Wednesday, December 11

[retirees & the Rhine]

Here I am..

Sailing aboard the MS River Melody with 139 of my closest retired friends (I really should look into the details a bit more when my parents ask if I want to accompany them on a European river cruise.. four letters: A-A-R-P). Just finished editing my list of belongings that were in my 50.5 pound suitcase before it was lost. I will then send it to Lufthansa airlines in hopes of obtaining full reimbursement (crossing my fingers). We're on to Day 6 of the trip, and the suitcase has yet to be located. It has to be somewhere between Tulsa, DC, Munich, Frankfurt, and Basel - I'm sure of it. Yesterday I learned how to wash clothes in my sink with the detergent the airline provided me with in my overnight amenity kit - a skill any 24 year old should be proud to flaunt.
 
From my point of view, there are 2 ways to approach the matter at hand:
 
1. Get upset and let the fact that I have two outfits ruin my trip. I'm smelly, a bit irritable, and SMELLY.
2. Get over it and embrace the fact that life happens, and right now I'm on a European adventure!
 
I'll take the latter.
 
But really. I was feeling a little upset when I realized there was a large possibility that I might not ever get those clothes back due to the fact that my luggage hasn't even been located. There go my new jeans and sweaters.. WAIT. Am I REALLY getting upset over clothing?!
 
I have other clothes.
 
Things could be MUCH worse. These are a few outfits we're talking about here (okay, more like 12, but that's alright). I didn't lose my house, my car, my friends, my family, my health.. my life.
 
Suddenly.. things got a little bit brighter.
 
All I'm trying to say here is life happens. We get laid off, we have a bad breakup, we have to buy underwear from the local super market (truth).. so clearly my case is the least dramatic when compared to the first two. Regardless.. are we going to let it ruin our day, our week, our year.. our life?!
 
And that's where you have to put your foot down. I'm choosing to roll with it - will you?
 
So do not worry, saying 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
--Matthew 6:31-34
 
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
--Matthew 6:19-21

Wednesday, November 27

[for this I am thankful]

Thanksgiving.
Thankful hearts; turkey that makes you sleepy; family; friends; joy; afternoon naps; overfilled plates; full stomachs; PUMPKIN MUFFINS WITH CREAM CHEESE ICING; laughter; memories; walks on the golf course; FOOTBALL; time off from work; over competitive family members during Catch Phrase; mimosas; packed movie theaters. These are just a few of my favorite things about Thanksgiving.
However, one of the most important yet overlooked characteristics of Thanksgiving - not to mention everyday life - includes thankfulness towards the LORD for small, yet life changing blessings.
The other day (here I go with my deepness.. approaching 5.. 6.. 7 ft) I ate the most excellent pumpkin muffie (yes, you heard me) from Panera. It was strangely tasty. Please, go get one. Now. Anyway, I began thinking about taste. And how God created humankind to even have the ability to taste. Which leads me to believe that God cares about the joy of humankind enough to bless us not only with good food, but taste buds to let us fully experience it. He could have created the world with subpar food & drink to nourish us, but instead graces us with cabernet and racks of ribs.
Right on.
So this Thanksgiving I am choosing to be thankful for the ‘little’ blessings in life.
I’m thankful for cold showers when the hot water runs out because it means that I have the ability to bathe in clean water.
I’m thankful for a huge dent in my new car because it takes my focus off of material things. Not to mention that I no longer have to worry about the first scratch.. I’ve got a passenger door’s worth of damage.
I’m thankful for disagreements with close friends because it allows me to be honest and open about my feelings, leading to a stronger relationship.
I’m thankful for the paper cut I get from my book because that means I have an advantage over massive portions of the world’s population in that literacy and knowledge are items to be prized in the United States.
I’m thankful for the nonstop construction noises I can’t seem to cancel out with my headphones at work because that means I have the ability to hear.
Really though. There are innumerable ways to give thanks this Thanksgiving.. this week.. in this life. Open your eyes.
Always be joyful. Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.
--1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Notice that joyfulness is grouped in with prayers and thankfulness; I don’t believe it to be a coincidence. Only when we begin opening our eyes to the blessings around us will we be joyful. Only when we pray to the LORD and see Him for who He is and what He desires for our life will we give thanks for his graciousness.

