Tag Archives: life

God IS

Sometimes life is hard.

Sometimes life is unspeakably beautiful.

I AM WHO I AM

Most of the time, the categories and seasons of this life aren’t so mutually exclusive. And somewhere in the middle, in the midst of the everyday that refuses to be so easily defined, I often feel like a hot mess of back-and-forth, up-and-down, I-don’t-know-which-way-is-up.

The inner tension and turmoil can become unbearable as I try to process and make sense of and unpack this life as it changes and unfolds.

There is so much that I just plain don’t know or understand.

The more I flesh out questions that don’t have easy answers, the more I try to make sense of how my life intertwines with others, the more I try to understand God’s plan, the more I realize how little I actually DO know and how far I have to go.

And it’s in those moments that I come closest to understanding the reality that I’ll never actually get there.

At least not this side of my eternal reality.

Because the “there” that I seem to be aiming for, that seems to exist only within the confines of my own brain, that demands nothing short of near-perfection and getting every little thing right all the time, doesn’t actually exist.

It’s a twisted perception that assumes if I just had this or were just better at this or could just improve this, life would suddenly be as it should be.

But that’s just not right at all.

And the weight of the error in that sort of thinking is downright crippling.

But on the other side, there is relief and release when I can come to grips with even a dim understanding that I’m not supposed to have answers to everything and that I’m more-or-less supposed to feel helpless and out of control.

Because the hard and unpleasant and I’m-not-even-sure-how-to-live-with-it truth is I am helpless and out of control.

I don’t call the shots.

I don’t control this life.

No amount of over-analyzing or self-evaluating or hyper-spiritualizing will EVER change that.

Yes, if I identify areas in this life that need work, by the grace of God and by the power of His Holy spirit within me, I can be changed. He can and will continue to sanctify me, to make me holy, to conform me to His image.

But I can’t get there by a sheer force of will or by maintaining the ideal schedule.

As I consider the future … having dreams and setting goals and making plans … it’s easy to become so task oriented and short sighted that I fall into the trap of thinking if I just make the plan and do the work, I’ll achieve success. Or conversely, that if I want something and don’t do anything about it, I’m just not driven or ambitious enough, and might as well accept failure.

But interruptions and inconsistencies and inconveniences are just part of life. That’s where God so often chooses to work. And the more I try to do all the right things or to have all the right answers, the more my focus ends up back on myself and my gaze slips from HIM.

This life still isn’t and never will be about me.

And when my eyes are rightly fixed on the Lord, when I’m seeking Him first, while I don’t have all the answers and I certainly still lack understanding, somehow perspective is restored and I can rest in the reality that I don’t make my own path straight. I can dream within the context of desiring more of Him (for myself and for others), but I don’t control how that plays out in this life nearly as much as I think I do.

So this is where I once again admit that I just don’t have many answers at all.

That this life is most right when my eyes are steadily and assuredly fixed on Christ.

That this life is more about seeking His presence than seeking all the right answers.

That this life is so much better when I trust the details and directions to His plan and His way.

That this life is not for me to make sense of because I’m not in control of it.

But in the midst of the unknown of this life, the one thing that I do know, that I can say with absolute assurance, that is beyond comforting is this:

God IS.

In all of His sovereignty, goodness, and holiness.

He’s the Great I AM, in control of this life and this world from beginning to end.

God IS.

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
Exodus 3:14 (ESV)

Saturday Plans

saturday plans

My Saturday plans pretty much consist of the following:

Drinking coffee in my favorite chair
Doing laundry
Reading something just for fun (probably “The Brothers Karamazov”)
Studying
Cleaning the house … at least parts of it
Watching a movie
Sending a few long over-due emails
Enjoying some much needed down time

What are some of your Saturday plans?

Happy Weekend!

5 Things

5things (grandparents)

1. Two weeks ago, my mom and I headed up to Northern Virginia to see my grandparents¬† and uncle for the weekend. Even though we discovered a minor leak in their basement that required immediate repair, we had a great time just spending time together for a couple of days. One of the days we were there, I did my make-up in my grandparents’ bedroom (the light was better in there…) while MeMaw was still getting ready in there, too. I may be 27, but there was still something kind of special about that.

5things (baby dedication)

2. Last weekend, I had the amazing privilege of attending a baby dedication for little miss Kenzie (held by two of her grandparents in the above photo above and totally giving her mommy a look that says, “Hey, Mom, are we about done with all these photos?” ha! She really was a trooper and so happy the whole time!). This sweet family is just precious to me. I am beyond grateful to call them friends, and have loved watching them step into this role as parents. It was pure joy to be a part of this commitment to raise Kenzie in a way that honors and glorifies God and points her to her own relationship with Christ as Savior and Lord.

5things (wedding)

3. Speaking of privileges, last night I attended a beautiful wedding of a beautiful couple. Such a sweet ceremony and fun evening with friends.

5things (speak truth)

4. This verse (and this message) is still on my heart. I love how the Lord is stirring some of your hearts in the same way!

5things (cookies)

5. And now, I’m off to check my kitchen to make sure I have the ingredients on hand for these Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk cookies that I found on Pinterest this morning. They look SO good!

