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. :)
May we become experts at agreeing with what God whispers over what our imagination yells or Satan accuses. Take back the ground he thinks he owns.
This morning, to my tired self, John said, “Your personality has a toddler.” 😄 Motherhood might be the art of resting [in God] when you can’t fully stop, or recharging in the slivers on the day when you’d rather have hours. Yes? Grace.
I’ve heard this a lot recently from Christ-following voices I respect:
We were born in this moment, for this moment, with all its chaos, with all its hardships, with all its goodness, with all its wonder, with all its distractions, with all its rubble to rebuild. This. Moment.
God has purposes and power for us to step into.
IF we are willing to come as we are, to surrender our desires and our minutes and our people and our way, and to follow Him where He leads.
We forget how awesome it is to have (to not need to work for; it was given and it’s waiting to be accepted) a spirit of power, love and a sound mind because we’re often paralyzed by the temptation to be afraid.
Where we could be empowered and empathetic, we’ve chosen to stay a little empty. Where we could be excited to be embodied by the Spirit of God, we’re sacrificing that intimacy in favor or “This is too big, too bad, too overwhelming – what can I possibly do?”
I’m too often burdened by the way things are in a way that collapses me inward instead of being thankful that I GET TO BE DIFFERENT. I *get* to be a cool drink of water, a steady presence, an interceding pray-er for someone’s life, a compassionate + truthful voice. Unafraid. At peace.
It definitely isn’t the easiest path, but I believe it’s the one most enduring.
The Lord is our Shepherd, we shall not want.
A re-centering, a sustainable way —
“I call you friend.” John 15:5
This is who we are.
“Come follow me.” Matthew 16:24-26
This is what we do.
“I am with you always.” Matthew 28:20
This is how we do it.
“I’m not a professional, but I am a writer.”
I said this to a friend without qualifying or over-explaining, just with a smile. Because it’s true.
I water. I plant seeds. God gives growth. However small or big, one-on-one or wide reaching, whatever the outcome of my joy and faithfulness and creative thinking energies… I abide. Then I do. God produces fruit.
Jeanne Guyon wrote, “Surrender what God does, what He allows, and your reaction to it… Your main concern lies in dwelling continually upon the God who is within you.”
Just sharing a little insight into me to encourage you — whatever your dream, your work, your goal, work diligently and joyfully, but make your utmost focus your life with God. You’ll keep in pace with Him, no matter what He chooses to give or take away. And working from your identity and communion with Him makes for real contentment.
“God is always coming to you in the sacrament of the Present Moment. Meet and receive Him there with gratitude.” Evelyn Underhill
Such brokenness we see, such pain, such fear. Attend to Jesus — Lord, Savior, King — with all your honest thoughts and feelings, and let His power and love change you. Let Him form and re-form you into a help for the hurting, a bright spot for those in the dark, a presence for others to rest in. A ‘little Christ’ on the earth.
^ what I’m rehearsing to myself
Like Anna plays in my presence,
like she comes to me when she gets hurt,
like she wants to be held when she’s sick,
like she unashamedly + honestly feels any and every range of emotion with me,
like she never corrects or censors or judges herself before coming to me,
like she trusts me to love and care and accept her always…
so it can be and is for me with God my Father.
What a delightful way to be with Him! Don’t hold back — disappointment, confusion, happiness, sadness, longings. Give Him access to you, as you are right now, and find rest and love for your soul.
What Anna needs is for me to be the best mom I can be for her. What John needs is for me to be a great wife. What my friends need is for me to be helpful, to listen, to offer counsel when asked. What my social media followers need is for me to write insightful and encouraging things to help inspire their relationship with God. What the world needs is for me to be kind, to give generously, to steward my possessions well, to work hard, etc.
Not entirely false. But lacking a lot.
What my people need is for me to be personally falling in love Christ more every day. What the world, online and off, needs is for me trust, know and obey God, and allow His life to flow through mine.
Let’s be careful of getting stuck in the quicksand of complex expectations and worldly measures of goodness. To gain Christ and be found in Him. Our love for others energized by His for us. Kingdom life is different. Not easy, but simple, and very doable with the Holy Spirit.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? … Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.” Psalm 27:1, 3
The ESV Study Bible includes this note: “the faithful must *learn* to base their confidence on God’s ever-present protection; this will be a confidence that *grows through experiences* of deliverance.”
Sometimes I think being courageous means choosing courage should feel easy. But courage is a choice to be made even (especially) when it feels unnatural or unfamiliar. It must be learned. Practiced. Based not on what I see or feel but on God.
I say I want to be more confident in God, then I live to avoid situations or possibilities where I’ll need to choose it. But it’s a confidence that grows THROUGH, not before, experiences of Him rescuing, leading, comforting us in difficulty.
Culture will wildly disagree with me, but it seems fruitless for me to strive for the rest of my years on this earth to look exactly as I do now. But that’s the message I’m bombarded with. But, what if my goal is not to avoid aging but to age well, as a way to honor my Creator even?
As in, I don’t want 50-year-old me to be stuck under the pressure and discontentment that she isn’t like 25-year-old me. How distracting from Jesus and people and fun would that be!
I want to age joyfully and wisely, not irritably or pridefully. Right? That sounds exhausting. And certainly not what God created us for.
I’m not saying it’s everything, because what we live for is ultimately a heart issue between us and God, and the way you take care of you is purely up to you, BUT I’d be lying if I said @beautycounter products didn’t help me enjoy the process of taking care of the skin I’ll be in at 60, today.