You’re Beautiful

“I see Your face in every sunrise
The colors of the morning are inside Your eyes
The world awakens in the light of the day
I look up to the sky and say 
You’re beautiful. 

I see Your power in the moonlit night
Where planets are in motion and galaxies are bright
We are amazed in the light of the stars
It’s all proclaiming who You are
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful

I see you there hanging on a tree
You bled and then you died and then you rose again for me
Now you are sitting on Your heavenly throne
Soon we will be coming home
You’re beautiful, you’re beautiful

When we arrive at eternity’s shore
Where death is just a memory and tears are no more
We’ll enter in as the wedding bells ring 
Your bride will come together and we’ll sing
You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful

I see Your face, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
I see Your face, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful
I see Your face, I see Your face
I see Your face, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful, You’re beautiful.”

Phil Wickham

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the monster we call self

For far too long we have blamed someone or something else for being unhappy.

Even once removing myself from environments that used control and power as a crutch, I have found that ingrained in me is a spirit of disatisfaction. And so we cling to people we think we need to make us happy and clutch possessions that we think will provide what we finally believe will fill that void and we shove more delicacies into our mouths hoping that icecream will be the ticket to happiness.

Yet all too often we come up short and we still don’t get it. We still stuff and cling and grasp and clutch and hope that we win the lottery even though we don’t play. And yet Jesus says that to have life is to lose it. Where does grasping come into play when we’re supposed to be loosing everything? We bind instead of loosing. We cling instead of letting go. We demand instead of conceding. And we wonder why we aren’t happy.

It is much easier to focus on the things that make us “unhappy”– the circumstances that aren’t how we would choose them or the people who annoy the ever-loving fire out of us or the politics that lie or the money that never seems to be enough. So the dishes in the sink and the hollowed-out strawberries in the refrigerator waiting for cheesecake stuffing and the grass on the floor can become so overwhelming that we miss that we are eating- and not hungry- and tasting yumminess -with friends who love us- and mowing -in beautiful long-awaited weather. For every negative there seems to be a positive and yet human nature desires that we focus on what we can complain about. Whining never changed anything.

Unless you count the monster it makes of us.

So as I walk around and tidy my bookstore and regain order from customer chaos, I choose to be grateful that I have a mess to clean up because it means there have been smiling faces there that day and people we’ve had the opportunity to bless AND get a blessing from. And I pick up a journal and flip it open to a blank page and see Proverbs 15:15 written at the bottom and tears well up in my eyes. Because in God’s graciousness I have finally understood what it means to let go of my bitterness towards things that have made me unhappy in the past and instead let them point me to the Savior who takes all burdens and heals all wounds and actually provides joy in the journey if I allow it. When the natural response is to focus on what we don’t have but instead we are intentional about dwelling on the blessings we do have. 

And we stop letting people tell us that we’ll never be content because it IS possible. Even with dishes in the sink and strawberries to fill and laundry to dry and floors to mop. It is an ATTITUDE of the heart that makes us cheerful. It may or may not help us accomplish more. But maybe it’s not only the destination that’s important but also the climb. God rewards motives more than results.

And so today I stop reasoning and simply rest. Trusting that whatever His plan contains is better for me than anything I could’ve dreamed up. He is the Grand Secret-Keeper.

Only the seekers find the secret.

And so it turns out that the happiest people aren’t the ones who have perfect lives. They are the ones who focus on the good things in life and rebuke negative and angry thoughts. They are the ones who put down the brownie so they can feast on God’s Word.  They are the ones who die to the monster inside and invite the Master in. And we find that they are satisfied continually.

All the days of the desponding and afflicted are made evil [by anxious thoughts and forebodings], but he who has a glad heart has a continual feast.” Proverbs 15:15, AMP

A miserable heart means a miserable life; a cheerful heart fills the day with song.” Proverbs 15:15, MSG

Eviction Notice

Do you ever have “one of those weeks”? When you don’t want to wake up and face the known, or worse yet, the unknown? When you want to leave your phone off so you don’t get any more bad news? When you want to stop living because it’s just. too. hard?

The enemy has tried his dead-level best in my 27 short years to make sure I know that I am not valuable, unlovable, not capable. Not funny enough, not skinny enough, not good enough. Not enough.

And just when I think I’ve replaced his lies with God’s truth, a different circumstance with a very familiar underpinning comes back to haunt me and I find myself once again in the labyrinth of confusion and poor self-talk.

