the roar of the turbo jet engines from the airplane that abruptly entered the scene.  All were valid threats but none were powerful enough to stand between a man and his dream!

Petit had been preparing for this walk for 6 years.  By the time he carried it out he was completely equipped to do so both physically and mentally.  He had everything he would need to be successful that morning; resolve, patience, passion, destination and his wire. The only thing that could hold Petit back at that point was himself.   

For 45 minutes he danced upon the wire, becoming one with it, using its tension to his advantage, and displaying his mastery over it in an ever so respectful way.  When he finally stepped off, he did so careful not get ahead of himself and with great reverence finished what he started!   

Oh, if only we would learn to walk our wire with the same esteem Petit had for his!  Not allowing the noise of our naysayers, the noise of this world, and the noise of interruptions to gain any advantage over our walk.  That our determination would be such, that the voice of the adversary would be forever silenced by the hope of a vivid dream.

Our reminder, a constant one of how a dream giving G-d has equipped us with resolve, patience, passion and destination to carry out every idea that takes up any place in our heart. That we would learn to use the strain and pressure of our situation as a refinement tool preparing us to more effectively reach our destination, all the while never losing respect for the process.  And most importantly, getting to know our wire.   …Most wire walkers die at the very end, just as they are about to arrive.  They think they have arrived but are still on the wire and step off prematurely. 

We’re not there till we’re there!    

 

Praying you’re carrying out your dreams today on Hope and a Wire!

The Uninvited Guest

Esther.  That would be the one.

If there is a character in the bible that I can most relate to, it would be her.  We all have one.  That one person we identify with above all the rest.  Of course we always think it is because of the strengths this person displayed when in reality it is all about the weaknesses they battled.

sceptre

…Yes, I meant to write that.

It is the flaw that causes us to make the connection with these characters and not so much the victory although that too is undoubtedly a part of the attraction.

Esther: an average girl turned royalty.

100% me…the average girl part that is.

Oils, spices, and ointments were all at Esther’s fingertips.  Kingdom affairs, riches, and power were all at her disposition, but her most valuable advantage was access to the king.

Yet this access was limited to when she was invited to appear before him.  Approaching the inner court without an invitation could cost Esther her life.  For this reason she had to remain in an acceptable form pleasing to the king at all times as he could summon her at a moment’s notice.

But as life can sometimes do, Esther was put in a desperate situation and she approached the king’s throne as an Uninvited Guest.  Though she wore her royal apparel, the burden of her situation weighed heavy on her person.

And to her surprise, the king extended his golden scepter to her so that she might live.

Like Esther, I have been the uninvited guest many a time.  Though I have been called to remain in an acceptable form pleasing to the king at all times, it is more the times that I haven’t been than the times I have.

I have approached His throne weighed down by a million and one things…regrets, confusion, doubts, disappointments, fears…all the things that have no place in front of a flawless king.  And just as I think He is going to reject me…He extends his golden scepter to me and welcomes me to the inner court.

Many things are offered by this world…riches, fame, power, but I have come to understand that my most valuable advantage is access to the king; even as an Uninvited Guest.

The Hard Thing

As many of you know I had the opportunity to speak to a Christian group in Pakistan via skype recently. When I first received the invitation, I can tell you I was both excited and hesitant at the same time. I mean it’s no secret that Christianity is not exactly accepted in Pakistan.

– Who exactly was this group?

– What were they teaching the people in the group?

– Were our beliefs the same?

-Would their views align with mine?

is anything to hard for god

These were just some of my concerns as I contemplated whether or not this was something I wanted to do. After kicking the idea around and after having a conversation with the voice of reason <my mom>, I realized I really didn’t have a choice in the matter. It was an assignment given to me by G-d and not only would I carry it out, but I would carry it out with a cheerful heart.

Blessed to be a blessing were her exact words!!

…And she knew exactly what she was talking about like all good momma’s do.

You see this group reminded me of how we ought to ask G-d for The Hard Thing.

About 20 of them gathered in what seemed to be an empty room with a banner displaying their name in the back. On their knees and sitting in rows on the floor they greeted me with the most genuine smiles showing both appreciation and reverence. I’m not sure if my favorite part was when they asked me to sing a worship song or when they waved hello at me through the camera. And for those of you who know me, you can breathe now…No, I did not sing! I’ll save that for the next time <wink, wink>

My message was about G-d’s faithfulness. Yet in spite of the fact that I was the one who brought the Word, I can tell you that they were the ones that brought the testimony!

There was no fancy sanctuary filled with comfortable chairs, nor were their flashy lights or top of the line instruments. All there was, was a people who had learned to ask and depend on G-d for The Hard Thing.

  • For peace amongst the turmoil

  • For water in the dry place

  • For protection in the middle of the chaos and violence

For all the things that you and I take for granted every day because they come with our territory.

You see for them, this is The Hard Thing. What can only happen on a daily basis with the intervention of a faithful G-d.

Like always, my mother was right…the blessing was for me. I will not settle for the little things but will confide in an all-powerful G-d to perform The Hard Thing(s) in my life.

Praying you do the same….

