Purpose – Redemption

I’m not Catholic or Orthodox, and typically not a part of a church body that participates in Lent. However, as a personal practice, more years than not in the last 10 years, I have participated in Lent (in a personal manner).

Recent life events have left me with some questions and some heartbreaking thoughts that I know God will use this Lent season to teach and grow me.

Tonight, in that vein, I am participating in the 5 minute friday tradition (last week, I actually did my 5 minute Friday post on my Tiny house blog)…I know it’s Sunday, but unfortunately, I find myself late many weeks.

This week’s theme:

PURPOSE…

“You didn’t want heaven without us, so Jesus you brought heaven down”
-Hillsong ‘What a Beautiful Name’

This song has me wrecked recently, especially this line… He didn’t want heaven without us…

This goes with my reading tonight.
Tonight, I spent time in 2nd Peter.

He has a lot to say in the 2&3 chapters about evil days: false prophets & teachers, evil doers, fleshly desires, condemnation, and more… I won’t take the time to break it all down – honestly, it’s a lot.

But, I want to focus on one specific section:

“But, do not forget this one thing dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead, he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief…”

  • 2 Peter 3:8-10

So, what’s this all about?

It’s about purpose.
And, that purpose? Redemption.

Recently, I’ve had to come face to face with my belief: sin, death, mortality.
Do I really believe some perish?

Unfortunately, I do. And, honestly, the question of someone’s eternity is HEARTBREAKING.
But, Jesus has been working in my heart – if it’s that heartbreaking for me, how much more heartbreaking is it for Him to have Creation reject Him?

So, what’s it all about?
Purpose – redemption. Human souls. Love.

He created a way – desiring that no one would perish, knowing some would anyway. Giving His people the knowledge, tools, and compassion to reach as many as possible, and then commissioning us to do so.

This is a tough, heartbreaking topic to write about. I hate the thought of spending eternity without some of the people I care about – even spending eternity without my “enemies”. But, the reality is, it’s likely to happen.

And, if it hurts so much for me – how much more for Him, after creating and offering restoration?

So, that leaves me – in the gap. Attempting to live out the great commission in my life. In the tension between here & now and eternity.
A part of the Kingdom on Earth as it is in Heaven, trying to be a light of love to as many people as I can.

So, what’s this all about?
Purpose – human souls. Love.
Redemption.

Secure

Last week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic was Caring… And, I wanted to write something. I had so many thoughts, so many ideas swirling around…

Things related to accepting, becoming, waiting Related to how much caring I do each day…

But, getting myself decompressed from work enough to put together coherent thoughts, well, it didn’t work very well…

So, instead, I shed a lot of tears:

Over being cussed out a couple of times, by kids who weren’t necessarily angry at me, but at the tough hand life has given them. Hearing them call me names they shouldn’t know, and describe things they shouldn’t understand…

Over knowing we are working to show love & help these kids make progress, only to have to send them back to the people and places that are hurting them…

Over wanting to do a good job, but knowing that several times a week I question my ability, my stamina, my education, and my compassion…

Over being 27 & childless; and having my body become a war-zone again as a reminder that for another month, I am once again, (now) 28 and childless…

All of these things affect me so much because I care: about my life, the lives of my co-workers, my supervisors, and the lives of my clients & kiddos.

Yet, I am secure.

Secure in the knowledge that I may not always know where my next meal will come from, but there will be a next meal, because God is my provider (Matthew 6:25-34)…

Secure in the knowledge that God cares for my situation, for my client’s situations, for the kids in my youth group’s situations, for my employers’ situations; because, He cares for people (Psalm 36:5-6)…

Secure in knowing that my prayers for those around me have not gone unheard, even if I never get to experience the answer for myself (Matt 5:44; 1 Thes 5:16-18; Psalm 34:17-18)…

Secure in the knowledge that, despite many troubles, God is always working my life out for my good and His glory [even in the struggle of loneliness &singleness] (Psalm 34:18-19; Romans 8:28)…

Secure in His perfect gift of the Cross, His peace that passes understanding, His unconditional Love, and His mercies that are new every morning (John 3:16; Philippians 4:7; Lamentations 3:22-23)…

I spend a lot of myself caring…I woke up this morning already irritated…

My attitude changes only with prayer, flexibility, compassion, & understanding.

