With every week that rises and then retires, I realize that the one before was too short. Time evades my craving for every place I want to go, people I long to visit, books I want to read, quiet time I crave, laughs I want to enjoy, tears I thirst to taste, and memories I wish to create. In a flash, the week resigns, and I remember that time is a precious luxury. I yearn to minimize distractions. I want to live each day looking into the eyes of people, the word of God and the wisdom of books. Genuine intimacy and connection with people and eternal things are where the breath of life lives. Authenticity is both magnificent and messy, yet it is the hunger of my heart.
If you need hope today, remember this, Then Moses raised his hand over the sea, and the LORD opened up a path through the water with a strong east wind. ~ Exodus 14:21
God may not remove your “Red Sea,” but as He did for Moses and the Israelites, He will open up a path and lead you through it.
Trust Him for that provision today, friend.
You are loved.❤️
I have been on a mission lately to identify and minimize or eradicate the things in my life that compromise my peace. When I started putting ink to this stuff, I was surprised just how exhaustive my list is, and I have not unearthed it all yet. One thing that was at the top of my list is the bad habit I have perfected of assigning thoughts and feelings to other people. Not many things steal my peace like this destructive practice. You know what I am talking about, right? When a friend does not acknowledge a text or email promptly, I can easily allow my thoughts to sabotage me. My internal dialogue goes something like this,
“She must be mad at me.” or
“Maybe she didn’t like what I said.”
I have found that the overwhelming majority of the time I. Am. Wrong.
There are hundreds of scenarios like this that vandalize my sanity. It is plain ridiculous. When I get honest, though, it is much more about an unwise behavior. There is a deeper root to the problem. I want people to be pleased with me. I want people to like me. I am a forever recovering people pleaser. There should be a support group for this kind of thing! I am no expert but perhaps going even deeper this is about the sinful pride that lurks in my heart that I need to pray for the grace to see and uprooted daily?
In his short, but stirring book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, Tim Keller says this;
“People sometimes say their feelings are hurt. But our feelings can’t be hurt! It is the ego that hurts – my sense of self, my identity. Our feelings are fine. It is my ego that hurts.” “Walking around does not hurt my toe unless there is already something wrong with it .” Well, a big ‘ole ouch and Amen to that!
When my identity, worth, value, and placidity are rooted in people, I am in trouble. There will be no peace in my heart. I continually have to put on the attire of Christ’s atonement that sealed all those things for me at a very high cost. Otherwise, I am simply not living free in the abundance of my Father, but a prisoner to the perceptions and permission of people.
When the skies are weeping, some people’s shoes get wet while other’s souls get watered. Friend, I pray today you experience the latter. Life is about intentionally choosing a grateful perspective. I do not always do this well, but this week sheer grace has allowed me to sit with the rain and enjoy its company. Water has been used to depict both the storms of life and the sustainer of life. If you are standing in a literal or a figurative storm today, may your fretting about the rain turn to feeling the rain even if for a moment. We find freedom when we face that which we want to flee. Rain may be an agitation, but it is just as much about rejuvenation when we allow ourselves to frame it that way. You are loved!❤️
Control is an insidious intruder. I have to be very intentional to guard myself against it, and even when I am aware, it is tricky. It sneaks into every relationship and situation often undetected. One reason control is so deceptive is that sometimes it is called “helping,” and isn’t that a noble thing to do? In some situations, yes; but often when I find myself saying, “I am just trying to “help” you, that can frequently be transposed to mean, I am trying to control you or the situation. When I dissect my misdirected helpfulness, fear is often at the root; and I have come to learn that although sometimes fear is an understandable reaction, it can also be an UNBELIEVING reflection that says God will not get it right. Lord Jesus, you are in control, not me. Sometimes hidden fears lurk in the deepest recesses of my heart, and I seek a false sense of safety by “suggesting,” fixing or doing which only translates to control. Help my unbelief, Father. Give me the grace to lay my fear and desire to “fix” within your power, not my performance.
When I am trying to patiently wait upon The Lord to give me my next assignment, I have to be intentional to guard myself against the thought that I am not doing anything worthy. As demonstrated in the story of Mary and Martha, sitting at the feet of Jesus and listening is as much an active and necessary aspect of Kingdom work as anything else. Waiting and listening feel incongruent to my flesh, but they are invaluable to my Father.
Dear friend, You may need to hear this today. It is perfectly reasonable that you are both a masterpiece and a mess at the same time. You may not feel like a masterpiece, but here is the evidence in Ephesians 2:10~ For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus. Yes, it is true you are a mixed bag. So. Am. I. We live in a fallen world, of flawed people, with fluid laws, feeble morals and a fierce enemy who wants us believe to false ideas about ourselves. Not one of us is perfect, but freedom is not found in our perfection, but in the forgiveness of our failures. You are loved!❤️
We are children loved by a good Father without comparison. He has anointed us with a unique mission, in unprecedented times. The Father chose us for this moment in time that can be difficult to reconcile because it is a marriage of both beautiful and brutal. Because of this, it is necessary for us to love fearlessly, believe scandalously and hope without compromise. What mission has He entrusted to you today? May we all be good attendants of His holy assignments. Scandalous belief says that we have all we need to succeed today so do not look ahead for the commission is at hand.
There was a time when I thought I was a good person, (notice the emphasis on I). Growing in grace has enabled me to see with my eyes, understand with my mind and confess with my mouth that there is nothing good about me alone except the holy, blameless, good and loving God who dwells within me. Sometimes even my best intentions are peppered with pride. It is when I remember my utter depravity that I became free to rejoice in The Lord’s unparalleled adequacy. Lord Jesus, I confess I am a mess. I am prone to wander, clothing myself in filthy rags and seeking perfection, approval, and satisfaction from the false God’s of idolatry. Grant me the blessing of quick detection and correction when my heart turns from you, Father. At the end of every road of obstinance is death; while the path of obedience leads to life. May your truth be my compass so that all glory shines on you, my Savior, not myself. Amen.
I have a scar on the left side of my chest where there once was a central line that nourished me when I was too ill to eat. I have a scar under my right arm in the upper rib area that is a reminder of a chest tube that once supported my collapsed lung from a procedure gone wrong. Both blemishes were the product of one pregnancy. I see those two scars every day, and for many years they were unattractive to me. What I have learned and love is now when I notice them I feel gratitude where I once knew grief because those blemishes are emblematic of life. My scars are the representatives of a broken story with a bountiful ending. If it were not for them, I would not have my daughter. I was reminiscing amidst the memories of my scar journey this morning, and as I was strolling through the story, I had a vivid visual of Jesus on the cross. There he was in my picture, nailed by evil and dawning scars that the world would deem unattractive; then this thought crossed my mind, Jesus’ scars also represented life. I am confident that He, too looks his scars, smiles and says if it were not for them, I would not have my daughter.