Monthly Archives: January 2012

Tough Talk.

As I sit here, my heart aches, knowing that I must have a really tough, candid conversation.  I’ve tried very hard to handle the situation with gentle words, subtle requests, and patience repetition. But despite all my coaxing and agonizing, it’s just not bringing about the kind of response that is necessary.

So I know what I must do, and yet I dread it. I despise conflict. Healthy or not, I typically avoid it at all costs. Seriously. I just don’t like how conflict leaves everyone feeling a little too raw, too wounded.

As I sought solid wisdom and guidance earlier today, I said that it was probably good that I didn’t get the opportunity to have the conversation last week, because I was at my boiling point. But really, who am I kidding?  I cannot remember a time in the last 20 years (if not more) when I have exploded on someone. That’s just not me.

I know this is different – but it’s still going to be contentious and a difficult conversation to have. And, truth be told, I don’t know how it will be received.  Though I don’t want them to, I know that some of my words will cause hurt.

But it’s time. I’ve tried it every other way that I know, and nothing else has worked. Like it or not, I have to face the conversation.  I owe it to myself, I owe it to others, and honestly, I even owe it to this person. Otherwise I am inadvertently nurturing the very situations that must be resolved.

Thus, I will have the conversation, certain it is necessary and hopeful that I can do it firmly, but kindly. I don’t know how it will be received nor what the response will be, but despite my frustration with the situation, it is the cry of my heart that it result in a positive change.

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I wonder if God feels the same way with us.

He commands. We ignore.

He speaks. We tune Him out.

He guides. We choose a different way.

He directs. We don’t do as He asks.

Though I’d like to say otherwise, I know it can be true for me far too often. So God gently nudges, kindly whispers, and patiently tries to steer us another way, hoping all the while that we will listen and respond.

Yet sometimes we don’t.

It might be deliberate – we don’t like what He’s telling us, so we choose to do it our own way. Other times, we just aren’t tuned into His leadership in our lives and so we can’t hear His voice or His direction.  Whatever the case may be, we are not doing what God wants us to do.

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Sometimes God says, “Enough.”

Though it grieves His heart, sometimes God knows that the only way to get through to us is to have that tough conversation. Without it, we’ll continue on in our headstrong unhealthy ways, and we will miss the blessings God has for us along the path He has chosen.

So He speaks.

God’s voice comes in these moments in many different forms. Make no mistake – God loves us so much that He will do whatever it takes to reach us, to speak to our hearts the message that we need to hear. Sometimes His message isn’t easy to hear because it bruises our egos and batters our hearts.  Yet often we have to embrace the pain in order to accept the necessary change.  It’s all for our good, if we’ll only listen and respond.

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God, may I take the awareness of the many times you have to have those tough conversations with me into the next few days. Please guide my words and prepare my heart to speak with grace that provokes change.

Five Minute Friday – on a Sunday?

I’ve never been one to turn papers in late. Ever. It’s simply not done in my world. But recently, God has been rocking my world in oh-so-many ways and so the “norm” hasn’t always been how it’s gone. I find myself doing things at the last minute instead of weeks before. I scramble to the last moment to prepare my presentation, meet that deadline, send that card. My heart and mind are on hyperdrive, racing to keep up….

So, too, holds true for Five Minute Fridays.  I’ve wanted to participate in this “adventure,” inspired by The Gypsy Mama, for months. But somehow I never have. I don’t know what it is about Fridays, but I just never seem to pull it together enough get here.  This Friday was no different.

But what was different was the clear ringing in my mind telling me that I am meant to participate this week, that I need to let God speak through this Friday’s word as He imprints words upon my heart here.

Here’s how it works – Gypsy Mama supplies a word for that Friday and you sit down and write for 5 minutes. That’s it.  The hard part is that you write without any backspacing (ugh!), any editing (no?!), or any over-thinking (eek!). You just let the words flow for five minutes – then you stop and post.

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I am a rule follower extraordinaire.  I’ve read a lot of these posts from various blogs and, quite honestly, many of them seem a little too polished to me to have been written in five minutes with no post-editing. But then again, who knows what can happen when we sit back and let God just talk through us?  So here I go, in what  solemnly vow is a completely rough, unedited 5 minutes worth of writing on this week’s word: Vivid.

Sunset at SeaPhoto Credit

GO.

Sometimes God’s voice is just a faint whispering in my heart, no louder than the sound of an eyelash falling to the floor. Other times His voice echos loudly through the caverns of my soul, unmistakable and relentless, filtering into every second, every moment.

That’s how it’s been for me lately.  The difference is that I didn’t ever make a conscious choice to ask God to speak so clearly. I know that seems silly and even a bit stubborn, but it is true.

It’s not that I don’t want to hear from God. Don’t get me wrong. I do.

It’s just that in the past when His voice has been the loudest has been when I have desperately cried out for it, grasping for it with every breath I had.

But right now I’ve been running from one moment to the next, often the days blurring by in a nonstop pattern of: Bed, shower, car, desk, car, bath, bed.  An entire week went by recently where I didn’t even set foot in my living room!

So I haven’t exactly been practicing the “stillness” in God that I might like to. As a matter of fact, my quality, intentional time with God has been (shamefully) contained to my 25-30 minute drive to and from work each day. It’s what I had.

That’s why it’s amazing to me that in all of that, God has chosen to speak so vivdly, so clearly, so faithfully.

And do you know what?  Some of the words He’s spoken to me lately? They’re precisely what I need. No surprise, I know.

You don’t have to ask for God to speak in order for Him to comply … you just have to listen. And when you do, you will know recognize without a single doubt the amazing, vivid voice of the Heavenly Father meeting you exactly where you are.

What about you – are you listening for His voice in your life today?

STOP.