My Journey in the Far North

thoughts, inspiration, devotions and recipes from my journey in the far north

A New Chapter is on the Horizon July 15, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Scenic Routes,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 7:46 am

This week I received great news. 

I will be moving down to SB in the next couple of weeks to start at WC (place will be not be named).  So exciting.  Even my new co-workers are excited that I’m joining them. 

And, now I’m a little nervous…all kinds of thoughts are running around in my head.  Thoughts span from excitement…

…on Saturdays, I’m going to do this…farmer’s market…beach…ride my bike…use my camera…find some vegan friendly eating spots…

…to realistic and grown up concerns like…

…ok, what will I do if I can’t find a place to live…groceries, where/how will get them by bike? bus?carpool?…making new friends…finding a church. 

All those things shaping into my new chapter!

I was wrong in blog posts past about being in pause and about how difficult it has been (no doubt it has been emotionally).  The was I see it is that my life has been on pause, but living has not, and I’ve made a number of friends here as well as spending lots of time with my mom, grandma and my aunt and uncle…time well spent.

I’ve been thinking about changing the title of my blog since I am no longer living in the far north or even in the north…I need to figure out how this can be done without losing any content and need to come up with a great title. So thinking caps on…go!

Now that the pause button is slowly being lifted, I am thankful for the time to pause but even more thankful for the ability to see the new chapter on the horizon.


Re-entering slowly into the working world June 16, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 10:32 am

This week begins my first week at my new part-time job.  The only job I have at the moment.  (Please note that I won’t be sharing where it is or where any additional jobs are for the sake of privacy/safety.)

Currently with this one job, I only have one scheduled shift a week (which I worked already) but I do have several opportunities for call in shifts.  So it’s a slow start for now.  I do, however, have a couple of other part-time opportunities heading my way which I’m extremely excited about.

Obviously, several part-time jobs isn’t the norm.  It’s certainly wasn’t what I was expecting when I returned from the UK.  Am I ok with it?  Yes.  This process has taught me patience.  It has reminded me of God’s provision and care. 

I still can’t stop thinking about the Habakkuk 2:3 verse I shared the last time.  It fits so perfectly to my situation.  Here it is again:

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”

I will continue to wait patiently for God’s plan and vision to be fulfilled in my life.  Things happen in His time, after all, it is His plan.


Slowly, Steadily, Surely June 3, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 11:10 am
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“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

Found something totally relevant to me and my situation recently while getting caught up on viewer session 5 using notes from a friend in Aberdeen in the Esther study by Beth Moore.  It was about time and patience.

To quote Beth Moore, “Sometimes God forces the issue of time.  Amazingly, other times He seems to entrust it.” Beth focused on “reflecting on the importance of knowing”:

When it’s time.

When it’s time to wait.  (She notes that this includes being silent and learning to wait patiently.  How often are we impatient? Beth notes that our culture is turning us into impatient people.  So true…how often am I frustrated that something doesn’t download fast enough, not just on my computer but on my phone!!!)

When it’s time to wait for someone else’s time.

When the meantime is God-time.

And then, I read the verse reference from Habakkuk 2:3 my friend included and I was reminded…things take time…not my time…but His time.

There’s a lot of things lately that have made me think about time…a dwindling bank account…hearing about other people moving on with their lives, getting promotions, jobs, houses, cars, living life while I seem to be in…pause.  I’ve been here 4 months and nothing to really show for it (besides a garden, an amazing tan, a bunch of new photos taken on my grown up camera and marks in a new cookbook indicating my review of the recipes I tried).  I just hate being in pause.

Applying for jobs, interviewing and even going into second interviews only to not be chosen…hopes dashed.

I read this Habakkuk passage on Monday.  Then, I had a decision to make after a phone call offering me a part-time job, and another big decision after learning I didn’t get a job I had second-interviewed for.

After getting some wise counsel, I was reminded of the Habakkuk passage.  It seems the way that the job market is looking, traditional forms of employment are hard to find (one job as primary job) and there are many out there piecing together many to form one.  I realized that this is probably my situation as well, and I had to embrace it and thank God for it. 

And now, I have to believe that slowly, steadily, surely God is leading me toward His plan for me, even if it means embracing the untraditional view of employment with all kind of bits and pieces working together to make one.  I’m thanking God for the part-time job I start today and for the many other pieces that I believe God is sending my way.

