Five Minute Friday ~ Plan

I’ve missed these days. Five Minute Friday. The day we just write without worrying if it is just right. Unedited, unscripted, unpolished. Just write. Welcome to my Five Minute Friday post.

GO

Plan

We all have them. Some of us have a 1-year plan, others have 5-year plans, some even have retirement plans when they are 30.

That’s all well and fine, but what happens when God has another plan?

I’ve been following this amazing blog called Mundane Faithfulness. If you’re not following it yet, do yourself a favor and get over there. (Though, can you finish reading this first? Once you get there, I won’t see you for a while) 🙂

Let me just say, Kara Tippetts faithfulness is anything but mundane. She is a superstar in my eyes when it comes to faithfulness.

Kara

This beautiful, loving, kind 38 year old is seeing the very possible end of her planning days. Her body is failing. She is dying. God has a plan.

What amazes me, day in and day out, about Kara is her attitude. I have no doubt that God’s plan looks nothing like she hoped it would. In fact, I’m reading her amazing book The Hardest Peace and I am seeing how she, like everyone, had a different plan in mind than diminishing health. Church planting, a young family to raise, friendships to make.

However, in spite of her life taking a very hard turn, she has not only accepted but embraced God’s plan in a way I wonder if I would ever be able to.

You know when your plans go askew – maybe that vacation you were planning for had to be cancelled. How do you handle it? Are you angry, bitter, sullen? Yeah, usually my reaction is similar. Even in the small things.

Yet, Kara has been asked to trust and embrace an eternity plan, and she is shining through it. She is so very real on her blog that I know she has her very sad days, but she trusts in the One who had the plan from the beginning. She knows that, even in the hard, God’s plan is the best plan.

Peace flows like a calm river from each of her blog posts and the pages of her book.

She accepts the plan of her Creator. She knows that whatever He is doing is good. She may not see all the good now, but she trusts that she will one day know it all. That He will wrap His arms around her and reveal His plan and how many people she has touched in this journey for Him. The journey in the hard of life.

I know that one day He will embrace her and say “Well done, good and faithful servant”.

He has a plan. My life has been intertwined with Kara’s, thanks to the internet, for a time. She doesn’t know me, but I feel like I know her. God’s plan for Kara’s life has touched mine. I know God has a plan for my life too. In the good and in the hard, I want to have mundane faithfulness like Kara.

Stop

Kara, you probably won’t see this but I want to place it here in case you do. You have deeply touched my heart with your honesty and bravery in this journey you are on. You have a peace that I desire so deeply and have encouraged me to dig deeper in my quiet times that I too might be able to have peace in the hard. You have touched many lives and don’t, even for a second, believe that God isn’t working through you. Even from that bed, you touch lives all over the world. Bringing hope, encouragement and a yearning for a glimpse of the God that is holding you. Thank you, dear sister-in-Christ, for sharing your journey with me. I pray for you often and look forward to the day when I will meet you in eternity and give you a hug. Thank you for all you’ve given me in your humble blog.

08

If you want to get in on the awesomeness of Five Minute Friday, please click the image below and join in! We love getting people hooked on this unscripted, unedited joy of writing. Let me know if you join in as I’d love to read yours! You can see my others HERE.

~Sarah

FMF

 

Advertisements

Ignoring the Giver

I just heard this song for the first time the other day.  I don’t know about you, but some songs have the power to stop me in my tracks and sometimes it seems like I’ve even stopped breathing just to listen.  This song did, and continues to, as I listen and think on the words.

I see the work of Your Hands
Galaxies spin in a Heavenly dance, oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I hear the sound of Your Voice
All at once it’s a gentle and thundering noise, oh God
All that You are is so overwhelming

I delight myself in You
Captivated by Your beauty
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

God, I run into Your arms
Unashamed because of mercy
I’m overwhelmed, I’m overwhelmed by You

Overwhelmed.  When I listen to this song, and quite a few others, I am just that.  I am overwhelmed at how deeply and completely lacking I am.

