Friday, August 26, 2016

Proverbs for Fall

I've been working hard these past few days. Praying. Pondering. Putting into action. God knows my heart and although I admit I hesitate a moment every now and again - I have nothing to lose.
I've known for a while that September I'll be ditching my reading plans and camping out in Proverbs. I've done that before, but this is more intentional, and I'm not going there alone, and I expect God will speak to us. I am also inviting some friends along, to share what God is revealing to them through the Proverbs too.
I want to invite you to come along too. Whether you are a blog reader or a strictly Facebook kinda person, hang out with us in Proverbs the next several months. We start on September 1, and will repeat it at least through December - 3 months in a row, just one Proverb a day, you read your Bible and I'll read mine. I may throw something special up in a personal commentary kind of way, or a friend may have heard a clear message to share and encourage, but then again, maybe not... We will just see where God goes with this!!
#marinaskitchentable #proverbsforfall
The view from Marina's Kitchen Table, out to the bird feeders in the back yard... This view will be changing over the next few months, and I invite you to come along as a few friends and I journey through Proverbs this fall. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Morning Memory...

I wrote this a year ago, and as we were back in Kentucky last week (but didn't go to our old neighborhood) the life we experienced there is fresh on my mind. The farmland surrounding us, the place we made home, riding my bicycle with my camera in my basket... and being so close to so many grandkids are all things I miss. 

God has been so faithful to walk with us this past year! He sold our home (technically, twice!) within a month, AGAIN! He sustained me in apartment life transition, and found a house for us to buy that was nothing like I expected (I had determined that God and Mark were going to have to figure that out this time without me). I spent most of this past year sick, but I knew He had purpose in that too, for me to rest and acclimate to this life. In time, He brought us to our new church home, and we fully immersed ourselves in it. 

It's a different life than a year ago, but it's the life HE has called me to live, in abundance! 

This is the first fall in 4 years that we are not in a moving process. We don't see Mark's job changing, we aren't looking at another community online and scoping out houses on real estate sights. We realize the gift that it is to be "home" for a bit, to let the roots go a little deeper, yet I admit, I'm a little afraid to fully exhale (knowing how quickly God has brought about change in the past). 

He leaves nothing to chance. When I look back, there are several spots we can see that "God moved us before..."  He moved us before a company decision would have eliminated his job. He moved us before illness set in, to a place of healing. He moved us to give us a year close to kids and grandkids before moving us here, and we made some really good memories.

There are still things I miss from the places I've lived before. Neighbors. The spacious kitchen with double ovens. The view, with amazing sunrises and sunsets. Flat roads for walking and bike riding. Being close to a college campus and the fellowship and mentoring of the girls that gathered there. Farmland that brought amazing views for miles. A church body that loved and accepted me, used my gifts without hesitation, and invested in growing me in new ways. Oh, and those grandkids...how I miss them. 

God is here. He didn't move me to put me away from Him, but for me to draw deeper from Him. 

Before this move, several months before Mark's job changed suddenly, we prayed about a different move within the company. It had blessings and challenges, and as we sought God we felt completely free to make the decision we wanted to make. One wasn't "from God" and one "from the devil." It was our choice, and He would teach us different things based on what direction we decided to move (or stay). As we sat at dinner one night, I shared with Mark how God had spoken to me - as audibly as I have ever heard Him speak - to choose the hardest thing. 

The hardest thing would draw me closer to Him, make me more dependent on Him. He might be the only thing I have to cling to, but HE would be there, and I would grow in ways I couldn't ever grow if I stayed in my comfort zone. 

As I shared with him, I could see his thoughts shift to what his own hardest thing was. 

My hardest thing was to leave my grandkids, to move beyond a driving distance and have the physical separation from the near daily contact I loved so much. 

Mark's hardest thing was to remain in a difficult job, working under people who didn't realize how much God loved them and seemed to want Mark gone one moment, then give him an occasional pat on the back when they wanted to. 

We stayed, and just 5 months later, after an excellent review, they released him to find another position. And we moved away from the grandkids. 

I've been growing in new ways ever since.