Becoming more like Love.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

The sand flies as three eager children race to the shore line. It's a perfect day, Summer bliss warms my arms as I survey the beach, a rainbow of people and over sized, crooked umbrellas.

Cool waves hit my legs as I follow my three, wading deeper than I should go with no swim suit and a skirt.  These are the moments it's so worth just forgetting about everything and diving in, even when you're fully clothed.  Who cares, really?  Wet clothes, muddy toes - they're just symbols of freedom.

 I giggle as Simon flies off the edge of a huge sand bar.  We're thirty feet into the lake, but we're on nearly dry sand that drops down two feet within a step.  It's wild.  It's like nature's diving board.


"Watch this, Mama..."  I'm only sort of watching.

"MAMA!"
"Mmhm?"
"WATCH!"

He runs like a mad man to throw himself into the water.  I laugh and shake my head.  My boy, I do love my boy.  Though some days, I have to remind myself.  He's crazy, and demanding, and head strong - but he's wild, and free, and fun, and smart, and so determined.  I see him fly again and I can't help but wonder where God will fly him to one day.  What His plans for this little boy are.



As we drive home the country roads, I'm thinking about love.  I have a mini-revelation right while I'm chatting to my husband.  Now, I'm almost always chatting, so revelations can come to me this way often - but this one was different.  It stopped me in my tracks - I mean, it made me stop talking.  Which is big.

"You know, if we're striving to be more like Jesus, what we are also really striving to be like - is love.  We should be striving to be more like love."

He glances over at me.  I know his ocean blue eyes are smiling under his shades.  His hair dances in the breeze as he watches the road and nods, agreeing.  He's so handsome with the sunlight hitting stubble on blushing cheeks.  I pause to admire this gift God has given me.  In a moment, my brows furrow and I stare out the window for a long while.  A corn field passes, stems browned from too many weeks of no rain.

Am I striving to be more like love?  Because God is love.  And if Jesus is the perfect embodiment of God, God in the flesh - and God is love, than Jesus is love too.

Another corn field flies by.  This one has greener, taller stems, and a high-tech watering system shooting water so far it hits the winding road ahead.

So - we should be striving to say loving things and do loving things but it's more than that.  Could we ultimately be on a journey to actually BECOME love? 

Wouldn't that be wild?  If we were all so filled with Jesus that we overflowed with love because it was so much a part of us, that we leaked it?   It oozed out all over? 


I'm pretty sure that's how it's supposed to be.  I read it later -


"Love is patient, 
love is kind. 
It does not envy, 
it does not boast, 
it is not proud. 
It does not dishonor others, 
it is not self-seeking,
it is not easily angered, 
it keeps no record of wrongs. 
Love does not delight in evil
but rejoices with the truth.

It always protects, 
always trusts, 
always hopes,
always perseveres."
(1 Corinthians 13)

I wonder what life would look like if I could replace the word "LOVE" with my name.
Cassandra is patient, Cassandra is kind...  Cassandra keeps no record of wrongs...


If I could press hard into the truth that we are called to be more like loveAnd to be more and more and more like love until we pretty much are love because everything about us is loving.  The verb love.  That's the only kind of true love.

And all this - not because we have the power or ability but because we cling to Jesus in us and live out His calling on our lives.  Let Him overflow right on out and all over everything.  A crazy, unexpected love-mess.  Irrational, sporadic, spontaneous, spirit-led, impractical, and sometimes inconvenient love-mess.

Waves are rolling in as the sun sets now.  I gaze at a beautiful little girl jumping over pebbles.  She leans in and whispers, "I love you, Mama" as I hold her tight.

Love.  Not an adjective but a verb.

"Love you too, babes."  I whisper it back as a prayer into the breezy shoreline.  Make me more like love, God.  More like You.



I find it interesting, the scripture that comes before the "Love is" section -

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." 

If I have not love - if I am not a reflection of love - I gain nothing

So with love - with Christ - I gain everything.


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When you need Hope.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's 5am, and I need to speak some truth into my soul.  I always need truth - and so often I'll force myself to see it before I'll will myself to open my eyes.  I type this now, reclined in a chair, keyboard in my lap, staring at the sky, not the screen.  Did you know, I often type that way?  With eyes closed or face away from the computer?  Because the eyes are searching for the words and they can't be found in the hum and glare of technology.

