Monday, November 24, 2014

Thankful: The Little Things

I once read some fancy theological scholar lady who encouraged those of us busy with this chaotic life (read: all of us) to not do New Years Resolutions.

Instead, she encouraged us all to select just one word that would be our focus, our year’s MO, our heart’s striving for the upcoming 365 days.

Her examples included “peace,” “perseverance,” “polished.”

And other ones that didn’t start with the letter “p.”

I think I’m going to do that this Thanksgiving.

It’s not that I “don’t have anything to be thankful for.” There are people who feel that way.

It’s not found in the Hallmark aisle, but it’s a common sentiment for the season nonetheless.

It’s just that being thankful isn’t about a tidy check-marked and dog-eared task list (I have this, and this, and this, oh and this).

It’s about an attitude. It’s about a life. It’s about a choice.

I consider one of the Lord’s most blaring evidence of His love for us to be our God-given free will.

Ironically, in God’s economy (the things that matter to God) it’s not about the things, it’s about the choice.

God is transcendent. Qualities that are from Him have nothing to do with physical realities.

Thankfulness is a quality from the Lord.

Ergo, we can truly be thankful in all circumstances.

Sometimes, in conjunction with the Lord’s truth (the Bible), even more thankfulness can stem from seasons of what the world would declare thanksgiving bankruptcy.

But, only in Him.

So, back to my original point.

This year, my Thanksgiving word is “Little.”

I am thankful, so thankful, that my world is full of little.

We have little money.

Which causes us to rejoice in the turkey in the freezer just waiting to be cooked and dressed and passed around.

We have little importance (by the world’s standard).

I run a little bookstore. My husband is a stay-at-home with a little part-time job.

Which gives us rest and FIVE DAYS OFF to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Not one phone call from corporate to expect. Not one stressed out email to be sent.

Not one conference call to squeeze in.

We have littles. Three of them.


And oh, the joy, the absolute joy (and hard) of being their mommy and daddy.

Little hands.

Little tears.

We’re running on little sleep.

Little feet squished in bed under covers.

Little words.

Little plans. “Let’s go to the park!”

I am overwhelmed by the joys and the excitement and the fullness and the thankfulness of being little this year.

I am most thankful, for the little things

Because Alan Jackson really did say it best on the subject:

It’s alright to be little-bitty
A little home town, or a big ol’ city
Might as well share, might as well smile

Life goes on for a little bitty while 

What's your "Thanksgiving word?"

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Three Things the World Doesn't Get About The Duggars & The Robertsons


So, unless you’re living under a rock, you know who The Duggars and The Robertsons are.

They PRAY to JESUS on THE ONLY CHANNEL on TV.

(oh, wait, it’s one of thousands, my bad…but you get my point).

They have values that are “different” then culture’s values.

They are Christian. They are not perfect. They look really "weird." 

But they share their Christian beliefs with those who wish to hear it.

Here are three things that the world just DOESN’T GET when they start weird petitions to silence them:

 Number One: They expect it.

Y’all there isn’t a Christian living on this Earth that doesn’t expect persecution from the World.

At least, no Christian that knows his Bible!

Scripture is CLEAR, with the ultimate example being Christ (duh) that we are NOT of this world, that we are FOREIGNERS, that we will be mocked and scorned and bullied and it.will.be.hard.

Number Two: “Let’s get ‘em where it hurts…their WALLETS!”

News flash. Christians are stewards. Everything is HIS.

We aren’t takin’ any of this when we leave!

It stays here.

Does this mean we are smart with our money? Yep.

Does this mean our worth, our salvation, our happiness is tied up in it? No, sir.

And, finally, the MOST important

Number Three: “If we can silence God’s people, we can silence God.”

Ha!

You could rip the tongues out of every Christian on this planet but you will NEVER silence the Lord.

You can burn every book and forbid every uttered prayer.

You can make it really, really difficult for us, but you can never make it difficult for Him.

So, really, sign your petitions.

Luckily, God doesn’t work by survey, or by what people think of Him, or ANYTHING but by that which He has defined as Truth and He’s not taking suggestions.

The entire WORLD could sign that petition, but it wouldn’t matter not even one.tiny.bit.


I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me. 
You are the one who gives us victory. 

Psalm 44:6-7

Monday, November 3, 2014

Grace for the Type A

I believe that one of God’s greatest desires for our life is for peace and contentment and rest.

I believe this because it’s clearly spoken in the Bible.

And I should clarify, that it’s not a promise that things will be easy or “fit.”

It’s a promise that, if you rely on God, He will never leave you nor forsake you.

That even in the difficulty, even in the pain, even in the waiting, that there is good here; because God is here.

This just does NOT come easy to me.



I am always, always “onto” to the next thing in my life.

The next chapter.

The next horizon.

I learn very quickly, and because of that, I am constantly seeking and searching.

It is one of my greatest battles with this World.

Do you ever “know” (“little k”)a theological principle, but don’t really get it until it’s spoken to you in just a certain way, at just the right time, that it finally (really)resonates with you?  
That happened to me last week.

I “know” that I am to live in the present. 

I “know” that I am to serve in whatever I am doing.

That I am to fix my eyes on Him, and that whatever mundane task, whether stocking chips at work or whether wiping noses at home, that I am to serve Him.

Even when, no, especially when it’s unnoticed.  

This gentleman came into the shop last week. 

He was a missionary in South America for thirty years.

I absolutely love it when I am able to pass a few minutes of my day sharing conversation about deep theological principles, global outreach, etc.

But, let’s be honest, most of my day is typing and emails and following remedial tasks (sure, at a larger level, but this isn’t really rocket science).

At the end of the conversation, and I cannot remember exactly what was said, but he said, “Bloom where you’re planted.”

This is exactly what I needed to hear.

For some reason I always internally interpreted “serve where you are” as “You’re here. Might as well try. Maybe something good will happen.”

But this put a whole new spin on it.

I have been planted.

Not casually tossed.

Not accidentally happened.

But purposefully, and intentionally, planted.

Right where I am.

At my job. With my husband. With my children.

Planted.

Perfectly. Without error.

May I ever grow more rooted in where the Lord has chosen to plant me.

May I never forget that wings are prophecy; but that roots are heritage.

May I never grow weary of saying “yes” to God and blooming right.where.I.am.

For which plant would bloom better: the plant accidentally tossed by seed into a random spot of the garden, or the one carefully tended to and set on the windowsill in just the right light, with just the right water, and just the right soil.