Fun Facts about Van Walton
My book, From the Pound to the Palace, is available for $10
from Proverbs 31 Ministries.
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Proverbs 31 Speakers
Just like the pilgrims in the Sinai desert following after Moses. I wonder at what time “the move” the grand exodus slowed down. Was each day a drag or did time for the children of Israel fly by? I wonder when Moses stood on Mt. Nebo and looked over into the Promised Land if he said, “Oh my, it seems like yesterday we left Egypt?”
I don’t think so!
So – last week I mentioned that we would go through a seven week journey – a pilgrimage walking with pilgrims doing what they do.
First of all Pilgrims PRAY.
Jesus taught us to “keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation.“ (Matthew 26:41).
He also commanded saying, “ that at all times we ought to pray and not lose heart.“ (Luke 18:1)
I find it amazing how God’s divine design really works.
In the midst of a move while trying so hard to be a big girl to accomplish all things, to bear all burdens, to swallow my tears, to see the move as an adventure – I fail. I crash. I fall in a heap of sobs. “Will life ever be the same?”
Of course it will – it will be better!
Ten years ago I moved to Charlotte, NC. You would think I would have mastered the move thing since I have moved from the time I was a baby. Gut no. It gets harder with age. To make matters worse, my 5th grader was sad. I mean he was really really SAD. We left his brother behind. The family dynamics changed. Life in our house had an empty spot – a big empty spot.
My little guy said almost daily in his sad little humble voice, “ I wish we didn’t have to move.”
I replied, “ I wish we didn’t have to move either.”
That little guy is now a senior in college – attending the university right here in North Carolina – on the beach BTW…. AND
When asked, “Where do you want to work when you graduate from college?” he replies, “I hope in NC. I can’t imagine living any where else.”
So there you have it. A move can mean better days ahead even though you don’t see it.
And what to do until those better days show up? Use the down time – Pray like a pilgrim. Watch and pray so you and yours don’t fall. Pray ceaselessly and use the time to grow closer to your God, because before you know it you will be up and running again with no time to spend with the Father.
Pilgrims pray while they are on the journey.
Why not begin praying through the Psalms. Tomorrow is Sept 1. Pray through a Psalm a day. You will get through the Psalms before the year is over.
Let’s begin now:
Lord would you bless me as I take this journey through life.
Watch over me and keep me from walking in the counsel of the wicked
or standing in the way of sinners , or sitting in the seat of mockers.
My delight is in your law, LORD, and on your law I desire to meditates day and night. May I be like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Please allow whatever I do to prospers so I may glorify you.
Keep me from the ways of the wicked who are like chaff that the wind blows away.
Lord, make me righteous and watch over me all the days of my life.
Yup. God's design works. With prayer life's circumstances have a way of turning aroud! Prayer gives a new prespective on each day.
So pray and SHINE!
... and what do I do while I wait? I play mental games developing all sorts of ways that I can think of to manipulate my circumstances.
While we wait, aren't we tempted to manipulate so the wait can get on with it and be OOOOOOOOVVVVVVVVVVVEEEEEEEEEEERRRR?
Then I am reminded of manipulative women.
Eve - her manipulations changed the course of human history.
Remember, she couldn't wait to taste the forbidden fruit.
Lot's daughters- their manipulations resulted in incestuous relationship between them and thier father, Lot. The offspring of their children became enemy territories to the nation of Israel. Remember Lot's daughters couldn't wait to mary or allow God to give them husbands.
Sarah - her manipulations changed the course of history - for the worse! Remember, she grew tired of waiting for that baby she so longed to hold.I'm just thinkin'. I may be tempted to spend my time manipulating,
-like talking to the coach so my child can play more ball?
-like asking a third party to get unnesesarily involved in an sticky situation ?
-like convincing a doctor to administer more drugs?
-like misrepresenting myslef in order to get a much coveted position?
I need to remember God has everything under control. If He has allowed this time trial in my life I can rest in peace that God has a purpose - not to harm me but to prosper me. My manipulations will only derail God's perfect plan and take my focus off what Jesus can do in my life when I lean on Him.
So dear ones, while you wait, trust God and
How does a pilgrim progress?
All I ever needed to know about moving I learned from Moses and the band of pilgrims he lead through the Sinai. It may seem unusual that a modern-day corporate move, or a military transfer, or an assignment to the mission field, or a relocation to a retirement community would have any relationship to the grand exodus, but the second book in the Bible has many life applications for us today. It has been said that no one stands still. "You are either moving forward or backward." Every Christian is on the move. Whether facing a transfer or a spiritual challenge.
Hopefully all of us has one goal: the Promised Land. On interesting thought - many will arrive through a direct route. Some will get sidetracked and wander for a lifetime.
The Promised Land was the land given by God to Abraham and the Hebrew nation. It would be a place free of bondage. It would be a place where its citizens could freely worship the God of their forefathers. It would be a place for their children and their children's children to grow and become a great nation. Once there, they would prosper, provide for their families, and produce bounteous harvests season after after season.