I do not have an easy job, but I was called into this life for such a time as this, in this place, with these kiddos. I’ve never been under the illusion that this calling would be easy; but, sometimes I forget that I have to be filled by Him in order to go out and fill others.

So, I pray. I smile. I go with the flow. I express compassion.

Then, I come home, and I recharge (sometimes better than others). And, I allow Him to be my fill. I allow Him to remind me who I am, Whose I am, and to what I have been called. I find ways to relax, to experience my own life & joys, and love those around me.

And, then, I remember & embrace that I am deeply loved by the One who also deeply loves those He called me to serve.

In this, I am secure.


This week’s Tuesday @ 10 topic is Secure. In what do you find your security?  Let me know below.

 

 

Let me introduce myself…

Now, I’ve had this blog for about for about 2 years, and was hosted on Blogspot for about 4 years before. So, I’ve been blogging for 6 years…

And, I feel the need to re-introduce myself. So much has happened in the past 6 years, this blog has been through so many seasons & cycles itself.

Back to me – I am passionate about God’s unrelenting, unwarranted, and absolutely unconditional love -His Agape. Making His children Agapetos – the beloved.

But, knowing I am the beloved, and feeling it all the time are two entirely different things.

Sometimes, that not-feeling has come from the huge, 10 year battle with depression that I fought…which is trying to rear it’s ugly head again…Sometimes, it comes from the heart pounding, suffocating anxiety I feel like will be with me forever…Sometimes, it comes from the chronic singleness that has engulfed my life…

Yet, whatever the reason, my lack of feeling does not negate the truth of my being.

I am beloved…

And, in this season of my life, I want to focus on accepting, becoming, and waiting.

  • Accepting: my role as His beloved. Right now, that means being back in a place I never thought I’d find myself again, working in my old schools, and attending a church I left 9 years ago. Right now, it means faith in His perfect plan, His ability to bring beauty from ashes, and His future blessings. Right now, it means simply accepting the present for what it is and turning to Him when the rest get’s overwhelming.
  • Becoming: who I’m meant to be as His beloved. We all have that picture of what we want our lives to be like, and compare when we get there. Mine doesn’t exactly look how I thought, but pretty close. Yet, there are pieces missing…things I thought I’d have or places I’d be. So, I am focusing on becoming that girl – in so far as God leads me there. It also means pushing myself at times, or holding back at times. I am focusing on allowing God to shape me, grow me, stretch me, and sustain me.
  • Waiting: Those who have read my posts before know I am constantly in a waiting phase – and the biggest thing I am waiting for is that Godly man I will one day build a life with. A man I can submit to and serve with. I know I am also waiting on career moves to be opened up. So, I will focus on the wait – the acceptance and becoming that take place in the waiting. The continued faith that God will fulfill and provide for me according to His good will & purpose.

Honestly, it’s not much different than the way the blog has been in the past. Just a little more focused on these aspects of beloved-ness.

Perhaps someone will find this blog, my little slice of the internet, and know they are not alone in their struggle. Maybe, someone will reach out and offer encouragement, not only to me but to readers, as we become and wait. Maybe someone else out there needs to be reminded and encouraged in their own accepting, becoming, or waiting (or all three).

I pray that in the time moving forward (until my next mini-shift), people will be encouraged, people will find community. I pray that God will begin to use me more than ever to reach others like me, or different than me. That my words would touch exactly who they are supposed to, and that in writing them, I too will be changed & challenged.

Thanks for reading! Welcome to my little corner of the world 🙂


Another little word on waiting –

Recently, waiting has been a challenge. I keep hearing from people the same pat Christian answers…and I know they are only trying to help, but, honestly, sometimes I desire more of an understanding and a “this sucks” than anything.

We as believers keep throwing around some of the same phrases, things like: “Wait on God’s timing”, “It’ll happen when you least expect it”, & “focus on becoming the right person.” Honestly, some days, I want to punch anyone who says any of these, even if that first one is actually biblical…And, sometime in the next week or so, I will be writing a post reacting to these semi-myths of Godly waiting.

But, what I want everyone to know is that, just because I get tired of waiting at times (and boy do I grow so weary, especially in the weeks before my birthday…), this doesn’t mean I will give up, compromise, or go my own way. I know, even on the hardest days, God has a plan to use my life for His glory (even if that plan does not include me ever having a husband). And, even on my hardest day, I know a single life serving God is far better than a married life pulled away from Him.

Yet, what I wish people really grasped is that: waiting does not mean doing nothing. Even as a woman.

