Monthly Archives: December 2015

Seasick

Have you ever been seasick? I mean, so very seasick that you daydream about jumping overboard just to make it stop?

When I was 19 years old I joined YWAM’s Mercy Ships South Pacific. It was a grand adventure that I have many great memories of, but being seasick was definitely not a highlight.

The ship that I lived on was called Island Mercy. She was a lovely home full of wonderful friends from all over the world.

We spent our time sailing to different islands in the South Pacific giving free dental and optical care to people who were lost in time. Many of the people we reached out to spent their whole lives living in grass huts. They lived off of the tropical fruit that grew all around them and the fish that they pulled from the sea.

The very first time I sailed I had no clue that I would be susceptible to seasickness. I was just excited to set out to sea.

I spent my first night at sea hugging the toilet. It was so awful.

After a couple days I got my sea legs and felt good enough to get out of bed and be a productive team member.

Each time before we would set out to sea I would study the ocean to see how much foam was stirring, trying to assess how much the ship would pitch when we got underway.

I yearned for the faith to command the waves and wind to be still.

In my mind’s eye I can still see the churning ocean as I look over the railing on the ship’s deck. Blah.

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I remember my friends telling me to get up on deck and look out to the horizon.

Wow! It was amazing what a difference that made!

When I would look straight down into the sea, I would feel like I was going to die, but when I would take deep breaths and look at the spot where the sky meets the sea, I could rest much easier.

The take away: Don’t focus on all the chaos swirling around you. Choose to lift your focus to the Lord, and peace will flood your soul!

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The Ultimate Surprise

Those who know me well, know that I do not really care for surprises. I like to make a plan and work the plan. I like to be prepared.

Apparently God doesn’t really concern Himself with how I feel about surprises.

He is the Ultimate Surprise. We never know when He is going to show up in the last way we would expect Him to.

God can move anytime He wants and in any way He wants. He is not limited by our prophetic words or our imaginations about what the future will look like.

In John chapter 21 we read about how the disciples were fishing all night but caught nothing. Jesus came along and told them to cast their net on the other side of the boat. That was when they received a great surprise: so many fish they could not haul the net in.

Jesus’ fishing strategy was not anything they would have ever normally thought to do.  He always has a plan that is completely out of our box.

It can be easy to get discouraged when we don’t see things happening the way we imagined that they would.

That is when we can stop and ask Him what His idea is.

God is the Ultimate Surprise and Ultimate Strategist all wrapped up in one!

 

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It Was the Very Wishy Washy Time of Night…

Many nights at bedtime my mind kicks into high gear with ideas and strategies for how to best do all the things I want to do in life. I feel so inspired that I almost want to skip the whole night and get started right away on the next day.

Other nights I start to feel bombarded with doubts. I think we all have a certain time of day that doubts try to creep in.

If I ever feel doubtful it is generally at night before bed. Things that seem like a wonderful challenge during the day tend to be much more scary at bedtime when I’m worn out. I am always the the most vulnerable and discouraged at night when I’m tired.

It is so helpful to know this about myself. I am able to notice when I’m feeling unsure of myself which gives me a chance to choose to set my worries aside and reconsider my life with renewed perspective the next morning.

I have also learned that when I’m feeling doubts creeping in I should never make any important decisions. I would never accomplish anything important in life if I didn’t put off decision making until I have a peaceful perspective.

Things generally are much clearer after a good night’s sleep.

Each day has fresh grace from heaven and sometimes the grace for the day runs out just before it is time for me to close my eyes and recharge.

Here’s one of my favorite songs for refocusing and de-stressing:

Sorrow may endure for the night, but joy comes in the morning. Ps. 30:5

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