Roomba…

My man bought me a Roomba for Christmas. I love it and must admit that I find my Roomba fascinating.

Roomba has a very sporadic way of cleaning and just when you think that the he (yes, our Roomba is a male) is going to forget an entire area, he finds his way and finishes the job. Roomba returns to home base for charging, especially during a more strenuous cleaning pass. He also returns to home base when his trash bin is full and he alerts me when he needs assistance. Let’s face it, life can be tough for Roomba: wheels get stuck; doors to rooms close on him; and Lord help him if he finds his way under our bed!

I think I am a lot like my Roomba. From God’s vantage point, my life journey has been sporadic and I have taken quite a few off road detours, leaving Him wondering when I am going to find my way back and finish the job. Along the way, I have found that I need to return to home base and allow Him to charge me back up. In fact, life just seems to work better the more time I spend charging on my “docking station”.

Oh and God definitely cleans my trash bin, when I let my sinful nature take over. I also need Him when my wheels get stuck, a door closes or when I venture under a bed, where I know I have no business being. Let’s face it, life can be tough for this ‘ole gal and I need His help, love, grace, mercy and guidance daily. Hourly. Every minute.

Yep, I sure do love my Roomba. And I sure am thankful for my Father, my home base, my docking station and the lessons He is teaching me.

Be joyful!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit. 2 Corinthians 3:17‭-‬18 NIV

Pick Your Color…

I visited the nail salon this week. Like many women, I enjoy having my nails “did” and look forward to my appointments. The first thing you typically hear when you arrive at the salon is the directive, “pick your color”. Now, this might seem like an easy order; but, the wall of nail polish is far and wide, offering colors galore. And this is just colors folks. Don’t forget that you can bling it up, ask for glitter, get a design or even go with some chrome. The sky is the limit when it comes to nail design!

Every day, we are faced with the same directive in life, “pick your color”. What will you eat? Drink? Wear? Who will you meet? Where will you go? What will you ponder? How will you serve? Who will you serve? The minutes stretch far and wide ahead of you.

Your choices can be world-inspired, leaving you reaching for the latest trend, wondering if you made the right choice. You might even find yourself checking out the color picked by the women next to you, secretly wishing you had chosen that color instead. How often does a worldly-focused choice leave us feeling flat, deflated and unsatisfied? Heading down the wordly path of life can also feel lonely and confusing, making us circle back wondering if there is something more.

OR your choices can be God-inspired, God-focused and God-breathed, leaving your head spinning with hope, life, and light. The sky is the limit in Christ! He will shine light on the perfect plan for your life and He will shine light on that perfect color for your nails. Instead of checking out the color of the women sitting next to you, you will find yourself admiring your own beauty, your own shine and your own radiant nails.

Heading down the Godly path of life ensures that He is going ahead of you, putting His arm tightly around you and also coming in behind you. The result? Satisfaction, comfort, and purpose in this life and a heavenly chorus exclaiming, “you picked well, good and faithful servant.”

Be joyful!

“Show me your ways, Lord , teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4‭-‬5 NIV

Mine, Mine, Mine!

pixsharkimage
Image from pixshark.com

When my mom brought me home from the hospital, my brother met us at the car, exclaiming “my baby, my baby, my baby.” (He was an extremely intelligent boy and knew greatness when he saw it. 🙂 ) I carried my “blankee” for much longer than I will ever admit and it was definitely my property and mine alone. Try and take food away from my daughter and see what happens to you. How often have we witnessed children grab a toy away from someone else’s hands all the while exclaiming, “mine”?

We sure do like to lay claim to our possessions, don’t we? I have noticed a pattern developing culturally that seems similar. More and more often, I hear people refer to their own “truth” or they might comment about another person saying something like, “that’s her truth.” I hear things like, “do you girl” or “look at what I made” when it comes to our children. I recently used hash tags under a picture of my own daughter laying claim to her softball status: #lovemynumber6 and #thatsmygirl. I know, you are probably thinking that these are innocent claims that come from an innocuous place. But, I think that they might speak to a larger issue that comes from our self-absorbed, self obsessed nature or as my Pastor likes to say, “Me-ville.”