I write a Facebook message to a dear friend and it sounds more like a whiny rant than a 'Hey, how's your day?".  I'm overwhelmed.  Life seems heavy.  At 3am I can't sleep.  I sneeze a thousand times (when will it stop?) and my eyes burn from allergies.  The to-do list is a mile long and the homeschool year is ahead of me, so soon - so soon.

Some little critter scratches on the inside of the wall - deafening in the early morning silence.

All the self-doubt creeps in.  Why am I doing this?  I'm not equipped.  It's too much, too big.  Surely, someone else could do this better.  "This" is everything.


This week it hit me like a ton of bricks that I'm now solely responsible for a beautiful little organization's existence in Canada.  For their life line to support and financial partnership and growth.  Me.  Me.  It all sounded so exciting until I realized it was real. Until I was building a new website for hours every night and realized the responsibility God has given me.  Yes, a family in Uganda relies on me to pull through, to make things happen - to help feed their orphan children.  Tears sting when they are hot.  I look at the path ahead of me and I'm looking at a steep hill.

A blank yearly planner sits on the hutch and I'm almost too overwhelmed to even start filling it in.  A whole year ahead of us - homeschooling a 2nd and 1st grader and a Junior Kindergartner.  For those who call homeschooling Moms "amazing", we're not.  We feel inadequate most the time.  We just feel called to something alternative to the norm.  And believe me, it's an uphill battle with culture, but it is so, so worth it.

A family member sends me a message asking why I'm hard on myself.  Why the "Christian" walk seems to have butchered my self-esteem.  I tear up and look deep within.  Is this the portrayal I give?

I have self-esteem, surely, I do.  But I also realize daily how much I need a Savior.  Like this morning, sitting here searching the ceiling for words to describe how I feel.  And when I dig deep enough it all comes down to "where does my strength come from?"

I take my days on earth very seriously, yes, but that doesn't mean I'm serious all the time.  We are given one life... and called to live it well.  I seek eagerly, EAGERLY to live it well.  Not because there is a checklist to be filled, but because I want to live purposefully and intentionally.

So, yes, sometimes I'm faced with lies of "you're not enough" and "you can't".  Sometimes I long desperately to tune out.  To not care anymore.  To live an oblivious life.  To live selfishly and ignore my children rather than engaging with them every hour of every day.  To get cable and watch mindless TV every night instead of staying up until 1am to work on websites and promotional material and homeschooling plans.  To not rock babies on Sunday mornings.  To forget about praying for the people who need it.  To forget about surrender.  Because surrender, can be tough.  Yes, I struggle, just like everyone else.

But the difference is where I find hope.  The difference is where this hope leads me.

My hope comes from You, Lord
maker of heaven and earth.

And yes, it's that narrow path,  but it leads to the promised land.  It leads to Him.  And the homeschooling, and the family, and the friends in  Uganda - they're not really in MY hands, they're in God's.  God is in control.  That's why surrender is so powerful.  It's takes the burden off us and places it on Him.  He says it right to us -

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 30:28-30

The tears stream down now, freedom.  His word, alive and speaking right to the inner parts of me.  Always speaking, always calming.  Always there.  He reveals it to me as I stare at the back of dark eyelids.



Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.   The line comes into my head out of nowhere.  Yes... burning eyes closed, I drink it in.  I meditate on the Lord I know is so real, so here.  I have access to a cool, refreshing water, flowing free and clear.  When self-doubt and overwhelm sneak in, I can come and pump life right into my very soul.  But sometimes the pumping takes hard work.  But oh, it is worth it.  Because then comes the freedom.

You're not good enough becomes,  
"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength".

You are weak becomes,
"In my own weakness He is made strong". 

Give up becomes,
"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus".

And beyond the heaviness there is a weightlessness that can be found.  A hope-filled future where, yes, the days are challenging, but they are full of joy and peace.






“Christianity is the gospel of the failed, of the ungodly, the unable, the unwilling, who simply woke up one day invited to God’s house and went. Period.” John Lynch




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Enough

Friday, July 20, 2012

I pass two dead baby racoons on the steep hill to our little home. Their bodies are shattered on the painted white line. I wonder if they are the same ones whose eyes stared at me through the night. I carefully swerve around the furry creatures, lives smashed so unaturally.

There's a crumbling stone wall on the side of this paved escarpment and I think on all the walls we build.


The escarpment leading to our home.

