When you encounter circumstances that find you delayed — even stranded in the unexpected — remember Jesus is with you in it. He can still use you. All the way.
It’s the last day of our 31-Day series and I am sitting on a plane that took off from Houston to make its way in the night to San Francisco.
I am seated between a man watching football and another flipping pages in his home improvement magazine. It has been a very long day. I have been on three flights at four different airports.
The first snow of the year fell beautifully yesterday in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, but good weather for airplanes — it does not make.
I walked through the body scan at security checkpoint and sat quietly at the gate. Little did I know it was the beginning of a 17-hour journey of cancelled flights, delayed take-offs, and high drama for those holding tickets to connecting flights.
Many people have been angry, frustrated and understandably anxious. Of course, I felt the wearying effects of stale airport air too, mixed with my own fears of being stranded mid-point in Cleveland. I thought of my sweet Hubby, who has cooked meals, drawn baths and jolted awake at odd hours to toddler and kindergarten nightwakings – so that I could attend a blogging conference with other women who love family and write for God.
I thought of you too: friends behind screens, knitted across the miles by a hunger for Him. I was reminded of our 31-day series and encouraged myself to take in all we had learned together on this journey to feed our souls.
So, I chose to rest in that place inside me, where God is in control, even during times worry pressed in on me. I figured if I was going to spend one more night away from home, I wanted to weather it asking for God’s grace.
This meant I had to continually give my frantic moments to God hour by hour.
What a interesting way to end our 31-Day series, right where I’m learning to trust God today.
God has been faithful. His voice continued to speak past all the airport buzz. I would close my eyes. Take deep breaths. Loosen my hands.
I noticed the children around me. Played with them and made conversations with harried mommies. I smiled at those standing in line next to me, listened to their stories and empathized with their worries.
On different flights, I enjoyed wonderful conversations. It’s amazing the stories people share when you express authentic interest, while carrying a quiet, listening heart.
Over and again, God kept whispering —
Relax my presence.
Rest in my gaze.
Let me use you even now. To bring rest and peace to those around you.
Because after all, you are at home with me.
The plane has started its descent now. Ears are popping, babies are crying, and I must close up my laptop now.
Something Very Special
Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me throughout the month. Your conversation really kept me writing. You kept me going. Your words would spark new ideas and bring me to reflect on a memory, bringing to Scripture in a new way again.
Our conversation here isn’t ending with this series.
It’s only beginning.
I have something very special to share with you later this week. I’ve been praying all week, to prepare my heart to tell you all about it.
The flight attend is speaking through the intercom.
We’ll be landing shortly now.
I’m home now.
So are you.
All The Way
As you enter each day, encountering circumstances that find you delayed — or even stranded in the unexpected — remember Jesus is with you in it.
You and I may not be in control of how and when we are released from the situation.
We will even be pressed in by moments of worry and feeling overwhelmed.
It doesn’t matter. Jesus is faithful.
Jesus makes his home in us. He’s in it with us all the way.
Thick or thin. Because God isn’t going to abandon us, our souls can be fed.
We can thrive — and even offer life-giving rest to others — because God is at home in us.
“You’re no longer wandering exiles.
This kingdom of faith is now your home country. You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.
You belong here…
God is building a home… all of us… a temple in which God is quite at home.” Ephesians 2:19-22
In celebration of our 31-Day journey together (even if you’ve just joined us today) — share how has God been feeding your soul?
Pull up a chair. I love company and enjoy hearing your thoughts. Click to share a comment.
** This is not the end! ** If you are new to Faith Barista, you’ll find shots of faith here to encourage you in everyday life. I’d like to invite you to join me in exploring our faith journeys, one post at a time. Together, we can encourage each other one story at a time. Click to subscribe by email and get each post in this series served up hot and fresh directly in your mailbox.
dear bonnie – when I read what you write I feel a sense of calmness, of peace, and I know God is speaking to me through you…may He continue to bless you and use you to speak into hearts of His amazing love…may He protect you and your family this very day and surround you with His mercies…and may His grace be sufficient always.
What beautiful words you’ve gifted me. Thank you, bonnie!
thank you doesn’t begin to express my gratitude for feeding my soul these last 31 days.. looking forward to the next 30!
Each day I’ve eagerly turned on my computer, looking forward to hearing what you have written, and each day my soul has been blessed. Thank you so much. I’m sad to see this series end, as it has spoken to my heart so very much, but I’m looking forward to hearing what your news is. 🙂
Thank you for the work that it must have taken, to do this series, thank you for the way you had to really delve into your heart and allow your vulnerability to show at times, but seeing your heart has been such a blessing – and an encouragement.