This Thanksgiving, I dare you to try looking for the simple blessings in life and giving thanks.

Prayers + Thankfulness = Pure Joy.
^^a heck of an equation if you ask me

And now for your enjoyment.. a Christmas background for your desktop. Here's to the holiday season.




 

Tuesday, October 29

[you be you]

It's 9:30 A.M. on Saturday morning.. okay maybe 10:30 if you had a late night. Sadly, since technology has taken over the face of the earth, you immediately take your iPhone 5 off its charger to check your Instagram feed when suddenly up pops that Christian girl's picture of her Bible, coffee, and scrambled eggs strategically arranged on her kitchen table (oops.. sorry, this was me last Saturday).

Ever catch yourself wondering if you measure up as a Christian? Do you find yourself discouraged by that girl's Instagram of her morning spent praying and reading? Wondering if your 'efforts' at loving Jesus are as effective as the next person?

You're straight trippin.

..but don't worry. Myself, along with many others, are caught doing the same thing. So last Saturday.. you know, post uploading my Instagram pic of my Bible, eggs, and coffee, I was praying that the Lord would show me how to love Him more. I began searching through the Bible - surely there's something in there that can tell me how to follow the Lord more closely, right? Then I came upon this gem..

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. "Teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"

"What is written in the Law?" he replied. "How do you read it?"

He answered, " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind..' "

"You have answered correctly," Jesus replied. "Do this and you will live."

Luke 10:25-28
 
Wait.. so like.. that didn't really answer my question.
 
Exactly.
 
Love how Jesus doesn't lay down the Ten Commandments.
 
Love how this was not at all what the 'expert in the law' was expecting.
 
Love how love is the answer.
 
Time and time again we are caught up in assessing how we are to go about worshipping Jesus. Is Jesus most glorified when I am singing hymns? Does He like it when I write out my prayers in my journal? What if I prefer evening quiet times as opposed to morning quiet times? What if I can't get enough time in the day to read the Bible - is it okay if I just pray on my way to work?
 
And this is where Jesus says..
 
love me.
 
You be you.
 
If coffee makes you gag and mornings aren't quite your thing.. well then I certainly wouldn't recommend my Saturday morning routine.
 
If you feel the Lord's presence the most in worship, you go love the Lord through your car's speakers on the way to work! Why not go full out and roll your car windows down while the music is blaring? But then again, that's my preference.. you be you.
 
"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10
 
Jesus is working on your behalf. He doesn't want to give you a list of "dos and don'ts." God already proved that we suck at this (hint: Adam & Eve, 10 Commandments, etc.). All he asks is that you love him. And soon you will see..
 
Jesus will renew you. Slowly, all of those 'morally sound' things that Christians do (drink in moderation, refrain from gossip, love their neighbors as themselves.. you get the picture), you will suddenly find yourself doing. And not because you merely decide you want to follow the rules.. but because you are falling in love with the Creator of your soul.
 
Woah. Things just got real.
 
So whatever it is that you do to glorify the Lord - whether it be reading your Bible in the morning, praying while gardening, running down the road spurting out Bible verses (though I wouldn't quite recommend this last one) - do it with hopes of falling more in love with the Lord.



Sunday, October 13

[pressing onward]

You know what I used to think? I used to be so transfixed on the idea that Christianity was about that one time moment, that illicit, single life changing event. You know what I'm talking about - the story you tell whenever people ask you how you became a Christian. "I realized I was making my boyfriend my idol when suddenly I realized a human is never one to be idolized" or "I was searching for meaning and purpose when I came across Jesus Christ and his calling for my life." Don't get me wrong - these events are extremely important.. after all, they did change your life.

Flash forward to Sunday, October 13th, 2013.

I believe I have been a Christian - a Jesus following, mistake maker, Holy Spirit filled human being for the last 4 years of my life. What I have learned during this roller coaster of a time period is that God is not willing to leave you where you're at after that first life changing event. He's got bigger plans than you could EVER imagine for your life - talk about cool. If your testimony involves God breaking you so that you may see Him more clearly - get ready, there's a lot more of you to be broken. If your testimony involves God giving you joy and meaning through Him - there is a deeper sense of joy that comes from knowing the Lord more intimately and you better believe He's going to continue revealing Himself to you.. if you ask.

