Love > Liability

Yesterday, I watched as a man of God proclaimed, in a church of all places, that we were CREATED to LOVE and that LOVE could not EXIST without our CREATOR.  The beauty that  we serve a God who created us to Love, because HE is the very EXISTENCE of LOVE and we have amazing things that happen physiologically when we choose to LOVE is the most amazing thing about my faith. Biblically, you read a statement, and in the scientific realm, we now know, that it is beneficial to us to LOVE. Simple design like that amazes me. But, I digress.

The thing that struck me was watching the faces of the crowd as a man of God proclaiming his creator’s Love in a building created for worship. Some were smiling and excited, some were pensive, and some, some were offended and annoyed. Yes, apparently faith can be taken only so far based on worship style preference, as well.

Luke 7_37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee_s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind

But Bishop Michael Curry was unfazed. He was unfazed because he longed so much for others to know what God has shown him, that decorum and rules of worship be damned. I (a fellow grenade launcher) applauded it! We don’t show His Love by hiding it, making it vanilla or teaching the children’s version of a Bible story. Saying you go to church someone and hoping they’ll ‘find Jesus’ in that simple sentence doesn’t share the Love you experience in your heart from a spirit that overtakes you to tears for the awe and joy you feel in simply singing His name.

We are made to LOVE.  It’s Love that should motivate you to share your miracles, your motivation and your peace with everyone you know, and this morning, scrolling through all my social media, as we all do, lol, I was prompted to just say something to the beautiful friends I see who own businesses and have full lives that are sharing their faith relentlessly. BRAVO. Bravo for not mincing His living words. Bravo for sharing His glory no matter the cost, the impact, and the repercussions. Remaining true to your faith, you know His promises are true, that He will provide, you are His beloved, and that we were made to Love Him. That outweighs every worldly cost.

Luke 7:37 A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume. 38 As she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

Mary walked into a casual dinner, unfazed by interrupting or the climate of the room, and obediently followed what God called her to do.  It made no sense, it was seen as wasteful, and a woman already judged so harshly, was further judged for her wastefulness and physical contact with a man of God. We later find out, however, that the crucifixion was near.  She was called to do this, because in her Holy obedience, she was given the honorable task of symbolically preparing our savior’s body for burial.

Mary was fiercely and fearlessly given over to God.  Her faith lead her, and in the careful listening and prayer in her soul, she was able to respond to a divine appointment, and was rewarded in ways only God could design- she was the first to see our risen Lord.

To my BOSS GALS and BOSS MEN out there, His plans for you are perfect. Keep running hard, keep sharing His blessings, even when the decorum or rules say otherwise.  He is bigger than statistics or tradition, and HE WILL PREVAIL. Just remember, you know Him because someone stepped out for you, and if everyone else rejected their sharing, isn’t it all worth it that you were saved out of it?

Every time you worry, as I used to, that a client might be offended by a post or comment, or that, that one friend of yours might unfriend you, remember what’s to lose and what you were created to do- to worship Him. We are created to worship and commune with Him in Love- not to fight for every dollar or accolade, but to rest in Him.  The amazing part of watching people live this way to me, is that those who are putting it all out there in His name are at peace, unmoved and unchanged. They walk through fire and rain with His name over them, and they continue to move forward.

Bishop Curry, a man of God speaking in a building of God even, offended and overshared in the eyes of some yesterday, and He persisted because He knew the gain always far outweighed the cost, and we can all do the same.

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My Heart is a Dwelling Place

1 John 4:12-13 ESV

No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit.

 

Have you ever felt empty? All the fab dinner parties, fun new wardrobe options and vacations all over can be happening, but when you feel empty, nothing can fill you up.

The problem with feeling empty is, we find things to fill the hole. I know we’ve all heard the saying there is a God-sized hole in all of us, and we take it lightly, but in 1 John 4, John is warning to take it anything but lightly.

The severity of the war happening for our souls paired with our ability to fill our days with ample meaningless tasks, so we never take the time to sit in silence and hear the spirit, is a recipe for disaster.

I was really good at everything but time with my father for a long time.  Here is the formidable thing about Satan though.  He has a plan just like God.  He takes His time. The busy-ness of today is one of his best.  Even when we are on fire for Him we are at risk of saying yes to too much, striving for too much, and getting our priorities out of wack.

