A few weeks ago I was on my way to a new destination. More specifically, it was a new destination in a familiar place, but by the way I was driving, one would’ve thought I had no clue where I was going.
I drive into Tulsa frequently. So frequently that on occasion, I’ve arrived to my intended target realizing I traveled the entire way on autopilot, in sort of a fog, not recalling specifics of the journey. That happens when we’re so familiar with our route that we naturally take the course without even thinking about it. The path can be so programmed into us that we don’t even pay attention to the signs.
But what happens when we don’t know where we are going?
What happens when we’re exploring new places, even in familiar territory?
Well, I don’t know about you, but let me tell ya, there are three things I instinctively do when I’m not sure where I’m going.
Turn Off the Noise
Pay Attention to the Signs
I love music, but I automatically turn off the radio when I don’t know where I’m going. When I need to focus, I can’t have the commotion. There are times we need silence to concentrate, like when we’re going to new places.
I slow down. Typically, I drive with the flow of traffic. If you pick up what I’m putting down you’ll know that’s the delicate way of saying I may or may not exceed the speed limit. I just want to get to where I’m going. But when I don’t know where I’m going, I have to slow it down.
I read the road signs. Signs aren’t needed for those who know the area like the back of their hand. When I was growing up we didn’t even have road signs out in the rural area where we live. We have them now, but people who have been here for years and years rarely use the correct name of a road. Instead landmarks, or even the residents on that road, are used to indicate the place of reference. It’s the way it goes when we’re rooted in place. But when we’re traveling to new places we have to pay attention to the signs. If not, we may miss our exit and have to reroute, taking even longer getting to our intended destination.
Life is the same.
As we conclude the end of one year, and are at the start to another, let’s embrace the benefit of turning off the noise and tuning into the One who is calling us to roads we’ve never traveled. Let’s consider the blessing of slowing down allowing God to lead us. Let’s pay attention, reading the signs He is using to direct us on the paths He has planned and prepared for us.
This is the message the Lord nudged my heart for my approach to 2018. He is leading me to new paths. For Him to accomplish His purposes He requires me to allow Him to lead the way, set the pace and hold my focus.
In their hearts humans plan their course,
but the Lord establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9 NIV
In 2018, let us continue to have visions and goals, but may our every pursuit be rooted in Him who planted those dreams within us. He may take you to a place you never thought or imagined, but it’ll be a place you wouldn’t want to miss for anything.
As for God, His way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
He shields all who take refuge in Him. Psalm 18:30 NIV
Honestly, I would have never ever ever imagined the Lord calling me to write a blog. I remember when my then instructor, now friend, Rhonda Lawes nudged me to start this endeavor. I remember asking her, “Who would want to read what I write? What do I have to offer? I don’t do photography or cooking or anything else people would expect from a blog.” But you know what her response was? “Pray about it.”
Yep. Well, as the story goes, I prayed about it for eight months and in December of 2012 we started blogging on our first online home heathersblessedjourney.com. There have been many changes over the years, but for 5 years the Lord has been faithful to provide the content as I’ve been obedient to compose it. It’s a road I would have never thought to travel. I’m so thankful He placed people in my path to plant the seeds.
While 2017 marked our 5 year blogging anniversary, it brought reflection on all that has transpired through that time.
This is a place for inspiration, joy, strength and encouragement. It’s my prayer for this online home to hold nuggets of goodness for your heart, relevant to your life. And many have contributed to that vision.
Carla’s Column- our monthly contributor!
Carla Holtz is a dear friend of mine, and a member of my family. Well, my church family, but nevertheless, family. She has sat with me in small group classes and taught me in others. Carla has the gift of encouragement. For real, it’s a gift and she has it. I typically have a Carla Card up on my board keeping the message she mailed to me in view. She is a gifted communicator and shares with women’s groups throughout the year. I’m deeply grateful for her monthly contributions. I pray your heart is continually inspired throughout 2018 by the words she writes.
Over the years I have received the most encouraging messages from our readers. It has been a tremendous blessing to know that giving words to my journey has connected with others on theirs. It truly is beauty from ashes. It is also why I wanted to start sharing some of the people who have been so inspiring to me. We all draw strength and encouragement from one another at different times. The 12 guests we have had this year have touched and blessed my life, and I pray their stories have done the same for you. I look forward to introducing you to some more incredible people in 2018 willing to share their journey with us!
Six people invested into us this year. Because of our investors we were able to revamp our website, ready to accommodate future writing projects. This was a huge undertaking! We moved every single blog post over to our new site, developed an easy-to-navigate speaker page with a speaker menu, speaker video and downloadable media package and we also added content for our fellow Disney fans on our All Things Disney pages. In addition to the website, our advertisers’ financial support allows us to cover the expenses of maintaining this website, mail out print material, and budget an editor for my memoir, expected to be finished in spring 2018. Please consider supporting us by supporting them through business.
This entire endeavor has become what it is because of you. I always say that life is about people. If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t be able to continue giving what God has called me to give. With every click that you open a blog post or comment you leave, or share you make, supports the success of what is provided through this site. Every time I think what I give here doesn’t really matter I hear the Lord say, “It matters to Me.” And then He evaluates my heart with this question, “If not one person reads it, Heather, would you still write it for Me?” For His calling I continue to write, but He has rewarded my steps so sweetly with the gift of you, my online family. Thank you for walking this journey with me! I pray you continue on with me in 2018 and help me launch our memoir! We cannot do it without you. And would be so grateful for you to invite others to join us by subscribing to our site- remember its free. (insert smiley face)
Bless you in your New Year as you....
Turn Off the Noise
Pay Attention to the Signs
and anticipate the Lord to lead you to great things in store!!!
I PRAY THIS POST SPOKE TO YOU. WOULD YOU CONSIDER SUPPORTING THIS SITE AND OUR UPCOMING PROJECTS BY SUBSCRIBING TO OUR BLOG AND SHARING WITH OTHERS? WE CAN’T GROW WITHOUT YOU!