One of my most favorite quotes comes from C.S. Lewis:
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

These 4 years have been slightly intense for me - no where near the intensity of others' lives, I am sure; however, I am somewhat of a pansy, so it's been intense for me. I'm not going into details, but let's just say that God certainly isn't leaving me where I was when I first met Him. I have experienced joy, no joy, questions, confidence, purpose, indifference.. you name it. What I have learned along the way is that all of this is vital to becoming a deeper Christ devoted follower.

Does it hurt? At times.
Does God have your best interests in mind? Thankfully, yes.
Is it an adventure worth living? You betta Belize it!

If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
-John 8:31-32
 
So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.
-Colossians 2:6

It isn't that you're ever going to be perfect in this life - you're going to learn to struggle well.

In other news, life is good. Yesterday was OU vs. TX.. and OU lost. Personally, I think we owed Texas a win after a good 4 years. It keeps things more interesting, right? If you're a Sooner fan, you are probably hating me right now. Regardless, it was a good day filled of beautiful friends, cinnamon rolls and banana espresso chocolate chip muffins, and football.

Friday, October 4

[#repost]

In a world where it is normal to hear of an event such as a sex scandal taking place with government officials or details on the most recent local homicide, how is one supposed to see the good things in life?

I refuse to conform to the ways of this world.

The author of this blog post is not responsible for, and expressly disclaims all liability for, damages of any kind arising out of use, reference to, or reliance on any information contained within this post. While the information contained within this post is accurate for the author, it is in no way deemed as the right way for all readers to experience life's goodness.

a recipe for happiness.
PURPOSE: to taste and see that life is good.

- 1 thirty minute work out (jogs with your favorite jams are recommended.. yoga, pilates, dancing, soccer, hiking, rollerblading are also advised) Don't stop until you sweat.

- a quiet morning engaged in journaling/reading/praying outside near your garden with your Nonfat Chai Tea Latte in hand.

- 2 (or whatever number you see fit) random acts of kindness for a stranger or friend. Examples include, but are not limited to: paying for the car behind you in the fast food lane, burning a "because I love you" CD for a friend or lover, etc.

- Hard work. Whether it is studying if you are a student or working if you are in the workforce, do it to the fullest. Know that your work is making an impact on those around you. Let your work be meaningful and significant. Encourage those around you.

- Engage in a deep conversation with a friend. Find out what is on their heart. Discuss struggles you need prayer for. Laugh at your imperfections. Plan weekend get-aways.

- Cook dinner for others. Personally, I would recommend getting a recipe off Pinterest. It's all the rage.. or haven't you heard?

- Constantly remind yourself that you.are.not.made.for.this.world. When life gets you down, pray. Remember that Jesus also suffered, so it's pretty obvs that you're gonna suffer too. After praying, leave it in God's hands and be done with it.

- When the day is done, rest underneath the stars before heading to your high powered fan, memory foam mattress, down comforter, and feather pillows.

- Thank God for this beautiful day. If it wasn't as great as you wanted, remember you have a fresh start tomorrow. If it was freakin awesome, smile.

- Take a deep breath and realize how completely insane it is that you are alive before dozing off.

Rinse and repeat.

Sunday, September 8

[you're okay]

Christian (n): professing belief in Jesus as Christ or following the religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus; commonly known for their too-good-to-be-true, upbeat attitude, perfect life, and outrageously high moral standards.
^^(my own comments included)

S.O.S!!!!!!!! I'm not feeling so "Christian."

It's easy to put on a fa├žade, to take after the "stereotypical Christian" and pretend I don't have problems. It's easy to cover up these problems when people ask. What's not so easy.. being real.

NEWSFLASH:
Jacob was a cheater.
David had an affair.
Noah got drunk.
Paul was a murderer.
Gideon was insecure.
Jonah ran from God.
Thomas was a doubter.

All of these men were followers of God and yet all of these men had issues. Deep, sticky, scary issues. And the surprising part.. wait for it.. ALL of these men were loved and passionately pursued by God. Even when they messed up. That's the God I want to worship - how about you?

