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Life's Little Lessons

"If you ask me what I came into this life to do, I will tell you: I came to live out loud." – Emile Zola

Category

Faith

i see dead people 

Ok, I admit. I don’t see actual dead people, but I did recently watch Sixth Sense. Have you e-v-e-r? Creepers. Synopsis in a nutshell: Dead people have a story to tell and long to been seen and heard just as much as alive people.

And I am an alive person.

So here’s the deal: Every now and then, you encounter something someone does and that something kind of stings. Just. A. Bit.

👉🏻👉🏻Like when someone asks you a question and you THINK they want to engage in an actual conversation so you show up ready to be fully present and they pay no mind TO YOUR ANSWER (hence it feels like TO YOU). Distracted. Dismissive. Walk away. 👈🏻👈🏻 THAT.

Did they even WANT to know? WHY then did they ask? Seriously, moments like this take your breath away as you stand alone scratching your head…

Stating of course for a friend.

I used to think those things happened to show me how crappy people were and in their crappiness, how it was wise to guard myself around them because sneak peaks are life little gifts that tell you what people are all about before you trust them with the heart you’re about to give them.

These. Are. REAL. Thoughts. I never said they were good thoughts or even TRUTH-TELLING ones but they are real.

Of course, they are thoughts of a friend.

Luckily I’ve been pursuing this noble thing called love because I really want to know what love is, so I can love well.

Because we are commanded to do just that. Love well.

And on my pursuit, I have discovered that love really isn’t a something but a Someone. Love is the very person of Jesus actively hands-on in my life so in that moment when life kind of stings and I am left standing alone, out of breath and sorts…He is there and He turns my pointed finger. BACK. TO ME. 

Scripture says that Jesus went to “lonely” places to pray and to me, prayer is just one big ongoing conversation with the Father, so in my lonely places, I spend time with Him. In the places that hurt and sting, where I don’t understand the WHY’S, He says, “Come to me because you are weary and loaded down with burdens, and I will give you rest.”

And He does.

So now when these happenstance’s occur and I prepare my heart for THIS and it turns out THAT, I use it as an opportunity to better understand HOW to see people. Like the one in front of you…the very one who is longing to genuinely connect, not haphazardly touch base. The one who is feeling a little dead on the inside in some spot. The very one that needs touched, healed and brought back to life. The one that then goes back to their village and says, “Come!!! Meet the man who knows everything I ever did.”

That the one I want to see.

Folks, the letters in red never once read, “Worship me” so there is no rhyme or reason in getting conformable in our pews. The person of Jesus said, “Follow Me” and if you spend any amount of time with Him today in your every day real world, He says those words still.

In following him, we worship Him. Plain and simple. 

The great and magical thing is this: We can follow Jesus everywhere and anywhere! When He says, “SEE that woman over there? Now GO.” Seriously, we have all had those moments when we KNOW. Those moments when our hearts cry out and we are magnetically pulled TO someone and we don’t fully understand WHY. Those are the moments when it comes back to us. Will we trust Him? WILL WE FOLLOW?

My “friends” moment is real. We all screw up our every encounters with the real people in our lives. We don’t try to, I am convinced, but we do. We hurry past, we have agendas and things to do on top of the fact that we are carrying around our own junk and some times, we. just. don’t. see.

I don’t want to miss anyone folks. Not one. My prayer this year is that I slow down. Like the hell down. Yesterday was my birthday and I had all these amazing people reaching out and into me and part of me feels like I’ve done a crappy job at being a friend this year. Life got big and heavy and my knees bore the weight and some days (weeks if I am honest) I crumpled and self-protected, but since I was created IN relationship FOR relationship, I choose to get back up. I can wait till I FEEL like following and I can wait till I am magnetically and undeniably pulled to do so…or I can walk in WHO I was created to be and know that it is my birthright to SEE people, even dead ones who need life breathed back into their dry bones. It is one of the many, glorious reasons why we walk this Earth.

To bring life.

So friends, when life stings, DON’T take the chicken exit and make it about THEM. Just see better so YOU can better walk.

Awareness is a beautiful thing.

the sign 

I had forgotten how much I take for granted thanks to modern at-your-fingertips technology until yesterday when I couldn’t use my GPS for directions because the location that I was traveling to was in the middle of Timbuktu. I literally had to rely on…SPOKEN (or in this case, TEXTED) directions. Do you know what that means? It means I had to PAY ACTUAL ATTENTION. I mean, WHO does that?