I am overwhelmed at the majesty of Him.  The deep and complete power and strength of Him.  The compassion, love, mercy and grace He shows me.  The reminder that I am worthy, because He said I am.  I don’t need to see the approval of man.  I don’t need to run in the ‘right circles’.  I don’t need to make the money the power players do.  I don’t need to be the focus of attention, be it in person or on social media.

Yet, I struggle.  I struggle to keep my focus on this magnificent God who has and is doing more for me than anything and anyone could ever do.

If you have followed this blog, or visited on occasion, you’ll know pretty quickly that I am a storm-enthusiast.  He’s given me an enthusiasm for all things storm after letting go of a 25 year fear.  I am so grateful for this.  As the dark clouds close in, I thank Him for the joy I take in them.

I have many storm chasing friends.  I’ve been blessed in making the connections I have.  Yet, I admit to making an idol of some of them.  My own stupidity.  I can look back and see how I’ve placed these very human people on a pestle because of what they do.  Not even for who they are.  Just for their job or hobby.  Sadly, relationships have changed because of my own inability to see them for who they are, beyond what they do.

I know this about myself and have been harmed by this way of thinking but I still see myself jumping at opportunities to be around them.  Not that hanging out with them is bad at all, but I feel like my priorities haven’t been where they should be.

It’s really disappointing.

I think nothing of passing off quiet time with my Father in lieu of blogging, finishing a movie, writing, reading.  Seemingly everything takes priority.  Prayer reserved for times of need. Relationship forgotten.

This is the same God that overwhelms me in the lyrics of a song, the creativity of a sunset, the majesty and power of a storm… and I can’t be bothered to continue developing a relationship with Him.

01

One of my favourite places

The same God who gave me a passion for storms and has brought amazing people into my world to show me more about it… and I would rather develop those relationships than the One who put it all into motion.

I think it’s great to have friends.  I’m grateful for each and every one of them.  I think it’s great to want to spend time with my storm chaser friends, to encourage, to support, to learn from.  I need balance though.  I want balance.

I don’t want to ignore heaven and then find that heaven is ignoring me.

I don’t want to ignore the Gift-Giver and spend all my time on the gift.

I want my focus to be on the Creator and not on the created.

I believe that if my focus is there, that all the other relationships will fall into order.

~Sarah

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted on here.  Sorry to those of you who visit on occasion to see what’s new.  I have a lot coming up in the days ahead, but for now it’s 5 minute Friday time.  Yes, I know I’m a day behind.  🙂

From Pinterest

GO

I was sitting on the couch this afternoon, watching 3 different versions of a puppet show of ‘Goldilocks and the 3 bears’ by my kids.  Each version was crazier and garnered more laughs than the last.  My son was last and started it out by saying ‘and Goldilocks tried the porridge.  This one is too hot, this one is too pillow-y.’  I think porridge and beds got a little mixed up in his story.

As I sat and watched the productions, watched the joy and excitement, held my husbands hand and shared a smile with him… I was overcome.

over·come

verb: to affect someone very strongly or severely

I was overcome with joy about how very deeply, profoundly and amazingly blessed I am.  I was so struck with this thought that, before I knew it, tears began to fall.

Surrounded by the family I had hoped for since I was a child.  In the living room of my beautiful home.  In a wonderful city that may be super cold some days but is a pretty darn safe place to raise kids.  In this country where, though not perfect, I am able to enjoy many freedoms.

So many thoughts went through my head.  It was like a movie of blessings in my world.

So, I sat.  Mind and emotions wrapped in a cocoon of such profound joy and thankfulness that, even now, I can’t explain how it felt.

Except to say that I felt an incredible sense of joy.  These lyrics are the closest I can come to explaining how I felt.

‘Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.’

If I could even find words to begin to write in the skies about how loved and blessed I felt in that moment, I know that it would indeed take more than the sky to write this love note to my Saviour.  Truly there aren’t words strong enough.

Instead, I’ll have to let the Holy Spirit translate the inexpressible feelings to the One who has blessed me so much.

Thank you, Father.

