The strength of MOI doesn’t come from all the good advice we’ll give each other.
I have a theory that you should never own a piece of art unless it speaks to you. A few years ago this painting fairly shouted at me. If you have time, I hope you can stop and look at it for a minute. I started by looking at the people. I wondered what was going on -- what were they looking at? I thought if it had been painted to- day they’d all be looking at cell phones. Did your eye follow the line to the ladder, too? I realized that there was something on the sign. -- It took a second to see what it says. “Lift Up Thine Eyes” -- which is also the name of the painting. That caused me to do just that. My eye found the beautiful church (which is a depiction of St. Thomas’ Church in NYC) and the apostles and then the birds, until my eyes lifted up and my gaze moved right off the painting. As soon as it happened, I laughed out loud. Norman Rockwell and his painting had literally caused me to “lift up my eyes.” I kept thinking and smiling about it for days. I wanted to look up the reference and found several -- especially in Isaiah -- but I especially connected to this one: Isaiah 40:26 (talking about the stars in heavens): “Lift up your eyes on high, and behold who hath created these things, that bringeth out their host by number: he calleth them all by names by the greatness of his might, for that he is strong in power; not one faileth.” That has become my motto. Over and over again, since Marlene has helped me see the pattern for learning, I’ve had opportunities to put my trust in one of two places. The first is to lean on other people, on structure, in the familiar mapped-out paths and in the things I can build myself. The other has been to pioneer my way with God as a guide. Marlene calls this flipping the tower. This means turning to Him first and waiting on His direction when we don’t know what to do. I’ve learned that sometimes the most challenging part is getting out of the way and simply letting God customize answers and experiences. Pioneering isn’t for the faint of heart -- but I supposed that’s the point. So what does this have to do with MOI? We hope you’ve sensed by now that the strength of MOI doesn’t come from all the good advice we’ll give each other. It comes from the shared growth experience. It’s been said that the world works from the outside in, but that God works from the inside outward. Everything magnifies under His care. As MOIers we’re women learning how to let God work inside of us even more. With His help, we’re deepening our roots, increasing our inspired growth, and cultivating an encircling reach. Love, Marley