Deane's Blog

trust

Slaves?

FaithDeane Watters1 Comment

dsc_0009Many of us would say that we are free people, not enslaved to anybody or anything. No one stands over us with a whip, insisting that we work, work, work! But work, work, work we do.

I would throw out an opinion that we ARE slaves, each of us. Something keeps us as attached to our securities as a tree finds itself attached to the ground. The question is, though, who or what is keeping us restrained?

Recently, as our small group finished Breathe, a study by Priscilla Shirer, I threw out the question,

In what area(s) of your life do you struggle with the fear of not having or being enough?

In other words, who or what is ruling  you?

The answers had much to tell:

  • Feeling the need to be in control
  • Anxiety that I might not have enough to eat
  • Distress that I'm not enough as a wife
  • Stressed that I 'm not enough as a mom
  • Worrying that I don't have enough time
  • Troubled that I won't have enough money

And so we work hard to assure ourselves that we have worth and somehow we can make it all work out. But we're never quite sure we really will.

Personally, time is my taskmaster. Somehow I feel enslaved by the need to "get stuff done," which leaves me feeling overwhelmed and unable to step beyond my "to do" list. There are times, at the end of the day, when I ponder why I didn't make that phone call to someone in need, or why I didn't volunteer to take that meal to one with a new baby. If it's not on my list, it doesn't get included. I love spontaneous people, and I love to be called to join in someone's immediate fun, but I can't usually break free to be the instigator of last minute escapades.

The truth is, something looms more powerful and terrifying than any on that list. What could be so formidable that we hang on tightly to control, to time, to money, to feeling good enough?

My first thought calls FEAR our intimidating foe.  It tells us that it is all up to us. If we don't get it right, then it won't get done. We fear that at the end of the day we'll be failures.

But... I think it's even more than fear.

I would venture a guess that a more powerful ruler over our hearts is a lack of BELIEF that God is who he says he is. A lack of TRUST reigns. Will He come through? Will He be enough to enable me to be the best mom or wife possible? Will He accomplish through me all that needs to be done in my day. Is it really all up to me? We continue fearful and intimidated.

Many of us know this, have known it for years, yet we are still afraid, still unable to trust God to be who He says He is. What are we to do? What is the bottom line? What will move us from being shaky in faith, fearful and untrusting into faith filled confident women of God?

Here are a few ideas:

  • Be aware of what lie tries to push you around, then be determined to stop letting it control you.
  • Pray for the ability to change.
  • Talk with someone about it. Perhaps ask them to come alongside you to encourage you in your desire to do things differently.
  • Look for a story or scripture verse to mediate on that will inspire you.
  • Practice trusting God. Find faith moment by moment.
  • When you find yourself afraid, ask for faith. Then trust God. Don't ask for faith and then allow yourself to continue in fear.

Just don't stay the same. Don't continue to be enslaved by a cruel taskmaster that makes you miserable, keeps you busy and is relentless in its high expectations.

As much as we hate the idea of being a slave, many of us are servants to the lies that laugh in the face of God and keep us from the freedom Christ came to secure for us.

In Galatians 5:1 Paul encourages us: It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

What will it take for us to take our stand against the lies that enslave us?

 

 

 

 

 

evening thoughts

Deane Watters4 Comments

It has been a quiet weekend. We've been watching basketball and wrestling mostly, not doing much. It is unusual for me because I like to "get stuff done." Too much sports on TV enables me to find any number of reasons to retreat to my writing studio to play with words or pick up fabric. My alone time this day has a tinge of something in it that doesn't feel directed, focused, or brave. If I  ignore it, the thing might stay hidden a little longer and that feels good for today.

I know how to get to this unsure feeling. I could open my notebook, start writing and very quickly it would surface. I have trained my heart. Get alone. With pen in hand open the notebook. Put the date at the top and start writing. Very quickly what is inside will surface and words will pour out on to the page. It will become very clear very quickly what is happening inside so I can work through whatever it is.

But today, I choose to hold back; to let whatever is pressing find rest in the dark. It will still be there tomorrow.  Clarity will show itself after a while. Let it wait.

