My Anchor Holds

Me standing in front on an anchor at the US Coast Guard Air Station, Traverse City, MI, June 2018

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. –Hebrews 6:19 NIV

As I turn the calendar page to the last month of the year, I mentally review the 11 previous months. Months, for the most part, I wouldn’t want to live over.

They weren’t bad. But you know how I feel about that word. I prefer “good” or “not so good” or “challenging.”

2018 was certainly challenging as I navigated the tumultuous waters of change, both wanted and unwanted, changes I initiated and changes that were foisted upon me.

From losing my kitty Rascal at the beginning of January (I still miss my little buddy) to the joy of attending my son’s wedding in June to DH’s retirement in September to dealing with eye issues to trying to decide what to do about Christmas in an empty nest.

Changes, decisions, uncertainty, joy, sorrow, disappointment, discouragement, hope, and lots of prayer dotted the days of 2018.

Hope is what got me through. And prayer.

Hope was and is the anchor for my soul. Not hope that everything will turn out the way I want, but hope in a sovereign God who has everything under control. Who has a plan and purpose for me. Who knows where I am, even when I feel lost, and knows where I’m going. Who’s all-powerful – He can make anything happen. Who’s all-knowing – He knows me better than I know myself and knows the end from the beginning. A God who loves me, faults and all.

Hope is what steadies this ship in the storms of life and keeps me from drifting away from where I’m supposed to be. Hope is the anchor I drop so it can dig into the bottom rather than hold me down by a heavy weight.

But note: I must drop the anchor. It won’t drop itself. If I leave it on deck, it won’t do me any good when the winds and waves batter me and toss me about, getting me off course and threatening to destroy me.

The anchor drops down deep and digs into the bottom, giving me security in uncertain times.

Prayer, on the other hand, goes up, ascending to the throne of my Father, who’s waiting for me to release my plans and dreams to Him, and trust Him with all my heart and not depend on my limited understanding (Proverbs 3:5).

Once again, it is something I choose to do. I can try to figure it out on my own, but my perspective is limited, my understanding incomplete. I can try to do it all myself, my way, but I know where that’s gotten me before, and it wasn’t pretty.

I cried out to my Heavenly Father, and He was right there.  Indeed, as the old song goes, “He was there all the time, waiting patiently.”

I don’t have a whole lot to do to get ready for Christmas.

The house is already decorated, done in one day, thanks to my son, his new wife, and five grandchildren. The gifts are all bought, thanks to a day spent cyber-shopping. All I have to do is wait for UPS or FedEx to deliver them. Then I’ll wrap them.

The menu for our family Christmas dinner and gift exchange on the 15th and the corresponding grocery list are done. I’m not doing cards this year, except a few to hand out and a brief newsletter for a handful of friends and relatives. I do, however, have a few gifts I’m making.

So the next few weeks I’ll sit in my cozy chair by the fireplace and crochet. While my hands are busy with yarn and a crochet hook, my mind will mull over the past year, and my heart will rejoice because I know, whatever the future will bring, smooth sailing or turbulent seas, my anchor holds!

What are you needing hope for this Christmas season?

Cast your anchor in Him, for He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).

There is a time to weigh anchor and sail, and a time to drop anchor and stay put. You, Lord, are that anchor that is always with me, on board my ship or holding me fast in turbulent waters. Thank you. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalms 46 and 139

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.

Expect an Adventure!

God will put his angels in charge of you to protect you wherever you go. –Psalm 91:11 GNT

 As I write this, I’m in the midst of packing for a short camping trip. I plan to do nothing for three days but rest, read, relax, crochet, and eat. Which is why I made potato salad, chicken soup, chicken salad, and a dinner casserole beforehand—so any cooking and cleaning up while on the trip is minimal. Very minimal. Like almost nonexistent.

If the weather cooperates, I might consider a short, non-challenging (meaning a flat, easy trail of no more than a mile, round trip) hike if DH talks me into it. But don’t tell him.

We both need a break from the in-depth projects we’ve been working on, from juggling too many things at the same time. He’s loaded his fishing gear, and I my books, magazines, Kindles, and current crochet project.

Even though I envision sitting with my feet propped up all day, I’m realistic enough to know that “life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” (Thank you, John Lennon, for that marvelous quote!) The countless trips we’ve taken over the years—and the many misadventures that went with them—have taught me to go with the flow. There are times you swim against the current and times you go with it, making the best of things and enjoying the unexpected experience.

Perhaps the misadventure has a purpose: to teach a lesson, reveal a new perspective, deepen compassion, expand understanding, or (ugh!) grow patience.

Take our month-long trip to the Pacific Northwest last year.

All did not go according to plan—and, believe me, we planned ad nauseum.

We had wonderful adventures along with some interesting misadventures. Like when we had to cut the day’s travel time short because Dean got dehydrated and couldn’t drive another mile. Thankfully one of our travelling companions was a former EMT.

Or when my lower back went out, and I literally shuffled (and suffered) for two days—one of which was spent touring a museum. Thankfully, our other travelling companion had brought along his back therapy paraphernalia and loaned it to me. My pain lessened, and I was able to move around better a lot sooner than I usually do when my back gives me issues.

Then there was the blown camper tire on I-80 just past Chicago that required four new tires before we could continue our journey home. The state trooper who stopped to help us directed us to a Walmart only a few miles away, where we stayed the night before getting the new treads—and where a former Marine stopped and chatted with DH, also a veteran of the USMC.

I always wear my angel necklace when we travel. And we always pray when we set out on a trip for God to protect us. I envision God’s angels surrounding us, being that shield around us. Yes, God’s angels were right there in each so-called misadventure—the former EMT, the friend with the back stuff, the state policeman, the USMC vet.

Perhaps the most important lesson I’ve learned through these so-called misadventures is who’s really doing the driving on this trip called life. And when He’s got the wheel, as my friend DiAnn Mills likes to say, expect an adventure!

Thank You, Lord, for the wonderful trip of life, for the adventures and misadventures, and for Your abiding presence, abundant provision, and able protection through them all. Amen.

Read and meditate on Psalm 91.

© 2018 Michele Huey. All rights reserved.