CLEAR THE CLOG

Years ago God gave me a vision that I will never forget. He showed me a sink, with hands that would turn on the faucet and watch the water flow through the drain. This happened over and over again, until, it just stopped.

Then the vision switched. As the hands turned on the faucet, the water flowed and the sink began to clog. The water was backing up and everything that would have, that should have, flowed through it began to pool up and overflow making a complete MESS.

The hands then turned the faucet off.

It was careless to continue turning on the water that was only overflowing, pouring out on the ground, making a mess and could potentially ruin the floor, cabinetry, etc. I got the impression that the homeowner could not with good conscious continue doing this without risk of ruining the surrounding area. He wanted to turn the water on, but he couldn’t, not until the sink was unclogged.

As I saw this vision played out, I got the impression that it was an analogy for the Lord turning on and off flows of creativity in our life. He was showing me that He wants to turn it on, but not at the risk of a backed up mess; a spiritual and creative cesspool.

Creative influence or ability is given to be used, not stored. Stored creativity is like a swap in your soul. It clogs the flow and blocks what is intended to go through us from even getting to us.

As a writer, I feel like I’ve found myself in this place more times then I’d like to admit. While my creativity should be flowing through me, it’s blocked. Sometimes it’s blocked because I simply don’t do what I’m supposed to do. I’m inspired, but I don’t write. I hear from God but I’m not obedient. There’s essentially something that should be happening that isn’t. For you it might look different, maybe it’s the painting you never paint, the blog you never write, the song you never sing, the message you never share, the house you never make a home and the list can go on.

Other times we experience a blockage from hurt, frustration, bitterness, distraction, excuses or even pure laziness at times. I know when my creative sink gets clogged, instead of creative ideas flowing through me, I find myself in a creative cesspool frustrated about the stink and mess of a ‘clogged drain’.

I want to ask someone today, have you found yourself feeling unfulfilled? Under motivated? Confused? Frustrated? Or creatively backed up? You know there’s more to life, you know there’s something in you, that God is trying to do through you, yet, here you are- stuck, stagnant and feeling as useless as a clogged sink.

If that’s you, I want to encourage you today that you can unclog the sink of your soul and allow God, love, life and creativity to flow once again. It might seem like a big mess, it might seem like it’s more then you can handle but guess what? You can do it! I’ve been feeling like this myself lately and last night I turned on worship music and just sang while I cooked. Did you know worship is like Draino to the soul? Clearing out and unclogging every last blockage, making the pathways to your heart clear once again.

This morning I woke up with a scripture on my heart- instead of rushing into my day, I paused the to- do list and read that scripture, I journaled the impressions the Lord placed on my heart and I allowed myself to be present and tender, rather than clogged, once again. Friend, I can’t tell you how glad I am that I did this. It would have been easier to push that aside and carry on. It would have been faster to dismiss this moment as something I didn’t have time for, but instead I pressed in. I wish I could tell you what I heard, I wish I could show you what God showed me but that my friends is for another day.

Can I tell you something? I have four children- and although I love them all uniquely, I don’t love any one more than the other. I want the best for them all, I want them all to flourish, I want them all to succeed, I want them all to grow in the Lord.

So how much more is it with our Heavenly Father? How much more does He love YOU? This revelation wasn’t just for me, I may be the one to give it expression, but I believe it’s for ALL OF US!

So today, take some time to clear the clog and let the goodness of God and all His mercies flow through you once again. You deserve it and God desires it.

I hope you are as encouraged as I was this morning! If so, I’d love to hear from you! Send me a DM or comment below. We’re in this journey together.

xo.. LB

JOIN THE JOURNEY

On April 24th 2011 at 3:00am my life changed forever. In the darkness of the basement, in the still of the night, I heard a voice, a call, a purpose. In that moment, from a deep sleep I was suddenly awakened.

‘It was never my will for you to live defeated.

It is my will for you to experience this for a season, conquer and share.

I am more than sufficient.’

Just like that, I knew my purpose in life wasn’t to just ‘get by’, it wasn’t just to survive; I knew that morning that my life would consist of more than the mundane and that through my journey and through my process, I would encourage and inspire others to see that we are all made for more, we’re all created to flourish.

I remember later that morning I went to church and I told my best friend what happened to me. I was terrified. I didn’t feel excited, I didn’t feel qualified, I felt terrified. If I remember correctly, outside of my husband, that was the first and last conversation about this night that I would have for years.

People would ask ‘What do you think God has called you to do?’.. Rather than respond with the truth, I would sheepishly shrug my shoulders and say ‘I don’t know’… But I did know. I knew exactly what God called me to do; He called me to WRITE!

I knew in the depths of my soul that I was called to a specific journey, at a specific time, for a specific reason and my mission would be to take those around me on that journey through my writing in a way that inspires and encourages change, growth and development.

