Tag Archives: christ

Bottles at sea…

I have been a recluse over the last few months.  I haven’t had much interest in seeking out or calling my friends to talk, watching the news, or even sending out Christmas cards to my friends and family.

Today while I was running I was thinking about this and wondering why?  The thought crossed my mind that maybe Jesus has been sheltering me.  Maybe He has been protecting me from the competition and constant comparison of the world by taking away my motivation to talk with my close friends and others who could spark envy, competition, or comparison within my heart.  Maybe He has been giving me time to grow stronger and really imprint upon my heart the necessity to stay outside of the race going on in our world while still fully living in our world.

Maybe this is just my overactive imagination, but I still like this explanation, because today I finally called one of my best friends.  I was so happy to talk with her and hear about her life and what she has been doing over the last few months.  While we were talking though I felt myself being pulled back into the race, not because I compete with her, but because she has so many wonderful plans and ideas.  She is an amazing mom and wife.  She will soon be back in the workforce and I am sure she will someday start the amazing business of her dreams.  In our 30 min conversation we covered all of this and following months of talking to only the same small group of people, I started to question my plans or lack of plans, my ideas or lack of ideas and began to worry about where I am headed.  Luckily, although I felt myself being pulled into the race, I was aware of it which I hope is a start for keeping myself out of it.

As I was running home, I pictured all of us as bottles bobbing in the sea.  As bottles in the sea we don’t realize that it is impossible for us to sink as we are tossed about in the waves, dunked under water, and crashed into each other.  We are all fighting to stay afloat even though it really isn’t possible for us to go down.  Then by the grace of God, sometimes we float into a secluded harbor where we can see the beach and we know that true peace exists.  The waves slowly wash us in and then drag us back out in a repetitive motion.

Jesus thank you for the safe and secluded harbor You have given me over the last few months.  Please help me to remember that no matter how many times the waves pull me back, I am a bottle filled with Your spirit and I can’t sink.  Knowing this gives me faith to brave the open sea again and brave the waves with a new perspective.

Maybe on my next trip in You will bless me with a job to help You bring a few more bottles into Your peaceful shores!

Stop counting!

A friend of mine was talking to me today about a couple that she knows.  She was telling me how their relationship didn’t seem fair and how one person in the couple appeared to do 90% of the work.

I have been thinking about it some more and obviously I don’t know their whole story, but from the outside it appears that the beauty of their relationship lies in the fact that the two involved are not counting.

I think once you stop counting, the percentages can’t be calculated and they don’t matter anyway.  What matters is the teamwork, knowing you have a teammate who has your back and wants to support you and love you.

Jesus please help us to stop counting, work together, and remember that we all have unique gifts to contribute which can’t be quantified anyway!

Fearless

What scares you?  What scares me?

Can you verbalize it?  Do you even know what makes your heart start pounding, your blood run cold and your eyes glass over?

I don’t think I know for myself.  I am fearful of sitting down to think about and fully realize what scares me.  A few things sit on the edge of my mind that I am aware of, but I don’t want to verbalize them.  I don’t want to think about them for fear of them coming to be.

How do we attempt to live fearlessly with these fears lurking in the shadows of our minds?  I don’t think we can, allowing them to lurk gives them power over us.  I think we eventually need to realize these fears, accept them as our fears and then believe through faith that if these fears come to be, God will still lead us through the valley to an even higher mountain beyond.

Habakkuk 2:4 says it and Paul repeats it in Hebrews 10:38, “The just shall live by faith.” By faith is the way God planned for us to live out our lives, day in, day out, minute by minute.

I want to live fearlessly… I want to live by faith!

I have work to do, and if you are not already there, I hope you will join me, my friends!

When are we awake?

I am not sure if you hear a lot about waking up or about the next great awakening, but I have heard quite a bit about it in some of the documentaries I have watched in the last few months.

When I talk about awake, I am talking about being consciously aware of our ego and critically questioning our personal actions and whether these actions are being driven by our egos.  Then making an effort to minimize our ego’s influence over our actions.

The first book I read about this was, A New Earth: Awakening to  Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle.  I loved this book and I still consider it one of the first books of my own personal journey, but as I continue down my path I still question am I going the right way, am I waking up, will I ever be fully awake?  For me, I think it is a daily effort to wake up.  I still get caught up in worries about the future, regrets of the past and feelings, choices and actions driven by my ego.

One thing I have noticed though is that I feel more awake and more alive on days that I celebrate the joys and successes of others.  A news story was mentioned on my radio station the other day that helped me more clearly define a day when I am feeling more awake, Facebook Envy:  How Cruising can Kill Self Esteem by Wendy Sachs.

This story talks about how cruising Facebook can kill your self esteem when everyones life appears to be better, more fun, more exciting than yours.

This made me pay a little closer attention to my own activity on Facebook and I do think that I am more awake on days when I “Like” and comment on my friends photos, comments, shares.   Choosing to “Like” my friends activities is my quiet and small way to celebrate and be excited for them and the joys in their lives.

I am not sure when we will all wake up, but since so many of us are now connecting on Facebook, let’s use it as a platform to celebrate each other, support each, and love each other rather than a platform for comparison which will only plant the seeds of envy in our own heart.

James 3:16 For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jesus please help me to wake up a little more every day so that someday I can fully share in the celebrations and joys of all of my brothers and sisters throughout the world!

