• Barb Lownsbury

Thursday Thoughts

Hey Stranger. It’s been a while, though that’s through no fault of your own. As you know, for the last few years I have done my best to consistently post faith-filled, encouraging content to build into you, into your spirit. It has been a joy and privilege of mine, a way to give back for all the many blessings I’ve received and the remarkable people I’ve had build into my life. But I’ve been busy lately. Maybe too busy. About 5 months ago, God answered a long standing promise He had given me: that someone would come forward with money to fund The Dented Fender ministry. My ministry. The one He gave me to lead. It’s been an almost surreal journey, really, a bit like someone telling you you are going to win the lotto someday, but then one day you actually do. Your thoughts and perceptions change. Certainly your view of the person who told you in advance changes profoundly. It’s not that I didn’t know God had that in Him. And it’s not even that I didn’t believe He could and would do it. It’s more that feeling of believing something as an act of faith and now having it become an action of sight. I believed, but now I’m experiencing. It’s like a small glimpse into what it must be like when we get to heaven, no longer having to believe but actually having God the Father right before us, face-to-face. Since then, it’s been a lot of meetings with lawyers and accountants, with our newly minted board of directors and our expanding volunteer base. It’s been exhilarating; it’s been exhausting. It’s been wonderful and yet complex. You know you’re a bit over your head when the first thing you do as you form a board is to start by googling what a board is and does. But that has been this time for me. A time of many firsts, many new challenges and opportunities. Somewhere along the way, I found myself out of breath. If you know me, you know I’m an athlete. I love to run, to push myself to the limit. But somewhere around mid-November, I began to run out of steam. There were too many tasks and not enough day, too many appointments that needed to happen and not enough time. When you’ve let go of everything extra you can and been as intentional as possible with your time and there’s still not enough, something’s gotta give. And for me, it will never be my children, my core relationships or my God that get sacrificed. I had been denying myself the things I love to do, the fun things that add spice and excitement to life, with the rationalization that these sacrifices were for a season, that once this season passed I could pick them up again. Maybe walking into December I began to realize I needed to close that season. Taking out the very things that build into my spirit for a short time for the greater good is one thing; continuing to do so for months at a time is counter-productive. It just is. I probably waited too long, but in December I simply let go. I let go of writing my blog, even though I love writing it. I let go of the artificial deadlines I was imposing on myself. And I sat down and allowed God to help me catch my breath. I find it interesting that at the very beginning of this year one of the things God showed me was that He would help me find my true pace, the pace He wanted me to run. What I have since learned is that there is no one “true” pace for me, no one way to function. Instead, there are seasons and challenges, an ebb and flow to my life’s rhythm that seems to work over the long-haul as long as I’m listening to Him and His guidance. There are times I’m running much faster than I thought possible; there are times of stillness that I didn’t even realize I needed. It reminds me of Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a right time for everything, and everything on earth will happen at the right time.” Through it all, God is there … holding my hand. So hello! I’m back. I have no idea if you missed me or not, but I sure missed you. I hope you understand the time I needed to take, for the break that needed to happen. I especially hope that as you finish off 2017 and begin to embark on a fresh new year that you, too, are taking the breaks you need to take, running swiftly the races you are called to run, and striving to connect closely with a father who loves and adores you, and who knows how to give you the exact pace you need. Happy holidays my friend! For Further Thought: “We all know that when there’s a race, all the runners bolt for the finish line, but only one will take the prize. When you run, run for the prize!” (1 Corinthians 9:24). The Christian walk is not a sprint but a marathon. Marathons require things like pacing and training. Not even the best runners in the world sprint all the way through a marathon. As you greet 2018, think about the ways God may be nudging you to keep you on His pace for you throughout each life season. Invite Him into that process so that you will be able to cross the finish line of life and win His great prize for you–eternity in heaven.

FYI: MY NEXT CLASS STARTS WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 17TH AT 6:30 PM. INTERESTED? CLICK ON https://thedentedfender.weebly.com/classes–events.html for MORE INFO OR TO REGISTER. HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

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1314 Bourdeaux Way, Dayton, Ohio 45458

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