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thoughts from a sick day

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I write this post from my couch.

Where I’ve been sitting for the past 8 hours.

Surrounded by books, pillows and blankets, a tea mug, a water glass, and tissues.

Yes, I have a cold, with a fever attached.

Although seriously bummed I couldn’t go about my normal day, for it was full with a need for productivity and a fun meeting over God’s Word, Holy Spirit has been teaching.

First, I struggle with sitting still. I’m fidgety, restless, and almost always multi-tasking.

“We often use outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises.” Henri Nouwen

In the quiet is where I experience His presence, because He doesn’t shout over the television. On a day like today, stillness is where I encounter Him. Reading His words, I am refreshed, and challenged.

Second, a friendship with Jesus means honesty with Him.

This is a lesson I learned earlier this year.

“God insists on artless transparency to enable Him to mold me into a woman of grace and beauty, a woman who listens and hears and knows Him down deep… When I confess my flaws, my guilt, my failures, my frustrations, to God, He takes the softest washcloth to my mess and bathes me in beauty. I lean into His warmth, breathing in the scent of Him, wanting more.” Diane Comer

It took multiple circumstances, and Holy Spirit’s gentle convicting, to help me see that I’m not honest with God. It’s a funny idea, though, since He knows my thoughts long before I think them. I held things in own strength, pretending for appearances, weighed down by legalistic guilt and fighting spiritual battles on the grounds of deeds. 

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world tension.

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I don’t have to tell you that our country (the world) is broken. You already know that. You already know that it is sinful, hurting, angry, scared, defensive. Racism, hate, violence, pride, ignorance, blame, fear. It’s on the news while we’re eating breakfast, it’s on Twitter during our lunch break, it’s a topic of conversation at dinner.

When I heard about the Dallas shooting, I admit I felt afraid, and a little pessimistic (the more spiritual word might be discouraged). I felt a wall of begin going up around me, my loved ones, my little bubble. I searched the Bible to ease my growing fear.

Then I had a conversation with my husband. I daily thank God for the wisdom and insight in my husband; hallelujah that he sees life and thinks differently than I do, that we are not exactly the same. Because let me tell you, God uses J’s loving insight to right my doubts and fears quite often.

He said, and I’m paraphrasing,

I cannot believe that it’s somehow worse now than it was 50, 100, 150, 500 years ago. It might look a little different, but the human race has always been sinful. Nowadays, we just have media outlets in everybody’s faces where news is continually exploding. This world is broken. The Bible says that in this life we will have trouble. (John 16:33) What we can do is share the Gospel, love humanity the best we can, be obedient to the call of God in the Bible, and love Him with all our hearts and minds and souls.

His words and perspective comforted me. I don’t want it to come across like he doesn’t care for the tragedies that happen seemingly every other day, he absolutely positively does. We both grieve for lives lost, for families that are almost daily losing loved ones over violence and strife and disagreement.

But, even in that, if I walk around carrying the weight of this world, I will crumble. I won’t be able to walk. And I think J’s perspective is sorrowful, yet eternity-minded. He challenged me, and us as a family, to share the Gospel, to pray desperate prayers for God to save, to love as deeply as we possibly can.

This is where our energy should go. Not into fighting or arguing or even living depressed and discouraged. Not living defensively or closed off, not judging or categorizing people.

Our purpose is to share Jesus, to live with Him as our life, glory, hope, and identity. To walk as Jesus walked.

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Stop Overthinking It… and Be Free

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Sometimes (maybe often is a better word) I over-think a decision. Whether it’s what to eat for dinner, what to say in a text message, or how much to share on social media, I put in a good deal of thought.

In his book “The Parody of Choice,” Dr. Barry Schwartz says it’s important for people to feel like they have choices when making decisions in life. And the only way we learn about the wide variety of choices we have is by obtaining knowledge and accumulating information.

Yet, having too much information at my fingertips, which is characteristic of our world today, I become overwhelmed. On top of that, as we get older, we’re continually learning new perspectives, growing into new attitudes; thus, the endless choices and pressure to choose perfectly every single time seems paralyzing! That pressure also drains some of the freedom out of life.

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