Oct 31, 2008
Oct 29, 2008
I may have to stay away from the blog until Saturday, just to "gear up." We'll see. And you, you, and you, really, join this crazy party why don't ya?
Oct 28, 2008
Scary w/ added verse
Originally uploaded by chelled.
Proverbs 16:17: The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; He who watches his way preserves his life.
Being the week of Halloween, I had to use the picture. I took this during our time at the "Pumpkinfest" this past weekend. When this thing, which was huge I might add, came strolling down the road, I almost screamed. No lie. I checked to make sure our baby girl was asleep because surely this thing would cause her tears. It certainly frightened me.
Then I got to thinking that I wish temptation that I face in my everyday life, and I'm not talking the big obvious stuff, but the little things that distract me; I wish they came at me like this thing. Because then, I would notice them immediately, and would know to retreat and choose a different path. But, sometimes Satan is sneaky and evil things sneak in that take time away from God, our families, and opportunities to serve.
My prayer today is that anything that might come between my heavenly Father and I would be noticeable, that it would appear to me as this big scary thing did as we strolled down main street. And more importantly, I pray I react the same: turn, and flee from it.
Enjoy more Word Filled Wednesday by visiting The 160 acre woods.
Oct 27, 2008
"Now as for me, I said in my prosperity, "I will never be moved." O LORD, by Your favor You have made my mountain to stand strong; You hid Your face, I was dismayed."
Beth Moore says the following concerning Psalm 30:6-7 in her Bible Study, Stepping Up (pg 69): David was the first to ascribe his prosperity to the Lord, but somewhere along the way he mistakenly placed his sercurity in the blessing of God rather than God Himself. We often know enought not to ascribe our security to carnal, worldly things. Our greater and slyer temptation is to palce our security in the blessings we readily credit to the Lord.
Even if our security is in something God has given us - our gifts, talents, loved ones, church family, consistent victory, passion for His Word - our seemingly secure mountain ultimately will fall into the sea. We can grow secure in the favor God has shown us, but God's favor and His person are not synonymous. If our trust is in manifestatations of God's favor rather than God Himself, we will crumble like dry clay when He calls us to walk a distance of our journeys entirely by faith and not by sight.
The difference between trusting God and trusting what God has done is a fine line we easily can trip over, falling headlong into a pit just as David feared.
When I came across that section, I stopped, and reread. How many times have I put faith in what God has done, in the works He has done, rather than simply in God? How often have I thanked Him when I saw the good things happening, but forgot those prayers of thanksgiving in times of stillness, in the moments God seemed quiet?
Beth Moore's insight here cause me to pause and check myself, my own heart. Why am I praising God? Thanking Him? Is it simply for the good He has placed in my life, or is it because my heart longs to know my Father and His heart better? I often say I long to know my heavenly Father better. But is that true? Is it Him, or His blessings I want more of?
If I am to be honest, it is both. As wrong as I know that is, it is the truth. But now, with this insight placed before me, I will strive to trust God because of who He is, not because of what He has done. I do not want to crumble or fall away, I want to hear my Father say, "well done, good and faithful servant, well done."
Oct 26, 2008
Oct 24, 2008
I have heard this song over the past week, at various times. At no time, however, was the artist or name of the song given. It was driving me crazy! I had to do a google search using some of the lyrics. Finally, I have found it! Thanks Mr. Jeff Johnson, this is one great song God has given you to sing...thanks for singing it.
Oct 23, 2008
Thanksgiving for Return from Captivity.
A Song of Ascents.
1 When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion, We were like those who dream.
2 Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, "The LORD has done great things for them."
3 The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad.
4 Restore our captivity, O LORD, As the streams in the South.
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Do you see it? That place in between. The place that remembers that great things that have been done and the one that awaits in hopeful expectation. That place between verses 3 and 4 of Psalm 126. These people are remembering being freed from captivity and look forward to the promises that lie ahead. I am in that place.
In her study "Stepping Up," Beth Moore says the following in regard to Psalm 126, "you may be in my position. I am not in peril or a deep valley right this moment, but I have seen huge wonders of God in the past and I want to see them again! As Eugene Peterson writes, 'And now, God do it again!' I want an "again" work of God in my life" (pg 78 in workbook).
