Just As I Am

How would you describe yourself?  Kind?  Caring?  Compassionate?  Empathetic?  Generous?  I think if I had to describe myself I would say: messy, caring, honest, encouraging and giving of grace.  Perfect definitely doesn’t make it on my list.  

What about worthy?  Did worthy make your list of attributes?  

It’s hard to reconcile that we are worthy of God’s love and mercy and grace and joy when we feel so less than perfect.  How is someone as messy as me also worthy?  As a Christian when God looks at me all he sees is perfection.  He sees me as white as snow because all of my sins, past, present and future, have already been paid for by the blood of Jesus.  He sees me as worthy, he sees me as enough, just as I am.

Galatians 2:20 – I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.  And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

1 Corinthians 6:11 – And such were some of you.  But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

Ephesians 4:1 – I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling in which you have been called.

2 Corinthians 3:5 – Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.

 

Separation Anxiety

Livi had a school project where you make a car out of cardboard boxes and the kids “drive” their cars all around school.  It was the cutest thing ever and her school did a fantastic job with the event.  They had a pretend car wash, gas station, car races and Livi’s favorite: the mechanic shop.  It was precious seeing her underneath this cardboard car intently hammering, screwing and who knows what else, underneath.  To top the festivities off they had a drive in movie theater complete with popcorn!  It was an incredible event for the kids.  

The creation of the car was a whole other story.  Livi settled her mind on a Rainbow Dash Batmobile.  Yes, you read that correctly.  Only Livi could come up with such a thing, and praise God for Pintrest ideas that helped make her dream a reality.  I spent well over 40 hours in making this car so that she could use it all of 30 minutes.  Total side note, different story for a different day, but God taught me so much about myself and my sin through the creation of this car!

The car has been sitting in the garage for weeks.  No one has touched it since the event.  Livi told me today that she was okay with it being thrown away.  I’ve been ready since 2am the night before the event while I was trying to finish the darn thing!  The car is a reminder of my sin of wanting recognition for myself and not for giving God the glory of his creation through me.  I am tired of looking at it every day and seeing nothing but ugliness in myself.  

So out to the curb it went.  And so did Livi.  No tears, just mournful hugging of the car, ready to see it go yet not so ready.  Our sin nature is the same.  We are soooo ready to get rid of our sin, so ready to get rid of the hurt it causes, yet not really wanting to let the pleasure of the sin go.  What sin are you holding on to today?  What sin have you taken to the curb yet are not quite letting go of?  I challenge you today, walk away.  Walk away, don’t look back, run if you have to.  God will be faithful to carry you through the separation anxiety.

* Side note, I love the ray of light shining down on Livi in this picture.  It’s like God is shining down comforting her.  God is there to comfort you too, all the time in all ways.  

Proverbs 4:25 – Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you.

Psalm 62:8 – Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

1 Peter 5:6-7 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him because he cares for you.

Matthew  11:28 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

 

Trash Upon Trash

Holiday weekends are such a delight.  We are able to breathe, relax and just be for a few days.  It’s so refreshing.  The kids ride their bikes up and down the street playing with friends.  Once they are sufficiently hot and sweaty they jump in the pool.  Fully clothed.  They also make a mess of everything.  Bikes strewn everywhere, board games and their pieces up and down the hallway just begging to be stepped on in the middle of the night (legos are the worst though!), and I seriously have never taken out more bags of trash.  Where in the world does all that trash come from!?  It appears and multiplies!

Our lives can be the same, trash upon trash just waiting to be taken out.  I can’t even begin tell you the amount of mess in my life (past and present).  I don’t take out the trash near often enough.  When you take out the trash you lay your hurts, your poor choices, your pain, all of it, at the feet of Jesus.  You lay it out and give it to him.  Then He loves you, and your trash is gone.  If you’ve never taken out the trash, or haven’t done it lately, I challenge you to let it out.  Lay it at the feet of Jesus then sit back and enjoy the freedom it brings.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain.  On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

Clouds

Holiday weekends are such a delight.  We are able to breathe, relax and just be for a few days.  It’s so refreshing.  The kids ride their bikes up and down the street playing with friends.  Once they are sufficiently hot and sweaty they jump in the pool.  Fully clothed.  They also make a mess of everything.  Bikes strewn everywhere, board games and their pieces up and down the hallway just begging to be stepped on in the middle of the night (legos are the worst though!), and I seriously have never taken out more bags of trash.  Where in the world does all that trash come from!?  It appears and multiplies!

