Uncategorized

Soaring on Wings Like and Eagle

As an artist I love the spiritual metaphors of the Bible. Today I wanted to share a few thoughts on the eagle., how it uses the wind to its advantage. On a trip to Florida some time ago I saw eagles soaring high above the earth. Eagles can have a wing span of up to 7 feet across, they can soar to great heights and it looks effortless as they let the thermal currents carry them.  They have very sharp eyesight and can see from a great height, swooping down on prey within seconds.  They have clear vision and patience to wait for the appropriate moment to strike.

Wind is a powerful element as seen in the destruction of cyclones and hurricanes, yet as a gentle breeze it cools a sultry day.  When we are in a transition of grief, the winds of adversity seem to blow us in all directions, taking us off course.  What if we were to ask the Holy Spirit to let us rise up on eagles’ wings to ride out the storm on the thermals, where we do not fight the wind, but use it to help us move forward?

This will give us the freedom to rise above the material to see spiritual things, give us balance, dignity and grace, attaining a higher truth. The Spirit is the messenger between heaven and earth.  We should be waiting for that moment of Divine truth when the Holy Spirit gives us the spiritual insight and is ready to use us and work through us.

An eagle can also symbolize God’s protection and guardianship.  The Psalmist says, “He fills my life with good things! My youth is renewed like the eagles! He gives justice to all who are treated unfairly.” When  you feel you have been treated unfairly, God is the righteous judge; this follows through in Revelation where the eagle calls out ‘woe, woe to the people of the earth’, when all people will be judged for what they did with their lives. So even if your were mistreated in this life, God saw and will judge your perpetrator for the part they played too.

An eagle does not fight a snake on the ground. It picks it up and flies up with it, then releases it back to the ground. A snake has no stamina, no power, no balance in the air. It is useless, weak and vulnerable, whereas on the ground it is deadly, wise and powerful.  The eagle teaches us to take our battles to the spirit realm and when you are in the spiritual realm God takes charge. Don’t fight in the physical realm, change grounds like an eagle. You will be assured of a clean victory. So, when we are feeling battle worn with trying to fight against the winds of adversity on the ground, try to use it to soar above the problems asking God to be your Protector and Deliverer.

The metaphor of the eagle teaches us that we can trust in the Lord with patient expectation, that He will fulfil the promises in His Word to strengthen us to rise above life’s difficulties.  God loves us and wants the best for us, so we can relax and be confident that His purposes are right. We need to be fully convinced that He has the power to control all of life and ours as well.  Though our faith may be weak and are struggling, we can accept his provision and care for us.

Worry ends where faith begins.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
Divorce, Grief, Seasons of Life, Transitions, Widowhood

Seeds Need the Wind

Have you ever decided to go out for a walk on a glorious spring morning, only to find it turns into a dismal day with a howling gale ready to sweep you of your feet?

Spring is a time a when the weather is really unsettled, and it is hard to decide what to wear or what to do when you get up each day.  When you are going through a transition, you will find that you also can feel this way.  There is overwhelm, fear and maybe also sadness and depression making it hard to get out of bed in the mornings and focus on the day’s tasks. Especially as you work through grief and loss – you will get these days.

As an artist, I look to find answers in nature that are metaphors for what is going on in our lives.  The amazing thing is that the Bible also uses these metaphors so we can get answers and when I was meditating on the spring winds that brings in the season in Ecclesiastes, the wisdom was there! “He who watches the wind waiting for all conditions to be perfect will not sow seed and he who looks at the clouds will not reap a harvest.”  What the writer was saying was there are some things that you cant be sure of, you just have to take the chance and plant your seeds anyway.  We always want to be sure of our outcomes in the decisions we make, this is not always possible, we need to make decisions when the conditions are relatively good, but not perfect, and get moving with it because the perfect conditions will probably never be there. If you don’t make that decision to plant your seeds, being afraid of every cloud that could bring rain, you wont have a crop to harvest anyway!

