Tag Archives: perspective

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)

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Photo of the Week: Forty Seven

photo of the week 47

Another glimpse of Christmas decorations around here…

Somehow, there’s joy hidden in this photo of the week. I don’t know exactly where or why or how. But when I look at it, it makes me smile. Maybe it’s the color or the different perspective or just the opportunity it provides to pause and reflect.

But I know I need more of it. More joy. More peace. More reflection. More perspective. More truth. More of His presence.

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (ESV)

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*linking with Shannan for Money Shot Monday*

Photo of the Week: Sixteen

This photo of the week of me and my mom’s dog, Mercy, hanging out on my parents’ back deck, comes to you instagram style (I’m @egallimore for those who are interested) because it just represents life right now. I honestly haven’t picked up my real camera once this week, and I’m not exactly in the most creative of modes at the moment, which is probably painfully obvious by my lack of recent posts.

But in other news, my bathroom finally sparkles again, one of my two-year-old’s at church used me as a human tissue this morning (that’s a high honor, y’all!), and I do actually have a post or two planned for this week.

What’s going on with you?

Stepping Back

One of the things I love most about blogging (aside from all the amazing people I get to interact with) is the opportunity it provides for stepping back to appreciate all of the ordinary moments that make up the everyday and to encourage the restoration of proper perspective in the midst of a too-full schedule.

So here’s 10 days (yikes!) worth of all-over-the-place random, photos from my phone, and stepping back…

Around this time each year, I look at my December calendar in the name of preparing for what’s ahead and tend to have a minor freak out moment until I settle into being just plain overwhelmed by the number of parties, rehearsals, and commitments that inevitably characterize this month. Without fail, that moment has come and gone. But after realizing that I had foolishly scheduled almost 10 days in a row of being out of the house every day (for pretty much all day), I did have the foresight to make some adjustments to the schedule where possible. I hate saying “no” to good things that I know will be fun and meaningful, but I find that I’m much less overwhelmed when I slow down enough to have at least a couple of nights each week with no commitments (I call this scheduling “margin” into life…time to be still and recharge…am I the only one who needs this?), so I can at least stay on top of cleaning the bathroom, vacuuming the carpet, and washing the dishes. All things that help me stay sane. At least relatively.

This helped with restoring perspective, too:

“The second coming of Christ will soon be here…Rest in the hope of that day. Work, watch, and look forward – one thing, at any rate, that day will make abundantly clear. It will show that there was never an hour in our lives in which we had our hearts too thoroughly focused on Christ.”

– J.C. Ryle (emphasis added)

I rode with my parents to my grandparents house in Northern Virginia for Thanksgiving. It was a quick trip (we left on Thursday and came back on Saturday), but since I wasn’t driving, I managed to read two books during the travel time. (“Radical” by David Platt and “Heaven is for Real” by Todd Burpo…just in case anyone’s interested.) We had a great time visiting with family, and on Friday, while everyone else was out shopping (which is just not my idea of a good time!), we helped my grandparents clean out old Christmas decorations from their attic, which is where I found these amazing vintage ornaments. I fell in LOVE with them, but no one else seemed to want them, so my Uncle and I divided them up between us and later found out they were my grandfather’s from when he was little. Even better!

Decorating the house for Christmas this year has been a process (and is still in progress), but my roommate, B (who happens to be blogging lots of fun and tasty homemade treats for 25 days of Christmas here) made these awesome stockings since we decided to change up the mantel theme this year. Aren’t they just the cutest???

Speaking of decorating, I know I left you hanging with the whole office re-do. I still haven’t really finished, but I did finally organize the bookshelf, and I really like it!

On Friday morning, I walked outside my back door to find frost all over my car. I didn’t feel like scraping the windows, so after saying “good morning” to my neighbor who was throwing out his trash, I opted to just sit in the car for a few minutes, eat my waffle, and wait for the defroster to kick in. About 30 seconds later, though, my windows cleared instantly as my neighbor had gone into his own car (he wasn’t going anywhere, mind you), taken out his de-icer spray, and sprayed all my windows for me. Totally made my morning!

Of course, ’tis the season for my weeks to be filled with lots of choir rehearsals in preparation for the Christmas concert (which is next Sunday) and for other extra special seasonal services (the Advent / Tree Lighting service is tonight!). And yesterday afternoon, I attended the women’s Christmas tea at church for the first time thanks to an invite from a sweet friend who hosted/decorated a table again this year. There were 81 tables all beautifully decorated by their respective hosts and a message of the hope and peace we have in the gift of Christ. So much fun!

And now, I’m planning to sit on my couch in my favorite fleece pants and enjoy an hour of stillness. I hope you experience some peace and stillness in the midst of this season as well!

Prevailing Purpose

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man,

but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.”

Proverbs 19:21 (ESV – emphasis added)

 

 

I wanted it to be a good fit.  But I don’t know if it ever really was.

I wanted to love it.  But I don’t know if I ever really did.

I wanted it to work out.  But I don’t know if it ever really could have.

I wanted it to be a success.  But in this moment, failure somehow seems strangely sweeter.

 

It was a good thing…but that didn’t necessarily make it the right thing…and it is finished…and I am done.

 

Yet even through the lingering daze and numbness, even through the ache of a dream unrealized, even through the late evening hour doubts that threaten to creep in, I know a peace, a calm, a freedom from a burden that I didn’t even realize I had been carrying.

 

It took many road blocks – many small steps in a slightly different direction along the way – to reach a place where it became apparent that a completely different direction was being asked of me.

It required sacrifice – of the one thing that I thought I wanted the most – to see a different plan begin to emerge.

 

HIS plan, perhaps?

 

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;

your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. 

Do not forsake the work of your hands.”

Psalm 138:8 (ESV – emphasis added)

Perspective

 

Ever have those moments (or days, or even weeks…) when you completely lose it? When you feel so overwhelmed (by this) that nothing makes sense, time seems to speed up and slow down all at the same time, and you function in a sort of daze?

In those moments (or days/weeks), have you ever [even subconsciously or unintentionally] attempted to take the control back from God as if to say, “I can handle this one on my own”?

Only to then realize the complete and utter futility of such an attempt?

From that place, consider this perspective:

“For by him [Christ] all things were created:

things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible,

whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities;

all things were created by him and for him.

He is before all things,

and in him all things hold together.”

Colossians 1:16-17 (New International Version – emphasis added)

If you’ve never taken me up on it before, go check out the surrounding text in verses 15-23.

According to this passage,

He’s got this.

Whatever your this is, He’s got it.

In the words of a familiar children’s song, “He’s got the whole world in His hands.”

And He’s got this.