Friday, March 19, 2010

A Mosaic in the Making©

Sometimes I feel so out of sorts. So much of me has been changed that at times it's hard to know what is normal, if there is such a thing.

Ministry that I thought I would be doing, I’m not. In fact those desires that I once held close seem to have disappeared completely. Currently. even the stirring to write feels distant. Words that once awakened me seem to have fallen asleep inside me. With a bit of sadness, I sit wondering if my writing season has come to an end. It's been on my mind lately. For oftentimes in the stillness it's hard to see that anything is moving forward.

Yesterday, Jesus brought back a memory of a time much like I find myself in today. I was sitting on a porch overlooking a pond. I felt what I saw displayed; stagnant and unmoving. I begged God for something that revealed that I was was where I needed to be. It was then He met with me as He drew my eyes to a spot in the pond.

Suddenly the pond was set in motion when something lighted the surface. At that moment, from that one touch, the waters started rippling out. As I watched their path I saw something that was absolutely stunning. The water rippled across the reflection of a brilliant red-leaf tree, creating a beautiful mosaic on the water.

Immediately He spoke to me, reminding me of the beauty of stillness. He told me that Mosaics capture beauty through their broken pieces. For in a Mosaic, pieces must be broken to fit the picture.

Yesterday as the memory faded, He brought fresh words to this current contemplative place. "Jewel, the new wine can't be placed in old wine skins." "The outer is wasting away while the inner is being renewed."

“Old ways, things, and habits must waste away.” “Don’t fret this season.” “Pieces are being broken off as part of the fashioning of your life's Mosaic.” “Some pieces didn’t belong there.”

“It’s time to remove the old wine skins.” “They won’t hold the new wine that ferments inside you.” “This is a time of ceasing of life as you’ve known it.”

It’s an awkward place for me sometimes. So much of my life has been doing that often the being catches me off guard. I feel like I SHOULD be doing something, yet I feel no stirring to do those things I once considered. Am I really supposed to just sit back and wait for something to hit me? It's so foreign to my normal way of thinking.

At that moment He answered my questioning with such simplicity. “Why not, Jewel?” “What if that’s all it is about” “What if you were in tune with my Spirit in you and then waited until the stirring hit you before you moved?” “Would that be horrible? "What if it were left up to me and not up to you?" "Could you trust me to move you when you needed to move?"

A picture flashed into my mind as if He wanted to sear all this into my very being.

I have a salad dressing cruet that I make Italian dressing in. In the middle of the lid is an attached stirrer. Once I have poured in the ingredients, they immediately begin to settle and separate. Therefore, before the dressing can be served it must have a vigorous stirring. Once everything is stirred up, I then pour.

Can it be that simple, Jesus? Can I really wait for your stirring? It almost sounds too good to be true.

“You can’t patch the old on the new, Jewel.” “It may feel as if the outer is wasting away.” “That’s a good thing.” "Your "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" old flesh needed to die." “Take heart, your inner man is being renewed on the outer.”

His words strike a place in my heart that once again bring me to that place of rest. This current place that sometimes feels too still is His appointed place, where beauty is unfolding inside me. The outer garments that I have worn for so long are wasting away, while He renews my inner man. The wine that ferments inside cannot be placed in the old wine skins. Therefore He takes the pieces that fit my life and fashions them to one day display my own Mosaic, Jesus in Julie. It's who I long to be.

©copyrighted: 2010, Julie L. Todd


Terra said... Reply to comment

These are wise words, and thanks for sharing them here as you grow. Often, God has plans for us that are not our plans. I like your image of how mosaics are made of broken pieces.

Sita said... Reply to comment

Julie, I totally identify with your words...and it also goes with the message from Beth I recently blogged about...He is doing a new thing...and I loved how you 'perceived' it in the pond...blessings,

elaine @ peace for the journey said... Reply to comment

A few years ago... I had the idea that I would quickly get published and be on the road to being a "sought after" speaker.


I've been in sifting season for a long season, often feeling the stirrings you've written about here. I can honestly say that what I once held as "premium" no longer holds much interest for me. As I have cast my "all" onto God's fire, he's been faithful to burn up the excess and leave the important stuff.

I hear your struggle, Julie, and I'll honestly be praying for you, that God would peacefully reveal to you all that he intends for your life right now. Not next week, but right now. Today.

Rest in today, and never underestimate your effectiveness for the kingdom!


