God Sang The Itsy Bitsy Spider – In Chinese!

Precious was the moment when God sang ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’ through Grace.  How wonderfully privileged I am to be chosen to sing along.
Today the walls were pressing in on me, so I took my book and headed to Starbucks.  With a beautiful blue sky overhead and a light breeze blowing, it was a perfect night to sit outside.  I opened my book and whispered a prayer for God to lift the weights that were pressing on my mind and heart.

Itsy Bitsy Spider

God so sweetly flooded my world with color through a 2 1/2-year-old vessel, Beautiful Grace.  She’s a sweet little girl who can only speak Chinese – I cannot – but Grace told me the most amazing stories while she smiled and danced before me.  Then suddenly our languages sounded as one when I notice her hands begin to make a spider crawl up a water spout.  Grace’s smile became contagious and we giggled as we sang together with hands in motion, ‘The Itsy Bitsy Spider’.  The world wasn’t so heavy anymore.
Have you ever got to sing with Grace?
~Shannan

Living Forward and Loving Deeper – 2013

Putting Footsteps To The Test

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in his way.” – Psalm 37:23

I’ve been thinking a lot about these words. So often we hear this verse and our mind goes straight to the big moments in life. We think about the successes of our business, or the birth of a child.  We think about the miracle of a physical healing or about a debt being cleared.  Rarely do we recognize the miraculousness of the everyday.  Psalm 37 doesn’t say that the moments we deem significant are ordered by God, it states “The steps”, each and every step, is clearly directed by God, so I decided to put this to the test.

I had left the Starbucks parking lot without getting my coffee because it was so busy.  To be completely truthful, I also had to be somewhere that evening and wanted to avoiding certain conversations.  I drove over to the mall where I have a “buy so many drinks get one free” punch card, and I also knew a quick in-and-out escape path to take.  I had my fast route all figured out.

All I had to do was go through the store and up the escalator to the kiosk.  With all the thoughts of God ordering my footsteps still twirling through my mind, I paused as I was walking out of Macy’s into the mall.  There I stood in the middle of the entrance literally staring down at my feet. “Ok God, You say You order my steps, so go ahead.  Lead my feet right now.”  In that moment I thought about Joshua at the shores of the Jordan.  He had to take a step.  He had to pick up one foot and put it in front of the other before God would lead him across the Jordan on dry ground.  That’s exactly what I chose to do.  I began to move from the spot where I was standing in trust that God would part whatever sea that was before me.

Suddenly, what felt like my plan, like any other everyday task, gained a new and powerful purpose. I knew that God was walking with me with each step I took. I passed a few smaller stores and aisle displays, then stepped onto the escalator and rode my way to the top. I walked over to the coffee stand and placed my order. By the time I placed my order and with the intoxicating smell of the freshly ground espresso beans, I left my utopia moment and now stood patiently in an ordinary line waiting for my drink to be placed in my hands. It only took a few minutes for my mind to be far away from my feet.  All of a sudden my Jordan River became a mall packed full of people rushing past each other to accomplish their agenda for the day. “Large, non-fat, extra hot, no foam latte'” I heard called from behind the counter as a worker set my drink in front of me.

While reaching for my drink I heard the voice of a young girl joining me in my moment, “Excuse me, did you happen to share your testimony at Christ Church a while back?” She asked. “Yes.  I spoke there two Easter’s ago.” I replied.  She then began to share with me how much my story had touched her that day. This young woman of God is a rising Christian artist, a worship leader, who was about to leave for a missions trip.  She was so excited, and I was excited to hear her deep desire and passion to reach those lost with the talent God gave her.  As she spoke, I knew I stood before one anointed by God – her courage was contagious.  Her mom came up and joined our conversation while we talked for a good 40 minutes.  In closing, we exchanged our Facebook information and she asked me one final question. She asked, “If there was only one piece of advice you could give, what would it be?”  I thought for a moment and prayed in my mind.  I did not want to offer a fluffy word or throw out another Christianeeze phrase.  “Follow God’s peace above anything else”, I said. “Even when that peace leads you against all of mans logic.  Do not step until you have God’s peace.”  Then we jumped back into the rat-race of our individual evening plans, but I left changed.

There was that word, step, in my answer to this sweet soul that called out to me in the middle of a crowed mall.  While walking back to my car that night, I remembered what I had prayed less than an hour earlier as I walked into that ordinary mall, on that ordinary night, to buy an ordinary drink, from an ordinary kiosk.  “Ok God, You say You order my steps, so go ahead.  Lead my feet right now.”  WOW!  I never expected Him to trust me with the heart of this precious young lady, and I had no idea the blessing I’d receive in return.  God hears when we call to Him, and He answers.