Modern day corporate pilgrims often move for the same reasons as the ancient Israelites. The family provider seeks a place to raise children free from the social ills that plague our communities. Mothers long for parks free of fear, schools full of a fervor for learning, and communities which fan a spirit of unity and neighborly cooperation. We move for many other reasons also. We pack up and sell our houses because there is no work in our particular field. Corporations restructure and move entire divisions across the nation. Parents grow old and children reorder their lives, returning home to offer assistance.
Preparing for the trip, organizing the details, anticipating the future become the center of the move-her’s life. The day to vacate arrives without warning. Emotions rule. The relocating family is either ecstatic or mourning and, to top it off, out-of-control feelings pop up in the most unexpected places! A multitude of last minute details must be checked off the list and then
…Inevitably, the journey begins.
What’s a pilgrim to do in order to survive?
After many false starts I learned the following: Pilgrims:
Over the next 7 weeks I am going to be posting about these seven topics. If you are a regular visitor I am honored that you visit me on Mondays. Won’t you consider spreading our tent, by mentioning to others who are on the move that we gather here for encouragement and spiritual nourishment to spur us on to make each move a success story to the glory of God.
Remember – if there were a better place for us to be, God would have placed us there instead moving us here!
Until next week when we will discuss the prayer of the move-her-
Let me back up. I recently met a lady whose son transferred from his old school to a new school – the school my younger son attended. I have a close friend whose son also attends that school and plays football with my new friend’s son.
"So," – I thought, “Why not bring them all together to meet one another. After all the parents are going to be cheering their sons on to victory every Friday night for the next two or three months."
Then I invited them all to dinner. Of course they were happy to come.
I mean I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than being invited into someone’s home for a meal.
Well- at 6:00 the door bell rang and there stood my new friend, her husband and their handsome football player son with an apple pie held high.
In a little while the other family arrived. Everyone hit it off as we sat around the table, ate fabulous food – ribs, shrimp boiled with potatoes, and corn on the cob. We also had grilled peaches and green beans all freshly purchased from the farmer’s market this morning.
Pretty soon the boys left together- MISSION ACCOMLISHED. New kid on the block was accepted by big senior football guy who has already signed to play college ball.
Parents smiled – happy their children had hit it off. Happy that new kid had been brought into the circle, happy that football senior dude had been humble enough to include new guy.
Now that is the kind of networking I like. I think I can go to bed tonight with a smile- I hope God saw my good deed and is pleased with me.
You know why I did what I did tonight? It's not because I am some kind of good person – No. I did it because I have been the new kid. My sons have been the new kid. Others did it for me and now I had the opportunity to pass it on.
Did I say I am tired. Cooking for football players- hoping they get enough to eat is stressful.
I am going to bed.
Nothing more to say...
If you are visiting my blog today after having read the P31 devotional – welcome!
Last week I presented one of my favorite topics to a group of teachers at a Staff Development retreat. I spoke on the personalities and how our individual styles drive us to react the way we do.
I wish I weren’t driven to make comments, to have the answer, to provide the solution. I wish I were more like those personalities opposite to mine – content to be quiet, confident to keep my comments to myself.
Alas – I am not that type.
But in my waiting season, God is working on me. There are times to be quiet. There are times to say nothing.
These are the times we practice trust.
What does trust look like?
This morning I read in Luke 18 about several people who trusted:
-a widow repeatedly pursued the judge for resolution on her case – he finally gave her an answer.
-a blind man kept screaming out to Jesus, “Have mercy on me.” – Jesus healed him.
-children came to Jesus – He encouraged all to come to Him with the humble and innocent attitude of a child.
I’m learning to keep my mouth shut where it comes to people whose lives I want to change, yet opening my mouth in prayer and petition to God – in ceaseless conversation, trusting He will keep His promises.
ON another note- my little dog is on a diet. He knows how to wait- he, like the children, the blind beggar, and the widow – when he is hungry, he begs ceaselessly – to the point of driving me crazy. I had to put him on a diet –so said his vet. Then we learned a trick from some friends- add a can of beans to his food so his belly fills up and feels full. Yes- now when my doggie begs he gets beans. He gets food and I give him what he needs.
Is there a chance that God is giving me what I need and I just don’t’ see it. Maybe I am blind to what I need because I am so focused on what I want!
Ahhhh – sweet revelation.
I am off to chew on that and
Moving with God
Yesterday the congregation where I worship received a treat – a really big treat! Jill and Stuart Briscoe spoke. They are both so real, so down to earth, so profound, yet so simple.
Talk about people on the move! They laid out their message basing it on “walking with God.”
Something both mentioned grabbed my heart and sent me straight into the confession closet.
“If you KNOW God – really know HIM, you can’t help yourself- you are bound to tell others about HIM.”
