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Chelsea B.E.

a heart like the sea

Posted in faith

One of our favorite things to do while cruising this week was standing on the balcony and watching the open water. As far as the eye could see, water sloshing against water, waves crashing at the ship’s edge, open sea changing shape and continually moving.

At one point in the week I thought, my insides feel a little like the ocean sometimes. 

Chaotic. Beautiful. Deep. Rushing. Drowning. Raging.

I am passionate (a lovely word for emotional) person. Here I don’t mean cry often. Here I mean deep feeler. Here I mean tend to be driven and ignited by feelings. Here I mean experience life deeply. Here I mean even struggle to not bear the weight of someone else’s burden when it’s not mine to carry.

I once heard someone talking about Jesus, commenting on his fully man-ness yet fully God-ness.

My paraphrase:

Jesus experienced the complete weight of human emotion without sinning because He never let any emotion separate Him from His Father.

Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane…

They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:32-36 (emphasis mine)

Soul overwhelmed with the deepest sorrow imaginable, yet processing with Father.

Jesus modeled perfect trust. He modeled real vulnerability in life’s circumstances, yet felt it with(in) his Father’s heart.

This inspires me to believe that my heart, emotional and passionate and messy and flawed as it may be, is important. If I look at Jesus, I see his heart fully feeling, but in the Presence of His Father. And I can do the same! (Wait, what?! Yes.)

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Apps I Use Daily

Posted in inspiration

I am passionate about not being a complete and total screen starer 24/7, but I also have come to realize how useful the mini computer in my purse wrapped in a cell phone can be!

Below are apps I find particularly useful in my daily life…

Evernote

Being a journaler, thinker, compiler of recipes and articles and lists… Evernote is a dream come true. My notebooks include: Home Details, Book Quotes, Recipes, Blog Notes, etc. I’ve been using it pretty religiously since early 2016 and it is a great help for keeping my creative, all over the place interests in one place.

8fit

This is a new one for me, and it does require a monthly subscription, but it is doing wonders for my get up and go movement motivation at home. 5 to 15 minute sessions, with workouts tailored specifically for your activity level, interests, and goals. I set it up to so the app sends me a notification in the mornings “You know you’ll feel better after this workout.” The quick, high intensity, easy-to-do-at-home exercises jumpstart my neighborhood walks and jogs and it’s really fun.

Echo

This is relatively new for me also, and I’m still learning it and seeing if I actually like it. “Echo helps integrate prayer into your daily routine, allowing you to stay in conversation with God in the midst of your busy life.” (via) With Echo, you create a list of your prayers. You can add as many as you want, organize them into groups, and even mark prayers as answered so you can see how God is working! You can also set up notifications or emails to remind you to pray for individual prayers, or even groups of prayers. Along with my prayer index cards, I am starting to groove with this a little bit.

Filmborn

My new favorite photo editing app. Cool filters and numerous possibilities for editing photos.

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the heart behind my words

Posted in faith

I can be an overtalker. An anxious rambler. I sometimes fear awkward silences, and I can hardly let an uncomfortable situation sit.

There’s a frantic urgency to overreach with my words, to extent an apology or clarifying statement or burst of emotion.

I’ve known this to be true throughout my life, but lately it’s been flashing bright like Vegas Neon. And truthfully, I’m bothered by it.

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Proverbs 18:21

I’m disturbed by my fear of discomfort in a conversation. I’m weary from my need to explain myself completely and entirely, to cover all my bases, to fix a situation immediately.

I wonder about pride, and how it could be a root issue here: the need to be sure I’m understood, the desire to make sure I’m not seen as wrong or confused or behind the curve.

Once I get going, words like a garden hose rush from my lips. Usually resulting in regret or self-doubt or disappointment, sometimes condemnation before Holy Spirit catches me.

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unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel

Posted in faith

All of this I suppose is just a way to say to you that if what’s in your eyesight when you look up is what everyone else is doing or thinks you ought to be doing, clear the way, friend. Clear the paths around you, unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel. It is Christ who cares for you and cares for your provision, far more than you can ever care for it. So let the dead things drop, find out what they are and let them drop. via

Clear the paths around you, unmuddle the simplicity of the gospel.

Is the theology I live by rooted in God’s Word, or my own version of the gospel?

Driving home the other night, Holy Spirit impressed, You can’t manufacture spirituality, growth, or intimacy. 

Gracious conviction.

Listening to all the podcasts, reading all the books, being aware of others’ opinions and learnings gives an air of growth, because I feel knowledgable or capable. But knowledge doesn’t always champion intimacy in my relationship with Father God.

OR… am I listening, reading, and spending my energy to honestly and desperately use them to enlarge my God-lens?

Every time you close another door—be it the door of immediate satisfaction, the door of distracting entertainment, the door of busyness, the door of guilt and worry, or the door of self-rejection—you commit yourself to go deeper into your heart and thus deeper into the heart of God. Henri Nouwen

Encountering God minute-by-minute is what changes me, not continually stuffing my mind with others’ words, or measuring faith by someone other than Christ.

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Cheer up. He is calling you.

Posted in faith

Do you know the story of blind Bartimeus? It’s in Mark 10…

Then they reached Jericho, and as Jesus and his disciples left town, a large crowd followed him. A blind beggar named Bartimaeus (son of Timaeus) was sitting beside the road.

When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus of Nazareth was nearby, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

“Be quiet!” many of the people yelled at him. But he only shouted louder, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” When Jesus heard him, he stopped and said, “Tell him to come here.”

So they called the blind man. “Cheer up,” they said. “Come on, he’s calling you,” Bartimaeus threw aside his coat, jumped up, and came to Jesus.

“What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked. “My Rabbi,” the blind man said, “I want to see!”

And Jesus said to him, “Go, for your faith has healed you.” Instantly the man could see, and he followed Jesus down the road.

This story of Jesus healing Bartimeus has become a call to prayer for me.

Weird connection? Stay with me.

My perspective on prayer has changed drastically in the past few years. I used to live in the camp that my prayers had to be well-put-together, with the right words, quoting scripture, asking for the best things, etc.

Now, through grace and Spirit-led discoveries, prayer is ongoing interaction with Father God. I invite Him to join me in my breakfast or morning jog. I ask His opinion before I speak or enter a meeting. I share frustrations, fears, and disappointment with Him on the spot, whether I’m driving, talking, or washing dishes.

The gift of praying, Holy Spirit inside us as a constant Companion, is so beautiful, so profound, so revolutionary.

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