Monday, December 31, 2012


So, the Mayan Apocalypse did not occur…


However, because I was counting on that asteroid to hit Earth and smash it to smithereens (not really), I didn't really think about any New Year's resolutions.

Go figure.

In fact, it's been hard even thinking about the New Year.  I've got that post-Christmas *blah* thing going on.  Not depressed, not sad – just blah.

I was talking to my sister-in-law the other day, and she was sharing with me her *blahness* too.  She said to me, "I'm in the sock drawer."

I laughed out loud.

"In the sock drawer?" I questioned.


Her explanation was adorable.  It went something like this: You know that sock drawer – where all the socks just get shoved in willy-nilly, often mismatched or unmatched, a jumbled mess – and then the door is just shut tight.  Dark and forgotten – just a sock stuffed away, laying around doing nothing.

An Urban Dictionary explains it this way: A term used to explain a type of day that you are having where nothing goes right.

I got it.

In the sock drawer.

Yup, I'm also feeling like a sock – a bit worn out and frazzled(but can I at least be one of those striped fuzzy ones that I wear to bed??)

But, this is the time of year when we get that "fresh start" – a "do-over" – a "new beginning"…so I'd better get my act together.

'Cuz it's the time to make resolutions!

So, what kinds of things am I thinking about?



Yes, I probably need to put those at the top of my list.  Just like last year…and the year before that…and before that…ahem.

But, that seems like such a sock-like cop-out.

I think the first step in making THIS year's resolutions should be getting a good grasp on the process of what I'm actually doing.

What does the word resolution even mean, I wonder?

Definition:  The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination; a resolving to do something; a course of action determined or decided on.

So I look up resolute, too:

Definition:  Admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.  Firm, decided, resolved, decisive.


I begin to see that I have not chosen to be very resolute about too many things in my life lately.  I've spent too much time in the sock drawer.

However, God doesn't want socksat least not socks in a drawer.  He wants socks that are worn inside of shoes that go out and do HIS business.

He wants movers and shakers.

He wants people who are RESOLUTE.

So, that's my resolution for this year.  To become a more resolute personadmirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering.

And as I thought about that, I also came up with my word for 2013.

It's interesting – in the last couple of years, the word that I've picked has somehow had a lot to do with the way the year played out.

2011 – Determined.  2012 – Overcome.

So, as I contemplated 2013, I thought about the words peace and hope. Great words, definitely things that I would love to influence my upcoming year.  But, I wanted to hear what God had to say.  I didn't want to "plan" my word – I wanted it to come from Him.

And I had a feeling that when I heard it, I would know it.

Yup, I did.

In a random conversation with a friend, as I was talking about my *sockness*, she said something along the lines that what I really needed in my life right now was – direction.


That is my Word for 2013 – DIRECTION.

(No, not bingo...)

It's what I want, what I hope for, what will give me peacea firm word of direction from the Lord as to what He wants me to do with my life at this point.

Direction, Lord.

I pray that You will give me this – and then give me the power to be resolute about following Your directions!!

Take this sock OUT of the drawer, and direct me INTO Your purpose, and help me to OBEY!

******HAPPY NEW YEAR******

What are your resolutions for the New Year?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 28, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: beginning

Are you making any resolutions for the beginning of the new year?  (What are they?!)

Is there any new work that God is beginning in your life?  (What is it?!)

Let me know what you think!!

"But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."  (Isaiah 43:18-19, NLT)

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, December 24, 2012


I know, weird title.

But hang in there –  it will all make sense in the end.

Let me start off by telling you that I've had a rather nasty case of insomnia the last month or so.  My gift of insomnia comes in two different forms – (evidently it's an equal opportunity giver).  Sometimes I fall asleep quickly and easily, only to awake anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours later – and then I can't get back to sleep for hours.  Or, sometimes I just can't fall asleep for hours in the first place.

I try deep breathing.  I try watching television.  I try reading.

Sometimes I just lie there and play word games in my head.  

(In case you're interested, I play word games like try to think of a word for every letter in the alphabet that has double consonants in it – like apple, butter, copper, etc.  Or think of a word that has "v" in it, or "th" or ends in silent "e" – and so on. There are many variations to come up with on the alphabet theme. Sometimes just trying to think of another variation keeps me awake!!)

