experiencing God in everything

in faith

Loving God with all our mind means that our thinking is wholly engaged to do all it can to awaken and express the heartfelt fullness of treasuring God above all things. John Piper

It’s amazing how uncluttered and settled my heart becomes when I savor Father, Jesus, and Holy Spirit.

When I relish in the Truth that I am deeply loved, adored, cared for. That I have a rich and valuable purpose on this earth to spread God’s glory.

God is the greatest thing that exists, ever has existed or ever will… for us to glory in anything else, would be sin, as there is nothing greater than God, there is no calling greater than praising God. John Piper

How much sweeter does a moment become when our efforts, desires, and energies are given to Someone outside ourselves.

We are free. Free to love selflessly, free to give generously, free to choose joy instead of discouragement, faith instead of fear.

All of real life is in God.

When I recognize that God is the greatest thing that exists, when I talk to Him as such, when I think about Him as such, it transforms my being.

I will not live and die by the approval of man, but lose myself joyfully in praising God.

I will not be mastered by sinful tendencies, seduced by worldly pleasures, but will stand strong on the rock of God’s promises to fill me up and satisfy me with things much better.

I will not be so easily offended, but will surrender my causes and concerns to a God who knows best.

Father, help me treasure You above everything else.  Please teach me what it looks like to adore You.

Jesus’s longing and goal is that we see his glory and then that we be able to love what we see with the same love that the Father has for the Son. And he doesn’t mean that we merely imitate the love of the Father for the Son. He means the Father’s very love becomes our love for the Son—that we love the Son with the love of the Father for the Son. This is what the Spirit becomes and bestows in our lives: Love for the Son by the Father through the Spirit. What Jesus wants most for Christmas is that his elect be gathered in and then get what they want most—to see hi glory and then savor it with the very savoring of the Father for the Son.

I love the language of Advent. The adoring of Jesus can thrill your heart if you let it. Even though I’ve been a Christian for a long time, I’ve never experienced Him like I am these days. His Spirit has been super gracious is revealing new Truth to me, setting fire in my soul for God. The above quote is from Desiring God’s “Good News of Great Joy” Advent readings.

making choices like Jesus would

in faith

Thanksgiving week this year was full. Full of family, laughter, conversations, shooting guns, being outside, delicious food, a few tears, lots of grace.

I was driving out to my parents’ house asking Father for help. God, please give me wisdom and discernment in my choices. Bless our families with good quality time and rich conversation. Be honored by our words and actions and thoughts. In His goodness, He gave me a visual.

Two sisters, different personalities. Mary and Martha in Luke 10. Mary sitting at Jesus’ feet while busy bee Martha is frazzled and distracted.

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.” v. 41-42

The greatest possession is close fellowship with the Lord as our ‘portion’ in life, says the ESV Study Bible. “It will not be taken away from her” — neither now to help Martha in the kitchen, nor for all eternity.

And Father said, stay at my feet, stay close, rest and trust Me. 

Instead of feeling like my mind is distracted and frazzled and busy like Martha, trying to please everyone and make the perfect choice.

Jesus was a man who lived on this earth. He walked, talked, overcame, felt physical needs, spent time with other humans. He valued close fellowship with his Father.

“Jesus came to reveal God to us. He is the defining word on God—on what the heart of God is truly like, on what God is up to in the world, and on what God is up to in your life. An intimate encounter with Jesus is the most transforming experience of human existence. To know him as he is, is to come home. To have his life, joy, love, and presence cannot be compared. A true knowledge of Jesus is our greatest need and our greatest happiness. To be mistaken about him is the saddest mistake of all.”

To experience him and learn about him and know him is transformative.

God is cultivating in me a longing to know Jesus like I know my best friend or my husband.

To wonder about him when doing mundane tasks. To imitate how he speaks to both friends and strangers. To prioritize life as he prioritized life. To learn how he responds well in tricky situations. To love him by my service. To listen to him. To learn his mannerisms and tendencies. To know his heart.

I’m reading a book by John Eldredge called Beautiful Outlaw, about Jesus and his personality. All the quotes in this post are found in the book. It’s an interesting read.

He woos, he confronts, he delivers, he heals, he shoots straight, and then he uses intrigue. He lives out before them the most compelling view of God, shows them an incredibly attractive holiness while shattering the religious glaze.

I’m learning it this way… Holy Spirit is God in us; He is companion, wisdom, comfort, guide, and more. Jesus is our example for life; He lived a life that pleased God. Jesus is our brother to learn from. God is Father; He is creator, judge, powerful.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality. Your humanity, and your life. This is the reason he came. Anything else is religion.

