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!

First Fruits vs. Leftovers

I wanted this post to be about first fruits. I wanted it to tell you how I have practiced setting aside time in this new year to make God and my spiritual journey a priority. I wanted to brag about how I resolved to pray and study and claim God’s promises. I wanted to tell you all about what methods I had for keeping on track and share with you all the muses and insights I’ve had since the beginning of January. However, I must admit, that the more I thought about it, the more this post is going to be about Leftovers.

My apologies from the get go if you were looking for inspiration. I was hoping to give it to you — I really was! But if your house is anything like mine, you will understand, because we have been living on leftovers for the last few weeks. I have not done a proper grocery shop for eons! It was only yesterday that our refrigerator was once again filled with “fresh” bounty. The kids have survived on scrounging whatever they could find. I have lived on cheese and crackers and fancy red pepper jelly — hosting my own wine and cheese parties (minus the wine) at every lunch. Only I was the solitary guest to the festivities because I happen to like goat cheese and my family does not. The eldest Mitton went back to University to get balanced meals again. At least her Starbucks has fruit smoothies. So much for home cooking. I did discover turkey soup can be repurposed at least 3 different ways. Yup, leftovers it is.

I giggle when I get coffee at church now. Inevitably someone has brought in that leftover tin of cookies to share because they are trying to clear out the goodies in their own homes. Youth group prizes become repurposed chocolates because, well, kids and teens will eat anything sweet. My backyard squirrels are gonna love our old (and now slightly stale) gingerbread house. We are sometimes a little too blessed aren’t we? We celebrated the holidays with Joy and abandon and are now trying to clear out. We attempt to share and not be wasteful. We recycle and repurpose and be good stewards of the wealth. But it’s still leftovers.

Image by Mark Gilder from Pixabay

So, as much as I would like this post to be about first fruits, it’s really about my own leftovers. Because no matter what your understanding of Biblical first fruit disciplines are, I’m admitting to you that I’m not good at it. I encourage you to do your own study on “first fruits”. (You can see my link at the beginning of this post for ideas). There are many scholars out there who can lead you towards various thoughts about what the principle means, but as far as I understand it, the “first fruit” means setting aside the “firsts” for God. Proverbs 3 is a rich passage that not only talks about setting aside the first agricultural fruits as a sacrifice, but also about binding wisdom and knowledge on your body as a reminder to trust in the Lord first — and not on our own understanding of things.

We’d like it to be Christmas all the time. Where joy overflows and abundance of blessings is the norm. But all too often, our lives become filled with the leftovers. God’s work gets put on the back burner because we get too caught up with the mounds of blessings in our own fridges. We recycle the turkey and share the leftover cookies at church. When was the last time you sacrificed your paycheque before your bills got paid? Trusting, in faith, that the Lord will provide as you submit to Him? When was the last time you gave up your only vacation day so that someone else got a break? Do you fit in your prayer list and bible study time before your date night? We all make room for leftovers. We all know it is good to share and not waste. Better to give some offering than none at all, right?

The passage says “…Honour the Lord with your first fruits…and do not let wisdom and understanding out of your sight…” Not the third helping of charity, not the plastic container stuck at the back of the fridge that only gets pulled out when it gets slightly stale. He wants our knowledge to be fresh and our sweetest produce to be shared. We give, but we don’t give “the first”. I put in my time but I don’t always make it my top priority. I guess it’s time to clean out my fridge. I’ll see you next week, my friend, hopefully with a fresher start!

2020 Vision

I have a friend who has a whole collection of those little drug store reader glasses. He needs them to read, but keeps leaving pairs behind when they were of no use to him. Then, he ends up purchasing a new pair because he can’t remember where the old pair are! I’m nearsighted, so wear my glasses to see distances and drive. I’ve hit that age, however, when I need to take off my glasses to read small print, or thread a needle. I’m afraid I might eventually have a collection of drug store readers of my own one day! The Mitton crew are prone to vision issues (apparently!) and 5 out of 6 of us have glasses.

Why do I mention our vision delinquencies? It’s what I’ve been musing about since “2020” is approaching soon… “2020”… of the Gregorian calendar, the 2020th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 20th year of the 3rd millennium, the 20th year of the 21st century, and the 1st year of the 2020s decade. Apparently, it will also be a leap year. All special, if you are into that kinda thing. Fireworks, champagne toasts and midnight kisses for you all! But when I hear 2020, I tend to think of vision. It’s actually “normal” vision according to the optometrists…not exactly “perfect”, but the most accurate when it comes to reading that little eye chart at the office.

Vision can mean more than just eyesight though. Think visions and dreams. Something you imagine. It could be literal or figurative. Vision as in great plans for the future. New Year resolutions? Goals? How interesting that it all comes together under this concept of what we call “vision”. A new year, a new decade even… and the internet will be all a buzz on the top 10’s of the past — with great predictions for the future. What will happen in this new year? How will our lives change? How will we change the lives of others?

Now, I am a big believer in goal setting. I’m not very good at always achieving the goals… but I love to have a plan. I love a good list and work best when checking off the steps. Unfortunately, life does not always work in perfect little check marked boxes. Our lives are influenced by others, by our circumstances, and all the tiny nuances that ebb and flow in our life journeys. Our visions are hampered by our own guilt, shame and sin. We do not have perfect vision. We cannot see, nor predict, what lies ahead. We are like my friend, and leave behind our readers when we don’t need them. Or maybe like me, who must purposefully put aside our glasses when we feel the need to focus on the tiny things in life, when we should be casting our eyes to a wider view of the world.

So, my dear reader, what will your vision be for this 2020 year? Will the Lord be your vision? Like the words of the ancient, Irish Hymn… “Be thou my Vision, oh Lord of my heart…” Will you seek His will and trust in His plans for your life? Will you be devoted to learning all you can to make Heaven’s joys your personal goals? Will you be seeking riches and empty praises of people, or will you dwell in the beauty of Heaven’s sun? Keeping your vision clear and unclouded by the world around us?

It won’t be as easy as reading all the letters on the eye chart. We will forget our specs and abandon them when we think we don’t need the help. We will take our eyes off the goals and focus on our own insecurities and narrow minded points of convergence. Some of us will grow weary of sight and need extra help. Perhaps bifocals, transitions or permanent laser surgery will be metaphors for our pruning and molding this next year. All necessary to improve our vision. But my wish for you in this new year, this new decade, this year with an extra day… is that you will be seeing 2020, and that whate’er befall… He will still be your vision, O Ruler of all…


Never heard of this ancient hymn mentioned above? Check out my facebook page… I’ll post the lyrics there! Like what you read? Join the adventure! I’d love to have you along as a subscriber and join me each week in 2020! (Click on the little follow button on the sidebar and enter your email address!)