STOP

This post is not meant to be, or come across as, bragging.  This was just a reminder that I had today of how the Lord has blessed me.  We may not all be blessed in the same way, but we are blessed.  Sometimes the reminder is strong, like the smell of rain approaching.  Other times it’s subtle, like a shift in the wind.  We just need to remember to look for the blessings and not forget to thank the One who has blessed us.

Ahh, Friday (uhhh… Saturday).  How I enjoy Five-Minute Fridays.  Where a bunch of us just write, without worrying it it’s just right.

5minutefriday

1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back to Lisa’s website (click the 5 minute Friday image above for the website).

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

The heart of this community is amazing!  See more at: http://lisajobaker.com/

National Post editorial board: The form of a servant

While it may not all be quite right, this is a beautiful post about Christmas. I love the comparison to the ‘gods’ of old and their constant desire for more and more power at the expense of humanity.

“At Christmastime, Christians mark the greatest relinquishing: the omnipotent creator who chose to enter his creation as a helpless baby, the infinite accepting the finitude of time and space, the eternal constraining himself in history.”

~Sarah

Christ Emptied Himself

Five Minute Friday?: Worship

Gutter by erix!

Okay, so I am a day behind but I think it still counts so… here I

GO

Worship.  What does that mean to you?  Since I love adding definitions in, here’s the definition of worship:

Worship:
reverent honor and homage paid to God or a sacred personage, or to any object regarded as sacred.  OR adoring reverence or regard.

So, who or what do you worship?

In this age of increasing technology I’m sure many people, if they were honest, would admit that they revere and regard technology.  As I write this, I admit that I have been in awe of that wonders of technology.  I have been known to spend too many hours on FB and Twitter, connecting, chatting and just wasting time.  I’m not saying that time on the computer/phone etc… is bad.  There are some pretty awesome things about technology!

However, as I read Ezekiel 16 this morning, I was struck with how often we give our devotion to unworthy things/people.  I don’t know how many of you have read Ezekiel 16 but this is what I read.

God found us, poor, naked and dirty.  He covered us with His garment.  His spotless garment.  He gave us food, clothing.  He lifted us and placed a crown on our heads.  We are loved, cherished and so blessed.

Yet, we turn.  We turn from this blessing, from this love.  We worship whatever comes our way that catches our attention.  It could be technology, celebrities, alcohol or shopping.  We were lifted from the gutter by the Father yet sometimes we cast ourselves back into the gutter and worship what is not worthy.

Or, we worship ourselves.  We see how we have a crown from the Father and we consider ourselves lofty and above others.

I know that this may rub some people wrong, but we need to make sure that our worship is centred on the One who is worthy.  The One who pulled us from the gutter and chose to love us, in spite of our filth.  Technology won’t do that.  Celebrities, alcohol, and shopping certainly won’t do that.

What kind of example do we set?  How can we point others to the Father if we are worshipping the same things they are?

So, when we find ourselves back in the gutter, messed up from all the wrong kinds of worship, let’s extend a hand to the One who will take us back out.  Worship from the gutter and then keep worshipping when you get out!  Don’t forget who takes you out!

This is my prayer:

STOP

I’m speaking to myself here and, if you feel like this applies to you, then I hope that we take it to heart.  The Lord loves us, unworthy as we are, and He deserves our worship and our devotion.

Want to get in on Five Minute Friday (I assure you, they’re not all this heavy!), then check it all out here:

5-minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking.

2. Link back here and invite others to join in.

3. And then absolutely, no ifs, ands or buts about it, you need to visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. Seriously. That is, like, the rule.

And the fun. And the heart of this community.. – See more at:http://lisajobaker.com/#sthash.fF1a3h5R.dpuf

 ~Sarah

Until We Meet Again Noel

Dear friends,

thank you for your outpouring of prayer and support for Caleb and Alex.  They feel it all.  Thank you for sharing Noel’s story all over the world.  I am amazed at how many countries have been, and are, being touched by Noel’s life!

