Life’s Narrative

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“When you don’t like the narrative of your life, start drafting a new one! Never stop creating the story of your life; always be editing, adding and enhancing by God’s grace.”

I have been maintaining a “one sentence journal” since October, where I get one sentence to chronicle my day or anything that was important! Let’s just say that sometimes I break all the grammar rules with my run-on sentences 🙂 The above line was from this past Friday’s entry, which wasn’t necessarily inspired by anything in particular, besides an overall reflection on life.

Rumor has it that this time of the year is the hardest for some people, as they nurse broken relationships and unfulfilled goals. Sinking slower and deeper in despair. It doesn’t take much effort to flip the tattered and sloppily filled pages of our life’s book. Repairing the torn edges and rewriting over the past…now that takes some determination!

I know that it’s supposed to be “the most-happiest time of the year”, but I feel compelled to address those who this time doesn’t always manifest the best of memories. Whether your narrative is wonky by actions of your own and/or others, the chance to begin a new one is yours. Soley and completely…

Until Thursday,

P.S. Philippians 3:13-14 is always a place I like to visit when I can’t see progression between my past and present!

 

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Added Dimensions

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A new leaf on life! We’ve all definitely heard that a million times (and even probably said it ourselves). But, I wonder how much truth is actually in that statement. Leaves die year after year, with us throwing them away in the winter and watching them bloom in the summer. Every year we are graced with new leaves to see.

Now our lives are an entirely different story. We are not cats…we don’t get nine lives to live! Leaves are thrown out, while we are expanded. God takes our mistakes and magnifies them, in a positive transforming light! We don’t have to perceive the past through the lens of wasted time and shame, as Jesus still sees us as worthy and righteous.

Our pasts imperfections are our perfect presents. Our deep ugly scars are our true beauty marks. The thing I love most about Jesus (besides him dying to save me and being ever so patient with me!) is that he is a shrewd remodeler and reviver. He takes us just as we are, not tossing us to the curb or pointing out our flaws, but loving on us. And what is even more amazing is that he has a unique plan drawn out for me, you and all the other 7 billion people on this people…no two are the same!

What is a painting without depth? A song without a riff or two? Or a book that doesn’t shock you? That is us without our mistakes…flaws…shortcomings. God truly is the master of all our pieces.

Until Thursday,

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Acceptance

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I’ve tried to spend this past week engaging and being active with my loved ones. All the tragedies and disasters of this year have really caused me to pull back the smoke screen of “happiness” to see the things that truly matter!

I often wonder about Jesus and how he handled the notion that he had to go to the Cross. Giving his life for people that may or may not even acknowledge his name. What a challenging thought to come to grips with!

It’s clear from Matthew 26:39, that Jesus pondered other options, pleading with God to find another way. Just as we would if our parents came to us and said, “Hey, My Beloved Child, I need you to sacrifice yourself for the redemption of your siblings (you and I) and the people down the street who can’t stand the ground you walk on (the Pharisees).” Jesus was facing a grave task that he frankly didn’t want to do. Yet, there came a time when He realized that he was The Way and that God’s grace would see him through.

Applying that to our lives, I’m curious about what things we need to just accept and rely on God’s grace to deal with. If there was another way of handling life besides depending on God’s timing, I’m sure we would have already found and put it to great use…but there isn’t. Now, thankfully we aren’t facing death for the salvation of others! And what is even sweeter is that all the things we are facing, have already fallen thanks to the same grace and power that snatched Jesus from death’s grip.

My prayer is that you’ll accept the plan that God has for your life and whatever challenges may come along ,never forgetting the fact that only good things come from God, James 1:17.

Until Thursday,

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peace.

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Instead of attending to my never-ending to-do list, I kicked off the Christmas season with a Hallmark movie. The last couple of weeks have been such a tremendous time of growth and reprioritization. I seemed to have been neglecting the very person that I will be forever stuck with…myself.

Life is all about balance and I now see that I didn’t have very much J! Proverbs 24:33-34 talks about how poverty creeps in with excess slumber. Yet Proverbs 3:24 promises a sweet and peaceful sleep when we lie down. Bible contradiction? Nope, just another sign of how God truly intended for us to exercise wisdom in our lives. Now, I can’t watch movies every afternoon and expect to be successful in life. Just as I can’t work my fingers (and brain) to the bone and expect to be fulfilled in life.

In a world where everybody is trying to acquire more, be better than the best and achieve speeds faster than fast, I pray that we will be the first ones to slow down the pace of our lives. Bulldozing the first domino down that could lead to less stress-related diseases and more laugh-related wrinkles!

…even God rested on the seventh day…

Until Thursday,

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Downside Up

Downside Up

What if when life feels turned upside down, it is actually downside up?