This blog is an invitation to join me. Join me a journey through motherhood, marriage, ministry, continuing education & career exploration. Join me through life’s ups and downs, through the good and bad, we can explore faith, hope and love, relationships, disappointments, fears and failures together.

My life isn’t perfect and it’s definitely not easy, but my hope is that it will be inspiring to all those who think they are alone. Together we are better.

If you’re interested in joining me on this journey, please click the link below to follow my blog. I’ll be posting both traditional blogs as well as video blogs about everything and anything. Like what you hear? Drop a note, leave a comment, share a post! Whatever works for you, but I would love to know that you’re there, that you’re listening.

Xo… Lori

MY BEST YES

Seven years ago today my life changed forever.

I woke up like any other day, to the sound of “Amazed” by Lonestar on the radio alarm. I went to work at my first job, planning to work at my second job right after. It was a regular Friday, or so I thought.

After talking with my sister-in- law that afternoon I knew my second job wasn’t an option.

“I’m preaching!” She said. “I really want you to be there, I’m really excited about this message.” She added. “And besides that, it’s Reuben’s first night playing the drums. I’m sure he would love for you to be there.”

Later I got a call from my best friend, “What are you doing tonight? I want to come to church with you.” The story was; her and her boyfriend were fighting and she wanted to get away. I still don’t know if that was even remotely true, but in the moment I thought “SURE. I would love for you to come with me!!”

My parents and brother wanted to join us as well; they wanted to see Reuben play the drums for the first time. How could I say no? This would be a family affair and a night to remember..

Just like that, I swapped shifts and I was getting ready for Friday night youth service. I didn’t go to many of these, being a waitress meant I worked Friday and Saturday nights, after working my regular office job during the weekdays. But tonight seemed different, so I went for it.

The service ended and the Pastor called us up “Reuben and Lori will be traveling this weekend, let’s pray for traveling graces.” With every head bowed and every eye closed (or so I thought) we prayed. Then, as I opened my eyes there he was; on one knee, box opened, ring shinning.

“Will you marry me?” He said.

“YES!” I exclaimed.

Camera flashes going off all over the sanctuary, clapping, cheering; a roar of excitement irrupted in the sanctuary. We had been high school sweet hearts and had the spent the last 5 years together. We had loved each other, hated each other, laughed, cried, grew and matured and now we stood there, as adults ready to make the biggest decision of our lives.

He hugged me as tight as he could, and as he held me as close as I could get, and then he whispered; “The real question is, will you marry me tomorrow?”

“WHAT?!” I said abruptly.

I think he could see the panic in my face and the concern in my voice. Before I could utter another word he said “Just trust me. I promise, everything will be ok.”

And just like that, I said yes. Again.

Less than 24 hours later I was ready to walk down an aisle I did not lay down, in a sanctuary I did not decorate, surrounded by people I did not invite, in a wedding dress I did not buy, to meet my soon to be husband at the end of an aisle where we would begin the rest of our lives together.

Now, if you know me you know I’m a planner and never in my wildest dreams would I expect to get married, with a less than 24 hour engagement and a ceremony and reception I had nothing to do with planning, and yet, here I was. Standing in a church where the sanctuary was decorated, the room was packed; I had a wedding cake, flower girls, food, a dress, a bouquet. I had everything we needed for a wedding and I didn’t have a single thing to do with it.

I walked down the aisle with my father where I met my husband, brother, mother and soon to be brother- in- law (who married us, his FIRST wedding ever!!) We said our I Do’s and that was it!

We were married.

I thought that day getting married was my best yes, my craziest yes, my scariest yes and the most important yes of my life.

Yet 7 years later, marriage has taught me that it’s not about the first yes, or the second yes or even the third, fourth and fifth yes. It’s all about the daily yes you commit to saying for life.

The commitment to say YES when life doesn’t go the way you planned.

The commitment to say YES when the job is gone.

The commitment to say YES when the house falls through.

The commitment to say YES when the dreams are shattered.

The commitment to say YES when the house is a mess.

The commitment to say YES when marriage isn’t the solution to loneliness as you expected.

The commitment to say YES when the picture you see doesn’t look like the “box” you picked up.

The commitment to say YES when money is low and bills are due.

The commitment to say YES when stress is high.

The commitment to say YES when the grass looks greener on the other side.

 

The daily yes.

Yes, I will honor you.

Yes, I will love you.

Yes, I will cherish you.

Yes, I will pray for you.

Yes, I will support you.

Yes, I will be there for you unconditionally.

Yes, I will be by your side when no one else is.

If you spend your relationship waiting for the next milestone, you’ll always be disappointed. You’ll always feel like something is missing. But if you learn to love intentionally and without reservation, you’ll find that the journey is better than the destination and the daily yes is your best yes.

Today I celebrate that marrying my husband was my first yes, is my last yes and will forever be my best daily yes.