Shifting Seasons

shifting seasons

Last year, I prayed about a writing opportunity. It seemed right. It seemed to fit with what God was calling me to do. But then as things started to move forward, I lost all peace.

Something shifted.

I didn’t understand it at the time. I just know I had NO peace. I mean, it was so bad I couldn’t sleep and found myself deeply uncomfortable in my spirit. I wondered if I’d done something wrong; did I not hear God right? Why would He lead me to an exciting path in the woods and then, when I’m only a few feet into the journey, would He stop me and tell me to turn around?


God knows all about those hidden things in every situation you and I face. He sees through the flattering and deceit. He is aware of the backbiting and hears the gossiping. He knows the ins and outs of everyone’s plans and whether there are secret agendas or selfish ambitions waiting to surface. He knows the hearts of all involved. He knows the big picture from every angle. And He can see way into tomorrow and to the very end of the path.

Sometimes God will allow us to see a fraction of those nasty undercurrents, and we can experience a moment of clarity and deep gratitude for His guidance to avoid that rocky terrain on the path we were on that was leading us to a cliff in the middle of the night.

But there are other times when we will never know why there was a shift but simply must trust the protection and guidance of our Father. We have to remember how deeply He loves us and wants us to follow Him, our Shepherd, to safety.

And yet there are other times when we’re smack dab in the middle of doing exactly what God called us to do; we’re experiencing such joy and excitement like the Holy Spirit is whispering within how important this moment is, not only to us, but to the Kingdom. We feel honored and humbled and thrilled and well, maybe a little set in our way thinking this is going to go on forever.

But then we experience the shift.

We lose all peace. We get a bad taste in our mouths like someone dumped salt instead of sugar in our lemonade. Honestly, it can be discouraging if we focus on it for too long. But when we remember God is the One who brought us here, then we know where He’s taking us next is probably going to be even better!

We have to be willing to surrender all of our plans to God, especially those that began with Him.

He is, after all, the One who causes the seasons to shift, bringing new growth through the death of winter in the form of a beautiful spring.

If you’re experiencing a shift, I’m there with you, my friend. I wonder what new growth is about to bloom in us? I’m excited to find out! 🙂

“When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.” (John 16: 13 NLT.)

 “I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding.” (Philippians 1:9 NLT.)



My Grandma used to say, “Life is about choices.”  I smile when I remember her wisdom, the tone of her voice, and the smell of good, strong coffee on her breath.

But how are we supposed to make good choices?  I mean, it’s not THAT big of a deal if we have to decide between the burger or fish sandwich for lunch today.  But what if you and I are facing a serious decision, one that looks awfully close to an answer to the heartfelt prayer for direction in our lives?

How do you choose?  How do you know if you’re to go or stay away?  How do you know if you’re to say “yes” or “no?”  How do you know if this is IT and you should start doing your happy dance to that song in your heart or that the sound is more of a ticking, a warning to run before the whole thing backfires and blows up in your face?


Maybe you think you don’t have time to pray.  My friend, you don’t have the time NOT to pray.

God can answer a prayer while you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone.  He can whisper to your heart what you need to hear.  Don’t let your idea of time hold you back from God.

God sees those choices you’re flipping through in your mind, like those index cards for the old card catalog system at the library.  He knows what “book” he has for you.  He knows what’s best for you, and He also knows what will keep you spinning, lost in the library.

You may grow impatient and pull open a drawer, grab the first card you see, and go where it leads you.  Don’t be tempted to hurry up God’s plan.  You may be so close to something He’s been planning for you, some wonderful surprise and an answer to that desire in your heart.  But if you leave God behind and rush after it because you think you’ve figured it all out, it may lead you in the wrong direction.  Perhaps it may take you outside the library altogether, leaving you frustrated, lost, and discouraged.

Wait for God.  Wait with God.  Talk to Him.  Tell Him your frustrations and your eagerness.  He will give you peace while you’re waiting for His answer.

Of course, you don’t have to do that.  You can always flip a coin, ask everyone you know, or make a list of pros and cons to make the decision, to make the choice.

Or you can simply choose God.

“Who are those who fear the Lord? He will show them the path they should choose.”  (Psalm 25:12 NLT.)



Are you trying to figure out where to go from here?  Maybe you just went through a rough patch and you’re excited to run from it, to get out of there as fast as you can.  Or maybe you sense something wonderful in your spirit, something thrilling and spectacular is just beyond the bend in the road and you want to run to it.

Here’s the word I write so often: Wait.

Such a sense of pain can come from that tiny word.

Anticipation.  Longing.  Desperation.  A you’re-about-to-burst-out-of-your-skin kind of feeling.

But there is something to do while you’re waiting:  be on the lookout for breadcrumbs.

What in the world?  Has this just become a cooking blog?

No, my friends, it has not.

