Posted in Life, Prayer, Uncategorized, Writing

Love is Patient

 

Love is patient.  1 Corin. 1:4 (NIV)

 Love never gives up. (MSG)

 

“Meanwhile,” said Mr. Tumnus, “it is winter in Narnia,

and has been for ever so long . . .”

~ C. S. Lewis– The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

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Patience seeks us out in the winter.

 

In the heaviness of snow-laden icy branches and soundless gray landscapes of Alaska, when the days were dark and the nights were long, I yearned for any hint of warmth and light and color.

 

There are seasons in my life like this, too.

 

Seasons of abiding under.

 

Seasons of enduring through.

 

Seasons of patience.

 

Patient love is deeply rooted in faith. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for, being convinced of what we do not see.(Heb. 11:1)Patient love refuses to give up when things seem stagnant and stuck. It endures in the winters of life, steadfastly believing in the inevitability of spring.

 

Helen Keller said:

We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world.

 

Love challenges us: Be patient. Don’t give up or you might stay in endless winter.

 

Patient love waits . . . when it seems like distant feelings will never be resolved.

 

Patient love stands alongside . . . when the hurt is almost too much to bear.

 

Patient love forgives the harsh words . . . welcomes back the lost . . . holds the hand of the dying.

 

Patient love does hard things.

 

Let our patient love be the kind that holds fast in the difficult. That stays the course. That believes nothing is too hard to patiently, faithfully withstand in hope.

 

Patient love propels us to spring.

 

Patient love never gives up.



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 “And yet you go away with nothing, whilst all the time God has stood with outstretched hands not only to take you, but for you to take Him. Think of the invincible, unconquerable, unwearying patience of Jesus.”

~ Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest

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Whoever is patient has great understanding.

~Proverbs 14:29a

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Patient love endures through the winter, knowing that the spring eventually arrives. Don’t give up! God sees what you’re abiding under and what you’re hoping for.

 

Today is a GOOD day!

Natalie

 

Posted in Life, Prayer, Uncategorized, Writing

A Simple Note

Thank you so much for visiting my site!

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Sign up here . . . 

Currently, I am sending out a personal letter each week A Simple Note –  to those who’d like to receive it.

 This short, weekly letter includes:

  • a brief and sincere reflection – a thought for the day
  • a prayer focus to think and pray about
  • and sometimes a small tidbit that’s of interest

It’s short and sweet, a bit of encouragement for the day.

If you’re interested, you can subscribe here: 

 

 

 

Thanks again for visiting – it means so much!  And, as always, I welcome your questions and comments!

~ Natalie

Today is a GOOD day!

 

Posted in Life, Prayer, Uncategorized, Writing

A Simple Note

Thank you so much for visiting my site! As I settle back into some writing after a short break, I’ve thought about ways I can connect with you.

Would you like to receive a short weekly e-letter of encouragement?

Currently, I am sending out a personal letter each week A Simple Note –  to those who’d like to receive it.

 This short, weekly letter includes:

  • a brief and sincere reflection – a thought for the day
  • a prayer focus to think and pray about
  • and sometimes a small tidbit that’s of interest

It’s short and sweet, a bit of encouragement for the day.

If you’re interested, you can subscribe here: 

Thanks again for visiting – it means so much!  And, as always, I welcome your questions and comments!

~ Natalie

Today is a GOOD day!

Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Stuck

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It’s 20 below and there’s a goat in the back of our SUV.

And it’s snowing.

And we’ve pulled over on a snowbanked shoulder of another sparsely-traveled road in rural Alaska.

Did I mention the goat? In the back of our SUV?

There’s a saying in Alaska that there are two kinds of drivers: 1) the one who’s in the ditch and 2) the one who’s going to be in the ditch. We are helping the former. The culprits of this mishap continue to stand in the middle of the road, casually licking salt from the pavement – two moose. They were rather busy at the moment that the car came around the curve and had no intention of moving. Hence, a driver finds himself in the ditch and we are trying to help dig him out. We, meaning my husband. I’m still in the the SUV with the kids. And the goat.