Another lesson I found in nature was the wind was absolutely necessary for planting of seeds. How is this?  There are certain seeds that are only dispersed by the wind, when their seed capsule opens, the seeds with wings or parachutes need the wind to take them far from the parent plant to start a new colony further away, so there will not be too much competition for the same resources. As I walked along the side walk I saw thousands of winged seeds that had just fallen to the ground waiting for the wind to blow them into a place where they could take root and flourish.  How many of those seeds would survive?  I can imagine that not many of them would have made it to a new place where they could thrive.  Yes, there will be disappointments when your decisions don’t work out, you will make mistakes, there will be times of discouragement but trusting God to take just one of your seeds to a place where it will grow and thrive you will reap that harvest.

I have had to make many of these decisions as I have moved countries when I was both divorced and widowed, I had no idea how I was going to be provided for at the time, but the conditions were as good as they were going to get, I just had to make that call and pack my bags. There were mistakes I made, there were discouragements and times of extreme loneliness as I struggled through these decisions, but each struggle made me grow my root further and further into the soil of God’s love and provision for me and strengthened my faith.

If you are going through the winds of adversity at this time, and don’t know which way to go, I would love to hear from you and walk with you through this struggle. There is a seed of good in what you are going through that needs to be planted.

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
Divorce, Grief, Seasons of Life, Transitions, Widowhood

RESURRECTION

 

As we head into Easter and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, thoughts of what resurrection really means crossed my mind which I want to share with you.  When I was a child, we used to climb up a massive granite kopjie (a hill made up of rock) called Domboshawa.  It was always a treat to head there for a picnic to climb and slide down the rocks. On this rock mass there grew a plant called Resurrection bush, a woody shrub which when you looked at it, you thought it was dead, it was lifeless, dried up and black. This bush would suddenly burst into a mass of glossy green leaves as soon as it rained.  We used to love to pick a few twigs and take them home and put in a jar of water, when we woke up in the morning, the twigs had come to life and were full of green leaves!

When we have been through a time of grief and loss, we can feel lifeless and dried up, with no future. Going through the caring process with my late husband until he passed, I had felt my life blood being drained with the stress and demands of his illness and having to provide for everything, at times I thought I would be six feet under before him.  There are times in transitions that you will feel thoroughly depleted as you have used all your energy to cope with just getting through the day. But as the journey progresses you learn new ways to cope or it is necessary to take a regular rest breaks to recover.  What you really need is that refreshing rain to bring you to life again and flourish and thrive.

What we are looking for is for our life to be restored and renewed.  The plant had conserved its energy by shriveling up until the rain when it was rehydrated and able to mperform its process of photosynthesis to make energy again. We need to take care of ourselves and conserve what energy we have until our situation passes or the initial phases of grief have subsided, and we are in the healing process.  There is a fountain where we can sit, meditating on Scripture and quietly wait for the new life and vitality to seep back into our souls. Sitting watching water flow, a fountain, river, waves washing onto the beach or any place where you can see and hear the

This is a season in our life, and we need to recognize it and know that as surely as Easter comes around every year and the trees burst into blossom every year, so this season of dryness and death will be a part of our lives in one form or another. But just as it is part of our walk though life so are the refreshing rains and fountains.  We are restored, made new, reanimated we are resurrected.

Think about what ‘The Resurrection’ means to you – are you in a dry place now? Or have you found the fountain and are being refreshed and restored? I would love you to share with me where you are on your journey through loss.

 

Processing…
Success! You're on the list.
Divorce, Grief, Transitions, Uncategorized, Widowhood

Align Yourself with Your Season in Life

There is something special about Spring, it is the signal that a new season has begun.  When you are going through transitions in your life, it is a time when you see the first glimpse of your new life emerging. It could be the day you wake up and feel alive and happy for the first time after being widowed or divorced.  Or it could be that you no longer worry about the future but just know that all will be well.

It is very comforting to know that as long as the earth remains there will be seasons and if you align yourself with the seasons of your life and know which season you are in, it makes it much easier to navigate your life and transition. It would be difficult to bloom and flourish in the winter when you are meant to rest. Likewise, it would be hard to rest when the world around you is active in summer.  Accept the season you are now in, knowing it will pass.