And once you start believing something? You start living it.

As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.

If he can get us to question our value to God, or to begin to wonder if He really loves us, or ask why He would do such things to us, he knows we will eventually start interpreting life with the burnt-orange colored glasses of hell’s fire. We will actually start seeing circumstances as reinforcements of the truth we have begun to believe.

I can’t believe they won’t return my phone call. They never did love me more than everyone else in their lives.

I knew he wouldn’t stick around forever. People always leave. Why do I insist on getting attached?

I could turn my phone off for an entire week and no one would notice that I’m gone. The impression I’m leaving on the world holds so much magnitude I could measure it with a teaspoon.

It starts with one statement and escalates to several mini-statements and thoughts and just that quick he’s got us. 

Because then we become cynical and bitter and it eventually leads to an egotistical attitude or one of severe depression. Or worse, BOTH.

And he has us right where he wants us.

Hey, you? We have a choice in the part we play in this story. We can choose to sit aside idly letting bitterness soak into our veins. Or we can choose victory. Joy in the face of despair. Gratitude on the brink of untimely affairs. Peace in the midst of the war for our soul.

We get to choose whether we believe the lie. Whether we let down the guard to our heart and believe the untruth that we are not valuable, not lovable, not beautiful.

But Jesus didn’t fight for a worthless, unlovable, ugly bride. Beyond that, He will one day present us without anymore blemishes and faults before all of heaven. And the accuser will be no more.

The accuser can accuse only as long as we allow him to. He may have more than enough evidence of our darkness to pronounce us guilty, but it is overcome by the blood of the Lamb. Satan’s accusations count for nothing at the foot of the cross.

Are the accusations coming at you like a ton of bricks? Are you believing the lies that your heart, your deceitful heart, are telling you? Then perhaps you may have relocated.

Don’t let the enemy evict you. Get back to the foot of the cross. Get your body, mind, spirit, soul, and attitudes back to the place where your heart first found redemption. The accuser cannot and will not reside there.

God hasn’t moved.

Hey, me? It’s time to pick up some change of address forms.

Hey, devil? I’m tired of you getting the upper hand. This time, I’m calling you what you are. A liar.

My deliverance is coming.

Today….

What do you do when the deal falls through and the favorites move and the thing you have pursued for decades seems to vanish? How do you face a new chapter in your life when the last chapter didn’t look like you thought it would and in fact, you might be in a different BOOK? 

What can you rely on when you have no one to lean on?

Today, I was struck with this…So many indications of His promise to be not only not against us but for us.

There is no want to them that fear Him. Psalm 34:9

Who can remember a time when they had no wants?

And…

They that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.. :10

Can we trust Him to give us ALL GOOD THINGS? We say we do, but when the husband leaves and the children go astray and the raise doesn’t come we start to question. 

And this…

The Lord redeems the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate. :22.

So to us, who are in a state of bleak and dismal emptiness… we don’t have to be. 

If. We. Trust.

At times all of us need to be pointed back to our nucleus. Most days I find myself saying, “I HATE being human.” But if we embrace it and just realize that there are times that we need to go back to square one and trust, we won’t resist the change as much. 

If we only communicate with Him when things are going really bad, then why are we surprised when He continues sending really bad? 

What choice do we give Him? 

For the desolate and the ones who don’t believe and the heartbroken, He is the choice. The choice to trust that He withholds no good thing. The choice to believe. The choice to give God a choice. 

Fleeting

Squeezing in another load of laundry at 5 p.m., I was hoping there would be time to hang the clothes out and still get some sun. As I drape them one by one over the line, I am dismayed to see that there is still soap residue on the jeans. So the scare of a broken washer sends us scrounging for owner’s manuals and past receipts from the last time it was fixed.

Panic and frustration threatened to ruin a perfect good weekend. Instead of hanging out with friends or doing something fun, Saturday night was spent surrounded by piles of bills, receipts, budget plans that were not met, and various paperwork to be organized. The feeling of accomplishment was worth something, but the feeling of sadness was pervasive. Miraculously, the second load of laundry, albeit with only one article of clothing in it, managed to agitate and spin like it was created to. I breathed a sigh of relief, mostly to convince myself that it was a permanent fix and not that one load done properly was a false hope like last time.

