Nature's Heart

Nature's Heart

Friday, May 30, 2014

Follow your heart

Change: Nope, I'm not talking about the pocket kind...I have made some decisions recently that have surprised me. There are life changing decisions being made from this gal who is know for her preference and major planning skills and who's idea of gambling big would be to spend a maximum of $20 at the penny slots.

Ben has been in my life for over a year and a half now (how time flies when you are having fun!)...and it has all been long distance. While there have been hardships with the miles physically separating us, the blessing that have come from this distance have far outweighed any of the hardships. We have had to be inventive in our approach to stay connected and have been rather forced to develop certain communication skills faster than non-distance relationships might.
Anyway, we have been discussing the idea of living closer to each other...the funny thing about this whole moving topic is that Ben still has one more year to serve in the Military. This means that he doesn't have the "luxury" of relocating and thus makes our options pretty simple...if we were going to try to close this distance gap, I would be the one that would have to relocate.
So, you probably have guessed it...
 Ben and I took this lovely walk on his last visit. It was breathtaking when we turned the corner and were greeted with this stunning scene as we begin our stroll. Oh you beautiful Northwest how I will miss you!
I have put in my notice with all of my places of employment, have been working on finishing some improvements to my house, figuring out how to rent my home and starting the reviewing process of rental applications, all while trying to make time to visit with friends and family, fitting in last minute health appointments while I still have insurance with my job, donating car loads of random items I don't want to schlep across the country and let's not forget the ever thrilling process of collecting moving boxes (and the list goes on).
Over this last visit Ben was gracious enough to help me with a big project of repairing part of my back patio...a project that would end up being much bigger than we anticipated.
 How many building supplies and 6ft 7(ish) Bens can I fit in my car???

One lesson that I have learned through the home renovating or maintaining process is NEVER underestimate a project and its ability to grow...
What I thought would be a few boards to replace from dry rot turned out to be almost the whole deck and structural support beams. YIKES!!!

Good thing I had this handy guy volunteer his carpenter skills!

Didn't he do a nice job!?! And my painting skills weren't too shabby either if I do say so myself!

Doesn't that floor look shiny and new!! Yay for being able to walk safely on it!
I also finally cleaned the last section of siding at the back of my house! Looks SOOO much better and was a killer arm work out! Who needs a gym when you have a house!
Well as you can see this ball is rolling! I have less than 30 days before I am on the road saying goodbye to Washington and saying hello to an amazing adventure filled with unknowns...I'm so excited to begin this new season in my life, to take risks and take myself out of my comfort zone, to experience and embrace all of the love, joy that I can because in the long run that's what life is for right?

Monday, May 5, 2014

Press On!!!

Lots of good scripture reads over the last several days...Last week one of my favorite verses arrived in my e-mail (I even have it posted in my car). Although this verse has spoken to me in many different ways over the years...upon reading the commentary by Dave Whitehead, this scripture  once again spoke to my heart on a whole new level.
Posted: 28 Apr 2014 09:15 PM PDT
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.
– Philippians 3:14-15 (NIV)
Today’s commentary
by Dave Whitehead, Senior Pastor,

Christian maturity is not a life of apathy. If we expect to grow in our faith we must keep pressing heavenward, no matter what our age. In other words, if your Christian walk is best described in the past tense of memories your growth is stunted. Yet in our quest for maturity, we often make the mistake of thinking we need some new or exciting revelation to grow, but the Scripture places a much greater value on living in the light of what we already know.

"Living in the light of what we already know"... Pursue Him and trust in Him with ALL of your heart, "In all of your ways acknowledge Him [another translation uses the word, "submit "to Him] and He will direct your paths"- Proverbs 3:5-6 He will make it clear what you have to do...and I have found time and time again that He reveals this through me peace about decisions is often times how I know which decision to make. Do not mistake that with this peace means that He has called for you to walk an easy might get very rocky, very steep, but I do believe that anything worth having requires effort. Pressing on, means pushing ourselves past what we believe we are (and most often these limits are self-established) capable of...and to go beyond any limits that we have placed upon ourselves. How often is it that we restrict ourselves from accomplishing all that God has called and made us capable to do?

I love using the physical/athletic analogy for this... So let's use the example of muscle. I'm sure you are familiar with the saying "if you don't use it you lose it". You can't build anything strong without first tearing down the old muscle...making room and a foundation for healthier stronger muscles to grow and be replaced. This however requires strain and force...friction and resistance...and ultimately is a process. It isn't instantaneous but rather reinforced and repeated behavior and actions that then transforms into muscle memory.

With freedom comes responsibility...a responsibility to maintain a disciplined life. Freedom is anything but free...ironic as that sounds, but it's takes time, effort and energy. You get back what you put in...or "reap what you sow" is another very familiar verse/saying that you might also be familiar with. You have to eliminate or put up boundaries to unhealthy choices...and through establishing these "limits" and maintaining a disciplined life ultimately gives your more freedoms in the long run.
"Whatever you do, work at it with all of your heart" (Colossians 3:23). Regardless of the outcome or situation you can take pride in your work and effort and I don't think I can remember a time when putting forth my best work/effort hasn't paid off or taken me down a bad road, but rather it has opened more doors than I sometimes knew what to do with.
Now it's time to practice what I just preach...It's time for me to get back on the working out a bit more...I have slacked off and although I have been trying to maintain my spiritual and mental physical well being has been put on the back burner for longer than I want to admit... I'm going to change treadmill is calling my time...time to turn up the heat and PRESS ON!!!