Friday, April 26, 2013

Not Home Yet

One thing that I often find myself hoping for is to get comfortable. Not in the sense where I kick my feet up and doing nothing at all day, but I long to be comfortable where I am in life. For things to stay the same, for my heart to feel completely secure, to go to bed at night knowing that the status quo is going to remain the same the next day. But reality couldn't be further from the truth. 

People move. Jobs don't always last. Stock markets crash. Relationships have their ups and downs. Sometimes people walk away.  Tragedies happen. And whenever we try to unpack our suitcases and settle in those places, trying to set up residence, we're going to be left feeling uneasy and disappointed. Not because there's something wrong with us if we long for something unchanging and perfect, but because we're placing our hopes in the wrong spot. 

Hebrews 13:14 tells us "For this world is not our home; we are looking forward to our city in heaven, which is yet to come." 

I love how that last part of the sentence is included "which is yet to come". Our home isn't here- our home is in heaven and if you're still breathing that hasn't come for you yet. 

So where does this leave those of us who long for something more than what is in front of us? It leaves us in the perfect place to set our eyes where they are supposed to be- on eternity, on heaven, and ultimately on Christ. 

"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth." (Colossians 3:1-2) 

Lately instead of looking towards what I don't have or what I wish were different I've been applying this verse and instead actively thinking about heaven and what awaits me there.  After thinking and attempting to take in the concept of eternity in heaven it's amazing how insignificant the changes and pain we go through here become.

So the next time you find yourself in the place between the way things are and the way you want them to be, instead of rushing out to try and fill that void in things that are ultimately unfulfilling, turn your eyes instead to Christ and on what is to come. A world where the perfection we long for comes to completion and when we will come face to face with the Unchanging One who made it all happen. 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Accepting Limitations

"God can and will accomplish all he wants to do in and through you. Your limitations won’t prevent that—but pushing yourself to the point of burnout just might. Take care of yourself. Respect what you need. Accept being human." 

That quote comes from an excellent article written by Holley Gerth called "Are You Sabotaging Your God-Sized Dream?".  Check it out here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Heading to Editing

Draft one of the book.
A few summers back I started writing a book about the stage in our lives between when one door closes and another opens; a stage when we are literally wandering through life wondering how we got to where we are and what we can do to move on.

After writing enough that I could technically call the book "done" something inside of me knew it wasn't quite complete.  Something was missing, but I didn't know what.  And that's probably because God knew I hadn't gotten to that point in my life where I had learned enough to do it justice, so the book remained on a hiatus of sorts.

Today I'm happy to announce that is no longer the case!

After some lessons I've learned over the last year through both closed doors and open doors, through both pain and joy, I have come to the point of coming full circle in my life and in the writing of the book.  Last week I finished the final chapter and printed out the entire book so I could start the editing process and was shocked to see how many pages actually made up that document that contained (see photo).

So what happens from here?  Well after I finish my edits I will pass it on to people who are more knowledgeable than I in both publishing and the English language and let them have a go at editing it.  Then comes the publishing phase which I'm getting very excited about- I can't wait to share what God has placed on my heart in the form of this book!

At the same time though I do ask for your prayers.  First off, that through the editing my writing would be shaped with as much clarity as possible.  And secondly that I would receive sensitivity from the Spirit over what needs to be included and what can be left out.  The scary part about writing a book like this is that often if you don't explain how you got to the place where you learned the lesson you can't help the reader to get there either.  If I had my own way I'd love to keep the stories of how I learned the hard way to myself.  I wouldn't want to share about broken relationships and broken trust.  I'd much rather keep the dark times in my faith hidden.  But I know that it wouldn't be doing the book justice or doing the God who brought me through all of that justice.  I want to testify and I need your prayers to make sure that I do that to the degree that God wants me to and that when people read what I wrote down they see Jesus, not me.

Thank you in advance for your prayers!

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Franciscan Benediction

May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace

May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
To turn their pain into joy.

And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done
To bring justice and kindness to our children and the poor.