Aine Willis said... Reply to comment

Wow, Julie. This was perfect for me today. I am a "busy" type of person, I always feel like I have to be doing ... rather than waiting on Jesus to be the One doing. I'm in the same spot as you right now. I feel like there are things I've always done ... that I'm not doing. I need to remember ... I am a Mosaic. Amen Julie!

Wanda said... Reply to comment

Enjoyed this post. He's not called us to strive to do but simply be who he designed us to be. And seeing he's the only who truly does what we are to reflect only He can organize the pieces of the mosaic.

Sara said... Reply to comment


I love that you take photos of your everyday life. Would you be interested in joining us with photos of livin' life. Our home has been void of sparkle and zest for a bit now. It's time to break out of it. I am starting a challenge for all of us (mostly me) to enjoy life. And each week share what we did. I'm inviting you to join us. And help us all with your zest for life.


and let me know if you want to splash with me!

Learnin' Livin' Lovin' life,

Shanda said... Reply to comment


This is the very reason you shouldn't stop writing, but keep your writing in His time, the perfect time, and reveal it when He stirs you to do so! This is so much of what we talked about! I totally need to learn to wait for His stirrings and am so blessed to have your story to shine some light into the haziness right now. Thank you, friend!!!

Crown of Beauty said... Reply to comment

You have quoted one of my favorite scriptures, that of Jesus saying that you can't pour new wine into old wineskins.

I just love it, and the way you described what is happening in your life.

The stillness, the stirring, breaking off of parts of you that are no longer needed in this new season of your life.

It speaks very much of what I am going through in my own life.


Connie Barris said... Reply to comment

And my ways are not your ways...

I really struggle with this also... I want to do it "My way" but God has such a unique view of my life...

I thought I would be and I"m not.. But God is...!!!

BTW.. my friend is trying to figure out how to respond to you.. from her blog ... she's very new at that blog.

missionchik said... Reply to comment

Such a beautiful picture of His mysterious work!

Marcia P said... Reply to comment

Beautifully written Julie. Your mosaic is being pieced together by your heavenly Father and it will be a masterpiece!

Jo Princess Warrior said... Reply to comment

I know what you mean by this:

"It’s an awkward place for me sometimes. So much of my life has been doing that often the being catches me off guard. I feel like I SHOULD be doing something, yet I feel no stirring to do those things I once considered. Am I really supposed to just sit back and wait for something to hit me? It's so foreign to my normal way of thinking."

I find myself in a similar position, but different. So many people are pulling me and pushing me to get involved with 'this' and 'that' at church. But I feel that the Lord wants me to be still at this stage in my life. It's hard, because I know that I could fill the need that they are asking me to do. But it isnot what He wants me to do in this season.xo

Katie said... Reply to comment

Thank you for your comment on my own stillness post, and for pointing me this way...though I am following you, so I suppose I would have seen it anyway. :-) But today was a good day.

Anyway...yes, I feel the echoes of what He's telling you inside me as well. You know what else I thought of as you shared your picture of the pond? That touch that causes the ripple...that is His touch. And when it ripples through us in such a clear way, it touches other people.

On the other hand, if we are a rushing, raging river, and He touches us, the ripples are lost in the torrent of us. Those whose lives we touch can't tell the difference between Him and us.

Maybe this is why learning to be still and wait before Him is so crucial, so that the ripples of His touch are undiluted and can be easily felt and seen by a world that needs Him so much.

Wow...I don't know if that ministers to you, but it sure does to me! I think I need to copy that into my journal! Thank You, Lord!

Amy said... Reply to comment


What a beautiful analogy!

You have a tremendous gift for capturing the essence of God in words.

Love you,

Katie said... Reply to comment
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karen said... Reply to comment

Loved this! You always bring a fresh outlook on things by sharing what the Lord reveals to you...and I agree with the comment about writing in His time and with His inspiration...that's when the words really matter...not how often, but how anointed....

Alece said... Reply to comment

new wine in new wineskins has been a verse i've clung to for a year now. but i've held onto it for Thrive.

i need to start hanging onto it for ME.

Kristine said... Reply to comment

I love this and it speaks to where I'm at right now in my life. Thank you for sharing the beauty of stillness before God.

Paula said... Reply to comment

Oh, man. He does this to me, too. How very beautiful. Thank you.

Melissa Driggers said... Reply to comment


This was just beautiful and I identify with your words on SO many levels. I love the analogy of the mosaic!