“But these things I plan won’t happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, wait patiently, for it will surely take place, it will not be delayed.”  Habakkuk 2:3 (NLT)

“But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength.  They will fly high on wings like eagles.  They will run and not grow weary.  They will walk and not faint.”  Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

Gentle Savior lead me on!  (Check out this post to know what I’m referring to.)


Fire, Fear and Faith March 30, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 2:35 pm
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I’ve been reading a lot of books since returning back to the states, and one of the books I’ve just re-read is one of my favorites, At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon.  I’ve read and re-read this book many times, and when I found out that my aunt was reading it for the first time, I wanted to read it again once had she finished it.  I’m so glad I read this book again because it reminded me about the freedom of faith, about the paralyzing force of fear, and the promise and encouragement of Philippians 4:13.  Just exactly what I’ve been faced with today.

Also, this afternoon I took a little time to get back to the Beth Moore study on Esther that I started back in September with the women at my church in Aberdeen.  I haven’t picked it up since the beginning of November, and to be really honest, studying scripture hasn’t really been on the top of my list lately…until today.  And, did I find a gem in something Beth wrote.

On page 74 of the workbook, Beth was summarizing the plan that was in place for the annihilation of the Jews and she stated that God’s timing was perfect in a sense that the edict to annihilate the Jews was delivered on…get this…Passover.  Basically, Beth said that God had a plan of deliverance at the original Passover, and He had a plan for deliverance of the Jews in Esther’s time, and He did.  Beth stated that He who delivered them could deliver us.  She said “He who delivered you from drugs can deliver you from distraction.  He who delivered you from bankruptcy can deliver you from bingeing.  He who delivered you from infertility can deliver you from inconsistency.  He who delivered you from the fire can deliver you from fear….Remember what God has done for you…Remember who you are!”

Well, needless to say that quote really spoke to me, especially “He who delivered you from the fire can deliver you from fear.”

And, He has delivered me from the fire, many times, and perhaps, He has recently delivered me in advance of a firestorm, and maybe He is delivering me again…and He can deliver me from fear.

My fear lately is that I haven’t been able to find a job in Fresno or where I have been looking…in tons of places on both coasts, but perhaps I’ve been looking in the place He has chosen for me.  A possibility has opened up, and an opportunity placed in front of me, only it’s not what I thought for myself, but perhaps it is exactly where God wants me.  Now, I need to examine it and trust…move from the fire and fear and into faith.


Struggling…but Trusting February 21, 2011

Filed under: Locking In — tlobner @ 4:49 pm

Yes, to be honest, I am struggling. 

I miss my friends.  Finding a job is difficult, especially when looking for work in a field you haven’t previously worked, but I’ve found and applied for 4 jobs in the last week and they won’t be the last.  I miss my church family in Aberdeen as well as the teaching I received there.  It’s hard to crack open my Bible and search for comfort and guidance.  And, I think I may have a cold.

But, I’m trusting. 

One of my favorite songs by David Phelps keeps swirling around my head to remind me that God is guiding me, even through the difficult time, and all I need to do is just keep trusting Him.  I’ve included a YouTube link (just click on the title of the song) with the lyrics if you want to listen and follow along.

Gentle Savior (written by David Phelps and others)

Where are the signs? Which way should I go?
I planned each step but now I don’t know
Tomorrow is a chasm of uncertainty
But, I will go there, if You’ll go with me

Gentle Savior, lead me on
Let Your Spirit light the way
Gentle Savior, lead me on
Hold me close and keep me safe
Lead me on, gentle Savior

Why can’t I walk away from my regrets
And why is forgiveness so hard to accept
My past surrounds me like a house I can’t afford
But You say, “Come with me, don’t live there anymore”

Gentle Savior, lead me on
Let Your Spirit light the way
Gentle Savior, lead me on
Hold me close and keep me safe
Lead me on, gentle Savior

And when I reach the valley, every soul must journey through
I’ll remember then how well You know the way
I’ll put my hand in Your hand like a trusting child would do
And say

Gentle Savior, lead me on
Let Your Spirit light the way
Gentle Savior, lead me on
Hold me close and keep me safe
Lead me on, gentle Savior

I’m glad this song keeps swirling around in my head.  It’s just what I need to keep me constant in my trust in God as he leads me along this path He has asked me to travel. 

And, it reminds me to hold tight to my year verse for 2011.

“I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings.  I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.”  Psalm 63:7-8 (NLT)

If/when you are struggling, what promise or assurance do you hold on to?


