Life is all about change. When you trust an unchanging God - you have the ability to embrace change and trust Him in the midst of it. Join me as the Lord leads me through a new phase of my journey.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday's Thoughts ~ The perfect fit

It's Thanksgiving week!!  I had a birthday.  My friends in Chicago gave me a surprise party (first one I've ever had and it was so much fun!!) and my kids are all here.  Here I am - at the corner of grace and bliss, once again and it isn't even Thanksgiving yet!

In the midst of it all, God speaks.  I love that about my life.  No matter what is going on, God has things to tell me and teach me. This has been a season of studying David.  There has been a sermon series about his life at church and my small group study has been based on his life also.  David's life is fascinating and one that is so raw and real that we can identify with him in numerous ways. 

This week at church, we focused on a couple of verses in 1st Samuel 17.  It is the picture of Saul giving David his personal armor to fight Goliath.  A sad picture, really, since Saul should have been the one to step up and take the challenge.  Now there is a lot to say about that, but I have always been fascinated by the armor incident (as I like to call it!)

"Then Saul outfitted David as a soldier in armor. He put his bronze helmet on his head and belted his sword on him over the armor. David tried to walk but he could hardly budge.  David told Saul, “I can’t even move with all this stuff on me. I’m not used to this. And he took it all off."

David is a teenager at this point.  He is young and most likely not full grown.  Saul places his man-size armor on this boy and needless to say, it does not fit.  It is heavy and bulky.  David can't even move in it.

That got me thinking about how we, at times, try to take on something that is not ours.  For example, we admire a particular talent, job or ministry and decide that is what we will do.   We can also do this to others.  That is really what happened here. Saul tried to take something that God had asked him to do and put it on someone else. 

I love David's response.  He took off the heavy armor of another and went back to the things that God had equipped him to use.

"Then David took his shepherd’s staff, selected five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the pocket of his shepherd’s pack, and with his sling in his hand approached Goliath."

You see, David had been in training for this event all of his life.  He had faithfully been tending sheep which involved protecting them from danger.  David had been to the school of the brave and courageous and that is exactly what he needed in this moment.

What has the Lord asked you to do?

Are you doing it?

Are you using the gifts that He specifically gave to you?

Are you leaning on Him to give you everything that you need?

When the Lord calls you, He prepares you and equips you.  All your experiences are preparing you for what is next. 

I laugh at myself sometimes when I find myself in the midst of something and realize that it is exactly what the Lord has prepared me for!  He is so faithful.  He is always at work.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10

So . . . suit up!  Just be sure that you are using the armor that the Lord has given you and not someone else.  Fulfill the ministry He has given you, not anothers and don't ask someone else to fulfill yours.  

Trust Him to use you to 
slay some giants.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Thankful Thursday ~ Overflowing Joy

I am in one of those sweet places in life where I am keenly aware of all the amazing blessings around me.

You know how sometimes everything seems to be in  
BOLD print and 
BRIGHT colors?

I am in a very rich season of relationships.  Over the past week or so, I have had the privilege of spending time with so many people.  I've had amazing conversations and I've listened . . . a lot.  I've been able to encourage and speak God's truth.  I have laughed, cried, rocked a baby and shared the news that I'm going to be a grandma.

In fact, I have a bliss hangover.

Is everything perfect?  Am I problem free?  


But, I am way too busy seeing God's goodness 
to worry too much about the things 
that aren't right.  

Seems fitting with Thanksgiving on the horizon.  I want to encourage you to take time over this next week to ponder God's goodness in your life.  In fact, start to make a list and then read it on Thanksgiving day.  I think you will find yourself in some serious bliss.

What if things are really not good right now?  
What if your circumstances are tough?

Let me help you get started.

God's mercy
God's grace
God's presence
God's provision
God's peace
God's plan




Heaven awaits but the Holy Spirit indwells

Now . . . you can add blessings that are of the earthly nature.

Isn't that amazing?!?!?!

There isn't enough room to list everything that I am thankful for . . . 
but I'm sure going to try.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tuesday's Thought ~ Living in the Moment

There is a stinkin' lot going on right now!  There is no grass growing under my feet -- that is for sure!  God has been speaking to me about something from several different angles, so I thought I'd attempt to put a few thoughts down.

There is a lot to think about in the coming months and even years.  My mind seems to want to jump to those places and live awhile.  I have to make a very conscious decision to pull it back where it belongs!

Heather is at 12 weeks in her pregnancy today.  Whoo!  I am so excited.  I want to enjoy every day of this adventure - every change, every feeling, every thought . . . I don't want to jump to June too fast.

Alan is beginning to think about what is next in his career.  We are anticipating being grandparents.  We can even look ahead to retirement . . . eventually.

What's wrong with that?

Nothing, really.  

We all like to look ahead and dream a bit.  

It is quite natural to anticipate the next stage of life, whatever that may be. 

BUT, if we are always looking ahead, 
we may very well miss what the 
Lord has for us here and now.