I can remember actually rationalizing to my husband, who was over it, that all the late nights were to be expected, that my cause of career was noble, and how dare he question it or not support me whole heartedly without any grumblings.  It’s honestly a miracle I didn’t kill my marriage completely, because we all know what happens next.  Things are going well, you feel great and you begin to fill your life and love with all those things, then one bad thing happens and BAM!, you feel the hunger pangs.

You feel the hunger pangs for the spirit that filled you, sustained you, and carried you when the bad things happened.  Without the spirit, we are leaving ourselves vulnerable to an attack on our souls.  We are vulnerable to losing everything because we aren’t under the authority of the one who loves us and created us.

For me, I thought my heart was full and everything was perfect. I had been filling my heart with empty things.  I had made my idols of this world. I had allowed the enemy to fill my heart, and sucker punch of the attack was that just when I thought it was all wonderful, all of those other idols I had allowed him to fill my heart with opened the door for attack and vulnerability.

The battle to get back, to hear God’s voice again, and to make my priorities and purpose under my heavenly father’s authority again was long. The beauty of it is, though, that God took the enemy’s plan and made it His own.  In my fight to set things right and holy, God used the time to ensure I treasured every moment, lesson and blessing. We have to open our eyes everyday, because our hearts will always be filled, we simply need to choose to have the Spirit be what resides in us.

God, please fill my heart with you today.  Let me see attacks and keep my eyes on you versus that with which my enemies may try to distract me. Thank you for reminding me to be a vision of your spirit and love and that my heart is to be protected. -Amen

I am Loved

1 Corinthians 13:13 ESV

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

How would we be changed if we walked around feeling truly Loved?  How would we Love others if we understood the fullness of the Love described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 13?

I am, how should I say this, a Firestarter.  I have three kids, and my two girls, are Firestarters.  My husband and my son are just patient (thank you Lord), but I am a woman raising two women who will need to have direction or they could take someone out!

I remember feeling outcast a lot in life because of this.  I didn’t fit the mold of the sweet southern girl.  I felt sometimes like I had to choose between being honest and being accepted, and many times, I chose acceptance. Then I got over acceptance, and fled from my faith to throw myself into the strong-willed, harsh corporate world and even further, an entrepreneurial adventure with no authority, because I didn’t understand who I was.

When I did start to run back to my father, I felt those same feelings of needing to bottle up the strong will, the passion he would lay on my heart for change, for healing, for everything!

I was dead wrong, though. I remember attending a women’s conference two years ago.  I went in yearning for revelation about how to manage my team and run my business better (because that’s totally why women go to Christian women’s conferences, right? #weirdo). As I sat, I found myself completely wrecked by God, instead, for the me He created. For two days, the scripture of His message of Love for His creation poured over me.

Psalm 139:13 “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”

God told me that day that no matter what the world had done to cover me up, that beautiful little creation was still in me.  It was my choice to fight aimlessly for all the wrong things in the wrong ways, or to be true to His creation and plan for me in it and let Him work some magic!

God made me to light the world on Fire for Him, and he LOVES when I use it under his authority and will.  Without His love, I’d just run around burning things down, and worse yet, teaching those young souls who are just like me (world be warned) to do the same thing.

God, thank you for the freedom of know you made and LOVE your creation! To see magic happen when we know we are LOVED as your creation and to foster excellence in others by showing your LOVE to them is the biggest honor of our faith and our time here on Earth.  Please help me always see how to work in the body with the gifts you lovingly created in me. -Amen

Light and Truth

14 You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  

Matthew 5:14-16

As I read and reread Matthew 5, I am seriously struck by the weight of such an assignment. I’ve heard these verses a million times- they’re such a critical piece of the faith of my childhood, used to remind us to be joyful and kind, etc, etc.

The truth is, there is so much more to His light.  Jesus is speaking to the crowd, the famed sermon on the mount, debated by scholars as to whether it was one sermon or an anthology of teachings, but nonetheless powerful and unchanged in message.

The Beatitudes precede this statement and this whole segment on being the light. Through them, there are both seemingly negative and positive things happening.  ‘Blessed are those who mourn’ and ‘Blessed are the righteous’ along with many others.  If you boil them all down, Christ is shedding light that we are blessed for our obedience to God no matter our circumstance.  