Why do we (myself most definitely included) as Christians try so hard to be perfect when we know we're not? I'm pretty sure that this was the reason I became a follower of Jesus Christ.. simply because I realized I was never going to be perfect. As hard as I tried and no matter how "good" I wanted to be, I came to the daunting yet freeing realization that I am never going to be holy enough, faithful enough, wise enough, strong enough, loving enough.. you name it.. for God. This is where Jesus comes in. Jesus is that for me.

You see that quote below my picture over there? "She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future." I wish I could say that this was always true of me. But it's not. Sorry if you're disappointed. Don't get me wrong - this is what I strive to be BUT unfortunately, I'm not perfect and it doesn't quite always work out that way.

So what does all of this mean?
 
You're flawed, and that's o-k-a-y. Join the crowd.
 
Jesus doesn't ask you to be perfect; rather, he prefers that you recognize your imperfection.

You are never too far gone.
 
Jesus loves you REGARDLESS of your sin.. big or small.
 
 
&
 
He wants to change your life!

Friday, August 30

[weakness & change]

I am officially a sophomore in "the real world," meaning that I am near the cusp of beginning to understand many new cultural norms - emphasis on the beginning part:

- Skipping work is not quite socially acceptable. While you can get away with spontaneously skipping classes in college, the term has a whole new meaning in the workforce. It is not so unplanned and involves something known as PTO (Paid Time Off). Delightful.
 
- Your body is accustomed to waking up at 6:15am Monday - Friday, so there goes your ability to sleep in. Even if you do still possess that special talent, you better hurry up and get your butt out of bed on the weekend so you can live it up.
 
- Your wardrobe has taken on a new transformation; what was once Nike shorts and over sized t-shirts has blossomed into pencil skirts and blouses.
 
- Although you may still think of life in semesters, try not to refer to them that way - people may look at you strangely.

So this may sound like I am bitter about post college life, but I can assure you that I am not. These are merely changes (not good, not bad.. just different). However, as certain things in life change, there are those that stay constant, as well:

- You will still make excuses not to go to the gym, and now they are even more legitimate. While you were once too lazy to visit the campus gym (4 minutes away from your house, mind you), of course you're going to be too lazy to hit up the gym 4 miles from your house. It just happens.

- Your college friendships will persevere. Even if you move to different places, you will still keep in touch. The frequency will change but not the friendships themselves. You may have to meet up with your friends at your sorority sister's wedding, but you will make the most of it.

and here comes the fun one..

-  Even though you now have a degree and a full time job, you are still weak.. and quite frankly, I mean that in the best way possible.

This is one of the things I learned about myself in college and continue to see in my post grad life.. ouch. As Americans, we are all about self sufficiency. To have limitations and needs is to be lowly, right? How could fragility ever be a good thing? I encourage you to view weakness in a different manner. Weakness forces us to search for something..someone greater to sustain us. Do you see where I am going with this? How am I ever going to find this something or someone if I am self sufficient? It's not possible.

You see, at just the right time, when we were still [weak], Christ died for the ungodly (..that's us). Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. - Romans 5:6-8

But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses.. For when I am weak, then I am strong. - 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

weakness = good

Saturday, June 15

[a little bitta community]

Yesterday afternoon I witnessed one of the most precious moments I had experienced in a long time. Well, the most precious moment is quite a stretch.. what the precious moment brought on is what was so special.

There I was sitting in the middle of the La Madeleine in the Dallas Love Field Airport, mango iced tea in hand - you know it. Sitting there reading.. passing time until my flight back to Tulsa, Oklahoma.. T-town, if you will. In walked a little old lady who proceeded to ask a middle-aged woman if she could share a table with her. What? There were plenty of available seats - why is this lady trying to bum a table from a stranger? Enter the sweetest conversation ever.. so what if I was eavesdropping?

The two ladies talked about life, chemotherapy, food, friendship, travels, tornado devastation in Oklahoma. And quite frankly, it was beautiful. Props go to the cutest old lady who had the nerve to sit next to this stranger. I rarely see this in the United States.. not saying that people here aren't friendly - but honestly, who goes up to random people in restaurants to ask if they can accompany them with their meal when there are plenty of available seats?

Even though their conversation was not necessarily gospel centered, it made me think of Christian community. It made me think of Christ's body - the Church. God never intended for us to be disconnected.. to figure out life, Christianity, hard times, you name it.. on our own. In a world filled with over 6.974 billion people (yes, BILLION), it is easy to feel tiny, insignificant, independent.