As I read those lines, I realized, that so perfectly describes where I am. I am not struggling so badly I can barely see daylight, but I am not rejoicing freely from being freed. I am just here, in the space in between. The space that seems to be neither overly joyful nor overly sorrowful, it is just here, right in the middle. So maybe I am not as dicontented as I thought, but rather, I am waiting in hopeful expectation. I am waiting for God to show himself and his glory, again, in my life. And I know, that is ok. For every season of life, there is a purpose, whether to grow, to strengthen, to learn, to encourage another, or because I can no longer stay where I am. Though I am not sure, fully, what this means, or even how to move out of this place in between, I will hold fast to His promises from Psalm 126: 5-6:
5 Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting.
6 He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, Shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Oct 22, 2008
A different sort of window w/verse
Originally uploaded by chelled.
The voice of my beloved! Behold, he comes, leaping over the mountains, bounding over the hills. My beloved is like a gazelle
or a young stag. Behold, there he stands behind our wall, gazing through the windows, looking through the lattice. (Song of Solomon 2:8-9)
Can you picture it? Like the lover in Song of Solomon, God is leaping and bounding towards us. With grace and strength, He is coming for us! He stands, adoring us, calling us beautiful, as He is drawing us into His arms. How wonderful it is to be His child!
And, the bride knows the voice of her beloved. The sound of his voice alone draws excitement and expectation. Are you that way with your heavenly Father? Do you know His voice? Do His words, His presence, cause you to bubble over with excitement?
Draw near to Him, worship at His throne. Run to meet your beloved as He is calling out to you today. Run into the arms of your first love, and be adored.
To read more lovely posts for Word Filled Wednesday, visit the 160 acre Woods
Oct 21, 2008
Keep in mind that God gave each of us a brain for spiritual reasons as well as intellectual reasons. He doesn't mean for us to unscrew our heads and take them off when we study the Bible. If God says He has us surrounded, yet we feel we've been viciously attacked, He doesn't mind our bringing Him our confusion. Do we reconcile the matter by supposing that God has us surrounded until some great evil breaks His grip? Beloved, if God is not more powerful than all the combined evil in the universe, we are a pitiful people indeed. The same psalm that told us "the angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them" (Ps 34:7, NIV) offers us help balancing the issue. (pg. 72 in workbook)
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Take heart believers! God will allow us to experience life on this earth, but in taking us through various trials, we are learning to trust Him, to lean on Him, and to see Him in action. He has not left your side or forgotten you, He is still there! Praise God!
Oct 20, 2008
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
A friend of mine emailed me today asking for prayers. Essentially, she's thirsty for God. And, you all know that when there is a thirst, that means the "land is dry." I know that feeling well, and it impacts every single area of life. It is not fun, not good, and a sure fire way to know when I am not spending time in the Word or praying.
This afternoon, I emailed her the verse above, and since then, it has been replaying in my mind. I love the idea of God singing, rejoicing, over me. What a beautiful picture of how deeply God loves His children! Today as I played with my little girl, talking to her, singing, and laughing, I realized: God longs to do the same with me. Children have it so together, more so than we give them credit for. They know when to ask for help, when to climb up in their Daddy's lap, and they love to be loved on. No wonder Jesus says we should go to him like children!
Wherever you are, wherever you are at, whatever your situation, God longs for you, He rejoices over you. Climb up into your heavenly Father's lap and allow Him to sing over you, to quiet you, to let you know you are His, and you are loved!
Oct 19, 2008
Despite the cold our little one has, she has been keeping us quite entertained. Thankfully, she slept through the night last night (I won't discuss how she was wide awake at 5am, but whatever, she was asleep before 7pm), and throughout the day has been our source of entertainment. Even yesterday, on little sleep, she was not fussy or anything like that. Thank you Lord! Right now, she's in the living room playing with Daddy. I can hear her "growling" and giggling. Oh dear, she's a funny one. He is trying to get her to figure out how to roll from her belly to her back. Here's the scene:
She's happily on her stomach, sticks her arms in front of her and lifts herself up, decides to roll over, drops her arms to her side, hikes her hiney in the air, and finds herself unable to turn over thanks to her arm, which she's dropped to her side. It is quite comical, but we are hoping she figures this out soon!
Rather than attend our home church, we headed over to hear a friend sing at her place of worship. It was wonderful! We then met up for lunch, and our table was filled with laughter. The weather is cooler, the sun is shining, and we spent the day with people whom we love. Yea, it's pretty much been the perfect day.