The idea is to tire my brain out so it will give up and fall asleep already! And to distract me from all the (worrisome) thoughts that go reeling through my head.

You see, if you think Satan is bad during the day, just wait 'til you experience his nocturnal attacks.

Ebenezer Scrooge didn't know how good he had it.  The Ghosts of Christmas Past and Christmas Future had NOTHING on the Ghost of What-If…

...just sayin'.

So, the other night, the one following a night when I was up until 3:30 AM, I fell asleep easily at 9:00 PM.  Glorious.  Until I woke up at 11:00 PM.

And I was terribly, terribly anxious.

I finally decided to call my mom at 11:30.  Now, before you get on my case about that, you have to know something about my mom.

She's a night owl.

And, she takes a big 'ol nap every afternoon.  She does it for three reasons I think:

1.  She's tired and needs the rest.
2.  She does it to escape my dad for a few hours.
3.  She does it so she can stay up late at night – probably so she can escape my dad for a few hours.

I understand.

Sometimes I CHOOSE to stay up for the same reasons.  (Sorry, "Hub")

So, I know my mom's going to be up until at least midnight.  So I call.

She's used to my late-night phone calls, so she doesn't panic when she hears the phone ring.  (Unlike my panic the other night at my 10:45 PM call – you know, the whole Marty coffee shenanigan – I knew that call was NOT good news).

I let the phone ring – and I can just picture her on the other end.  She puts aside the newspaper or magazine she's reading, she slowly gets up from the recliner, and she makes her way to the kitchen to answer.  I'm pretty sure she knows it's me.

I wait.

And soon I hear her dear, sweet voice – the one that's so familiar to me I can hear it in my head…


"Hi Mom, it's me."

If my mom had a nickel for every time I've started a conversation with those words, she'd be a millionaire.  As long as I can remember, I've been reaching out to her late at night for reassurance about something.

You see, I've been plagued by "what if" pondering all my life.

I can remember going into my parents' room as a child, a teenager, a young woman, kneeling by her side, and whispering gently, "Hi Mom.  It's me."

And she always said this, just like she always says it now:

"Oh Sharon, my sweet Sharon."

Yes, I do know how incredibly lucky I am to have her.

So, the other night I tell her that I can't fall asleep because I'm so nervous. And I tell her I've just got so many cares and worries in my head. And this is what she says:

"Climb up into my lap and tell me all about it."

I tell her, "Thanks, Mom.  You're my Anxiety Santa."

And so I do – I climb up into her phone lap, and pour out my woes – for about an hour.

I hang up, so much calmer than before, and quickly fall asleep.

Yes, she is my Anxiety Santa – a warm and inviting soul who beckons me to crawl up into her lap, and tell her my deepest, darkest secrets.  The one who lets me tell her my wildest wishes, and my biggest dreams.  The one who always, always makes my fears subside…

Today, the day before Christmas, I got to pondering.

I've got a bigger Anxiety Santa.

He's the One who came to this earth for all those anxious souls who had no peace.  For all those fearful souls who couldn't find rest.  For all those hopeless souls who thought they had no future…

He's the One who came.

I can’t tell you the number of times that I've come to Him…

"Hi Jesus, it's me."

Only to hear Him say…

"Oh Sharon, my sweet Sharon.  Climb up into My lap and tell Me all about it."

But Jesus doesn't stop there.  Yes, He is the One who beckons me to crawl up into His lap, and tell Him my deepest, darkest secrets.  The One who lets me tell Him my wildest wishes, and my biggest dreams.   The One who always, always make my fears subside…

But you know what else He does?  

He adds these words…

"Climb up into My lap and tell Me all about it…and then let Me tell you what I did about it!"

Yes, to me, that's what Christmas is all about.

It's all about a Savior – a Savior who did something about it.  About all the pain and suffering and futility of the world.  About all the disease and death.  About every single sin that man had found a way to commit.  About every fear and every possible "what if" scenario…


He came – to us, for us – forever.

