This morning I was walking the Marina with Grace & EJ (newest granddaughter) & I ran into something. Not physically… I ran into something in my head while Grace & I were catching up on what is happening with each of us.

I ran into Worries.

She asked me if I was excited to go to Germany at the end of the month, & as I answered, I realized I had stepped right into the middle of of a pack of Worries (cares, anxieties, unknowns, & the like) that initially stuck to me like goatheads stick to your pantlegs, socks, & shoes when you walk through the Nevada brush.

WORRIES. Worries about being able to sleep with a 9 hour time difference from home. Worries about navigating the German inter-city train system. Worries about train schedules. Worries about getting lost. Worries about our health. Worries about traveling in another country. Worries about the German language. Worries about bringing too much stuff. Worries about not bringing enough stuff. Worries about getting stranded. Worries about what’s happening at home. Worries about not being liked. Worries about not being received. Worries about worry… you get the picture.

As we talked, I spoke up & identified to Grace that I was indeed experiencing a whole pack, a virtual plethora of Worries… & that I was simultaneously tackling the temptation to worry head on… I KNOW (& I spoke out loud) that I cannot address ANY of those potential Worries right now, as I’m HERE in the present, not a month in the future. I KNOW (& spoke out loud) that I have committed our trip, our ways & means, EVERYTHING about it to Jesus, & therefore, it does me no good to embrace (or even pick up) a worry that doesn’t even belong to today.

Further, I KNOW (& I spoke out loud) that God has, is, & will care for all of my & our needs, hopes, plans, etc., & that the temptation to Worry is not something He’s giving me so “I can be prepared,” for it in the future. Instead, I KNOW (& I spoke out loud) that I am making the choice & the commitment, today & going forward, to reject worry & to replace it with THANKS. Thanks to God for provision. Thanks for His care. Thanks for His favor. Thanks for His protection. Thanks for divine appointments. Thanks for the continuing of decades-long relationships. Thanks for His care over our home, our family, our precious babies, our church community, & our workplace.


This is (& I am) a work in progress & process… but I am determined.

And may I encourage you as well? If (WHEN) you encounter your own pack of Worries, consider responding with persistent, persevering THANKS instead. To the One who holds us, our days & times, & all we are, in His hands.

Preparing for the Spring…

Looking out across the valley, the last rays of sun leap out from behind the Sierras. Dark clouds streak the sky as a whistling wind rises & falls, reminding me that though this is the 1st official day of Spring, Winter hasn’t packed his bags & moved on. Yet.

The tease of the last few warm days have almost wiped away the memory of 2 feet of snow just 1 month ago. The ‘new-ness’ of life that comes with Spring definitely makes me think about change & transition. Wondering what new things are headed my way. What ‘new mercies of the LORD’ are coming towards me? Where am I going to be challenged to grow, develop, & lean into God in a new way…? To be taken beyond what I can see & know to the place of utter dependence. The place of “I don’t know about 2 weeks from now; though I’m fairly sure about today. And I know where to look tomorrow.” If that makes sense.

There is a temptation to stay where I am. In the familiar, the comfortable, the known. The places where my feet have marked a worn path, where I can almost walk with my eyes closed. A place where I feel competent. Strong. Secure.

To me, walking with God means being led. Not being the one in the drivers seat of my life, dictating what I’m doing & where I’ll be doing it; rather, looking for where it seems He’s at work in & mostly around me, & seeing how I can jump in in those spots. It means humility, a willingness to not “know” with certainty the plan for the next 3-5 months, let alone the next 3-5 years. To invite the Holy Spirit to shine a light into my life, even into the dark corners where we’ve hid the dirty laundry, that escapes even the most well-trained eye. But not His.

Practicing repentance. Realigning with God’s purpose, plan, & direction.

Laying down the right to be offended. To put aside (not deny, but not hold onto) hurt feelings. False accusations. A character that has been assassinated yet again, leaving the defense of me to the One who knows me best. Even if it means appearing weak.

The last several months, I’ve been reminded that I need to be planting God’s Word in my life, heart, mind, & spirit. To read, listen to, & meditate upon the Bible. To get it ‘in me,’ so that it can bring about the life God desires for me, & to provide fodder for the Holy Spirit to apply as the Spirit sees fit.

Entering Spring, I reapply myself to the Process, to say “Yes,” to what God has for me & mine in this next period of my life. That His purposes, His mission would be my priority. That love for others would overflow in my life; that I would grow in knowledge & discernment, to know what is REALLY important; to be fruitful in Christ-likeness, living pure & holy in His sight, bringing praise & glory to Him.

Yep. Here comes the Spring. And I’m looking for the new.