After a long dark winter, the spring winds blow bringing rain to wet the earth and set in motion the cycle of new growth, seeds sprouting, trees budding, and flowers beginning to blossom.  Birds begin to sing and instead of the frozen fields, green pastures emerge ready to support the flocks.

You may not even have been aware of it, but while you were going through your period of grief and despair, new seeds were being planted in the recesses of your heart. Seeds of compassion, empathy, affinity, insight, sympathy and tenderheartedness. When eventually your Spring breaks through, you will experience that inner peace and joy and know you are through the worst of it, you will find that those seeds grow so that you will be able to empathize and help others when they are going through the winter in their life.

After I had healed from my divorce, I found that I could empathize with others who were going through the same experience and give them the comfort and encouragement they needed. After I had been through caregiving and the death of my late husband who had dementia, I was able to help and have compassion for families who were going through similar circumstances.

Napoleon Hill said, “look for the seed of good in something bad, nurture it until it grows into something good”, the Bible also says something similar, “All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” That is the reason, I am here today, to help others who are going through difficult life transitions.  Let me help you plant the seeds of good in what you are going through today, so when your Spring comes, they will burst forth with joy!

Divorce, Grief, Retirement, Transitions, Travel, Widowhood

PILLARS OF FIRE AND CLOUD

On this third meditation on travel, I will talk about God’s presence on the journey. It is not always easy to discern, especially as your emotions are running high in times of grief and stress.  I took comfort in verses about God’s presence with the children of Israel through the wilderness.  “By day the Lord went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night.  Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.” I could identify this with a steam train whose engine was up ahead pulling the carriages behind it, smoke billowing out of the stack. In the daytime it looks like white smoky cloud and at night you can see the sparks glowing in the dark.

Many of the journeys I have taken have been by train.  In fact, I think I enjoy train travel the most, particularly steam trains. The routes are direct as the rail system is set along specific lines. I like the clickety clack of the wheels running over the tracks, and if it is a sleeper, the comfortable bunk beds and food in the dining car. It is more leisurely, and you can enjoy the scenery as you go clicking by, making a pleasant journey.

I have travelled through the desert in Botswana and the train I was travelling on in Rhodesia was stoned during political upheavals – probably most of my adventures in travel have been on trains. I have travelled on high speed trains, but steam trains are still my favorite.  I have puffed through the Welsh Valleys on a narrow-gauge steam train enjoying the magnificent scenery. In Queensland Australia, I have travelled through multiple tunnels on the Karunda railway, where I could marvel at the workmanship of the tunnels and forests.

I was travelling on the Sky Rail down the mountain at Karunda when I had a moment of terror suspended midair over the tropical forest. The Skyrail, is a cable rail with three stations down the mountain where the cable cars are suspended as they are winched down the mountain in three stages, as it is so high.  I was all by myself in the car when it suddenly jolted to a stop and there I was swinging, suspended way above the forest in the mist and wind.  I felt so alone and adrift at that point. I knew if the car fell off the rail into that forest, it would not be found for days, and not a soul in the world would know where I was.  I was out of phone touch with my family, they knew I was in Queensland but not where. This thought terrified me, to be so totally alone on the face of the globe, as I hung there dangling and swaying above the forest.  Suddenly I had the feeling of God’s presence with me, and He said, “while you are up here take the opportunity to appreciate my creation from a new angle, just look at those amazing tree ferns growing out of the top of the trees, look at the variety of trees and plants” – that calmed me immediately and I took out my sketch book and started sketching the top of the forest! After a few scary jerks, the car made its way down to the next stop and the bottom of the mountain.

This last incident truly cemented my belief that there is no place that God is not with us, and for the most part on our journey through life He is there going before us like the steam engine, we may not know what is going to be ahead of us, but He does, and the tracks we go along will lead us there eventually.  There may be scary places along the way, but His presence is with you at those moments. Sometimes we just have to trust that all will be well.

What have been your scary moments? How were you able to get through them?  I would love for you to share your story with me in the comments below.  If you are still struggling with fear of moving on, please contact me  so I can walk with you through your fear.