Thursday, September 22, 2011

Fall Leaves

I adore crisp, cool weather! Sweaters, and hot chocolate, and wood smoke – oh my! Those first cool days also start the amazing process of the appearance of color in the leaves. Which got me thinking….Did you know that leaves are not actually green? They appear to be green, but in reality, leaves are different colors depending on the variety of the tree, the amount and type of pigment present, the amount of water and sunlight, and the temperatures. Chlorophyll is what causes the leaves to appear green during the growing season, masking the true colors of the leaves. But as days grow shorter and nights cooler, the production of chlorophyll slows down and the true pigments shine through. How would you describe your true colors? The “real” you that is revealed when you move into a new season?

When we are in a season of health and growth, our lives are fairly stable. We may hit an occasional bump here or there, but overall, we just go with the flow. What happens, then, when the cold sets in? What happens when our normal lives come to a screeching halt? What happens when we are moved into a new season? Our true self is revealed. It has been there all along, masked by normalcy, exposed by change.

For leaves, the revealing of their true colors is breathtaking. But have you ever noticed how some years the leaves seem more vibrant than others? How some years the trees defy nature with colors incredibly intense? It all depends on what kind of healthy season they’ve had. According to the USDA Forest Service, temperature and moisture are the main influences in the amount and brilliance of colors during an autumn season. Sunlight and consistent moisture produce lots of sugars, nourishing the leaf and intensifying underlying pigments.

Our true colors in the trials and difficulties of life are firmly established by the choices we make in the healthy, growing seasons. Basking in the SON and nourishing our soul with Living Water produces a strong, vibrant Christian. We are filled with the sweet fruit of His promises, intensifying our love and devotion. Seeking, yearning, surrendering to His will leads to a brilliant display of His splendor.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. The green pigment of the leaf is temporary. The true color lies beneath. Cultivate your true colors. Feast daily on His Word and be renewed. Live purposefully, with hope. Then rejoice when the seasons change, revealing in you an intense, vibrant life in Christ.

Friday, September 2, 2011


I spoke in chapel at Piedmont this week and have been so moved by what God laid on my heart that I feel I must share it with more of you. In preparation for chapel, I always pray for wisdom and the words that God wishes to share through me with those students. I was struggling with the message this time. I spent hours searching through ideas and lessons online, seeking inspiration. Monday evening I passed up two different events to stay home and work on the lesson, but at six o’clock I received a phone call that changed my plans. Knowing I would now be spending my evening in the waiting room at Patient First, I grabbed a word search book and headed out the door. While I searched for random words, I continued praying, asking God to reveal to me what it was He wanted me to say. And He did. The message He had for me was about seeking – the process He has for getting us where He wants us to be! It was amazing! I smiled thinking about how clever He was, having me experience the message first hand!

Even though I know the definition for the word “seek”, I investigated it a bit further. To seek is to search for something. And searching involves a thorough examination, a careful look. Examining is studying the details. And part of studying is taking time to consider. I dug into His Word to find what it is He wants us to seek, to examine, to study and consider.

the Lord Almighty (Zech 8:22), humility (Zeph 2:3), righteousness (Zeph 2:3), instruction (Malachi 2:7), His Kingdom (Matt 6:33), justice (Isaiah 1:17), truth (Jer 5:1), peace (Jer 29:7), His face (Psalm 105:4), refuge in God (Prov 14:32), advice (Prov 20:18), counsel (2 Chron 18:4), favor (Psalm 45:12), Him earnestly (Job 8:4-6), help from the Lord (Is 31:1), His glory (John 7:18), to do good (Romans 2:6-7)

And our seeking will not be in vain. If we seek Him - we will find Him; He will hear us, forgive us and heal us; He will restore us; we will receive blessings; He will keep us safe; He will hide us in the shelter of His sacred tent; He will set us upon a rock; we will lack no good thing; we will be satisfied; our hearts will live; we will rejoice and be glad; we will be blessed; we will receive knowledge and guidance; we will find a resting place; prosperity; showers of righteousness; truth; and eternal life.

