life

Two Circles

I have many things to do this week, and I can either choose to conquer it or let it conquer me.

My default for a week like this is to take on too much of the outer circle and put it in the inner circle. Have I talked about the two circles before?

See, there are two circles. There’s a small circle and a large circle, the first being inside of the second. The small circle consists of what I am responsible for and what I can control. The outer circle is made up of everything else; the concerns and outcomes of the world in which I exist.

Simple enough, right?

Sure. when the sea is calm and there isn’t much to do. But when life starts to pick up and the train starts gaining speed, all of a sudden the circles become blurry. Things that I am not responsible for or are out of my control suddenly seem like they are mine to take on. At first it is quite a temptation to say yes to these grander things, because they make us feel big. Powerful. In charge. Accomplished.

But then this week knocks on my door and doesn’t even give me a chance to open it before it blasts right on through.

So I am going to declare this right here and now: I will not let this week have victory over me. I will do the best that I can with what I have, because God lets me get up in the morning. Everything else is out of my hands. If I disappoint someone, IT IS OK. My worth does not lie in anyone’s opinions. If my house gets dirty, IT IS OK. The house will get cleaned eventually. I will love my husband, my son, my neighbor and anyone else who is put in my path. All results are out of my control.

Are you like me? You might need to say this to yourself every minute of each day this week, and do that if you have to. Write it on a piece of paper and stick it on your steering wheel or bathroom mirror. And remember to breath.

Don’t spend your week being anxious. That’s an order.

(But I won’t be disappointed if you screw up and get stressed, so pull your panties outa your butt).

 

More Than The Song I Sing.

I need God.

I need even more of Him.

More and more….and even more.

It’s a scary but also a weight lifting reality to be unveiled from the illusion that I don’t need God. I NEED HIM. For His help. His comfort. His understanding. His mighty hand. His death and life through the son. His grace. His humility. His strength. His hope. His wisdom. His truth. His courage. His discernment. His patience. His fellowship. His joy. His wild ideas and his huge calls. His whole and complete love.

Do you see? All good things come from the Father.

Without Him, I can only have specters of such things.

This truth makes me want to burst. The passion, the compassion it creates. Oh friends, it is overwhelmingly sweet.

See, when I come to this place, when I get a glimpse of such complete unity with my Creator….. I just want everyone to know. I want everyone to have Him, to hold on to Him and to be held by Him.

I think about all the people I’ve passed by; all those souls I’ve written off, whether it be for my lack of faith or because of my overflow of selfishness.

I think about high school. All of the friends and spectators who were put in my path. Everyone who saw something in me, but never got to hear what that “thing” was all about.

I think about my best friends, their struggles, and my blatant apathy towards them.

I think about my family members who know nothing of grace but only of abandonment, rejection, bitterness and self-service. And my fear of them not wanting anything to do with me.

I think about my communities past, present and future. All of the broken pieces, the wandering and the dead bones.

Thankfully He is a God that cannot be tamed, and what He wants will surely come to pass. So perhaps all of the ones I’ve passed by have, are and will get to thirst after and taste reconciliation and restoration, and just a bit of His glory.

I know that some of those reading this are not about God or religion or Christianity. I’m o.k. with that. Please, don’t write me off. We are all apart of this big beautiful painting. Lets live this life together, whether you’re here in Lake City, Florida or you live clear across the globe.

Please, ask me any question. All the questions. Stir up the wells and the deep waters. Lets dance in the rivers and carry each other through the scorching desserts.

Go, and be encouraged this Monday morning. You are not alone.

Hallelujah.

Spilling Buttons.

A few nights ago while walking into my craft room, I knocked a jar full of buttons off of one of the tables accidentally. The lid wasn’t completely on and the buttons spilled everywhere. My immediate feeling was that of annoyance and a robotic-like desire to clean it up. But something stopped me, and I just looked at it. I must have looked at the buttons and the jar spread across the floor for 5 minutes. An illustration filled my mind. A picture being painted across my craft room floor that looked very similar to my soul’s current state.

Lately, my soul has just been knocked off it’s comfy hiding place and has been spilling out everywhere.

The more Daniel and I feel led to lead, and the more and more God pushes us to bigger things, great is the fear and anxiety that consumes me.

And I’m really starting to see that I cannot be a jar that tries to hold all kinds of buttons. I cannot have the holy spirit trying to fulfill its work inside of me but also have all of the past traumas, sins, memories and regrets. All of these buttons are eventually going to spill out and make a mess (as they have done).

God knocked me over a few weeks ago and it’s been some kind of awful ever since. The beauty of who I am is stifled because of what I choose to define myself by. I haven’t processed, accepted and let go of so many things. The fear and the anxiety are only symptoms of the deeper problem.

The night that God knocked me over I decided that I’ve had enough. I want to be able to watch a tv show with my husband without gasping for breath. I want to be able to let Titan in the backyard without this crazy need to lock the door. I want to be able to go up to a broken sojourner at church and make them feel welcome. I want to love my neighbor SO BAD. I don’t want to worship my family. I want to worship God and have an overflow of love for my family. I don’t want to worship safety. I want to trust in God so much that it compels me to abandon common sense sometimes.

These days have been yucky. The process of digging, exposing and pulling out of sin and buried memories is a violent affair. It looks terrible. It looks like screaming and ugly tears and cigarettes and migraines and exhaustion.

But each painful time it happens, I can breath just a little deeper. My vision becomes a little less cloudy, and the mission is more clear.

If you buy into the lie that in the moment of salvation comes complete sanctification, and are trying so hard to live like you are perfect, then please. STOP. This life that you have chosen to live, the God that you have chosen to follow, is HARD. It is messy. It is painful and often lonely. Suffering is inevitable but also a blessing, because it has an enormous purpose. The bigger the dreams you have, the more God is going to rip the nasty stuff out of you, so ACCEPT IT. It’s an incredible act of love that frees us up do to incredible things. To be big creators. To give, and to give and to keep giving. And ultimately to make room for only Him.

Be encouraged.