Tag Archives: God

All I Ever Have To Be

21 Oct

On what should have been an hour and a half drive on a weekday afternoon, there was an accident on I-5 that made drive time turn into a 5 hour forced bonding time between myself and a work peer.  To pass the time while sitting there, we talked and after a couple of hours, started trying to entertain one another by playing various games we recalled from childhood family road trips.  My co-worker decided to play a game of “What’s your favorite?”, which led to her knowing much more about me than I would normally divulge to a colleague.  What’s your favorite color?  What’s your favorite movie?  What’s your favorite food?  What’s your favorite song?  I can’t answer that one!  I mean, there are so many, and it depends on what type of music, what mood I’m in, what memory its associated with, how do you pick one child over the other?!  The question actually stressed me out!

So, I say this with great hesitation, but if I had to pick a favorite song (which I’m still not going to commit to), the song “All I Ever Have To Be”, sung by Amy Grant and written by Gary Chapman would have to be on my short list.  This song was released in 1980, when I was still a young girl, however, I can clearly remember listening to the lyrics closely and the beautiful simple melody.  Even at the age of 8, this song resonated with me deeply.  Hard to explain it and I certainly did not realize the degree to which I would need to continue to be reminded of the words of this simple beauty throughout my life.

“All I Ever Have To Be”

When the weight of all my dreams
Is resting heavy on my head
And the thoughtful words of help and hope
Have all been nicely said
But I’m still hurting, wondering if I’ll ever be the one
I think I am – I think I amThen you gently re-remind me
That You’ve made me from the first
And the more I try to be the best
The more I get the worst
And I realize the good in me is only there because of who You are
Who You are…And all I ever have to be is what You’ve made me
Any more or less would be a step out of Your plan
As you daily recreate me help me always keep in mind
That I only have to do what I can find
And all I ever have to be
All I have to be
All I ever have to be is what You’ve made me

 

So dear one, if like me, you struggle with meeting the expectations of others or even more difficult, your own,  If you are tired of striving, If you feel more loved for what you do than who you are, then let me remind you as I remind myself.

  1. God made you, uniquely you on purpose, don’t try to be someone else.
  2. Give yourself some grace, we’re all unfinished.
  3. Never doubt for a minute, that even with your imperfections you are mind-blowingly loved.
  4. We don’t have to pull it off alone.  All the good is because of Him and He wants to handle our tough stuff too.
  5. Stop striving.  A good dose of rest in His love and grace, allows us to be who we were made to be.

Ahhhh, I feel better, how about you?

Be encouraged my friend!

 

 

 

 

He Gets It

9 Apr

Do you ever feel like no one understands what you are going through?  I do!  Like your friends or even your family just don’t get it?  Me, again!

The other morning heading to work I was feeling a little weary, a little hurt, a little angry a little a lot of things, I guess.  I was thinking about someone who I am frustrated with.  I guess I felt let down by this individual and I felt justified in my feelings.  The fact that this individual had not met what I feel are reasonable expectations left me feeling, hurt and a bit rejected during an already difficult period.  I was struggling in that moment to let it go, to forgive, especially absent an apology or acknowledgment of any wrong doing, which I wasn’t holding my breath for.

When I am feeling this way, whatever the circumstances may be, it is my desire to be understood, for my feelings to be heard, for someone to get it!  You know, acknowledge the issue and the fact that my feelings are understandable?!  However, as with many things in life, I often don’t get my way.  Sometimes, the situation isn’t appropriate to share with another so that I can feel validated.  Sometimes, the other person because of their own issues isn’t willing or capable to have the conversation that needs to be had. Sometimes, we don’t get what we want.

In that moment, driving down I-5, feeling un-understood, my mind focused on someone who does understand me and I was reminded of this truth, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin.”  – Hebrews 4:15.

When you don’t get the apology you deserve.  When you need help and no one is around. When you feel alone.  When there is conflict.  When people have more important priorities.  When no one wants to listen.  When people say false things about you.  When people hurt you.  When a friend turns their back on you.  When you struggle.  When life is hard.  When you are in pain.  When you are overwhelmed.  When you have been let down.  When you don’t seem to fit in.  When you are tempted.  When you are tired. When no one else gets it.  God gets it!  He knows how it feels, He felt it.

He gets it and you know what His response was and is?  To love anyway. To humble himself anyway.  To forgive anyway.  To lay down His life anyway.

His example challenges me.  I am so far most days from responding the way He does.  It is my desire to grow in the grace He lavishes on me.  I want grace, but how freely am I giving it away to others?

His example convicts me.  How can I withhold from others, what I so desperately need from Him?

His example comforts me.  It is certainly a wonderful feeling to be understood by our friends and family and I am thankful when that is a reality.  But when it’s not, I serve a God who understands me.  He understands my ways, my feelings and He loves me as I am.

So thankful for a God, who gets it!  He gets you too!