Places I Would Love to Go

I don’t think the title of this post is grammatically correct, but I’ve spent the last two Fridays on I-85, and with two trips in the works for later this year, lately I’ve been thinking and dreaming about some of the places I would love to go.

places i would love to go

So in no particular order, I’d love to go to…

1. Hawaii – Islands. Volcanoes. Trees. Beaches. Beauty.

2. Jamaica –¬† I have no idea. It just sounds fun.

3. Estes Park, CO – Ok, technically I’ve already been there, but it was for business, so it was only for a couple of days and mostly spent in a hotel conference room. The pace of life out there just seems so inviting, and you can’t beat the views.

4. Italy – Does this really need further explanation?

5. Nashville, TN – I hear the culture is pretty incredible. And some of the people are pretty incredible, too.

6. Greece – Yep. I would absolutely go back there. The photo in this post is one of my favorites from Mykonos.

7. Disney World – Who doesn’t need a little Mickey Mouse in their life? And I’ve never been.

8. Africa – I have always wanted to go on a mission trip to somewhere in Africa. Hopefully someday if/as the Lord leads and allows, that will happen.

9. West Coast – Specifically, San Diego and Seattle. But really, I just want to see a sunset over the Pacific Ocean out there.

10. Guatemala – It feels like part of my heart will forever be there.

Since it’s the weekend, care to dream a little with me?

Where would you love to go?

Let My Soul…

“Let my soul live and praise you, and let your rules help me.
I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant, for I do not forget your commandments.”
Psalm 119:175-176 (ESV)

let my soul

Yes, Lord, seek your servant.

I so often go astray. I so often waste time trying harder instead of resting more.

I am nothing, I have nothing, I can do nothing apart from You.

Let my soul live and praise You.

I Want to Live for Christ

I only have one life … only so many days, only so many hours.

It’s so easy to get caught up in possibilities and dreams, to be overwhelmed by somedays, what ifs, and if onlys.

I can’t do it all.

But so what if I don’t know what I want to be when I grow up?

I’m living now … each day, each moment … and I want it to count. Eternally.

I desperately long to hear those words from the Master:

“Well done, good and faithful servant.” (Matthew 25:23)

I want to live this life trusting Him, serving Him, sharing Him.

For His glory.

Not mine.

Because it’s still not about me. It never has been. It never will be.

I want to stop feeling guilty for the choices that I make … I want to own those choices knowing that I have made them according to the only standard for my life that matters at all. His standard.

Considering the urgings of Paul, I want to

“…live a life worthy of the calling I have received.” (Ephesians 4:1)

I want to live a life worthy of the gospel.

I want to press on toward the goal.

I want to run in such a way to obtain the prize.

If life right now mostly looks like working, worshiping alongside a solid ministry team, studying Scripture, loving on two-year-olds in the nursery, writing, investing in rich friendships, and hanging out in coffee shops than I want to do those things … my things … His things … well. Fully invested in His kingdom work.

I want to live for Christ.

“But far be it from me to boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14)

With Paragraphs & Everything…

It’s been awfully quiet over here, no?

Technically it’s time for another photo of the week (and I do have one ready to go, so it will be up in the next day or so), and I know it’s past time for another devo thought, and I even considered doing a “5 Things” post because those are always fun and relatively easy, but since it’s been so long since I’ve actually “shown up” around here, I decided on a real post instead … with paragraphs and everything.

It’s certainly not for lack of content that I’ve been missing from this space. My energy has just been spent elsewhere.

This past month {maybe a little longer…} has been just plain full and, as usual, I struggle to find balance in the fullness. I love my community, my commitments, and my friends, but when I open the calendar on my too-smart-for-its-own-good phone to see multiple dots on each day of every weekend {and several in between} for a solid month, I get exhausted just thinking about it, tend to lose perspective, and then the temptation to pull away {and if I’m being really honest, to hide!} is great.

I suppose in those moments, maybe it’s a good thing that I DO have commitments and hiding is just not an option.

Truthfully, effortless and encouraging conversations with precious friends over meals, on the phone driving across town, during movie intros, late at night on bedroom floors, and even while “exploring” unfamiliar industrial parks keep me going through these seasons that can leave me feeling somewhat disconnected because of the fullness. Especially when my calendar is not the only one that pulls in far too many directions all at once … it seems to be a problem that plagues many around this time of year.

And although I enjoy social media, and I so appreciate each one of you, some moments – maybe even some seasons – just aren’t intended for sharing in real time via this blog or twitter or instagram.

So I keep going knowing that sometimes quiet is best and sometimes quiet {at least in this space} is just necessary. I’m not gone for good. I’m still writing. And as things begin to slow down I’ll show up around here with more than just a photo a little more frequently.

And while I am very much looking forward to a slightly slower paced summer and enjoying more Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and a good book {soon to be happening poolside! woot!}, I just don’t want to miss being fully present for all of the really great moments {from graduations and weddings to beach weekends and beyond} that this season of fullness has to offer … because there are many. And for that, I am truly grateful.

What are you looking forward to this summer and what moments are you grateful for in this season?