“I have to take a break. I am knee-deep in a sludgy mess of once frozen food. Meals I had lovingly planned out for my family are no longer edible. Meals I had hoped to pull out in a moment of need… now rotting in black trash bags at the curb. (sigh) I didn’t have time for this today. I didn’t plan for this to happen. I wasn’t ready. Instead of reading that great new book I bought as a reward for completing my home projects…I am wiping out a stinky fridge that reads 107 degrees. Instead of using the money in our savings account for a special little trip with my husband, we have to buy a new refrigerator. I am sad and I am discouraged. I just didn’t want this to happen today.” (from my journal entry on October 9th, 2014)
My mom said something to me once that has stayed with me all these years. She was waiting to pick me up outside my high school. When I got in the car she asked, “Why do you always walk with your head to the ground? You never look up. Is there something bothering you?” The tumultuous years of hormone-induced melancholy. As a parent of two teenagers- I completely get her concern for me at that point in my life. I was so myopic- so turned inward to the struggles I was facing. I couldn’t look up because I was so overwhelmed with my insecurities, my fears, and the drama that comes with being a teenager.
Does the thought of having people over make you feel completely over-whelmed? Do you feel like you do not have the time, money, or the creative ability to open up your home? Are you embarrassed that your home isn’t pretty enough to invite someone over for dinner? You are welcome here! Continue reading
There is a lot of talk out there about being intentional with people, to unrush your life, and to make time to do life with people. Even recently, our pastor at the church I attend has devoted an entire series called “The Power of Friending”. I was struck by our pastor’s words- we are more connected to the world than we ever are before- Skype, texting, FaceTime, social media- yet in many cases people feel more isolated than ever before. That gripped my heart. How can that be? But as I let this sink in…it really became clear to me in my own life.
Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. 1 Peter 3:4 MSG
I LOVE Instagram… that social media app where you can post pictures with neat little descriptions and hashtags. I really can’t get enough of the people and companies I follow who post great outfit ideas, beautiful home design, insights into healthy living, and of course the all too popular selfie. People out in the world are so creative! I am blown away by the artists, the photographers, and crafty people who truly are gifted beyond my silly little hobbies. It is so much fun. It inspires me to get out and use my little camera phone and take artistic-ish photos. I love the filters and enhancements. Even the most mundane shots of my feet turn into trendy, hipster works of art. I can throw in a few hashtags…BOOM! The little orange bubble lights up with “hearts” that show I am liked and people want to follow me. What a cool app. People like me who don’t even know me at all.
Don’t you wish everyday life was a lot like that app? If you said something that didn’t sound to great- ‘delete comment’. If that pimple on your chin still hasn’t gone away and no amount of concealer can cover it…”soften, change the hue, un-sharpen, beautiful filter”. Voila! It’s gone. If the house is messy and someone is coming over…”crop, lighting change, delete”. Perfection. If you are feeling lonely and insecure- “click for likes, think of a clever hashtag, etc”. Instant acceptance. Continue reading
“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” I Corinthians 1:26-31
If we simply sit and let that passage sink into the marrow of our bones- let it seep into the deepest parts of our heart…it can radically change how we see things. We need to be reminded of this over and over again. Letting it’s truth wash over us like a wave in the shore break. He chose the foolish, the weak, the lowly things, the despised, and the things that are not. This is so completely different than what our culture places in such high regard. Our world takes success, strength, wealth, status, eloquence, and beauty- wrapping it up and marketing it brilliantly for all to strive for. You can’t get a way from it. Movies and TV worship it. Social media feeds it. Ads and magazines promote it. Even in the church this is so. How do we live our lives in this culture and not be drawn into it? Continue reading
I didn’t realize all the research that went into the purchase of my wedding ring. My husband took the job very seriously. We went ring shopping with a notebook full of his questions to ask the jeweler. I thought all I had to do was point out the one I thought would look amazing on my ring finger. Boy, I was clueless. The only jewelry I wore was a small pair of itty-bitty diamonds given to me by my grandmother. I gave my husband-to-be complete freedom to choose, and I would love anything he picked out. And I did! What a treasure. A token of love, a symbol of our marriage, a daily reminder of his promise to me. Continue reading
Diamonds…they are precious, they are rare, but they take time and intense conditions to form. They didn’t just become perfect and brilliant….there was a process. The Natural History Museum states : “Diamonds are crystals of pure carbon that form under crushing pressures and intense heat.” It didn’t happen overnight…pressure, heat, and waiting years upon years for someone to unearth them. Of course when they are found- they are in their rough form. A rock with rough edges, dirty from hundreds of years hidden in the dark depths of the earth. A process- a process that requires uncomfortable conditions to beautify and create the finished product….so much like us.