Here's something I shared two years ago about all that:

It came upon a midnight clear…

A beautiful, cloudless, starlit night –

Angels we have heard on high…

What's that?  Can you hear it?  It sounds like heavenly music –

Hark, the herald angels sing…

It IS music – it's a heavenly choir!  Oh my heart, be still.  What are they saying?

O little town of Bethlehem.  Away in a manger, round yon virgin mother and child…

Oh, look!  A young mother who has just given birth to her first child.  And it's – it's a boy!

What child is this…

She and her husband have called him Emmanuel – God with us.  His name is Jesus –

For unto us a child is born…

Oh my, this is THE CHILD.  The One prophesied from centuries ago.  This is HIM – the Messiah!

Holy infant, so tender and mild…

Look at His sweet baby face.  His tiny hands and feet, His soft cheeks, His precious mouth, His shining eyes –

I have no gift to bring…

I have nothing – I am poor, lowly in spirit.  But He should have something from me – there must be something I can give Him.

O come, all ye faithful.  Joyful and triumphant…

Yes!  I can give Him my heart!  I can be faithful and joyful.  He is bringing my victory!

Joy to the world.  The Lord is come...

The Lord of lords and King of kings has come to earth!  He has brought Light to the darkness, and Life to the dying!  He has brought redemption –

Oh come, let us adore Him!

Oh Lord Jesus, how I adore You.  Thank you for loving me before the world began.  Thank you for coming to earth, to live as one of us.  Thank you for understanding what it means to be human.  Thank you for dying, for sacrificing Your life – for me.  Thank you, Lord – for everything –

O Holy Night...

Yes, the biggest Anxiety Santa of them all came to earth, to each one of us – and He brought GIFTS!

The Gift of Himself.

The Gift of Forgiveness.

The Gift of Life.

The Gift of Forever…

Ho, Ho, Ho…HOLY!

"And His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace."  (Isaiah 9:6, KJV)

MERRY CHRISTMAS to all – and to all a good night!

What are you doing to celebrate the birth of our Savior?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 21, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: Messiah

What does the word Messiah mean to you?

How was Jesus different than the Messiah expected by the Jews?

In your life, what is the most surprising thing about Jesus, the Messiah?

Let me know what you think!!

"The woman said, 'I know the Messiah is coming--the one who is called Christ. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.'  Then Jesus told her, 'I Am the Messiah!'"  (John 4:25-26)

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, December 17, 2012


It's not what you think.

Marty did not get put in *time out* for being a bad beagle.  He is an adorable beaglebut he is a beagle.

Which means that he loves to smell, and he eats like a garbage disposer.

That accounts for the little *drama* that happened a couple of weeks ago.

Youngest son fell asleep one night, sound asleep – and evidently when the human's away, the beagle will play.

Marty found his way into a wastebasket and indulged himself in some used coffee grounds.

I'm sure he loved the taste of them, but they did not love him.

Son woke up to find Marty asleep next to…well, let's just say "recycled" coffee grounds and some dinner.

One quick call to the veterinary emergency room – and they were on their way.

***A piece of advice to all you dog owners out there:  Coffee and coffee grounds are very dangerous for dogs.  Just like chocolate.  And ingesting them should be treated like an emergency situation.***

So, guess who got the call at 10:45 PM – and guess who woke up out of a dead sleep to pray for one precious granddog…

Fortunately, the vet said Marty should be OK – after another round of induced "recycling" – and a dose of charcoal to soak up any remnants.

My son said that Marty returned home with a black snout.  And around 3 AM, he had another "recycling" episode, which he stepped in, and there were little charcoal Marty footprints all over the blankets on the couch.

Just like a toddler, huh?!

The next day, I called early in the morning to check on little Mr. Folger's.  My son said he didn't think it was possible for a beagle to look disheveled – but that was the best word to describe Marty.

A bit dazed, and disheveled.

I'm not sure what Marty was thinking – though I know what he was smelling.

Mmm, good to the last drop.

Maybe he was pondering the idea of starting a Pawbuck's – and wanted to sample the wares.  Or maybe he thought Canine CafĂ© au Lait sounded like a good idea at midnight.  (Furry frappuccino, perhaps?) 

Or maybe he wasn't thinking – he was just smelling.  A dog impelled by instinct to do something potentially dangerous.