 

 

Glimpses of God’s Heart

13 Jun

The title “father” conjures up many emotions in people. We all have one, although some of us may have never known them, maybe we did, but it was a less than positive relationship. Some of us miss fathers that are no longer here and some may be a father themselves and have regrets about the job they’ve done. Even the best father in the crowd has days when he messes up and wishes he had remained patient, talked softer or listened closer. Despite each of our relationships with our earthly fathers we have a Heavenly Father who loves us perfectly, who is crazy about us despite our imperfections, who never gives up or runs out on us.

Every father is also a son who can learn from his perfect Heavenly Father how to lead, serve and model Christ’s love to their families in the nitty-gritty of daily life. I remember as a child our family didn’t have a whole lot of money. Goodwill was our go to store for clothing; it was very exciting when we had enough money to graduate to shopping at K-Mart! My dad worked extremely hard both at work and in the home to provide for us. I imagine that this was tiring and stressful, there were definitely times I could tell that was the case, but despite the limited funds and stress he made sure I got the sparkly jeans I was dying to have for my first day of 5th grade. When I was 16, disobeyed and took his van camping and then proceeded to back it into a tree, he didn’t fly off the handle when I called to inform him of my error in judgment. He showed mercy and restraint as he delivered the consequences and explained what I would be doing to repair the situation. As a young adult, he listened to me and let me cry on his shoulder after my first heart-break. When I felt I would never recover and I’m sure in hindsight, he knew I would, he showed tenderness towards me and just hugged me and told me he was sorry. It was just what I needed.

Just a few moments from my childhood that I remember in which my dad demonstrated to me not only his heart toward me, but gave me glimpses of God’s. Father’s, you have an immense responsibility to influence the hearts, minds and spirits of the lives of your children. You may mess up, no, you will mess up. I am not letting any cat out of the bag by telling you that my dad messed up, that he has regrets. It’s not about perfect, but it is about growth and progress about choosing today who you will serve, about saying I’m sorry when you get it wrong and demonstrating what humility and servant hood look like as you lead your family. It is NEVER too late to write a new story and make an impact, to learn more and do better, to be a father who gives your children ever-increasing glimpses of Christ’s heart towards them through you. What an opportunity and what a wonderful Heavenly Father you have as an example to follow. Happy Father’s Day!!

pop

Me & my Pops ❤

What’s Christmas Really About?

7 Dec

So, if I were taking a poll about what Christmas is about, I imagine I would receive a variety of answers. Some may say, “it’s about spending time with friends and family”, others may say “giving gifts”, or maybe you’re into Jolly Old Saint Nick?

If you were to ask me, what Christmas is really about?  I would tell you that I love and cherish time with family and friends and I enjoy the shopping and finding that perfect gift to give.  I’m not so much into Jolly Old Saint Nick, but he sounds like fun!  For me Christmas is about the celebration of Christ’s birth.  Without His birth, there wouldn’t have been His death and His resurrection, which ultimately paid the price for my messes.

However, this year more than ever, I have been considering the miracle of Christ’s birth.  I’m not talking about the miracle of birth, which in and of itself is indeed miraculous and if any of you have ever given birth or witnessed one, you know what I’m talking about!  But, beyond, the miracle of birth, think of the obstacles that had to be overcome for Jesus to arrive on the scene and fulfill God’s plan to save humanity.

Let’s start with the obvious, He was born of a virgin, now I’ve never heard or seen that before or since?  Pretty amazing!!  Next miracle, Joseph finds out his fiancée is pregnant.  By the way, it’s not yours, this was God’s idea and oh ya, your son will be named Jesus because He will save people from their sins.  No offense guys, but I’m not thinking Joseph’s reaction would be typical of most men, pretty miraculous if you ask me!  The miracles continue, there was that bright star in the sky that led those from a far to come and celebrate the birth of baby Jesus and all He would mean to this world.  There is the angel who announces His long-awaited arrival.  It’s a pretty mind-blowing series of events that occurred to pull off God’s plan.

Which leads me to what I’ve been pondering…God will go to some pretty amazing lengths to move on our behalf.  He covers all the details, nothing catches Him by surprise and He’s highly innovative!  Understatement I know, but seriously, I started to think about some of the circumstances in my life, where the plan doesn’t seem like it’s gonna come together, where the goal seems so far away that I don’t know if I’ll see the finish line, where there’s hurt that just feels to hard to handle some days and when I look at my own abilities and my own resources, things can seem pretty darn bleak.

But, if I start to think about how God Himself looked out into time and saw me, knew my need and orchestrated this Christmas miracle by  introducing a Savior to the world, in the form of a helpless little baby boy…well, when I think on that for a bit, my faith starts to grow and hope begins to rise and I am reminded that God is capable of some pretty amazing feats and no matter how dark things may look, He can most definitely pull it off!!  Now that my friends, is some encouraging news!!

How about you?  Any circumstances you need changed?  Anything you feel overwhelmed or defeated by?  Is there a relationship that needs some fixing?  A disappointment that is really tough to bear?  A great big obstacle that seems impossible to overcome?  Might I suggest, that you take a few minutes to sit and really think about the miracle of Christmas, the amazing plan that God ensured came to pass, the mind-blowing way He chose to go about it.