Breadcrumbs are those tiny little indicators, gentle specks of God’s guidance.  Confirmations to help you along the way that nourish your spirit, letting you know God cares, that He is leading you and you’re on the right path, and that you’re not alone even in the darkest of forests.

You see, God doesn’t want you wandering around, lost and frantic in the woods, nor does He want you to continue waiting when He tells you to move.

This is the essence of the breadcrumb.

You move along in the direction God leads, you find the breadcrumb and you pick it up, talk to God about it (remember He’s right there with you), and you listen to Him as He teaches you.  This can be a painful lesson, something you needed to learn the hard way or a blessing all on its own.  But it can be awfully tiny so you need to watch for it, watch for Him and what He’s doing in your life.  And remember He is always doing something even when you can’t see it.

Breadcrumbs can be His protection, to stop you from going in the wrong direction or those He wants you to stay clear from.  Breadcrumbs involve His timing.  Breadcrumbs involve obedience that lead to blessings.  So you feed on the one He has given while you wait on the next one.

That’s right.  You wait until you see another breadcrumb before you.  You don’t run ahead because you think you know the way or you have all the answers or because you think this waiting stuff is going to kill you.  You wait on God.  This can be any length of time.  But don’t panic.  You’re traveling with the One who created time and can stretch it like you’ve never imagined.

And while you’re waiting, just think:  you have the privilege, the high honor of spending time with Almighty God and resting in His presence.  Sit down.  Read His Word.  Talk to Him.  Listen to Him.  And then look around.  You may see more of Him in your surroundings.  You may feel the warmth of the sun on your head.  That’s His touch.  You may feel a breeze brush your cheek.  That’s His breath.  Perhaps you may even hear His voice speaking your name.  Can you imagine?

He may even lead you to a small pond where the wind forms ripples and the sun ignites them.  And when you look up, you see the very face of Jesus Christ; His eyes shining brighter than the reflection of the sun on the water’s surface and His presence warming your face.  It can be the image that you keep close to your heart, the one that tucks you in each night.

You never know what you’ll see while you’re waiting with God, waiting on His breadcrumbs, His gentle direction for the next step in your life.

Just know that waiting on Him and with Him is never a waste of time.  It’s His way of nourishing you for the road ahead.

“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.’” (Psalm 32:8 NLT.)

A Pebble in the Trench


When I was a little girl, I loved playing in mud puddles after a hard rain.  There was nothing like the squishy, oozing feeling between my fingers and against the palm of my hand, the way the cold mud would encase my hand like a glove when I pressed it down as far as it would go, and the sucking sound when I pulled it free.  And I loved making a little trench between two mud puddles, watching the water flow and then adding pebbles to steer it where I wanted it to go.

God steers us in a similar way.  He’s not a puppet master, forcing us to do this and that, nor is He waiting with a lightning bolt to zap us when we make a mistake; thank goodness for that or I’d be so electrified I could light up the night sky for miles around.  But God loves us enough to steer us away from danger and to the life He has waiting for us.

So if you’re sailing along from one mud puddle in the hopes of reaching the next and you see a big fat obstacle blocking your dream or goal, maybe God set up that pebble in the trench so you’ll wait on Him to make another way to get there.  Perhaps He’s protecting you from danger or maybe the timing isn’t right.  Or maybe He has something different, something better for you altogether.

So what do you do when you’re face to face with the pebble blocking your way?

You wait.  And while you’re waiting, God is working.  (You may not see what He’s up to, but He’s always working.)

But maybe you don’t want to wait.  Maybe you think waiting is a waste of time.  Well, you can always abandon ship and walk around to get where you want to go.  Just don’t be too surprised if your feet get stuck in the mud. Really stuck.  Then you’ll be cold, wet, and tired from trying to pull your feet out.  Only you won’t be able to so you’ll be forced to stand there in the mud that is now up to your knees as you wait on God.

Or maybe you like the idea of moving that pebble.  Ha!  Did I mention that in God’s hands it IS a pebble, but in yours, it’s more like a boulder or the moon?  Good luck.  Hope you don’t throw out your back.  But if you do, you can just rest your hand on that boulder and wait until you can stand upright.

Again, the waiting!

So it seems instead of getting stuck and wearing yourself out by hoofing it in your impatience, or instead of hurting yourself by trying to do the impossible, you can trust God when He uses a pebble (or in your case, a boulder) to block your path.  He knows what He’s doing.

Then finally after all of your waiting (which could be mere hours or many years), God shows you another way.  He’s been busy making a new trench, a new stream that flows easily down and into this amazing pool of fresh water; no more dirty water!  And here, the sun reflects off of the water like a thousand sparkling diamonds and there are enough cool breezes to help you catch your breath.  You close your eyes and thank God for putting a pebble in your trench and forming a new stream that led you to this place where you know you are about to do what you were created to do alongside the One who created you for such a time and place.

“Trust God from the bottom of our heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.  Don’t assume that you know it all.” (Proverbs 3:5-7a The Message.)