You're Never Really Ready

You're Never Really Ready

Those words resonated in my heart like a loud voice in a cavern. The other night I was organizing my office while listening to some of Hillsong Conference on my iphone. Honestly, what could be a better compliment to clearing clutter than worship (and maybe eating a little tomato bisque)? After some amazing stuff from the Hillsong worship team I heard pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church utter the words...You're never really ready. 

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The Reason...

The Reason...

In my heart lies a dangerous mixture of pride and self doubt. They are potent enough by themselves, but together they create a deadly concoction. My pride holds on to mere shards of accomplishment, along with anything that makes me feel important. My self doubt keeps me in fear of losing them and tells me that who I really am isn't good enough. At the Making Things Happen Intensive a few weeks ago, I was able to put aside distractions and really deal with some issues in my heart. It was a beautiful time where God revealed a lot of my fears and helped me let them go. I have seen so much change in my life since then. It's been so wonderful. Part of making things happen is to strip away the things that aren't important in order to focus on what matters. As I've started to do that even more of my doubts and fears have been replaced with truth. However, I've realized that my self doubt isn't my only issue. There is also a problem of pride. (Gulp.)

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It's too easy


Today is Good Friday. It's the day my Savior suffered on the cross, bearing the sins of mankind out of love. He knew agony. He knew pain. It wasn't easy. This is the man who is my model. The one I follow. And my life looks nothing like His.

I can't help but think that it's too easy to be a "Christian" in America. We've been disillusioned, thinking that all we have to do is claim the name and warm a pew, then we're good. It's easy to attend Church here. It's easy to sing our songs of praise without fear. If we do fear, it's because we're worried the people around us might think we're too into the worship. It's easy to live in our "Christian" world, surrounded by our "Christian" friends and listening to our "Christian" music. All the while the name "Christian" seems to have taken on a new meaning. It is often synonymous with hypocrite in today's culture.

In reality, it's hard to be a true Christ-follower in America. We have too much comfort and not enough pain. There's too much privacy and not enough scrutiny. We have too much and give too little. We stay too safe and don't risk enough. In other places you put your life on the line to claim Christ. You gather with the believers in secret, because it is illegal. If you are found out, you die. It's hard to live that way here when we have so much freedom. Examine the lives of the disciples. Did they come to death safely, in a pretty coffin? No, they were often tortured and many met violent deaths for the sake of Christ and making the gospel known. We know little of suffering. Paul said his goal was to know Him and  the fellowship of His suffering. Is that our goal? We say we love Jesus. Well, His love led Him to the cross and a brutal, cruel death. If we are full of that love, shouldn't it lead us to a similar place?

I'm no expert and I don't claim to know all the answers, but I get the feeling that we should be worried if our "Christian" life is easy and void of suffering. And I'm not talking about car problems, having to wait in line at a restaurant or having a cold. Our Savior is one who bore the cross. I want to follow suit.

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I'm going to be honest and admit that I've let myself have a little putty party yesterday. It happens. Things just haven't been going according to "my plan" but that is no reason not to be thankful. I was reminded this morning of how blessed I really am. I will choose joy and thankfulness no matter what. Thus, here are a few things I'm very thankful for today.

This Journey. Although I've found this road to be quite bumpy, I am so thankful that God has led me here. I get to do what I love! I'm incredibly blessed. It's only been a few months since I started this little business and I have seen God's blessing in so many different ways. He has grown me and given me so many opportunities. I have to remind my greedy heart that He is in control, not me. "Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain." (Psalm 127:1)

Our apartment. Lately, I've really been wanting to have our own house for several reasons. Today, I put all those reasons aside and am simply thankful that we have a place to live! We consider it to be small in the states, but really we have so much more than most people in the world. We have air, heat, a refrigerator, dishwasher (although a crappy one!) and running water. I am blessed.

My husband. He is my constant encourager. I can't imagine this life without him. He is an example of faithful, enduring love to me. I am so thankful that I get to share life with him. I'd follow him anywhere.

Springtime. The winter season is over and bringing new life. All the chill has left the air and the flowers are blooming. I love this time of year, even with the pollen! I've always looked forward to the next season, in the year and in life, but today I purpose to savor this season and this time in life. This particular spring will never come again.

A workspace. I know this may seem so simple, but all I had was a lap top and our couch for a while. Today I am so thankful to have a desk and our beautiful iMac that my husband bought me. It has been so nice to have a space to work and keep my office things. It's easy to forget that I didn't have it just a few months ago.

The generosity of others. I have been so blessed by so many people. I am so thankful for those who have gone out of their way and given of themselves to do something kind. I am surrounded by caring people. I pray I never take that for granted.

Christ. Why do I take my God for granted the most? Yesterday I took the time to go through the alphabet, choose one of His attributes for each letter, and praised Him for all that He has done. It's easy to forget that the King over everything loves us, gives us Himself and offers us so much though we are dirty sinners. The beautiful miracle of salvation hit me afresh. I can never be thankful enough for what He has done. I pray that I might live worthy of the gospel.

Anyway, here is a song that has encouraged my heart as of late. I've heard it several times, but the bridge especially impacted my heart yesterday.

Breathe in me Your life Till Your love overtakes me Open up my eyes let me see You more clearly Falling on my knees till I love like You love Like You love me, I love You 

What are you guys thankful for today?

Still waters

The seasons have changed and things aren't the way the used to be. I followed Him to this place and I'm happy to be here, but sometimes I find it to be very quiet. And sometimes quietness becomes too much. The unanswered question, the eagerness for fresh direction and the small things leave me feeling like I'm in the middle of a ocean of stillness. When music is silenced, the check-list is completed and distraction of business has ceased, the quiet often becomes deafening.

Stillness can be too still.

Sometimes I find my little office becomes a vast, placid sea where I paddle towards an unseen goal day in and day out...alone. What I wouldn't give for one wave, one ripple of movement! In the distance the rest of the world is buzzing and spinning in constant motion. It is hard to be ok with silence in today's world. We mask our inner loneliness with being busy. It's almost frowned upon not to have a jam packed schedule. The need for stillness is forgotten and when we do stumble upon it (not on purpose mind you), the absence of movement is like an unpleasant chill.


I've been in this place many times. I remember the deep sense of loneliness that washed over me in college. Everyone was dating...but not me. Weekends were quiet. I felt alone. I remember when I battled an unknown sickness for years. Out of the blue I'd be immobilized by pain. No one could help and no one understood. I felt alone. In those times I found that the quietness and the loneliness turned into something beautiful. I wouldn't trade any of it for the world. His voice became more clear. I learned new things. My soul was transformed.

So when the chill of stillness comes, I can offer it up to God. He has a purpose for it if I will only accept it. In the words of Job "should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?" (Job 2:10) For we know that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28) I don't think it's a coincidence that the Word says "He leads us by still waters" and then says "He restores my soul" immediately after that. Like it our not, I need those waters of quietness and solitude. It is there He renews me for the journey ahead. Thus, I choose to embrace the still waters in which I find myself today. Tomorrow may hold much commotion and business, but today my heart will sing, "whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say - It is well, it is well with my soul!"