As much as we try to entertain this so-called independence, this is not about you bucking up while attempting to do life on your own; it's about you realizing that you can't become a 'better' Christian on your own accord. We were made for community. We're apart of something bigger than our own lives.

How awesome would it be if we took after the little old lady in our Christian walk?

What if we discussed our struggles more openly with one another? After all, we're in this together, right?

What if we looked for opportunities to assist in carrying the burdens of others on a daily basis.. Whether that be through the stranger we meet in the coffee shop or our best friend?

Just a little food for thought.

Monday, May 13

[change & trust]

spaghetti squash.

Bloody Marys.

change.

If you haven't guessed it yet.. these are all things I do not like. Rather than talk to you about spaghetti squash or Bloody Marys (as tantalizing as these subject matters may be..), we're goin with number 3. In all seriousness, this 'change' situation has been a real thriller for me these past few months.

New city, new friends, new job, new house. Where does it end? Honestly, I feel like I've been in culture shock since graduation last year.

It should end in t-r-u-s-t. Or at least that's what my devotional keeps telling me.
"This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'"
-Isaiah 30:15

I feel like a good chunk of my time has been focused on the last segment of that sentence: '..but you would have none of it.' Instead of trusting the Creator of the world, the ultimate Truth, I have found myself attempting to go against this change.. testing the waters out for myself rather than giving into God's plan for my life through this molding. Only after testing the waters out for myself do I realize that I can't do it alone. I need his guidance. I need to trust in his faithfulness even when it's hard.

Then I am reminded of a somewhat similar situation:

1Now the LORD said to Abram,
  “Go forth from your country,
  And from your relatives
  And from your father’s house,
  To the land which I will show you;

2And I will make you a great nation,
  And I will bless you,
  And make your name great;
  And so you shall be a blessing;

3And I will bless those who bless you,
  And the one who curses you I will curse.
  And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”


-Genesis 12:1-3

No, I didn't leave my country.. I merely moved 2 hours north. However, the message still applies. God chose Abram to go through changes just as God uses change in our lives - He had plans to prosper Abram through this time. He didn't promise it would be easy or painless, BUT He does promise that the result will be fruitful.

Only one thing can be better than this. A companion.

"..And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
-Matthew 28:20

Check.
 

Why not choose to view this change for what it really is? A time to lean on the Lord. A time to learn. A transformation with an end result of becoming more like Christ. A time to prosper. A time to trust.

Saturday, March 9

[bloom where you are planted]

Sometimes I get to thinking..

So I have this one shot, one opportunity (..you only wish I was about to bust out Eminem style on you) to live "well." We have an average life expectancy of 80 or something years, and I'm not even promised that. In these 80 years, I desire to live with meaning, with purpose. I hope to live up to the expectations of that awful James Dean quote: "Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today." I want to be remembered for the way that I loved the Lord, that I served Him, that I gave Him glory.

Pause.

Remember how I'm working that 8:00 to 5:00 job Monday through Friday? Remember how I get so wrapped up in my daily routine that I forget about this whole 'one opportunity to live' concept? Remember that February month that seemed to fly by without me even recognizing it for what it could be? Am I glorying the Lord through my corporate lifestyle? Is he satisfied in my daily routine? Am I really making the most of my life?
 
Yes.

From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the set times for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being.
-Acts 17:26-28
 
Isn't it comforting to know that we are for a reason? God predetermined the set times and exact places where we should live in order that we may reach out and find Him, the Creator of the entire universe. That job you are working.. I believe God strategically placed you in it to get to know Him more. That daily routine that has you frazzled.. God's going to use it for His greater purposes.

What I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter that we may not feel like we are living to the best of our abilities.. if we are 'living as if we will die today.' Whether we can see it or not, God is constantly directing our footsteps.. leading us to his wide open arms.. the ultimate satisfaction. All we're asked to do in return is to abide.

abide: continue without fading or being lost.

Not feelin' it?