Jesus goes on to warn us by illuminating why we are to stay true in our obedience to God:

You are the salt of the earth, but if the salt should lose its taste, how can it be made salty? It’s no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and tramped on by men.

Matthew 5:13

Who wants to be just a granule of salt with no flavor (essentially dirt)?!

How amazing is it that Jesus not only gives us a directive but says it in the form of a perfect demonstration of it! Verse 14, “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.” He was saying that to each of us!  Don’t just read this as “light of the world” blah blah blah. Close your eyes and hear your savior saying it directly to you.  Let the thought of Him saying that to the messy, imperfect you resonate in your soul and feel the energy and power He is speaking into the lives of those who hear and receive what He is saying.

Light and Truth are not always easy and joyful for us.  Just like Jesus, we have to live out truth no matter our station in life.  God is just as present in the sickness, the sadness, the bankruptcy and the affair as He is in the new baby, the marriage, and the job offer.  In our time here, we have to strive to be just as unmoved by the winds of change in this world.  That steadfastness is not logical to the world, and that steadfastness and peace is what reminds the world that our creator is near and His hand is on all things for good.

 

 

a smooth sea never made a skilled sailor.

 

 

We Need a Freewill Offering

Beginning with Thanksgiving, the push is on.  The requests for donations and giving in conjunction with the holiday season compel us to do more, and to give to those in need. Whether motivated by the stories or a tax deduction, through yesterday, every organization and effort was clamoring for a large piece of the season of giving.

Oddly enough, I found myself in Exodus 35 and 36 the past few days and I just once again wondered if we listened to the spirit and followed the will of the father, would we even need all of these pleas.

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In Exodus, we find the first freewill offering. God has laid out the plans for the tabernacle. Long story short, our heavenly father is VERY specific in his plans for what it should look like (we could totally follow the plans and build it today). God doesn’t dump the supplies at their feet, though.

Moses makes a call, no begging, no knocking on doors.  Moses simply states the needs for the building of the temple, and the people are moved and respond. God named who would step forward to build it, and they did.

There is ZERO hesitation on what is about to happen. They just start building.  The people continue to bring offerings and the appointed craftsmen simply go about their work- so much so, that Moses has to instruct the people to stop bringing offerings. There is a complete outpouring to meet the needs, and no one was begged or commanded!

It just makes me wonder, as this new year begins, why we wait for the holiday push.  Why we only feel compelled by peer pressure or year end pleas. Are our gifts even utilized to the fullest when they aren’t given according to His will? Our requests to meet needs can’t go nearly as far if they’re our cause and not his Holy mission.

My commitment this year is to be as much of a Freewill giver as possible.  I want to give as the Israelites gave- to meet needs as I feel lead and to see God move rapidly because of the obedience of His people. What could we do if we just felt connected to a call and responded? Would the world be changed? Why not?

Trading in my Weights

I’ve been praying for the next hurdle in my faith journey, my own holy temple- me. I’ve struggled with weight pretty much my ENTIRE life, and never felt really beautiful or revered.  There are 50 million reasons the world will give for how people have spoken it over me or not given me the affirmation I needed, but at some point, it comes back to my disbelief in what God’s word says.  I can blame an old lady who mentioned that I would be breathtaking if I lost 15 pounds (which made me find another twinkie, OF COURSE), or I can recognize the fact that I took the word of a fallible human like myself over the breathtaking, life giving words of my heavenly father. WHY do I do this?!

31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Last week, my pastor was speaking on the year ahead and what we would leave behind as we moved into a new place.  In the time of prayer for revelation, the words ‘weight’ and ‘wait’ were all over me.  My father was speaking promise over me and I was completely overcome.

This year, it is time.  It is time for me to stop praying for a sunrise and for a change and for the next thing to happen. It is time for me to let go of the weight of, well, life and my personal wait, and rest in the wait for Him and His promises.

Isaiah 40:31But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

Waiting in Him. But what the heck does that mean?!  Waiting in worldly terms kind of sucks, so why do I want to wait to be renewed?!!! I want to wait in Him because waiting in Him means no worry in the wait, no weight in the wait.

When I get up each day for the swift paced life and I’m waiting in Him, I am seeking and following His will, taking His directed steps, and I am confident in the peace that He will always be there, a constant presence with perfect timing- delivering what I need and my hearts desire when and in the manner I need it most.

