Why Now?

February 19, 2015

There is a ridiculous YouTube video my daughters find hilarious showing this rather large dog determined not to get into the bathtub.  In fact, he refused to even go into the bathroom.  Further still, he wouldn’t even stand up knowing he was going to be taken to the bathroom to be given a bath. His owners had to drag him, total dead weight, cooked noodle all the way down the hall and through the bathroom door. Dogs these days.

Admittedly, I laughed just as loud as they did at the dog’s crazy antics. In a similar vein, I am that dog when it’s come to having my own blog. I’m not new to the world of writing or blogging. I’ve done both for several years, but when it’s come to taking on a blog in my own name, on my own schedule, and from my own heart I’ve gone all cooked noodle.  In fact, I can think of 103 reasons why I don’t want a blog. So, why now? Why when there are so many others great writers and communicators out there sharing their perspectives and experiences in the world of blogging?  It’s because all 103 of those naysayers in my head crumbled when I understood the power of narrative.

We’re living a story within a greater story. Our narratives, our stories, are not isolated events occurring in insulated bubbles floating freely from one moment to the next. We live in tangled, intertwined, messy knots of relationships and circumstances. When I pull on one string, it tugs on someone else’s. If I wind up my chord, it’s unwinding someone’s down the line. Our yesterdays, todays, and tomorrows share common experiences, hopes, dreams, and fears.

I picture this life like a neatly knit sweater with a determined unraveling thread. Unraveling isn’t an option, it’s a way of life. It’s the way of life. We’re dying to make our sweaters of this world fit even as God is unraveling it for a greater, eternal purpose. He tells us not to fear, to exercise courage, and to steady our eyes on Him as he graciously and lovingly unravels us in this world to prepare us for perfection in the next. We can’t have our sweater of this world and our heavenly one too. It’s one or the other. If I try to cling to this one I end up holding a mess of string because the truth of this chronos life is that there is purpose in the unraveling.  Wearing our sweaters of this world can be great for a time, but eventually what was once good will become a trap to keep you from what’s best. God is for our ultimate freedom, our ultimate best. As we unravel grace abounds and Love calls us out of what binds us and into new depths of freedom with Him. This blog is my written narrative to gain and give perspective to this unraveling life. Sometimes I focus on my current sweater, sometimes I can’t take my eyes off the pulling thread, and other days I’ve got sights locked on my promised eternal creation. It all points to Jesus, and it’s a joy to share His story in me with you.

Brooms and Band-Aids

February 15, 2015

IMG_5717Admitting we are wrong is tough business. As someone who’s followed Jesus for nearly 17 years, realizing I have blind spots of self-reliance and self-righteousness is no easy truth to swallow. Part of me (a big part) wants to be a perfect daughter for my perfect Heavenly Father. One of Jesus’ messages to His followers was to repent because God created us to be in relationship with Him and unrepentant sin has a way of fogging up our view of God. He desires our sinful selves to be so near to His Holy Self that he allows us to say we’re sorry…and accepts our Jesus covered apologies so that we “by the help of our God, return.” (Hosea 12:6). God doesn’t ask us to repent because he’s cruel, or unjust, or unloving but because He is our perfect parent. One who is for not only our salvation, but also for our sanctification (us becoming more like Jesus). A parent who loves us enough to want our freedom instead of complacency, our joy instead of sorrow, our trust instead of fearful control.

Like the children we are (no matter our actual age or spiritual maturity) we run hard from truth that may hurt, we hide evidence of the leftover cookie crumbs of sin, we ask for a Band-Aid to cover our wounds when what we really need is surgery for our souls. We are desperate for our God who loves us enough to send obstacles to slow our frantic pace, says that it’s ok to sweep our messy sins right up to his throne, and isn’t afraid to rip the Band-Aid off when necessary.

Mark 1:15 says, “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” Repenting is God’s way of admitting we’re wrong and literally turning away from our sin. But because God parents his children in perfect love he doesn’t stop there. Our Father is FOR OUR FREEDOM. When he asks us to turn away from something, it’s because he has something eternally better in mind. Thankfully we don’t have to wait an eternity to experience his promises. When we come before God and admit and apologize (two words I use with my own daughters often), God begins the hard work with us of clearing out the clutter of our souls to make space for his kingdom. One of God’s love languages is giving good gifts. They’re the type of gifts you’ll never need to keep the receipt for because there’s no such thing as refunds or exchanges. Perfect Love knows the exact size of your need and the specific quantity of gift necessary to fill your deepest, truest desires…peace, love, joy, mercy, forgiveness, meekness, faith, hope…It’s never too much and never too little. God is good, his gifts are real, they’re available right now, and they’re so much lighter than any pre-repentant load we could ever carry.