Thanks

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for sending Your Son. Thank You for wildflowers & birds & sunshine. Thank you for Your creation, & our innate ability to create. Thank You for family. Thank You for brunch & lunch & dinner & the people gathered around their tables. Thank You for coffee. Thank You for pretty little things. Thank You for art & music & dance. Thank You for late nights & early mornings & all the hours in between. Thank You for the comfort of sweatpants & the elegance of a fancy dress. Thank You for stories. Thank You for storytellers. Thank You for health. Thank You for healing. Thank You for Your comfort. Thank You for your unconditional love. Thank You for your patience. Thank You for romance. Thank You for sleepovers & good (and bad) movies. Thank You for formal (but mostly informal) dance parties. Thank You for feelings. Thank You for thoughts. Thank You for freedom. Thank You for your pursuit. Thank You for always hearing me. Thank You for knowing me. Thank You wonder. Thank You for awe. Thank You for stars. Thank You for clean water. Thank You for leading an army. Thank You for your protection. Thank You for the things that we can't explain. Thank you for sisters & brothers. Thank you for a future fueled by hope. Thank you for my future friends. Thank you.

And it goes on.   

White

The Spirit often acts as sunglasses. 

He takes the seemingly mundane visual set before me and clarifies it, defines it and usually makes a situation look more beautiful, just like my favorite pair of shades does. 

He doesn't change what I'm looking at, but how. 

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Preface: Winter + Myself = no way José

When recently heading down the highway on one of those breathy and bright mornings, I got stuck behind a semi.

As we both continued to squeeze the gas pedal down the road, a thin wind of snow began to swift off the roof of the semi and gracefully lay upon my windshield.

It wasn't enough to blind me, but enough to take my notice. 

And as I flicked on the blinker to head to the next lane, I saw that annoying (& cold, can't forget the cold) snow, differently than I have ever seen before.

It's as if I saw this element of the earth in which I usually crabbily despise sing praises to His name. 

I saw white: 

Yes, obviously, but the  g l o r i o u s Holy Spirit really made me see white. 

 I was probed to wonder the ways of our God, and curious as to His choice of all the colors He created why He chose to wash the earth in white.

WHITE.

{Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow} Isaiah 1:18

OF COURSE the cold fluff we always complain about is white! His creation is singing of the pure and graceful blank slate we are continually being washed by in Christ alone!

(Like serious praise hands, right?)

And the added bonus that stuck my attention was that my car wasn't only being washed down with WHITE snow, but sparkly snow too.

  When the light hits the snow all it can do is glisten. 

And friends, that's just like us. 

The moment we let Jesus in we are washed white, and His glorious light beams through each of His children giving only one option: to shine. 

Wow, our God is big. Wow, our Jesus loves us so. And Wow, His Holy Spirit is cooler than even my coolest pair of sunglasses.

 

 

 

 

 

100

I live for 100.

100% certainty within decisions, giving 100% to the tasks, people & schedule before me, but even more so, expecting 100% from myself and those around me. 

And it's exhausting.

These weights I've created and placed upon myself are impossibly heavy, even for my strong flesh.

I base my worth on being 100, when the only 100 God asks of me is my heart.

He wants it all, but here I am giving over the buried yuck in my heart apprehensively when I know that I can do so boldly. 

I want to live in 100% surrender, 100% obedience & 100% acceptance of the grace lavished upon me when I don't.

I want to shake off my impossible standards of perfection and lay my mess before The Lord.  

Strive

I just want to shout it from the rooftops. 

WE DON'T HAVE TO STRIVE.

Do you know what this means??

It means that we don't have to listen to made up lie of "success" our culture tells us. 

We don't have to find our worth within our efforts of pursuing something.

Because God sets us free to be. When we are seeking him, we can drop our attempts at being somebody and just rest in who he calls us. 

Even better news is that we don't have to strive to impress him. We're found out, he already knows our deep truths and he loves us just the same.

He doesn't call us his tools, but his treasures. 

I'm choosing to rest in this today & hope you do, too. 

 

Elected

12:00am - November 9th, 2016

As I picked up my phone to ask a mentor in my life about the posture of my heart in such an anxious time, I already had a text waiting for me...

"We of so little faith.... our God is sooo large and unstoppable! Who are we to make Him so small? We are of so little faith! Time to stand up!!"

BAM. God speaks to us even when we don't formally ask Him to. He loves us that much.

It's so tempting to choose to fear. Especially in the classic case of 'everyone else is doing it.'

But I will stand my ground. I will not be shaken because I am choosing to stand firm in the promises of God.

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Tonight He whispered:

1) Sometimes it takes a breakdown for a breakthrough

I look within my own life, the lives of those around me and the lives of those in Scripture and see how prevalent this truth is. In hardship, we should grip to the anticipation of God's movement. Wow, this gives unexplainable peace to my weary heart.  

2) Your prayers are not just a part of the popular vote

The popular vote means nothing in terms of the power of the electoral votes, right? When we stare into the staggering numbers on the TV screens , we can often feel unaccounted for. It's like my personal vote didn't play much of a role in anything because I'm just a number. How often do we feel similar in our view of God? 

The good news is that God can run a country AND speak to each of our hearts simultaneously. God does not dismiss us into a crowd and He sure does not want us to worry about what tomorrow holds. 

Even when the fight seems lost, I'll P R A I S E You.   

  

 

Ohio

I drove a stranger to Ohio last night. 

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News Flash to thyself: it is impossible to please God and love others well with your own brut strength.

I've been trying and it's been nothing short of exhausting.

(Literally) by the grace of God I've gained a new understanding about what it means to walk with Him and I've learned it's about overflow. It's about being so filled up on Truth, Light and Love that comes directly from His word + presence that there is no other option but to share His goodness with others. 

We need God in our hearts in order to please God with our actions.

Yesterday I was overflowin'. My heart was so full of Him. And the moment I took notice to it was the moment I drove past the hazard lights blinking through heavy traffic.

Of all locations on the planet for the poor girl's car to break down, it was in front of a church. And not only a church, but my church.

Through lots of waiting for battery charges, and attempted car jumps, I got to hear her story alone in the lobby of my church. And boy, did she have one.

I got to ask her about her journey with God and point her toward the hope found in Him alone.

I got to pray with her and ask God to warm her heart to Him again, and to continue to write her story of redemption. 

Y'all this was not my plan for my Friday night. But after recent curiosity + doubt about God's persistence in pursuit of His children, He assured me that He's doing everything He can to reach us. Even if it includes a late Friday night spent at Autozone and I-75 S to Toledo.

I was forced to be 100% depend on God. (Even my family's phones randomly stopped functioning during this time!) It was an unexpected answer to a prayer from that morning.

When we go to Him we overflow with His goodness and are equipped for the unpredictable opportunities that lie ahead. I wonder what opportunities to love people extravagantly I have missed because my eyes were all other places but Him?

I always say that walking with God means going on an adventure, but I think we need to get out of our heads that it's the perfectly-curated, Instagram-worthy adventure.

The adventure with + through God is worth so much more than a lifeless image on a screen because it contains invisible freedom and fulfillment.