I may foreclose on a house (totes did that in the market crash as a 28 year old), or spend what seemed like an eternity wondering if I could tolerate a marriage (I can and I love him), or wonder if I would ever be able to have a baby (3 kids in four years is plenty o’ children), but He walks me through that because when He gives me a promise, I value it. I steward it, and I am reminded that once I worried I would never have it.  To keep it, I must always understand and remember those difficult times He walks me though so I stay on the path set out for me.

God, in 2018, I pray you help me continue to remove my weight (literal and figurative, lol) and that I live fully and restfully in your wait.

Living in Exile

How many of us feel like we wake up in the morning to a world gone mad?  Good is bad, bad is good, and your own personal safety can be at risk simply because of your belief system.

It’s so easy to be angry. I find myself questioning how we got here, and looking at my littles and wondering what they will be up against- thinking about what they are already up against.

The only thing I have chosen to speak over my house is scripture and love.  I never understood just how easily we become, as a dear friend always says, two degrees off.  That two degrees out of God’s will is enough for the next generation and for all of our interactions and relationships to begin to be further and further from the beautiful plan our father has for us.

This morning, I found myself in Jeremiah 29 and verse 7 had never jumped at me until today.  In all the anger and attempted avoidance of the world,  I am being called to spread his Love. How often to I pray for my city, my country? Not enough.  This struck me that no matter the happenings or beliefs of the world around me, He has called me to pray and trust His plan for the rest. It’s easy to lay down the sword when the battle is His every day.

Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (1)

The Sacrifice of Service

Also titled: Do Your Freaking JOB

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh[a]; rather, serve one another humbly in love. -GALATIANS 5:13

So multiple times this week, I’ve heard ministry leaders mention needing help, seen them actively request help with no response, and also seen one struggling with what to do because people are quitting the teams she leads because she is passionate and <<gasp>> has come up with plans to move the needle and engage them. How dare ANYONE CARE about the future of their communities enough to take action and seek help as they have been CALLED TO DO BY GOD HIMSELF?!?!?!

I know.  What are these jerks thinking?  They’re already making millions trying to save souls and feed the hungry, care for the widows and orphans, etc. etc. etc. and they have the audacity to ask us to SERVE.  We’re busy being healthy, driving the cars, living in the houses, and raising the children God entrusted us with to steward and steward well, and someone has the nerve to say we are supposed to share some of that time and good health and those assets back to the one who gave them to us in the first place.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!

No I’m not kidding you.  The children’s bible study that we view as glorified babysitting is potentially the only peaceful hour that kid gets all week.  They come full of joy that they have a safe place, and hear about a father who loves them versus the one who may not be present or may not love them.

This isn’t me screeching, though.  This is a love letter, actually.  This is a love letter to the people who answer this call.

You see, I always would have friends tell me they felt called to foster or adopt, and I would say “I’ll be praying for y’all, and please let me know if you need anything, but we’ve never felt the call.”  About a year ago, God heard me say that for the last time, and July 19, 2016, we literally got a phone call.

Over the next year, we found ourselves fighting tooth and nail for a beautiful child of God who at times, didn’t even want to be with us, because she had no idea who we were.  We learned that her life and that of so many others stood at the mercy of a broken system that was neither timely nor certain. Two days ago, I learned of yet one more hurdle to jump, and found myself crying out to God in agony, a blubbering mess. I was ready to right a venomous article about a system that was committed to nothing and ill-equipped to solve a never-ending problem.

In that moment, though, God spoke.  I was driving down the road trying to understand the method as to which I was supposed to climb through the newest hope in our battle to be her parents and how I was going to lose it online about the whole thing, when God said ‘It’s your own fault. It’s your own fault because you are part of a broken body.’ This broken body, his body.  Designed to be a well-oiled machine had become fat and lazy and lukewarm.  I and the rest of the body had become so #blessed and #busy that we no longer did our jobs effectively, and we expected someone else to do it for us.

In that moment, God humbled me, and made it clear that a broken system surrounding an issue the government should have never needed to take responsibility for would never be right.  An agency could never achieve the vision of love and family God called forth in his people, yet we expect it to be done and be done well by others.  I am working through a system of which I am one of the creators, and if we aren’t careful in our service, we could all find ourselves dealing with the ramifications of our laziness and distraction.

