life is a journey

Seasons

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I have always loved the change in seasons. Fall is my favorite season, but in general I love
them all. I love that when I am just about fed up with one season, it is time for a change.
Everything shifts and feels like a brand new chance. I also love how the changing seasons
marks out the change in time, from one phase and then on to the next.

Now when it comes to my life, I am not often as enthusiastic about change. Change can be
hard. We don’t know what to expect. Change can even be scary and require a step of faith.
I am in a season like that now. I’m getting older, and my kids are getting older and it makes me think a lot about what the future holds. It makes me feel sad and happy all at the same time.

I have always love Landslide by Stevie Nicks. I first heard it as a young girl. It was actually
written the year I was born. I have always found the song sad even when I was still just a child myself, but now…. oh boy. It is actually very interesting to me that this song was written the year I was born. It has been there during all the seasons of my life. When I was a teenager looking toward the future. When I was growing up in my twenties, and now in this season of my life. The lyrics really hit home for me. “Can the child in my heart rise above? Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life? I don’t know.” “I’ve been afraid of changing, cause I built my life around you. But time makes you bolder, even children get older and I’m getting older too.”

Many times I resist change. I think most of us do. But, even though I don’t always like change, I do like new things and new adventures. I also don’t always like being out of my comfort zone, but I do like becoming a better, more rounded person. I think it is interesting how very often we can love a result, or destination, but not always like the price to get there. Interesting, how that works. But as sad as the time passing can be, and the end of a season, it would be just as sad, if not sadder to never change and get stuck in a season. So, can I handle the seasons of my life? Well, just like the lyrics say, I don’t know. But I do know that as much as some things change, some stay the same. I find comfort in that and that my Savior, Jesus Christ, is the same yesterday, today and forever. I think I can face the future, and come what may, He is always there, and soon enough, good or bad, this season will pass and another will lay in front of me.

Blessings my friends.

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Dark Night

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This week’s feature for Poetry Tuesday is a poem I wrote many years ago. It was during a very hard time in my life, and where I truly was in the middle of a dark time in my life. Since then, God has brought me so far. I was thinking this week of how transparency truly puts an end to darkness. When we are transparent, God’s light shines right through us. His pure light shines the truth into all areas of our lives. If we give it all to Him, then the enemy has no hold on us, and can no longer twist the truth. Hope this poem blesses you and lets you know you are never alone, even in the darkest of nights and times.

DARK NIGHT

Oh! Dark Night!
Shaded moon shadows cast.
Oh! Dark Night!
How long shall you last?
Oh! Dark Night!
In your shadow what lies hidden?
Behind the door is the forbidden.
Oh! Dark Night!
You will not hide from the dawning light,
Oh! Dark Night!
Morning comes and you lose your fight.
Oh! Dark Night!
You come to us all.
Oh! Dark Night!
I choose to refuse your call.

© Leah Jacobsen

The Toughest Job I Have Ever Loved

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I just spent the weekend at our senior high youth group retreat. All I can say is it was fun,
awesome and hard. It was hard for me me physically, emotionally, and especially spiritually.It’s easy for me to tell you why it was hard physically and emotionally. It was hard because I’m 40 and acted like a teenager. My body is still reminding me days later of that.

But spiritually is harder to explain.

I spent the weekend with these incredible young people. They are funny, witty, talented, gifted, smart, and they never cease to amaze me. I feel privileged to be one of their youth group leaders. And even though I’m old enough to be their mom, (my three teens are in the group)they always make me feel welcome. That is one of the many traits that shows their true character. The other thing that amazes me is their hunger for God and their willingness to seek after the answers to how to feed that hunger. The camp was awesome, but what was really awesome is how God showed up.

These young men and women praise God and welcome his presence and are chasing after Him more and more each week. But I do find my self asking the question of why are these
teenagers, as well as most teenagers and young people so often overlooked?

