Tune In or Tune it OUT?

The hum of the tree stump grinder and blower was constant, followed by the high-pitched chain saw’s whine as branches were being trimmed and removed from my neighbor’s backyard trees. I couldn’t decide whether I wanted to try to decipher what each sound was or whether it would be best to just get up and look to see what was going on.

I made my list for the day and decided to read the final chapters of a book written by an author I will be interviewing in the future for “the real deal” podcast. Usually, I sit in the quietness of my home and hardly have any distractions. Not the case this morning.

I looked out my window, across the street my neighbors had a crew re-roofing their home. An extension ladder was leaned against the house with another smaller one propped up a few feet beside it to a lower section of the roof.

A blue tarp lined portions of the yard and bushes protecting them from all the debris falling from above. Shingles lined the driveway the way pickup trucks lined my street.  This morning was very atypical as there was a flurry of activity. I didn’t know whether to watch or sit down and try to read. I wasn’t sure which window to gaze out first, front or back?

MMJBQBQvSMutlfbcOp%PbQ

I thought, should I tune in and watch all the transformational work going on around me? Or should I try to tune it out? Golly, that’s the magic question I have to ask myself and decide on often. What do I pay attention to and what should I tune out in my life? 

fullsizeoutput_a68f.jpeg

I was aware of the fact that when I looked out the back windows and concentrated my attention there, I was missing what was going on in the front of my home simultaneously.  I took some photos.

Then suddenly, the other neighbor’s two basset hounds, began to bark, first one then the other. Like I was listening in stereo. Woof… WOOF, WOOF… woof. WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF, WOOF! I decided to write this blog instead. I got the idea, tuning in or tune it out, from what was happening.

Oh my word, it was comical, it was a cacophony all around me: truck engines roared, dogs barked, men talked and shouted, the grinder growled and blew as wood chips shot through a tube into the tree service truck, additional cars passed by and weaved through the unusually congested street. Next, the wind gushed and activated the wind chime near my front step. It all made a big crescendo for a moment.

WFBMykFYREeL2JeaqlPzbQ

Then, over time,  little by little one truck after another pulled away as the tasks were completed.  I cannot watch it all. I will miss something for sure! Isn’t that like the activity of life and even of God? I’m certain that when I see what He’s doing in one area of my life, He’s actually working on another area at the same time unknown to me.

I may think He’s trimming something out of my life and that’s the only activity going on. Only to realize, little did I know, He’s got a crew of angels, people and activity going on in a whole other area. I must tune into this: His grand design is so much bigger than my small little plans.

IMG_6206

fullsizeoutput_a692

So today, as the men have now sat down to have lunch break, I’ve decided to finish this blog and pick the book up again to get a few chapters finished. I hope you are able to tune into God’s voice and his activity in your life. I also pray that we both will be able to know what things we need to pay attention to and what to tune out.

We need to and can TUNE IT OUT:

  • fear
  • worry/anxiety
  • hopelessness
  • discouragement
  • panic

How do we do that tune it out?  Don’t concentrate on the above list rather…release the opposite.  These are available and can be released in the Holy Spirit:

  • God’s perfect love- which casts out fear!
  • Peace that passes understanding
  • Hope- the confident expectation of good things to come
  • Courage- doing it afraid
  • Rest and Praise –these are powerful weapons 
  • Thanksgiving- a way to enter His gates 

We can have restful hearts, in the midst of all the spin, because God is always working. He also has a flurry of activity going on all around us. He is for us, he’s not against us, so be at rest.

We can TUNE IN to these characteristics and truths…His:

  • Goodness,
  • Faithfulness
  • Kindness
  • Attention to detail
  • Redemptive work
  • Melody He is singing over us as we sleep
  • Good plans he has for us and our futures.

Yes, my morning was unusual. It was NOT quiet, but oddly enough, my heart was!

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength,” Isaiah 30:15a

 

 

 

 

 

fullsizeoutput_75f9

Order you copy of Lily Pads- Stories of God on Display: Lily Pads Book or Audio Book

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

I’m Still Learning, Leaning and Listening.

My day yesterday wasn’t truly hectic but it was fuller than most. It was filled with loads of people, lots of conversations, leaning in and listening.

  • I had a coffee date in the morning with a new friend…delightful!
  • A midday call with a dear friend about the book I’m writing…helpful!
  • Another friend phoned, so I hopped on the treadmill to walk and listen…needed.
  • My cousin texted: I do have time available if you have a hankering to chat or pray. Just let me know. I was still on the treadmill when I called her and we prayed together…grateful.