Time has a way of deceiving us that fleeting things are all-important.

A rather new friend of mine had told me earlier that week that she was moving soon, rather unexpectedly. I was sad that we had only really just gotten to know one another and just that quickly, she was on her way. She had asked me to save some boxes for her, and as I contemplated the rest of my evening, I wondered if I could drop them off for her. But another sigh escaped as I remembered the half-washed load of laundry and the unswept floors and all the things I wanted to accomplish before the week’s end. Not much time left now.

I brought in the laundry that inevitably didn’t dry much in the setting sun and banished each piece to the drying rack. As I draped a mismatched sock over the bar, Jesus’ words came flooding into my soul.

“For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me.” Mark 14:7

Oh, how I wish I had you here with me, Jesus. I wouldn’t ever struggle with what to do if You were by my side.

Just as quickly… I am here. Deep breath. Yes. How often I forget.

And by the way, you would still struggle with sitting at my feet while there was laundry to do, Martha.

Well, then.

I hate to admit He’s probably right.

Maybe it was the paraphrasing Scripture exercise in my Stronger Bible study yesterday, but my heart immediately searched for a practical interpretation to my immediate situation.

For the laundry you have always with you, and whenever you want, you can clean to your heart’s desire. But you will not always have PEOPLE.

The case was settled in my heart and mind. I grabbed my keys and headed out the door. People always trump housework. An encouraged heart is always greater than a mopped floor. I have all too often put people on the backburner hoping that the time spent achieving perfection in my home would take the clutter and noise out of my life and bring me happiness. But you know, everytime I clean a toilet, it eventually needs to be cleaned. Again. And a clean toilet feels good momentarily, but it doesn’t bring lasting meaning.

The person in my life right now may only be Here. Right. Now. And so I must abide in the here and now, knowing that all too quickly it slips through my fingers.

Whether it is delivering moving boxes, loving on a half dozen kids so their mommy can have a breather, or taking roses to widows on Valentine’s Day, it could be the one impression they never forget.

And you might even hear these words whispered, “I knew you wouldn’t forget me on this day.”

All In

Paradoxes. The Bible is packed with them. There are seven right off the bat:

Exaltation through humility (James 4:10).

Strength through weakness (22 Cor. 12:10).

Receiving through giving (Acts 20:35).

Freedom through servitude (Romans 6:18).

Gaining through losing (Phil. 3:7-8) (Mark 8:36, 10:29-30).

Living through dying (John 12:24).

Finding through losing (Matt. 10:39).

One story in the Bible that I have not seemed to grasp is Abraham going up the mountain to offer his son as a living sacrifice to the Lord. Even though the ten commandments were not intact at this point, we are told that God never changes his identity. Therefore, I have always struggled with the fact that God would ask Abraham to murder. Not just anyone. His son. And to burn him as incense to the Lord. And did I mention that this was the son of promise? God had long before promised Abraham a son in his old age. Abraham wasn’t getting any younger. And yet, it appeared as if God was asking him to start over at square one and kill the very blessing God had given him.

Would we be faithful if commissioned to the same task? We think of the things we love and if we were honest, we clasp our hands tighter around those things as we think of being asked to give them up. The tears sting. It is almost unbearable. Why would God be an Indian giver? Why would He give only to take away? Could we say with Job, “The Lord gives and takes away. Blessed be the name of the Lord!”?

Pretty sure the answer is no.

And yet those are the things that the Lord pinpoints. They are the things vying for attention and competing for our affection. Our God is jealous for us, and He wants nothing to come between us and Him. So while He loves enough to give good gifts, He loves too much to allow those same gifts to destroy.

This is why He waited. Abraham had a history of putting the Lord first. As a general rule, the Lord said “go” and Abraham asked “how high?” He packed his bags and went without an inkling of the destination, for Pete’s sake. The man didn’t cling to anything. He gave his nephew the best of the land, he gave up his cattle, and he risked his own life for his relatives. But then came Isaac.

And Isaac stole his heart. Isaac was the one thing he never thought he’d have in this world. A SON. Think of how glorious the day was when he was born and Abraham hobbled over to look at his face. His son of laughter. And I believe at that point, even in his nineties, Abraham’s whole world changed. That boy became everything. He became his world.

And God just needed to know one thing. He needed to know that Abraham still loved Him…more than anything else. And especially more than his son.

