Faith Journey

Do you have a favourite car? I’m not a big car buff, so as long as the vehicle gets me from A to B safely, I’m happy. The eldest and I were chatting about cars recently — she wants a mini cooper. She has yet to get her driver’s license, and is nervous about driving, so thinks a cooper will be “safe” and easy to maneuver. The youngest wants a big truck for the same reasons. So many vehicles out there on the roads. So many choices for travelling. So many arguments and thoughts about what brand, what qualifications, what this, what that. Fuel mileage. Safety features. Electric?

Photo via the Car Connection

Remember the good old days where you shoved all your kids in the back of a big ol’ wood paneled station wagon and went “road tripping”? Seat belts? Not a thing. Car seats, ha! (Not that I am condoning such reckless behaviour…buckle up, people!) Yet, you understand, right? The ultimate road trip was fun. It was exciting to see who would barf first, or get all the alphabet letters in license plate guessing games. And trips back then were screen free! How did we ever survive?? How did our parents survive? And who was in charge of the map? A paper map… that had to be folded back together….

If you’ve followed along at mittonmusings.com for any length of time, you’ve certainly noticed our references to our “faith journeys” or our “spiritual journeys”. Maybe you are wondering what exactly that means. It’s what I’ve been thinking about recently as well. And there is no simple answer. Let’s start with the word “journey”. The simplest definition is this:

“an act of traveling from one place to another” or

“a long and often difficult process of personal change and development”

Oxford online dictionary

Those two statements may not be as simple as they appear. Journeys involve ups and downs and backwards and forwards. Not to mention pit stops along the way. “Faith” adds a deeper and even more complex thought to the definition. Faith in what? Faith in whom? Then we can chat about how does that faith affect the life choices you make on the journey? Spirituality can mean something quite different. I believe humans are intensely spiritual beings. We’ve been designed that way. Consequently, our world is relatively open to “spiritual” things these days. It’s when we draw lines and point fingers that things get complicated. No one wants to be intolerant. And I’m not talking about “church” or “religious beliefs”. Although they certainly play a role in the journey.

Let’s break it down a little more. A road trip begins and ends. There is a point A and a point B. How you get to point B from point A is up to you…. you can take the scenic route up the mountain and through the valleys, or straight across the highway. But the journey always starts with choices. Who or what will be the master of the journey? Who will be in the driver’s seat? Who will you trust to get you to your final destination and where will that be? The crew here at mittonmusings, hopes that driver will be the Christ of the living Bible. It’s who we’ve chosen to be in the driver’s seat of our spiritual journeys that will one day unite us with Him in Heaven. He’s our point A and Heaven is our point B. The Bible is our map and we are making stops along the way to share the experience with you! Are you ready to start the journey? Share with us! Follow along as we chat each week about our journey. And maybe a little bit about our favourite cars!

Special Verses

Welcome back to another week of musing. I thought I’d change it up a bit this time, so instead of my usual little devotional, I’m going to share with you a couple of my favourite verses. The post may be a bit shorter, but I suppose you can never go wrong sharing God’s word. Okay, let’s go!

My first verse has been mentioned in my previous posts, so if you have been with us for any length of time, you’ve seen it before.

” But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”

Luke 2:19 NIV

Why do I love it? It speaks to my momma’s heart. Here was this young, teenage girl experiencing a life changing event: the birth of her firstborn. Not only would it have been typically life changing, but this birth was crazy different. The young virgin had to share the experience with her baffled betrothed boyfriend and in a barn with a bunch of smelly creatures and a collection of equally smelly shepherds. Can you imagine? Seriously, can you imagine?

Yet, Mary “treasured” these things up. Locked every detail, every sight, sound, smell into her memory. She would have been a great scrapbooker. Journaling everything in her notebook, capturing the emotion of the moment, so she could share the story later with everyone she met. Still, she pondered them. I suspect it was in a quiet moment, all alone, when Mary was finally allowed to take a second to muse about all that had just happened. And be amazed. It’s a short verse, but it packs a punch, at least for me.

