releasing more of me to receive more of God

Posted in faith

I need a daily intervention for this reality: choosing Jesus means you live entirely for Someone else.

Choosing Jesus changes the game from “you’re the best, you can do this!” to “God is the best. You can’t, but He can.”

Choosing Jesus replaces self-promoting tendencies with God-exalting habits.

Choosing Jesus fills you with durable hope, compassion, and generosity that you wouldn’t otherwise have.

Choosing Jesus gives a posture of upward and outward affections, in contrast to the life-imploding desires we have without His rescuing.

Choosing Jesus challenges you not to settle for immediate gratification and worldly successes, but aim for the smile of Heaven.

Choosing Jesus means that your passion, beauty, confidence, and purpose in this life is grounded in Someone else.

Have you experienced these fruits of choosing Jesus?

I certainly have, but they didn’t start blooming until I honestly found, and decided, that Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are better than every single joy, ability, decision, achievement, relationship, skill, and activity.

Having an active relationship with God deepens everything, but what it has done for me most is shift my heart, soul, and mind’s energy from myself to an open-handed, joyful, adventurous journey towards Him.

And something incredible, He knew I would be terminally imperfect at living this way, but He loved so dearly He sent Jesus to die in my place, bearing all of my sin, my lack, my imperfection. Because of Jesus’ death on the cross, because of Almighty God’s perfect plan, nothing separates us. Not my weak ways of loving Him, not the sinful choices I willfully and unintentionally make, not my inescapable humanness.

Choosing this Jesus in our daily life — this Creator, Sustainer, and King — is what gives eternal color to everything we do.

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delighting in quiet and solitude

Posted in faith

Most of the time, I struggle with silence.

If I’m home by myself on a Saturday morning cleaning or folding laundry, I like to have music, or a movie, or podcast going. If I’m driving around town, it’s music, or an audiobook, or a podcast. My natural bent is not to welcome silence and stillness. After a long, stressful day, I want to watch a funny or adventurous movie with my husband. I don’t naturally enjoy the quiet.

But alas, He is changing me.

It started as a slightly desperate desire for stillness after a long, intense workday.

Then I read a book about prayer that calls me deeper into God’s Presence.

Then I began to pray for fresh desire for His words and thoughts, changing what I enjoy listening to.

And I discovered great delight in the quiet of solitude.

 

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In the quiet, we are more likely to hear His words, from past study or something new.

In the unhurried, we create space to center our hearts on His nature, the fruit of His Spirit.

In moments of solitude, we can be our honest selves, laying out the day or details before Him.

We see this in the way Jesus chose to live, don’t we?

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wanting Christmas decorations to mean more

Posted in home

Can they be lovely? Of course.

Can they be elaborate? Can they be simple? Definitely, whatever your taste.

Can they be overwhelming? Sure, if that’s how you like it.

Can they be nonexistent? It’s your December.

Can they be more than decorative elements? Yes! I think they can.

While putting our decorations up, I noticed an interesting thread. Most of what I put up had an obvious, uplifting, and sweet reason for being there.

The snowman on our steps was my grandmother’s. We were close and she died almost 10 years ago from pancreatic cancer. We once tried to count all the snowmen in her home and became tired before we passed 50. Christmas was a joyous season for her, and I love that I have a few of her favorite things to decorate our home with.

Prints and scripts that prompt our hearts to worship and admire God. (And drawings from good friends’ kids. The best.)

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