Monday, April 14, 2014

Passover. Remembering You're Free.

Passover.

A celebration of freedom.

Remembering the land from which they had come, slavery, and celebrating the new life in which they were given, the promised land. A land flowing with milk and honey. It's time to stop eating the manna.

They had crossed over.

Done. Over. Finished.
It's Old Testament, but the same lesson is written on our hearts today.

You are grafted in to the inheritance, the Promised Land.

The blood is upon your door and no one may lay a hand on you or your family.

He saved you. You.

The old rules don't apply. You are not owned by any master. The Bible says you can only serve one. You are not treated like an outcast, the Bible says ask and you shall receive.

Your mindset must not be in Egypt, but in understanding that you are a wealthy landowner, full of love and joy and peace and patience and kindness and goodness. You have permission to shout it out, "Goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life."
We have passed over. Dance in the liberty that came at such a high price.

You have passed over.

You made it. He made it for you.

Cheers!








Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Love Compels Us

I can't get Jason Upton's song out of my head this week.

They will know we are christians by our love.

They will KNOW we are christians by our love.

I'm dissecting my life and my words and my actions and my hope, my hope, is that just living, just running errands to Target and buying groceries at Giant, I can have a ministry that is known, is known to the ones I push my cart by, because of my love. His love.

They will know we are christians by our love.

How will they know? Will I stop for the one? The one that drops something in the aisle or the one that spends money on groceries, but doesn't have money for heat. The one that's shopping through exhaustion because they didn't sleep last night. Every. Single. One.

They will know we are christians by our love.

For Christ's love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 2 Corinth 5:14

It compels me. I think about it all. the. time. It dictates my day. It fills my mind and restrains my words and thoughts.

It compels me.

I am so sorry if you have been hurt by a christian who wasn't walking in love. I am so sorry that you felt rejected. I am so sorry that you've seen hypocrisy first hand and it made you angry.

But there is a better way. It's not ok that they have given God a bad reputation, but I do know God and I do know that He has never wavered. He has never been a hypocrite and if you feel hurt or angry or rejected, then run to Him because He will never let you down.

We've made so much about being rejected, but we've made nothing about being accepted. (Todd White)

You ARE accepted. You ARE loved. People are human and imperfect, but that's not who my God is. He loves you with furious love. I love you. I know that sounds cheesy and churchy, but I do. I really. do.

Today is a new day and this could be the most real word that you have heard this week, and it's true and alive, and it can change your life.

It compels me.

Cheers. May they know that we are christians by our love.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Before and After

It's why HGTV is so popular.
It's why weight loss pictures don't begin with the last picture.
It's why makeovers are all the craze. 

People love to take something that's not so great, dull, ugly...and turn it into something beautiful. 
And how fulfilling is it, after the work is done, to sit back and stare at a job well done. How pleasing to look at where you were and now where you are. 
And how tragic to see potential in someone's life, even your own, and never see the "after". We've all come from a "before". And now we get to live and produce hundreds of "afters". 
It's a beautiful story. Chapter upon chapter that produce a book, your life. 

This weekend was the most glorious of all so far. The before and afters spilled over top of each other. Sunshine poured throughout the entire process too. Perfect timing as always. 
What's your before? What looks ugly in your life right now? What needs weeded or painted or sanded or thrown out? 
What's your after? Where have you come from and what did you learn along the way? I know you have stories for days. 

Write it down. Be intentional about it. It's all the craze. People are hungry for a before and after. They want to see it and they want to hear it. YOUR story. MY story.
Self doubt to true confidence, knowing who you are, who He says you are. 

Penniless to wealthy. 

Angry to loving. 

Anxiety to peace. 

Jobless to supervising others. 

Sick and waiting to healed and testifying. 

Stuck in a rut to free and conquering. 
You have a before and after. Lots of them. Run with it. 

Cheers, to a week full of before and afters!

Friday, March 28, 2014

The Verses (640)


 It was an honor to be used. To be a conduit of His voice. He will speak through these. He always does. His word. He can't wait to awaken hearts to the God-breathed letters. 

Cheers! Take a word...or two.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Unqualified but Willing

Those disciples may have missed it on a hundred accounts, but when I read this version of the Message, I have to give them a little credit...they were willing.
Matthew 24-26 Then Jesus went to work on his disciples. “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat; I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What kind of deal is it to get everything you want but lose yourself? What could you ever trade your soul for?
"Don't run from suffering; embrace it." Yup. And they still followed him.

The alternative I suppose, is helping oneself through whatever trial or suffering, and then having self to thank on the other side. Although, what if plowing through suffering and letting Him lead actually resolves in true freedom and deeper wisdom.

Fair enough. Embrace it.
The truth is, when I think about it, relationship is the only criteria that qualifies us. Credentials are not to scoff at and education is not time wasted, but true qualification with value begins at relationship.
When the storms get rocky and life tosses, it's relationship that keeps us calm at sea. When kids run and tantrum or fight between siblings, it's relationship that grounds our hearts in the loud.
Jesus, thank you for qualifying us. Thank you for being the Harvard of life and the Yale of eternity. If we are willing to sign up, we are qualified.

Cheers. You. Are. In.




Thursday, March 20, 2014

S to the Pring!