Our lives can be the same, trash upon trash just waiting to be taken out.  I can’t even begin tell you the amount of mess in my life (past and present).  I don’t take out the trash near often enough.  When you take out the trash you lay your hurts, your poor choices, your pain, all of it, at the feet of Jesus.  You lay it out and give it to him.  Then He loves you, and your trash is gone.  If you’ve never taken out the trash, or haven’t done it lately, I challenge you to let it out.  Lay it at the feet of Jesus then sit back and enjoy the freedom it brings.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1 Corinthians 15:10 – But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace towards me was not in vain.  On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.

Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

1 Peter 1:13 – Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

 

You Aren’t Cheap

All day long we are told “you aren’t enough” by the media, by our jobs, by our families, by the world in general but mostly by ourselves.  “I’m not pretty enough.”  “I’m not successful enough.”  “I’m not outgoing enough.”  “I’m not {fill in the blank} enough.”  This ultimately translates: “I’m not good enough.”  

I’m not one of those moms who has it all together.  I usually show up late (pray for me!), not all put together, and feel like I stick out like a sore thumb.  I awkwardly try to make conversation with other people and usually leave thinking “They are going to think I’m crazy.  Why didn’t I just stop talking!” The thoughts of “I look fat in this, they think I’m crazy, I’m a bad mom, I’m missing work, I should have dinner planned by now, there’s no way I can get it all done” and on and on seem to play on a never ending loop in my head.  In my head I’m never a good enough mom, I’m never a good enough employee, I’m never a good enough friend, I’m never enough.

But hear me now, we ARE enough!  We are so enough that a man, whom we didn’t know (yet he knew us), gave his LIFE for us.  We are THAT enough.  We were literally bought by a man’s blood.  I was made enough by Jesus’ sacrifice for ME on the cross.  

He paid the most precious of a price for you so don’t cheapen yourself to the idea that you aren’t enough.  You aren’t cheap.  You are enough.  Go value yourself and delight in yourself just as our father in heaven values you and delights in you.  Take your thoughts captive and tell yourself “I AM enough!”

 

The Call

My phone rings and dings all the time.  Like ALL. The. Time!  It never ends! And every time it rings or dings you can be sure someone needs something.  Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people and the constant stream of action is God’s calling for me in this phase of life (and I truly enjoy it).  It’s just that rarely does my phone ring or ding for something that doesn’t take part of me away.  

Yesterday was different.  I got a call from a collogue just to say hi.  She was having fun at a resale shop, thought of me, stopped and took the time out of her busy day to make the call.  It meant so much, it meant the world.  My heart stopped and smiled.  

That one call, that one small action she took, changed the course of the rest of my day.  God is calling you for a purpose today.  Take the time to stop and say yes to God.  You never know what your small action will do in another person’s life.  Be the cause for change.

Exodus 9:16 – But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.

Psalm 37:5 – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.

John 17:4 – I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Philippians 2:13 – For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

 

Dessert in the Desert

Several times in my life I’ve found myself wandering through life trying to find my purpose, regain my center, wandering through a desert of trial after trial after trial.  It feels like I wake up, go to work, go to bed, then rinse wash and repeat.  Every time I think life is about to get better I get beaten down again.  As hard as some of my deserts have been I am still thankful God didn’t call me to wander aimlessly for 40 years.  Just saying.  

Anyways… I’m a type-a neurotic planner.  I drive everyone around me crazy as I try to control even the smallest detail.  When I can’t be in control I feel out of control and that lack of control creates anxiety, additional stress and more hardship than I ever want to admit to.  By forcing MY will of how I think life should go I just make a big ‘ol mess of it!  If I were to just stop, breathe, and surrender my will to God He would provide a way out of that desert.  Surrender my will to His will.  Lower myself so that He may be elevated.  His way is so much sweeter than mine.  

So in those hard times of life when you’re walking through the desert, cry out to God and be open to hearing, then following, the direction He provides for you.  God’s way is sweeter than anything we could create for ourselves.  Delight in him.  Enjoy the dessert of God’s goodness, grace, love, mercy and joy as you are carried through the desert in the arms of your loving savior.  

Numbers 32:13 – The Lord’s anger burned against Israel and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until the whole generation of those who had done evil in his sigh was gone.

Philippians 4:6-7 – Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Ask the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Psalm 94:19 – When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Luke 12:22-26 – Do not worry about your life, what you will eat, or about your body, what you will wear.  Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes.  Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn yet God feels them.  And how much more valuable you are than birds!  Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?  Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?