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There’s a Mystery in the Journey…

     I ask questions a lot!

          I ask myself questions;

               At times I ask readers of this blog questions;

                    I ask questions of people I trust are further along in their journeys of faith than I;

                    and most importantly, I ask God.

     I believe God desires to help us discover answers to our deepest, most desperate questions. In order to listen for spiritual understanding, we must be willing to relinquish our determination to be in control.

     Listening on our spiritual journey involves a process of moving forward into the mysterious unknown, placing one foot of faith in front of the other.

     As I was thinking about God’s call, a thought came to me recently. God’s voice always calls us to what is good, but God’s call is never easy.

Thank you for your willingness to partner with me, to ‘listen’ and explore together. I pray for you often.

Blessings on your journey…

Sue Reeve

Shine Brightly when It’s Time…

     The past few days have been ones full of activity at our usually quiet home. My husband’s great niece is a star pitcher for her high school softball team, and she was in Coeur d’Alene for playoff games.

     Instead of cooperating with the sporting schedule, however, Mother Nature chose to dump buckets of rain in our neck of the woods. The first day, games were cancelled. The next option was single-game eliminations.

     So, instead of meeting in the bleachers, grandparents, great aunts and uncles, the star-athlete’s mama, uncle and cousin congregated at our house. It was great fun, and I wouldn’t trade the chaos of the past couple days, but it meant I had little time to write.

     Some brief thoughts about unique design and thought-provoking insights about comparison seemed the perfect solution for today’s Listening on the Journey… blog post.

     Also, this previously used photo and quote from Saint Thérèse of Lisieux fits. Thérèse (1873-1897), was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun, often referred to as “The Little Flower of Jesus.”

     The psalmist declared,

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous [sic] are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. (Psalm 139:14 KJV)

     Even as flowers have been created with distinct characteristics and designed to bloom during unique seasons, so, I believe, God has designed each of us. Ron’s grand niece has been gifted with physical strength, athletic prowess and vision better than perfect 20:20. Others are blessed with

     great sense of musical pitch,

          outstanding rhythm,

               an eye for artistic color and design,

                    interest and ability to whip up a beautifully presented, scrumptious meal, or

                    aptitude to string together active verbs and colorful adjectives to craft a poignant

     Some gifts are obvious; others are more subtle—perhaps even more powerful—gifts of a merciful heart, gracious spirit, methodical thought processing or discerning mind.

     Instead of praising God for the way in which we are “fearfully and wonderfully made…” why do we instead compare our abilities, appearance or status to those of others? Comparison is a malady of the human condition—one the enemy of our souls uses quite effectively. While I imagine this has been the case throughout humankinds’ history, I believe it may be more prevalent than ever during the 21st Century social media culture in which God has chosen to place you and me.

     In order to avoid destructive comparisons that undoubtedly grieve the heart of the One who strategized our blueprints, we must be deliberate. We must recognize our design is God’s idea, intended for “such a time as this.”[1]

     In conclusion, I will leave you with this quote:

“Don’t compare your life to others. There’s no comparison between the sun and the moon. They shine when it’s their time.” Anonymous[2]

Blessings as you shine brightly on your unique journey…

Sue Reeve

P.S. I just learned The Bishop Kelly Knights (Boise) won the State Girls Softball Championship. Our family is celebrating the accomplishment of the team and especially the Knights’ very talented pitcher, Riley (forefront).

  1. See Ephesians 2:10 and Esther 4:14

Turn Damaging Rumination into Life-Giving Meditation

     In my last post I explored the matter of rumination, a practice of cows in which they chew repeatedly what they eat.

     Rumination can be psychologically damaging. When a person keeps going over the same thought or problem repeatedly, depression and anxiety result.

     Spiritual rumination, known as meditation, is the best antidote I know for counteracting psychologically harmful rumination—dealing with nagging worries, fears, regrets, feelings of inadequacy.

     Oftentimes, when I feel lead to blog about a certain topic, it seems like the Lord gives me an opportunity to put into practice what I’m writing about. That’s what happened a few days ago.

     It was the middle of the night. I wakened and almost immediately began worrying about a situation. The more I ruminated upon my concern, the deeper and darker my thoughts became.

     Before long, I felt a gentle whisper in my soul, alerting me to what was happening.

     Although I resist giving step-by-step spiritual remedies because I honor the way God speaks personally and differently to each of us, I would like to share the steps I took that evening since this same process has worked for me many, many times.

     Instead of continuing to ruminate on the troubling thought, I turn to a Scripture on which I’ve meditated countless times.

     Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6 & 7 NIV).

         1. Acknowledge my ruminating thoughts to God
              “God, you know I’m anxious about __ (my concern de jour)______.
         2. Make my requests known to God
              “Instead of worrying about this, I’m asking you to ________(I’m not shy about asking God for the outcome I feel would be best.)___
         3. I am intentional to give specific thanks to God. It’s easy to lose site of gratitude when our minds are filled with anxiety. Research has shown that practicing intentional thanksgiving changes our brain chemistry. I love it when modern scientific research confirms truths of the ancient words of Scripture.
         4. Here’s the part of this process I don’t understand—which transcends my human understanding. An unexplainable peace quiets my anxiety, replacing concerns.
         5. If the troubling thought re-enters, I repeat steps 1-4.

     If you find yourself caught in a cycle of harmful rumination, I hope these steps will be helpful. As I close, I’m praying for you…

Sue Reeve