Thursday, March 21, 2013

"Find What Speaks To You"

Have you seen the commercials on TV for for Pier 1 Imports? They are the cutest commercials where an individual is walking around the store and they hear something... It's generally a voice that is too cute for words and is saying something ridiculously relatable to the person who is doing the browsing. The individual sources the voice and it's an inanimate object that the person just has to take home now that they seem to have a wonderful bond. The tag line for the commercial is "Find what speaks to you."

These commercials are...
- Adorable
- Make me want to shop at Pier 1 Imports (I'm such a sucker for clever marketing)
- Speak to a greater truth in our lives

I find that when God has something important to say to us-- something important for us to learn-- He brings the lesson to us in forms of things that "speak to us". That could be a particular conversation with a friend, a quote you happen to read on Facebook or Pinterest, a picture you see, a movie you watch, or even a book you just happen to start to read at a bible study you randomly signed up for.

From the specific detail of the last sentence I'm sure you can see where my example is going to be coming from...

There's a church here in town that I don't attend. I've gone a few times with my husband and a few times on my own. We have friends that attend and are heavily involved. And while we don't attend regularly, we often go to their extra activities. Most commonly, we attend their bible studies.

A friend of mine who attends had posted a status on Facebook about how excited she was for the upcoming ladies study. I don't remember the post exactly but I can almost guarantee it said nothing about what the study was about, who the author of the book study was, or even what night of the week it was going to be. All it said was the title of the book which I had remembered hearing about before-- "Lioness Arising". While the description of the study was basically non-existent, she shared her excitement for what she was sure was going to be an awesome time of fellowship and learning with fellow ladies.
I needed to inquire more.
I found out the night of the week and signed up.
Done and done.
Easy as pie. (And I feel, as someone who likes to bake, I can use that analogy and stand behind it's truth.)

The Sunday before the study was going to begin I attended the service at the church. I got my book "Lioness Arising" by Lisa Bevere upon arriving and anxiously awaited the end of the service so I could start reading. When the service finished I headed straight for my wonderful husbands amazing coffee shop, sat down with a lovely cup of strawberry green tea (my usual) and started to read.

Let us pause for a moment and asses the "speaking to me" scenarios we have encountered thus far:
1- The Facebook Status. Really? It was so vague! But "something" spoke to me. I signed up literally within a day to be part of the study and would have signed up within minutes if it was a face to face conversation, not over a Facebook status where I had to wait for the next post to learn more information.

2- Anxiously awaiting the end of a Church service to read. Church is great. I love going to church-- meeting with other Christians, learning about God, reading his Word, worshipping Him. He is awesome! But I just knew there was going to be more learning, more of God speaking to me through the book, than at the service that Sunday.

As I was sitting at the modern concrete and re-claimed wood coffee shop, sipping green tea from the bright red mug that is the perfect inviting accent to the almost cold look of the modern decor and snow filled outdoors beaming in from the large windows, I couldn't help but get the shivers and feel the warmth of the surreal terrain when imagining the Lioness described in the book. The description is as follows;

"Radiant light was everywhere and appeared to come from everything. There was no mist or shadow, only glorious color. These saturated hues of living color were comprised of shades so concentrated that I am without earthly reference to name them. The pigments were layered and multi-dimensional. For some reason I best remember the tones of purple (but not quite our purple) and blue (yet unlike ours). There were no edges, sides, or upper border, yet the backdrop of color enwrapped what is showcased-- an elevated platform of flawless, cream-colored stone, and on this platform reclined a golden lioness."

As the imagery from the above passage lingered in my mind and senses, I continued to read through the first chapter and anticipated even more tangible passages in the second...

The second chapter starts with the quote;
"If ever there comes a time when the women of the world come together purely and simply for the benefit of mankind, it will a force such as the world has never know." -Matthew Arnold, nineteenth-century British poet and philosopher.

The wonder, honesty, bravery and pure power of that quote just gets me excited.

The second chapter spoke to the injustice of human trafficking. Can you imagine my excitement? Here I am, reading a book on how us women are to arise like a lioness to come together and be a force for Christ the world has never seen, and then they touch on a topic so relevant to me like human trafficking! This takes the whole "it speaks to me" to a new level.

It's amazing how God works. How he can take a simple Facebook status that requires but a simple response, to speak to us and lead us in the direction of more knowledge of Him and His wonderful plan for our lives. With every paragraph, every quote and every point this book makes I feel arising in me the attributes of a lioness-- Fierce, Fearless, Graceful, Stunning, Confident, Bold, Strong, Beautiful, and most of all, Awake.

Awake to the plans the Lord has for me, and awake to the potential we can reach when we stretch ourselves to be all He calls us to be.

My hope-- my challenge to you-- is that you fully commit to experiencing what God is using to speak to you that you might grow in His love for you, His knowledge He wants to impart to you, and the wonderful part you play in this life.

I will leave you with my words taken from the "Safari Guide" workbook, my latest Impressions on how I am feeling reading the book and adventuring with the safari guide!
"I feel this study is God speaking directly to me! That He is calling me to acknowledge it is time for me to really be all the characteristics of the lioness as my next step to a life committed to seeking justice for those who cannot speak for themselves. It's like my tool kit I'm putting together to be a fierce force of God! I LOVE IT!"

When has something really "spoke" to you? Where did it lead?

1 comment:

  1. Wow this is so awesome Aelea! Amazing how God uses many, many different ways to get our attention. Sometimes, what we feel are small, insignificant things in our daily life. God uses them in the most amazing way! We cannot take any sign from God casually and need to learn to sit quietly and listen for Him to speak to us and take His lead. We must every day surrender our lives to Him "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

    Wishing you a most Joyous & Blessed Easter to you and JP!

    Love Lisa


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