I’m Getting My Groove Back

40…yeah that was the magic number!  I certainly wasn’t going to be one of those women.  Long beautiful flowing hair from the back that leads you to think she’s 16, but one glance at her from the front and you realize she’s actually 60.

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Just as my birthday approached is when I made up my mind…long hair after 40 was a Don’t for me… and so I chopped it all off!

It was basically an overnight decision.  I made the appointment at the salon, went in and without remorse watched as they swept away my mane which was enough to make a wig or two out of.

I left feeling light and refreshed and as if 20 years had been taken off me…ok, maybe not 20 but at least 10.

I’m not sure what it is about milestones in our lives.  But they cause us to do some of the craziest things.  Things that we would normally not do.

That was October of last year and today as only time can do, it has revealed certain truths that 9 months ago I wouldn’t have understood.

You see my whole life I never had the courage to cut my hair past my bra strap.  It was as if though my identity was found in my hair.  Without it, I just knew I wouldn’t feel like myself and all my strength and everything pretty about me would be gone.  But turning 40 and believing that crazy story about long hair at 40, pushed me to finally take the step I had been scared to take my whole life.

Although it seemed to be about the hair, it really wasn’t.

It was about a mindset!  

…A mindset that was comfortable with the familiar and didn’t want to let go of what it had always known. A misplaced identity that didn’t know how to separate physical beauty from internal value and worth.  Both of which kept me

growing something for so long for the wrong reasons.

None of the things I thought would happen when I cut my hair happened.

-The sky didn’t fall

-Elephants didn’t fly

-I didn’t lose my strength

-….and the Jensing still thinks I’m cute

The only thing that changed was my mindset.  Because sometimes we have to cut things off in order that they may grow back at a different time and for the right reasons.

Whether short or long, my hair isn’t the sum of me but just an expression!  Short was fun while it lasted but now it’s growing and I’m getting my groove back!

The Invisible Man

The Invisible Man huh?  Sounds a little cartoony or maybe straight out of a superhero movie?  Well that’s not exactly the invisible man I’m referring to.  The invisible man I speak of can be our next door neighbor, our co-worker, the person sitting next to us at church, or even the one we work out with at the gym.

invisible-drowningThe invisible man can be anyone.

About two weeks ago we were in Orlando on a short weekend vacation.  As we were hunting down a place to go for breakfast, we exited the highway and came to a stop light right at the bottom.  Now this was no ordinary light.  In fact, to call it long is an understatement.  We sat at the light and it wasn’t until several minutes later, just as the light was about to turn green, that I noticed someone who had been standing there the whole time.  He tiredly held up his cup and just as I took notice of him, Rain asked from the back seat if we could give him some change.

How could I have possibly not noticed him?  He was in my face the whole time and I would hardly say he was easy to miss.

But just as Rain filled his cup and he stood at our car window, I caught sight of something even harder to miss than his physical self; the pain in his eyes.

Now, G-d truly has a sense of humor!  It seemed that for the rest of the week following that incident, I continued to run into invisible men and women everywhere.

About 2 days later as I scrolled down my FB news feed, I came across a picture of someone I hadn’t seen in a long time.  In fact, it had been so long that I had forgotten we were friends on FB.  But when I read the post more carefully I realized it was a memorial.  How could it be?  We taught the same grade level, were classroom neighbors, laughed and had lunch together.  What did I miss?  Had she always suffered from this depression…the one that would lead her to take her own life?

There are invisible men and women everywhere.  Some blend in with our city streets such as this homeless man and yet others blend in with the crowd.  Some function in society and others don’t.  But the pain is just as real for both.   It’s a pain that masquerades itself with smiles and normality, and fears being discovered because of what “they” might think.   

It’s a deep rooted, raw pain.  One that if left undisturbed will grow and grow and choke the life out of its host.

Its antidote is a well-adjusted mind.  The kind that comes only from guarding ours because everything we do flows from it (Proverbs 4:23). 

If you are living with this kind of pain today, know it is not G-d’s fullest plan for you.  Reach out to those around you and come out of the shadows.

 

– No matter who they are or where they come from, every person on earth has two identities.  The way they see themselves and the way the world sees them.  I pray your eyes would be open to the invisible people around you and that you would offer a hand of hope.

A Pinch of Desire

Those who know me can tell you that I am not a “cook”.  The kitchen is the last place you can willingly find me, but of course out of obligation < husband and two lady bugs that insist on eating everyday> I do spend a lot of time there.  However, on occasion I have to admit that a good recipe catches my eye, and since it seems that recipes are floating all around social media, I get inspired to make my way into the kitchen and experiment.   Because even us “non-cookers” have our occasional motivation!

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So I’d like to share with you today a recipe you might find useful.  I hope it gets you cookin’, though not necessarily in the kitchen.  Please make a note of the following items that you will need for this recipe:

INGREDIENTS:

  • A pinch of Desire

  • ½ teaspoon of faith

  • 1 heaping cup of effort

  • 1 ½ cups of persistence

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Any good cook can tell you that all good recipes begin as a thought before they ever hit the kitchen table. Have you ever had an idea, thought, concept, or something you’ve wanted to do but has never matured past the state of being just that; an idea?  If you have, you’re in the right company.  It is this idea that will be your “pinch of desire” in this recipe. Because every big plan starts off as a small idea first.  Oh, and don’t let the “pinch” fool you.  Some of the best recipes most important ingredient is the smallest in dose.