I can’t wait to share more with all of you as I narrow this focus for this chapter of my life. Thanks so much for reading and joining my journey.


What have you learned over the years about accepting, becoming, and/or waiting? Do you feel God has been brought glory from your life? How about from your relationship story? Do you feel like He used your single time to help you become in the waiting? Has he worked in your heart to accept & be content? Let me know below. I’d love to hear from you!

Love & Home

“Home is where the ♥ is” – ?

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins.”
– 1 Peter 4:8

For many, the connection of home & love is immediately apparent.

Home is where we are loved. Cared for.

It’s where there is someone to pick us up when we are down. To bring us chocolate (or whatever your pick-me-up is) when a day has been tough. It’s also the place where people rejoice with us in our good news and life transitions.

Home is where people are supposed to support one another, taking care of one another.

Unfortunately, for many, this is not the reality of home. Many people don’t get to experience that connection of love and home – meaning they don’t get to learn what love really is.

For vast numbers, home is dangerous. Egg shells are walked on, bruises attained, and fear & depression reign.

I know this, because I have been there.

I’ve experienced both. And, I must say, there is so much beauty in a home filled with love.

October is Domestic Violence awareness month. A time to bring awareness and change to the reality for these. It’s a time to discover what we can do – they can’t do it all on their own.

But, our love for them can help make home safe again – covering the sins that have transpired.

Because, everyone deserves to really understand what a love filled home is like.

Redeemer, Provider, Sustainer…Everything

“With [man] it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible.”
– Matt 19:26 & Mark 10:27

Home – a place to be vulnerable.

And, this blog is my home on the web, one of my little corners of the online universe, so please, allow me to be vulnerable.

This passage is often used – and gives a great picture of our limitations that clearly don’t apply to God.

Now, so as not to take this verse out of context: when Jesus speaks here, He speaks of salvation. Something we cannot have on our own, but something we have by the Grace of God: sola gratia.

In this passage, Christ points out one of the biggest barriers to salvation: wealth – a lack of need, a presence of comfort. If you think you’re all set, you don’t need Christ. If you are comfortable where you are, you will be less likely to move.

This is what Paul addresses in Philippians 4:13, another verse often taken from context:

“I can do all [this] through Christ who gives me strength”

I like this version, because the “all things” we often quote, has less to do with being able to do whatever we want, and has more to do with learning how to rely on Christ at all times. Paul has just finished describing that he has lived through wealth and poverty, sickness and health. Good times. Bad times. Yet, because of Christ, he has been able to be content in all situations. Not on his own, but because God made it possible.

This evening, I was looking back over old pictures, and thinking about times in high school & college. Old insecurities began to flood me – magnified by current unrest in my life. I felt the old hatred I had for myself & the depression try to creep in. Negative thoughts about my appearance, personality, choices. That, I’ll just be this way forever…but I refused to give in to those thoughts, because,

Here’s what I know for my own life, by looking at these verses:

Right now, I have about $100 left to my name after this month’s bills, unless I find a job soon. But, even if that is my reality,  history indicates that God will sustain me through it.
Right now, my dream of home is having to shift & change. I don’t have what I thought I’d have by now – single, no apartment or house of my (our) own. But, God is teaching me that home is Him. That, I carry it with me wherever I go.
Right now, I am still in that Chronically Single phase of life. But, so much beauty has been/is being created in this stage of life. He is teaching me more & more each day to make Him my focus.
My life was once a disaster. Depression followed me anywhere. I had no idea how to get out, and at a point, death seemed like it might be an option. But God –God brought me out. He has turned it all to  beauty. And, even though it’s not what I thought I wanted, not the comfort, wealth, and everything I thought I wanted, it’s an amazing life. He has redeemed me to Himself. My future is in Him.

See, it’s about God’s redemption.

Without God, none of it happens. Without God, I have no life. Literally, my life would have been over.

But, even now, in tough times, He is still my provider, my sustainer, my redeemer, my everything.

And, if there was any question, Paul addresses this further in Philippians 4;19

“My God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus.”

Do I think this means God will make me rich? Of course not.

But, it means that God will take care of me in His way and His time, I need only be still and rely on Him, knowing He is God.

So, what does this have to do with Home? Honestly, for me, I’m still learning. For you, I’ll let you connect the dots where you need them.

Just remember, He is the redeemer, the provider, the sustainer…He is everything.

He is home.