I sometimes underestimate the power of knowing Jesus as if he was a physical person in my life today. I sometimes underestimate the stories of the Bible.. passages that tell of his expressions, his words, his way of being, his view of the world.

The purpose of his life, death, and resurrection was to ransom you from your sin, deliver you from the clutches of evil, restore you to God – so that his personality and his life could heal and fill your personality.

Forgive me, Father. Thank you, for sending Jesus to live perfectly and die sacrificially.

a great Christmas gift idea

in inspiration

mercy candle co | heartnatured.com

Do you have any candle lovers in your life?

I do. And I am one.

Mercy Candle Co, my friends.

50 cents from the sale of every mason jar candle is donated to help fight the battle against human trafficking. I love the idea of shopping with purpose, shopping with beautiful intention. And for a person who always has a candle burning, this is a cool one!

Just an idea :)

 

finding my joy in the joy of my husband

in him

heartnatured.com

It was middle of the work day.

I was hit with a big thought, “J shared something with me he was working through the other day, and I haven’t asked him about it.”

I confess, I was saddened by my selfishness. I felt guilty, and a little heartbroken at my lack of attention to what’s going on in my husband’s heart.

I surrendered it to Holy Spirit because it was a weight I needed help working through. My own self-absorption. I may not be malicious self-centered, but focusing on what’s going on in my life only when I am one with this sweet, strong, but also human man of God.

I am his partner, his helper, his wife. I pray for him daily, but only occasionally do I ask how I can specifically pray for him on a particular day.

It hit me then: just because we’re married now, and we see each other daily and know the big things happening in our lives, doesn’t mean I shouldn’t ask the common questions of curiosity.

He’s my person. He is the man that God created to be my husband, the man I get to watch continue to grow in Christlikeness and husband-dom, and eventually fatherhood. He is only mine! He is my #1.

I know and believe and love all of these things with my entire being, but my daily choices haven’t truly been reflecting that.

God made me his wife, to support and love and pray for and be present with. This is a beautiful and powerful and important role; I never want to take it for granted or not value it as I should.

So I’ve been thinking… how can I better love my person? The one I am called to love as best as I possibly can?

Spiritually

I can ask more regularly what J is learning about God, lessons from studying the Bible, concerns and joys happening in his heart. I can be a true, real accountability for him by lovingly prodding when I see him choosing self over Christ, or prioritizing worldly pleasures over godly ones. We’re a team, and this life can be difficult. I can get down in the trenches with him and fight apathy and sin and lukewarmness.

Physically

I think of intimacy, but also efforts around our home. I can love him well, by prioritize him over myself. I can do my best to make him laugh, to bring joy to our home by playing our favorite games or watching a great movie. J doesn’t like doing laundry, so I can continue to do majority of the laundry, happily, knowing I am loving him in a particularly important way. I can help keep our home a pleasant, clean, and comfortable place (which happens to make me happy also), so he exhale at the end of a long workday.

Emotionally

I can flirt with him, leave him notes that tell of how much I care for him, make him feel special. I can join him in activities I know he loves. I can remind him how I am on his side always, and cheer him on when he is discouraged. I can share my feelings more honestly, giving him the chance to learn something new about me. I can give him my undivided attention when he is talking, instead of multitasking.

I both love and am continually convicted by this passage from John Piper,

Husbands and wives, recognize that in marriage you have become one flesh. If you live for your private pleasure at the expense of your spouse, you are living against yourself and destroying your joy. But if you devote yourself with all your heart to the holy joy of your spouse, you will also be living for your joy and making a marriage after the image of Christ and His church.

Even once you’re married (I’m generalizing here), it can be easy to still think you’re on an island by yourself. You do things that make you particularly happy, you make choices to benefit you, you meditate about how you’re doing — not at all bad things! But as I learned our first month being married, and so often since then, that my happiness is hinged to J’s happiness. We are one.

On my own, in Christ, I have a capacity for joy and love and abundant life. And it’s a great capacity, because God is great.

But, J and I together? Our potential joy and love and abundant life together blows my alone possibility out of the water by a long shot. It makes my life much richer with J by my side, sacrificially and unconditionally loving him, putting him before myself.

In God is where we are both completely satisfied. In Christ we have all the love we could ever desire or need or dream of. This enables us to not require perfection from each other; it gives us the confidence and ability to work with God to make each other more like Jesus.

Lord, help me seek my joy in the joy of my husband. 

 


 

“I no longer believe love works like a fairy tale but like farming. Most of it is just getting up early and tilling the soil and then praying for rain. But if we do the work, we might just wake up one day to find an endless field of crops rolling into the horizon. In my opinion, that’s even better than a miracle.” Don Miller

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