2 Questions, 2 Truths

When you I write a blog post I rarely never have the time to find all the scrumptious words or present my offering with the “voila!” of someone serving a gourmet feast at Thanksgiving.

But this morning, more than most, I feel like I’m serving up “bare naked chicken” – just a couple of things I’ve been thinking about that seem to go together.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a sermon podcast by Craig Groeschel and honestly I can’t remember the point of the sermon because as an aside (not having to do with the message at all), he said his counselor had asked him two questions.

Those two questions are what my mind keeps returning to.  Here’s what they are: Continue reading

When God Calls You to Stop Doing Stuff and Let go of Your Balloons

Anyone who knows me knows I don’t sit still well.  I love a high goal and lots of action.  Lots of people and passion.  “Not somehow, but triumphantly!” is a refrain in our family.

But with some of the people closest to me, lately I find myself saying, “I think you need to be gentle with yourself.  Give yourself grace.  Stop. Rest.”  Easier advice to give than to take.

There’s a friend who experienced an adoption nightmare while trying to be faithful to God’s leading is left reeling, confused, wounded.

A friend battling pancreatic cancer, wondering “What can I do?”

And another who’s been through a season of conflict and unfair criticism at work.

We all go through different spiritual seasons.  Some where we’re growing, others where we’re re-orienting, but often the most neglected are those seasons of rest, when God says, “Sit awhile with Me.  The world will keep spinning without you.” Continue reading

Baggy Overalls, Hot Mamas, and Your True Self

Think of your most comfy, go-to-on-bad-days piece of clothing.

You know what I mean…the super soft snuggly sweatshirt with paint stains from when you were fixing up your first house.  Or the holey pair of jeans from 1998 that make you think of friends.  And watching Friends.

You like to call it “classic”.

For me that piece of clothing is a tad more embarrassing than classic.  A little more obviously out of style.  It’s a pair of baggy, khaki capri overalls that are just sooooo comfortable.  I usually reserve them for wearing at the lake, or on days when I’m not going to see anyone (or at least anyone I know).

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But a few Wednesdays ago was a bit of a bad day.  I did a six mile run which started off with a bite in the butt by a dog who chased me (I know!  How embarrassing is that?!), and ended with me positive I was going to die and will never be able to finish this race or get water to thirsty kids in Zambia.  Total fail.

So I took a shower and put on my baggy Khaki overall capris.  The only other thing I had the rest of the day where I would see people I knew was a missions meeting at the home of my friends, Mike and Megan.  I debated changing, but I thought, “No, it’s safe.  Although they always look totally hip and cool and pulled together even in their exercise clothes, I think they’re ok with my come-as-I-am self. Not my fancy-pants, polished, achieving clean water with a half-marathon, trying-to-be-good-self. Continue reading

The One that Jesus Loves (More than Me)

Confession:  Every once in awhile (read: way too often), I look at ______, or _______, or _______  and I compare myself and come up short and decide I’m going to throw in the towel.

No, nothing drastic, but just I’m just going to quit “showing up”.

Jesus clearly has gifted “them” more, is using “them” more powerfully, loves “them” more.

I decide, yep, I’m going to give up writing or parenting, or setting goals, or mentoring or exercising or speaking or being available, or risking…

This has prompted me to question, “What is it that inhibits and what is it that inspires us to live our unique story?”

What motivates you to become a better version of yourself?  To celebrate the work God wants to do uniquely through you?

And conversely, What is destructive to your true self – the self that finds meaning in being a beloved child of God?

This is not a new struggle and I know I’m not alone. Can I get an “Amen!”?

As I’ve been talking with God about this yelling “Lord help me figure this out! Now!”  He brought to mind this little exchange in John 21 (remember John is writing):

Peter turned and saw that the disciple whom Jesus loved was following them…When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”  Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

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You know how John has that irritating way of referring to himself as “the disciple Jesus loved”?  I wonder how that made Peter feel.  Was he tempted to buy into the lie that John was the ONE (the only one) Jesus loved?  More than anyone else?  Was he tempted to compare and be blinded to the ways that Jesus loved him and wanted to use his unique gifts, temperament and experience?

Jesus basically says, “Quit looking at his his life, his “likes”, invitations, followers, hits, gifts, retweets, his family, his successes or failures and look at Me.

Because I have a story I want to write through you that I can’t write through him.”

I believe Jesus says that to us too.

And so we can say: “I’m the one that Jesus loves.  And so is he.  Or she.

God has given me a unique voice and a valuable story.

And God has given them a different voice and different valuable story.”

You have gifts and relationships and experiences and a platform that I don’t have.  That no one else has in the exact same combination.

I pray you’ll move into this Monday celebrating that you’re the one Jesus loves and is using in a way that He can use no one else.

What’s one thing you can celebrate about your unique voice today?