We think that is a harsh request. But you see, soon enough God would send His only Son to die for Abraham. And for you and me. And God just needed Abraham to prove that He would do the same for Him.

God doesn’t take captives. He gives free will and allows us to love Him if we will. And once He has our love, He will woo us every time we run away. A romance with God is of the deepest kind. With God, an affair doesn’t mean divorce. It means full-out pursuit. No one can serve two masters at the same time, anyway. God has no rivals and He refuses to compete with anyone.

So we ask God what it is that we possess– likely something He has been very intentional about giving to us– that means the most? Who is the person that He has given us that we can’t imagine life without? What is the thing we thought we’d never have on this earth?

He is asking us to sacrifice it. In order to have more of His blessings and commune with Him more intimately, we must choose a favorite. He will not be pushed aside while we pursue other endeavors. And furthermore, it is unkind and unrighteous of us to ask Him to, after the sacrifice He willingly made for us.

God wasn’t asking Abraham to kill his son that day. He was asking him to sacrifice his pride and joy. To give up his rights so he could receive the fullness of God. To die to his own affections and begin living to God’s desires. To find God’s strength at the end of his weak sword.

To lose what he thought he would never have so that he could find what he had always possessed.

Jesus wants it all. He deserves it all. He gave all and He can take all. He wants us to love Him most of all and proclaim Him all in all.

Are you all in?

 

Stuck

“It wasn’t until I decided to give up on my relationship and let the Lord have control that we were able to make amends. We found our true purpose and got our priorities in line and then we were able to love each other properly. It’s been a rough road, but I know we’re both better for it.”

I took a long sip of my cold ChickFilA Coke. I understood what she was saying. When it seems that everything is coming crashing down, that’s when we find out that God’s plan was waiting to surface. We were too busy kicking our feet and trying to save ourselves. In the process, we wore ourselves out and just when we thought there was no hope for us, we see the Savior beneath us, ready to carry us to safety. We are relieved. And we feel REALLY stupid.

Lately, it seems as if I’m using the words “I feel stuck” a lot. Knee deep in house plans, our budget continues to soar and our funds seem to diminish. I am fearful to plan because I don’t want to build something half-way, only to find out that it wasn’t what we wanted but now we are stuck. Heart-invested in a relationship that I think I can’t live without and yet am finding resistance at every turn. Crazy-scheduled so that there is barely move to breathe, but all the things are good and ministry and things I want to do. But I feel over-loaded.

Stuck sucks.

And then along comes the most horrible wonderful thing. A new-found discovery that means we can’t build until June. A week without contact and I recognize the feelings of withdrawal but am grateful for fewer distractions and more time with my Jesus. An unpredictable snow day which canceled my busiest day that week.  I realized that Jesus was underneath, trying to save me the whole time. But I was paddling too hard to notice.

It seems that when something goes from being a blessing to distracting me from the Lord, it is no longer the best thing for me.

Maybe until something dies, it can’t truly live.

But I am scared to let go. The dreams I have and the activities I find fulfillment in and the relationships with people I love. I think of what I am losing and anticipate my life without them and I feel empty. But I am not focusing on what I am saying yes to.

It is these crossroads that are often the proving grounds for what God is going to do. And I am coming to embrace the unknown and look with expectancy to what God is going to do. And He always comes through and never sells me short.

Life is beautiful. But attitude is everything. A heart cannot be content when negativity abounds in it. When we can begin to look at true life as death, one of two things will happen. We’ll either realize that the life we were living wasn’t abundant, and that the life He has for us is way better than anything we conjured up. Or, we’ll come to grips with the fact that the new life we have found in the absence (of whatever we thought we needed to live) is actually better than what we had before. And almost always, I’ll have a better attitude about it because I have given up control.

Perhaps being stuck is a wonderful place to be. Stuck between God’s grace and mercy, with nowhere to go except to find God at every turn.

I Think I Can

Bookbags scattered along the floor in the entryway. Lunch boxes strewn across kitchen countertops. Socks under barstools were  the only thing that remained of them. Outside the French doors, ruddy-faced children were jumping on the trampoline in the crisp afternoon air. 

Four young’n’s had become six overnight. Just when they had gotten in the groove of four– because heaven help us all, four is quite a handful– the call came and offered them two more. And they caved to the pressure– and to the compassion– and opened their arms to receive two more to become part of their family. And then there were eight. Eight loads of laundry a week and eight dinner dishes to scrub and eight fingerprints all over everything. 

