All posts in My Listening Year

A Pause in The Pain

I am learning the difference between owning stress and stress owning you.  Continue reading →

Waiting to Breath

It has been a while since I indulged my eye and heart in my passion for the little things in life… Continue reading →

Adventures in Waiting

(My fridge has become THE family organizational center of the house.  
Need to know info?!  Check the fridge.)


It occurred to me that all to often in our desire to follow after Christ I have been like Sarah, laughing at God’s plan because it seems so beyond her, and Garnet has been more like Abraham, taking God at his word, just his word, needing nothing more.  Being the one to see everything through to the end has been a good trait as the mom in this family.  I keep on top of everyones stuff, thus need a detailed plan for my day to day, my week to week and even months ahead.  This doesn’t transfer over to a healthy personality trait in the world of faith.

Steven Furtick is a young speaker from the states.  I gleamed much from a message he shared on bold faith.  Faith is audacious (showing a willingness to take bold risks).    It takes audacity to live by faith, because faith abounds when you don’t have all the info.  It is risky and appears brash to step out and act on what little leading you usually get, all too often it is not enough info by worldly logic.  It involves doing our part, the only part that we limited humans are able to do, and then trusting God for the rest.  Our part is faith in Christ’s call.  This doesn’t mean figuring it all out, all that you are to do, and then getting to work.  It is more correctly, intimately getting to know Jesus more and digging to the depths of who you are in him. Taking steps, with out the whole picture, moves this from daydreaming to a vision.

2 KINGS 3: 16-20

The before mentioned preacher shared about the story of Elisha telling the people to fill their valley with MANY ditches so they would receive plenty of water.  They had to act and dig the ditches with no visual proof that the rain would come.  The rain was God’s part.  He finishes things… we want to know it all and yet don’t need to for we are not doing it all, he is… and he knows already.

Our Ditch

Garnet and I dug a ditch when we left Waldheim, turned our backs on the chance to have our dream acreage.  We felt asked by the Lord to put ourselves in a place of availability, available to be active workers in his kingdom, and that meant moving on from where we where happy and comfortable and then waiting where we where not comfortable.

With each passing year since our choice to dig that ditch we have seen growth and opportunities present themselves.  We’ve tried to let the Spirit do his work in us, and sought to seize all opportunities of purpose in Christ’s kingdom.  All along we still feel a call; a need to not hold on to what we have and where we are at.  In prayer we strive to keep our hearts prepared for change, for more intense kingdom service.

With each year we see glimpses of clarity about this call, but still have little information on what, when or how… we still don’t appear to fit the bill of your typical ministry couple…  THUS we have lots of opportunities to grow more in faith…

My Ditch

Garnet has always been very open about sharing this.  I have always huddled behind my man wishing for more faith… Today I dug another ditch and shared our call publicly at a study and now on my blog.  Now I wait.  Garnet and I wait, digging ditches as steps of faith present themselves.  It is the least we can do as we hope for opportunity to do more…in his time.



(Fall 2009)

Selfish heart you never could stand up under the pain,
the brokenness,
that loving people brings.

Scoffing at pain came easily when there was no love to give,
no brokenness to face.
Avoiding naively,
the pain came,
you would deny it.
Girding yourself with anger,
RAGGING against the brokenness…
Only to be broken more,
falling harder,

The rage doesn’t last,
it was all a desperate show,
as also the scoffing and denial held no strength.

Get shattered enough times and you learn how to bend,
how to kneel…
how to surrender to the suffering of loving beyond yourself.

With prideful selfish resistance gone,
the focus outward,
the heart is molded,
Embracing the risk,
the inevitable pain,
and loving the people you’re given,
you grow.
More and more people,
more and more breaking.
More and more strength found beyond you,
selfish heart.
Strength found in Jesus.


Your Life

“This is your life, Treat yourself right, Treat others right, Do what you know you should.” ~Newsboys

When I first started blogging the only alone time I got was in the van driving my oldest back and forth to school and so I had named the spiritual part of my blog ‘Van Visions’. Of late I find I am not able to find spiritual alone time in my own home. I am not comfortable with seeking my Jesus out there. I don’t know exactly why, I am sure this is just a season, but the point is I am again very thankful for ‘Van Visions’. Jesus knows how to speak to me where I am at and lately that seems to be in the vehicle again.
When in a storm I often feel selfish and then tend to deal with that by self punishment… it doesn’t work. I quickly forget how others see me and assume they see me as my internal dialogue says. It is ironically very very self focused, this kind of depression… Trying to snap myself out of selfishness alone often leads to more selfishness…

It seems totally wrong to have the approach of ‘treat yourself right’ at times like this in my life and yet that is what Christ keeps whispering to me. We are no good to anyone if we are not good to ourselves.

Learning to make alone time, give yourself breaks… Learning to stop obsessing about mistakes and character flaws will allow one to focus on things beyond them self… others beyond them self… Jesus.

I think I could get more time in then just the drives around the city… I think I assume I need to put off alone time and after a while when I have gone without I run from it… But I need to treat myself right and spend time with my Jesus.

LUKE 5:16
So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

MARK 1:35-37
Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.