I'm wondering about the things that impel me to act in certain ways.

Like having to have the last word in arguments.  Or putting someone down because I'm secretly envious of them.  Or buying that something that I don't really need.  Or fibbing just a little to save face.

This list could go on and on – but then I'd be way too embarrassed.

The plain fact of the matter is that I am often compelled by my sin nature to do certain things.  And often, those things are not good for me.  Downright dangerous sometimes.

Paul understood:

"The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.  I don't really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don't do it. Instead, I do what I hate.  But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.  So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature.  I want to do what is right, but I can't.  I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.  But if I do what I don't want to do, I am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it.

I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.  I love God's law with all my heart.  But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.  Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?
(from Romans 7)

I don't think I'm far off in saying that sin is my natural instinct the thing that seems to impel me toward sinning.

I am attracted to the coffee grounds of life – even when they're not good for me – even when I know they're harmful.  I just can't help myself…

What a horrible dilemma!

Is there no hope?

Of course not!

"Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord." (from Romans 7) 

Yes, there is Someone who took me to the emergency room.

Someone who shed His blood so I could "recycle" all the bad stuff out – and then gave me a dose of Holy Spirit to deal with all the remnants.

Yeah, I might make some little black footprints here and there – but the threat has been taken care of.

The poison has been removed.  My life is no longer in danger.  

I have been surely rescued.

Now, if I could just learn to keep my snout out of the garbage!

Do you ever feel like a spiritual "split personality"?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 14, 2012


Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: yield

What does the word yield mean to you?

Do you think there's a difference between giving something up and yielding it over?

What is the hardest thing for you to yield to God?

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, December 10, 2012


OK, is it just me?

Or is anybody else out there sick and tired of a body that gets sick and tired??

(And achy, and creaky, and wrinkled, and saggy, and gray…)

I was reminded of my bodily dismay just a few days ago.  "The Hub" and I were at a pharmacy picking up a prescription for an infection I have.  (I rest my case on the aggravation issue…)

There were a few people in line ahead of us, and a few sitting on chairs.  Not wanting to butt into line, we asked if any of the "sitters" were actually "waiters".

One gentleman told us that he was ahead of us, but his recent knee replacement made it difficult to stand for any length of time.

He was roughly our age, and we began a conversation about his motorcycle accident and torn ACL.  It reminded me of the various aches and pains that we're experiencing.  "The Hub's" shoulder surgery and broken ankle my magical menopause mystery tour…

At some point, though I didn't say it out loud, I thought of that old adage: "Well, at least it's better than the alternative."  

When I got home, I got to thinking.

I think maybe I've got it all wrong.  Actually, this life ISN'T better than the alternative.

So, I want to explore three questions:

Why am I fighting aging so much?

Why do I think that aging means a diminishing state of existence?

How does God view aging?


First of all, why am I fighting aging so much?  

I think there's several reasons.  One is the youth-obsessed society that we live in.  Our culture is myopically fixated on the bodyhow it works, how it looks, how it ages (or doesn't).  I'm all for doing everything we can to take care of our bodies – in fact, I think that God directs us to do that.  We are His temple, after all.

But this single-minded pursuit of youthfulness, and the intolerance toward any sign of aging I don't think that comes from God.

So, at some level, I am influenced by my culture.

That's the bad news.

But the other reason that I think I fight aging is spiritual.  I believe that God created us with eternity in our hearts (He does say that!) – and at some level, I think our spirits know that this mortal state is not what we were created for.

We were created for eternal life.  We were created perfect.

Sin has messed that all up.

Some of my fight against aging is not good – but the part of me that rebels against Satan's weapons of sin, disease, and death – I believe that is understandable and commendable.

"Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself…" 
(1 Corinthians 6:19, NLT)

"He has planted eternity in the human heart…" (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NLT)

Second, why do I think that aging is a diminishing state of existence?

Again, I think culture plays a role in that.  

The elderly are often abused, marginalized, discriminated against.  In a youth-oriented culture, old people are often considered refuse, baggage – useless.

This wasn't always the case.  

Not so long ago, the elderly were revered and honored.  Their advice and counsel was sought out.  Their wisdom was esteemed, and their knowledge and experience were admired.