It’s a Different World February 4, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Scenic Routes,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 7:08 am

I’ve been back in the US for exactly two weeks and it truly is a different world.

It feels like many things have changed (for good or bad) in the last three years.  Things like…getting immediate satisfaction from using your own shopping bags (especially with a financial incentive of 5 or 6 cents credit per bag!  No plastic/paper bags for me!), new driving rules, salad restaurant places have closed down, female newscasters with long hair, watching TV shows online is soooo much better than watching it on your TV (can’t stand the amount of commercials, but that’s not new), it’s illegal to ask for food or money on street medians, Netflix wanting to eliminate the DVD and to push for digital downloads for immediate viewing, family relationships and growing older…

But perhaps it’s me who has changed the most…

I see things differently, react to things differently, desire different things, find joy in different things, consider food differently…but one thing that hasn’t changed is fear…fear to start looking for a job, fear about what’s ahead, fear that I’ll fail and not be doing what I want to be doing, fear, fear, fear….that’s what’s holding me back right now at looking for a job.  And it’s taken me this week to figure out the roadblock that has been preventing me from getting my resume updated and a job search started.  I hate that!

And now that I’ve admitted it, maybe I’ll be able to break through that road block and get going…ok, maybe I’ll start Monday…it’s Friday, after all.

Some things I’ve been doing…I’ve been driving more this week than I have in three years and was able to drive on the freeway with no mishaps, though I did experience a little nervousness.  I’ve been finding all the ingredients for cooking and baking vegan that I couldn’t find before and even trying some new things (at least for me) like tempeh and chia seeds.  Whole Foods truly is an expensive vegan paradise!  I’ve found some other stores that sell some things I need (for a little less) so I don’t need to go to the vegan paradise as often (I hope).  I got a new snazzy smart phone (I got it ‘free’) but I don’t like having to pay to text people or to receive their texts, it’s sooooo wrong! I’m so going to need a different phone plan. 

Something to look forward to…visiting my sister in Tacoma, WA this coming week, checking out Tacoma and Seattle and visiting my cousin and his family in Vancouver, WA…

Something to pray for?…my fear…that I get over it, push past it and get going on figuring out what I will be doing for work and where I will do it!  For courage.


Postaday/week challenge #17 – Do things happen for a reason? January 17, 2011

Filed under: Locking In,Scenic Routes,Weekly Post Challenge — tlobner @ 9:35 am

Today’s post challenge topic:  Does everything happen for a reason?

Right now, I’m sitting in my friend’s living room, still wearing my pjs with a huge suitcase to my right.  That suitcase represents that things do happen for a reason…only sometimes you don’t know what that reason is or what you will find when you get there.

And, since I’m less than 3 days away from boarding an airplane (after paying for an extra suitcase and for the additional weight of if not one but both suitcases) to return to the US, I have to believe everything happens for a reason. I have enjoyed living in Aberdeen and now it’s time to return, whether I like it or not. 

I have to believe that there is a greater purpose in returning.  Like for instance, back in October feeling the need to return to the US for a visit (at least) or thinking that perhaps it was time to really consider what I wanted to do with my life…did I really want to stay at my job for another year or so…was I selling myself short at staying in the position I was in…was it really the best place for me… You know, thoughts like these that make you reflect on where you are in life and considering what you really should be doing and where you really should be.  So I have to believe this returning is all apart of a bigger plan, one that I’m excited to be a part of, believe it or not.

Because I believe things happen for a reason, my focus and security lies in my trust in God and in His power in my life.  He promises to guide me and lead me as long as I trust and depend on Him. The following verses have been a comfort to me these last couple of days as I say goodbye to my friends and wonder what is ahead for me when I fly out on Friday.  I hope they, too, provide you some comfort if you are going through some changes and challenges.

“I think how much you have helped me; I sing for joy in the shadow of your protecting wings.  I follow close behind you; your strong right hand holds me securely.” Psalm 63: 7-8 (NLT)

“…I still belong to you; you are holding my right hand.  You will keep guiding me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny.” Psalm 73:23-24 (NLT)

“Your road led through the sea, your pathway through the mighty waters – a pathway no one knew was there! You led your people along that road like a flock of sheep.” Psalm 77:19-20 (NLT)

“Your unfailing love, O Lord, is as vast as the heavens; your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.  Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the ocean depths. You care for your people and animals alike, O Lord.  How precious is your unfailing love, O God!” Psalm 36:5-7 (NLT)