Here we are in the Northwoods of Wisconsin. It’s beautiful. The landscape is much different from where I have lived for the last 17 years. It’s more like where I grew up in Connecticut with the hills, trees and lakes.
In the years past, when I have met people who have visited Connecticut from the Midwest they would comment on how difficult it was to get around there. I never got it. It was easy for me. I would often chortle to myself, Midwesterners are just used to driving in straight lines through cornfields. (Insert arrogance and pride here.)
Until the other day, when I drove the kids to karate. Let me clarify, this wasn’t my first trip there, or even my second. Every trip, I enter the karate location into Google maps and punch in what looks like the best route option. I have found one of the three to be quite pretty and a little less confusing with the migration of orange barrels that appears to be taking place right now.
It wasn’t long into the fifteen-minute ride that things started to look unfamiliar. We seemed further immersed in the woods than usual and I started to worry that we would be late. This may not seem like a big deal, but for the new kid who causes the whole class to do 20 push-ups because he’s late – it’s a BIG deal. I began to feel a bit lost.
It seems to be a reoccurring theme lately and I’m not talking specifically about road navigation. I’m talking about starting over in a new place and trying to give my kids and myself a well-rounded life again. Often times the kids and I feel like three lonely souls. (In case you’re wondering, my husband is still part of the story, but he has been here for over six months. He has his job and co-workers and apparently a better sense of direction – except in a mall, I trump him in a mall. Anyway, he may still be lonely, but it’s my story so I get to tell it my way.)
Back to the story.
Our adventure has gotten off to a slow start. We joined a couple of homeschool groups, but unfortunately homeschool activities have mostly wrapped up for the year. We are attending a new church that the whole family really enjoys, but it’s new, so there are no established youth groups yet. As I mentioned the kids have started karate, but it takes time to develop friendships when your main goal is fighting off an attacker.
So, what do I do when I’m feeling this way? Well, I complain – a lot. Until I get a nudge from the Holy Spirit reminding me that this is not the way. What I need to do is check with my Internal Compass. You have one too if you are a believer. Here is what Jesus tells us about it:
If you love Me, you will keep My commands.
And I will ask the Father and He will give you a Counselor.
He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him.
But you do Know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you.
I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you.
(John 14:15-18 HCSB – emphasis mine)
You see I’m not ever really lost or alone. I just lose sight of that when I get consumed with my own stuff. Not only that, I often times forget what having access to the Holy Spirit truly means. More from Jesus:
So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you.
Keep searching and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks the door will be opened.
What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead of a fish?
Or if he asks for an egg will give him a scorpion?
If you then who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children,
how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask?
(Luke 11: 9-13 HCSB)
The book of Matthew substitutes the words “Holy Spirit” for good gifts. Each version of Jesus’ words brings promises to us as believers. If we are steadfast in our prayers God is faithful to give us what we really need. But notice that we need to keep asking, keep searching. We need to be persistent in our prayers and in our endeavors. Yet, we all know that we can become weary and discouraged in the waiting. This is where the all-important promise of the Holy Spirit comes into play. Yes, he is always within us, but we can ask for more of Him. To feel more of His presence, peace and comfort – not lost and alone.
Less complaining more praying.
So, this week I am replacing complaints with prayers – except for the weather. All bets are off if it snows this weekend. The complaints will roll! Okay, just kidding, maybe… In addition, I will persist in my mission of making Wisconsin feel like home. And I will ask for more of Him.
Holy Spirit refresh me. Fill my cup to overflowing. Guide me in my endeavors. Help me to be more mindful of you. Give me more of You and less of me. Thank You for the gift of Your faithfulness, presence and unfailing love.
For more on our move you can read here
Until next time,