I vividly remember my grandparents, and some of my great-grandparents.  I thought they were the most wonderful people on the planet.

And older believers always bless me.

They have a sense of peace about them – a peace that I think comes from walking many steps with the Lord.  I want to know what their faith is like – I want them to teach me.  And some day, if God chooses to bless me with old age, I want to be like them.

The diminishing is really just a physical thing.  As my body ages, my spirit has the opportunity to soar.

"So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day." (2 Corinthians 4:16, ESV)

"Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him." (Colossians 3:10, NLT)

Finally, how does God view aging?

Fortunately, He is a lot more gracious than we are!

I found these wonderful verses on a website:

"Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained by living a godly life." 
(Proverbs 16:31, NLT)

"The glory of the young is their strength; the gray hair of experience is the splendor of the old." (Proverbs 20:29, NLT)

"I will be your God throughout your lifetime -- until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you.  I will carry you along and save you." (Isaiah 46:4, NLT)

"Grandchildren are the crowning glory of the aged…" (Proverbs 17:6, NLT)

"Show your fear of God by standing up in the presence of elderly people and showing respect for the aged. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:32, NLT)

And this next one is my personal favorite.  Especially in view of my post last week – when I was bemoaning some *shelf sitting* in my life…

"The godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon. For they are transplanted into the LORD's own house.  They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit; they will remain vital and green." (Psalm 92:12-14, NLT)

God's values are a far cry from our own.  

He does not look at the elderly as disposable.  NO!  In fact, the elderly are promised God's continuing concern.  He does not look at the elderly as worthless and useless.  NO!  In fact, the elderly are important fruit-producers in the Body of Christ.

Vital and green.  (I like the sound of that!)

YES!  God loves every one of my (dyed) gray hairs.  He loves my wrinkles and sags.  And though He doesn't enjoy my aches and pains, and though He understands what it feels like to be sick and tired… 


He entered into our world.  He became a human.  And though He didn't grow into old age, He still felt the pain of aging – He suffered the horror of dying…

He understood the *disconnect* between eternity and earthly mortality.

And He did it so we could have LIFE!

Life now on earth until His work in and through us is done – and life everlasting in the glory of His presence.

From birth until forever, He is my God…

"He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like his own, using the same power with which he will bring everything under his control." (Philippians 3:21, NLT)


Are you aging gracefully?  Why or why not?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Friday, December 7, 2012

"FAN THE FLAME" FRIDAY - Contentment

Welcome to "Fan the Flame" Friday.

This is a weekly post that will be "short and sweet" (kinda like me...)

Just a word and a phrase, a sentence or a question...just a little something to "fan the flame" of your creativity!

Today's word: contentment

How would you define contentment?

Do you think that contentment is important in your faith journey?

What are some of the barriers to your sense of contentment?

"...godliness with contentment is great gain."  (1 Timothy 6:6, NIV)

Let me know what you think!!

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you…For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline." (2 Timothy 1:6-7)

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"

Monday, December 3, 2012


Yup, that's how I feel lately.


Like a book that God enjoyed reading, but when He was done with me, He put me on the shelf.

Before I moved, I had a nice little corner of ministry going.  A few speaking engagements.  A consistent blog voice.  An active leadership role in my Bible Study.

I had hopes of God opening the door into the Christian *big-time* at any moment.  It seemed imminent, around the corner – just waiting for me.

Then I moved.

And everything came to a screeching halt.

No one's ringing my doorbell to have me come and share my pearls of wisdom with their group.  My blog muse let's call her Verbosiahas left the building.  And though I am in a new Bible Study group full of wonderful women, I am still the "new kid on the block."

I feel dismayed about this.

Yes, I know all about the *seasons* that God calls us to walk through – but when did He decide that this was a good time for winter?

I do want you to know – that I do see the irony of ME saying that I don't have MY ministry.  I do see the self-interest in that statement.

But there's still a part of me – a part of every believer, I think – that really does want to be used by the Lord for HIS purposes.

So why am I sitting on a couch bemoaning my sitting?

I decided to visit some of my friends.

I texted Joseph, whose brothers had abandoned him, then he was rescued, only to be thrown into jail for a false accusation.