Who is your teacher?

I saw a documentary today with a man in it who had been searching for a guru or teacher since he was young.  He had found one and then the story went on from there, but it made me think.  Who is my teacher?  I haven’t been searching (at least actively or consciously) since I was young.

When we are not searching then who fills the space of teacher for us?

Obviously the answer is different for everyone, but I think I have always allowed my associations (including my television viewing) to step in and fill the void of teacher in my life.

Only since I have been a stay at home mother (with a little extra time, a lack of colleagues and a recent blessing of a lack of interest in television other than documentaries) have I for the first time in my life been indirectly searching for a teacher because no one/ no thing has been here to fill the void by default.

Jesus, please guide me to people, books, documentaries and any others sources that will teach me what You want me to know.  Please help me to prepare to be a sign post, a guide, a light in the night for others or maybe even a teacher if a student ever comes my way.

It’s Our Best Life!  The choice is ours, we must choose our teachers wisely and not follow others or ideas blindly or by default.

His words are enough!

A friend recently read a book about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.  I have had the documentary, Bonhoeffer, in my Netflix queue for quite some time and our discussion gave me the incentive to finally watch it. I really liked it and am very interested in reading more about Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

A student of his spoke in the documentary and discussed how his teaching was so drastically different than anything she had ever experienced up to that point in her life. He taught her to read The Bible as if God was speaking directly to her.  I love this!

This is just another reminder to me that I need to read The Bible.  I can and should critically listen to others, their thoughts and interpretations, but in the end I need to read The Bible.  I need to give God the opportunity to speak directly to me.

God, thank you so much for Your Word, for blessing me with a Bible of my own and giving me the ability to read.  Please motivate me everyday to read, study, and reflect on Your Holy Words.

When words aren’t enough…

I am not very good at defending what I believe or giving convincing reasons for my faith. A while ago I was in a discussion with someone and I became totally tongue-tied and could give no better reason for believing in Jesus than to just say, “Because… I do”.  For some reason I was thinking about this earlier today and for one moment thought, maybe I am crazy, but then I remembered sweet, consistent, reliable Puddleglum from The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis.

Puddleglum said to the witch:

“One word, Ma’am” he said coming back from the fire; limping because of the pain. “One word. All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.

Even if I can’t explain why, I would rather spend the rest of my life following Jesus and trying to live like Him, real or not, than follow anyone else!

Jesus help us to remember that most of the time we don’t need any words;  when words fail us, we only need to believe in You, love You and follow You.  We need to have faith so You can shine through!

Windows

We were away for Christmas this year and our rental house was full of beveled mirrors reflecting rainbows all over the house.  The girls had a blast finding rainbows throughout the house all week!

Every time I saw a rainbow reflected across the room, I smiled to myself and imagined that each one was a tiny window into Heaven!

Jesus thank you for blessing us with so many windows… please help us to see through them and find You!

Mirrors!

I think we all want others to see the good in us, or to let Jesus shine through as some of us would say!

How can you help everyone see Jesus within you without ruining the good intentions of an action and even running the risk of taking Jesus out of the action entirely by worrying that others see it, notice it, acknowledge it, pat you on the back for it?

I know I am not the first to say this and I am definitely not very good at doing this, but we will not help Him shine through by focusing on ourselves or our good deeds and actions.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Now imagine that you are a mirror.

  1. What is your sole purpose in life if you are a mirror?  To reflect what you see.
  2. Can you as a mirror be good or bad?  No.
  3. If you are a mirror and have a soul, does this change whether you can be good or bad? No.
  4. If you are a mirror and have a soul, would you have a preference regarding whether you reflect good or bad? Yes, I would prefer to reflect good.

Therefore as a mirror with a soul, I am still bound by the sole purpose of a mirror which is to reflect what I see, but if I desire to reflect only good then the only way this is possible is to see the good in everything!

I think the only way to truly help Jesus shine through ourselves is to focus on finding Him in others and then be their mirror!  The more light of Jesus you find in others, the more light of Jesus your mirror can then reflect back on everyone!

Can you see it?  A world full of mirrors constantly reflecting the light/love of Jesus!  It would be blinding, it would be beautiful, there would be rainbows everywhere!

It is Our Best Life… Jesus please help us to find the good in everything so that our mirrors will be full of Your light!

Arise, Shine!

For the last few months I have been waking up every morning about 10-15 min before my youngest daughter wakes up.  I usually check the time and then roll over and try to fall back asleep for a few min before I hear her calling for me.

For the last few weeks it has crossed my mind a few times during this early morning time check that maybe God wants me to wake up early and read the Bible before my daughter gets up.  I haven’t actually done this, but I have thought about it a few times.

A few days ago I started reading another blog.  The author of this blog wakes up every morning to read his Bible.

Well this morning, it happened again.  I woke up at 5:50 am, I checked the time on my phone, laid there for a min thinking about how tired I was, but then I leaned over to turn on the light.

I opened to Isaiah 60:1 and the first two words I saw were “Arise, shine”.  What a beautiful morning greeting from God!

Now I have to practice listening to His words, because unfortunately when I was done reading, I turned off the light and fell back asleep for 5 more min, and when I did wake up we had a very hectic morning.

Jesus, thank You for the beautiful wake up call this morning.  Please give me the strength to not hit the snooze button on You tomorrow morning if I am blessed with another wake up call from You!