And when they arrived, every ounce of organization was squelched as they accommodated two more and added bunk beds and put two children in each room. When the kids got home from school, library books went flying and sandwich boxes went piling and mama went floundering.

I had witnessed enough foster families to know the chaos that can thrive in the lives of those who submit to the adjustment. Who cave to the Lord’s direction and mumble yes, even if just under their breath while holding it, eager and yet defying the change to come.

And the surprising thing? With each pair of shoes flung against the wall, grace falls. Despite the small daycare and the feet flying and the voices hollering, the only thing I could feel in that house was peace. It smacked me in the face when I walked through the door.

The oldest let me in and went to announce my arrival. I heard someone ask if I was the babysitter.

As she gave me a tour, she told me her story and picked up toys off the floor and hung up jackets and yet the overriding feeling I had was calm. And as the baby squalled and the new girl asked to draw and the big boys asked for snacks, she replied in a calm voice that I couldn’t be sure was not just for company. And yet grace came from her words– no matter what they were. 

Sometimes our tone reminds us of what our internal condition should be. But more likely, our words will reveal what is inside. And I could sense peace– amidst confusion and overwhelming feelings and perhaps a little hint of denial– but there was no mistaking that it was there. 

How often does the clutter in life drowned out the voice of Jesus? Some clutter is unavoidable, because a life lived well can be messy. And it is possible that the messiest lives can be the most meaningful. Some clutter is what we add to our own plates– events we wanted to participate in or projects we wanted to do or things we just had to have. Over time, we find ourselves choking– choking out the most important things because of our busyness. And usually, the Lord is the first thing to go to the backburner.

I speak from experience. 

We scheduled my next visit and she briefed me on the routine and I assured her that I would help in any way I could. My time was limited, but I was very happy to help. My offering of two hours a week was like a million to her.

As I left, she thanked me. And after a second’s thought, she thanked me more specifically for initiating help. “Because I wouldn’t have known what help I needed or how to ask.”

Because sometimes the people who need the most help don’t ask. And maybe simply an invitation will provoke all manner of relief. That they are not alone. That there is hope. That they can do this.

That’s how Jesus operates. He offers help before we request it. Because sometimes we don’t realize how much we need it. It’s so easy to forget the grace that is at our disposal if we only would tap into it. He came to give life. But not just any life. Life. More. Abundant.

“When you got here, they asked me if you were a babysitter. I told them, ‘She’s my hero.’” 

I said goodbye to her and the children and breathed a prayer as I left. I asked to be worthy of my title. To be the best hero that a girl in a pair of jeans and Sperrys could be. I wasn’t slaying dragons, but I was slaying discouragement. I also prayed that I would be willing to accept the heroes that God sends my way instead of trying to do it all myself. To accept grace. As I walked to the driveway, I felt a little lighter as my own burdens fell off my shoulders..

We can do this.

Please Never Forget, Jesus

Happy Friday morning, world! 

This week has spoiled me. Because of the snow we’ve had, I have worked mostly 10-4 days and have so much time to enjoy the beauty of creation!

 Image

 

My two favorite weather elements: snow and sun, working together to show off God’s majesty in His creation. If we don’t praise Him, ya’ll, they will! 

My favorite song by Casting Crowns was on my playlist this morning. “To Know You.” This song is POWERFUL and if you haven’t heard it, it will most likely knock you on your knees.

 

To know you is to never worry for my life, and
To know you is to never to give in or compromise, and
To know you is to want to tell the world about you
Cause I can’t live without you

To know you is to hear your voice when you are calling
To know you is to catch my brother when he is falling
To know you is to feel the pain of the broken hearted
Cause they can’t live without you.

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you’re all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

To know you is to ache for more than ordinary
To know you is to look beyond the temporary
To know you is believing that you will be enough
Cause there’s no life without you

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you’re all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

All this life could offer me, could not compare to you
Compare to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you

More than my next breath
More than life or death
All I’m reaching for, I live my life to know you more
I leave it all behind, you are all that satisfies
To know you is to want to know you more
To know you is to want to know you more

Compared to you
Compared to you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you
And I count it all as lost, compared to knowing you
Knowing you

 

My thought this entire week has not strayed from one particular sentence, spoken by a seven-year-old in prayer in front of 100 other kids. Malcom voiced this prayer at church: 

“Jesus, thank You that some of us get to play football and go to church, and for safety on the ride here, and for forgiveness of our sins, and for eternal life. We love you, Jesus. Please don’t ever forget how much we love You!”