For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. – Galatians 6:8-9

The bad news is really bad, and the good news is really good, but there is no longer a middle in this world, and we need to understand that the small acts of faith and our walk carry MAJOR weight in a heavenly battle. Each step we take as part of the body could be a step toward eradication of a battle the enemy has started entirely.

Let’s start with children.  Children are the future of this world we live in, and let’s face it, when we are asking where we are and what day it is, they’ll be the ones deciding our care and what to do with us. 43% of children today are growing up in a home without their father and roughly a quarter of them will watch a parent go through not one but TWO divorces.  So almost half of the kids in a small group, sunday school or other ministry, are walking in the door not fully understanding the concept of a father who is always with them and loves them unconditionally, and we don’t see the weight of the role we play in, as believers, telling them they are AMAZING and FEARFULLY and WONDERFULLY MADE by an omnipresent father in heaven?!  This conviction today made me think twice about saying I was unavailable to serve some days when I was called. Thank you to every single person who gets it, hears the call and goes.  You have already changed an entire future- in many cases before the opportunity for mistakes arise.

Adolescents.  Where to begin.  People say they’re sassy or difficult to handle, or that they don’t want to serve this demographic because they don’t have experience in it. Is their life worth it? Between drug use and suicide, by the way suicide rates have doubled in female adolescents in the last ten years and increased 30% in males over that same time, those of you who take the risk of awkward interaction for a bit to build a relationship with these kids in any capacity deserve a medal. The most amazing thing about those of you that get on the level with this age group and love them, have no small task in telling them “you are not a statistic.  You are amazing and were made to do amazing things.”  The world is telling them everything on the contrary and that everyone their age is doing everything to the contrary.  You are an amazing line of defense in teaching them that no, not everyone is doing it, and you will be a beautiful story of God’s love.

Worship. Teaching people to worship at every age seems simple, but it’s not.  No matter if it’s in a park or in a church, if you’ve been given the gift of leading people in this or just demonstrating it by example, the beauty of perfect commune with the spirit in that moment, when you can feel God’s presence with you, as if you’re alone, is unmatched.  The ability to both teach people this and make it ok for them to get lost in that moment and be unashamed in praising the God of all creation is an important peace in leading people into a relationship with the savior.

I could go on and on, but I have never been more convicted in my life about our job to love and give like no one else, and I have been so guilty of wearing the right thing, saying the right thing, but conveniently skirting doing the right thing. It is time we walked those words God gave us all the way through.

I personally had check the boxes, signed up to help with this or that and do some charity work, and I still had the audacity to say that I had not been called to do something. Now I know that I don’t know anything, that his grace if sufficient, and we are supposed to give what we can wherever we can.

 

 

An Exercise in Anonymity

2 Timothy 3:15

And how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

I’m sitting here in my little prayer room with windows all around, and thinking about all of the ways my life has flip flopped in the last two years.  We’ve gone from one kid to three, sold a house, built a house, sold a couple of businesses, and in the mornings now, I’m not gunning it to get to preschool but bopping around the kitchen at 8:40 saying “It’s time to get in the golf cart for school!” for our little half day program.

Old me does not know what to do with new me, nor does she even find me interesting.  New me, however, finds old me fairly cliched, but also beautifully necessary to where I am now.

We moved to a new town, and I totally felt super awkward when we were meeting the neighbors, and they asked what I did.  I have always been someone defined by what I did.  It was all I had to cling to.  The achievement, the brass ring, it was what people cared about and it was what I needed for validation.

So now, I have no business, I have things with our family that really are no one’s business, and I have a whole lot of time with God to show me who I really am. You know what, He is making me feel more beautiful than any time I took the plan into my hands.

I don’t mean everyone should take this walk I’m taking. No stay-at-home is not the way to go, and trust me, free time is something I’m really amazing at making evaporate with a very full calendar still.  What I do mean, though, is that now, that devotional doesn’t get missed, and those family dinners where my three year old tells me church is God’s house but so is our house and my teenager talks to me about her friends and what she thinks about her faith walk and life are not to be traded for the world.

We started a new church, I serve with a new 501c3, and long story very short, half of my family is no longer speaking to me.  I don’t blame them. We are speaking different languages and the chasm between us is too wide right now.  It’s okay, because I’m resting in Him.

I am used to having my people.  I would call or make a request, and it would be done.  I was in my industry for a while and built relationships.  I lived in the town I and my family were from, and knew enough people to get things done.  It was easy- and it was probably too easy to not feel like I needed a heavenly father.

