Musings On A Saturday

I have been sitting on my couch all day. It’s not normally something I am proud to admit. But, I have been sitting on my couch all day. I have nothing to show for myself today.

I didn’t even make the bed.

Sure, there were plenty of places I wanted to be today and plenty of things I should have been doing. But the rest of my family had other plans and I lacked the motivation. On days like today it’s a really good idea to stay away from Facebook and Twitter.  I care about you, Dear Reader, so this is just a tidbit of information for your well being. Whatever you do when you lack motivation and your day is not going the way you wanted it to DO NOT GET ON SOCIAL MEDIA! Everyone else’s life is always better than your own on social media. And no one else ever spends an entire day just sitting on the couch. Ever.

I did not heed this advice and now I am feeling guilty and isolated from sitting on my couch. Because all those things that I wanted to be doing with my friends are all plastered all over social media. I can not believe they have a life without me. I bet they are all talking about how they are glad I am sitting on my couch and not hanging out with them. I should probably just stay here tommorrow too. No one would miss me.

But tomorrow is my favorite day of the week. Sunday. If I stay here tomorrow I won’t get to see all those friends that are out without me right now. Sundays, even though they leave me exhausted as a KidMin, fuel me for the rest of the week. They are the culmination of everything I have done all week. All the prep, planning, nurturing and caring that has led me to sitting here on my couch, unmotivated  resting.

Maybe it’s not such a bad idea this rest thing. Maybe I should take a selfie for my Instagram of me just sitting on my couch so people go, “Hmmm, that looks nice. I wish I could spend a whole day with nothing to do. I wonder what that would be like?” I could start a revolution of people who felt good about themselves for taking a break and not always being on the go. Just imagine if we all took the time to let the dust settle before we started cleaning it again.

Me. Sitting on my couch. Blogging. At least I got dressed today!
Me. Sitting on my couch. Blogging. At least I got dressed today!

We could enjoy our children’s laughter because we wouldn’t be shoving them out the door. We could enjoy our spouses conversation because we didn’t have a meeting to get to. We could rest our minds, hearts and spirits by taking the time to reflect rather than spending the time on projects.

Yeah. I like it. And it kinda makes me wish that all Saturdays could be this way.

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10 Reasons Why I Wish I Was A Preschooler

hands in paint

They’re noisy. They’re demanding. They’re sticky, messy and destructive. And I can’t help but be in love with them.

Preschoolers get a bad rap a lot of the time. People often ask me how I love on them with so much patience. But the truth is they make me want to be like them. They have so many qualities I wish I had. Or maybe I should say they have so many qualities I wish I hadn’t allowed myself to grow out of.

1. They get away with tutu’s and bow ties.

Seriously. Who hasn’t had a hard time deciding what to wear? Can’t decide which pair of sparkly shoes to put on? Why not one from each pair? Loving the pants and the skirt? Wear them both! You can never be too prepared. And there is absolutely nothing cuter than a sweet little princess in a tutu! Except maybe a handsome little prince in a bow tie.

2. They are uninhibited about just about everything.

Surely you’ve had the urge to belt out your  favorite song in the middle of the grocery store. No? Just me? Ever felt like dancing for no reason? But you didn’t. Probably because some mean adult discouraged the behavior when you were a preschooler. And if they didn’t then they surely would now that you are over 30. Such an injustice! Just imagine what a happy place this world would be if we could all dance when we felt like it.

3. They aren’t jaded.

They (hopefully) have not been exposed to this big-bad-awful-terror-filled world.  They haven’t been around long enough to be scarred, beaten up by the fight of life and they trust without boundaries. Wouldn’t that feel great? To be able to trust again? I mean like without any doubts. Period.

4. They have so much energy!

Go ahead. Admit it. You’d pay a pretty penny to be able to have one ounce of the energy that exudes from a three-year-old.

5. They speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Sometimes it hurts or it is embarrassing, but the truth is we all need to hear the truth. Who better to tell it to you than a preschooler who means you no harm? Sure, sometimes they can be a little blunt, but I for one wish I had the guts to say some of the things that come out of their mouths.

