Sunday, August 30, 2015

Opportunity Lost

I have spent a huge amount of time (not by my own choosing necessarily) listening to the discussion around Duggars, Ashley Madison, Subway spokespeople, etc., and you know what...I am over it.

Aren't we all smarter than this???

Not the sin and screw-ups. I mean we should be smarter than all of those, but we are human.

Aren't we smarter than this to take the bait from the enemy?

Seriously.

The enemy dishes out all of this to inflict pain and create doubt in the minds and hearts of Christians and non-Christians alike about our loving God and the son (Jesus) he sent to save us.

Why do we keep forgetting that?

Every single time the enemy dumps a scandal or death or pain or gossip or sin at our feet, we should immediately look to God to help address it...but we don't (preaching to myself here). We get caught up in it, we vacillate back and forth about it, gossip, prognosticate on it, and worse we judge others on it. An opportunity to share our own stories, share a bigger story, share Jesus....is lost. Lost.

I wrote on my writing page this morning...

"I think one of the biggest lies the world tells us as Christians is that you are not allowed to mess up...and if you do...you have ruined your witness for this God and Jesus you proclaim to love.
I also believe that we as Christians have given them the ammo for this argument by projecting ourselves as "better" for whatever that is worth.

In this age where the sins and shortcomings of Christians and non-Christians alike are fodder for every human being to spew their opinion on the whys and wherefores of the sin, maybe it is such a time as this that we use each salacious story as a moment to offer up our own personal sin and how a redeeming and grace-filled God stepped in and wiped it away...healing us, and continuing to heal us because sometimes the wound is deep....

Hmmmm....

Maybe it is in our shared brokenness that we most beautifully reveal the true heart of a loving God and in our transparency and vulnerability we show others our beautiful humanity and our own good good heart for others.

Maybe the unrelenting press and noise in the world right now is not about showing what we don't like and don't agree with, but the opportunity to show a GREATER love....and that calls on each of us to show more of our own stories."

I was listening to Lauren Daigle's Once and for All this morning and this all just hit me. We all have a desire to lay it all down once and for all...even those that know Jesus...it is imbedded in us the desire to be better, do better, do more....So if we all have that instinctive desire and yet we all know that we are wrestling a grizzly bear to do it, then why don't we share more of our own stories with others so as to encourage others that our stories are not defined by our past mistakes or current sin, but by a God that is always by our side and gently whispering in our ears...keep going...I love you....I have you....

Today, this week, I am committed to making a concerted effort to share more of my own heart and failings with others whenever the latest headline lands....because there is nothing hitting any of our newsfeeds that we have not all wrestled with in one form or another. Maybe it is time for each and every one of us to dig into our own testimonies and share the redeeming grace we have all felt at the feet of Jesus. IF, on the other hand, in reading this you suddenly realize maybe you haven't fully experienced that grace...maybe you and God need some time together....because that grace extends to every single one of us.


Happy Sunday!

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)

Sunday, August 23, 2015

All Of The Feelings


I haven't written in weeks. Like a month. :/

Which is both true and untrue.

I have written. Started and stopped. Started. Left unfinished. Put away.

I haven't posted anything in a month.

I have been busy. Always.

Mainly, the thoughts were TOO many. I could not figure out how to organize and make sense of all of them...all of the feelings. Just. Too. Much.

This happens more often than I like to admit. Some days I dream of writing part-time or full-time at some point in the future, but then I will go through a period like this, and I just can't even.

*Deep Breath*

The more I learn about myself.

*Personality tests are both gifts and curses by the way.*

The more I realize what a conundrum my particular personality type is and how it explains SO much the internal struggles I feel nearly every single day, the more I understand the necessity of grace. I am an INFJ, and let me tell you...to be one is to be a walking example of why grace must be freely given every day. I am tough on myself and others. I am confusing...to myself and others. I have all of the feelings...all of the time. Ugh.

I could give a laundry list of what makes INFJs so delightfully fun, but you can google or go find my board on Pinterest and read for yourself. A little nighttime reading. ;)

I hope that you are frankly encouraged and inspired to take a personality test (or several) and learn more about what makes you tick. It is good information for you and for the people "blessed" to get to live and work with you every day. Walking around without a clear understanding of your triggers, etc. is the equivalent of walking around with a loaded weapon playing Russian Roulette with your emotions and others. Read that as Not. Fair. .... To. The. World.

It took one evening, a lot of food, some Jesus, a little wine, and six and a half hours with my tribe (SIX...and a half) to help me figure out a whole lot about why the last month I had just been in a rat nest of feelings unable to put together a clear thought or coherent sentence about my feelings...about anything. Whoa.

I am single.

I live alone.

I spend 8-15 hours every single day of my life...alone.

I don't share ALL the feelings with just anyone. Sometimes I simply don't even realize ALL the feelings.

I need community so I can speak out loud, with another human, and sort out my thoughts. Like a person. And lets remember....personing is hard. Especially without coffee.

*Deep Sigh*

That is my story.

What's yours?

...and let us be clear...we all have a story. The thing that makes us tick. The reason we have a confused befuddled look on our face sometimes. The reason something (or a lot of things) are feeling a little (or a lot) off.

We owe it to ourselves to figure out what that is...last night I was reminded that mine was tribe. I have a lot of tribe, and they are spread all over the world....but last night was a reminder that I really, really need my weekly tribe. My people that once a week I do intentional life with...meaning we eat, we laugh, we drink coffee, we talk, we share, we hug, we spend face-to-face time with....Together.

Without it...this single girl can get a little lost in her own head and heart, trapped with all of the feelings, nowhere to go with them, and sometimes I wonder if God is like any good parent...go out and make some friends, go back to school, parenting you is hard....He isn't like that AT all, but it is a funny thought. :)

The truth is that God knew we needed other people. That is one of the many reasons he made two. I need people, but not just any people and not just in any format. I need people who will be intentional with me and me them (read that as REAL), and I need them in person (meaning in real life). After that, it can be with or without food, in a coffee shop or a backyard, in pjs or a suit....those things are just details.

I love my tribe. I love the ones in my backyard and the ones thousands of miles away. They are loving me through this life. They are holding my hand and hugging my neck. They are speaking truth in me (the good and the bad). They are loving me. They are intentional. They are imperfect. They are just like you and me. They are breathing life into me when the world has sucked every last bit out. They are God's angels (or minions) doing his good work in a harsh world.

I am a person who regularly has all of the feelings. Thank you to a beautiful tribe of women who helped me sort and categorize them last night. I woke up clear-headed with a full heart this morning.

Bless.

*My latest favorite thing....Bethel Music - Without Words : Synesthesia...it is their latest album, 19 songs, no words, and it is PERFECTION.

Sunshine Dreams to You ~ Today and Every Day! :)