Oct 18, 2008
Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my
soul. (Psalm 54:4)
This past week has been an up and down kind of a week for me. So it goes in life, and that is ok. Thank you to those who have commented, and more importantly, to those who have prayed. Of course, I would love the opportunity to be closer to family, but I'm "getting over it" so to speak. Find joy where you are! That's what I keep telling myself.
We got little to no sleep last night, the joys of a five and a half month old enduring a cold and who is also, I believe, teething. Good times people, good times. Bring out the bulb syringe, the tylenol, and lose your sanity along the way! Hopefully she, and we, will get some sleep tonight. Luckily, she has been in a good mood in spite of the vast quantities of snot flowing from her nostrils. This afternoon she started laughing, and I mean a deep down belly laugh. She even paused, sighed, and started again. Andy and I were almost in tears from joining in on the laughter. Our girl, she's a funny one.
And finally, the bullet list:
- We may try some churches closer to our home soon. I really want to know more people where I live. However, I'm not sure we'll find the high quality preaching we get now. We'll see.
- When I pull up my blog, there is random "flick'r" writing all over the place. Strange. I have know clue if others are seeing this. (are you?)
- Some friends are expecting a little boy in 3 weeks, I cannot wait to meet him!
- Volleyball is becoming less fun, and I don't know how long I'll go up to play. Bad attitudes, too many young kids, and poor play, not a good combination.
- I need more crockpot recipes. Oh wait, I have a cookbook full of them. I need to go through said cookbook.
- My husband stayed up most of last night with little one, he rocks.
- Little one makes growling "ahhhhh" noises all the time, it's hysterical.
- Autumn has arrived, and the cooler temps are fabulous!
- I love lists!!!!
- I don't have anymore points to make.
Oct 16, 2008
"Those who hope in Me will not be disappointed" Isaiah 49:23
I found this image on Photobucket just now, and I love it. Just looking at it stills my heart and leads it to a place of peace. It is so lovely.
Rain is falling outside (duh) and little one has been asleep for three hours now. Since she hasn't been feeling that well, thanks to what I think is teething, and her not sleeping well last night, I'm thankful she is taking such a long nap. But in the quiet, my mind is all over the place, truly.
More and more lately, I have been walking with discontentedness as my companion. Why this is, I am not fully sure. I do know that my heart longs to be closer to family. I miss them, deeply. I always have, but now, with a child, I want to be closer. This is nothing new, it's really not, but the feelings are being amplified each day.
What I do know is that I do not like this feeling. It is like having a dark cloud follow me everywhere that I go. I hate that! I know the verses that have to do with the situation, I know what the Word says in regards to this. Trust me, I do. And maybe that is part of the problem. I am not reading the Word like I should and need, and am not spending time to hear from God. Yes, that is probably the vast majority of the problem. But when I speak to Him, my heart cries out, "move us closer to family sweet Lord, please move us closer."
The first one, Life Without Limbs, about Nick Vujicic. His website states, "I was born without arms or legs and given no medical reason for this condition. Faced with countless challenges and obstacles, God has given me the strength to surmount what others might call impossible. Along with that, the Lord has placed within me an unquenchable passion to share this same hope and genuine love that I’ve personally experienced with more than two million people all over the globe."
Their mission is "to cross boundaries and break down barriers to build bridges that bring people to the love and hope found in Jesus Christ. Colossians 1:28 says, "We proclaim Him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ." Because of Nick's unique personal story, he is able to speak to groups of all kinds. It gives him entree with both the young and old, impoverished, imprisoned, business people, children, young people, peoples of all races, those with disabilities and those without them."
Secondly, for any of you who have completed a marathon, half marathon, or triathalon, you need to check out Medals for Mettle. "Medals4Mettle (M4M) is a non-profit organization founded in Indianapolis, Indiana, in 2005. Its mission is to celebrate and reward the individual and collective courage of all human beings by facilitating the gifting of marathon finisher’s medals from marathoners to people who have demonstrated similar mettle, or courage. The recipients can be any age and might have exhibited such mettle by dealing with disease, handicaps or any similar challenge. Marathon runners around the world, and others who have won medals, give their medals to Medals4Mettle. Then our nationwide network of physicians and others award these medals to those who might not be able to run a marathon, but are in their own marathon to continue to live their life. As marathoners run through the streets, large crowds cheer the runners for their effort. Medals4Mettle lets these runners, healthy enough to compete in such an event, to return the cheers to those who have supported them."