Remember when we started the countdown?

That was 44 days ago. 44 days ago we were bundled inside, groaning through the last month of winter.

Groan no more, it's here. SPRING 2014.

You can go ahead and get your hopes back up. You can let out that deep breath you've been holding.

Life is here, if you're reading this post, so seize the day and smile, it's official.

I had the honor of joining Brandon at his grandfather's funeral yesterday. Pap. His handlebar mustache and more so, his personality, were known throughout the town where he lived. As we stood greeting guests, one stood out to me among the rest.
A stranger who had met Pap at the coffee shop, maybe years ago, came to say what an inspiration Pap was to his day. Pap would play his harmonica if someone getting coffee was celebrating their birthday or he would stop at a table to tell a joke. This stranger man, was in awe of Pap's heart and infectious joy.

What a legacy.

It's time to bloom where you're planted. Take the cheese and drink some wine. Winter blues and self-doubt are gone. Winter crisis and pain is over. The cold is fleeting and warmth (eventually) will move in.

Spring is officially here. Rise up finances. Rise up stories of miracles. Rise up boldness. Rise up. Grow. Sprout!
This is the pre-cursor to the best summer of our lives. Of our LIVES!

Cheers and free Rita's and everything else SPRING!!!






Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Yesterday's was Perfection (Winter's Defeat)

I gingerly sat down at my spinny stool and muscled the sliding door open. The warm breeze touched my arm and the tears started to well.

Alright. Alright. I'll stop being sappy, but SERIOUSLY! I almost let myself cry yesterday when I opened the door and it wasn't frigid. I did!

And don't act like you weren't excited, because all I hear in the grocery or at Target is that, "we live in a polar vortex", and "this is the longest and coldest winter ever". And it is.

But, haha, yesterday was gorgeous. B E A U T I F U L!

I breathed deep while scrubbing toilets and dusting furniture. Since the move, I have a new thanks in my heart toward cleaning. I am so thankful for this new home and every inch of dust and dirt I get to clean. The sun streaming in makes the surfaces always seem unkept, but I don't even care. I don't ever wanna stop being thankful for this promise.

We rushed into the car, food thrown in bag, and headed to my friend, the red strong one. She opened the back door and kids played and ate OUTSIDE just before we walked to the mud. I mean, we walked to a park, but it was mostly mud. Eva and Aslan both took their turns whimpering to me because their hands were more brown than pink. "Just wipe it on your pants. You'll get used to the dirt when spring is officially here", I said.

Cold jars in hand, we walked the city streets and headed back to home. We WALKED the streets. Breath in one more time, that warm spring air we cling to these last days of winter. At home, my oldest used water colors with me in the back while baby napped. The bonfire circle stared hard all afternoon, because both kids were stoked for Dad to come home and turn chocolate graham marshmallow into a beautiful smore.

And he did. And we ate. And it was perfect.

Raking sticks that had fallen from the ice. Cleaning out deck boxes that hold their toys inside. Sidewalk chalk and basketball games that include mama and dada, 1 on 1, laughing til crying in the driveway.

THIS IS LIFE! This is beautiful, in the moment, life.

We didn't need money. We didn't need an agenda. We didn't need anyone's approval. We just needed each other.

Cheers to spring and you and yours! This is only the beginning...






Monday, March 10, 2014

Courage Ramblings

Remembering to be thankful releases joy in your life.

It releases hope.

Because if you believe that something good enough to be thankful for happened once, then you can surely believe that something good enough to be thankful for will happen again.

HOPE, for good to happen again.

The truth is that goodness and mercy cover you. ALL the days of your life they cover YOU.

STOP talking about what you don't have. STOP talking about what they have. STOP grumbling in the desert when the land of plenty is steps away, the only hinderance is yourself.

Maybe the only thing stopping the blessing is you.

What if you knew who you were because you know who He is and you were bold because of hope and you became what you were created for.

What if...

Spring is upon us. It's been a long winter and I know I don't have to tell you, because you already know yourself. Sometimes we choose to continue in the winter, the dark and lonely, because the joy of spring is so foreign and risky. The chance you take on a smile to a stranger means that you may walk away without a smile in return. BUT when you know who you are you know that your identity doesn't come from what ANYONE can do to you, but from what He did FOR you.

Oh man, I know who you are!

The darkness only has hold on you if you're not willing to turn on the light.

The light is here. It's Daylight Savings Time and our days are filled with more light. Hallelujah!

It's here! It's a new time and a new season is on the horizon.

Look and become and run with boldness and tell me alllllll about it because I want to shout with you when you see it too.

Cheers...it's Monday. It's good.




Thursday, March 6, 2014

32

It's living out all that's been set into motion, started...

It's going to be the best summer of my life...

It's explosive?!

It's yellows and teals and corals and golds...

It's a year of opportunities to do things I've always wanted to do...

It's the freedom of 20's and the wisdom of 30's...

It's walking in it rather than tip-toeing...

It started with 6am prayer, couldn't have planned it any more perfect



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Perpetual Optimism

Good Morrrrrning!

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. 

Believe again. Perpetual optimism. 

Crack that smile. 

You have permission. 

Watch life, YOUR LIFE, change before your eyes.