Walls to seperate.
Walls to keep out.
Walls to show whos is whos.
Walls of indifference.
Walls of ignorance.
Walls to keep your car from flying off the edge of a mountain.
But no walls to protect those baby animals trying to get around their own habitat invaded by human dwellers.  The roads paved over rocky mountains and then invaded by metal death machines on wheels.  I wonder how many creatures have been under my wheel.  Oh, we have walls, we have enough walls... but the right ones?

The curve leading to the escarpment route down from our community to the town below.

I wonder how many forests I've ploughed unknowingly. How many escarpments I've painted with yellow lines.  I wonder how my life is impacting the green space surrounding me.  I wonder when we will have enough walls, enough roads, enough stores, enough bigger, better homes.  When will it be enough?

When there is no river left?  No mountains filled with green?  No fields of gold untouched by modern man?  And how many roads will we pave right through the woodlands?  How many places will we be heading to, only to get there and realize they are no more?

We build walls around nature and charge an admission.
We run over chipmunks on country roads and blame them for being in the way.

We erect our kingdoms overtop of God's blessed creation and then we wonder why it's so hard to
find Him.



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Equipping the Called. (For the imperfect people out there...)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I've often struggled with this deep inner battle:

How can God possibly use me?  I'm too flawed, too scarred.  Too imperfect.  I've made way too many mistakes.


For the majority of my life I put pastors, missionaries, people who worked in 'the ministry' on a pedestal.  I mean, they were in ministry, surely they were more holy, more worthy, more 'with it' than I was.  Sure, I love Jesus, but I've lived a messed up life in a lot of ways.  The kind of life people who care about appearances might scoff at.  Did scoff at.

Wes and I got pregnant while we were still dating.  (I know, insert *gasp* now).  We were 19.  We got married three months later at a happy but relatively awkward small family ceremony.  We knew there were people who just 'didn't approve' of our pre-marital expeditions, or whatever you want to call it.  But they didn't really know us.  They didn't really know how much we longed to serve and honor God.  They didn't see the hours and hours we spent crying out to God together for forgiveness and help to overcome the temptation of sex.  The hours we prayed about marriage, but knew everyone would say we were too young.   The heaps and heaps of guilt Satan was piling on our heads.

So, instead, we felt condemned by many for something they didn't really understand.  But, isn't that the way most condemnation goes?  It's often a misunderstanding of who we are and who we are meant to be in Christ.  Maybe that has stuck with me, even eight years later, I don't know.  But I've had to really dig into who God is to get over myself and realize, His plan isn't about me, it's about Him.

He works all things for God for those who love Him, and His plan far exceeds my ability to mess up in the world's eyes.

The truth is, if God didn't call the imperfect to big things, He'd be calling no one.  We are all imperfect and we all have struggles that are different and unique and vary in intensity throughout our lives.  It is the human plight.

And on the journey of life (over the past 29 years, as I turn the big 2-9 tomorrow... yikes) I've realized that many leaders are incredibly flawed.  That just because someone is a missionary or a pastor or someone in the ministry - it doesn't make them better than anyone else.  Or more 'with it'.  And I just love the leaders who can openly admit this truth, and there are many of them.  And it's up to us to embrace the truth that we are all God's chosen.  We are all called to our own ministry no matter how seemingly big or small.

Motherhood, is a ministry.
Cooking meals for a sick Grandma, is a ministry.
Reading books to the lonely child at the library, is a ministry.
Coaching a Soccer team, is a ministry.
Loving your coworkers, in a ministry.

And sometimes, God calls us to things we never thought possible.  To the very thing we've dreamed of but never imagined we'd be 'good enough' to do.  To what feels impossible and way too big for our own comfort level.  He brings us to this place of realization that He does indeed have a divine plan for little imperfect us.


And I hear a friend say it and it sinks in deep:

"God doesn't always call the equipped, 
He often equips the called."

I eat it up and savor it because I'm so incredibly ill-equipped.  But He does have a calling on my life, and He loves me and wants me to embrace it.  He has made me, flaws and all, for His purpose.  And He's bringing me to that Holy place where I'm needing to bow down and say, "God, I truly CAN'T do this without You.  This IS far too much for me and me alone.  You have called me... now equip me with more and more and more of You."

 Is this your prayer today also, friends?

Hope so.

(hug)

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Religion VS. Love

Sunday, July 15, 2012


More often than not, I find people want to put God in a box.  As if the maker of the Universe can be reduced to a concept, a few descriptive words, or worse, reduced until He doesn't exist at all.