It’s just like my word search. Completing the puzzle is a process. There are words that must be sought out – one at a time. Some are easily found, while others are more obscure. There are even times when I have to put down the puzzle incomplete. But often, when I return and see the puzzle in a new light, the word is revealed.

There are so many answers we seek in this life. Matthew 6:33 tells us exactly where to start. Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Seek Him first. Examine and study His Word. Spend time with Him in prayer, listening and considering His will. Practice seeking.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity. Jeremiah 29:11-14a

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Have you ever observed hummingbirds? My parents have a "hummingbird hangout" on their front porch. Late summer brings large numbers of these fascinating flyers as they prepare to journey south for the winter. They feast in a frenzy of zipping and diving and chasing one another, their high pitched chattering heard above the buzzing of unseen wings. While waiting for my parents to return home one Sunday evening from an outing with my children, I sat on the front porch in stillness and watched. I counted at least ten hummingbirds visible at one time, vying for the four precious spots on the feeder. One hummingbird, more aggressive than the rest, spent much of its time chasing off the others – all for a sip of sweet nectar that lasted for mere seconds. In moments of stillness like this, I often hear the whispers of the Spirit. What if all His precious children were as eager as those hummingbirds to feast on the sweet truths hidden in His Word? What if our sole purpose each day was to stay near the Savior so we wouldn’t miss an opportunity to be filled with His goodness? What if we actively defended our closeness with the Lord by chasing away the distractions that clamor for our time. Hummingbirds are focused on the nectar. They may zip and buzz around, occasionally landing in a nearby tree for a moment’s rest, but their primary goal is a sip of the sweet, life sustaining juice. Time alone with God is what sustains us as Christians. He must be our focus. We must seek Him in all we do, consistently hovering in His presence so as not to miss the sweet gifts He has prepared. Filling up on His love and goodness is what gives us hope and encouragement for the journey ahead.

Praying that you experience moments of stillness and whispers of love among the busy buzzing of today.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Sea Glass

During a recent trip to the beach, my children and I became fascinated with sea glass. There is a lot of interesting debris washing up on beaches, including pieces of broken glass, but true sea glass has distinct qualities that make it a more precious find. As pieces of glass are tossed by the waves and currents and tumbled through sand and grit, the once sharp edges become smooth. Prolonged abrasion, however, causes the glass to become opaque, having almost a gritty finish. This process takes decades to achieve, increasing the rarity and making each find a treasure.

On the last day of our trip, I was walking the beach with eyes peeled, and I began contemplating the refining of the precious sea glass. A piece of broken, discarded glass becomes valuable after being “roughed up.” I was reminded of God’s reassurance in James 1:1-3, Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. Consider it pure joy when life roughs you up – not because God wants us to suffer, but because He is using those trials to refine us, to make us complete. A beautiful creation in His image. And in 2 Corinthians 4:17, For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. Our troubles don’t often feel light or momentary. In fact, most of us would probably describe our troubles as oppressive and continual. But in the light of eternity, our troubles are negligible. And, they are not in vain! They are part of our journey through the narrow gate that leads to eternal life.

My searching paid off as I found several pieces of sea glass in the early morning hours on that quiet stretch of beach. Suddenly, all those hours of searching faded away. I had a treasure – an old piece of broken glass made beautiful by the sands of time. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 2:23-24)

I long to be a precious treasure in the eyes of Jesus. I pray that my mind will be set on things above as I endure trials and tribulations. I pray that I will persevere in the waters of life where I can be refined rather than sitting it out along the shore. And I pray that God will take the broken pieces of my life and create something beautiful. I pray that I will be patient as the Lord works to finish what He has started in me so that when I wash up on the shore of Heaven, the Lord will rejoice in His precious find and welcome me as a treasure into His Kingdom.

Thursday, August 4, 2011


Welcome to my blog - Seeking Stillness! I am so excited about sharing how God reminds me in the little things each day that He is God! Enjoy!