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Posts Tagged ‘value’

Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

I think today’s busy equals status and value. I think people feel like they a someone if they are busy. For some reason we have equated busy with important. If you find yourself overwhelmed with over commitments, or talk about your over flowing inbox, you might be “busy.” Do your relationships suffer from your busy-ness?

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

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We love because He first loved us.

These not so small words have been bringing me to tears lately. I have been sitting and stare at this truth.

I know love at all because He first extended it to me.

So often I can pride myself on the self effort of love. I crave loving deeply. I make every effort to do so. What I forget is that it’s not my love that I’m offering.

Love comes from somewhere.

Love started with someone.

THE only reason we know love at all is because He first loved us. THE only reason we recognize love at all is be He was the first to present honest, right, true, and deep love to us.

I am realizing how much further this extends into so many other deep truths.

I know grace because HE first had grace on me.

I know forgiveness because HE first forgave me.

I want to make people feel seen because HE first saw me.

I want to make people feel valued because HE first valued me.

Love, grace, forgiveness, value, and life come from a someone. They are started with a someone. Any parts of those words that I know is because of his firsts. To know more of the depth of those words is to know Him.

I am sitting in the weight of what I know because of Him. I am sitting in the weight of wanting to extend the offer of those because they were first offered to me. I just shake my head at the gift.

I smile now at the glimpses of those firsts I see of Him as others offer those words. Whether they realize it or not they accepted something, and someone, that was first offered to them.

My love is not my own. It started with a someone first. I am only offering the extension of that same gift given to me.

I hope to give that gift deeply more and more every day of my life. 

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I am sitting here flipping through the channels and growing more and more grieved over our culture. I am sad over how many shows end in “make over.” I love me some hip hop, but can’t watch, or listen to, most of what’s out without my head sinking. The window of good things to watch and listen to is narrowing fast.

People have become objects. I am not just saying that only women have become objects of sex. Men are just as much looked at for their bodies, and measured for their prince charming ways.

I am very much a person who appreciates the sexy. I love moments when I can say, “now that was sexy!”

The association with sexy in our culture has become so harsh and aggressive. Most of what drives sexy in our culture is a lack of self-esteem and self-worth. Daisy dukes and small cut tops don’t speak of confidence to me, but desperation to be validated.

Sexy builds confidence not dismisses self-worth.

I think what is sexy is most often what is also beautiful. Here are some things I think are sexy…

  • –          The unshowered and slightly disheveled person when they are waking up. It’s like your most unedited self.
  • –          Someone who is confident and not cocky.
  • –          (For me as a woman) a man who really takes the time to see another person.
  • –          When couples stand up and fight for one another.
  • –          A sweet sneak of a hand hold.
  • –          Courtesy
  • –          Watching the groom watch his bride walk down the isle.
  • –          Going above and beyond for someone.
  • –          Really hard laughter that brings out the deepest joy
  • –          Someone who risks to be authentic and real with where they are.
  • –          Parents who really love and really invest in their kids.
  • –          A sweet kiss that says, “I don’t want to miss a thing” and gentle enough that’s respectful.
  • –          People who desire to add value to other people.
  • –          Small tender smiles.

I could easily keep going with my list, but the point is that sexy is more than our culture defines it to be. There is so much more to sexy then how cheaply watered down we’ve made it.

SEXY IS MORE THAN SEX!

Sexy is something that adds value to someone’s self-worth rather than beating it down. Sexy is way more than looks alone. Sexy is beautiful inside and out. The heart is so sexy to me.

I am sad at our culture’s cheap version of sexy that is being handed out to the next generation. They have no clue what sexy really could be!

Be the right kind of sexy for yourself and others.

I would LOVE for you to challenge others to think about what sexy means/looks like in YOUR sphere of influence.

LET’S BRING SEXY BACK!

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There is something that happens when words are allowed to sink in deep. There is literally a physiological stirring in us when words take weight. I am a words girl. I value words spoken and unspoken very much.

Words also carry a weight of responsibility with them. Words have the ability to build up or tear down. Different words affect people in different ways. Both words of truth and words of lies can stay with a person for a lifetime.

I have words on repeat in my head that I am scared to let surface. I lack the courage to take on my lies. Words take root.

I feel the fight in me rising. I feel momentum somewhere in me that is awakening.

God is teaching me the value of his word. His words should be the ones my ears are attuned to. His words should be the ones I wait on baited breath for. The language of lies should sound foreign and incomprehensible to me, but they are not.

I wish I could say that God’s words were the ones on repeat in my deepest parts. Don’t get me wrong, God does speak to me, and his truth does rock my soul to the core. I have had “aha” moments where words of truth finally make the journey from my head to my heart. I am very aware of how much I miss out on him.

I have been rocked this week by a letter Paul writes to a brand new church in Thessalonica. In this letter, Paul talks about thanking God for the way the Thessalonians received the words of God’s truth. Paul states that, “when you received the word of God, which you heard, from us, you accepted not as the word of men, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is at work in you who believe.

This is a loaded verse. I am so challenged by the value of words from this verse. There are so many things I read throughout the day. I read quotes, statements, thoughts, stories, and messages that are the words of men everyday, and I know I can place more value on those words.

I am challenged to really accept the words of God for what they actually are; words of God. That means something. That means everything. These words are living and working in us who believe. I want his words to mean more to me than any other words out there.

Peter responded to a question Jesus posed by say, “to where shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.

This MEANS something!

Words are always at work in us. They are either doing construction or demolishion.

Which words do you want at work in you?

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My heart feels prayer consumed. I can’t seem to talk to him enough. I don’t want to get to the point where I feel like I have talked to him enough, but this is where my heart is.

Praying means a lot to me. I pray using the model of John 17.

Jesus prays for himself.