If you are interested in donating, click here.
Oct 14, 2008
"Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it's in your power to help them." (Proverbs 3:27)
I took this picture while we were out and about on Sunday. My first thought, hey, a verse, I can use it for Word Filled Wednesday! Seriously, that was one of my first thoughts. But then, I really like the verse too.
When it is in our power to help others, do we? Or, do we claim we are "too busy" to lend a hand, an ear, or whatever is needed at the time? Are we too wrapped up in our own lives to even notice the needs of others? Our society seems to put value on those whose lives are nonstop, always on the go, and with a full calendar. It is sad really. We cram our lives with so much on our "to do" lists, that we forget to interact, and I mean really interact with one another, much less help them.
My challenge today then, is if you see someone in need, no matter how small, slow down long enough to help.
Oh, and the fact below the sign says, "Please stay on the path"? Well, that just makes me smile. Wonder how often God is saying that?
For more, go to:
"What is church for, dear?" Uncle Philip asked quietly.
"Why...why, it's so that we will all feel uplifted, of course. It's to remind us that God is love." pg 105 of Lynn Austin's "Candle in the Darkness"
When I read that last night, I laughed, out loud. In fact, I had to share it with Andy. I couldn't help but think that is the very problem that most people have with church today. Please, no conviction, no accountability, do not tell me there is a clear line between right and wrong, just tell me God loves me. Make me feel good about myself because I cannot bear to face the truth! Oh my, it makes me laugh even now.
Part of knowing God's love is knowing His discipline and the fact there are consequences for actions. But no, we do not want to hear that part of the Truth. That might....hurt. In fact, it might make me admit my need for Him, and *gasp* others. Accepting that, maybe, just maybe means I am incomplete without Him. I would have to acknowledge the fact I am a sinner in need of a God who is loving, yes, but also requires change.
Oct 11, 2008
As he sat holding her, she just stared up at him with intense fascination. And then, as he began talking to her, she smiled and cooed, and batted her eyes. He said when he comes back, to not worry, because no one is going to mess with her! And he said it with the fierceness of a big brother. It was a short visit, but sweet and wonderful. I'm so proud of him, and look forward to watching life unfold for him.
Oct 7, 2008
Laughter is good
Originally uploaded by chelled.
Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before Him with joyful singing. (Psalm 100:2)
This picture is of me, nice and pregnant, and in a fit of laughter thanks to a game at a baby shower that was thrown for me. And you know what? I love this picture. I love that I can instantly remember laughing that hard, being out of breath from the laughter, and wiping my eyes because of it. I can hear the women in the room joining in, hear the sweet sound of giggles bouncing off the walls.
My prayer is that when I serve God, no matter the type of service, that I have a joyful spirit, and serve with gladness. No matter how tired, no matter how much I do not understand, I want others to see the joy of God in me.
Is serving God difficult? Sometimes, yes, but then, he promised an eternal life, not an easy one. Will there be challenges, obstacles, and my own selfishness in the way at times? Probably so. But if the thought of God, and all He has done for me, does not bring a smile to my face, I have much bigger problems.
I pray each of you, reading this, have moments of complete and utter joy today, that your hearts are filled with gladness, and that laughter bubbles forth from your very Spirit. It is good to be His kid!
*husband is out of town, who knows what Wednesday will look like, so yes, I published this Tuesday evening. Does that make me a cheater?
Oct 6, 2008
What a fabulous evening! I walked outside thanks to a loud *BOOM* against our garage. Figuring it was some kids losing control on their bikes, I went out to check for any damage (to the garage mind you, kids are tough). A little girl was riding a motorized little scooter and chose our driveway to turn around in. Well, she attempted to turn around anyway. Instead, she veered right for our garage, crashed, picked herself and the scooter up, turned them both around, and away they went.
As I stepped outside, I spotted one of my neighbors whom I have never had the opportunity to really talk to. Since I had the little one in my arms, she instantly came over. And you know what? I am so glad she did. We chatted for quite a while, and she was kind enough to roll up our hose for me since I was holding the kiddo. A nice talk, and kindness on display! What a wonderful evening indeed! She even offered to take care of our kiddo if Andy and I need a date night, or just need to get out. Since she is not working, she also offered to care for her if I needed to get out to do some errands. So nice of her! Granted, I think I will spend some time with her long before I leave my kid with her, but still, the offer was nice.