God is exalted in his power.
Who is a teacher like him?
Who has prescribed his ways for him,
or said to him, ‘You have done wrong’?
Remember to extol his work,
which men have praised in song.
All mankind has seen it;
men gaze on it from afar.
How great is God—beyond our understanding!
The number of his years is past finding out.
“He draws up the drops of water,
which distill as rain to the streams;
the clouds pour down their moisture
and abundant showers fall on mankind.
Who can understand how he spreads out the clouds,
how he thunders from his pavilion?
See how he scatters his lightning about him,
bathing the depths of the sea.
This is the way he governs the nations
and provides food in abundance.
He fills his hands with lightning
and commands it to strike its mark.
His thunder announces the coming storm;
even the cattle make known its approach.
 -Job 36:22-33

You can trust Him.

Thursday, February 28

[little reminders of l-o-v-e]

Dedicated to everyone who wonders if I am writing about them. I am.

Let's face it.. life is tough. There are times when we question ourselves, question our faith, question our dreams.. lots of questioning. This is for those times. They suck, but I guarantee that they're worth it under one condition: you must join me in choosing to believe and trust that God is using this questioning, this soul searching, these trials to mold you into someone who resembles Jesus Christ, THE king of the universe. Can a girl get an amen?

Following, you will find a culmination of Pinterest quotes, song lyrics, Bible verses, and my own insight. It's comforting to hear truth from multiple sources, dontchya think?

You are exactly where you should be.

Your mercies, they are new every morning. GREAT is your faithfulness.
-Lamentations 3:23

He heard you, when your eyes were closed and your head held low.

All beautiful you are, My Darling. There is no flaw in you.
-Song of Solomon 4:7

He appeared, and the soul felt its worth.

Look for My hand
Look for My hand, and I will lead you across the floor in a dance.
Look for My feet, and I will chase the sun for you.
I wish that I could reach you.
Don't leave your joy behind.
No matter what you find.
I know you're scared.
I know you're scared and you can hardly breathe.
I know you feel alone and empty and empty as can be.
Look for my hand.
-Chloe Leavers

There is no saint without a past, sinner without a future.

Arise my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.
-Song of Solomon 2:10

Buckle up, Buttercup.

You CAN do it.

Saturday, January 12

[in quietness & trust]

Your 'strum' iPhone alarm tone goes off at 6:30 AM to wake you up for work.. (or maybe it's the 'bark' tone, like mine - either way).. after pressing the snooze button once (okay, twice.. three times) you rush to get ready for work.. brush your teeth.. throw on something 'respectably professional' even though you're still 17 at heart.. de-ice your car (what the HECK.. who knew it was supposed to get to 32 last night?!).. high tail it to work while listening to radio talk shows about murders and celebrities.

Okay, so maybe that's a little exaggerated, BUT don't lie - you know that you agreed with at least a few of those. That's just the time from 6:30 - 8, and I'm already stressed. Then there's the whole 8 to 5 thing where you work for a good 8 hours in said cubicle.. OH, and then you have that life thing from 5:30 (after your commute & traffic) until your bedtime. Don't forget dinner, working out, relationships (family, friends, significant others), TV shows, Jesus time, and chores.

SLOW THE FREAK DOWN.

We, in fact, live in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private, and therefore starved for mediation and true friendship.
-C.S. Lewis

Maybe it's the 'American' way of life that is so rapid and hurried, maybe it's our sinful nature.. maybe it's a combination. Is life not a gift? Should we not embrace it with open arms? Should we not savor it, blessing by blessing?

Let's see how Jesus would start the day. No, they did not have iPhones to feed you your best friend's (or that random girl you met one night at that friend's house) every move on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Blogger, etc., but that doesn't mean he didn't have the opportunity to get overwhelmed. Large crowds were constantly following Jesus (Luke 14:25, John 6:2) in hopes of either receiving healing or condemning him for being a 'false prophet.' Stressful.

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
-Mark 1:35

Love that.

I love that it goes against our culture. Tell me that we don't live in a world deprived of alone time, peace, rest, and joy, for that matter.

Settle down.

Take time to do things that matter.

Ger rid of the rest.

Get some alone time.

Do less.

Pray.

Be grateful.

Go on walks.

Take time to notice the little things.. from the color change in the leaves to the friendliness of your Starbuck's server.

and most (and sometimes hardest) of all..

rest in the truth that He is in control.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
-Psalm 46:10

looooove ya.