6. They absorb the Truth like a sponge.

The Gospel of Jesus is ludicrous. It’s so far fetched and seems so ridiculous to us jaded, un-trusting adults. But if you’ve got the attention of a 3-year-old they not only believe every last truth, they want more! The story of Jesus’ unconditional and unbridled love for us is something we all hunger for. But as an adult we try to reason it away. Oh, to have faith like a child!children reading bible

 7. Their emotions are BIG!

Let’s face it, adults hide their emotions a lot of the time. And it probably wouldn’t go over very well if we all threw a fit when we don’t get our way. But when preschoolers are happy and they know it their faces surely show it. Same goes for when they are sad, scared or Lord help us, mad! If we could all be open with how we were truly feeling we’d be healthier.

8. They appreciate the little things in life.

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to receive a bouquet of weeds you are lucky enough! Preschoolers appreciate the little things that us big, easily distracted adults take for granted. The beauty of a weed or how mud feels between your toes. Even soap is cool to a preschooler. I wish I had maintained my sense of wonder. Or at least took the time to use it.

9. Play is work.

I’d give just about anything to be able to ‘play’ house every day rather than have to actually ‘clean’ house every day. But that play is work for the preschooler. Every bit of it. Building with blocks is developing math and motor skills. Running and jumping works on coordination and muscle control. Playing with dolls teaches children how to interact with each other. I wish I hadn’t been in such a hurry to grow up!

10. They tell the best stories. 

Hand a child a small object and tell them that as long as they are holding it they can tell a you story. They won’t want to let go of it! They come up with the best stories. A lot of it doesn’t make any sense to us ragged adults, but to a preschooler it doesn’t matter. Their imaginations are amazing and limitless! I wish I had kept mine dusted off a little better.

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No One Likes An Imposter

For Or Against Signpost Showing Pros And ConsHave you ever met someone for the first time and just had a strange feeling about them? Maybe they felt guarded, like they were hiding something. You might actually like to know that person more, but they just keep giving this vibe that they just don’t want to share everything about themselves. The truth. But the reason they are so guarded is because they fear if we knew the truth we might judge them and walk away. Right?

Or maybe you’ve run across someone who obviously was trying to be someone they were not. It hurts to watch those types of people in action because you can almost feel them straining to fit into the mold. It takes more effort to be fake than it does to be real. All of the manipulation, all of the acting, all of the façade. That’s a lot of work.

But have you ever known someone who was so genuine that in a world filled with guarded and placated souls they were like a breath of fresh air? Have you ever known someone who was so wide open, so confident in who they were and so real that you leave them feeling better about who you are just because you got to spend some time with them? They were good medicine and soothing for your own restless heart. And you can’t wait to be in their presence again.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately. We are living in a generation that is overflowing with ‘social’ media, selfies, 140 characters or less, instant gratification and viral stupidity. In a generation that is so connected isn’t it strange how starved we all are for something real? Something we can really sink our teeth into? Even ‘reality’ TV isn’t reality. We can’t trust anything we read, see or hear about. There is nothing, including ourselves, that is genuine.

This is true even of the modern church.

We are guarded. Afraid to tell the truth for fear of being judged and we might have someone walk away. We’ve become so oppressed by political correctness that we are afraid to share the reality of the Gospel. The bloody parts. The un-pretty parts. The parts that don’t make us feel good in our humanness.

We are fake. We strain so hard to be something we are not in order for people to like us. We want Jesus to be cool. We work to make the Gospel look nice and inviting and that if you accept it your world will suddenly become  a utopia. We lose sight of the truth by doing this.

Here’s the truth. There are Christians still today losing their lives for a Gospel that we water down. There are Christians in this world today imprisoned and apart from their families for a faith we wouldn’t recognize because it looks nothing like our own. There are hundreds slain across this globe for proclaiming that Jesus is the Lord of their life. Murdered simply for doing what Christ asked us to do, which is to pick up our crosses and follow Him. There are Christians still today that must meet as believers by candlelight in hidden places because they fear for their lives.

And we complain about the music being too loud during Sunday morning church.

