Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. - II Timothy 2:15

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Monday, January 20, 2014

14 Things I've Learned in 2014

Thus far, 2014 has proven to be an incredibly interesting year. I can't remember a time in my life where so many things clicked and the lessons taught came with such sobering side-effects that they stuck and are continuing to stick. Not all of these lessons began in 2014, but since that doesn't flow with the title of this post, I'll just pretend. December was a struggle anyway, so having the outcomes occur in January was sweetly encouraging.

 1. Tearing others down tears you down as well

2. Not washing off mascara is incredibly detrimental to your eyelashes

3. Blog resolutions take conscious effort to keep

4. If you take yourself too seriously, no one else will

5. Sleeping with your arms above your head is stressful on your rotator cuff {alas!}

6. A soft answer DOES turn away wrath

7. The Ten Commandments are not just a list of rules. Behind every one is a God who knows how much sin damages us.

8. Thinking before you speak can make you miss the moment, but it also leaves you with less regrets. Not everything thought needs to be said - witty or otherwise.

9. Encouraging younger siblings is infinitely better than ignoring them {and gets you help with the laundry}

10. Looking for love in everything God does transforms hard things into overwhelming blessings

11. Rubbing olive oil on your eyelids every night before you go to bed helps your eyelashes get thicker and longer {at least it does if you haven't been washing your mascara off and really ravaged them}

12. Defusing situations helps you control situations. You can't choose how people speak to you, but you can choose how you respond to them.

13. The wisdom with which Jesus answered the Pharisees is yours for the asking. However, you can't ask and then ignore the answer - no matter how much you don't like it.

14. Week days aren't just stepping stones to weekends. Each day can be great if your attitude is one that remembers every moment is an opportunity to bring glory to God.

Till next time! 

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Monday, January 6, 2014

Something That I Want

Are any of you familiar with the song that played while the credits rolled after the Disney princess movie Tangled ended?

It's by Grace Potter; entitled {tada!} Something That I Want. The rather catchy chorus taking up the song goes like this:

Something that I want
Something that I tell myself I need
Something that I want
And I need everything I see

I don't like this song. Mainly because I think it's unimaginative and pointless, but also because it makes an awful sort of sense if you look hard enough at the first two lines. 

Because there's something that I want.

And I've gotten so used to wanting it that...well, became a need.

I pushed it away at first - the wanting - but as time went on I forgot the wisdom of trust and began to lean on my own understanding.

I stopped waiting for God and decided that if anything was going to be accomplished, I was going to have to step in and do a little work.

And that, my friends, was a horrible idea.

Because the funny thing about wants is that they can be castles in the air. And the funny thing about castles in the air is how easily the cracks, shudders and non-existent foundation can be ignored, smoothed over, and excused. It shifts a little and you rationalize it. It crumbles a smidge on the corner, the one right near the west wall, and you lose a little mortar, but you bandage a comforting explanation over it and the weakness is covered up. Maybe a tower topples in and you reel a bit, but time heals all wounds and soon you don't even remember it was there. And so you worry your disintegrating little want along; wondering why it won't stand like you built it. Why there is no foundation even though you've tried to make one. And why, for heaven's sake why, won't everything stay put and one day be real? And it isn't until that day when the last brick gives way and you see the rubble and wreckage at your feet and are left scrambling for a reason for it all that the dust clears and you lay eyes on the last thing you ever expected.

God - with a sledgehammer in His hands.

When your eyes brim with tears and you sob with whatever it is you feel: anger, grief, hurt, loss, humiliation at the hands of the thing you put your faith in, gave your heart to, defined your dreams with, you can either sit in that rubble and try to rebuild it, or you can leave it behind and go the the man with the hammer and ask Him why He used it.

There's only one answer you need.

It's love.

Love tore down those walls and broke the towers. Love shifted the air beneath that tenuous, trembling floor and watched it collapse.

And love understands how much it hurts to stand in the rubble.

Because, sometimes, love hurts.

But a castle in the air is too dangerous a place for a God who loves to let you live - especially when the most frightening place He wants you to be is square in the palm of His hand.

So when you ask why your dreams don't come true and what's wrong with your plans and wouldn't this be grand? He smiles with the knowing that softens His eyes and gently cups your chin.

"There's something that I want," He says.

"Something that I want and it's better than that. I know you don't understand now, but the dreams you build aren't big enough, strong enough, or good enough for you. I created you for a reason so just wait and see what I've got in store. Remember that I made water into wine. Famine into feast. Sickness into health. Death into life. Don't be afraid to let Me build your dreams. After all, I'm a master of foundations."

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them..."

- Ephesians 2:10 -

'Til next time!
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