A couple weeks ago, my life got a little more challenging (or should I say my academic life:) I was spinning wheels like the little engine that could, going nowhere but feeling exhausted like I’ve been everywhere! Spent out of gas and left to settle myself, I finally had a prodigal moment (when you think something else besides “woe is me”) and was like, “I can be miserable and at His mercy or I can be joyful and at His mercy. Either way I’m at His mercy, so I might as well be happy.”

Looking back I see that my life was completely upside down, as I was trusting God, but also subconsciously dependent on myself. That is why my peace was fleeting, as soon as it came, it went, just like a glass full of water that has been inverted. Jesus is a well of living water, 100% accessible to us at all times, but if our cups are turned upside down, then all the joy and tranquility that He offers will leave just as quickly as it enters. Although, this week has been a bit stormy, I’ve had the most constant and lingering peace. It is now truly well with my soul.

Satan cannot and will not bother those that he has his hold on, so if he is afflicting you, that is a great sign. My hope is that Satan is very busy, vainly attempting to steal the peace of God’s children!

Until Sunday,

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Footprints

Footprints

On a serene beach blanketed with the purest and softest sand
One set of footprints start a journey of life
Footprints that are perfect in form, firmness and pattern.
Charting The Way.

The next day rolls in, with a new set of footprints appearing
Footprints falling shy of the perfectly formed ones that preceded them.
Following in The Way.

Days morph into weeks, and yet another set of footprints appear
Footprints who begin to lose not only the initial form but also their firmness.
Attempting to follow in The Way.

Months turns to years, and more sets of footprints make themselves
Footprints completely lacking in form, firmness
Strewn about in a fashion far from their predecessors.
No longer able to follow The Way.

The once clear Way is now in complete disarray.

And as years go by
The footprints continue to multiply
It is hard to see where the true path lies
Where things begin and end

Until.

The Path Straightener came upon this chaotic beach
Knowing that He was in the right place
He begun the process of The Way restoration.

Starting with the most deformed, shallow and scattered footprints
Then moving to the less shallow and more evenly distributed footprints
He’s taken aback by the two sets of footprints left
Both sets are strikingly similar in firmness and pattern
Almost.
There’s one set that is slightly off in form
A bit smaller than the other set
Removing this last set of footprints
The Path Straightener stands back and admires His work
Clearing this beach has been grueling
The rake splintered, cutting His hand
And the sun brutally baked His body

Parched and bloody He leaves, taking one last glance of the one set of footprints that are perfect in form, firmness and pattern.
Charting The Way.

Symbolism

1st set of footprints

  • The perfectly formed, firm and purposely placed footprints are those of God. His steps in our lives are sure.

2nd set of footprints

  • The next set mentioned was those of you and I, although we think we know what we are doing in our lives, we are still heavily dependent on God’s guidance.

3rd set of footprints

  • People, their opinions and the pressures of lives are symbolic of the third set of footprints mentioned. Listening to the stresses of life and others can be extremely confusing!

4th set of footprints

  • And the footprints that were in complete mayhem are those of none other than Satan himself. Oh boy doesn’t he leave a wake of chaos wherever he and his puppets venture.

The Path Straightener

  • Typical Jesus, clearing our slates and purifying our hearts, gifting us a chance we truly don’t deserve. Cleaning up all our messes, no matter how at fault we may be for it.

Since, I’ve probably written way more than anyone wants to read, I’ll end it here! I hope you can see what God showed me this morning and have an amazing week!

I dedicate this post to today’s birthday girl, my mother, the one who has always modeled how to let God and only God lead one’s life…

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Condemned

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Silence…definitely not a topic that most like to discuss around the dinner table, if ever at all!

Condemned homes is the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word, condemned. In their heyday, they were beautiful, full of promise and good memories. However, over time, the filters got clogged; no one changed them. The garage door broke; no one repaired it. The pipes burst; no one fixed them. The foliage over grew; no one trimmed them. Condemned houses don’t condemn themselves, they are neglected and abandoned by people. People like you and me, who take those same habits with us to the next house and ultimately in our hearts.

If you’re lost, let me clarify! Our hearts can be compared to a house. Just as the objects and people in your house are there because you allowed them, the same goes for our hearts. Likewise, as we would repair roofing in order to eliminate mold and mildew, the same follows for our hearts. We could have holes in hearts, created by hurts and struggles. Holes that are meant to be immediately assuaged with Jesus’ blood. However, neglecting to heal our heart’s holes could leave an open door for the enemy and fake fillers to seep in, leading to a condemned heart.

