true North

Catherine Morland in Northanger Abbey is one of my least favorite characters of the 6 novels written by Jane Austen.

Not because she has been poorly written, but because of the mirror it reflects of my own past.

I find her character uncomfortable, as it reminds me of who I used to be in a way I cannot easily turn away from.

She unsettles me, as my past does at times when I spend too much time reminiscing over it.

Catherine ends up meeting a “nice” man, Henry when she is newly arrived in Bath.

I met my Henry on site when he joined the staff of the summer camp I worked for.

There was immediate attraction, and a sense of connection I was too immature to fully comprehend, until one day he abruptly left, and I didn’t have a clear understanding as to why. Because I too had done something I should feel guilty for, by making my interest clearly known prior to knowing much about the man I was interested in.
I did know he had a faith, I just wasn’t sure where I was headed at the time to know how that might have impacted his decision.

When we reconnected through a mutual work acquaintance 4 years later, we still felt the same draw to one another. My Henry asked me out for dinner a few days later and over Chinese food, he shared how he had been struggling over the fact I was not a believer, something I shared at the time with his previous girl friend, and so he left to avoid further complicating his life when another job opportunity arose.

It wasn’t because I had done anything wrong.

Until a few weeks before we remet, I hadn’t been headed for true North yet.

And he did the right thing by walking away.

Unlike the Northanger Abbey story, where Henry walked away from his father over his unjust treatment of his love interest, my Henry walked away from me because he was following His Father’s leading….and heard ‘not yet.’

I am pleased to say we have been together ever since that dinner, almost 24 years ago next month.

And our True North has guided us through all the highs, lows, sickness, health, parenting, loss, grief and joys we have faced since.

The best thing that could have happened for me was that separation, although it felt like the opposite at the time.

Times of reflection can lead us to discover who we really are, in all our flaws, warts & weaknesses, if we have a reference point to fix our sight upon.

I cannot stress enough the value in both of us having Jesus being our true North.

Without Him, our considerable differences would have led us to part years ago.

With His guidance, speaking time in His Presence & Word, He helps us navigate, as the compass in our lives.

No matter where we go. Jesus will always guide us to our true Home.
With Him.


baby talk

There is no sound quite like hearing an infant gurgle, coo & spout gibberish. The joy they get simply from making noise, chattering away as only a baby can.

When we are young in the faith, everything can seem awesome, wonderful, amazing.

Bright eyed with fresh wonder, we can sound like babies with our repetitive ooooohing and ohhhhing. 

But just as babies are meant to learn to talk, walk and grow up, so are we in the faith meant to move past worldly things and grow deeper in our spiritual lives.

Babies need to learn the world doesn’t revolve around them, that self is not the center of the universe – God is.

Babies were also designed to start off with simple nourishment, until they develop teeth and the need for more solid food to build their bodies as God designed them to.

So are we, those who are no longer new to the faith, meant to chew on the Word, to grow as we we are designed to in our walk with God.

Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.  I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. 1 Corinthians 3:1-3 NIV

We aren’t meant to stay infants in the faith. Although it is tempting to stay immature, Holy Spirit is calling us to become holier, faithfully pursuing all He has for us…a full meal versus the easy diet the world offers.

I am tired of fast food.

I crave the banquet God has waiting for me, for you, for all who follow Him.

The Message version of the above verse takes a slightly different slant on this topic:

But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast. Well, then, I’ll nurse you since you don’t seem capable of anything more. As long as you grab for what makes you feel good or makes you look important, are you really much different than a babe at the breast, content only when everything’s going your way? 

The Christian walk isn’t meant for us to just enter through its door, and stay there… content with being just inside enough, yet still close enough to be swayed by the world we are meant to be in but not of any longer.

We are known by how we feed our inner selves.  Is your diet full of worldly pleasures or heaven’s treasures?


There are always growing pains as we stretch, try new foods and begin to mature.

I would rather dislike the taste of the food God has for me, but keep eating it than to stick with what I have outgrown long ago, despite the comfort I may get from it.

I will close with a brief example.

I love the classics like Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott & L.M.Montgomery. Well written observations of the world around interesting characters who jump off the page and into my imagination. I have spent many an afternoon & evening with them over the years, and still do.

A voracious reader, I allowed my desire for something new to cloud my discernment, and downloaded a few popular books by current well known authors. Not ones who write faith based content.

And was not amused by the resulting language and R rated descriptions I uncovered.

By not checking reviews before I opened those covers, I was lured into what could have been a disaster for my reading habits.

I countered by asking God’s forgiveness, and making a conscious decision to not just read the Word every day, but to interact with it. Ponder it over, write down what it stirred inside me, pray about the areas it revealed I need help with, and worship Him for who He is revealed in the Word.  Say no to the light weight reading, and say yes to wrestling with what really matters.

That was a mature response.

An immature one could have been keeping on playing with temptation, justifying the reading as research as I am a writer, and avoid learning from my mistake.

We don’t grow unless we try something new.

Add more to your diet than just the milk of immaturity.

Ask Him where you need to mature to deepen, and allow Holy Spirit to take root and grow in your life.

You may still crave milk from time to time, but I suspect the banquet He has for you will set your taste buds on fire.

And instead of baby talk, we will be modeling wisdom, maturity and Holy Spirit to those around us. We will have a deeper foundation to help us stand in the storms yet to come.

What the world needs more of isn’t people who are content to just be…but those who can’t stop being all He had for us to be, with His help.