Jill tells the story of her conversion. A nurse introduced her to Jesus. Jill immediately chose to follow Him. Then she asked, “What do I do now?” Her friend said, “Tell others.”
“Tell others what?”
“Tell others about the gift God just gave you.”
…and Jill, along with her husband, has been doing just that for decades.
So what does that simple little testimony have to do with moving?
I have recently heard from some move-hers who are struggling. Yup – we think the move is about us and all we leave behind. We are sad, displaced, confused, frustrated, lost, angry. I have been there. That is why I write about moving. I’ve also learned that God’s extreme measures get our attention. He wants us to walk with Him. Some of us need to be moved into a place of lonliness where finally we will learn to spend quality time with Jesus. Ten years ago,with no friends, no purpose, no job description, I simply spent the day with God- on my chaise lounge, on my deck, All day I read from His Word. I prayed. I slept, I sang to Him. I learned “it’s not about me.”
I am convinced that God moves us to take His story into the corners of our world, corners best reached and touched by us because who else is better equipped to share Jesus than one’s next door neighbor – we really do have lots in common.
I have to admit, in the depths of my sadness, in the midst of my moves, when I stopped focusing on my feelings and looked into the hearts of others, God moved me! He moved my soul into a place of worth. He moved my level of confidence into a place of purpose. Then He blessed me! He blessed me with friends who loved me for having turned on a little light in their dark worlds.
Know what?? More often than not – we are not the only ones on the block facing hard, sad, or dark times. Truth be told – we could all use a little encouragement.
Has God recently moved you? Pray for your neighbor and next time you see her, strike up a conversation. Plan for coffee together or better yet – school is about to begin. Drop some fliers in your neighbors mail boxes and invite them over for a “moms back to school gathering.” Let me know how it goes.
Oh – and don’t use the excuse that you are the new kid on the block to keep you from reaching out and touching others. I bet your new friends-to-be need a jump start to get back in touch with each other!
I began this week with a treat. But, let me back up…
Several months ago my dear and fun friend, one with whom I share many, many wonderful memories
~memories of our boys playing together
~ memories of elementary school PTA stuff
~ memories of starting and developing a women’s ministry in a small, now large church in Wausau,WI.
~memories of growing together spiritually
-she called me to let me know she had registered for She Speaks! Yippee.
On Friday morning as I made final preparations for all the ladies to arrive in Concord, NC I spotted my friend. We hung out when we could over the weekend and then came Sunday when the grand experience came to a sweet end.
Sally went home with me to spend the night.
As we sat with our husbands and reminisced we realized how long it had been since the four of us had enjoyed each other’s company. We had waited ten long years for this weekend. I mean ten years ago both families moved away from our happy existence in Wausau. Our boys grew up. Our husbands retired. Life moved on.
Then after the long wait, we were rewarded!
Good things come to those who wait faithfully. I can’t wait until we get together again. Right now we have no plans, but God knows and I am willing to wait!
Right now I can’t wait to get into bed. Good night!
Have I been on the move this past week! I feel as if I have already reached the Promised Land! I want to stop and go no further.
The Promised Land I mention is the She Speaks conference I attended this weekend along with 600+ women.
I thought about listing the highlights of my weekend. There were so many I decided to narrow it down to my time with the wonderful women I met through the speaker evaluation group.
Oh my! Who am I to pretend to be the expert move-her advisor? Who in the world… but here I am because I obediently answered God and said, “Yes,” to using my story to encourage others on the move.
So – you may ask? What impressed you so about the women you met in your group?
My answer – Each one had a story or a lesson of moving proportions and each, in the midst of life’s HUGE struggles had the opportunity to shake a fist at God or move closer to Him.
Each lady moved closer to God and I don’t mean closer like – “I know with God all things are possible so I will just endure this trial.”
NO! She moved and allowed God to change her heart.
She allowed God to shine His light through her broken places.
I learned that NOTHING is impossible with God.
I sat and listened and strong and courageous women stood on THE SOLID ROCK and described how God can take the most challenging of circumstances and turn them into the mightiest of opportunities.
Let me just get to the point.
We can bless others with God’s Truth – we all have a Father who loves us.
We can stay on a Godly course, forgiving and loving others, even when people disrespect and abuse us.
We can use our experiences in God’s Word to speak life and healing into the lives of our neighbors.
We can parent with confidence and dignity in the midst of fear and uncertainty.
We can offer peace in the midst of a cruel and chaotic world.
We can rise to the challenge of keeping a husband’s eyes always on his bride.
We can face the debilitating giants of depression.
We can survive the death of a spouse and provide for our many children.
We can learn to accept the loss of a little brother.
We can learn to trust God even when a son dies not having known Jesus.
We can thrive even though our mistakes threaten to derail us because we know…
God is able and He has made us remarkABLE!
This weekend 11 women moved me to a new place in my life- an oasis where once again God’s Truth has been affirmed because these ladies allowed God to exchange their weaknesses for His strength.
They encouraged me, they challenged me to