That got me to thinking, "wow, it would be so nice to be out here talking to the folks I live by more often." I would love to have that feeling of community in my actual community. Step by step I guess. I now know the neighbors on either side and the family across the street. Progress! Maybe if my neighbor builds that fire pit, as she said she wants to do, we can make that happen. Oh boy, I get excited just thinking about it.
Now go, shoo, meet your neighbors!
Oct 5, 2008
1. What time did you get up this morning?
Woke up at 6:40, all on my own
2. Diamonds or pearls?
Diamonds…they are a girl's best friend...right?!?! lol
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
American Carol (Andy chose it, don't waste your money)
4. What is your favorite TV show?
5. What do you usually have for breakfast?
AdvoCare Meal replacement shake
6. What is your middle name?
7. What food do you dislike?
liver?!?! I'm sure there are lots more, but I'm sleepy
8. What is your favorite CD at moment?
Casting Crowns, Shawn McDonald, Kelly Clarkson, Plumb are usually playing
9. What kind of car do you drive?
10. Favorite Sandwich?
turkey and cheese...grilled
11. What characteristic do you despise?
dishonesty (in myself and others) - I'm sticking with Katie's answer
12. Favorite item of clothing?
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?
14. Favorite brand of clothing?
whatever is least expensive and fits
15. Where would you retire to?
a cabin in the mountains
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday?
This year's birthday, I had my little girl 27 days prior
17. Favorite sport to watch?
18. When is your birthday?
19. Are you a morning person or night?
morning, I love mornings, especially when I get to have time alone!
20. What is your shoe size?
No, but if we had a fence, I would get a dog or two
22. Any new and exciting news you would like to share with us???
None that I can think of.
23. What did you want to be when you were little?
24. How are you today?
25. What is your favorite candy?
Reeses PB Cups
26. What is your favorite flower?
27. What is a day on your calendar you are looking forward to?
Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we'll see family!
28. What is your full name?
Prefer not to share that on this here public blog thanks
29. What are you listening to right now?
30. What was the last thing you ate?
Birthday cake and ice cream (don't worry, hittin' the gym in the a.m.)
31. Do you wish on stars?
no, I pray instead
32. If you were a crayon what color would you be?
fire engine red
33. How is the weather right now?
nice and cool
34. The first person you spoke to on the phone today?
35. Favorite soft drink?
vanilla cream soda
36. Favorite Restaurant?
Leo's Mexican Restaurant in El Paso, TX
37. Real Hair Color?
38. What was your favorite toy as a child?
My many stuffed animals, mainly, my orange dog (I still have it!)
39. Summer or winter?
Winter - I hate hot weather
40. Hugs or kisses?
Both! unless of course I don't know you or you are a male whom I am not related to
41. Chocolate or vanilla?
42. Coffee or tea?
43. When was the last time you cried?
This morning at church, singing some praise songs while looking at my daughter who was smiling laughing
44. What is under your bed?
a bin of clothes
45. What did you do last night?
Candle party, helped my husband pack for a work trip
46. What are you afraid of?
something happening to my daughter
47. Salty or sweet?
Depends on my mood
48. How many keys on your key ring?
49. How many years at your current job?
50. Favorite day of the week?
Saturday and Sunday
51. How many places have you lived in?
3 states, 11 cities
52. Do you make friends easily?
I suppose I do!
And now (drum roll please): Kate, Rachel, Deidra, Amy, and Suzanne...TAG!!!YOU.ARE.IT!!! You know the drill, copy, paste, repeat...
Oct 4, 2008
I was not the kid who was going to go out and party, or have sex, or any of that. I was just the girl who was pretty unsure of herself, wondered if she would ever be good enough, could be deeply hurt by the words of others, and so desperately wanted to just belong, somewhere. Oh, every now and then a kind of superiority complex crept in, "well, at least I'm not a fool like that kid," and things like that. But at the time, I still thought I was pretty ok. And then, the Lord spoke, and surprisingly, I listened.
God beckoned me, "come, you are mine." I was a freshman in highschool, knowing it was time to commit to Him or stop pretending. I was at a Disciple Now event, and this time when God spoke, I answered. It was an exciting time, one that made sense to me due to the Truth being spoken in my life.