"Hey Jo, Y am I doing nothing here?"

"Know what u mean," he answered.  "I had some ?'s myself in that jail cell.  ☹"

"Did u think that God had forgotten u?"

"There were moments, 4 sure.  But God saw the end.  BTW, what others meant 4 evil, He meant 4 good.  ☺"

I emailed Moses, who was treated as the son of Pharaoh, only to kill a man and run away to spend 40 years (count 'em, 40) in the wilderness with a bunch of sheep.

"Hey Moses, I'm kinda struggling here on my mountain top.  I can't stand the feeling that I've been sidelined.  Know what I mean?"

"Why of course!  Can you imagine what it felt like to be a shepherd for 40 years?  Why was I wasting my time with sheep, I often wondered.  Of course, God knew the plan He had for me – to shepherd a nation out of slavery into their Promised Land."

"But Moses, I'm no spring chicken here.  Time is ticking."

"Hey, I really started making a difference when I was 80.  Hang in there!"

I finally decided to call David, a man whom Samuel anointed as the future king of Israel, only to spend a great deal of time running for his life.



"David?  This is Sharon."

"Oh hi, Sharon.  What's up?"

"I'm just wondering if you ever felt like God had forgotten you.  As if He had called you to this big old purpose, only to send you off on a wild goose chase. Did you ever feel shelved?"

There was a pause on the other end…

"David, you still there?"

"Yes," he said quietly.  "Actually, I felt like that quite often.  I think you can tell by the words I said in my poems.  So often I felt lost, neglected, forgotten,…so very far from the God I loved."

"Yeah, I have always found your honesty to be quite comforting."

"Thank you for that.  But here's the thing I learned.  That even when I cried out to God in despair, even when it felt like He wasn't there and didn't care – He still called me a man after His own heart.  I find that incredible, don't you?"


"Somehow in my deep discouragement, I still sought His presence.  Are you doing that?"

"As best as I can, I am."

"Then don't look back.  I found that it was very difficult to think about my Goliath triumph when I was sitting in a dark cave running away from Saul. Was this the behavior or the position of a king?  I thought God was making some pretty big mistakes."

"Yeah, I wonder sometimes too.  A lot lately."

"It's OK.  He has a plan.  Don't give up the Story just because you don't know the ending.  He's a good Author – trust Him."

I spent a lot of time thinking about my conversations with these men.  Men who had been called for an important spiritual destiny.  And yet, they had each spent a lot of time in seemingly wasted inactivity.

But God was working…all the time.

I turn the page in my Bible and Joseph is out of prison – but he was there for 2 years.  I turn the page in my Bible and Moses returns from the wilderness – but he was there for 40 years.  I turn the page in my Bible and David is king of the entire nation of Israel – but he ran for many years before he wore that crown.

I turn the page in my Bible and Jesus begins His ministry.  But He spent 30 years waiting for the moment when God would tell Him, "NOW!"

I guess I'm in good company here.

On a shelf doesn't mean forgotten.  It doesn't mean unimportant.  It certainly doesn't mean useless.

Those are enemy lies propaganda from the parrot constantly squawking on my shoulder – meant to deter me from becoming more like Jesus.

Lord, give me patience for this time in my life.  Please relieve the discouragement that I feel right now.  Make Your presence more real to me so I don't feel forgotten.  Grant me comfort when I am sad.  Give me peace when I feel turmoil.  Fill me with strength to withstand the onslaught of pity.  Let me understand that inside work is just as important to You as outside service.

Maybe more important.

Teach me that all that matters is that I am a woman after Your own heart.

And if You wouldn’t mind, please show me a sign of Your favor.

God is working his purpose out
as year succeeds to year:
God is working his purpose out,
and the time is drawing near;
nearer and nearer draws the time,
the time that shall surely be,
when the earth shall be filled 
with the glory of God
as the waters cover the sea.

- From a hymn, words written by Arthur Campbell Aigner

"Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother's womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things." (Ecclesiastes 11:5)

"You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed." 
(Psalm 139:16)

Has God ever *placed you on the sidelines* for a time in your life? What did you do?

BLOG = "Blessedly Leaning On God!"