{Pay No Mind To Thieves}

{Happiest of New Year Celebrations to you!}I am not sure how your 2016 started out, but mine has started out with quite a bang.Some of the first words the Holy Spirit spoke into 2016 through racing hearts and trembling hands were these:"Pay no mind to these thieves."Allow me to explain....When Father Time reached His Arms towards midnight my Trotter Tribe was driving a stretch of highway somewhere between Raton, New Mexico and Amarillo, Texas on our way back from a most refreshing week in the Breckinridge blue mountains of Colorado. Roughly sixteen hours of driving, car UNO, watching {or for Toby and I it meant listening} to Walter Mitty and the most recent Cinderella DVD, coloring, Kid Bopz seat belt dance parties and finally finding sweet sleep under the light of the moon. The stars swept through the sunroof turned star gazer while our man child and girl babies drifted off to winter wonderland dreams. Toby and I shifted our conversations from gas mileage and bathroom breaks to dreaming BIG in 2016........dreaming BIG.....so cliche.....so difficult these days to negotiate the gumption to dream and keep dreaming....And yet, we dive in again because just as our "See Beyond Walls" Spotify road trip play list melodies seep Hillsong United, "Captain" through our ears, to our minds and somewhere landing in the deep recesses of our souls we are begged to recite the lyrics...."All my allegiance is rightfully Yours."All our allegiance. That includes dreams. And the truth of the matter is that TODAY, this day, is the THE day. The day God has been waiting for us to launch the dreams we keep talking about on sixteen hour road trips into a real experience rot with risk and fear, elbow grease, and a smidge of tension to release every dang ounce of self preservation....and this year, this time, this goal sheet, this mileage finally negotiates the courage inside our brains to make a loud shout to our souls and sprint towards the Roar of God's real calling over our lives.....This is a real conversation Toby and I have. I'm not trying to over spiritualize it, but I am also not interested in over simplifying it. We allow the chaos of kids, jobs, fears and Starbucks coffee to quiet our busy beat to look through the stockpile of a whole year and we ask a simple question....."what on God's green earth are we doing with our minutes each day, each week, this year?!" Are we living towards the life we want or merely keeping our heads above water for the next proverbial breath to hold our own heads back under the water? The later isn't God's best.So for sixteen hours we excite our souls and stir up our affections for words to articulate the passion we have to see lives changed through our ministries and occupations, to touch the great expanse of the earth and so deeply experience new cultures and people, to cheer on, to lead with great affection and to not merely chit chat over Starbuck's Christmas blend to then ultimately pull the car into the Hobbit House driveway and abandon every excitement with reality. No, not this time. This time it's different. This time it isn't written on paper, it's written on our hearts. Our souls. It's written, "Lord we will follow Your Voice and we're ditching faithless faithfulness in 2016. We are done with the boredom we feel with faith based on our unwillingness to act by faith. This year faith action is our motto."Somewhere around 3am January 1st we rolled through the Dallas Tollway and slipped under the carport of home. We unloaded babies, luggage, ski clothes, nearly everything we owned it would seem and we unloaded our hearts bent towards a real commitment to God sized dreams. We had all but just laid our heads down for a long winter's nap when there arose such a clatter Toby and I both jumped out of bed hearts racing. Toby ran to the side door to our house and I clutched by phone with digits cued for 9-1-1....then to my every fear I hear Toby yell, "Hey! What do you think you are doing?!" Never did I imagine there would be something wrong, let alone someone attempting to remove the third seat of our suburban right from our driveway?! And yet to my horror, having no idea what in the world was happening I pressed call and frantically attempted to explain our urgency for help. Seconds later Toby ran back in the house telling me they'd heard his voice and ran off, but not before scaring the very hair off our heads!! Having anything stolen or even attempted to be taken is so very violating. It's disrupting. It's certainly distracting. Alarming, Every bit of potential to derail you.After the dust settled, the police came, safety restored, nothing stolen and car doors locked we finally found sleep. When our eyes opened with the first actual sunlight of 2016 it beamed hot over our "dream convo" and how we would plan on opening our souls to the day when so much disruption had happened the night before. As Toby and I lay awake, but not moving Toby uttered this statement out into the atmosphere:"Cari, the Holy Spirit is telling us to pay no mind to thieves."I'm telling you, me, us the same. This year pay no mind to thieves. The thief may not be coming to steal the third row to your suburban, but he certainly wants to steal your hope, your courage, your resolve, your excitement, your anticipation, your credit and your action....but, pay him no mind.Keep moving forward and shake off the "thieves" of every kind.Resolve to ignore "thief takers"and stay focused on the "Great Giver".Don't allow the "threat of thieves" keep you from fulfilling that New Year Dream. Chase it down and touch it Real."The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." {John 10:10}"Jesus calls his followers, not to a dour, lifeless, miserable existence that squashes human potential, but to a rich, full, joyful life, one overflowing with meaningful activities under the personal favor and blessing of God."{ESV study text}To put this into keen terms of action think of it this way....Insist with all the truth-filled romanticized realism in your being to focus on that which is good and noble and creative and right and by all means keep moving forward. 2016 has the potential to take all those goals and dreams scribbled down on napkins, journals and scrap paper and launch them into the wildest adventure you've ever known....OR...you could pay too much attention to thieves and miss the whole grand adventure. Don't do the latter.{Become obsessed with the abundance of Godand hunt it down with all you've got in 2016.}