Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Soul Cleansing

Spring is well upon us in California and it makes my heart happy. I truly do love every season, but as we turn the corner to each new season, I get so excited. The spring means warmth and flowers and blue skies and bright clothing. All of a sudden, I feel a burst of energy to go bike riding and hiking and picnic-ing (and also cleaning all the nooks and crannies in my apartment). 

We do spring cleaning for our homes, so why not for our hearts? Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth. This spring, I want to renew myself by building good habits and letting go of destructive ones. Like Jesus says in the parable, if you get rid of the bad stuff, you need to fill the space with good stuff. Out with the old, in with new. 


To allow room for new, healthy habits, you need to get rid of some baggage. What is making you live in discontent? What is making you feel like you are not enough? Sometimes, our ugly habits pile so high that we don't have the energy to create good ones. 

Here's some that I need to give the boot: 
> Dwelling on what I do not have
> Checking facebook every five minutes
> Thinking only of my own needs
> Prioritizing in my marriage the things that I think need to be prioritized
> Jealousy (oh, how I wish I could rid my heart of this!) 
> Turning every little thing into the "worst-case scenario" 

Oh, how many times I have not appreciated what I have by comparing it to what I think other's have. Comparison really is the thief of joy. It's so easy for me to fall into the selfish, self-preserving trap. I feel that our marriage needs _______, so I force my husband to play along. Maybe what our marriage needs is for me to put him first. And, as Daniel must often remind me-- don't focus on the worst-case scenario! When I do, the anxiety wraps it's nasty claws around me and squeezes, hard. It won't let me go until I learn to be more faithful and less fearful. 


Don't just let get rid of the bad. Let the new, the good, the holy take root and bloom. 

Here are some that I want to grow: 
> Appreciating the good in others
> Appreciating myself
> Taking time to hear what my husband, family, and friends NEED
> Being fearless with love

Appreciating the good in others and myself is a big one for me. This isn't about thinking about how great and wonderful I am or how much I deserve, because then I'm in trouble. It's about allowing myself to realize that I am who God made me to be and there are certain gifts I have (and others that I don't!). God doesn't ask us or want us to be self-deprecating, and sometimes I find that I am. 

If you want to take some soul-cleansing steps, don't forget to pray that God will help you. He wants to, you know. But you need to ask. Ask Him to help you to put others in front of yourself and to open yourself up to loving others, unconditionally. I spend so much time fearing to do so. What will happen if I intentionally care for others, whether or not they will care for me back? 

So, maybe if you're like me, the springtime makes you want to renew yourself. Here's to a good, hearty, love-your-life cleansing

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

The Grasping & the Giving

As Daniel and I were driving home late last night (ok, it was 9:30, but that's late to us), I heard a song on the radio that reminded me of my priorities. The song is called "Christ in Me" and it starts out like this: In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy, Can't see the slaves we are in all the searching and the grasping, Like we deserve much more than all these blessings we're holding, So now I'm running free into an ocean of mercy unending.

The song goes on to say that it's not the things we have, but it's Christ in us that the world should see. It made me feel a little ashamed. What is it that the world sees in me? I bet on most days it's not Christ. Many days, I'm too busy grasping for things to be bothered to reflect Christ. 

For me, it's often clothes. I love clothes and I often wish that we could afford for me to buy clothes much more. But clothes... why am I grasping after them? I have enough. I'm warm, I have clothes to wear every single day, and they are different every day. But it's not stylish clothes that I need people to see when they look at me, I need them to see Christ's love. That's what they should see.

All the grasping after fame, after money, after pleasure, after anything this world has to offer is pointless. At the end of the day, if what people see in you is wealth or fame or clothes, you've failed to show them Jesus. How do we show the world Jesus? By showing them his love and compassion. By speaking out at the right time, by loving the people we meet every day, by giving of ourselves. Using every opportunity, not to grasp for more, but to give more. I hope today that you are inspired by this song to appreciate what you have and to shine in this world of darkness. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Jesus for King

At the beginning of the year, I helped out a little on a project that I think is really REALLY awesome. Amid the political controversies as the future president of the USA, some members of my church put together this website called Jesus for King.

Hopefully, 2016 will be the year that Jesus comes back to earth and begins his reign as King. This world seems so out of control. Who can we really trust to rule us but God and Jesus?? That's a rhetorical question.

There is lots of information about how great of a King Jesus will be. It also shares a little bit about how you can choose Jesus as King. It's a great resource for you or anyone who wants to know Jesus more. For those who are disenchanted by the leadership we have on this earth. For those who want more!

You can also "Like" the Jesus for King facebook page here and share it with your friends.