Tag Archives: Idaho

inside out…

My life to this point has been a strange journey of intersecting paths.  In some ways I have loved every moment.  Learning. Growing.  However,  there have also been moments that I would have rather run over, skipped over, jumped over.

I have been back in my beautiful hometown for the weekend.  I am quite sure that my mountains have missed me. One thing I know is that I have missed the loveliness that I am surrounded by while I am here.  McCall’s crowning glory is its lake around which the town is centered.  If you were to drive into town from the south, you would come up over a little knoll and suddenly the lake would be in your view.  Each time I experience this picturesque panorama my breath catches and I am immediately transfixed by the sight.

This weekend we arrived just as the summer is taking her final bow and the autumn is making its arrival.  Most things are still green and crisp, but every now and then a tree who has already put on its red or yellow colors peeks out.  It many ways it is as if these little trees have been hiding a secret behind their green foliage and they cannot wait another second to share their beauty.

Time is a funny thing.  It can give us fresh perspective on old situations.  I will be the first to admit that high school was not my favorite time in life.  I can remember just wanting to get out.  To run away as fast and as far as I could.  And so I did.  For a long time, I didn’t understand the need I had to run.  However, as the years have passed I now feel like I have a firm grasp on my adolescent feelings.

For the most part, in high school, people generally knew who I was at my core, that my faith was a huge part of who I was, and I even believe that I was well liked because of who I was.  But, I felt much like the green leaves on a fall tree; like I needed to- had to, express the beauty that I held within, and I knew that at that time in my life, my small town of 2000 wasn’t the place I could do that. Thus, my move allowed me to grow and to change and to experience for myself  my insides on the outside.  How liberating and life changing this was for me.  Now, instead of containing who I am within myself, I love to share with others; that I am who I am because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139:14) I cannot wait to express the things that make my heart beat to those who will listen. I think for this very reason, now when I come “home” I am alive.  Gone is the girl who was suppressed and hidden by the place that she lived.  Instead, there is perspective, vision, and hope for the future revealed by the very place that once held me back.

In 1 Corinthians 4:2, Paul says, “Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

Paul is encouraging the people in the church at Corinth to not hide the Truth that is God’s Word.  Rather to share it plainly.  He wanted them to be bold in expressing who they were as a people of faith, holding nothing back, letting there be no question.

So, today, I encourage you today to look at your life.  Who are you?  Are you excited to share those things that make you “you” with others, or do you feel the need to hide it?  Do you walk boldly forward in who you are? Are you letting your insides out?

(NOTE: I have recorded a companion video for this blog. You can find it here —> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ChXH5Zmp44 )

through a lens…

My perspective on life has been shaped by so many things.  Experiences, people, places.  Every moment along my life path has added to my little bundle I carry with me.  And, that little bundle works as a filter for how I experience new things.

Last week I was visiting a friend of mine in Oregon.  We always have great moments together.  I knew before I even left on my trip that I would come home with things to write about.

This particular weekend was unusually cool in the Portland area.  Every  morning I would sip my tea and watch the sun rise in between Mount Saint Helens and Mount Hood. And, every morning I would watch as the low clouds would slowly moved in covering the sun.  Every day there was the threat of rain and every day the sky cleared without follow through.  Finally, on Sunday, the sky opened up we were in the midst of a classic pacific northwest rainstorm.  If you have not experienced a storm like this, you should put it on your list of things to accomplish.  The rain drops in the northwest seem bigger.  The puddles seem wetter.  The storms seem longer.  It is one of the things I love.  To sit and watch the rain fall.  However, there is one small thing I would rather avoid when the rain comes, and that is driving.  Driving in the rain scares me to death.  I would rather do just about anything else.  In fact, my friend and I have a running joke that I would rather drive in a blizzard, and she would rather drive in a down poor.  While we laugh about this, there is a reason these things ring true in our lives.

My growing up years were spent high in the mountains of Idaho.  I don’t think I ever fully appreciated that beautiful community until I was an adult, but now I look back on that place with more than a fondness.  I think it is the place my heart will forever call home.  The summers are filled with fishing and camping and wildflowers.  And the winters, the winters are filled with everything “snow.” It is not uncommon for my hometown to have 6ft of snow on the ground and another snow storm on the horizon.  The days are short and the months are long, but the snow brings a sense of loveliness and quiet.  I never once considered that some people may not relish the thought of driving in these conditions.  After all, I spent more of my first year of driving, sliding on frozen roads than I did cruising on dry pavement.  (There are great stories to be told about that first winter of me driving… maybe at another time.)  However, this same friend in Portland cannot understand how I care to venture out in a snowstorm.  When she comes to Idaho to visit me in the winter, I do all of the driving.  Our differing life experiences have molded our perspectives on what is “normal” or “easy” or “better.” Two different lives, two different experiences, two different perspectives.

I feel that often in life when we encounter those with opinions that are different than our own, it is our immediate reaction to prove them wrong, to show that we are the ones who are right.  We forget that people have had life experiences that have shaped who they have become.  And while some of that perspective may alter their vantage point, there is great reason as to why they are where they are and why they think the way they think.

“Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know ho to answer everyone.”  Colossians 4:6

My faith is deeply rooted.  It IS so much of who I am.  I see life through the lens of my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  I tackle problems and seek direction through the Word of God.  I know where I find Truth.  However, if my conversations with others (who have different life experiences) lack grace and true richness, there is nothing to be gained.  If I cannot listen as well as I can speak then I have accomplished nothing.

So, for today I challenge you to consider what it is that shapes your perspective?  Are these lenses healthy or unhealthy?  Are there new lenses you could assimilate into your life, or are there lenses you need to shatter and dispose of?  Finally, do you have an awareness of the things in life that shape OTHERS so that you can truly have grace and a sense of richness in your conversations?