Apparently I haven’t for a long time.

So…I’m driving along. I go over the WHOLE mountain. I look for the “first road on the left after you go over the whole mountain.” I start to get nervous because there’s what looks like real roads but maybe they’re driveways? I can’t tell and I begin to think I missed the turn and my throat becomes scratchy and I feel like I need to reapply deodorant **BUT** I see a small sign along the road that said “wedding” with an arrow pointing straight ahead and I sigh. OUT. LOUD. **glee** It was perfect. I was encouraged as my sweaty self sat in the driver’s seat feeling all out of sorts because I was in the middle of actual NO WHERE (a real place. i have proof) with NO CELL SERVICE. I mean, really. How do we as a people know anything about any thing without service?

We don’t.

And then, another sign. I was almost there. SO close. The heat under my arms was letting up and I was encouraged all the more.

Those two small signs were just what I needed to assure me I was traveling on the right road and that I indeed made the RIGHT left turn because for a few minutes, I was getting kind of doubty. Those signs made me remember how important it is to pay attention to what’s going on around me and to pay attention to the details. It also made me grateful. SO grateful. I know those signs there for everyone and I know actual people put them there to help wedding guest meander their way through actual nowhere but that first sign was from God Himself. It gave me HOPE. It was ENCOURAGING.

I love it when He reveals Himself in my every day life using random people and things like wooden signs. Sometimes, it’s been a little red bird, a text from a friend or a word from someone who knows nothing about my current situation and they flutter through my day and say just the right word and it gives me that assurance again…not necessarily that I am DOING all the “right” things and that I am on the “right” path, but that He… God Himself, is WITH me.

$$THAT right there is money$$

We can’t always have cell service or GPS. We won’t always feel confident and assured. Sometimes we get a little shaky and doubt DOES try to press in. If you don’t, even just a little, I have five words for you “Get away from me Satan.” Be human. Presence in the middle of Timbuktu is vital, especially when you are feeling kind of alone and doubty, even if it’s JUST a feeling…so if you find yourself there, whatever the form, breathe. Take the heat and keep your eyes and your ears open. Anticipate His withness…however.

WHOever.

the burn

It is really hard to show up and do your part knowing you are dependent on someone else to show up and do theirs…

And they don’t.

I wish I could say that I am writing this from a “Been there, done that,”point-of-view, but I can’t. My match has been lit and I am sitting. On fire.

As I sit here, I hear all the “RIGHT THINGS” in my head. I hear, “You have the mind of Christ and these thoughts that you have in your head right now are not. Tisk Tisk.”

I scowl. “Shut up.”

Truly I say to you, unequally yoked IS NOT FAIR. This is one of the many reasons why relying ON others is difficult for me at times. I try, I swear I try, and I get let down and here I am all over again **strike**

I am trying so hard to reconcile what I feel with what I know in my head…and Jesus sits to my side and whispers, “It’s your heart. Pay attention right now to your heart. It is closing…”

Friends, there is nothing quite like having THAT reality shoved in your face…

1 hour later…

An unexpected side conversation took my time and attention off of my brew. Hindsight..this was best. Idleness just gave me too much time to roll the SAME thought through my head and I appreciate focusing on someone else other than POOR ME because that is what IT’S NOT FAIRdoes and it does it with a VENGEANCE. You entertain it ONE TIME and it takes OVER the house and YOU become the hostage.

So here is what I’ve learned in my two-hour jaunt with the burn…

***It’s people. Today wasn’t my turn but my experience tells me that perhaps tomorrow will be. I will show up disshelved and unprepared to do life and I will INCONVENIENCE another living being. They will strike THEIR match on MY heel. Made IN relationship, FOR relationship….this needs to remain the focus.

Tomorrows another day. TAG…someone else please be IT!

***The match is going to strike. I am human. Just because I began to think and feel all this STUFF, doesn’t mean I am failing at life nor does it mean that it’s the end of the world and all is doomed. It just another freakin’ amazing opportunity to put actual feet to my faith. “What is going on inside of me?” Yeah…not good things. STILL WORK TO DO and THAT I can handle.

Commence the continuing saga of “Conversations with Jesus.” Airing daily at theater near you.

***OK so the burn hurts. It hurts my heart which is why the emotions come and the head begins to get all dizzy and flooded with thoughts. It hurt because it’s people. People I love. People I trust. It hurts to get let down. It hurts to take things seriously and see people as important and then when it goes South, it feels like “If they really cared or saw me with the same value and worth as I see them, this would not have happeneded.”

