Considering Easter Monday, Change and Transition…

Today is Easter Monday. I hope each of you had a meaningful Easter weekend. I’ve been thinking about how Jesus’ friends felt that first Easter Monday. Change and transition is never easy, and these men and women were placed smack dab in the middle of history’s most profound period of change and transition. I can only imagine the range of their thoughts and emotions.

     After a couple years of retirement, I felt God wanted me to maximize the change and transition that came with retirement and take the next step into a ministry calling I had felt since childhood. Where in the world would I start? I found the answer began by working with a Christian life coach.

     My final session with the life coach I’d been working with off and on for over two years had arrived. Coaching had been an impactful experience. With guidance from Jodi, I had made many meaningful discoveries. Life coaching had been so helpful that I decided to pursue my own certification as a personal life coach, which I received a little over one year ago.

     During my last coaching session, I told Jodi, “I feel like God is trying to say something to me, and I just can’t put my finger on what it is.”

     I’d had this feeling enough times to give it the name of ‘Divine Discontentment.’ Experience had taught me it was nothing to fear, and would, in fact, take me on a new God-designed adventure.

     “Have you ever considered working with a spiritual director?” Jodi asked. That question led to a whole new level of personal spiritual discovery, which I’ll undoubtedly be writing about in the next few months.

     I imagine many of Jesus’ disciples felt ‘Divine Discontentment’ on Easter Monday.

          “Why? Why?” they asked. The disbelief felt overwhelming.

               “What was the meaning, the purpose of the past three years?”

                    “How will we put the pieces of our broken identifies together again?”

                         “Where do we go from here?”

     In my perplexing season of change and transition, working with a life coach helped me put together pieces of my life-purpose puzzle.

     The friends and followers of Jesus were about to encounter the most amazing life coach—The Holy Spirit—the Advocate Jesus promised He’d send. Their questions would gain new clarity. ‘Divine Discontentment’ would lead them into the fullness of their calling. They would discover strength, courage and abilities beyond their wildest imaginations. They would preach, teach, write letters that would become books read by millions. They would be faithful to carry the message of Jesus to people living in the time and culture in which had God placed them.

     This Easter Monday 2019, I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude to those original followers of Jesus. I also feel a keen awareness that the same Spirit who guided them into their next steps is available to you and me.

     Have you, like me, ever felt an interior voice was trying to say something to a deep place in your spirit, and you wondered what to do with that feeling? If you think working with a personal coach might be helpful, I’d love to talk with you. You may contact me at sue.reeve.cda@gmail.com.

Blessings on your journey of discovery…

Sue Reeve

During our recent Arizona vacation, I was fascinated by this small stone house built into the rocks at Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park. I can imagine sitting in front of this window, asking God, “Where do I go from here!”

Considering the Day Before Good Friday…

     Today, the day before Good Friday, is known as Holy, or Maundy Thursday. On the day before Christ’s cruel crucifixion, it is worth considering crucial events and pivotal words spoken by Jesus.

     During the ‘Last Supper,” the final meal with his beloved disciples, Jesus bent low to wash their feet, giving them an example of servant leadership.

     The word maundy is derived from a Latin word, which means commandment and refers to the commandment Jesus gave to his disciples after washing their feet.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. (John 13:34 NKJV)

     Theologian John Piper says the ‘greatest prayer in the world’[1] was prayed on Maundy Thursday in the Garden of Gethsemane when Jesus cried,

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet not my will, but yours be done. (Mark 14:36)

     During the 2019 season of Lent, I’ve read two impactful books. Sharon Hodde Miller, who will be the keynote speaker at our church’s upcoming women’s retreat, [2] is the author of Free of Me…Why Life is Better When It’s NOT ABOUT YOU. The second is Forgetfulness…The Path to True Christian Joy by Timothy Keller. (Note: I recommend both books but would suggest you first read Keller’s short booklet, which was instrumental in Miller’s insights.)

     Jesus’ prayer in the Garden presents the ultimate example of “self- forgetfulness.”

     While reading these two books, I was reminded first about how preoccupied with me I can be. Secondly, I felt encouraged that despite my tendency toward self-absorption, I see personal growth. I recognize greater willingness to lay aside my will because I sense God is calling me to a purpose beyond that which comes naturally or feels most comfortable.

     A recurring thought has occupied my mind the past few weeks:

God always calls us to good.
God never calls us to easy.

The Chapel of the Holy Cross, Sedona, Arizona, March 2019 by Ron Reeve

     During these final days before Resurrection Sunday, my prayer for each of us is that we will—to the best of our ability and understanding—follow the example of Jesus who laid aside his will in order to give us the gracious gift of redemption.

Easter blessings to you and all you love…

Sue Reeve

  1. http://www.desiringgod.org/articles/the-greatest-prayer-in-the-world-maundy-thursday
  2. For information about the retreat: https://lakecity.church/event/breatheretreat/

 

Finding Beauty in ‘My Father’s World’…

     The last couple weeks of March, my husband and I escaped for a mini-snowbird retreat. We love our beautiful hometown, Coeur d’Alene, but getting away to a warmer, sunnier climate at the tail end of winter is, I believe, good for one’s soul.

     This was my first trip to Arizona, and I was reminded repeatedly of the unique and very special beauty of the desert. The diversity of God’s creation never ceases to amaze me.

     While in Arizona, friends from Phoenix who summer in Coeur d’Alene, took us to a favorite Mexican restaurant, which, by the way, served some of the best salsa I’ve ever tasted. My thoughtful friend gave us a framed photo with a card containing words from a poem written in 1901 by Maltbie Davenport Babcock. The poem, My Father’s World, was set to music, and you may be familiar with the rendition sung by Amy Grant a few years ago.

     Babcock, a Presbyterian minister, loved to take morning walks. Before leaving, he told his wife, “I’m going out to see my Father’s world.”

     I hope you’ll enjoy today’s Listening on the Journey… post with photos Ron took in Arizona, followed by selected stanzas from Reverend Babcock’s poem.[1]

This is my Father’s world
E’en yet to my listening ears,
All nature sings, and around me rings,
The music of the spheres.

This is my Father’s world.
I rest me in the thought,
Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas,
His hand the wonders wrought.

This is my Father’s world.
The birds that their carols raise,
The morning light, the lily white,
Declare their maker’s praise.

(Sweet Mexican Love Birds like this little guy live in trees around my sister and brother-in-law’s house.)

This is my Father’s world.
From His eternal throne,
He watch doth keep when I’m asleep,
And I am not alone.

This is my Father’s world.
I walk a desert lone.
In a bush ablaze to my wondering gaze,
God makes His glory known.

This is my Father’s world.
Now closer to Heaven bound,
For dear to God is the earth Christ trod,
No place but is holy ground.

This is my Father’s world.
His love has filled my breast,
I am reconciled, I am His child,
My soul has found His rest.

This is my Father’s world.
The battle is not done.
Jesus who died shall be satisfied.
And earth and Heaven be one.

This is my Father’s world.
Should my heart be ever sad?
The Lord is King – let the Heavens ring.
God reigns – let the earth be glad.

(Don’t you love the way the cactus on the right seems to be waving ‘good-bye?’)

During this week leading up to Easter, may you be blessed by the beauty found all around in our Father’s world…

Sue Reeve

 

  1. In its entirety at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:This_is_My_Fathers_World_poem_