Friends, hear me! Jesus is the real thing! He’s not just a story that felt good to talk about. If that were the case there would not be horrifying stories of loved ones beheaded on the beach for proclaiming the Gospel. Jesus wasn’t just some guy crucified on a cross. He didn’t die just to give us something to do on Sundays and a place to go for a good potluck supper. But that is how we treat him when we fail to recognize the significance of His crucifixion. When we dance around the genuine reality and fluff it up to make us feel good we are left empty handed and the end result is tragic.

How good would it feel if we stripped away everything that stands in the way of the Gospel? The propaganda and the semantics. What if, like that genuine person we love to be around, the church was wide open about Jesus? What if we got out of God’s way and just let Him be who He is? What if we quit trying so hard to make the church be cool and relevant and allowed it to be the place that it was originally designed to be?

A well for the thirsty. A place for the Light to shine on our own darkness. Refining us. Molding us. A place to lay down our own human imperfections to trade them in for Christ’s perfect plan. A breath of fresh air in a world filled with stale and empty distractions.

I think that when we stop apologizing for the truth, the lies of this world will grow strangely dim.

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The Rewind to Mercy Project

Mano col telecomando tv

There I was. Again.

In my bedroom. Face down and on my knees. Crying out to God to forgive me.

Again.

It’s like I don’t trust Him when he says He already did that. It’s like I treat Him as if He’s common, not the almighty God He is and incapable of mercy. Mercy that He so freely gives. Mercy that He sent directly to me in the form of His beloved son. Not because He had to, but because He loves me even though I am still a sinner. A sinner in need of mercy.

So, there I was in a scene that could have been stuck on rewind. Disgusted by the things I’ve done, the things I’ve left undone and the crippling doubt that I am lovable because of those things that I fight nearly daily. Through my tears I waited. I wanted God to show up, touch my heart and tell me He loved me and that I was forgiven yet again.

But He didn’t do that.

Instead He took my sprawled out hand and said, “Why are you so quick to forgive others and yet here you are again not forgiving even yourself? I forgave you the first time you asked. You don’t need to ask again.” Sometimes I hate it when He wants me to find the answers to my own questions. But He’s such an amazing teacher that way!

God gave me the spiritual gift of mercy. It’s a gift I treasure, yet sometimes it bothers me.  That sounds strange, but the truth is that sometimes I don’t understand when others are so quick to condemn. I truly ache. It hurts me when punishments are handed down and justice is served. Even for heinous criminals I’m the girl who gives second chances out like nickels. I really did have a hard time understanding this gift. I felt it made me naive and somewhat of a pushover. Then one day a friend of mine said, “It’s hard to understand because forgiveness like that can only come from the throne of God.” That’s when I finally began to ‘own’ my gift.

But God’s question remains. Why am I so quick to forgive others when I can’t even forgive myself? Why do I find myself asking for forgiveness over and over again for things He forgave me for the moment I asked?

The answer came in a whisper. But it was the wrong voice I was listening to.

Satan knows and delights in my weaknesses. The Lord knows and delights in my strengths. Satan’s whispers tear me down. The Lord’s whispers build me up. I have been allowing the wrong whispers to consume my thoughts.

Unforgivable. Unlovable. Sinner.

Those are a lie. And I believed them. I believed them to the point of separation from the truth and crippling guilt.

Forgiven. Unconditionally. Redeemed.

Those are the words straight from the mouth of my Savior. Those are the words of truth. Those are the words I struggle to believe but they are the very words that set me free.

It’s a choice I have to make every day because I believe more than ever God’s children are under attack. Satan knows he can’t have me, though he so desperately wants me. He can render me useless and ineffective for the kingdom if I let him. But I choose to listen to and believe the voice that tells me I can win the fight against feeling unloved. I can win the fight against feeling condemned. I can win the fight against feeling oppressed by my own transgressions and that there isn’t anyone out there to help me. Because there is.

I have my Father who is quick to forgive and slow to anger. One who holds my hand when I am my own worst enemy and fights my battles on my behalf. Every moment of every single day.

All I have to do is ask. Once.

 

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