Lie.

The burn helps me realize WHO I AM. Would I still show up the same, fully me, doing MY part? YES. That is one thing I do not want to be contingent on someone else. I do it because it’s a part of me and is nonnegotiable. I think about Jesus. He is who He says He is regardless if I believe in Him, regardless if I am in relationship with Him. I think about all the times I have NOT…and He still IS. Does that strike His match?

His heart remains open to me. No matter how hot the heat…

So friends, WHEN you find yourself in disappointments seat and hurt is driving you straight into a fiery inferno…TAKE A STEP BACK. Take a small piece of your time and GAIN PERSPECTIVE. Go for a walk. Talk to the dog. Listen to someone else share about their day. Does this person really have that much control over you that they have officially RUINED YOUR LIFE becuase they didn’t live up to your expecations? If so, fine. Go right ahead and light yourself on fire and tomorrow or the day after or the month after that, WHEN IT’S YOUR TURN and YOU screw it all up and let the entire world down….

I pray that mercy, grace and unlimited amounts of love find you and tell you…

It’s time to move on. Chin up. Tomorrow is another day.

 

Breathe 

It was 1985 and I was 12. I don’t remember much of my early teens but I remember enough to say, I can stand before God and testify with sincerity and truth that my family was going through a mid-life crisis of sorts in that particular year. It is with a heavy-laden heart I admit, our family was into wrestling. And not just any wrestling but WWF…

It was nice to know you. Best of luck. Good-bye.

It was a week night and I vaguely remember sitting in front of the television because positioning was important. Not only was I a kid, I was also the remote control…some of you will relate. Our families favorite wrestler came on the screen, Hulk Hogan, and I about died. He had this hair and these muscles and I cannot be held responsible for I was young and impressionable and put faith and trust blindly in MY PARENTS. As the show continued, I sat in disbelief when the Hulk placed a real sleeper hold on prime time talk show host Richard Belzer of “Hot Properties.” I knew enough to know wrestling was dramatic and mainly for show, like a circus or how I feel at church some mornings when I am not being honest, but THIS was a real-time pass out and that moment will stick with me for life.

Someone, light a candle for me and say a prayer.

Flash forward three decades. I recently went through an intensively stressful season largely in part to work. I had  headaches, sleepless nights and before I knew it, back pain. All of my “physical symptoms” where manifestations of my inability to manage high-levels of “stress” appropriately and when I say appropriately, I mean this…I was quite capable of handling what was before me. The problem was, I chose NOT to.

Here’s the thing; stress is a byproduct of fear and in my life during that intensely stressful season was a giant and every time I stood before it, I held my breath…AFRAID. I was also angry, offended, bitter, resentful and prideful. And just a FYI…if you hold your breath long enough, YOU become your own worst enemy. You put yourself in a sleep hold much like Hulk Hogan did that night to Richard Belzer and oxygen deprivation to the brain shuts your system down fast and you fall “asleep.” You don’t even know it’s happening.

I’ve realized since that “sleeping” is one of the most dangerous threats to my identity. It is something that I do to myself. All by myself. My opponent never even needs to touch me let alone wrap their arms around my throat. I hold my breath because I lose my focus. I see the problem instead of the solution and my little ole legs quiver and I wonder how I am going to fix it. I brace myself for impact and HOLD. MY. BREATH. 

ME. MYSELF. I. 

I know that God created me fully capable to handle such seasons. I was created in His image so I believe that everything on the inside of me can handle anything on the outside of me because of the Spirit of Jesus and if He can, so can I. BAM. It’s the finished work of the cross and it is SCRIPTURAL, but it’s also a balancing act. It’s actually an unlearning of everything innate to my flesh and learned from experience. It’s trying to understand when He wants me to step up ON MY OWN because it’s time and He wants me to discover more of what’s He’s placed on the inside of me and when He wants to partner WITH me so I can discover more of what’s on the inside of Him so I can learn. It’s like a parent teaching their child to ride a bike. We can’t nor should have training wheels forever plus it would be slightly awkward as an adult having Dad still hold our bike seat so we don’t fall. Agree?

Maturing is all about learning when to hold on and when to let go.