I'm sitting in my studio at my writing desk looking out the window toward the waning sunset. A trio of black birds enjoys a group dance on the breeze, circling in open space with black branched treetops and graying back lit clouds. A slight breeze tugs at the boughs which allows them to enter the ballet. More birds join as they sway and soar and slice the space with wide open wings. Gliding up, falling down and across in smooth beautiful form, all somehow soaring together. Flying north, suddenly they rotate and turn south again, as though a conductor is carefully directing: back and forth, in and out, up and down.

If I could fly with them I could soar with no cares in the world, feeling the air lifting my body to the heights with my fellow black birds, in step with the unheard rhythm of the evening sky.

For today, can I be free of the confines of life, the fears that so aggressively set their sites on me? Can I fly with the crisp air under my wings as I trust the air to hold me, for my body to do what it was created to do? Can I trust the Creator of time. Am I able to trust the way life is?

I am not a bird. I do not find ease upon the the skies, face to face with the treetops. But today I will fly my own dance of courage, keeping in step with the rhythm of my heart, my life, and even the way I thought life would go. Asking for faith and trust in the grand Creator, I find peace that whatever happens, I will be OK, moving gently to wherever the breezes of this evening's night sky might lead me.

 

may i squint in the glow

Deane Watters1 Comment

2016-01-20_0011 At the end our our early walk today, my friend and I rambled down the alley a ways, beyond the spot where we usually depart. Signs of the approaching season's change showed in an understated display. Flattened foliage, dry leaves and plants still pretty with enduring white flowers glowed quietly in the fresh light. As I turned to go home I caught the sun beaming in my eyes, illuminating the alley in a fresh wash of warm light.

In Psalm 112 David writes about the person who fears the LORD. "He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD. His heart is secure, he will have no fear."

Even though winter may be close by and bad news may be around the corner, we can remain rooted and solid, never shaken, secure. Having faith in our living Hope, our circumstances do not overwhelm us. Quiet confidence rises in the warm glow of His comforting presence.

Like flowers still blooming with frost just around the corner, I will love this day.  I plan to find joy in unexpected places and savor it as a gift. Tomorrow will have worries of its own. I have a God who loves me and who will be with me through whatever comes my way. May I squint in the gleam of his nearness!

 

travel plans

Faith, FamilyDeane WattersComment

I am in the almost-last-minute mode and want to let you know what Brian and I will be doing for next five weeks. On Thursday morning at 6:00am we will be on a flight heading out of our country. We have the opportunity to travel with seventeen college students, led by our son and daughter-in-law, to an asian country where we will participate in a linguistic/cultural exchange at a university there. Twenty local college-aged young people interested in English and American culture will join our students by attending classes and rooming together in the dorms. Afternoons will be spent sight seeing, eating, shopping, visiting their homes and much more which will provide opportunities to build friendships. Within these relationships, spiritual discussions can take place.

Joel and Rachel asked me to join them on this adventure so they will be free to lead, encourage and direct this large group. Of course I am eager for any opportunity to love on my grandchildren and to support our kids in their work, so I agreed to go and care for Lucy and Charles. While I'm with the children, Brian will add his experience to the group by interacting with students, building friendships and leading one of the morning lessons. His assignment is to teach about American geography. That same day, one of the local students will instruct about the geography of his/her country.

We are excited for the opportunity to serve in this way but also know the realities of travel, sleeping in beds that are not-our-own, unusual food and the foreign language barrier. We have gone on many trips similar to this but we feel this will be exceptionally challenging as well as extremely rewarding.

To minister alongside Joel and Rachel is a privilege and an unusual opportunity. We are blessed to have adult kids who want us to be with them! Being their best encouragers is our number one plan!

Sharing our faith is at the heart of this project so would you pray that God would guide, protect, encourage and delight us? Sharing the details of how God has been preparing me for this journey is material for a future blog. Just know that it has been amazing and I am more ready today, emotionally and spiritually, than I was even a month ago. It has been quite the ride!

While quietly talking about our faith, sharing stories about our families and life in America, we will also be respectful visitors eager to learn all we can about a new culture and what it means to live in this country.

Posting pictures and stories will have to wait until we return mid-August. In the meantime, please pray for us. Travel is extremely long requiring flights and a train ride until we finally reach the city where we will live for the following four weeks. The return trip will be just as long and exhausting but there will be an inspiring reward at the end - getting to sleep in our own beds!

Have a great summer and I'll get back to you as soon as I can when we return. Plan on stories of great adventure and God's incredible faithfulness.