NoelSmile

There are many of you mourning with Caleb and Alex and they have been kind enough to work out a way for everyone to be present at her homecoming service, if you so chose.  If you would like to view the homecoming service, it is happening tomorrow (Thursday) morning at 10:00 am MDT.  You can click on the grey link below and the video will begin as soon as the page is loaded beginning at 10:00am.  You do not need to log in to view the live feed.  If you cannot be there for the live feed, there will be a YouTube posting after the service.  (I will link the YouTube video as soon as it is available.)

Homecoming Service Link

Please continue to pray for Caleb, Alex and all those who love Noel as they say goodbye for now.  I join with them joyfully in the knowledge that we will see precious Noel again.  Thank you Lord!

‘Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.’ ~ Hebrews 10:23

‘Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ ~ Hebrews 11:1

Please feel free to continue to leave prayers and messages for Caleb and Alex.  

Also, please consider making a donation to Noel’s medical (and funeral) costs by clicking the green link below.

Caleb and Alex fund.

A year after Noel went home, I ask Caleb and Alex some questions about the journey… here are their answers!

This is a wonderful song that I find so encouraging.  I love the lyrics.

Here are the other posts for Noel:
Noel at home

Happy One Week Birthday Noel

Blessings

Two Week Update

Urgent Update

Sorrow and Comfort

Until We Meet Again

Memories of Noel: The Darkness and the Light

 

Blessings, Sarah

Sorrow and Comfort: Noel Update

Noel27

As I write this, there are tears on my cheeks and an ache in my heart for Caleb and Alex.  This is the update that I was hoping not to have to write.  Yet… here it is.

Noel’s uncle said it beautifully a few hours ago:

“The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21b)

About an hour ago, little Noel started having more serious breathing issues. About 15 minuets ago, the Lord, in his wisdom, took Noel from us. There are many emotions that cannot be adequately expressed in a short post like this. I know that we are all deeply saddened and mournful over this loss but we can also be grateful that the Lord allowed us to be with His little princess for so much longer than anyone ever expected. We rejoice in the answer to prayer that she has been, in the testimony that she has given, in the way she has brought others to see God’s love and come to know Him, and most importantly in how she has brought Glory to the King.

We will miss you little Noel Sattelmeier but we take comfort knowing you are in the Lord’s hands.”

As I look back on the days Noel was here, I can’t help but be amazed at the lives she touched.  Thousands visited my blog and cared about her.  Thousands saw the miracle that God had worked in her life.  God has reached across the world with her face, her heart… her story.  What a beautiful legacy.

Noelfamily1

I fell in love with her before she drew her first breath and grew even more in love with those dark eyes and beautiful face with each picture.  She touched my heart.

Noel,

I never got to meet you in person but you are so dear to me.  I treasured getting to know you through pictures and through your families updates.  I’m happy that you are in the arms of our Saviour though I know that there are arms down here aching for you.  I can’t wait for the day I get to see you face to face.  Where ‘He will wipe every tear from our eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’.  On that day, precious girl, I will give you the biggest hug and rejoice with you.  I love you.

Please continue to pray for Caleb and Alex and family.

Thank you Jesus for two weeks with Noel.  For the cuddles, kisses and love that her family was able to share with her.  For each moment that they had with her.  Thank You for working this for good, even though we cannot see all that will come of this.  We look forward to the day that we meet those in heaven who were touched by her life.  Thank You for bringing comfort and peace to her family now.  Sear the memories into their minds and may those memories bring great joy to their hearts.  We pray that Noel’s life and story would still draw others to you.  May Caleb, Alex and their family continue to be a testament of faithfulness and  trust as they move forward in You.  Draw them closer to You and closer to each other.  Amen.

To everyone who is reading this and to those who have been following Noel’s story, thank you for your prayers and support.  We are so grateful, and hope that you will continue to pray for Noel’s family and for her life to continue to draw others to the Lord.

Please feel free to leave prayers and notes here for Caleb and Alex.  I will be sure to get them to the family.

Blessings, Sarah  (Matthew 5:4)

Here are the other posts for Noel:
Noel at home

Happy One Week Birthday Noel

Blessings

Two Week Update

Urgent Update

Sorrow and Comfort

Until We Meet Again

Memories of Noel: The Darkness and the Light