I have a part. It’s called, guarding my heart. Sometimes I allow my thoughts and feelings about the giant in front of me overcome my faith in God that’s with me and I linger a little too long till my thoughts and feelings are driving the car. Slowly but surely, if I don’t guard my heart, I go all rogue. The Spirit of Jesus gets tied up and placed in the back of the trunk and I find myself behind the wheel ALONE, RECKLESSHAPHAZARD, and OXYGEN DEPRIVED as the original me that God thoughtfully and intentionally created is asleep driving off some cliff.

I wish I could say it’s easy to wake up and remember WHO you are. I wish I could say that you just snap your fingers and instantly awaken out of the groggy slumber that has lulled you like baby and but again…ME. MYSELF. I. rarely works. More time than not, we don’t wake till impact strikes and by then, the damage is immense. But have hope, help is on the scene. Since we were created IN relationship FOR relationship, others are often a HUGE part of our reentry into the atmosphere we are created to live from.

So if you are finding yourself before a giant…BREATHE. Stand up. Remember where your roots come from and focus.

RIDE. THAT. BIKE.

JESUS. TAKE. THE. WHEEL.

OPEN. THAT. TRUNK.

PRAY.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Grab someone’s hand. Remember that you are NOT alone. Allow the Father’s love to strengthen and sustain you. And no, it’s not as easy as it sounds…there is no step one, step two with Christ. What there is though is grace…mounds and mounds of grace so keep getting up from your mat and opening your eyes (and with it your heart) and listen for your name. HE IS CALLING. He will pursue you to YOUR GRAVE if that is what it takes…

Wake up friend, you’ve been sleeping long enough.

 

Protect Your Fruit

I used to think he would come and steal away my possessions. That he would kill my children or those close to me or destroy my home in fire from a burner that had been left on overnight, and though I pray and believe that will never be the case, I am increasingly aware of what it is he comes for. He comes disguised in the natural, camouflaged in my everyday life, in ordinary things. My relationships. My money. My possessions. Things I can put in my hands, people I can embrace.

I think that’s all just a farce. An invitation to look beneath the surface and go deeper.

John 10:10 says “The thief comes only that he might steal and might kill and might destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Now interesting enough, the word MIGHT and MAY are used several times which tell me, either side is not a definite WILL or WON’T. Insert our will which is free and ta-dah…we have a choice. And if we have a choice if we are stolen from or killed or destroyed, then we also have a choice to live the life that Jesus has given us, and not just any life, but an abundant one.

So what exactly does the thief come for?

Our fruit.

And truth be told, it is not even O-U-R-S. It is Holy Spirits. When we partner with Him, it naturally produced IN us as a byproduct.

Galatians 5:22- says “But the fruit of the Spirit is LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS, SELF-CONTROL; against such things there is no law.”

Our circumstances are going to be what they are. Life is going to continue to say, “because I told you so” and our circumstances will be like happenstance’s that seem to just flutter in from the air and land in our lap, forcing us to engage. Some circumstances, and I would say MOST, are going to be the result of a decision we made along the way…and not making a decision is STILL making a decision. Either way, it is the FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT that thief ultimately wants.

He wants us to hurt and become offended so we wall up our love and box it up tight.

He wants us to dwell on our circumstances and get trapped by our feelings so we can lose our joy, our peace and our patience.

He wants us to see others, even God, as evil and unkind. That they are against us, that He is not FOR us so our kindness, goodness, faithfulness and gentleness can slip quietly between our fingers like sand till it’s all together gone.

He wants us to react so we don’t activate our self-control.

He wants a lot of things, but we can CHOOSE to say, “No way. Not today.”

O.K. Sounds great, but HOW?

  1. Take authority: Authority doesn’t beg, it doesn’t ask, it doesn’t just hope the thief eventually bores and goes away…it commands.

Mark 13:34: “For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commands the porter to watch.”

Matthew 8:9: “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”

2.  Exercise your authority through the spoken word. Seriously, eat well, speak life.

Proverbs 18:21: Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.”

3.  Thoughts come and thoughts go, but be careful what you dwell on. And yes, every means just that…e-v-e-r-y.

2 Corinthians 10:5: “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Proverbs 23:7: “For a man thinks in his heart, so he is.”

4.  In John 16, Jesus said it was for our good if He went away…he wasn’t lying. Holy Spirit no longer is in our midst, somewhere out there floating around randomly coming upon people and maybe occasionally talking to us. He lives IN us which means EVERY need we have, EVERY answer we seek…is IN us through HIM. We just need to listen and trust His voice and believe His truth.

John 16:13: “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come.”