God is God.  There is no amount of poetry that will effectively tell His story.  Tell who He is.  That's why He said, "I am that I am."  He just is.

The only way we can even try to capture His essence, is to understand the depth of the meaning of true love.  The kind of love He has for us, and the kind of love He is.  Because if we had to use a word to describe Him, we'd most accurately use LOVE - He is love.


 

We were walking as a family yesterday at a breath-taking river.  Enormous rocks had fallen everywhere, creating a landscape of boulders, brush, and bursts of water streaming through. It was a vigorous hike, but worth every turn.  High on a cliff I read it:

WHAT IS LOVE?

And then the tiny etched response underneath:

Jesus.

Jesus is love.  It's just that simple.  Well, it can be.  It is for those who know Him.

Today our pastor spoke on this very thing, that the faith we follow is a faith of love, not a faith of 'religious' rules.  I couldn't stop nodding and breathing 'amen' for the full 20 minutes.  The truth is this: we are called to love and love is the highest goal.  But how often we can lose sight of that goal.

He told the story found in John 5.

"Soon another Feast came around and Jesus was back in Jerusalem.  Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there was a pool, in Hebrew called Bethesda, with five alcoves. Hundreds of sick people—blind, crippled, paralyzed—were in these alcoves. One man had been an invalid there for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him stretched out by the pool and knew how long he had been there, he said, "Do you want to get well?"  The sick man said, "Sir, when the water is stirred, I don't have anybody to put me in the pool. By the time I get there, somebody else is already in."
Jesus said, "Get up, take your bedroll, start walking." The man was healed on the spot. He picked up his bedroll and walked off.
That day happened to be the Sabbath. The Jews stopped the healed man and said, "It's the Sabbath. You can't carry your bedroll around. It's against the rules."
But he told them, "The man who made me well told me to. He said, 'Take your bedroll and start walking.'
 They asked, "Who gave you the order to take it up and start walking?" But the healed man didn't know, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd.
 A little later Jesus found him in the Temple and said, "You look wonderful! You're well! Don't return to a sinning life or something worse might happen."
 The man went back and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. That is why the Jews were out to get Jesus—because he did this kind of thing on the Sabbath.
 But Jesus defended himself. "My Father is working straight through, even on the Sabbath. So am I."
 That really set them off. The Jews were now not only out to expose him; they were out to kill him. Not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was calling God his own Father, putting himself on a level with God." (The Message)

So, from this story I get a few things:

1. Jesus is an amazing Lord of love.  He goes right in the middle of the mess, right to the center of poverty, and serves there.  Heals there.
2. Jesus did not care about the religious leaders' rules and regulations.  He cared first about loving the man who needed healing.
3. The religious leaders got all up in arms because the man who was healed wasn't following their rules, caught up in their self-righteousness. Blinded to the miracle of love.
4. Although the religious leaders had their rules, they had not love.  They were lost.

YOU'RE CARRYING YOUR MAT!  Forget that you just got up and walked for the first time in 38 years, forget that a miraculous thing just happened, forget all that - you're carrying your mat.  You're breaking our religious rules.  

When they found out it was Jesus who had done this on the Sabbath, and when they heard his words about God His Father, they plotted to kill Him.  They had not love.

See, the amazing thing about being a follower of Jesus is - it's not about a set of rules.  So often, I've had people mention to me, "Oh gosh, I could never follow all those rules!".  What rules?  Jesus calls us into relationship with Him.  He is love.  He is forgiveness. He is redemption.  He is life giving water.  Rules?  He took care of all our failures on that cross when he bled out for us.  We are only called to love Him and love others.  The rules take care of themselves if you are walking in this truth.

Then, He gives us life.  And life abundantly.



I quietly wonder to myself if I've ever accused someone of "carrying their mat".  The tears stream down.  I think of Christ's humility, His intense compassion.  I wonder again -  how often do we ourselves fall into the trap of worrying about the mat when there are people who need healing?  People who need loving.  No rules.  No regulations.  Love.

We are called to freedom in Christ.  Complete freedom.  And freedom flowing from love.  This is what were called to and what we're given.  Incredible that they can be one in the same.