Yes, we know Jesus knows everything. So why tell Him? Well, why tell Him our prayers? Our concerns? He tells us to. He wants a relationship with us. We know He loves us. So why does He continue to give a spectacular sunrise? Why does He prosper us? He’s saying, “I love you,” over and over again. And yet so often we withhold the words He desires to hear above all else.

I don’t know what has happened in your past that makes you resistant to use those words. Maybe you’ve offered them and not heard them back. Maybe you’ve been manipulated, abused, hurt by people who used those words. But I am here to tell you, with tears in my eyes and a huge smile on my face, that HE WILL NEVER go back on those words. He will always love you, regardless of your imperfection or your performance. He will never leave. He will never retreat. He will never find someone else more worthy of His love. 

Jesus, we love You. Please never forget how much we love You!Image

All We Need Is Less

A thought has been brewing in my head since last week: All we need is less.

If you ask God for contentment, He may or may not allow you to build a house. God be like, “That’ll teach ‘er.”

Being content now is one thing. Planning for future contentment is another thing. Commence building a house. There are all the questions: What is the cheapest route? How many floors do we want and how many bedrooms will we need? Do we want to build a nice house so that we lack nothing? Or do we want to still be able to function in society and have money to go do things we want? Is having an open-floor-plan home a ministry or should we build a one-room bungalow and send the excess money to orphans in China? 

I’ve heard people say that if you think you might be guilty of the “unpardonable sin”, you aren’t. Well, if I’m constantly worried that I’m being selfish, am I selfish? I still feel like it. I feel selfish wanting a nice house when I know friends who are struggling. I feel selfish spending money on cosmetic things. I question how often I’m actually at home, and I question if I should build a house to my preferences or to accommodate a large number of people. Or to house an exchange student one day.

Is it true that little is much when God is in it?  Do I believe Him or not? He alone can sort through my mess of motives and desires. He alone can refine me into gold.

When I start to worry that I’m not tithing enough… I remember that my time is money and every second I spend with a widow is an offering.  When I am mad at myself for not giving more time to the things the world gives attention to, He reminds me that spending time with Him is a sacrifice worthy in His eyes. When I think that I am selfish for not cutting our grocery budget in half and eating beans and rice for every other meal, I recall that we are being faithful with what we have and not going above our means.

The question is would I be content eating beans and rice?

In everything, He is trying to get our attention. He is longing for us to enter heaven’s gates with praise instead of swiping our card for something else we don’t need. He is calling us to scan the pages of His Word instead of scrolling through Facebook a second time in five minutes. He is begging to meet with us in our secret place. The home He has made in us–in our hearts– needs far more renovation than our earthly abode.

The things we attempt to change on the outside cannot make a permanent move until we redo the inside. The additions we build to create more room for more stuff get more headline than the addition we should have to build inside our hearts to hold more of God.  Maybe it is in the intentional down-sizing of our stuff and our lives that causes us to pause long enough to consider the Bless-er. Perhaps the noise of all the blessings that clamor for our attention is the very thing keeping us from the One Who gave it all.

All we need is less.

Confession: my Saturday activity was organizing my Pinterest pins. RE-ORGANIZING MY PINS, ya’ll.

We spend far more time dreaming about what we don’t have and what we’d like to have than we do appreciating what we DO have. Focusing on the friends who aren’t in our lives instead of writing notes to the ones who are. Talking about our foes and how tough they make our lives instead of praying for our allies (and our foes if you can stand it). And in my case, second-guessing the decisions instead of claiming God’s truth and moving forward, trusting Him to take care of the end result. Doing the little things, one step at a time. Being faithful in little.

Here’s the rubber: If we outgrow our house, God will give us another. If we can’t afford what we built, then we can sell and start over. We are new at this. But if we attempt to honor God with our home and our money and our lives then He will measure out grace accordingly.

And I can breathe now.

Sometimes I forget that God’s blessing is not a direct result of my actions, but a direct result of my relationship with Him. And if I spent more time being, then the actions wouldn’t be nearly so hard for me.

He is a giver of good gifts. And the best Gift is Him.

.allyouneed