Jesus answered, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6). Jesus also said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) We see God say to Moses in Exodus 3:14, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.'” It seems to me that we need to be very careful when it comes to “truth” and laying claim. The only truth that stands firm in this world is Jesus. It is not my truth or your truth, it is His Truth. And the truth of the matter is that anything good or right or fair that flows from our lives is simply a reflection of God working through us. Further, any possession or gift or talent that we lay claim to was entrusted to us by our Father. This includes our children.

Thank God that He shouted, “mine, mine, mine” and sent His Son to save us. Thank God that Jesus shouted, “mine, mine, mine” when He gave up his last breath and conquered death, rising victorious for us. Thank God that His Holy Spirit shouts, “mine, mine, mine” as His very life pours into our very being. Glory Father, your truth is everything! You must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less. (John 3:30 NLT)

So, this weekend, I dare you to claim “His Truth” in your life and instead of “doing you”, let’s “do God”. He is the only Truth that matters.

Be joyful!

If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all be myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!”–well, think again. Remember that God, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant that he promised to your ancestors–as it is today. Deuteronomy 8:17-18 MSG

Broken Windshield…

I took Big Momma into the shop today to get her windshield replaced. (Big Momma is the name of my vehicle.) A few months ago, a rock flew up and smacked the windshield right in the corner of the driver side. Since then, a large crack developed from the “injury” and started creeping across the entire windshield, tainting the clarity of the view when driving. We successfully put off taking Big Momma to the “doctor” for as long as possible. But, that annoying crack just kept on getting bigger and bigger.

Sin in our lives is so much like that crack in Big Momma’s windshield. So often, it can fly up out of nowhere and smack us, causing injury in our lives. The longer we take to confess the sin, the larger it gets. And before we know it, the sin has crept across our lives, obstructing our view. In fact, the narrow lens of that sin becomes our focus, rather than the bigger picture seen through the windshield.

Praise God that He is the ultimate Physician for our lives and souls. He has the final say on sin! When we confess our sin, He tends to the original injury. Even if we try to ignore the sin and it creeps into other aspects of our lives, He can fix it. In fact, He can replace the windshield of our souls and make us brand new! Through his redemption and forgiveness, hope shines through the windshield again, making our focus as far east and west as the eye can see!

Oh, if we would only confess our sins quickly and often, the view would be so much clearer! Lord, help us be people quick to repent and ask for forgiveness. Help us extend forgiveness to one another more often too.

Be joyful!

“Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15 NIV

My Father’s Eyes

Jesus in our Eyes by stasiabv on DeviantArt

We attended a birthday party on Saturday, where I found myself surrounded by the most gorgeous women. The weather was beautiful, allowing us to sit pool-side under a gazebo. The faces around me were no less radiant than our surroundings. I allowed myself to take it all in, enjoy the easy conversation, abundant laughter, delicious food and found myself thankful beyond measure.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could see ourselves through each other’s eyes? I found each friend breath taking! I could sit back and take in the whole picture. I wasn’t zeroed in on the flaws in each lady. No ma’am. I was focused on the value of each person and their unique design. Plus, we all had one thing in common: we all have a deep relationship with Christ. I have prayed with these beauties, cried with them, studied God’s Word with them and laughed with them. You see, I had the inside scoop and the essence of their nature became the beauty in their faces.

Then, this morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. God, our Father, sees us in our fullness. Our flaws are covered by his Son’s blood. He has prayed with me, cried with me, studied His Word with me and laughed with me. The essence of His nature has become the beauty in my face. There is nothing that I can do that will make Him love me any more or less. There is nothing that I can do to make Him see me any more or less beautiful than I am. Right now. In this season.

Father, help me see myself and others through Your eyes. To borrow some lyrics from Amy Grant:

She’s got her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain
Knowin’ what you’re going through, and feeling it the same
Just like my Father’s eyes.

