As the Lord would have it I had plans to walk with a dear friend the morning after I finished writing my first blog post.  We were sharing and caring, much like friends do, and our conversation landed on something she was feeling unsettled about.  Something she had felt led to do – to start, to organize, to set in motion – but, for whatever reason, hadn’t done and was feeling a little guilty about.  “Guilty”’s a strong word.  Regret, may  be.  And then, and then, and the-en….I got to tell her that feeling – that feeling she was having – and telling me about and…etcetera, etcetera…was EXACTLY what my first blog post was about!  How cool was that?!

It was like immediate gratification to have that God-planned, God-topiced time with her. God topic-ed…or God-topicked? Either way, it was cool. (And by God-topicked I mean He picked the topic of our conversation.  Yes, I just created a word, but unfortunately I have no idea how to spell it).

But that’s not the point! Back to my friend…and the pavement we were pounding…are you with me?  Can you see our butts shrinking? Okay…back to those.

“Amazing!”, as my two-year old would say. Our words, that is, not our shrinking butts.  Although those looked pretty good too. As we walked and talked and worked each other up into that crescendo of a pinnacle of excitement that only us ladies can do, I felt so….ENCOURAGED.

One thing you should know about me is that I like encouraging words.  Remember that book about the love languages? The one from way back when that was revolutionary for its time that you may have had to read as part of your pre-marital counseling or your marital counseling or your “help me please someone and quick!” to figure out why something’s missing here in this relationship with that special someone? Well, one of my top love languages (and by top I mean among my top five love languages) is…..encouraging words.  So you can imagine how warm and fuzzy all over I felt after this walk when I felt like God Himself had given me an encouraging word.  How? I mean how He orchestrated that topic to come up (The Follow Through topic… see Gotta Start Somewhere if you have no idea what I’m talking about) on the very morning after I wrote it within a walk that had been on the calendar for a whopping, like, several days before-hand with that particular friend.  UH-MAY-ZING.

So, needless to say, I’m feeling encouraged to write a bit more.

It was a great reminder of something I was already very suspicious of….that we all have things we haven’t followed through with.  That we all are inspired by the Lord to do things and the Follow Through sometimes steps in behind and, well, other times it just doesn’t.

So a FIRE was lit under me.  A FIRE I’m choosing to name “It’s Not Too Late!!” I walked away from that walk and followed through on a couple of other things I should have done previously…a phone call with an encouraging word to a friend…a promised prayer for a traveling group. The It’s Not Too Late Fire burned away the shame and guilt over what’s not been done and replaced it with a motivation to do the things that can still be done!  And the best part is… was a shared feeling. (I’ve discovered that in spite of being very self-centered as a child one of my absolute favorite things to do is to share). This feeling we both experienced together was a result of being available and present and engaged in each other’s lives. (I’ve also discovered that, in spite of thinking about myself a lot, some of my other favorite things to do are to be available and present and engaged in my friends’ lives).

The It’s Not Too Late fire ≠ (that’s “does not equal” for you peeps that hate math) there’s-no-time-like-the-present language or the-power-of-positive-thinking type people or carpe-diem, self-help mumbo jumbo.

Sorry if you’re into that.

I’m talking about the HOLY SPIRIT!  Being led by the Spirit of God! Sometimes I wonder if the delays  (= our procrastination) are from Him (= purposeful) and the end result is actually His timing….perfect timing!  Yes, I realize there are some flaws with this theory but stay with me for a second here. Let me tell you about that card I’d intended to send to a friend that I bought because of it having the exact words on the front that she needed to hear, wanted to hear, but then weeks passed by and it still lies unsent….STILL.  Well, the day the Fire was lit under me (the It’s Not Too Late Fire….the one that helps me take my focus off myself and redirects me to people and things around me), I decided, to heck with the card. I’m calling her.  Right now. Yes, I knew she was already out of town…on the trip I’d wanted to build her up for…ahead of time…like, in advance of the trip…in short, in a timely manner…..Go away regret and shame and disappointment!!

You wanna know what she said after she got my call – the NOW call – that proved that I can ignore the I shoulda -, coulda -, woulda-voices? She said, “It was the Lord’s timing”….hmmmm…the Lord’s timing? Really?  You mean He can work things out to where my procrastination and my laziness and my busy-ness don’t have to bring judgement on me? Ah, the Redeemer, He redeems my mistakes and my missteps and He does what He will with them.

Let’s just rest in that for a moment. [Press your palms flat together, near your temple, and lay your head on them].  He’s the REDEEMER.  He didn’t just redeem the world from sin, He redeems ME.  He redeems YOU. Today.  Like He did yesterday.  And I’d be willing to bet He’s gonna turn around tomorrow and do it again.

How do we KNOW God’s timing? I think we may not…always.  We may sometimes.  We may can develop a sixth sense for it. We may can train ourselves to tune into it….to move by it….His tempo…His song. When we can see God’s timing in hindsight, could that be wisdom?…or in the present, could that be discernment? And when we can see it in front of us, could that be the prophetic?  Hmmm….deep thoughts….my brain’s starting to hurt.  I can’t figure Him all out.  Figure out all of His ways.  Figure out all of His thoughts. I do know this though…I just wanna be near Him when He does what He does and when He decides to do it.  I want to settle in close to Him.  Share in His space.  Allow Him to care about me. As it turns out, I think He likes sharing and caring too.

But that's enough about me…what about you?

What Fire has He lit under you lately? What’s it burning away? What have you discovered in the ashes?

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  • KellyPyattMurphy

    Wow, Sam- love hearing the big HS speaking through you!  Stud- you got me thinking about the fire! Can’t wait for more from you….

    • Samantha Livingston

       @KellyPyattMurphy Aww, Kelly.  How comforting it is to see you here!!  You win an award for being the first official “commenter” on the site!!  Love you, my soul sister….

  • Lindsey Weyer

    So inspiring… Thinking of how my ideas that have not been acted on yet for whatever reason can still work out. The thought process takes condemnation out of the equation replacing it with HOPE and anticipation! Love reading your words. :)

    • Samantha Livingston

       @Lindsey Weyer Ah….hope and anticipation….music to our ears…love reading YOUR words Lindsey!!

  • sglewis

    How great that our God works around our procrastination??! ;) Love the new blog, Samantha! Keep it up!
    Sara Grace

    • Samantha Livingston

       @sglewis Thanks Sara Grace!!  Can’t wait to check out your blog! :)

  • bverlander

    Loving this Samantha!! I’m about to be late for my Dr. appt. because I keep reading. I’m definitely going to be an addict. Love your writing and how you listen to the Spirit. So blessed to have you in my life!

    • Samantha Livingston

      Right back at ya’ sista’!!  I’m laughing….you can use me as your “doctor” excuse any time! :)

  • jtsurratt

    Your blog is really powerful. I love those experiences when the “delay” or whatever label I put on it turns out to be God’s deliberate timing. Look forward to reading more!!

    • Samantha Livingston

       @jtsurratt Thanks for your support!! Means so much to me…

  • Kelly Jones

    Good stuff! I think with me, I try to do what I think I should be doing too quickly. You know- rushing in head first! So God usually throws things my way to slow me down. That’s one of my biggest frustrations, yet one of my biggest needs. The thing is- He loves us too much to let us do life our way. He wants us to be in His will and is willing to rock our worlds to get us there. For “type A’s”, it is annoying. But if you think about it- it will floor you. He loves us too much to let us mess up our lives doing it “our way”!

    • Samantha Livingston

       @Kelly Jones Love your insights Kelly! Thanks for sharing. I agree – there’s lots of freedom we have that He won’t let us misuse. He has our back. :)