I wish I could live my whole life like a slow, commitment-free Saturday morning. Wake up without an alarm, whenever my tired body feels ready. Make my bed, put on a comfy sweatshirt, grab a mug and fill it with coffee and then – just sit. Creating time and space to breathe and ask and receive. Time to take the full breath and ask the real question and receive the fullness of His Presence – the only Answer we ever really need.
Life in this human world does not make it easy for us to live the Saturday life. Reality calls for almost our entire lives to be days other than Saturdays, with time spent doing doing doing. When you are that exposed to the production machine, it is hard not to be addicted to it. It is hard not to tie your worth to your output.
But the Truth is – believe it or not – that we are worthy, loved, and complete on our Saturdays of nothing. In the quiet and slow, we are treasured.
He’s gone. Was any of it real? Was He who He said He was? Was it all a grand trick – and I fell for it?
I was part of planning the Good Friday experience at my church this year, so as you can imagine, I have been thinking about it a lot. I have been actively placing myself in the place of those who knew Jesus, who loved Him, who followed Him, who gave up their lives and joined His mission. And who watched Him be arrested, tortured, and killed. They saw Him die. I cannot imagine the deep sorrow they experienced.
I want to provide a place of encouragement, a place where we can bring our hurting and sadness and heartache and feel held. Where we can bear each other’s burdens, and hold each other’s lies up to the light of Truth. This is a space for speaking well of one another.
So, dear friend, this is the blessing, the “speaking well,” that I have for you today:
Over and over again, I am amazed at my capacity to be a crazy person. Do you ever feel that way? The most recent run-in with my psycho side happened this past weekend. My two best friends texted and asked to get brunch. I was meeting with my mentor, so I said no and encouraged them to do it without me. Their response was, “what about tonight? Sunday?” Why are they trying so hard to see me? Their persistence had only one probable cause in my crazy mind: they must be planning an intervention. Clearly I had been a bad friend recently and they really needed to confront me about it. That is the only logical reason they would go to such lengths to spend time with me.
I’m serious. I am actually crazy! This is how you know your mind is not in a good space – when instead of believing that an invitation is because people like you, you think it must be because they need to confront you about all your flaws.
It helped me realize that I was feeling as though everyone else around me must be disappointed with or mad at me too; it wasn’t just these two friends I was worried about. I get into these busy seasons where I try to fit everything in, with the goal of pleasing everyone and meeting everyone’s needs – and instead I end up feeling like I most certainly am disappointing everyone.
My best friend’s brother and sister-in-law just had their first baby a few weeks ago. She was born premature, so the day she came everyone was a little nervous. By all accounts, she was not ready to enter the world.
But she did.
They were concerned about her lungs, that they would not have developed enough to help her breathe on her own. Hours after she was born, the tests on her lungs and breathing ability came back clear.
I sat in prayer that day, asking the Lord to continue to protect her, and I had this epiphany. Just like this sweet baby, we often feel like we are not ready. Our “readys” are different – it might be for a career, for a relationship, for a big step in life. It might be quitting something, starting something, giving up something, asking for something. Whatever it is, we hardly ever feel ready.
I’ll never forget that summer, working under the beautiful blue skies of Wyoming. I was a camp counselor for the first time, and it was a dream. I loved everything about it. At some point, we decided that some of the counselors would share their testimonies in front of all the campers at high school camp. So I sat down to write my story.
I’m one of those people who has always tended to say, “I don’t have much of a story. Nothing too crazy has happened; I haven’t had one of those incredible/challenging life-altering experiences that brought me to Jesus.” But sharing my testimony that week brought to my attention something that changed everything; it was actually how my story began.
As I wrote, I realized that my story was about feeling insignificant. I discovered that I had spent a lot of my life feeling like I didn’t matter, like no one would remember me, that I was not worth knowing or loving. I shared that testimony and the truth that I knew in my head, but hadn’t necessarily started believing in my heart, that God said I mattered, I’m memorable, I am worth knowing and loving.
Galatians 4:7 “So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”
Galatians 4:9 “But no that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back to those weak and miserable forces? Do you wish to be enslaved by them all over again?”
Galatians 4:16 “Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth?”
I feel these verses so deeply in every part of me these days. Why do we keep putting ourselves back into our chains? Why do we do this? Why can’t we actually live free? We are no longer slaves.
I told a student this past weekend that as much as we do not want to admit it, we want our chains. Because if we were actually free, so much more would be required of us.
“Will this ever get old, do you think?” “NO. There is NO WAY THIS COULD EVER GET OLD.” Wrote a little thing for RELEVANT MAGAZINE. Enjoy! If you don’t follow me on Instagram, you might not know that it is also my HALF BIRTHDAY. If I wasn’t already sure of how much Jesus loves me, […]
This past weekend I was at a Beth Moore conference that was nothing short of amazing. It was not your typical Beth Moore conference; it was geared specifically for women in their twenties and thirties who are passionate about and feel called to teach and write about the Bible. Beyond anything else, I walked away with a renewed sense of passion for the Scriptures and for intimacy with Jesus.
So I came home and was determined to be in my Bible, which has been a rare occurrence in recent months. I analyzed my daily liturgy to see where I was wasting time and where I could make room for what really matters.
I started in Galatians, and barely made it through chapter one. I was struck by the way Paul starts this letter with his story. He is reminding the church in Galatia of their need for the Gospel – the true Gospel. In order to convince them of this, he tells his story.
I wake up with that familiar pit in my stomach. Anxiety sits on my stomach like an overweight toddler, waking me up from my sleep. And then God’s voice says: Who are you inviting to sit at your table?
Oh wait, Fear and Shame, how the heck did you two get a seat here? You didn’t. You actually weren’t invited. You show up uninvited all the time. You come in like loud, obnoxious children – acting like you own the place. The worst kind of party crashers.
But this is my table. My mind. My heart. I don’t actually want you here.