(hug)





Rainbows and Life.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

 Rain drums down on our beat-up old car.  Today, they are rhythmic reminders of my mortality.  Store signs, people, a cluster of clouds all enter in and out of view.  My eyes are glazed over and burn from fatigue and too many tears.  My head aches.  I struggle to be 'okay' but I fail miserably.  I break down and cry in the middle of the street and I'm sure people just think I'm nuts.  I am, I guess.

The rain slowly breaks and stillness follows.  I love that stillness.  I stand solemn at the edge of the sidewalk now.  A small, graceful woman is in the middle of the parking lot, camera pointed to the sky.

I look up - a rainbow.


A bright, unmistakable arc of colors right there at the edge of dark clouds - sun breaking through.  And it shines on us all.

For a moment, we are awed.  A few people stand and stare upward, grinning or whispering to each other. But, the moment is fleeting, and so quickly forgotten.  Within seconds, they're back to bustling.  But I'm still standing there.

The majesty of God almighty saturates me and I'm surrendered right there in that parking lot.  Yes, God, yes.  You're amazing - Your creation, breath-taking.  Here I am, God, spinning on a sphere called earth.  Here I am in this bizarre existence, staring at your promise sprawled across the vast blue.

Here I am, despite the pain, despite death and sorrow and unanswered questions and deep, dark, sadness.  Here I am, witnessing Your miracles.

A middle aged man wails on his acoustic guitar outside the LCBO as people side-step around him.  A professional talks business on his phone.  A women argues with her male company.  People push in and out of the dollar store.  I still stand, the rainbow, enchanting me.  Some people would think I'm poetic or artsy or whimsy or something other than normal.  I know.  But tears easily stream down when I let myself think fully on His wonder and my role here on this green globe.

It is astounding to consider - rainbows, rain drops, gravity.  Glorious life. God Himself made me and knows my name. He has a purpose for ME.  (And for you, dear friend).  And there's this whole other world that exists beyond earth, this crazy, God-filled, Narnia-esque place waiting for us.  If we choose it.
This is worth tearing up for.  I'm alive. I'm alive.

The rainbow glows above the shops.  I blink and force myself to keep walking.  I glance back.  I don't want to forget - the beauty, the wonder.  The sacredness of life here.  I stand in the place where colors meet cloud and cloud meets mist and mist build and floods my very heart.  Floods bring overflow - just what He promises.


 "This is what I want you to do: Ask the Father for whatever is in keeping with the things I've revealed to you. Ask in my name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!"  John 16:23-24


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Eternal Things.

Friday, July 6, 2012

A couple weeks ago our main computer crashed.  We found out it can only be recovered if we spend hundreds of dollars to do so.  There wasn't a ton of information on the computer, but there were thousands of photographs.  Basically, all the photos I'd taken in the past one and a half years.  I'm a passionate photo-taker, and put a lot of value in 'documenting' (so to speak) our days.   I do this often. I do this everyday.  It gets a bit crazy, I'll admit.  I just love capturing life's moments - because life is so incredibly beautiful and fresh - especially with children.




So, the photos of 2011-2012 weren't backed up.  They're gone.

And in an instant, I realize how completely uncertain - so weak and mortal - these things are.

Photographs.
Cameras.
Computers.
Clothes.
Cars.
Houses.
Stuff.   
Disposable, breakable, crash-able, burnable stuff.

“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, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!  No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money."  Matthew 6:19-34

So, I'm asking myself the question, how do I avoid storing up treasures on earth?  How do I live completely focused on the eternal?  What does that look like?

When my husband and I examined the thought of spending upwards of $700 to recover our photos - we couldn't stomach it.  $700 so we could have our 'treasures'.  Mortal things.  Treasures on earth.  Don't store that up.

Okay, God.

Because $700 would probably sustain a beautiful Ugandan family we know for a month.
Because $700 would pay school fees for approximately forty Ugandan children who otherwise could not receive an education.
Because $700 buys a WHOLE lot of food for the food bank.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth.... But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Storing up wild berries yesterday...

See, to know our hearts, we just need to follow the money trail.  What do we spend our money on?  What do we value?  What do we hope for, wish for, strive after? 

Where do we place our time, our effort?
Is it in people or stuff?  And do we have perspective that is razor sharp every time we make a purchase?  See, we love to throw around the 'What Would Jesus Do' concept, but so few of us actually do what Jesus would do when it comes to our stuff.  Jesus was homeless in the years He did ministry.  Earthly possessions had absolutely no place in His life.  He didn't worry about homemaking and hanging lights and sewing pretty things and making fancy meals.  He focused on souls.  His life was a mission lived out with passion and sacrifice.

