Each month a word is chosen from life experiences and prayer. The month of September just happened like the coming of unexpected rain showers. I was at a loss for a word. I could not find a single word that spoke to how I was thinking and feeling spiritually. I talked to my husband and wondered if I was being led to a word that was hard to write about like –empty, confused, worried, or frustrated. We laughed at the thought of such a despairing post, so I waited and prayed. It’s 9/24 and the work I’ve experienced in this month brought me to this common, but profoundly difficult word–RISE.

Rise defined is to “move from a lower position to a higher one; come or go up; get up from lying, sitting, or kneeling.” As a noun it is defined as “an upward movement; an instance of becoming higher.”

Much can happen in 24 days–work related deadlines, school starting, illnesses of loved ones, loss, tornadoes, devastating storms, ministry start-ups…..

All of these items within themselves have a story– a story of relationships and connection to those we love. We all know that relationships bring more than surface conversation about the weather. It’s a beautiful work of misunderstandings and connection. Within life as we toddle along we fall and rise. Every once in a while we make a conscious choice to stay down when we fall. Lay there and think about how in the world did I get here?

We took my grand-daughter to a local park, and she would have nothing to do with the stroller. She ran, walked, and sprinted up hills, down hills, and took the stone stairs like an athlete. At two years old, she had more determination and energy than any Olympic athlete. She fell over tree roots, uneven cobblestone, and her own two feet. She’d fall and rise like nothing happened! Her joy and trust made us marvel!

How to RISE!

  1. Stay in the now
  2. Be curious about the stories you are telling yourself
  3. See obstacles as opportunities

Right now is your moment to see, hear, feel, and taste. I’m clicking on my computer with a warm cup of coffee that smells like a new day. My bathrobe is soft and keeping me warm, and I can feel its softness mostly on my neck. The sun is not up yet. I look out the window and see the pergola filled with wisteria vines. My mind is filled with gratitude for all of these things. Pretty soon my daughter will be up and in that now I will communicate, remind, and cook. Stay present and notice what is around you. When we look back and regret or analyze we can become trapped and stagnant. When we worry about the future, we miss the beauty of the moment. It passes by and becomes our regretful yesterday.

Brene Brown has an excellent book called Rising Strong. Through research she has found that when we are curious about the stories we tell ourselves, rumble with it, and build a revolution around this amazing process, we can rise strong! Humans love to make sense of things, to reason, and to judge ourselves and others. We are not accurate in these stories we tell ourselves. If we do not recognize the inaccuracy, we can truly go down a path of despair and sometimes self-loathing. Oh the stories I can make up about parenting, work relationships, family, and my marriage. Although I found myself in a constant state of short stories being played out, I would rise and move forward. I trusted that in my prayer time God would reveal himself. He did. This short video clip that I was researching for a presentation made the difference. God uses our ordinary day to speak to us.

Lastly, if you are a person who sees obstacles as drudgery, rising will be a challenge. See obstacles with the eyes of faith!

“If you can find a path with no obstacles it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”

“We’re all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems.” Dallas Willard

Doubt sees the obstacles

Faith sees the way

Doubt sees the darkest night

Faith sees the day

Doubt dreads to take a step

Faith soars on high

Doubt questions “who believes?”

Faith answers, “I”

At the close of service yesterday we sang a song about our risen Lord. We can rise because He arose! Believe in the power of His love and His faithfulness in your life!

I love how she says, “Shake it Ace!” at the end!


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