I have three teens. No matter what they tell you, or how many books you read nothing prepares you for raising teens. It’s hard! There is so much pressure as a parent to do the right thing. But I think we, as parents, as teachers, and grown ups forget that the teens feel just as much pressure, if not more, than we do. It is, after all, their life too.

It’s hard as a parent to recognize that your child is no longer a kid. The years go so fast, it’s just hard to see it sometimes. Yet we expect so much for our teens.

So here’s the part that that affected me so profoundly this weekend. We expect so much from our teens. And most of the time we focus on their grades, on whether they have done their chores, are they getting along with their siblings and friends, are they focused too much on the opposite sex, will they get into college, and what are they going to do with the rest of their lives?

But we forget to ask the really important questions. Do they have character? Are they well
rounded? Are they happy and comfortable in their skin? Do they still love to learn like they did when they were little? And the most importance question. Do they have a relationship with Jesus Christ? Now I don’t mean are they saved, but do they have relationship? These kids need a relationship with Christ to face the world. Let’s face it, life is hard even when you have a great relationship with Jesus. Without a relationship, we have nothing, and all else is in vain.

Sometimes I think we as grow ups get in Gods way. He wants to lead our teens and meet them where they are, but we as adults, get in His way. We don’t meet them where they are. We don’t listen. I sometimes think we even look at them as less because they are still children. What we need to do is ask God for guidance during this critical time in their lives.

When my kids were still young, I was having an awful day. I went in my room and cried. I asked God to help me with my kids. He simply told me to stop trying to be everything they needed and do everything right for them. He said “you are not their savior, I am”. Point them to me. Now I’m not saying that the academics, the grades, the chores, the obedience, and all are not important. They are important. But what I’m saying is a person’s character and their relationship with Christ is more important. The most important. In fact, with a great relationship with Jesus Christ and great character the other things will take care of themselves.

So many of our teens are broken and hurting. They are confused and stressed out. We put so much pressure on them to have it all figured out by the time they graduate, that we, sometimes, miss the easy answer. More time and more of God in their life and the understanding that it’s okay to not have all the answers.

One thing we have to remember is that our kids don’t really belong to us. They belong to God. He created them with a purpose. We, as parents, must seek after God and ask how to raise our kids. We must ask who he designed them to be. We must encourage them in their God given gifts and help them be who he has called them to be and not just who we think they should be.

I know it’s hard, but we can do it. If you, yourself don’t have a relationship with Christ that’s the place to start. Then we also must understand that we are going to fail and get things wrong as parents and leaders in children’s lives. So, we must forgive ourselves and start each day new. We must open our minds and know that Gods ways are not our ways. We need to seek God and ask him to lead us and then follow that direction. We must use discernment for the seasons of our kids lives. We must give them the chance to grow, test things out, to fail, to succeed, and to be themselves, knowing that we love them no matter what. And that they will make mistakes.

The teen years are hard for both teens and parents. But it is training ground for adulthood. A time when kids become adults and learn how to stand on their own two feet. And hopefully a time when they are developing their own personal relationship with Christ.

I will leave you with this thought. I look at the teen years as a time that it is safe for my kids to try things and fail. And I don’t mean trying out sinful things, though that does happen too. But I mean new and different ways of doing things and learning along the way. Yes, they still need boundaries, but much bigger boundaries than when they were ten, they need room to grow. I love analogies. God speaks to me in pictures. God showed me a picture of parenthood being like rock climbing. I’m anchored in and my kids are tied around my waist. I would rather they fall off the edge now, while anchored to me, than to fall off once they are on their own, because it can be a long way down. While anchored to me they have a safety net so to speak. A place to come back to and talk about their mistakes. A place to be loved and hopefully a place where we point them back to the only one with all the answers. Our savior, Jesus Christ.

So if you are struggling as a parent, or even as a teen reading this. Have hope. It won’t always be this way and you will get through the tough teenage years. Look to God, because he is the only one who knows all. He will get you through. And if you mess up, as a parent or a teen, know that we all make mistakes and that failing down is part of life, but you can’t stay there. So, pick yourself up, dust your self off, thank God he’s always with us and move on down the road, knowing that there are better days ahead.

