Sunday, May 17, 2015

Getting What You Don't Even Pray For
(How Incredible Is That?!)

We don't have some things, because we don't ask God for them. James 4 tells us that. I also believe that as we delight ourselves in the Lord, He gives us the desires of our heart. (Psalm 37:4)

Sometimes God answers when we don't even ask for the desires of our heart. Perhaps it's because we don't see how God would do it within our current structure. Translation: our current box.  We forget that His ways and His thoughts are higher than ours. (Isaiah 55) He can give us our desires even when it doesn't seem feasible at all. He is truly omniscient. I love that, and so much more about Him. 
 
I'm a homebody at heart. Most would never guess it, but at the core I'm an introvert who could live in my pajamas, with a dog by my side, writing books until Jesus comes back. But  I was convinced  that one day upon retirement I was going spend my days in between pj's and book writing, taking road trips. These jaunts would be for purpose of encouraging leaders. It wasn't about traveling to make a presentation. My passion is looking into a fellow leader's eyes and let them know somebody cares. I've reached out to colleagues online and over the phone for years, because perhaps nothing fires me up or fulfills me more than to help people by speaking a kind word or praying in person.

Sights on the way to Wauchula this past Saturday
Driving through the country is another passion of mine. Give me the boondocks! Let me go to the mailbox in my nightie and not be seen by a soul, please. Give me a dirt road. Since my husband does not share this passion and is a lover of all things city life, the neighborhood where we live now is a stretch for him.  And, riding through the countryside is not something I've had a lot of time for, during most of our ministry.
 
 When we are on vacation I often ask Larry to stop the car and I pull over so I can take a photo --- especially of churches.  Sometimes I lament, "Boy, I sure do wish this was a time the pastor was here. I'd go in and give him or her a kind word." My husband isn't into stopping to take photos or meeting a stranger. He's more interested in how fast he can get wherever he's going. 

Prior to last May, I was so engrossed in co-pastoring our church as well as part time career coaching, there was only time to travel elsewhere to minister about one weekend a month although it sometimes stretched to more. And sometimes I would feel like I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Last May when I had the honor of becoming women's ministries director for PenFlorida, I made the leap of faith of transitioning to the district office full time. Anyone who knows me well knows, this was not on my radar at all. But God knew! 

I don't work at the church office anymore (I just attend/participate in services) and resigned my job as a career coach. This was a huge risk for me, as I don't like to fail and quite honestly was afraid that I might. I've never been fired in my life.  I was aware of much of what the role of director of women's ministries entails, but I underestimated the amount of time I'd be on the road.

 People ask me if I mind it. 

 Mind it? It's my dream come true minus the staying in pj's with a dog by my side. (Although I'm still writing books.) Preaching wasn't part of this little dream of mine, but speaking is one of my gifts, so it works.

And to think, it happened waaaaaaay before retirement! (smile) I work extremely long hours, and am not complaining one bit. Hard work is my strong suit. I have never been more fulfilled. I adore all of our state and the many cultures represented on our peninsula. I do have to admit though, that when I am in the country, I stop and take more photos. I am right at home in places like Lake City or Wauchula. The only thing better than a long stretch of country road is meeting over coffee with a leader and lending an ear, a hug, or extending a word of encouragement.

God knows the desire of our heart even when we don't pray it because we don't  see it as realistic.  He does what He wants to do, when He wants.

Speaking of stopping along the way...as I was on the way to Wauchula to minister this past Saturday, I stopped at this little church and took a picture. I was intrigued by the name.



No pastor was there at the time, but I prayed, "God, encourage the pastor of this church, today. Strengthen his or her spouse as well if they have one. Bless this church, and their pastor's family in every way, I pray…” 

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