I don't want to do that.

I want to soak up everything that the Lord has for me 
right here, right now.

I want to serve Him with my whole heart - 
completely engaged where He has me.

In this moment.

I want to learn, and grow, and stretch, and respond with faith.

I want to grab every opportunity to be encouraging, 
help someone out and LOVE big.

After all, we really only have this moment.  

We are not promised another one.


Find Jesus in every moment.  
He is here, right now.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thankful Thursday ~ Where does the time go?

April 25, 1987 ~ Heather Rene Goad arrived on the planet.  What amazing joy!  It has been such a great privilege to watch her grow and mature into such an amazing woman of God.  She is my joy, my sweet friend and precious daughter.

What could be better?

Well, that wonderful daughter bringing another sweet little one into the world!

That's right . . . I'm going to be a grandmother!

Here is sweet baby Brenton!

Alan and I are thrilled.

Cooper and Heather will be amazing parents and we are going
to have so much fun!

I am praising God for this miracle and thanking 
Him for this sweet gift.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Musings ~ A week of Blessings!

Well - here I am, running behind on blogging again.  It has been such a fantastic and busy week. Life has changed quite dramatically from last Monday.  Why, you ask?

The birth of Ezra Atlas Cauble!!

What a privilege to welcome this sweet little man to the world.  We have been anticipating his arrival and it was everything we hoped for.  He is a happy, healthy, beautiful, bouncing baby boy!  
Ashley and Aaron are some of our dearest friends, 
so we celebrate this big event with great joy. 
As if that wasn't enough, I got to participate in our very first Women's Retreat for Destination Church here in Chicago.  We traveled to a camp in Michigan.  It was a beautiful setting.  37 of us shared a wonderful time together of worship, fellowship, teaching and sharing.  I stand back in awe of all that the Lord is doing in the lives of these women and the privilege I have to share in that journey.  I don't even know how to express how much I love and care for these women.  They make my life so very rich.

I don't know why I get to be a part of so many wonderful events, have so many wonderful people in my life and such incredible blessings beyond what I could have imagined.  But I can tell you this . . .  I am so very thankful.

God's Grace

God's Gifts

God's Goodness

 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21

Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Musings ~ Jet Lag and Japan

I have never experienced the power of jet lag quite like I have this trip!  Perhaps that is because I never traveled to the other side of the world!  I stay awake all day and function okay - but I can't sleep at night.  I'm having a bit of an out of body experience!  Unfortunately, I'm still responsible for various things in life that can not be put off for another week so I just keep plugging away! 

Disclaimer:  If I say or do anything goofy - it is obviously due to jet lag because we know I wouldn't do that normally, right?

Here are some unique things about Japan:

It is quiet.  SHHHHHH!  I have never been to such a quiet place. 

Even as people pour out of the train station, it is quiet.  You really only hear the sound of footsteps.  They patiently stand in line to go up the escalator or the stairs.  There is no pushing and shoving.  There is no rude language.  Let's just say that is quite the contrast to our train stations here in Chicago!  Even as we walked along the streets of Tokyo, it was so quiet.  Even the construction was quiet - seriously, it really was!

 The Japanese are very practical.  Space is used so well providing everything you need without anything you can live without.  Our hotels were the perfect example of this.

I don't know if you can tell, but this is one tiny bathroom.  There is a lever on the sink that you can switch to use water in the sink or water in the shower.  You have to shuffle a bit to fit in there, but it works!  Heated toilet seats are standard, also, so I would say they have their priorities right!  A toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, dryer and even in some instances, a hairbrush, are provided.  They also supply you with pajamas which people wear down to breakfast.  If you were a business traveler, you could travel around the country taking very little with you.  It makes sense!

There is an expectation of perfection.  The work day is long and the expectations are high. It is a beautiful country where order and fitting in are highly valued.  For much of the country, being different or individual is not valued and could even be shunned.   Japan has one of the highest suicide rates in the world.  Death is chosen over failure in too many instances. 

That breaks my heart.  The message of grace is desperately needed. 

I did have the privilege of sharing the story of The Prodigal Son in two different locations.  What good news that even as we sin and go our own way, God runs toward us ready to welcome us back.  The righteousness of Jesus covers our sin.

This is the symbol for grace.

Don't you love it?  The cross makes all the difference.  The message of grace is powerful in any language but in Japanese culture, it is difficult to accept.

I'm so thankful for the wonderful people we met who are willing to spend their lives delivering the message of God's grace.  He loves His people and desires for all of them to come to know Him.  My heart will never be the same.  I long to see these people come to know Jesus.  In a country with less than 1% of the population professing Christianity, there is a great need for believers to go and to share.  I am so grateful for the Japanese who have made the choice to follow Jesus and are reaching out to their fellow countrymen.  

Would you pause and pray for the country of Japan and continue to do so as the Lord brings it to mind? 
Will you take advantage of the opportunities you have to share Christ with those around you?  His grace is desperately needed here in the USA as well.
My heart is forever changed.