Be joyful!

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand— when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:13‭-‬18 NIV

A Broken Arm..

When I was two years old, I broke my arm in a tragic tricycle accident. Well, I guess saying it was tragic might be a bit dramatic; especially since I was riding my trike in circles on our porch when I simply fell over, landing just right to break my arm. Mind you, this was under the watchful eye of my mother, who fact checked this story for me. 😉

I grew up on the west coast of Florida which meant that we were fortunate to visit Disney World frequently. Shortly after my tragic injury, we went to the Magic Kingdom for the day. My little arm was in a cast and I received quite a bit of attention. Many people inquired about my arm and several Disney characters showed concern (including Mickey Mouse himself). About halfway through our day, my dad informed me that we were going to the Hall of Presidents. I asked him what they were going to do there. He told me that a bunch of men were going to talk with us. I responded dramatically, “are they going to ask me what I did to my arm?” You see, my new found “celebrity status” was simply too exhausting for this precocious two year old. Not to mention, I had my own goal, which was to ride the Tea Cups. This goal did not involve a bunch of old presidents talking, thank you very much.

How many times in life do we allow the demands of people around us to leave us exhausted? How often do we get completely put out by questions, even if they come from genuine concern? How often do we become so focused on our own goals that we find ouselves unwilling to bend along the way? Better yet, how often do we make unnecessary assumptions because we are locked in, with laser focus, on our own wants and needs?

Our Father finds us when we are broken, exhausted, and completely put out with the demands of life. He scoops us up, places us on His lap and listens to our dramatic cries. He knows that the path to the tea cup ride is full of twists, turns and distractions. Yet, He will guide our steps, heal our wounds, and give us fresh perspective if we will simply allow Him to reign.

And don’t forget, sometimes we need to approach the throne with child-like abandon and let Him know we need help finding that tea cup ride. I have a feeling He knows the way!

Be joyful!

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 NIV

Humility…

This one word packs such a powerful punch! God has been working on me in this area of my life. I am finding that He is offering lots of opportunity for me to practice humility, as well as my daughter and husband right now. I must admit watching my daughter navigate this one lately has been incredibly difficult. But, the lessons that God is teaching are beyond important. They are life changing.

Webster’s Dictionary defines humility as “a modest or low view of one’s own importance; humbleness.” Yes, I agree. That is one hard pill to swallow, especially in this generation of self. We are hard pressed and often rewarded when we practice the exact opposite of humility. It’s no wonder that antonyms for humility are words like pride, arrogance, self-importance, egoism. The world teaches us that we actually should have the highest opinion of self. We should put ourselves above all other things: our desires, our thoughts, our opinions, our success. And the world tells us that it doesn’t matter who or what we need to step on in order to get ahead. We can cheat, lie, steal, gossip and take any advantage possible to put self ahead. No offense here folks, but isn’t the beloved “selfie” about as narcissistic as it gets?

God knew that we would need a fresh reminder about the importance of humility throughout each generation, which is why He reminds us over and over again in scripture to humble ourselves before our Father and to humble ourselves in our relationship with one another. In Philippians 2:3, God tells us to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above self.” God reminds us in Proverbs 11:2 that “when pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” Proverbs 15:33 also tells us that “wisdom’s instruction is to fear the Lord, and humility comes before honor.” Ephesians 4:2 shares with us to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” And finally, God boldly proclaims in 1 Peter 5:6 “humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

We are called to swallow our pride and practice humility always. Jesus is the Author and Perfector of humility. He laid down His life for me: for my pride, arrogance, self-importance, egoism. In contrast, He is the only one who has the right and reason to hold a high opinion of Himself. Yet, we see Him practice the opposite, not just practice but teach and equip us to do the same. With our humble obedience, He will give us wisdom, honor and He will lift us up in His perfect time. (Can I get an hallelujah from the back row?)

Yes, the lessons God are teaching are beyond important. They are life changing. If I will simply get my “self” out of the way.

Be joyful and humble!

“But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.” Mark 10:31 NIV