You are a gift and a blessing, my friend.


stringsattachedministries said... Reply to comment

"So much of my life is the doing that the being catches me off guard."-

Ummmm...ouch....but so beautiful, and so true. Thank you for sharing your words. And thank you for visiting my blog!

Linda Z said... Reply to comment

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such kind and encouraging words.

I love the way you write and share your heart! God is so good! :) said... Reply to comment

Julie, thank you so much for writing this, it is really beautiful. So much of what you said really resonated with me, although my place outwardly isn’t a place of stillness right now - outwardly I feel the opposite, like I have more to do than I wish I did (and I have never thrived on being overly busy) – but it seems like all the outward busy-ness has me in a place inwardly that I really felt deeply several of your expressions.

I have felt lately very much like a stagnant pond – and your description of that pond brings tears to my eyes – but I am encouraged by your words to ask God for something that will reveal that I am where I need to be – or if I’m not, to show me where I need to be. I am encouraged that maybe where I am right now is part of what He is doing in me (instead of thinking that I need to get into a different place since I don’t feel right now what I want to feel.)

I was very touched by your words about writing – that the stirring to write feels distant, and wondering with a bit of sadness if your writing season has come to an end – I write poems and songs mostly as an overflow of my time with God, and lately I haven’t had anything to say . Which leads me to wonder with sadness if the “writing season has come to an end” or worse – if my inability to write might not be reflecting a lack of connection with God, an inability to engage in His word…

I think your writing season hasn’t come to an end – the beauty of “A Mosaic in the Making” and the way it has touched me brings me to a different conclusion about your writing season. And gives me hope for mine.

My current place feels too busy. I feel stagnant because, in my opinion, I don’t have time to think, to reflect…But maybe I can trust that my place of busy-ness is also an appointed place.

Jo Princess Warrior said... Reply to comment

I have so enjoyed your blog and wanted to pass an award onto you that I just received. Just sharing the love!

You hav touched my world more than you will ever realise. xo

Jennifer said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful image you have painted here!! It does sound almost too good to be true... too simple... to wait for HIS stirring. But it is true and it is beautiful!

Visiting my way through Sarah's beauty post links. :)


Simply Sara said... Reply to comment

Being still is SO hard.
I think I'm like my two year old... who has an impossible time sitting still :)
But He is showing me that he is there in my brokenness, as I rest in Him.

What a beautiful post! I love the pictures of the pond rippling and the broken mosaic. said... Reply to comment

You absolutely understood me. You know sometimes it just helps when you feel someone understands. Today feels brighter. The sun is shining (finally!) and I know that I underestimate the effect that the winter season here has on me. But I believe the encouragement I feel right now is very much in response to your words (both your blog entry and your response to me). In any case it's all working together - or rather He is working it all together..

Thank you for understanding, and for praying for some stillness for me that I might be able to hear Him.. I will be watching for it...but even if it doesn't come - "yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Saviour". Because you're right. Even when I don't feel it or see it, He is there.

Colleen said... Reply to comment

Beautiful words. Very encouraging, and so sweet to hear someone's conversation with God! Thanks for sharing, and for visiting my blog too. :)

Laura said... Reply to comment

A mosaic. Yes, that's what you are. Beautiful, colorful piece of art that reflects His glory.

Thank you for the birthday wishes, Jewel-Z! I had a sweet day. Now I'm just older!

Sharon@KeenInspirations said... Reply to comment

"...Mosaics capture beauty through their broken pieces. For in a Mosaic, pieces must be broken to fit the picture." Julie, these words spoke to my heart...the need to be broken ...first.
I'm glad to have found your blog directly and not just through FB.
Following you now!

Jacquelyn Stager said... Reply to comment

What a beautiful post. I often find myself in a similar frame of mind. God's timing is often a puzzle...but when we can't see his hand we can trust his heart. It is such a blessing just to take the time to be still and realize He is right there, always ready to commune with us. I love the image of the ripple effect. So powerful. Thank you for sharing this!

LisaShaw said... Reply to comment


And as you wait for His stirring, enjoy His presence dear sister in Christ.

Love and prayers for you as you soak Him in.

Family, Money and Stuff said... Reply to comment

Oh Julie - I can feel God's love each time I read your posts. I breathe deep as I watch the picture you paint of God - my Father too.

Thank you so much for sharing. I wish I could describe how much it means to me. I am refreshed. Thank you! Praise God for His wonderful work!