I’ve never commented before, but today I dare to risk being seen because I just really wanted you to know, you make a difference. xo
Joanne, thank you for taking the risk to share from your heart. You’ve brought a warm smile to my soul!
Bonnie – one of the reasons I wish had gone to the relevent conference… was to meet you in person. Your words have touched my soul friend. Thank you.
If I had known you were stranded @ CLE airport (sounds like you and many others did in fact miss connections in CLE) I would have at least brought a nice hot cup of pumpkin coffee (my seasonal fav) to my barista sista!
…but then again, you probably would not have had all the lovely moments that you did. “Home”. I love home!
PS: You truly are a kindred spirit and I’m so glad I found you. I’ve just begun my blogging journey…so much to learn. Excited about the journey.
Betsy, it’s such a wonderful blessing to meet a kindred spirit… and esp. if she’s sending me a virtual pumpkin coffee! Cheers, friend! *clink* 😉
Thank you for sharing your many experiences through your travels. You lifted my soul at times when I needed it most. God’s faithfulness is so good to use us all if we are only willing vessels.
Hi Cindy, thanks for stopping by and sharing your words!
wow…wow! It has been a great month journeying with you, this last day summed it up nicely. The Lord has definitely fed my soul!
Yay! Thanks, Karen!
Bonnie, this series has blessed me so incredibly. When I started reading these posts on October 1st, I didn’t know that it would be the month in which my summer-long journey of caring for my precious Dad would come to an end. He passed into Jesus’ presence on October 24th, On the 18th, you’d written the “Stop and Breathe” post, which really encouraged me and gave me a tangible way to hold on to Jesus through that final rough week.
I continue to “Stop and Breathe”. “…find[ing] His Spirit giving ;me] the grace to carry [me] through, again and again. Until the end of the day.”
God ministers through you (and through each of us, if we’ll allow him), my friend. I am excited to hear your announcement later this week.
Tara, what a blessing you are, even as you are grieving letting go of your Dad. I stopped right now to say a prayer for you. Jesus, I pray that you’ll fill Tara with your comfort during those pockets where she remembers her Dad. Carry her gently and encourage her to rest her soul and her body, having cared for her Dad so many months. Bless her with your peace. Amen.
Praise God that you are home! But what a journey. You helped me so much by simply writing this:
“We can thrive — and even offer life-giving rest to others — because God is at home in us.”
That spoke volumes to me! I needed that this morning so thank you.
I love how you gave those frantic moments to God and took a deep breath. Sometimes that’s all I can do.
You’ve blessed many, including me, by doing this 31 day series. I’m still not completely finished reading it all though. But I do look forward to what is in store and I want to hear all about Relevant. I so hope I can make it next year, God willing.
Blessings and love,
You are placed right in the middle of children who look to you and also tired mommies who are blessed by your light and quiet trust in Him. I’m sure it makes you available to others in a very unspoken but felt way, Debbie.
Oh, I am so blessed! Where do I begin? I was created in God’s image and am His child. He wants us to share what we know about Him with others. He created me for a purpose, and even though I may have a very imperfect body (walking with crutches due to spina bifida), I know that it was designed exactly as He wanted it for me. I also know that His word tells me that I was designed this way for HIS purpose (not my own self-seeking ones), which has made me question my life goals recently. I know that I need to live for Him and to use the skills, talents and mere being of who I am to worship Him and to fulfill His will for my life. That being said, I also know that having a disability is not the end of the world. It may mean taking the scenic route rather than the more direct freeway to getting things accomplished. It may mean getting extra (and unwanted) attention for some things, and NO attention with other things. I know that often times God uses disability and negative circumstances to bring Him more honor and glory, and as a means for drawing others closer to Him. For most of my life, I have always preferred to blend into a crowd rather than to call attention to myself. I have always played down my skills and talents so as NOT to stand out. I didn’t strive to become a wealthy, career-oriented person early in my life because MY goal was to be a housewife and Mom. Many years later, I see that my plan is NOT God’s plan, now here I am trying to figure it all out and listen to His calling for my life. What I also know, though, is that God never seems to speak to me through lightning bolts, grand symphonies or loud, earth-shaking voices, so I find it difficult to move forward in large, bold steps when it seems that I am following little bread crumbs toward who He wants me to be.
