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.