Hope For Me…

Deeply thankful for hearing…
There are some of us who are easily forgotten, easily unseen, invisible…
Gnawing fears come from this state and can eat a person alive.
There are some of us who will be consumed by the fears and will turn into people we where not meant to be… people with out hope for themselves.
There are some of us who will be rescued before it is to late and will be told ‘there is hope for you yet’, whether we deserve it or not…

There are some of us who will continually meet our same old enemy over and over again…
Gnawing fear will lurk and every now and then drag a person down again.
There are some of us who are stormy souls by nature, battling more with themselves then with anything else, easily deceived about who they are, easily blinded about who they can be.
There are some of us who will pull back because of lack of trust and will always risk letting fear get too strong a hold…

Even so…

There is hope for me yet…

Jesus remembers the forgettable, he sees the invisible.

Deterred by a great distances? Not our God.
Overwhelmed by our issues? Not our God.
Disappointed in our personalities? Not our God.

Moved with love for us always? OUR GOD!

“There is hope for me yet
Because God wont forget
all the plans he’s made for me.

I have to wait and see.

He’s not finished with me yet.

And the farther on I go
I’ve seen enough to know
That I’m, not here for nothing
He’s up to something!”
~Brandon Heath


Found It

Sacrifice – the surrender, devoting or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim.
Too tired to turn on the computer and look up the devotional I have been following I flipped open my favorite copy of the Bible and found Psalms… it felt like a Psalms kinda morning…

I sat with my younger two screaming and laughing and running around the room and tried really really hard to listen… I don’t have a word for my year…. not so far and it has been the first year in, well, years so I have been feeling a bit nervous… worried about why not!

Looked down at the fourth Psalm and noticed scribbles. This caught my attention as there are hardly any marks in this Bible yet. Verse four and five had a special note dated three years ago from now. “I need to sacrifice my TIME, to Him so I can trust him and not be distressed, disturbed…” The verses read ‘When you are disturbed, do not sin; ponder it on your beds, and be silent. Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the Lord’

If I get stressed I still tend to cram my time till I am too busy for the Lord, on purpose often, and then I only become more overwhelmed by life and out of line with my life purpose, glorifying God, furthering the Kingdom, aligning myself with what He has going on… That was the mark where this arrow of scripture hit my heart years ago and it did so again today… After a year learning about listening I no longer think I can just learn stuff and hope it sticks or try to change… I now no it will involve coming to the Lord, waiting on the Lord…

The verse and comment where as relevant today…Phew, can I sacrifice TIME to the Lord this year?


Jeremiah 6: 16

Thus says the Lord
Stand at the crossroads,
and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way lies;
and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls…

p.s. Thanks for the verse Chris 😉


Jeremiah 42 and 43

Johanan and Azariah approached Jeremiah the prophet and asked him to pray to the Lord for them…. they mentioned ‘pray to the Lord your God for us…’ a clear sign that they weren’t owning their relationship with Jehovah. The prophet warned he would keep nothing back and they insisted ‘ May the Lord be a true and faithful witness against us if we do not act according to everything that the Lord your God sends us through you.’

Ten days later he shared God’s word and it was not what they wanted to hear. They had plans to escape to Egypt in hopes of avoiding Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and the Lord spoke through Jeremiah that the people must remain in their land, trusting in God for their safety and ‘…if you are determined to enter Egypt and go to settle there, then the sword that you fear shall overtake you there…’

They immediately proclaimed Jeremiah a trader and packed up and left…

The point was made in our study that they obviously came for blessing on their plan. There was no real heart of submission to God’s plan in the situation. They want a tag along God and not a God who actually answers and leads.

So relative to my last post.


Lifted (phew)

(Baby Boy practicing prayer as his heart welled up in thankfulness for his gingersnap cookie.)“I urge you to slow your pace, to approach His hallowed name thoughtfully. Take time! Give Him the respect He deserves. Wait on God. In return, He will give you a clearer vision. Furthermore, He will soften your will and make you want to know and do His will.”

From Simple Faith by Charles Swindoll.

Here I go again, borrowing from Prairie Chick ; quotes she has made, posts she is sharing and things she is being taught and sharing in our little online devotional. More appreciating and standing in joyful agreement with her I suppose!


A few days ago I posted about changing your point of view, specifically in prayer but it leads into all aspects of life (IT MUST lead into all aspects of life). Making your focus being lead by God and not letting him tag alone with you… selflessness verses selfishness… listening verses pleading…

Prairie Chick’s thoughts completed a lot of the Spirits call to me lately with … desiring after him and not after your own plans! He is truly teaching us how to love by insisting we long for him, for love has not one selfish mutant cell!


Just yesterday I was being crushed with a mood… a mood brought on by a burden I wasn’t meant to be carrying… I was frustrated and letting myself be confused about my ability to discern… After a few days of depressive thoughts I realised the only thing I was doing wrong was trying to fix it myself… this only realised when I stopped pleading for God to make this work for me and instead asking him what he wanted from me… he wanted me to let go…

This burden was valuable and nothing insignificant in the spiritual sense but I realise it therefore was valuable to God too and he could handle it better then I!


After letting it go in prayer I took a step of faith and called a friend who was involved and basically called off the desperate and feeble battle… ‘We are leaving it in his hands for now!’ I couldn’t believe how relieved we both where! The reaction was immediate! My physical self was energized and my emotions where happy and my heart was no longer heavy!

Following God, seeking to be in his ultimate will, is always better then taking the bull by the horn yourself, even when you think it is a worthy cause you must first LET GOD!


So now I am in another place of waiting and listening for what is next and I am so much happier here! There is one constant that today and yesterday share… both days I was clueless about how to deal with it all but the difference is BIG… yesterday I was desperate to carry it and solve it and praying for blessing… Today I have surrendered to Gods will and the unknown is completely manageable because of the little seed of faith he has given me for it!