Where am I going with all of this, you might be wondering…
I got laid off from my last job on August 22 of this year. In the meantime, I completed a Certificate program in Medical Coding through the U.S. Career Institute. I easily finished the program on the Dean’s List and am now preparing to take the National Boards so that I can formally add the initials CPC (certified professional coder) behind my name. I am actually not looking forward to this exam and am not as “on fire” for the medical coding as I had been previously. What I mean is, while I know I will be qualified to do medical coding, I do not know if it’s God’s plan for me to do it full time. I can’t help but feel this tugging on my heart to do more. It’s hard to do more when finances are barely getting the current bills paid, so I have just been praying and waiting on God’s direction. Having also recently attended the Women of Faith conference in Portland and being ministered to by several women who are sharing the ups and downs of their lives along with the lesson they’ve learned along the way, I can’t help but feel that I might be called to do the same…but I don’t know the right people to get me into that arena…no mentor, no knowledgeable friend to get me heard or to listen to my story — which story, I recognize, is modest compared to the great accomplishments and tragedies of some others. All that being said, thank YOU for being one of those women feeding me, teaching me, and allowing God to speak to me through YOU. I still have many questions about what I am to do with my life, but God has given me peace about “being home” with Him no matter what the lot in my life, and I know that all will be well with my soul. Thank you again.
Oh, Jennifer! You are shining His light. I pray He will give you wisdom and courage to keep taking next steps, out of a peace knowing He is with you. If you have God at home with you, there are no “wrong” step. Every step by faith is of GREAT value to God and will bless others around you. Thnk you for sharing such a personal journey, friend!
Your blog is my favorite and I truly enjoyed every one that I have gotten. Some I have saved in a folder for Faith Barista in my email client because they are special to me in some way. Continue the good work, Bonnie. I look forward to the next post.
Christine, thank you for being part of my journey of faith online. God is so good to us, bringing us together with kindred spirits.
Thank you Bonnie for the last 31 days!
Merissa – thank you for all the ways you’ve blessed me with your words and your blogs posts. Keep writing for Him! You are His light!
So beautiful, sweet Bonnie! I’ve so much enjoyed reading your series this month!
And yes, just the beginning!
Amy! Keep writing for Him. You have a beautiful voice that shines His light, in the unique way only you can do. You bless me!
Thank you so much for feeding my soul at the “bar” of this website. It has been a big blessing and enlightening. Just enough of a shot – large or small – delivered in a way that was easily received. May God richly bless you.
Sharon, thanks for shining your beautiful presence here at the “bar” — you let me know that I am not alone. You are a blessing, friend!
I have loved and looked forward to every post offered from your heart during the past 31 days. God spoke so often through your words…..and oh how I love to hear Him speak.
Without going into any details, this has been an incredibly difficult month for me. There were days when I thought I really wasn’t going to make it. I was facing so much pain and had so many unanswered questions.
I reached out to a few friends and was literally held up by their prayers. God’s presence was that tangible. And each day when your rich posts landed in my inbox, I grabbed a cup of coffee, took my time, and let God speak through you. Incredible.
I also love how you respond quite often to our comments. It keeps me coming back, simply because your personal comments make you REAL. You care. I matter. Love you for it.
Julie, you will find that there are special ones God places in our lives, where we can be vulnerable and receive comfort. Thank you for being a light online here when you have shared your journey as is. I know it brings comfort for those who read here. Sounds like God’s prayers have skin on for you. What a gift!
Bonnie, this blessed me so so much! I cannot wait for what’s coming next! xoxo
Thanks, Charise! xoxo
I’ve been reading Faith Barista every day for almost a year now, and I’m so sorry I haven’t gotten around to commenting until now, but I just had to let you know what an incredible source of inspiration, encouragement, and faith your blog always is for me–I’ve often spent hours just rereading all my favorite posts and never fail to hear God’s voice more clearly after such reading–how marvelously God speaks through you, delivering so much truth! This past 31 Days has been especially wonderful, with such great topics–what a joy to seek and to find God in our daily lives! Thank you so much for all the posts you write and especially for the past 31 Days! I hope to be able to start commenting more often–what a grace-filled community! Blessings to you as you seek Him! Love and hugs, Katy
Hi Katy! What a faith friend you are to stop and be such an encourager! Makes me happy to know we are connected in hearing God’s voice together. And to know we’ve traveled this journey together for a year ! I’m Grateful with joy.