-Jesus prays for his friends.

-Jesus prays for all believers.

Maybe you are feeling like you need some talk time with him as well. I would love for you to pray with me or even take some space on here to pray for you.

Father, my heart is heavy. I feel heavy with conversation. I feel like we haven’t really talked in so long. I feel like there is so much to catch up on with one another, but you still know all things. You have seen my every day and every moment. I have left you hanging and sidelined in me for too long. I wonder why I am tired. Thank you for your grace and patience with me. Thank you for forgiving me every time I just take information about you and run with it without abiding. Forgive me for my walls of control and protection. I never need protection from you. I never need control when it comes to you.

My heart is tired. Well, all of me is tired. For the first time in a while, I feel like my soul is waking up. I feel like I have been telling my heart over and over to wake up, and now new dawn seems to be peaking through. What does that mean? Help me to trust.

Father, I pray for my friends. I pray for the dreams and hopes of my friends. I know I try and step in too much to where you are supposed to be. I love those you have given me so much. I know I forget you are the one who gave them as gifts. Forgive me for holding too tight to them. Forgive me for the fears and jealousy that comes out of holding too tight to them. Forgive me for the places that they fill me where you are wanting to. Thank you for gently restoring my failures. Help us to love each other with healthy and open handed love. Help us to forgive much so we can love much. Help us to speak in times of speaking, whether tough love or tender, and help us to listen when silence is needed. Thank you for your gifts.

Father, you know all the temptations that threats to your church. Provide strength, joy, and courage to speak your truth. Give believers a real hunger to want you, to crave intimacy with you. Give us means and wisdom to know how to stand up for intimacy with you. Let the lies of this culture be silenced. Give us a voice that sounds and looks like one. Jesus desired that we would be one like you are one with each other. I pray that. I pray that we would value greatly knowing you and making you known. Show us your favor Lord. Help us give you space, time, value, and authority. Help us to pursue the life of just believing in you.

Thank you for knowing me. Thank you for your love, grace, and gentleness. I love you, father. In your sons name, amen.

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Lately, I have been feeling busy. Too busy. I really don’t like being “busy.” For me, busy feels like a chaotic lifestyle. Busy seems to be the alternative answer to “how are you?” right after fine. We are a culture who is growing in busy. We like our busy. It has almost become a comfort zone.

Busy has taken on a status symbol in our culture. It seems that the more busy we are the more important we seem to be.

When did we start to value chaos?

This chaotic comfort zone reminds me of when I worked in foster care. I used to counsel kids, as well as  parents, about the comfort zone of chaos. Kids who had been removed from very unhealthy, and chaotic environments, would start to stir stuff up when placed in a calm home. You see when all you know is chaos, calm seems foreign and stressful. My kids would not know how to act in a loving home that provided stability and peace.

By nature we want comfort. We seek out our comfort zones. What if your comfort zone is unhealthy and chaotic?

It took a long time for my foster kids to make the transition to accepting that peace was okay. I feel like we are stuck in the same place of knowing chaos more than peace, and we are okay with that. We are tired more so than not. Stress owns more hours of our day then what is healthy.

Yesterday, I spent the whole day in my PJ’s watching movies. Some would say that’s a waste of a day. I know some people who would not be able to sit through an entire movie before they felt like they had to be doing something. Anxiety starts to build as the sense of relaxation sets in.

It is hard to listen and hear what is important if we enable life to be filled with noise just for the sense of feeling purposeful.

How do you hear God in the midst of chaos?

Why is “busy” so valued and so important to you?

 

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I love people watching. I could sit for hours and people watch. I love wondering about their lives and where they have come from, or where they are going. I even love eavesdropping. I admit that I will sit somewhere with my headphones on and no music playing just so I can listen to other people’s conversations. It’s fascinating.

As I admit to eavesdropping, I will also admit that I find that I compare myself to the people I am wondering about. I compare styles of clothes and conversation. The truth is that we all compare ourselves to other people. Somewhere along the journey of life we took on the pattern of deciding whether or not people fall above or below the line of ourselves.

The comparison habit involves all things about another person. We can compare ourselves to the outward appearance of someone else such as: clothes, hairstyle, walk, politeness, car they drive, job status, popularity, or house they live in.

We also compare ourselves to what is no the inside of a person. This one might be tricky to identify, but they are there. We can compare ourselves to another person’s attitude, how they treat others, favor or blessings on their lives, attention, ability to lead, content of conversation, thoughts on love, money, relationships, and world views. We can even compare our relationship with God to another’s.

All this comparing is exhausting.

Every time I catch myself playing the game of comparison, I remember a statement that Jesus made to Peter. In the last chapter of John, Jesus is talking with Peter regarding the restoration to his calling, as well as giving Peter a preview of his death. Jesus asks Peter to “follow him.”

Do you think Peter responded by saying, “ok, Lord, I’m in, I will follow you?” No. Peter turns right around and starts comparing himself to John. Peter asks Jesus, “what about him?” Peter is asking Jesus what will happen to John? He is wondering what kind of life, calling, and death will John get compared to Peter.

Jesus reminds Peter of his place. He looks and Peter and says, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.”

These words pierce my heart. I hear these words whenever I start to go down the comparison road. The minute I start to compare myself to another person, I hear Jesus’ words, “what is that to you? You must follow me.” Whenever I grow jealous over the favor or blessings I see for another, I hear, “you must follow me.

Everything in our culture feeds off of comparing. Jesus once again goes against the culture and asks us to trust in his plans for us. He simply asks us to fix our eyes and follow him. There is freedom in surrendering our bars of comparison. It also allows us to celebrate instead of envy another person. I want freedom and not slavery to the bar of comparison.

How do you play the comparison game in your life?

How is Jesus asking you to follow him?

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