Rise and shine, it's already a great day. Perpetual optimism is available for the taking. It's actually the only option. Not realism, because that limits the real supernatural. Not pessimism, because that's contrary to the truth. Perpetual optimism, believing that in every situation there is potential for good.
It may hurt at first, cracking a smile when the smile lines are used to serious. It may feel a little strange or awkward when you skip to your desk at the office. Your kids might do a double take when you have grace for their obviously-on-purpose mistake. Haha. And this is only the beginning.
Perpetual optimism. It allows you to see things, people and life events, through the eyes of someone greater than the flesh and blood. It shifts your earth molded frame of mind into the uncreated creator's way of thinking.
Optimism is the belief in hope. I know. I know that you may shudder at the word because hope means that you're vulnerable and hope means you're not in control. Hope may have left you hopeless in the past, but today shift your hope from the "thing" or the situation to the One who is in control of it all. You will NEVER be left without hope again.
They can't hurt you. No one, can hurt you. Because they don't have the power. They didn't create you, He did. And what does He say about you? He's says, your're beautiful and without flaw. He says you're powerful and loved.
Let the offenses roll out of your heart.
You were created to live for love, to be loved and to love, and you are. When you look in the mirror I give you permission to love your reflection, because if you don't love what God sees then how can you go to war for the king?
Know who you are. You have a helmet of salvation a sword of the spirit. You wear a breastplate of righteousness and a buckle of truth. And your feet, haha, your feet are prepared to share the gospel.
Live out loud. If you're gonna brag and shout, let it be about Him. Tell the world what He's done. Tell the world that they're sons and daughters and nothing, no thing, can rip them from their ownership or their inheritance.
Know who you are. You are wealthy beyond measure. Beyond measure! There is no lack. Because when you fall in love with a Father who has it all, don't you know that he freely gives it away? He freely gives it away. Money and resources and gifts and time and character and wisdom and houses and babies. He gives it all to His kids because He loves us.
Go. Go. GO! I know I don't have to tell you because this thing, this love and this relationship can not be contained. It will go to the ends of the earth and it will find every last one. I believe it.
Let the offenses roll off your back.
Excuses don't make you more holy. Excuses don't make you more right. Excuses simply take your eyes off of him and on to yourself.
Jesus. Jesus! Our eyes are on you. Where you go I'll go, where you move I'll move. I know who I am in you. I know!
Build an altar because this will be a place and time that you will look back and remember.
It's all I could mutter after a simple playdate with friends.
It's in the everyday that Jesus, Jesus, wants to break us out of our chains.
It's in the everyday that Jesus, Jesus, wants to meet you where you are.
And where are you? Are you sitting on mountain high or sobbing in valley low? Because He's there. He's been there all along. Do you realize that every moment you've had breath, He's been there. He never leaves.
Oh God, make us aware that you are here. HERE, right where we are.
Almost 5 years ago a trap called anxiety took hook in my life and today, thank you Jesus, I watched another part get cast away. It's like in the comic books when you look at a picture in motion and you see the motion lines drawn, yeah, that's what I see when I look back on this simple act of obedience.
I've been tuning into this Firestorm and all I can say is that I don't want to be left behind. When you stand on the top of a cliff and look down into the water and some people are jumping and some people are turning around, but you know that there's a risk of pain when you smack that water, but you know there's beauty and thrill if you jump, then JUMP if you've been made to JUMP.
The fire means you're gonna be refined, but it's only the most refined that get to see the face. It's only the true worshippers that get to ascend the holy hill. And before you throw your hands high, think about it, think about the risk, and then throw those hands up higher because EVEN IF THE ONLY REWARD YOU EVER RECEIVE IS HIM, HE IS WORTH THE FIRE. He is worth the refining.
I was once told by someone that they had a word for me. Sometimes words warn and sometimes words encourage and sometimes words simply speak truth. And the word was, "Lonely at the top". And I don't know about you, but initially that word seemed a little depressing. It reads like a negative, but in my spirit I knew exactly what this meant and as this person continued to describe more of this word, I swallowed the risk of being alone and digested the place of being at the top, right next to Jesus. Like John, tucked under His arm, so close that His heart beat can be heard.
I'm vulnerable with my words, not so much so that you can know more about me, but that you too might watch those hooks fly away. I'm excited that you too will JUMP off the cliff and we can talk about the thrill of the fall and the depths of the water together.
It's a pretty crappy show and I don't watch it (seriously, I don't! but I'm not judging if you do), but the idea is that Patti, the host, sets up millionaires with their true love. She is tough and critical and to-the-point and knows her stuff when it comes to relationships. I mean, hollywoodontv relationships. But the craziest thing is, I flipped past the Bravo channel and there sat Patti with her fiancé or boyfriend or husband (see, I told you I don't watch the show), in the psychologist's office because their relationship was crumbling. The professional matchmaker couldn't make her own match last!
So I was thinking, if people tend to do what you do more than do what you say, what success is hit matchmaker Patti really gonna have? It's like she lost her credentials.
And even more, if I'm a professional "fill-in-the-blank" in life, what is my title and how can I influence people the most. I know that more than what I say, I can influence by what I do.
So, then that got me thinking: What do I do? And this is what I came up with...
I'm a professional positive thinker. I'm a professional singer/dancer, reader, seeker and speaker. I'm a professional connector of people. I'm a professional playdate and girls' night hostess. I'm a professional listener and encourager. I'm a professional prayer. I'm a professional organizer. I'm a professional wife and mama and friend.
