Thursday, August 28, 2008

Of the Utmost Importance

It didn't take long, but already we have an update on the "Dive Bombin' Male Cardinal". If you have no idea what I'm blogging about, read this post first.

Before I could even publish the post about the cardinal, Kim and Joy both experienced very similar dive bombing cardinal experiences while driving. With the previous information about cardinal meaning "of the utmost importance" and that in the past the cardinal has been used symbolically as a sign of God as our defender (if we'll let Him), all three of us were still in the dark on the true meaning of the cardinal in our lives.

Monday things started to shape up. Joy shared that this summer driving she's also experienced feelings of almost backing into things that weren't there, etc...On Monday she has no explanation but she was driving and suddenly in the back of a car. She's fine, the car, not quite totaled.

Just so you know, the ministry her and her family are involved with, Real Living Ministries, in the last month had major direction and favor. God is doing something with the Real Living Team and they will be meeting a very hungry need in the community for the glory of Christ. Ever since that direction became clear, it's been one spiritual attack after another.

Post car accident for Joy, she felt "of the utmost importance" was to slow down. It would be easy to go so full steam ahead for the Lord that we leave Him in the dust. I've done it. Joy knows God's plans will go forward, but in His time and way. Without knowing the details behind everything going on in Lakeland, she drew wisdom in thinking saying yes to the Lord does not mean a trade off. Dying to self doesn't mean we lose our marriage and kids, that is never God's plan. Joy feels now by slowing down she can not only clear from Him and allow even greater things to happen through obedience, but she'll also have her focus on Him to deal with the circumstances around her. I know for me, I can get so lost in the serving, I forget everything else and it is a cost. A cost this week I realized I'm not willing to pay. I want it all, not a trade off. To Joy, she felt the cardinal was a divine warning to slow down, and that message is now of utmost importance to her.

Kim leaves a message Tuesday. She took the kids to school, something her husband usually does. She parked a different place. Kids were laughing. She pulls away and gets caught on a small slab of cement. Gone is her fender. The timing and cost on this could not be any worse.

When Joy and I shared the slowing down---of utmost importance, it struck a chord for Kim too. I'm sure she'll blog about it here (hint, hint), especially to clear up anything I got wrong! But God has given such vision and favor right now, and there is so much Kim could do with it. Today we realized without proper alignment, steps, and relationships in place, it would be easy for this to take a turn the Lord doesn't want.

As soon as I got Kim's news, I gathered the kids and we canceled in agreement any plan the devil (defeated one) has against any of us and our families. I asked for divine wisdom and resources to help me have His senses as I go about my day for Him. I asked that for all Kim and Joy have sown into the Kingdom this summer, that the Lord would reap and restore the finances needed 100 fold for these repairs.

Slowing down---of the utmost importance is obviously resonating with each of us. For me, stepping out more in writing, encouraging others in marriage and finding freedom through Christ made me feel like I was fighting a Leviathan alone in the forest. This week I realized I'm not fighting that beast, God is. I am in a forest, but not alone. It's where I'm protected by my Heavenly Defender. And in Jesus' name I don't have to move forward in Him and lose everything, including my sanity. I just know for me, I need to slow down. It's of the utmost of importance.

By the way, on my way home I think out of the corner of my eye I saw a cardinal flying off as I drove. Joy had to put on the brakes to stop for two cardinals who were in the road not flying off. Kim is still seeing the male cardinal.

Slow down. It's of the utmost of importance.

Disclaimer: My writing on what Joy experienced and shared is to the best of my recollection. Any errors I have in her interpretation is my own.

Julie Arduini is a surrendered writer with her own blog, A graduate of the Christian Writers Guild, she also blogs for the Christian Writers Forum Sundays as the mommy blogger. She is active with FaithWriters and has several writings ready to publish in different books and anthologies in 2008-09. One of the books will be a quote in Kathy Vick's Simon and Schuster/Howard's gift book, "Run Like a Girl."
You can also find Julie the third Thursday of each month over at
Take Root and Write with her column, Finding Freedom through Surrender. She facilates a group by the same name at the sister social networking site, Christian Women Take Root.

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