We don’t have to be slave to condemnation, thanks to Jesus, Romans 8. We have don’t have to fall victim to condemning thoughts, 2 Corinthians 10. But we must by any means necessary, protect our hearts…our internal homes, Proverbs 4:23.
Don’t let Satan condemn you by telling you that you are too far gone, useless or irretrievably broken. Their all lies! Shh, I’ll let you in on a little secret: whatever fate Satan is trying to assign to you, already has his name on it…in bold.
Until Sunday,

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Wyrgan

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My allergies are officially on their way out! Health is such a blessing. This week, I discovered Online Etymology Dictionary, a site dedicated to etymology, which is basically the study of words and their meanings over time. I have learned so much about the Old English roots of words that I use on a daily basis. A lot of the words we use today, did not sound or look the same hundreds of years ago.

Did you use the word lufu this week? What about wyrgan? Chances are you didn’t. What about worry and love? Aah, those probably look more familiar to you. Lufu, meaning “the love of God” is the Old English mother of love. And Wyrgan, which means “to strangle” is the Old English father of worry. To strangle!? After reading that I refreshed my browser and looked the word, worry up again, just to make sure I had read that right!

God makes it pretty clear throughout the Bible that we are not supposed to worry. You can pick any book of the Bible (I might be exaggerating a bit) and find a scripture about casting our cares on Him and laying down all worried thoughts. Like the great omniscient Father, He is, God knows that worrying about tomorrow or even 20 minutes from now, doesn’t just short circuit our prayers, but pilfers the life out of us…slowly.

This past week was so exhausting and challenging, not because Jesus didn’t show up, but because I was sleeping, eating, working and studying all with my own hands tightly wrapped around my neck. Instead of allowing His living waters to flow and quench my thirst, I was stopping them and looking for water in all the parched places of this world. Worry is a sneaky parasite, promising treasures of peace, yet delivering great troves of peacelessness. It’s a trap…a smoke screen, crafted by none other than the robber of peace himself, Satan.

On a higher, more brighter note, there is hope! None of God’s children are ever too far gone or too entrapped to be freed. Freedom starts whenever we are ready to receive it!

Until Thursday with much lufu,

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Hope.

Hope

October has been a month of close deadlines, big celebrations and ginger ale drinks. After almost completely eliminating dairy from diet, those pesky little seasonal allergies came knocking at my door forcing their way in. But no worries, I’ve already written up their eviction notice!

“If we don’t have hope or expectations for good things then what are we living for?” I asked some of my classmates this question, in which I got two responses. Blank stares  and then the infamous…“you’re crazy”!

Is it not human nature to deflect from questions that truly makes us think? We have a hard time being honest with ourselves as it forces us to change.

When we begin to evaluate our true motivations in life, we will also see that our motivations and stressors go hand in hand, directly proportional to each other.

As October ends and November rolls in, I pray that with the ushering in of a new month, new refreshment from Jesus will follow close by.

In Jesus, we have living waters to revive us in life and anchor for our souls to ground us in the storms of life…

Until Thursday,

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As Is

As Is

“As Is: All Sales Final!” Seeing that sign always put me on the edge, as I don’t like the prospect of me getting home with something that might be defective or broken (by no fault of my own) and have no recourse. Although, 9 times out of 10, we are satisfied with our purchases, I believe most of us like the luxury of returning an item, if needed.

Since Satan and our minds love to play the “what if” game, we might as well, go along with it!

What if God knew all of our mistakes before we even made them?

What if God saw the flawed piece of clay that we were?

What if God planned something great to happen on every day of our 
lives?

What if Jesus had full knowledge of the imperfect people He was 
dying for?

These “what ifs” are true facts! God knew exactly what type of car he was buying. Knew all the pros and need improvements. All the future issues and current joys. He saw the risks, but couldn’t pass up the final reward. Still, He wanted to be our Potter and send His Son as a sacrifice for our lives.

Neither God nor Jesus was jinxed into joining our team. As The Creator of Knowledge, He knew all there was and will ever be about us and yet, with full disclosure, he made His choice. I can imagine God saying something like this: “I still want [insert your name], their edges are a little rough but I can bevel those edges. Their paths are slightly crooked, but I can straighten them. Their heart a mess, but I can purify it. Their lives a train wreck, but I can restore all things. Yep, I still want [insert your name] and nothing and nobody can sway my decision!” He counted up all the costs and reasoned that the benefit outweighed the expenses. He saw the work needed and concluded that the finished product was worth much, much more.

God knew what your issues and flaws were before you even did! You’re like a classic car, with a few dents and dings. You need a new paint job and some fresh tires. An oil change and alignment wouldn’t hurt either. There’s a rattling of some sorts under the hood, that likely needs to be fixed soon. And to top it all off, you have no idea where you are going in life. But God has already scheduled an appointment with the best body and paint repair shop in town. He’s thinking of royal purple or peaceful teal for the paint and spotless white for the trim. He’s elated that next door to the body and paint repair shop is another business that specializes in oil changes, alignments and diagnosis of unknown auto problems. The destination? It’s a surprise! And God sometimes even stands in awe of His own works!

Until Thursday,
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