A Promising Shelter in the Storm

faithful to provide

Almost every night the past few weeks my walk had been preempted by sudden showers making me, well, cranky. Watching the radar like a hawk revealed a slight chance of being caught in a pop-up down pour this night but I was willing to take it.

Getting outside this year has been my saving grace. I commune with nature, God, the occasional horn blowing car whose driver thinks they know me (or wants to?!)  and the deer and geese who pretend not to.

During the spring these evening treks were much more enjoyable, mid July, not so much. And if proper southern ladies are supposed to glisten rather than sweat this evening I was glistening buckets.

But I pressed on because with any challenge, progress should be the goal rather than perfect conditions.

Some nights if it’s not feeling like 102 degrees in the shade when I pass by I run the front steps of the old high school that I graduated from. I remember the picture shown to me years before of my grandmother’s graduating class (less than 20 of them maybe?) standing on that same stoop. Now it’s the administration building for the county and they take our tax money instead of our lunch money. Inside, the remodeled walls bear plaques and pictures from the local historical society as an homage to the past.

dresser typewriter bird vignette

It seems progress is always nipping at our heels.

This night I altered my course by crossing the road leaving the safe peninsula path venturing all the way down the main drag past the old county seat holding the car dealership towards the end in my sights. As I dripped down the sidewalk I wondered if I looked pitiful enough would the kind sales guy locking up – who had sold practically everyone in my family a car and some twice- be willing to drive a poor washed up soul back to her car?

But I persevered.

I longed to be doused with water and wondered if the threatening heavens opened and rain poured down would I melt like the wicked witch of the west that seemed to characterize me all week?? (at least in my mind…) Desiring to be sequestered in my own impenetrable fortress. Alone. In silence. Overcome at more than one point and green with envy desiring earthly pretties rather than Godly provision, I had cackled, complained and considered wielding my broom as a weapon while sweeping up ordinary messes.

And so I prayed and poured it all out because confession like sweating is good for the soul.

Upon turning back to retrace my steps to my starting point I was met with just enough breeze and well placed clouds to make my way back home- or at least to the place I parked my car.

Grace is like that. Showing up at just the right time and in just the right form- like the sweet repose of shade, encouraging words from a friend or unfathomable forgiveness – but only when we put ourselves in the proper position.

Not every journey is pleasant but walking in step with our Savior can make every path pleasing.

pleasant and pleasing

On the return trip, I thought about Jonah and a sermon from Steven Furtick another blog friend shared recently… We all remember the whale but what about the worm? Jonah, upon hearing that God would indeed save Ninevah after they welcomed the redemption message, went out from the city with a bruised ego and made himself a shelter to sit and stew under while the hot sun beat down. He was angry at the change of plans. {Funny how feelings will talk you into taking uncontrollable things just a little too personal… ahem…} For a while God showed mercy by raising up a plant to provide more shade.

And it says Jonah was thankful … but for the plant… not the provider.

So God arranged for a worm to eat the plant and a scorching wind to blow against him. More examples of His provision though not in the packages Jonah expected.

Are we shackled by a heavy burden of our own wants and wishes or abiding in the shelter of the God most high who just wants us to follow? Is our source of agitation stemming from stoking our own fires and cobbling together our own shelters all the while forgetting all the promises that were made for us to keep?

Our man-made shelters will never satisfy and our promised land will never be found in anything other than God’s shadow.

shelter shadow

Are you seeking the right shade? Trusting in the provider even when the blessings seem blurred at best? And when that sudden shift in the weather comes, as this season always brings, will you run for shelter or delight in the downpour?

P.S. Looking for more meaning in the mess? It’s my pleasure to create connection, community and sometimes cute stuff just for you! And I’d love it if you’d join our little tribe. Just click right here to get the scoop and a set of printable scripture cards! Can’t wait to see you soon in your inbox.

