It’s been over a year since I’ve spent much time in my personal Instagram feed. At the request of a friend I went hunting through it for a particular post she was referencing, and I was freshly encouraged by the handful of captions I happened to land on. Then I realized it could be sweet and cool to have the photos + words in a more ‘permanent’ place, since I’m not on there much and you never know the future of the platform. Not sure how many posts there will be, but every few weeks I’m going to comb through my feed and put them here on the blog. Whether you have read them before or the words are new, enjoy. :)
In the past hour we have played at the park and sat in the driveway in my parked car with the windows down and her in the driver’s seat, eating a snack and dancing to @slugsandbugsofficial and it’s so incredible in it’s simplicity, it strikes me — I’m in true control of little to nothing but what’s in my control is gratitude and savoring and worship. And surrender. And receiving. And trusting. And I hear @katecbowler in my head, “God is here. We are loved. It is enough.”
Resist the urge to fill every minute with noise. Resist the lie God only wants your attention when you have something to offer.
Awareness. Attention. Do you know that God is what you need? That He is available to you? Do you live as if more of God is what you need most? Humility. Hunger. Seeing Him seeing you. Trusting what He says is true regardless of outcome or feelings. Creating habits of reaching for Him first, of welcoming what He gives. Courage comes from communion with a God who loves you completely. May it be true of us.
7 things for 7 years:
1. We can still do anything (couch sitting or hiking a canyon) and enjoy each other’s company.
2. This many years in and I still hate to nudge John awake when he’s breathing loudly (aka snoring).
3. Having him for a parenting teammate keeps me sane and steady.
4. Our favorite thing to do is host people in our home.
5. I’m especially thankful for his wisdom, desire to submit to Christ in all things and love of fun adventures.
6. We’re both bad at leaving shoes all over our house.
7. The confidence I have in our love for each other and trust in God helps me go out into the world with courage.
Me: deeply grateful for where I was this week. Also me: praying… especially for parents currently grieving, fearful, angry, lonely, healing, searching, anxious, hoping, battered by life lately. I’m sure you are too.
And, rehearsing to my heart something real, stabilizing, compelling and convicting: In the face of rest or work, ordinary or exciting, joy or pain — Christ is and must be better to me than everything. He is sufficient for the day’s trouble and a million times sweeter than the day’s good.
This lifts my attention from the seen to the unseen and draws me closer to God’s heart for me and for the world.
Agreeing with @sarahagertywrites, “And if at sixty or seventy my life mantra has become “God, I’m tender. Will You hold me?” — I’d call my life a smashing success.”
A few hours later, Anna walked down our front stairs for the first time with no assistance and not on her butt. I responded as if she had won a gold medal (#emotionalparent) and while she was happy with her accomplishment, she went up and down the stairs probably 5 more times, turning immediately to beam over my excitement.
Then Matthew 7:11 came to mind, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
I’ve never considered “good gifts” as emotional or verbal or intangible, but now I might. The gift of delight, attention, affirmation, cheering — amazing to think how mine pales in comparison to God’s.
God is bringing it home for me over and over: in the midst of my dreaming, working, creating, caring for, failures, decisions, life seen and life unseen, having a steady center is vital.
If you need a centering mantra, you can use mine — God sees me, loves me and satisfies my soul, and that is enough. I can hold all the things with an open hand. I’m okay.
The Lectio 365 app’s starting prayer today: “As I enter prayer now, I pause to be still; to breathe slowly; to re-centre my scattered senses upon the presence of God.”
I laughed a little and thought, re-centering my scattered senses might be a full-time job. But the practice is worth it. And thankfully, God is God in all His holy, merciful, kind glory regardless of my moments of scatteredness. So I can return and re-center as many times as needed without accusation or condemnation. You too. Accept His love and forgiveness and practice staying close.
There is no greater priority than the pursuit and enjoyment of God, and there is no greater love and grace when I choose lesser things.
If you’re in a funk, anxious, overwhelmed, discontent — stuck — start there: do I believe I’m deeply loved by God and am I extending it back to Him? I’m a gold medalist in making things between me and God so complicated, and it’s distracting and tiring… when it can be beautifully simple — receive love and love.
Fruit will grow…
Holiness will be Spirit-carved…
Obedience will follow…
Courage will be possible…
Trust will be practiced…
Change will come…
Life will be surrendered…
…when Christ, and with Him his love, forgiveness, power, glory and approval, remains your center.
Feel off-kilter? In the words of @scottthepainter, “Receive and you will be home.”