Not only does God lead each and every step we take, but “He delights in each step!”  We’re not always watching so closely for a leading or an answer to our questions, but that does not deter God from fulfilling His plan.  He very clearly works in our everyday tasks. From this experience I’ve just shared, I’d say that God was guiding me as I stepped onto that platform on Easter Sunday 2 1/2 years ago.  Who would have thought that God would continue to use a 5 minute testimony so many months later?  This makes me wonder what else He is using that I am unaware of?  Never underestimate the power of ordinary.  You never know the lasting impact this very moment will have.

How has God worked in an ordinary moment for you?  Are you willing to put your next footsteps to the test?

~Shannan

Unconditionally Walking With Him In 2012

“Still Keeping It Real!”

“…do not step until you have God’s peace”.

For those near St. Louis, MO.  I will be speaking on March 4th at 6:00 pm, First Assembly Of God Collinsville, IL

May 10 ‘2011

Sometimes The Simplest Things Create The Sweetest Memories

I’m at Starbucks penning some thoughts that I will be sharing with you shortly.  I am sipping on a half priced green tea frappuccino and the sun is shinning brightly.  There’s a gentle breeze blowing to keep the sun’s heat at bay – it’s a beautiful day!

While reclining on the outdoor patio lounge I look up to captivate my swirling thoughts.  I see a mother and her small son visiting with a friend at the neighboring table.  The little boy looks like he’s about 3 years old.  He’s sucking down a vanilla bean frozen beverage while telling his mom a joyous story.  I can tell it’s a happy mental reenactment for him by the excitement in his voice and by the smile he wears from ear to ear.  He is a handsome blonde-headed little guy.

………I sure felt Mother’s Day this year.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

What Are You Doing With All The Stinky’s?

 

Stinky's Invitation

Have you ever had a day where nothing seemed to be going as planned?  A day where the harder you try to get back on the course you’ve mapped out, the more obstacles you run into?  Such is my day!

I’m not going to go into all the boring details for you, but let’s just say, NOTHING has worked out except for me showing up on time for my 9:30 appointment this morning.   What in the world am I to do with frustration around every corner?  I have family coming in for a quick stop over on their way to Florida in two days and I’m accomplishing zilch on my “Must-Do” list.

I stopped to grab a snack at ‘Whole Foods’ and finally just decided to come and sit here in Starbucks.  I’ve been wanting to have some dialog with all of you, but I knew if I went home I’d just keep spinning in circles, getting nothing done and saying nothing.  So here I am, sitting…  I must say it feels really good to stop and put the brakes on all the chaos.  I have had so many topics swirling in my head to share with you, but every time I try to pen the words my self-diagnosed ADD kicks in and I draw a blank.  I’ve made a decision to trust God in all things and believe every word He spoke is true, so I must believe He’s ordered each chaotic footstep today – leading me to this very place.  Therefore, it is from this place I will write the thoughts of my heart.

“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” – Psalm 37:23

I’ve asked God to guide me and illuminate His path for my life.  With this in mind, what makes me think His plan is going to line up with the list I map out for the day? How often do I wrestle against the very thing I’ve asked God for?  Today’s issues are small, whereas the past few months have held heart-pains that have caused me to battle between the mind’s will to control and the spirit’s longing to surrender.  The winner in this struggle is all up to me.  I choose who comes out on top.  I often hear people say, “The devil made me do it.”  The devil may be the one tempting me to walk in the wrong direction of mistrust* for my Heavenly Father, but he cannot “Make Me” do anything.  The road I follow is my decision.

I’ll write more specifics later on what led me to these thoughts, but know this, God loves you and longs to bless you.  He wants to give you every good and perfect gift.  Will you trust Him to work all things out for your good, or will you give up in the height of your emotions?

“Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.  Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.” – James 1:16-17

If God gives a gift, it’s ours to keep, and it is good and there is peace in it.  If we’re not walking in peace then we may be failing to pick up God’s perfect gift because we are still clinging to a counterfeit.

 

Are You Clinging To The Stinky's?

At the end of my life’s journey, I want a God-story of my life, not a “I Did It My Way” story.  Doing things my way will most likely bring moments of pleasure, but they’re never lasting.  I want God’s best.  His best is not momentary but eternal.  Today, I am deciding to trust Him in the middle of all my anxieties.  I am trading in all my stinky counterfeits so I can pick up heaven’s best.

Is there a time where your emotions were overwhelming you and seemingly stealing your very breath?  What did you do?  Will you share what happen and the result of your decision with me?

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

I will choose to look beyond the heavy rain that’s begun to fall and see the trees that are starting to bloom after a long cold winter.

*God is trustworthy, Isaiah 35, Isaiah 42.