 

  1. And speaking of small doses, we will need to add ½ teaspoon of faith to our pinch of desire.

    Faith, like baking powder, will act as our leavening agent in this recipe.

    Once we put it into the mix, it will grow the dream.  It will make our desire rise and reach its maximum potential.  We don’t need a lot of it to begin with because

    faith is one of those unique ingredients that multiplies itself.

 

  1. Once those two ingredients are mixed, set them aside and in another bowl add 1 cup of effort. You will need an electric mixer or you can mix it by hand.  Keep beating the effort until all clumps are gone.  You may get tired of mixing but keep going and give it all you’ve got.  You must fully exert yourself and put in all your energy.  Don’t mix it on low, make sure the setting is on high.  (Warning: This is the point you may begin to feel like giving up because it no longer feels like fun but instead feels like work…keep pushing).

 

  1. While continuing to beat the effort, slowly begin to add 1 ½ cups of persistence. Mix it in at a consistent pace.  Making sure that the persistence is equally measured and you are not putting in more at the beginning than at the end.

 

  1. Mix all ingredients together and put it in to bake. The temperature will rise and test your dedication, commitment, and patience.  But whatever you do, do not pull it out until it’s done!  Set the timer on, and when it goes off you will have taken a pinch of desire and turned it into an accomplished dream!

 

Enjoy!

Do Not Resuscitate

I had never heard the term before… – DNR- , what exactly did it mean?  All I knew was that we were being encouraged to sign one, as at that point nothing else could be done.  It was 4 years ago today that my father showed me what a DNR was.  He passed away undisturbed, without any pain, and his body was allowed to just go through the process.  After all, that’s what we wanted, the least invasive, most natural death possible.

DNR

Hesitant at first to listen to the doctors who made such a recommendation, it slowly began to make sense.  The time for him to go was soon approaching and trying to keep him alive with CPR would just contribute to a more painful death.  Though it’s never easy to make such a decision, without a doubt, at times it really is best.

Do Not Resuscitate. 

I think back today at the place I was in mentally 4 years ago and how so much has changed.  Where in the days leading up to my father’s death I was having a hard time letting go and understanding that keeping him alive was not the most beneficial thing, today I see it clearly.

But DNR’s are not strictly for those lying on a hospital bed.  In fact, DNR’s extend far beyond the hospital room and into our daily lives.  In this 4 year reflection period that I’ve been having, I can think of many other things in my life that have come to an end, many of which I should have let die years ago.   Yet some have remained around much longer than they should have because I have kept giving life to that which was already expired.  In return for this life extension, I have received many heartaches, sleepless nights, and drawbacks because

resuscitating something that’s meant to die only brings pain.

I’d like to blame it on ignorance, and say that many times I haven’t known better.  But the truth is that my first responder complex has been the culprit.

My father taught me a very valuable lesson that day.

Some things in life just have to die.

Next week, I have the privilege to speak to a beautiful group of women called the LILIES.  I will share with them my experiences of letting certain things in my life live on way past the time they should have. I’m believing that they too will reflect on what they have been giving a life extension to, and that by the end of the day they will commit to sign a DNR with me.

Because somethings in life do not need to be resuscitated!

 

Believing you are letting go of the expired things this week!

The Event Planner

I don’t remember ever taking logistics in school but it was certainly amongst the courses offered.  It never called my attention back then and I can’t say that much has changed.  I mean, figuring out all the little details of anything has always been tedious work for me.   Yet at the same time the little details are what make up the big picture.

Just Show Up 2

Just this weekend the Jensing and I were analyzing our options of schooling for Sky as she gets ready to go into high school next year.  Boy oh boy, was that a process!  The choice as far as which school was a better selection was quite obvious, but did I get stuck in the logistics of this decision or what?!  Transportation, school hours, after school activities etc.  By the end of our conversation I was drained!

Of course these are things that need to be thought out and planned, but is there such a thing as too much planning?  Well I suppose that would depend on whether or not we step from planning into control.

This morning, in keeping with the planning overload we experienced yesterday, it seems I woke up ready for round two.  The only difference was that I switched subjects.  I found myself beginning to worry about an event I will be attending later this month -over which details I have no control-, and wondering about how I could make sure every specific would function according to my satisfaction. 

This was control at its finest working undercover as planning.

I quickly caught myself and that’s when it hit me, “Just Show Up”.

I mean, after all, who died and made me the Event Planner for every single affair in life?!

You see, as much as I’d like to know how every aspect of anything I am remotely involved in will work out, sometimes it’s not for me to know.

It was then that I remembered that I have a fulltime Event Planner on staff that is there to work out all the factors of all my occasions and I simply have to …show up.

-Life is certainly easier when someone is working out the details for you!

 

Have a Blessed Week!