I'm not suggesting we all live on the streets, but we ought to look to our Lord's example if we call ourselves disciples of Him.  It's easy to look all over scripture at how we are to live.  Different discriptions of a "Godly woman" or wife or mother.  All scripture is useful for teaching, but, we need to be honest with ourselves -

Jesus' spoken words trump all other prophets and all other parts of the Word.  He is the supreme authority.

Yes, that's in there too.  And He is wiser than Solomon and all the other prophets and His words are the ones we are to live by above all else.  He is the true embodiment of God.  He is the One who is perfect. His example reigns supreme.

So, as for me and my house, we don't feel comfortable building our own little kingdom.  I believe we are asked to live humbly.  To dress humbly.  To give extravagantly, until it hurts.  If my giving doesn't hurt, I'm not giving enough.


Come on, let's be real.  
We are not called to make for ourselves a pretty little life.  
A comfy little life.  
These are not the words of Christ.
Because where our money goes - our heart follows.

We will give an account for how we lived, how we spent our money, and how we treated others and used our one (very short) life.

I just can't fathom it being pleasing to God if I spend hundreds of dollars recovering photographs.  My children are right in front of me.  God whispers to me, cherish them today.

I just can't fathom it being pleasing to God to spend thousands on a fancy car, upgrades to our house, pretty decorations, new paint, hutches, new clothes, doing tons and tons of expensive 'cool' things.  It just doesn't align with the scripture.  It certainly doesn't align with the words of Jesus. All of this is 'storing up treasures on earth'.  We want to twist it and twirl it and add a whole lot of 'but' and 'what if' and 'that only applies to' ... but, it's right there.  It's plain as the possessions all around me.

Let me rephrase and tell you how I see it:
 
"Do not buy random things.  Do not purchase 'stuff' unless you actually need it.  Your life isn't about being comfortable.  Your life is about being a servant."

If the words sting your heart, they sting mine too - because I'm right here with you.

We are to cling to, to invest in Eternal things.



Eternal - our children's souls.
Eternal - a love of God's creation and how majestic He is.
Eternal - investing in as many people as we can with our time.
Eternal - giving our money to those we trust, to build bridges, to invest in ministry.
Eternal - feeding children who otherwise would starve.
Eternal - trusting God with your money - giving when it hurts.

Treasures on earth - clothes, toys, electronics.
Treasures on earth - make-up, hair products, nail polish.
Treasures on earth - expensive entertainment.
Treasures on earth - fancy homes, fancy cars, fancy lives.

Ouch.  The truth sometimes hurts, but it can bring us to something new.  We are not called to live in ignorance of the very TRUTH Christ died to reveal.  We are here for something so much more.  Something so much deeper.  We are here for Eternal things.   

This life is a tiny blip in the never ending eternal reality that awaits us.  So, our family is starting to ask the really hard question of what would a disciple of Jesus really do?  I mean, REALLY.  Fight against injustice.  Live for truth.  Listen to our convictions, even when they are completely strange and foreign to most.  Be willing to give up our lives, so we can actually find them.

I've heard that somewhere too...

Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 
Matthew 10:39

So, we're seriously asking what it looks like to lose a life.  Not to build our own paradise, but to allow God to make us a little uncomfortable - so we can truly grasp the Truth of why we're really here.  And I just can't convince myself that I'm here to buy stuff.  To decorate.  To focus on the so very mortal and un-eternal.  To busy myself house-making until I fall over for the scent of cleaning products.  House-making is not always HOMEmaking.

I know many kids who live in beautiful houses, but they do not have a home.

I want to cling to the example of Christ.  I want to force myself to ignore the dishes and engage with the neighbor child who needs a friend.  To embrace a moment laying on the ground with my son, making loud train noises.  To forget about the painting projects and trim projects, and instead, give that money to God.  Funny, He never whispers, 'fix the house'.  He never whispers to buy another nick-nack.  It's never happened.  

Let's reflect on this truth and be open to what He might speak to us.  No, it's not comfy.  But we are not called to the comfy life.  We are called to Eternal Things.

 

And more words from Christ -

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all 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."  Matt. 6: 25-32




Simple Days (Finding freedom this summer...)

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Life has become incredibly complicated for so many children.  This Summer, let's get back to the simple things.  Join me on my quest for freedom over at The Better Mom today.


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