Looking back on all the change at once (just a few months removed from it), God knew I needed some excitement to pay attention.  It wasn’t one thing, it was ten big things.  He needed me to understand the weight of my retooling.  He wanted me to see the sky writing that said I was called to something new.

My thankfulness is that I listened. When I felt the first tugs at my heart, I listened, and because of that, when my house needs me most I’m here.  I may run this place like a business and not necessarily fit into the world’s vision of my role, but man, I Love that I’m here.

My phone doesn’t blow up anymore, and I rarely talk about my resume or compare the battle scars of business ownership, but wow, that rush cannot surpass the rush of speaking life over a friend who is dying inside, or taking the hour long phone call I would have declined before, because the call to serve Him is unmatched and unavoidable and life changing.

How do we break up with it?

Yesterday, I said good by to a lovely man.  My grandfather left a legacy of joy and generosity.  For someone his age, it was by today’s standards, a packed house.  Men in their 50s and 60s came to pay their respects to a man who poured into them as youths and changed their lives for the better.

My father spoke of all the things he loved about him and how over the years, his understanding of love had grown biblically and how that aided in his parenting and influence.

It was amazing and he was amazing, but there was something that struck me and is a continuous pondering of mine- do we truly understand the weight of our decisions?

The same impact of improving the lives of men through simple actions that cause them to remember and return to thank you 50 years later, can just as easily be marked if you were negative. My grandparents had been divorced in the 80s. I was too young to remember them ever married and my grandfather remarried a truly lovely woman, who we all adore.

What struck me sitting there now, though, is the impact of the end of that marriage- the impact of all of our decisions to go or stay, do or don’t. We are a culture of quick decisions and rapid change, and we haven’t even seen the ramifications of this shift in thinking fully yet from a societal perspective.

How do you reconcile at the end of a life, that one thing, that one blip?  I looked at rows of family constituting his offspring and multiple generations that were the result of that marriage, so how do you look back on his life and properly honor everyone, the biological mother of all those generations with the woman who now loves on them all?

Furthermore, do we even begin to think of our actions as far out as what one simple act could do not only to our own lives, but to our children and their children? With at least half of marriages ending in divorce now, let’s use that as a relatable example. Personally, on both sides of my family, the previous two generations of marriages ended in divorce, so I’m well-versed in walking away <insert awkward laugh>. When deciding to walk out or to cheat or to fight for it, have we thought about the fact that one day, our children will need to figure out something as simple as how to give a eulogy that both honors their biological parent and the new spouse who is sitting on the front pew praying not to be forgotten? How do we honor everyone appropriately when the situation stems from a place of complete dishonor?

The answer is simple- God can renew and resurrect us to his truest vision and can make any situation His, if we give it to Him.

My question is, however, what if we followed His plan in the first place and never had to walk through that pain? That funeral, beautiful as it was, would have shown complete unity, complete peace, complete honor of the woman who stood beside him his whole life, and a unification of people in utter completion.

There would be no worry of offense for unequal respect, no heart murmurings for my father to balance the two lives, and no need to avoid an elephant in the room.  The experience was perfect and honorable, but what if none of that weighted it.

Deuteronomy Chapter 28 is pretty amazing and as encouragement to run the obedient race.  I couldn’t separate it all because I need to come back and reference it when I want to give up:

28 If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth.All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the Lordyour God:

You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.

The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.

Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.

You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.

The Lord will grant that the enemies who rise up against you will be defeated before you. They will come at you from one direction but flee from you in seven.

The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hand to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you.

The Lord will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the Lord your God and walk in obedience to him. 10 Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they will fear you. 11 The Lord will grant you abundant prosperity—in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your ground—in the land he swore to your ancestors to give you.

12 The Lord will open the heavens, the storehouse of his bounty, to send rain on your land in season and to bless all the work of your hands. You will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. 13 The Lord will make you the head, not the tail. If you pay attention to the commands of the Lord your God that I give you this day and carefully follow them, you will always be at the top, never at the bottom. 14 Do not turn aside from any of the commands I give you today, to the right or to the left, following other gods and serving them.

Isn’t all of this worth the fight?! Not to mention, the beauty of knowing you beat the enemy- no recovery from defeat, just whole basking in His presence.

Praying today that we can all run this race so our own funerals are a demonstration of an obedient life well lived.