In theory, ALL of this sounds so good. Even if you don’t follow Jesus, seriously…these are good and grounded principles that work, IF applied.

IF.

At some point in this life we live, our “in theory” needs to become our “in reality.” How we make that work is up to us; it is up to me, it is up to you. I just know for myself how I lose hours of my day, days of my week, weeks of my month when I ALLOW the thief to come and steal the fruit right off my table, right from underneath my nose and I for one am tired and worn thin having an intruder in my house that is more like a friend than a foe.

Guard your heart and protect your fruit…the fruit is where abundant life flows from and the world around you is waiting, just waiting, to eat from your table.

Plant the Seed

In 1995 I graduated college and within months, I rented my first house. Now in my good opinion, you can’t have a house without flowers so off to the store I went. My eyes drifted to all sorts of beautifully potted plants, so colorful and bright. There were so many to choose from but my eyes drifted further down the aisle to a row of seeds, tiny and small.

And expensive.

Now this is over 20 years ago and for a college graduate with a baby in tow on her hip, seeds packets seemed like a risk. “Just buy the potted plants that are already in bloom and be done with it,” said the woman behind the counter when I questioned the in’s and out’s of seeds. I obviously looked a little unknowledgeable and she obviously looked a little annoyed and we both needed more joy in our lives so I bought the seed packets and called it a day.

And to home I went.

I remember holding those tiny seeds in my hands and debated where to plant and when. Which side of the house? Is now the time? BECAUSE I SPENT MONEY ON FRIVOLOUS SEEDS…

I don’t remember much else but I do know that some came up and some didn’t. I dropped them all in the dirt the same and covered them with darkness and the ones that struggled to find the light found it, big and bright and became these big and beautiful blooms on teeny tiny stems of plants I chose to grow rather than buy.

John 12:24-25 says “Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.”

It is easy to stand with tiny, precious seeds in your hands…contemplating decisions of what is best, how to and why. This world can leave you puzzled, confused and torn with fear. “Dear God, what if I let this seed go, whatever shall become of it? It it is dear to me. It cost me…”

And just the same, it is easy to feel covered by darkness, chilled to the core by damp days. Should you fight your way out of the pit or just wait to be rescued? Surely if you were loved, you would be plucked up and out, right? Should you wriggle in faith and trust that the light above is out there somewhere waiting, even if you don’t see it, even if you don’t feel it? Should you believe that it’s cheering you on to do the hard work so you can bust out of the shell that longer serves a purpose so you can grow, grow, grow?

Here’s the thing about light…it believes  that life can happen underneath what is seen, in the cold and the dark and the damp. It does not compromise itself. It doesn’t give up nor go away. It doesn’t turn itself on or off based on the seeds response. It stays true and steady regardless wether the little seed underneath the earth wakes up and decides the fight is a good one. The light is indeed reckless in its love, for the light is ALL in. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t abandon. It is relentlessly FOR. It wakes up, it shows up…

We are continually in the position of choosing, which is one of the greatest of all gifts. Free will. We either choose to hold tight or we choose to let go. We either choose to take risk or we choose play it safe. We either choose to stay dormant and small or we choose to fight hard and grow. Father God in His infinite goodness is surrounding us, within us…steady and sure. He is there when we wonder and when we doubt and our heart aches in uncertainty and our hands our heavy and tired from holding on. He is there when we feel alone and forgotten and scared, when our will fades and we think giving in to the darkness would relinquish our struggle.

He is reckless in His love for us. He was willing to give all. Jesus lost His life so we could have it.

Looking back, it may seem like a small and pointless memory but I am glad I planted those seeds all those years ago. Who knew that 22 years later the thought of them would pop back into my conscious heart as I sat on my couch on a early morning contemplating the struggle and the fight. Is it worth it?

Can I be reckless in my love for Him?

Yes.

Even in the dirt and the darkness, we can choose to emerge anew and full of life.

If you are pushing you way through the darkness, keep growing. 

A Thousand Little Pieces 

I was unloading the dishwasher the other week and being productive, grabbed two mugs at the same time instead of one. In my hurry, I inevitably dropped the heavier, black mug on floor and heard the clamor of ceramic and tile colliding. When I picked it up, it was in what seemed like a thousand little pieces. The one side of the mug was missing a very large piece so when I saw it, I sighed. I thought it would be an easy repair. One piece. However to my dismay, there were multitudes of small and fragile remnants spread all over the floor surrounded by potters dust and my heart immediately sank.

It was unrepairable.