Linking up with these lovely blogs:

Seeking God   Missional Women

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20 thoughts on “A Promising Shelter in the Storm

  1. So many things you said, oh wow!!
    “Are you seeking the right shade?”
    God’s had been convicting me of my attitude the past weeks. I knew moving to a new house wouldn’t change my heart so I’ve been getting bold in my prayers, that He will do the work in me that He needs to regardless of where we are. I want to trust in Him, not my whereabouts to make me happy. And then I’m thinking, this pertains to some current relational conflict too. That I need to trust just as He provides for other needs, He will come through in this relationship. It may not be on my time schedule or may not be “pleasant” but trusting without worry (because sometimes I’m a walking oxymoron..) will be pleasing to Him and grow my faith! It’s funny how God works. I was touched by your post here but almost fund a sense of healing and confirmation when I comment a lot of times. Words and Truth are so powerful. Thank you, Heather for your poetic and transparent words today!!

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    1. Oh Meg… I hear ya girl— and fit your ‘walking oxymoron’ description far too well..! I’m glad we have this little community where we can process all the feels and be filled. All the best to you my dear in this new house! (and yes I’ve had my share of knowing new surroundings will not change old feelings… only God can…) Let’s pray on girl! ♥ Can’t wait to hear the testimony that’s come from your test. {wink wink} xo. GOD is faithful.

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  2. Hi Heather,
    Love the vintage typewriter on your desk! I want to get one since I see photos of pink ones and turquoise ones that look so darling! Oh your evening walks sound just like mine — very hot and sweltery (is that a word?) these dog days of July and August. But how sweet is the grace that pours on us when we spend this time communing with God on our walks! I love how you worded spending time in God’s shadow — how lovely! That is where we find what we need and see how what we’re doing lines up with his words for us! xo

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    1. Hey there! YES sweltery can be our little word for this insanely sticky weather! The typewriter was a fluke- someone just gave it to Corey a few years back- he liked the case it came in so he kept that and I grabbed up the machine like a duck on a june bug. I finally moved my vintage sewing machine from where it sat and put the typewriter in more prominent display…and I’m thinking maybe that’s how God has me lining up right now…!? xo ♥ Hope you are well! I’ll be sure to keep my eye open for you on the typewriter front!

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  3. I’m with you, Heather. I look back over this year and see that getting outside has been a true saving grace, indeed. A perspective shifter, a reality check, a gratitude prompter. Thanks for your wise words today …

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  4. Heather- I want what I want, the way I want it. Isn’t that true? I get stuck in this so many times. I need to daily douse myself in the fact God has the entire picture and He knows me better than I know myself. He knows even the best way to send His gifts to me. He’s the ultimate Love Language guru, right?
    The messy times of my life have been the greatest gifts because they have lead me to Him.
    Your #SittingAmongFriends neighbor,
    Julie

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    1. Amen Julie! When our mess becomes our message then we are truly onto something good… And YES God does know exactly how to prick our hearts with compassion and make us feel fully loved and fully known even when we struggle with understanding ourselves. Thanks for being here friend- so glad to meet you at Jaime’s link up!

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  5. I read your nice comment on my blog and hopped on over here to see yours. I love your writing! THIS…THIS I so understand, “I had cackled, complained and considered wielding my broom as a weapon while sweeping up ordinary messes.” Also, “confession like sweating is good for the soul.” Amen!

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    1. Awww… I’m blushing Valerie… Thank you for your kind words. xoxo Glad I’m not the only one cackling and complaining from time to time and glad to know I can share in confession with kindred souls! Have a beautiful day!

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  6. Jonah was thankful for the plant but not for the Provider. How many times have I been guilty of that, too? Thank you for reminding me to thank the Lord for the things He has given and not to be thankful only for the things.

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  7. Another beautiful read during my lunch break Heather. This same thought has been with me for weeks now – – – – the answers show up in the most unexpected places – – – – . We just can’t go on what we think should happen or how it should happen can we even if it seems right. He’s got this, He knows. And He knows better. Love how you describe it as “stoking our own fires and cobbling together our own shelters”. Cold leaky ones at best. We feel more in control I guess when really all we need is draw in close next to Him and keep our eyes fixed. Really enjoyed this Heather, thank you and love your pics and graphics!!!

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    1. Thank you dear Tracey… xo… Yes God is the God of surprises no doubt! And he knows us inside and out. Hope you found some more pockets of time to create this week! ♥

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  8. Thanks Heather – they have been a little scarce on the ground this week. I have managed to do a little writing and reading but nothing to get my hands dirty – so that’s on the weekend schedule/non schedule. I’m always amazed how 20 or so minutes writing can make me feel so much calmer and more at peace.

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