Several months ago I happened to stumble on your blog when looking up words to a Josh Wilson song “Before the Morning.” In that moment I found myself in a place where I received great comfort in a very difficult time. I spent several hours reading and receiving my “shots” of faith. Since then,your blogs have helped me grow and change and realize I need to let go and give my soul the rest it needs. October has been an exciting journey for me to wake up every morning and see what great blessings God had in store for that day and it allowed me to turn my focus to where it needs to be on a daily basis. I was so out of focus Bonnie! Blurry and undefined….living with pain, regret and all those “maybe if I had just…..” which were keeping me silent unable to open up. I am glad to be in focus now, placing my life and my trust in the one who wanted it all along. Through you he is guiding me and I am thankful.
Oh, Kay! Can you feel the hug I’m giving you now? Together, let us rub that blurry out of our eyes TOGETHER. We can see Jesus with each new day more clearly, alongside one another. Oh, friend… thank you for sharing. I hear your voice singing for Him!
Your words always stir my soul. They take me deeper. Your words have given me courage to be at home inside and slowly, but surely outside.
How has God fed my soul?
I’m just about to write a post on this. Today, He switched up my normal routine. I loved it. I couldn’t have said that before.
almost time to tend to the doggy again. It was really nice to sip my latte and visit with you for a bit.
Jeri, you are my many season, faith friend here. I am so grateful for sharing an online home here on the faith journey together. One rest stop at a time. *wink* *hugs*. Keep pouring your beautiful words.
I love that God brought you to a place of soul rest in the mist of the chaos on the last day of this series. It shows us the practicality of Soul Rest. I’m afraid, in that situation, I would have been one of the anxious ones, naturally. But I pray that I can learn to keep my eyes on Jesus and go against my “natural” tendencies! You’re a blessing, Bonnie!
Jennifer, God will surprise you, just as He surprised me. Even as we are anxious, He uses us as is. Shine that beautiful light of yours. You do it so well here.
I can’t begin to imagine what an incredible blessing you must have been to some of those young mamas with babies. Asking for eyes to see others in their need really does help us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus when breathing in the stale air of life. So very, very good meeting you in person at Relevant. Blessings, dear Bonnie.
Oh, Nancy! I’m SO happy I got to hug you and tell you how much your writing and your stories SPEAK real Jesus to me. We spoke on day #2 and I wonder if you got inspired/encouraged in your writing direction? *hugs*
“Jesus makes his home in us. He’s in it with us all the way.” Amen to that, Bonnie! Praise God you are home safely. Thanks for sharing 31 days to feed my soul!
Thanks, Julie for keeping me company along the way. What a blessing it is to connect on this journey together, friend!
God has been feeding my soul by revealing to me that I don’t have to overanalyze everything in my life. I don’t have to run everything over in my mind and wonder if I could have done things differently. I don’t have to live my life in regret, always thinking I could have done things better. He’s feeding my soul by telling me that every moment I am with Him, every situation, every circumstance He is guiding me. So, I can rest assured that He has been with me, in every moment of the past moments, past decisions, I can relax and just enjoy my life, because He is here now. Thank you, Bonnie for your beautiful thoughts!
Cheryl, thank YOU for stopping by to share what you’ve gleaned from your time with God. What a release for your soul as you walk in a fresh and new way!
I praise and thank our Father, Lord Jesus for a privilege to read, learn and listen from one another as pilgrims on a journey to see our Saviour. I find a consolation prize whenever I pen my joy, sorrow, challenges, grumble, and disappointment on a journal since God brought me almost 2 years ago in this foreign land. I am still NOT used to His vocation for me i.e. serve Him as full time- independent missionary but I am grateful for His abundant grace, blessings, mercies and constant reminder from Holy Spirit that He grants me His strength to learn slowly, steadily to surrender to His perfect will & plan.
It’s scary when I think about my future even though I know His voice constantly reminds me that He has prepared a place for me in His home, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay (1 Pet 1: 4) and Salvation of my soul (1 Pet 1: 9).
Tomorrow and Sunday are going to be the first time to cook meals (dinner/lunch) and 2nd time to share spiritual food as my partners are away for 3 months break and the rest guys from the ministry are busy. However I trust that He called, He prepared me and it’s not about ME as He created me for His Glory (Isa 43:7). May He use me to cook ‘His food’ that will minister to His people and bring Glory and Honour to Him Alone.
Thank you Bonnie for daily encouragements and God bless you abundantly!
Hey, it’s not so bad, really, is it? At least you can get from A to B… :-))
I just discovered your blog and this series from a blog written on “in courage”. Your words have already blessed my spirit and this morning. Thank you for sharing your gift. Blessings on your day.