I never comment on politics online and seldom in person. I usually see a little bit of both sides. Because what I see with my heart is that the pain in the world is so great. So incredibly great. Right or wrong, I don’t know, but I rarely read the news. I can barely handle the great sadness that surrounds us. Today I happened to catch the story of the young girl killed in Kentucky during a school shooting. This girl called her mother as she was dying and the mother heard the chaos as it was happening. I can not fathom the horror. I imagine that she would have given anything to crawl through that phone and hold her baby girl. I just can’t bare this.
What is the good of one more voice? Well, it isn’t to comment on anything political or controversial. It is to urge you to use your one voice to speak love and life into someone. If you see good, speak it. If you feel love, speak it. If you cherish someone, tell them and tell them why. If you know Jesus, introduce Him to someone else.
Because so many singular voices can form something amazing. A large collective of people loving others.
Please, today use your voice to spread love.
What is stopping me from living the life I want to live? I have a lot of excuses but what is the reason…For REAL?
I have been gifted with so much time, a beautiful place to work and a supportive husband.
I don’t even do the things I love to do let alone the stuff I should do.
I love to journal and sometimes I don’t.
I desire to be a writer and I don’t write.
I would feel better if I exercised but I don’t.
I need to stop spending money but I don’t.
Real food would fuel me but I struggle to cook.
I have friends I love and I should call or visit…but I don’t.
Why? What is my reason? For real?
I feel paralyzed by indecision, too depressed to leave the house.
So what do I do? I numb out in front of the computer, endlessly scrolling until I feel 2 feet tall. Images of beauty and affluence.
Ways I could never compare, and truth be told ways I don’t want to compare. These promises of the “american” dream are so
empty. Even still I realize that minimalism, although great, will not hide me from my demons.
I must pause and look deep inside for the reasons I run. The reasons I hide. For real.
I love this quote by Nicole Lyons. “She will rise. With a spine of steel, and a roar like thunder, she will rise.”
I must rise up from the lies that keep me down. I must embrace the life that God has for me. But first, I need to stop running scared. Running from God and stop to hear His voice of grace and love.
Fear can not rule and neither can complacency. I must rise and face the problem head on.
Do you ever feel lonely?
If you’re like me I am sure you do. Allow me to ask you, what do you do when you feel lonely? Do you try to stay busy with distractions so you don’t have to face your loneliness? Yep, I do that too and I’m pretty sure that is the wrong thing to do.
A friend of mine recently told me that she was trying something different when she feels lonely. She tries to just sit with her loneliness instead of distracting herself with this or that. I thought that was an interesting approach so that is what I am attempting to do today.
As I think of the word loneliness I remember what God says about the concept. The first verse that popped into my head was part of a verse in Psalm 68.
Psalm 68:6a God sets the lonely in families…
I used to think of family as a mom, dad and kids— but the older I get the more I redefine that word. Family doesn’t have to be by blood, adoption or marriage. Family to me means people that love one another and are committed to shaping each others lives through time, attention and love.
That sounds hopeful I think. Especially when you read Psalm 68:6a “God sets the lonely in families…” God. God who so loved the world he gave his one and only son to save us. ALL of us. I know I write about that a lot but it amazes me if I pause long enough to really consider what it means.
Pause. Sit in your loneliness and consider the love that God shows to you. I know that if you look around you will see the family that God wants to place you in if you will allow it. Maybe it’s a neighbor with no one to talk to, a young mother that rarely leaves the house or an elderly person that merely wants someone to remember them.
Family doesn’t have to be blood and you don’t have to stay lonely if you accept the gifts that God wants to freely give to you.
“But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the Lord. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”
Everyone has a purpose, everyone has a mission, and everyone has people to love and someone to love them in return. That is the truth in a nutshell.
On the screen it is so black and white, so easy to say that it is true. But why isn’t it that simple when we try to live it out?
One word: distractions— some big and some small. Some are by accident and some are by design.
What could we become if we knew our true worth? Not just for ourselves but for the good of man. Would we achieve grand and noble things? Would we make a difference?
Friends, are you like I was when you read the previous two sentences? Do you think that to make a difference you have to achieve grand and noble things? Do you even stop trying just because you can’t do it perfectly? Do you think that you are not smart enough or good enough? Do you inwardly belittle yourself and your efforts?
Please don’t. You matter to someone. You have just the right gift for your purpose in the world. Purpose is hard to figure out sometimes. I wish I could help you figure out what yours was…
Well I was going to say that I have a hard enough time figuring out my own purpose…
But then I remembered something: something I heard somewhere or maybe I read it. Just now in the middle of this writing, I dusted off the memory enough to be able to search for what I was thinking. Our purpose on earth is to praise God.
You can read below about Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. It is Luke Chapter 19: 28-40. The part I was remembering was if we as God’s people don’t praise the Lord the very rocks will cry out his praises.
Creation is meant to sing the praises of God. Earlier when I wrote “everyone has someone to love them” did you pause? Did you think, “Well, not me!” I know! Sometimes I feel the same way. Sometimes it’s so easy to be distracted by everyday things like our jobs, our family and friends and even social media. But looking at the bigger picture I believe that some of the distractions come from the devil. Yes, I believe that if he can keep us so wrapped up in business, loneliness or in the search for significance or a number of other distractions he can keep us from our true purpose: praising God.
I don’t know about you but I would like that job! I don’t want to pass it off so that the rocks need to praise Jesus for who he is. I need to see truth, I need to read truth and I need to hear truth so that when I feel worthless and empty I can find rest in the fact that I am loved. I am loved and I have a job to do.
The Triumphal Entry
28 And when he had said these things, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem.29 When he drew near to Bethphage and Bethany, at the mount that is called Olivet, he sent two of the disciples, 30 saying, “Go into the village in front of you, where on entering you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever yet sat. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ you shall say this: ‘The Lord has need of it.’” 32 So those who were sent went away and found it just as he had told them. 33 And as they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 And they said, “The Lord has need of it.”35 And they brought it to Jesus, and throwing their cloaks on the colt, they set Jesus on it. 36 And as he rode along, they spread their cloaks on the road. 37 As he was drawing near—already on the way down the Mount of Olives—the whole multitude of his disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen, 38 saying, “Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!” 39 And some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples.” 40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
I am ashamed to admit this, but since I want to live an authentic life… here it goes… just the other day I was looking at a group of people in judgement and feeling superior. Immediately these feelings caught my attention and I felt shame. I mean, who do I think I am? I am nothing if not for the grace of God. Nothing on my own. Nothing.
In those moments of feeling remorse and apologizing to God my mind was flooded with ways that we are all the same. All of us, 7 billion people riding around the sun together.
Let’s start with the obvious. We all breath air and need it to live. Same with food, water and shelter— these are all things we need.
Next only to the basic survival items I believe that we all want and need to be loved. Sometimes that need leads us to God and other times it has us running from God.(Although he alone is the answer. Always.)
Another similarity is that we are all dying because our bodies are broken. Even those in the best of health are dying. Every day is closer to the end. I’m not trying to sound pessimistic it is simply the order of nature.
So I am wondering why is it that I think I can ever look at another human being as not being as good as I am. Ludicrous! Just ludicrous! Can you just imagine what God must think of this foolishness?
God made us all one of a kind even down to our DNA. However, we are very much all the same in our need for God’s love, forgiveness and grace.
I need to remember this.
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.