Why you might ask is there a goat in our SUV? Simple – because we are driving 145 miles to drop her off at a farm in the hopes that she will one day give us goat’s milk. Yes, these are the things we do in rural Alaska because it’s winter, and it’s entertainment. You’ve heard of cabin fever, right?

Looking back at this day in 2007, I remember feeling frustrated with our morning. We’d gotten the goat into a kennel and put her in the back of our SUV; we’d wrangled our young children into the car with snacks and books and CD’s and Dramamine for the 4-hour drive; we’d loaded ourselves along with the required emergency bag of blankets, snow gear, a shovel, fix-the-car things. I was tired before we started.

Sometimes I feel like I’m only able to do what must be done for that one day, ticking off an endless to-do list, certain that I’m really not making a difference. I want to move mountains! But I feel stymied, just like I did that day on the snowbanked road. I want to move forward to the next thing, fulfill my purpose, catch a vision, but I find myself stuck.

Stuck– to remain in a static position; fail to progress

Here’s the thing: God is right there in the midst of our stuck places; our little kids, long drives, tiresome job, to-do list covered stuck places. In fact, it is often in our most persistent stuck places that He shows up to lead us on to the next thing. The stuck place is a place for listening and learning and leaning. Don’t waste it! Recognize it.

 

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Being stuck requires us to use sensitive ears and inquisitive eyes, perceiving how He might lead if we listen well and are willing to follow. Unsticking is one of His specialties and I believe He takes pleasure in leading us out of our mundane confinement, to a vision that we cannot conceive in and of ourselves.

So we listen and watch. Following His lead, we dip into the pools of faith, then float the rivers of possibility, finally sailing the oceans of God-offered opportunity. He is pleased when we commit to following however and wherever He takes us. He loves to unstick us.

Feeling stuck? Be still. Observe. Contemplate. Take note. Then allow Him to dig you out of that snowbank, tow you back onto the road, propel you forward in new vision and purpose.

Even if there is a goat in your SUV.

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Today is a good day!

~Natalie

First published on The Arctic Travelogue

https://arctictravelogue.com/2016/06/08/stuck/

Posted in Life, Uncategorized, Writing

Drive On – There’s a Rest Stop Soon

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Life is a journey. We’re all on one, trying to get from Point A to Point B, in the most efficient way possible. And as with all journeys, we’ll experience a few unexpected stops along the way. An empty tank of gas. A flat tire. A bout with car sickness. We may run out of cheese crackers or Dramamine or forget the highway bingo game.

Do you sometimes feel like you’ll never arrive, like the destination you’ve set your sights on always hovers just beyond your reach? A job change, a growing family, a better relationship, a fresh start . . .

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Sometimes when my perfectly laid out, as-the-crow-flies plan falls apart and I find my GPS Route B irrelevant, I just want to quit; to abandon the whole trip, right there in the middle of the highway with no rest stop in sight.

I expect my perfect plan to work out . . . well, perfectly – because I took the time beforehand to iron out all the wrinkles. Shouldn’t I be able to move smoothly towards my destination?

Maybe. But like wearing linen on a long, hot car ride, the reappearing wrinkles are inevitable for all of us.

Even so, press forward! Drive on because the destination isn’t the only thing that matters. The journey matters, too. The long road with its potholes and switchbacks, the things that shape our character, make us resilient and adventurous. There will be time to rest and regroup, and then we must move on again.

God uses perseverance as our instructor, and she’s an unpredictable navigator who insists on bypasses and detours, just so we’ll have rich experiences to carry through life.

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This journey is yours to own; the destination yours to conquer. Embrace every bit of your travel time – the stops, the starts, the layovers.

And then the air conditioning on the fritz and the whining in the back seat and the unexpected construction delays will serve you well.

Drive on.

Don’t give up.

There’s a rest stop soon.

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Today is a good day!

~Natalie