Trek to the Manger (DQ13)

Trek to the Manger Ch 13

I met a guy today who is counting down the days until March, when he leaves his cell phone and “sprinkles” behind for a year-long solo trek around the world. He can’t wait!

I imagine he will have some stories to tell.

Today I’m wondering, for those of you who are reading along in Trek to the Manger, which “on the road” story speaks most loudly to you?

Damascus? Emmaus? Gaza? Explain.

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Want What You’ve Got! (weekend)

Much of our Want What You’ve Got focus this week has been on our history. Stories from our life-experiences, decisions made (both wise and questionable), trials and suffering, control issues and redemption…

No matter how you tell it, your story is uniquely your own.

I sat across the table from my best high school friend – a rare meal shared with one of my favorite people of all time. She was telling me a recent family story when she mentioned her bedroom at home – a place I’ve not thought about for more than 20 years. Immediately my senses were flooded with memories of sleepovers and birds singing and sunlight flooding through her second story window.┬áMental pictures of her big, sweet Saint Bernard lying in the yard, the sound of her piano as it floated through the old wooden ranchhouse, the feel of my hands – dirty from working in her mother’s garden…

I couldn’t help but smile as the pages of our friendship’s history were turned through the story she was telling because in a way, it was my story, too.

This weekend, seek out a quiet place in your home and carve some room into your schedule to simply remember. Close your eyes and open your senses to the memories of people, places, scents, sounds and sensations that have made you who you are today.

As you remember, consider how you might re-connect with your history as your future unfolds. So often we are so eager to move forward into the next thing that we blast through our past without fully absorbing the rich ointment of blessing to be found there.

This weekend, take time to remember and respond to the stories your life could be telling. Who knows how far this simple exercise could take you toward Wanting What You’ve Got today?

Want What You’ve Got! (stories)

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I spent a recent weekend at a retreat with some of the most amazing women I’ve been blessed to know. Throughout the event, woven into the fabric of our time together, were bursts of laughter, warm and comforting hugs, honest questions, brilliant epiphanies, the sting of tears, and… stories.

Our stories – the re-telling of our trials and triumphs – aren’t always the stories we want to claim. Many of us have experienced things in our lifetime that we still wish hadn’t happened.

But our stories make us who we are today, and who we are today is a work of God! Each challenge we’ve faced and every turn of events we’ve navigated serves to shape and define us. This is what I noticed as I listened to the stories being lifted up by the women around me, and as I saw each of my sisters in her present reality (uniquely gifted, impassioned and equipped to serve) I was struck by how each is the sum of her stories plus the power of her God.

You may not like all of the stories of your life. You might not willingly embrace your past or see yourself as a holy equation in process. You may not Want What You’ve Got – the trauma and issues and drama you’ve been dealt. But your stories are only part of the math, and if you’re breathing, there is more calculation yet to be done.

Today, think back to elementary school and consider yourself a holy story problem! Stop trying to undo what cannot be undone and instead choose to yield to the One who knows how to do the math.

And tell your stories to those of us who need to believe that God is working it all out in the present problems of our lives, because we need you to Want What You’ve Got so that we can, too.

Daily Questions: Think back over your life and remember some of the trials God has seen you through. What difficult or painful situations has God delivered you from? How has He redeemed your stories? How has God used your stories to bring hope, perspective or healing to others? Is there a story from your past or present that God wants you to be telling (and to whom)?