Ephesians 6
Malachi 4:6
Isaiah 54:13

Fate

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I love poetry. Whether in a poem or a song, I love lyrics. I have been posting either poems I love, or my own poems on Tuesdays, so I am making it official!

Poetry Tuesdays on My Sound Mind. This week I am featuring a poem that my daughter wrote for a school assignment. Her teacher, (that’s me) loved it and gave her an A+

I love it’s flow and the message is profound. Enjoy!

Fate

Death, pain, suffering,
Fire, brimstone, darkness,
Endless hours, endless days,
This is our cage, this is our fate.

Sin, curses, strongholds,
Demons, monsters, beasts
These are our chains, this is our fate.

Mercy, love, forgiveness,
Holiness, glory, light,
Endless worship, endless praise,
This is our haven, this is our fate.

Repentance, blessings, prayer
Angels, saints, shepherds,
These are our wings, this is our fate.

Salvation from a savior,
Temptations from a captor
This is no longer our fate,
This is our choice.

Created by God, Cultivated by Matthew Jacobsen, Written by Emily A. Jacobsen.

Ordinary Love

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I’m here at Morningstar Ministries and am blown away from so much vision and anointing. I am being immensely blessed. I want to share a small portion from the conference with you today. Julie Joyner spoke on being uniquely created and designed by God. She also spoke about ordinary love and how important it is to love one another and honor each other and each other’s uniqueness.

I am going to start a series on here about identity but for now I want to say we must embrace who we are. Who God create us to be and walk in it. God created us to be in His image,yet we each of us is unique. Like sand, at first glance we all look similar.

Sand:

image

But with a closer look, we truly see our uniqueness.

Sand magnified:

image

image

Each of us are unique. God created us that way. We can only be who we are. We need to embrace our uniqueness and love one another. We must love with the love, that Jesus has loved us with. We should wear Gods love.

We should at least have ordinary love for one another. Even when no one is looking. Do we still have ordinary love? Who are we when no ones looking? How do we treat that grocery clerk, the waitress or the maid who just cleaned our room?

If we don’t love one another what else matters?

Julie said she found the lyrics to Bono’s song Ordinary Love inspiring and so do I, so I want to leave you with these lyrics and video from Bono. Really think about them and let them sink in.

The sea wants to kiss the golden shore
The sunlight warms your skin
All the beauty that’s been lost before
Wants to find us again

I can’t fight you anymore
It’s you I’m fighting for
The sea throws rocks together
But time leaves us polished stones

We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Birds fly high in the summer sky
And rest on the breeze
The same wind will take care of you and I
We’ll build our house in the trees

Your heart is on my sleeve
Did you put it there with a magic marker?
For years I would believe
That the world couldn’t wash it away

‘Cause we can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

Are we tough enough
For ordinary love

We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

We can’t fall any further
If we can’t feel ordinary love
And we cannot reach any higher
If we can’t deal with ordinary love

The Road Less Traveled

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Robert Frost inspired this poem of mine as well as knowing that we each have our own path in life. Life is a journey and even though sometimes it can be difficult and lonely, we truly are never alone. Jesus Christ walks with us each day, and there is also comfort in knowing that many of us walk a Road Less Traveled.

The Road Less Traveled

I walk the road less traveled,
My feet trod this road of stone
Although my way may be raveled
I do not walk alone

I’m not sure of the way
But my way is not unknown
He leads me day by day
I do not walk alone

My path is laid straight
I press toward each milestone
I continue along my gait
I do not walk alone

© Leah Jacobsen

The Road Not Taken

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The Road Not Taken has always been one of my favorite poems. I have often thought about the roads we choose in life and how we can never go back and choose the other. Life is truly a journey.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear,
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Robert Frost