Friends, it’s been a theme of my life. I wonder if you’ve found it in yours as well? I avoid things.
Not all things. I embrace laughter and watching the sunset never gets old to me. Coffee? Yes, please, A day at the spa, sign me up! Time with a good friend, the best!
I avoid hard things. Things that cause discomfort, pain, heartache, unpleasant feelings of all kinds, forms and variations. I will walk away, I might even run. I will shut down and crawl inside myself so tightly that the very jaws of life don’t stand a chance. I work very hard to avoid things. I am adamant about avoiding things. I will fight tooth and nail to avoid things. I will stand my ground and stiffen my neck to avoid things. I take avoiding hard things very seriously!
When I was a little girl, I hated the dark. Going to bed at night needed to involve a night light and if for some reason I woke up and needed my mom or dad, my heart would palpitate at the thought of having to get through the dark house to get to safety. I would close my eyes and run the length of the house and as quickly as my feet would carry me, scoot into my parents room where I didn’t have to be alone in the dark.
It’s strange as I think back to this because somewhere throughout life, I have grown comfortable with the dark. Now for sleeping purposes this is just fine, but what is concerning is how comfortable I’ve grown with the darkness in everyday life.
Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.”
The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the baby to be born will be holy, and he will be called the Son of God. What’s more, your relative Elizabeth has become pregnant in her old age! People used to say she was barren, but she has conceived a son and is now in her sixth month. For the word of God will never fail.”
Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” And then the angel left her. – Luke 1:34-38
So imagine with me…an angel has appeared and announced to Mary, Congratulations! You are single and we know you are engaged to be married to Joseph but God has chosen you to give birth to His son.
How would you respond?
Mary asked a very obvious question…Ummm…I’m a virgin, how is this possible?
Good question Mary!It would probably be the first of at least a hundred questions I would have.
When Herod was king of Judea, there was a Jewish priest named Zechariah. He was a member of the priestly order of Abijah, and his wife, Elizabeth, was also from the priestly line of Aaron. Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was unable to conceive, and they were both very old. – Luke 1:5-7
I’m wondering if you’ve ever had hopes and dreams that didn’t turn out?A great plan that just never came to be?I hope you can answer “no” to these questions, but my guess is, if you are breathing, you’ll probably answer “yes”.Our circumstances may be different but dwindling hope feels the same doesn’t it?
1 John 2:15-17New Living Translation (NLT). Do Not Love This World
15 Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. 16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. 17 And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
Is this passage relevant to our daily lives or what?Wow!After reading it, my first thought is that this passage needs to be in regular rotation for me.I don’t know about you, but living in this world, it seems we are bombarded relentlessly by all kinds of messages that attempt to influence how we spend our time and attention and the majority of those things have no eternal value. Continue reading “Beyond Me”→
Love others as you love yourself.Sounds easy enough.Treat others as you would want to be treated.Pretty straightforward.
Christ came to set you and I free, He set us free so we could love one another, so that we could spread His love to those around us who need to feel it and know it, just as we want to feel and know it.It’s simple really, but we can make it difficult fairly easily.
We make it difficult when we come up with our own plans, when we develop our own agenda and what we want crowds out God’s plan and closes our ears to His voice.Continue reading “We Make It Difficult”→
How do you respond when you feel unsafe? When you have exposed your weakness in an effort to be authentic, only to get a swift kick in the gut as a “thank you”.
I can tell you what my immediate reflex is. Shut down mode. Walls up. Armor on.
How do you remain open and real in the midst of betrayal? How do you continue to fully show up and engage when you have been hurt and disappointed? How do you find a path forward with someone who may never own up to the harm they’ve caused? Continue reading “Lessons from the Pain”→
Probably one of my least favorite phrases in life has been, “It is what it is”. I think because I’ve seen it used as response to settling for less or a hall pass for not showing up for excellence. When details are left unattended, things are seemingly falling apart and that one person just chimes in with, “it is what it is”. That comment in the thick of things sends me to another stratosphere. What I feel like I’m hearing is, “deal with it”, “it’s fine, get over it”, “it’s not a big deal, move on” and these notions irritate the life out of me!
Self reflection can be tiring, but I would assume fairly essential to recognizing what in life may need changed. So this is the question I’ve been chewing on lately. Do I turn to the right “things” when life is hard? When I’m overwhelmed? When I’m ______ (you can fill in the blank).