It looked like all the other cheap ceramic mugs I’ve bought over the years. They all end up the same. Chipped, cracked and eventually discarded.

Except that this wasn’t just any mug. It was a mug we got from Paramount Pictures where our oldest daughter interned two summers ago. It was the mug we bought when we visited her in California. It often held my coffee and with it, my sentiments.

But sentiments aside, I cleaned up the pieces and salvaged what I could. I got out the super glue and started first with the biggest piece and thought I had a win, but the remnants were too small and not one seemed to fit just right and I started to get frustrated over a mug that would never be the same.

The trash can looked like my only option.

Days later, I’m driving to Baltimore with my husband. My mind flittered between songs and landscapes and my marriage was forefront. Here we were on another trip, in another year, logging another mile while stubbornly refusing to give up. My mind raced to lots of things, to people and with people…problems. I have friends who are encountering their own sort of hard, and as I sat in the passenger seat on my to our destination, I heard myself whisper, “Don’t discard the pieces.”

Perhaps I was whispering once more to myself.

Relationships are much like my mug. Over time and with use, little dings and chips create cracks if you hurry too fast and aren’t mindful of their care. Every now and then, trust gets broken and a large piece shatters on the floor of someone’s home and before you know it, your heart is broken into a thousand little pieces creating remnants that feel too small to pick up and piece back together.

But much like my mug, piece by piece, chunk by chunk, things CAN be put back together. It most likely will never look the same because cracks leave scars making things look raw and edgy and the healing comes through a process that is frustratingly ongoing and one day you wake up and realize how tired and worn you are from trying to piece it all back together yourself so you call a silent truce and eventually resolve to STOP fixing and mending alone because no one is fully ever broken…not even YOU and you embrace your cracks and your raw and rough edging. We ALL have our things and those things are better placed in the Fathers hands and when we give Him our broken pieces, He works tenderly and diligently…

Making broken things beautiful…

Most people would like the damage done to what is broken to be concealed and hidden by repair so that things could look like new, the way I want my favorite mug to look and my marriage to be, but that really isn’t reality.

That is actually a pretty weighty expectation and an unrealistic picture.

Someone shared years ago of how the Japanese art of Kintsugi follows a different philosophy in mending broken items. Rather than disguising the breakage, kintsugi restores the broken item incorporating the damage into the aesthetic of the restored item, making it part of the object’s history. Kintsugi uses lacquer resin mixed with powdered gold, silver, platinum, copper or bronze, resulting into something more beautiful than the original. The item becomes unique and set apart, for no two breaks are the same.

That visual has helped me more times than I can count when I have felt hopeless and broken and that the trash was my only viable option. When my dreams dissipate and my relationships verge potential ruin; in those moments when I feel small and in my ambiguity, helpless…I must choose to remember His goodness. He doesn’t create junk and if it is important to me, it is important to Him. THEY ARE. YOU ARE. I have a Father who doesn’t enjoying watching me feel out of sorts and out of luck. He is good and tender and piece by piece, partners with me to create a mosaic masterpiece.

But the first step in this creation is the resolve that what I hold in my hands has WORTH and VALUE. When I make the decision that yes, I am committed to working on it, I won’t easily discard it…even if the pieces are too small for my finger to pick them up.

Even if I don’t feel, even if I don’t see, even if I don’t hear…

Friends, I do not know how He does it, but I do know it is an exchange of sorts and I am part of the process. It would be easy to say I just put what is broken into the Father’s hands and He gets to work and I just wash my hands and walk away. That one day, He and I just meet up again over lunch when He is all finished mending and He hands me back a perfectly pieced masterpiece, but no.

It doesn’t work that way.

Each day I have the choice to wake up and make the commitment, ONCE MORE, to partner WITH HIM. He says, “OK, todays let’s look at THIS piece. What is this one about? Why is it special to you? How did it become misplaced and broken? What was your part?” and we go from there. Every piece is different and every conversation reveals both a truth and a lie; a lie that helped create the crack and a truth that helps restores the piece. If you do this enough days, trust can be rebuilt with the hope of restoration rather than having to trash what once you said had value and worth to you.

Whatever has fallen apart CAN be made whole, it just won’t always look like what you expected and don’t be suprised if YOU are the focus of the mending. You want the attention to detail to be elsewhere and on anyone else but you because you are not part of the problem nor did you cause the break, but I assure you…you have a part.

Be the place to start. 

The Father wants to give you His attention. Let it happen.

 

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