When I Grow Up…

     Sarah, my four-year-old daughter, and I stopped one afternoon at a copy shop to get business flyers printed for my husband. I found the young woman working the front desk to be efficient, and was pleased that she was extra cordial to my little girl.

     Later that evening, Sarah was quiet, not unusual for our pensive daughter. I noticed the puzzled expression on her little face as she counted her fingers, and knew if I waited a few minutes, my child would share what was going through her bright little mind.

     “Mommy, I have a problem,” she confided eventually.

     “What’s that, Sweetie?” I asked.

     “Well, remember, when I grow up, I’m going to be a doctor on Monday, a teacher on Tuesday, a farmer girl on Wednesday, a hair cutter girl on Thursday, a mommy on Friday, a grocery store girl on Saturday, and a Sunday School teacher on Sunday?”

     “Yes, I remember.” I found Sarah’s multiple occupational dreams delightful and tried to never squelch her little-girl aspirations with the wet blanket of adult logic.

     “Well, there aren’t enough days,” she despaired. “I need another day so I can be a copy lady!”

     What a dilemma! Not enough days for all the possibilities!

     Before entering college, Sarah had narrowed her focus to Tuesday’s occupation. For over 12 years, she has been a marvelous educator of elementary-aged children. In addition to classrooms full of students, two little ones fulfilled my daughter’s Friday goal of motherhood.

     A few years ago, when I was supposedly an all-grown-up woman, my soul became restless. The restlessness caused me to reconsider a journey of spiritual maturity. I began imagining what I wanted to be like if I grew up to become a spiritually mature woman.

     Like four-year-old Sarah, I’ve considered multiple possibilities.

     I haven’t come to any great conclusions concerning how to grow into a spiritually mature woman, but I have come to believe leaning into a restless soul isn’t bad.

     Spiritual restlessness isn’t discontentment. My favorite of the Apostle Paul’s letters is Philippians. In chapter 3, verse 14, Paul talks about “pressing on.” This man, who was a giant of the faith, the most influential—or at least one of the most influential—leaders in early Christianity, was always restlessly seeking more of God. At the same time, he possessed deep contentment as revealed in Philippians 4:11, when he declares, “I have learned to be content in whatever state I find myself.” [my paraphrase]

     Do you, like me, feel a certain amount of divine discontentment—a gentle nagging restlessness in your soul?

     Could it be the reason for our restlessness is as St. Augustine, a 6th Century Christian theologian, declared?

Blessings to you as you lean into the restlessness of your heart…

Sue Reeve

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Deciding to Decide

     I don’t know about you, but I often feel perplexed about deciding the right thing to do. Generally, I agonize when it comes to making a major decision.

     Part of my struggle to decide comes from a deep desire I will make wise, God-honoring decisions. Learning to “listen” with my heart—Spirit to spirit—matters much to me. More than almost anything, I want my spiritual ears trained to hear the voice of the Divine, which is why verses of scripture such as Isaiah 33:15 resonate deeply.

     The other day, I read a quote, which has been attributed to John Wesley. Many scholars who have studied the writings of Wesley, however, don’t believe he wrote these words.

          From whomever they came, I believe the message gives great decision-making guidelines, reminding us that

               every moment

                    of every day

                         for as long as we live

                              matters.

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

     If you’re struggling to decide something important in this first month of 2018, I hope this assurance from scripture, which indicates God desires to show us the “right” way to walk, as well as the sage counsel given by John Wesley—or some other wise person—will embolden you.

Blessings on your journey of listening…

Sue Reeve

Sue Reeve

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When Hope is Ignited…

Everything that is done in the world is done by HOPE.

~ Martin Luther King

     Today, January 15th, is a national holiday dedicated to celebrating the birthday of the inspirational Civil Rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. My post springs from this Dr. King quote, which speaks to the potent power of hope.

     The photograph was taken while we were in the Missouri Ozarks last October. The Hope Wilderness Chapel in Dogwood Canyon was one of my favorite stops.

     I told you in a recent post we were smack-dab in the middle of a remodeling project. Every kitchen and bathroom drawer and cabinet in our house has been emptied with contents scattered here and there! I’m TRYING to be patient—truly, I am, but I can assure you, I’ve been reminded a time or two that my character is not always well-formed!

     Hope helps keep my current reality in perspective. Patience is possible as I envision cleaned-out, freshly painted, newly-organized kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

Hope has a way of igniting vision. Hope assures us in some deep, interior place that the difficulty or pain of today will be different in our future tomorrow.

About hope, Pastor Ray Johnston says in his excellent book, The Hope Quotient,

  • “Hope liberates.
  • Hope unleashes compassion.
  • Hope encourages people.
  • Hope motivates.
  • Hope helps people attempt new things.
  • Hope motivates people to find new strength.
  • Hope propels people forward, even when it seems impossible.”

This Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, my prayer for each person reading this post is that hope will be ignited in whatever challenge you are facing today…

Sue Reeve