I had told my cousin, “I need to get ready soon so I can’t talk too long because I have dinner plans.” I finally just got dressed because we kept talking. So, without taking a shower I freshened up a bit and I got ready for the night out. I remained on the line the entire time, exited my home and got into the car.

60YYYcgQShOI03FSs518Gg

I put my AirPods in my ears because I like to be hands free and I could do all of the above mentioned things more easily.  (talk, walk, dress and drive)

I told my cousin Annie, “Alright, I’m in the car now. I need to enter the name of the restaurant in my phone and listen for the guided directions from Maps, so how ’bout you go ahead and pray first and I will chime in when you’re finished.”

“Okay, sounds good, makes sense so you can get your bearings on where you are headed.” She agreed.

I could hear Annie’s voice as she prayed, what I found interesting was, I could still hear the faint GPS voice in my ears underneath it…“In 500 feet turn right on Harris Highland. TURN RIGHT.” I turned right and continued to listen to both voices.

I prayed too and we concluded together with “Amen!” as soon as I located a parking spot and pulled into it. “Well, I’ve arrived. You have a great night, I love you, see you soon.” I placed my AirPods into their case and tucked them safely in my purse.

I got to thinking how the directions and guidance I heard during our conversation is a lot like the way it is to lean in and listen to the Holy Spirit. It was kind of fun how a “guided voice” still continued as I went into the restaurant, although my AirPods were no longer in. It was simply “the voice of the Holy Spirit” that I was aware of speaking to me.

I was delighted to see all of the couples. As each arrived, those of us present at the table stood and greeted the newly arriving members of our party.

“All rise for the honorable Cheryl!” We said as each came in one by one or in pairs.

The restaurant was filling up quickly and the noise became louder. I went over and chatted a minute with one of my friends who would not be seated next to me during the meal.

“I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever! Hey, how is that class you are teaching going?” I asked.

“I was really glad for the women who showed up,” she responded. “You could be praying for me and all the women…” I let her finish her sentence but prayed for her right then because while she said you could just pray…I heard the Holy Spirit say, pray for her right now Rachel before you go back and sit down. 

I prayed for her because I heard the Holy Spirit as clearly as I heard the guided GPS voice say: “In 500 feet turn right on Harris Highland. TURN RIGHT.” 

Then later I took a drink from my water glass and I heard, “You should go use the bathroom.” I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Holy Spirit but my bladder speaking. Okay, just a little humor there.

I returned to my chair and continued to enjoy such an amazing meal. It was remarkable. The presentation, the colors, the tastes and smells were completely wonderful. It was a  full sensory experience. (I only took one photo because I began to enjoy the food and conversation and lost myself in it all)

L+1B7px6RMuZC7dzH+7sIg

I saw the owner of the restaurant standing against the wall. He had on a wine colored shirt and a black apron over it. He was a man of medium build and several things struck me: His dark rolled and upward turned mustache, his tattooed biceps and his intense eyes and slight smile.

He stood near the hostess station as he looked over toward all the tables, I caught his eye and waved him over to our table. Why? Because it was so fantastic and as I was chewing I heard, “Make sure you tell him how much you are enjoying your meal Rachel and do it in front of everyone.”  

He came over and I said, “I want you to know how much we are enjoying this meal, blah, blah blah…” I’m not sure what else I said, I trust the Holy Spirit on that one too.

During the meal one of my girlfriends mentioned how she can not lift her arm fully.   Somehow she’d injured her shoulder’s rotator cuff. She giggled a bit as she exclaimed, “Do you know how hard it is to shampoo your hair with one hand and how tired the arm  gets doing it? My husband had to help me get myself dressed!”

I’m sad to say I told her a story about helping someone else who was going through something similar.  YIKES! I didn’t take the time to pray for her. WHAT in the WORLD was I thinking? I know I should have done it and I can still call and pray for her or pray with her when I see her in a few days. My point is, I probably didn’t obey as quickly when I heard the Holy Spirit tell me, “Pray for Anne, speak to her shoulder.”  

You see earlier in the evening when we first greeted each other I gave her a hug and she mentioned she had to be careful because even the hug hurt. I didn’t pray then. BUT I didn’t address it, even though I’m pretty sure I heard, “Pray for Anne, speak to her shoulder.”  

So now that I’ve shared my simple dinner story, let me encourage you to listen to the Holy Spirit’s voice in your own life. It won’t come from outside of you. It will be like an inner thought, just like taking directions from the GPS. Let’s keep in step with the Spirit.

You see I’m always learning, leaning and listening. The good news is He’s always speaking!

My Sheep hear my voice. John 10:27a

 

 

 

 

fullsizeoutput_8429rachelinouye.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

.