Skip to main content

Google Maps Saves the Day

I have absolutely zero sense of direction.  Ask my husband - or any of my boys.  Unfortunately Anna seems to have inherited this trait, so she can't say anything! ;)

The other I decide to take a walk.  I have been trying to make sure I get all my steps in everyday, and this weather has been so fantastic that I couldn't resist.  So I threw some shopping bags in a backpack, because the plan was to stop at the grocery store on the way home, and headed out.  Shawn and I have done a lot of walking in this area, so I felt pretty confident, but I had my phone on me so if all else failed, I could pull out good old Google maps.  After being here almost three months, though, I felt like I should have a good feel for my neighborhood.

You can probably see where this is going.

I decided to take some streets that I hadn't taken before.  We live in a gorgeous neighborhood with many old houses that have been kept up beautifully.  It's not one of those areas where you have to worry about wandering into a place you might not want to navigate alone, so I decided to just explore.  I was feeling pretty good about where I was when I crossed a major street. In my mind I knew exactly where I would come out.  And - ta da - I did!  I confidently took a left and headed back towards the grocery store,  impressed that I made it that far down and still knew where I was.

Until I realized my left turn should have been a right.

Turns out I knew what road I was on, but I had very confidently turned the wrong way on the road.  So when I kept looking for the traffic circle with the fountain and realized it was no where to be found I begrudgingly pulled out my phone.

Ah, man...

When I came out on that main road I turned the wrong way.  Some how I had convinced myself I was on the other side of the street and now I had walked almost a mile in the wrong direction.  (Yes, I really should have realized it before that, but I TOLD you!)   Thankfully the weather was brilliant, I had decent shoes on (no sandals!), and I was wanting to get steps in.  I sent Shawn a message sheepishly giggling about my mistake, knowing he would probably just laugh and not be too surprised, then I turned around and headed the right direction.   I doubled my mileage.

I was thinking about this as I was walking, because I have joked with people before that if I think I should for sure turn right, the reality is I should automatically go left.  That is true pretty much 90% of the time.

I got on instagram when I got home because I was interested in a theory I had.  Over a million people have used the hashtag #followyourheart.  (another several thousand used one with a heart emoji attached!)  Thousands of people used the hashtag #dowhatyouwanttodo.

Today I had my phone on me.  I could have checked when I got to the road to make sure I was where I thought I was - especially with all my previous history of getting lost.  That would have been the wise thing to do.  Instead I pridefully went with what I thought because I wanted to prove I knew it.  I have done this so many times in life - and not just driving or walking around.  How many times have I "turned left" when I should have "turned right" because I decided to follow what my heart thought it wanted or deserved?  Or because I didn't take the time to pray or jump into His word?  Yes, he gives us common sense, but the Bible says that in every situation, by prayer and thanksgiving, we should present our requests to God. The psalmist says that in the morning God hears him as he presents his requests and waits on God.  Often times I just jump - I do what "feels" right or what I think is right for me -what my heart wants.  But the bible speaks to that, as well.  It says the heart is deceitful above all things - who can understand it?

My heart, when given the chance, will always seek out what it thinks is best for me.  Pride gets in the way, selfishness, and even the thought that I deserve something.  But often when I have followed that path it leads to times of brokenness, hurt, and consequences that could have been avoided if I had taken a moment to pray - and listen.  After all, it wouldn't do any good to consult google maps and then throw her back in my pocket without looking or listening.

Of course the Holy Spirit is not just a voice coming from our phone with whatever accent we have it set on!  (I once had a GPS set to Darth Vader's voice!)  We have a personal, intimate relationship with him.  However, I think we forget  that he does have a plan and desire to walk along side us and help us know the direction to go.  On my walk my lack of doing that lead to a longer trek with no real harm other than having less time to prepare for dinner guests tonight and blister on the bottom of my foot.  But there have been times that I have had to face real consequences for jumping in impulsively, or speaking without thinking, or acting out of a desire for self fulfillment.  I am thankful he redeems those times when I refuse to check directions, but I am even more grateful that he is right there waiting for me to ask. 


Popular posts from this blog

Bookends of Beauty

I love the bride of Christ.

I know that many of you reading this have seen the ugly, the broken, the spiteful.  It has been aimed at you or someone you love and the hurt has caused so much pain that you ran.  Maybe you are still physically present, but your heart is not fully in.  I understand.  We've been in full time ministry for 23 years now.  You can't be in this type of life without experiencing some of that ugliness - or handing it our yourself. 

However, I have been reminded again recently how beautiful it can be when it is done as a picture of Him. 

In the last few churches that we have been at where Shawn has pastored we have had a point in our time there where we had to admit that we couldn't do it anymore.  These churches in the States were ones that were under redevelopment - meaning on the brink of closing for one reason or another - and we were brought in to see if there was any health left and to push it in that direction if the answer was yes.  That means …

Kwaheri Kenya

It's my last night calling Africa home.

I feel like the last several weeks I have been on auto pilot - doing the things I needed to do to wrap up work well and get things in place.  This week we had a lot of goodbyes, however my eyes stayed dry and my emotions in check.

But today...

What a hard, beautiful, honoring, loving, joy and sorrow filled day.

I was standing and looking out the window tonight and feeling like this chapter has come to a close.  I don't just mean Kenya - though that is the immediate, in-your-face thing.  But this dream of living in Africa.  Ever since we spent the year in Malawi I have longed to come back and live.  We lived in the most rural you possibly could in South Sudan to the crazy chaos of Nairobi in Kenya, as well as the in-between in Blantyre.  I've seen poverty I could never have imagined, and money that I never knew existed.  I've lived on the brink of war and through insane elections.  And I've shown off this life I've loved …


Listening to music always speaks to my heart in ways that seem to break through even my most grumpy, tired, or distant flesh.  I have a current favorite right now that I could listen to non-stop, and whenever I hear it I feel like my emotions explode to the surface. 

"Peace, bring it all to peace
The storm surrounding me
Let it break at your name..."

If you've listened to Christian radio or worship in a place in with contemporary music at all you've probably heard the song "Tremble."  It's not new.  Nor is it filled with a truth I have not heard before.  But something in these lyrics touches me deeply in this time of my life.

Right before we left Kenya I spoke at our church ladies retreat.  One of the things we talked about the first night was how we are in a battle.  We so often and so easily believe the lies that are whispered to us from Satan and shouted to us from the world about who we are, our worth, and our identity.  The longer we allow these l…