But then I remembered this quote I heard last week from Kris Vallotton, "Your relationship with God needs to benefit the people you know," and I've been asking myself ever since...
How does my relationship with God benefit the people I know?
How does your relationship with God benefit the people you know?
And after listing all the things I may be a professional at and realizing that these things people could truly see in my life without me ever saying a word, I realized that I wanted to add another to the list.
I want to be a professional with power. I want to be a professional at all those things I listed, and not only live, but set people up with the power of God. Because it's "good" to be inspired but it's even better to transfer power to other people's lives. Because it's "good" to inspire, but it's even better to transfer power to other people's lives. What if because of my relationship with God I am a professional with power?
For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk, but in power. 1 Cor 4:20
Some things are rattling over here and the dust is blowing off the shelves.
So, go write your list. You are a professional fill-in-the-blank. And now, I'm gonna ask that Holy Spirit fills us with the POWER to inspire. Jesus, you are the one who is not dead in the grave, but alive and well and in love with us and we are here to change the world and change the one, because you are using US for a divine setup.
Sometimes Valentine's Day looks like family. Sometimes it looks like a dinner at your kids' favorite restaurant, followed by their favorite place to play. Sometimes Valentine's Day looks like comfy clothes on the couch, my other half putting Passion Live worship on the tv, and women's conference crafts in my hands.
Sometimes Valentine's Day is a trendy excuse to spend money or a reason to photograph pink props, but this year Valentine's Day really felt like love. It felt like unconditional love and it felt real.
It tis a happy Monday round here. Why you ask? Oh, well my husband is FINISHED working at the Sportsman Show. That, for starters, is awesome. Secondly, I had the privilege to meet with world changers last night. It was a meeting of the minds, err, hands actually. A little community for those of us joined in rebellion against worldly demands and time constraints. We pioneer a 24/7 prayer assault on the enemy and co-labor with the kingdom. I feel like only fancy shmancy words do it justice, and even at that, I'm lacking. I'm so lacking.
What in this world are you a pioneer of?
I'm asking you. What in this world are you pioneering?
Write it down. Do you have an answer? You probably have 4 or 5.
Are you pioneering things for the moment? This with long term weight?
My mind went sailing last night, daydreaming of a time when I didn't really love to pray. Gasp. What?! Now listen, there's more. It's not that I didn't like talking to God, but I was a worshipper. I am a worshipper. Every day I came home, say from 12 years to 17, again from 20-22, and I would tuck myself into the piano room and play...and worship. No one was home. Dad was still at work. Just me and my best friend. I was seriously addicted. I loved nothing more than to worship and even though that sounds overly churchy and ridiculously exaggerated, it's true.
I loved to listen to worship music, play the piano and sing, at home or on stage. I loved to write music and even recorded an album once (crazy!). And then I got pregnant with my first babe and simply put, I stepped back from the practices and the stage-time and even playing at home took a back seat. It was hard, really hard.
However, in hindsight, it was all part of this bigger plan. We are all chess pieces in this game of life, and no matter which way you go, the move is in your favor.
I couldn't sit down at the keys anymore, but I could surely hold my new babe and pray. I could talk to the one who made the universe and still cared about me and my new life as a mom. THAT, I could do.
And that was almost 5 years ago. I could pray while nursing in the middle of the night. I could still be in the "ministry" if I prayed for the girl sitting alone on the beach or for my grandfather with Lyme's Disease. You can STILL BE USED by GOD, even if you're not in a church building, and that was all I wanted, to be hands and feet.
That's my little story of how I added prayer to my worshipper's heart. Isn't it cool to take a look back, purposefully, and see WHY you are WHERE you are right now? What will it look like in 5 more years?
Tidbits He's taught me along the way (I have so much to learn):
Don't say you're going to pray...pray.
Prayer is talking to God. Your words have the power of life or death. Your prayers can create life or cause death.
Prayer connects heaven to earth.
I prayed for a woman once who was off the side of the road in a ravine (true story). I was the second person on the scene. After calling 911, I crawled down the ravine and laid my hand on her hood and declared life over her body. She was unconscious. That was a year and a half ago. She did not die. She is still in PT for her injuries, but God saved her life.
Prayer isn't about us, it's about Him.
If you're afraid to pray or afraid of the outcome, you're thinking that you control the results, it's not about you.
It is unsettling, waking to powerless silence. The crackling of breaking trees outside windows and salt trucks bliterating the slush.
What is a house without the amenities of a home? No husband to make plans with. No stove to make eggs on. The trap of garage-door-openers that sit frozen and heat that won't ignite. We leave this home, the kids and I, haphazardly hoisted into the Pilot and set out for a new safe(warm) place.
Tomato Pie and my mom's house. Coffee and warmth. The rescue to my heart and belly.
We work with fast hands, cleaning dust and washing dishes. Eva slips silverware into columns and Aslan splashes while bubbles pop. It seems the least we can do for open doors and bed for napping. Aslan sleeps in a big bed, the first time without a crib. Tear tear. What a day for my memories!
Thank you God. We are warm and we are safe. Thank you for Brandon's drive that got him to work. Thank you for friends and family who text and call, offering company and prayers.
It all started with a guy and his gal in the garden. I'd like to think I'm like them, tending the fruit that's been given to me and learning to capture the beauty all around. It's in my husband. It's in my 2 kids. It's everywhere. These are the revelations I dig up while meeting with the gardener. I'm recording what is in this garden family and what He says to me. Come and join us! You're welcome here.