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Purpose Amidst Imperfection 

Nestled amidst the sunrise of a fresh week and all the promise it holds is an ever faithful reminder of my inadequacy. I am presently, but peacefully aware that I got more wrong than right last week, and that will surely be my truth this week as well.

My keen sense of insufficiency poses a different purpose for me now, though. Growing in grace teaches me that it is no longer about striving for perfection only to be frustrated, but seeking purpose amidst my imperfection only to be furthered.

 It is an incongruent truth that on the other side of our failures is an intention designed for our prosperity. 

Understanding that falling down is not a shameful thing, but a sacred tool is the genesis of praise. Praise opens the door and welcomes gratitude right into our hearts.

When gratitude is our guest, we see through all the heavy right into the heart of the holy, and joy becomes a source of our strength. 

This week, friend, I pray you have eyes to see and ears to hear all the beauty that your brokenness beholds, and your heart will sing, it is good and it is well with my soul.
You are loved.❤️

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Sanctification


Sanctification is my constant companion. She moves me to surrender. She both slays and satisfies me. At times sanctification guts me. She greets and meets with me like a passage in the Psalms, crying out in pain and concluding in praise. Nevertheless, because I know her, and Who she comes from, I am at peace saying to her, It is well with me.

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Shine More

 When the sadness of the world is shutting the doors of your heart, open them up more.

When persecution is preying on your joy, look for reasons to praise more.

When grief says the world will never be like before, gratify Jesus more.

When you want to give up, instead give more.

When there seems to be no love left, love more.

Evil only wins if we lose our light to the lust, lies, and lawlessness of the world. When you want to surrender shine more.

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It Is Well

Sometimes we have to rewrite the songs we composed to make our hearts sing so we can hum the melody of lyrics that life brings.  It is when we find joy there, in the midst of all that is rewritten, that our souls earnestly sync to the tune of, It is Well.  It is well with me.  1 Timothy 6:6~godliness with contentment is great gain.

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A Love to 2015

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As the hours of another year fade, I am thinking about the things, the hard ones, that I would have never chosen in 2015, but they chose me.   They brought much grief but were always accompanied by gratitude.

Our years are made of days, some ordinary and some extraordinary.   Those days, the ordinary and the extraordinary, occasionally conquer but also create us.   They sometimes shatter us but subsequently sharpen us.   We experience triumphs, and we endure tragedies.   Some days break us only to build us. Days can be messy but NOT without meaning.   Refinement and restoration marry well with an available heart.

The self-reliant use tallies of good and bad days to calculate the success of their year.   It is perspective and the pursuit of meaning and quality of growth amidst days, broken and beautiful, that the surrendered use to measure theirs.   May I always evaluate my years from a position of obedience to the word, not obtainments of the world.

This year has felt like another year of wandering in the Psalms for me.   I have been desperate, and I have been dependent.   I have lamented, and I have praised.   The year cultivated both difficult and defining memories. It was pretty, and it was painful.   I have learned that all years are as long as we are living under the sun.

2015 was a reminder that the goal of life is not happiness because it is not happiness that brokers comfortable homes; but joy outside of circumstances found in a Savior that breeds content hearts.
I am reflecting on all the fragments of the past year, the brutal and the beautiful, and placing them within the context of Romans 8:28 today. ~And we know that God causes everything to work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

I can find meaning in much of the messiness, but there are other situations; however, I am still waiting.   I am aware as Deuteronomy 29:29 tells me, I may never understand.   Some things are only to be known by The Lord.   Many circumstances are unfair. I am tempted to wonder how God could be working right from something seemingly so wrong?   It is here that I must exercise unreasonable faith, not in circumstances I see but in a creator, I trust.   I am slow to submit daily my exclusory perspective to God’s eternal plan.   It is here, in the stuck places, I have to put away all the “whys” and rest in Who.   I do not say this lightly because this is a difficult assignment, but we are not called to an assurance of facts, but an acceptance of our Father.

We can view life through skeptical-glasses or Savior-glasses.   It is a choice and a very crucial one. 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011… They all had obstacles that shook and shaped me; not to my final destination but towards my desired direction.   It has been those dreaded moments, the broken ones, that have rendered the sweetest fruit. So while some are saying so long 2015, I cannot wait to forget you; I am saying may I always remember you.

Meaning is often disguised within the parameters of messy.   Jesus was born in the most unclean of environments.   Isn’t it beautiful how the sloppiest of circumstances can become sacred.   Jesus was crucified and suffered a painful death with the intent to secure the salvation of a sinner like me.   It is no wonder that pain is piercing, but priceless because our eternity was founded on that principal.

Thank you 2015 for all the opportunities you provided God to prune and protect me.   Thank you for all the sorrow that stretched me.   Growth is most fertile when planted in the soil of grief.   Thank you for the tears of pain and the tears of joy.   Thank you for the portraits of beauty and the scribbles of brokenness. Mostly 2015, thank you for transporting me deeper into a relationship with my Savior.

Welcome, 2016.   I know your terrain will be one indigenous of peaks and valleys.   I also know it is my triumphs over your tribulations that are for my growth and God’s glory.   May I be a good steward of all you behold, the pleasant and the unpleasant.   This year, nor any ahead, as I have finally learned, will I evaluate by happiness or success, but holiness and stewardship of the shattered and the shiny moments that meet me down roads I do not yet know I will travel.   What a blessing to enter a new year given the grace to understand that!

Happy New Year to all. May you be rich enough to embrace prosperity and rattled enough to experience your Savior.   Holiest of New Years, friends.

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Are You Waiting?

  
Are you waiting?
I am a fairly patient person but when it comes to waiting on matters close to my heart, I am a work in progress. Waiting for answers to my desperate prayers, especially the ones I have been praying for a long time challenges my patience and tests my faith every day. (Psalm 119:81)

I am learning to train myself to remember that my wait is God’s welcome. It is His invitation for me to grasp a deeper dependence on Him, strengthen my trust in His plan, not mine, and to spend more time in His presence. Also, I have come to realize that when I am waiting, He is working in me the most. He is pruning me and perfecting His plans for me.

God answers some prayers immediately. Some take us through many intervals of being on hold. I think in one way or another we are all in a season of waiting. I am practicing being grateful in my wait because I believe God’s word. (Lamentations 3:25)

I know that His timing is perfect even when it looks imperfect to me. I am practicing praising Him in my waiting because I am certain it is a conduit He uses to work all things for my good. (Romans 8:28.)

Sometimes my wait ends in an outcome that my earthly eyes view as unfavorable, but God has eternal eyes, and I trust His superior vision above my self-centered sight. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

If you are in a time of waiting, do not let it be wasted. Practice prayer. Practice trusting that God is perfecting His plan for you. Lastly, practice praising Him for the good things He is doing for you that no man can immediately see or imagine. It will transform the weariness of your wait, and give greater purpose to your grueling pause. (Psalm 33:20-22)

Keep fighting the good fight, friends!

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A Woman of Grace

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As a woman, growing in grace means when someone gives us a compliment, we do not dismiss it.  We do not tell them why we do not look pretty, are not a good cook, do not have a kind heart, have not lost weight…Grace enables us to embrace the compliment with a humble, soft, “thank you.”  Then we allow those words to settle into our souls and realize, yes, I am those things because that is how God created me. Sure we have moments when we do not like ourselves; everyone does. Those moments, however, should be fleeting. We become who we think we are, so we must allow ourselves to be a friend’s compliment! This is one of the hardest things to do for all of us, but let’s change that today! May we all be humbly adorned in the unique gifts God placed within each of us today and all days ahead!