My second block is intertwined in the following passage:

” For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV

This one is a long one, but also a significant one for me, as it arrived in a time in my life when I needed to know that God was a God of miracles, and that His plans were perfectly designed for me. It surfaced again recently in a study I’ve been enjoying. The memories flooded back, and I smiled. He strengthens with POWER. His love is UNMEASUREABLE. His abilities are BEYOND IMAGINATION. And it’s FOREVER. I could stop there. I’ll let the verses speak to you, as scripture always does. Amazing how that works, eh? The words speak to you, at this moment, for this time in your life, for now.

I trust you’ve been blessed by my thoughts today. Why not share your favourite verses in the comments? I’d love to hear from you and what you’ve been musing about !

To Begin to Be

Another week has literally flown by in my world! It’s almost a contradiction of sorts…we are supposed to be in a “stay-at-home”/ lockdown situation and yet I have been busier now than before the pandemic! I’m spending long hours at work, while everyone else is at home dirtying dishes, eating up the food and otherwise creating messes that no one has time to clean up because zoom meetings and stay at home activities are consuming all the rest of the waking hours. It’s tiring, this “not doing anything”. Which makes it seem like there is nothing to write about… everything is vaccines, Covid numbers and infection rates. Is there nothing else to talk about?

Of course, there are always things to muse and ponder over… we just have to be prompted in the right direction, which was my go-to this week… a writing prompt (thanks “The Grace Space” Facebook group!) I chose the word “become”. A verb. An action word. “To begin to be” is how google describes it. I like that. “To begin to be”. It evokes images of emerging from a cocoon, transformed into a new being…changed. Metamorphosis. Transformation from one thing to the next. I suppose it is not necessarily the direct change, but the process of change? Hmmnn. A good word to ponder: become.

image from Godsfort.org

We helped our eldest move in to her first bachelor apartment this weekend. She has “become” an official tenant of her own space. In charge of paying rent, filling out forms, and signing up for her own bills. She’s responsible for her own space and must now manage it unfettered from her parents. She has “become” independent. As mom, I am excited for her. I am curious to see how things play out. She’s been out of the house since starting University, but this is one more step… out of the nest. As parents, we will certainly be available for advice giving, guidance and care packages. You are welcome “home” for a meal and free laundry, but the time has come to venture and learn and grow on your own.

Likewise, the youngest became an official teenager this week. Age thirteen means no more excuses. It also means we can no longer eat off the children’s menu and get the “under 12” discounts. The kids have become adult material. Well, at least teenage material. “Begin to be”. I guess the hubby and I are becoming empty nesters. I know it is only beginning to be because the state of my house indicates there are certainly still fledglings hanging around eating up all the snacks! Yet, we are beginning to see glimpses of the future. Now don’t get all sentimental on me. This is what you trained them up for! (Read more of my thoughts about this here.). It delights my heart to watch my kids take on tasks that challenge and grow them. Perhaps I am a little too eager for their independence. Perhaps I will regret not keeping them young a little longer. So far, I am enjoying the “beginning to be”.

One of the very first verses I had to memorize as a kid was 2Corinthians 5:17:

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.[a] The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

ESV

The bible is full of verses similar to this. Thoughts about “becoming”. “Beginning to be”. Changing, not only from our former (sinful) selves, but continuing to grow, mature and develop “in Christ”. Maturing. Much like my children are doing as they go through this earthly life. The scholarly word for this becoming is sanctification. Being set apart as holy, and refining oneself to a life of purity, consecration and Biblical service. Here at mittonmusings, we call it the faith journey… one that I share about each week (even when I don’t feel I have much to write about!). It’s not about the perfection, but about the journey, the process, the “begin to be” action word. Butterflies are one of my favourite symbols of this journey. You will notice them on our logo and blog banner… because they give us a very clear example of how our lives are changed from the touch of Christ: we start out as lumpy, worm like caterpillars and emerge as changed beings… still fragile and delicate but beautiful nonetheless. It’s an image that makes me smile. What will you “begin to be” this week, my beloved?

Photo by Alexander Löwe on Unsplash