Friday, September 20, 2013

A couple of weeks ago I used my new pass to cruise around Saguaro National Park. Monsoon season is pretty much over, but the desert is bright green and with barrel cactus flowers blooming.
It amazes me how only being off the main road by a couple of miles feels like complete isolation, you can't hear any cars and if it wasn't for the houses in the distance, you would think you were all alone.
Stopping at one point I got out of the truck and walked to the viewing edge. All I could hear was my own heartbeat, louder than anything else around me. I must say it takes you aback for a few moments until you can begin to hear the desert come alive. The world is not quiet by any means.
As I was looking around and taking some photos, I saw this wrong way sign and instinctively snapped a shot, I just knew it would come in handy one day.
As I've finished up this first week of Experiencing God and met with my home church, I have felt something. Basically I've stopped going the wrong way. My home church confirmed what I was asking God; was the women's retreat Carrie led or God led? I was told that if I was experiencing a crisis of belief than it was God led. Hearing that I got both excited and scared. I have begun to feel like the jack rabbit above, ears perked, listening. By the way, do you know how hard it is to get a clear picture of a jack rabbit?
Anyway, on day 5 some of the examples used were of Moses and his crisis of belief. Oh, how I  have said some of those exact same words and how I let them be a stronghold but it also confirmed that I had experienced a crisis of belief. I'm praying that those chains have been broken and that I won't fall into the trap again. Now the next step out of the seven is to adjust and make changes so that I may join God wherever he is working.
I feel hopeful, I feel I'm walking back toward a light and have firmer footing than I have had in a year.
Tomorrow's study is about our plans vs. God's plans. I'm going to get schooled on that one, ha ha.
Tomorrow is also Kelly's 11th birthday party. I'm off to make a cake!


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

I sometimes wonder how I can be so happy and so sad at the same time.
Our church is starting Experiencing God this week, its been offered multiple times over the last 10 years but this time its home church mandatory. It's also the first time I have wanted and felt I needed to take this study.
Today I read day 4 and something that has really got me praying and asking God is one of the seven realities of experiencing God, and that is, crisis of belief.
Last year at this time I was happy and working on writing a women's retreat, and yet I was about to lose Braxton and my world thrown into turmoil for a year.
Last year I questioned the big man about my qualifications to host a retreat, I wondered if this was God led or Carrie led. I stopped working on writing it or planning it, even though I still pin things to a secret board on Pinterest.
I fell apart and let the frustrated rage consume me. I prayed and struggled to make sense of who I was meant to be. I tried so hard to figure it out, figure God out.
Was this my crisis of belief?
In the last few weeks most of the anger has dissipated, I realized that no matter what was coming out of my mouth, I didn't trust God. That was hard to voice but it also freed me enough to give it to God and as Yoda would say," Do or do not, there is no try."
How can I NOT trust God when he has done so much for me, for us? I also realized that instead of looking for God's will, I was looking for God's will for my life, and yes there is a difference.
I'm looking forward to see what God has planned in the next 11 weeks.

Changing topics, for my birthday Rob bought me/us a year pass to Saguaro national park. On the first cloudy day I went on a drive for almost two hours just taking pictures and enjoying the views. My joy for life is coming back, because I'm picking up my camera more. I'm looking for joy in the little things and trying not to beat myself up when things don't go my way or don't seem to be going anywhere.
I've pretty much have cleaned out my scrap room and have been spending more time in there, that has brought some relief and relaxation.
A couple of days ago, I was able to photograph an owl, right across the street from my house. Usually when I'm on a nature shoot I keep my eyes open and hope to spot an owl. Monday morning the birds were going crazy and they were loud. Kelly and I went outside to wait for grandma when one of the hawks flew over our heads and perched on a palm tree branch above us. When it flew back across the street and the other birds continued to screech, I went to investigate. Imagine my surprise when I see the owl with the hawk behind him. I ran to get my camera and snapped off a couple of shots. That's when I realized as they flew off that there were 3 hawks around the owl. I ran back to the house again to switch into my longer lens and just prayed that I could get a clean shot of just the owl. This was one of the best and it kinda freaked me out when I took it because of the look in those eyes. I'm so excited and now I'm constantly looking up into the tree to see if he is there. The owl is so beautiful and majestic and those ears and piercing eyes, yowza.