Tuesday, August 30, 2011

He Is Your Life

I promise a new blog is coming soon. A blog full of hilarious moments and hard life lessons. But, until I can sit still long enough to write, let this soak into your heart.

Colossians 3 (msg)
He Is Your Life

So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life—even though invisible to spectators—is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up, too—the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thursday Thoughts

An awesome reminder today that God is taking care of it. (Whatever your "it" may be!)

1 Peter 5:6-11
"Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you.

Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. You're not the only ones plunged into these hard times. It's the same with Christians all over the world. So keep a firm grip on the faith. The suffering won't last forever.

It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ—eternal and glorious plans they are!—will have you put together and on your feet for good.

He gets the last word; yes, he does."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Learning to Let Go

I have a confession: I haven't cleaned my bathroom in three months.

Yes. Disgusting. I know.

It's not that I haven't tried. It's that I haven't cared enough to go further than wiping down the sink with the leftover toilet paper at the end of a roll.

Tonight. That all changed. Tonight I soft-scrubbed. I windexed. I toilet-bowled, mats-washed, shower-cloroxed cleaned.

What may seem like a minor victory to most sane, level-headed people, was almost like winning the war to me.

Three months ago, I lost big time and that loss resulted in neglect in every area of my life.

I gave away my heart to someone who just didn't want it. It's no fault to him. It's life. It's relationships. And it's messy.

I've never been to Vegas. In fact, I've never played a slot machine (though it's a secret dream of my heart). But I imagine if I was a betting woman, I wouldn't wager much. My whole life I've played it safe. When I was in third grade, I went hiking with my mom and two brothers. While hiking a trail, we spotted a fallen tree. My brothers ran up and down that tree limb. Not me. I was too scared. I knew I would fall. I knew I would get hurt. So my sweet mom offered to hold my hand and walk with me.

Pass one: I did it.

Pass two: this is getting fun.

Pass three: Oh crap!

I fell. Well, I straddled the limb and though it took me one week to convince my mom I needed to see a doctor, sure enough, my kneecap was broken.

I don't like to place bets and I don't like to risk. But, this time, something told me differently. Something told me to trust. To bear it all. To risk it all. I gave him the deepest parts of me. The parts no one had ever seen. I gave him my heart.

Last week, I was listening to a message online about necessary endings. The speaker said: What is in your life today that doesn't line up with your tomorrow?

It's been three months since it ended. Three months of sadness, disappointment, anger and loss. Three months of not making my bed. Not calling back friends. Not playing with my puppy. Three months of wondering what I did wrong, how I could fix it, and if he would come back.

It's been three months of not letting go.

I was reminded recently of Lot and how God told Lot to take his family from his homeland of Sodom and Gomorrah and flee. God was going to destroy the city and told them whatever they did, not to look back. As the family ran, Lot's wife made the mistake of not letting go. She looked back for one last glimpse, and God turned her into a pillar of salt. Lot's wife missed out on all that God had for her future because she looked back to her past.

When I finally decided to let go and not look back, a sense of freedom overwhelmed me. And as silly as it may sound, I was able to wake up and make my bed. I cleaned out my coffee pot (which I'm sure was alive) and I made coffee at home instead of the usual run to Starbucks.

And tonight. Tonight, I cleaned my bathroom.

It's the little victories every day that remind me I'm moving on.

It's choosing to rejoice despite the sadness.
It's choosing to be whole despite the hole in my heart.
It's choosing my future instead of my past.

It's choosing life.