I have a feeling that after you consider His amazing ways, you will feel quite a bit more confident about His ability to move on your behalf, about the extent He will go, to demonstrate His immense love for you.  Now, that my friends is what Christmas is all about!!

A Baby Changes Everything!

24 Dec

A young girl told by an angelic being that she has been chosen to give birth to the Savior of the world. I can only imagine what that was like to absorb! I am sure there must have been fear about what her fiance’ would have to say about the news? In a moment Mary was informed she was an integral part in God’s plan to save you and me and her whole world would never be the same.

What is most amazing was her response, “Be it unto me Lord, according to your word”.  In short, whatever your plan is Lord, I trust you.  What a great response to such a life altering plan.  Although, I would want that to be my response, I would put quite a bit of money on the fact, it would take some time for me to come around.  Maybe, that’s why God had an angel deliver the news, I would think that would be a big attention getter 🙂

Baby Jesus came and He changed everything, not just for his parents Mary and Joseph, but He changed everything for us.  He made a way for us to know Him, to have relationship with Him and to have eternal life, all of these indescribable gifts in one little baby destined to bring hope to all mankind!

And the real kicker, He will be called “Immanuel” God with us.  He came to be with us in this life and the one to come.  God wants to be with us…during the joy, during the pain, in the laughter and through the tears. He is with us!

This Baby changed everything!!  As we celebrate the birth of this world changer this Christmas, I pray that we are very mindful of His life changing gift and the fact that He is always with us, cause He wants to be!  Sounds like a reason to celebrate!!

Merriest of Christmases to you and yours!

The Perfect Gift

5 Dec

The other day, while driving in my car, I was listening to Bing Crosby on the radio, as he sang the words of that famous little drummer boy, “I have no gift to bring, pa rum pum pum pum That’s fit to give the King…”. The lyrics got me to thinking…imagine with me that you are on a journey to meet the Baby Jesus, the long awaited King and Savior of the World. Of course besides the overwhelming joy and honor of being part of such a momentous occasion, my mind can’t help but jump to another detail…what gift do I bring to the party? I would want to have the perfect gift and I am doubting I would find it in the latest advertising pages or on-line store…The pressure!

As I was thinking about what I might possibly bring to this once in a lifetime event, on my mind wandered…”it’s kind of like figuring out what to get my dad for Christmas”!! He has always been the hardest person on my Christmas shopping list to figure out. I mean what do you get a man who has everything? Well at least everything that’s in my budget to buy. (I do think he still holds out hope that one day; I’ll be able to afford him a Lexus and an early retirement.) It has taken me awhile, but I have figured out over the years that it is not the most expensive gift or the newest gadget that really impresses my dad. A matter of fact, I have noticed that a gift given in thoughtfulness, from the heart means everything to him and what really blows my mind is that he appears to get more joy from simply having us close than anything that may be under the tree.

In that moment driving down I-5, my heavenly father reminds me…that’s what I want you to bring me…I want you to come close, spend some time and share your heart.  Simple, I know, and odd as it may seem to some of us…YOU are His favorite gift. I pray that we would all come closer to Him than we are today and that we would realize in a deeper way the joy that comes when we give the gift of ourselves.

Merry Christmas!

I’m Not Good Enough

13 Nov

I’m not good enough, probably not a popular statement, in a day and age, where it is widely touted that “the power is within you”, “all you have to do is believe”.  It’s also probably not how I would recommend starting off a self-esteem conversation with a friend that needs an encouraging word.  But, what I’m talking about isn’t a put down or a berating of yourself, it’s a reality check.

Confession time again…I have spent much of my life attempting to be good enough.  I have worked long and hard and given it my best.  I have attempted to prove my worthiness to those that love me and sometimes even to those that don’t appear to care for me all too much.  Oh, the energy I have expended trying to create an impressive record for myself.

I don’t know if you’ve realized this in your own life, but I have on several occasions run myself into the ground in my efforts to be good enough.  It’s tiring, it’s a full-time job.  Trying to be good enough makes it impossible to be present and real in your relationships.  Trying to be good enough takes your eyes off of what matters and if I’m painfully honest with myself is because I’m making things about me, again!

I have experienced the heartache that comes when you try your darndest and you don’t measure up, you get passed over, rejected, kicked off, kicked out, ignored and you get up, dust yourself off and say, “I’ll just try harder”.  Don’t get me wrong, excellence is essential, hard work, dedication and using the gifts and blessings you’ve been given is important, but all of the most amazing tricks in the world, doesn’t make a person good enough.

“I’m not good enough”, it’s a statement of fact not of condemnation.  It’s a reality check not a put down.  You see, I am good enough, simply because God says I am, because before I ever existed He saw me, loved me, chose me and made a way for me.  He makes me good enough!

And I’m telling you people the fact that I’m not good enough on my own is a very freeing thing to admit, kinda takes the pressure off!  This truth allows me to take a deep breath, relax and live this life God has gifted me with.  G-R-A-C-E, such a beautiful word and I think it can only be experienced when you realize your just not good enough.  I want to learn to walk restfully in this grace and I think it starts with admitting I can’t pull this thing off even when I try with all my might, realize He is more than enough and that is good enough with me!!