Over the years, as God has graciously and mercifully dealt with me, in moments of anger, in moments of self-righteousness, in moments fully wrapped up in myself. He protected me in situations when I was in places I didn't belong, and had no business going to in the first place. In the first year of marriage, when I was struggling and wondering if my decision to say yes was even right, God began showing me how to be a wife to my husband. With His loving hand, He drew my husband and I closer to one another and knit our hearts together. Six months later, when my nephew died, entirely too soon in my opinion, God showed up, wrapped His arms around my family, and held on tightly. He used a little boy, just shy of his first birthday, to bring others to Himself.
For two years, we wondered if we would be able to have a child. Two years of praying, trusting God, and refusing tests doctors suggested because we believed God's sovereignty over science. And two years later, I was pregnant with our first child. We asked what we should name this child, and again, God spoke. Her name? It means "life," and oh how fitting my Lord, how fitting! Four days before she was born, we were sent to the hospital because her heartbeat was weak and irregular. As fear gripped its ugly hands around my throat, you reminded me, "her name is life." And she was born, healthy, lively, and beautiful.
The course of my life has been full of God's workmanship. I have been spared from any forms of abuse, my parents are still married, and I get along well with my entire family. To say I have been blessed, well, that is an understatement. I often wonder why God has allowed my life to be free from so much when others it seems are constantly being thrown into the fires of hell. But, it is my story. It is the story God has written for my life. This is the path I must walk to see Him better, to hear Him more clearly, to reflect Him more brilliantly. There came a moment when I had to stop asking why I was spared from so many different circumstances, and had to start praising Him for where I am, where I have been, and for where He is leading me now.
As I look into the eyes of my five month old daughter, she is God's love and grace personified. She is the very essence of His love and adoration. As I look at her, I know God, in turn, is looking on me, and smiling. He cheers for every lesson I learn, for my progress, and when I call out for help. Each moment I am delighting in her, for no other reason than she is mine, God whispers, "child, that is how I feel about you!" My heart is softened, my spirit humbled, when I think about all the things He has done.
When I Think About The Lord
written by: James Huey
When I Think about the Lord,
How He saved me,
how He raised me,
how He filled me with the Holy Ghost.
How He healed me to the uttermost.
When I Think about the Lord,
how He picked me up and turned me around,
how He placed my feet on solid ground
It makes me wanna shout,
Thank you JESUS,
LORD, your worthy, of all the glory,
and all the honor, and all the praise... (Repeat*)
My heart is breaking a little bit this morning. Not for myself really, but for so many situations happening around me. And, it makes me wonder.
I wonder how different our world would be if the focus was off of "me".
I wonder how differently his life would have turned out if someone recognized the signs a little sooner.
I wonder where she would be if someone told her what love truly was when she was younger, or better yet, shown her.
I wonder what would happen if we authentically cared about one another.
I wonder how our perspective might change if we loved better.
I wonder how the world might change if Christians dropped their legalism and began to serve, becoming the hands and feet of Christ.
I wonder what it might be like to care more about the lost than my status in society.
I wonder if we will ever "get it" this side of Heaven.
As I have been reconnecting with friends from years ago (gotta love the internet), I have also been hearing their stories. I realize how wrapped up in myself I was during highschool and college because their stories are heartbreaking, jaw dropping, and I had no idea. None, clueless. I was too wrapped up in myself to be aware how deep the hurt was in another's life. I.hate.that. There is no way to change or alter the past, but I can learn from it, move forward, and do better now.
So it is with grace, a second chance, an opportunity to make some changes. In a sense, redemption is being granted. I am moving on, trying to love better, listen more, and care less about sounding like I have it all together. We are a broken people, deeply in need of one another. And I have found, this life is a little bit easier, that the valleys aren't so deep, when I allow someone to walk beside me.
Father, help me to love others, well. Show me those who are in need of a kind word, a gentle hug, or someone to listen. When others cry out, let me not be so wrapped up in myself to not hear them. Lord, I want to love like you do, knowing the sacrifice that requires. But isn't life sweeter that way? Forgive me Lord for not being an example of who you truly are, for being so inwardly focused. Your people were created for YOUR glory, not our own. May my life reflect that Lord. Free me of myself to be fully, wholly, yours. Amen.