Butterfly Blessings

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It was a horrible, no good, very bad day.

Thought I was going to lunch with a friend, turns out it was a business meeting.  And what transpired left me feeling so hollow and unvalued inside.  It really ignited fears I’m already wrestling with – is there even a place for me or have I been benched, doomed to sit on the sidelines. I mean, what can a severely hearing impaired woman do?!

Then I headed over to Colorado College for their Fine Arts Center free day ~ This has been a favorite of mine all summer!  ~ only to discover they change the hours during the school year and it had just closed!  Arrrrrgggghhhhh!

As I headed back to my car the art on the lawn caught my attention and I sensed the Lord prompting me, “Pull out that sketchbook Deb and draw the butterfly.”  Thankfully I had a picnic blanket in the back of my car.  So I plopped down on the grass, started drawing…. and processing…

Ever since we moved here Jeremiah 29:11 has been a key promise I’m clinging to:  “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to comfort you and not to harm you.  Plans to give you a hope and a future.”

And once again I sensed the Lord asking, “Will you trust me, Deb?”

As I drew He reminded me, “Caterpillars don’t look like much, but they are a necessary stage in a butterfly’s development.  And a caterpillar’s job is to eat leaves.  All that eating is fueling the transformation necessary for him to become a butterfly.  Be patient.  Now is your time to eat!  All the learning you are doing during your sabbatical ~ there really is a purpose in it.  In time you will see.  But until then, trust in me, rest in me… hopefully and thankfully!”

Left that art center will a totally changed heart and attitude.  Amazing how it even blesses me when it’s closed ~ guess that’s because the divine docent is always available!  :0)

Finishing Well

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So our dear friends, Ron and Judy Levan invited us to go Elk hunting!

Um… not the kind with a gun, but rather with binoculars and cameras.

So early one morning we arrive at their home half asleep and head up to Estes Park in search of some Elk action.  Now we’re so new to Colorado any sight of a wild animal is exciting to us!  But I tell you the best part of this trip wasn’t found in observing mating rituals (though the young bucks sparring and the coyote lurking nearby was pretty neat!) but in the company on the trip.

One of my new friends, Lisa and her husband Tom decided to spontaneously join us ~ are we ever glad they did!  I cannot even begin to tell you how blessed I felt sitting in the back of their van listening to Judy and Lisa share.  I’m thinking according to Proverbs 13:20a I had to be getting wiser by the minute!

(and a big praise to God – He knew the only way I’d ever be able to endure sitting in a car for most of a day was to give me a radical workout in advance- and did he ever! I climbed Mt. Bierstadt, a 14er, the day before with three other friends so my blisters, sore muscles and every other part of me was content as anything to spend that whole day sitting!!!)

So while we’re driving Lisa shares how she’s been learning that forgiveness needs to be a daily discipline.  And it was like a lightbulb went off in my head!  I’d never thought of forgiveness as a discipline, let alone a daily one.  But she’s so right.  In this broken, fallen world – rarely does a day pass that there isn’t someone whom I need to forgive – even if it’s just myself!  But it can be so easy to not process this…

Suddenly we start on some seriously curvy mountain roads and I don’t usually get carsick but my stomach starts encouraging me to stop talking and start drawing, hoping if I focus I won’t toss any cookies!   And with Lisa’s words fresh in my mind I started considering what would it look like if I really did this?  If I really saw and practiced forgiveness as a daily discipline?

Now the Lord’s already been teaching me that confession and gratitude should also be considered disciplines – because without concerted effort they often don’t happen the way they should!  And as I drew the thought came to mind, “To finish well, I need to end each day well, practicing the daily disciplines of confession, forgiveness and gratitude!”

Now I’ve never been a very good finisher.  I get so excited about new ideas, new projects, new adventures…. (catch that common word “new?!”)  Often before one is completed I’m already excited about something else.  So ever since I became a Christian Psalm 27:4 has held a special place in my prayers.

“One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.”

Only by the grace of God am I ever going to finish this life well!  Yet He tells us, he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much.  (Luke 16:10)

So can you guess what I’m now asking the Lord to give me the grace to do?!

Once Again His Grace Abounds!!!

For years I have longed to learn to read the Bible in the original languages.  So when I heard we were moving to Colorado Springs I searched online and found a seminary in town that offers Greek classes, emailed and asked if they’d be willing to work with me to accommodate my hearing loss.  They said “Yes!”

Turns out there are only three people in the class (including me!) and the instructor sits right in front of me, teaching from his desk – barely three feet from me. It is the perfect set up for me with my hearing loss!

I especially appreciated this after attending a women’s Bible study at a nearby church.  There were 15 women and the desks were arranged in a square and for two hours I sat there barely able to understand a word!

What a gift from God this class is!!!

Not only because of the physical arrangements making it possible for me to “hear” but also as it’s really hard!  Each week I am crying out to the Lord to help me learn what I need to – and He has!  From creative raps to help me memorize, to guiding me to resources that help me retain it all, to the strength to persevere ~ He is making my dream possible!!!

Once again I am experiencing the Lord being so faithful to do 2 Corinthians 9:8  “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so in all things, at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work!”

I am soooo thankful!