It happens to all of us. These questions that plague us from time to time. The questions we’d rather drown out with too much television, online shopping, Pinterest and food. Yes, we’re getting up too late, we’re not disciplined enough and the laundry’s piling up but does that makes us failures?
Moving to Taiwan, having to relearn almost everything from ground up: where to find the best priced groceries, getting nervous before I have to call a service person on the phone or make reservations for fear of not understanding and embarrassing myself because yet again I have to ask them to repeat themselves, not knowing so much…………..I have to admit it’s been making me feel like a failure. Transitioning to a different culture is exhausting! But am I giving myself grace, seeing myself through my Abba’s eyes? Or am I beating myself over the head with my measuring stick again? Continue reading “When You Feel Like You’re Failing Life”
We’ve all heard those verses read. Perhaps at one time we believed in these words:
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:19-21
Yet the longer we live, the more backwards and ludicrous it seems. In a world that values material things, encourages people to prove their worth by what they can do or show off before the eyes of man. The more envious others are of you, the longer the list you can boast of without taking a breath….that proves you’re SOMEONE.
Ever since I hit thirties, ever since marriage, ever since the need for things hit me this has been a challenge and a wrestle. Perhaps it’s the nesting urge in me. Or perhaps it’s seeing what my friends now have and own. Or moving to Asia….
Don’t get me wrong. I believe it’s good to decorate one’s house, to live comfortably, to have money in your savings account. But this isn’t what I’m talking about. What I’m talking about is the desire, the wanting and cravings for things you don’t possess. The voice inside that tells you you’re nothing because you don’t have a glamorous job that’s bringing in the dough or you don’t have any “thing” to show for it. Continue reading “Buying into the Real Treasures”
We are called to be salt and light in this dark world…and yet it’s such a challenge. It’s not popular, fun or accepted. The definitions of this world pulls and tugs at us. It tells us this is what we want, this is happiness, this is beauty, this is success, this is worth.
When our ears are hard pressed against the rhythms of this world, it’s easy to begin marching to its orders and slowly part from the path of life.
Since moving to Taiwan this has proved to be difficult and lonely at times. The standards, value systems and priorities here are so different from ones I’ve grown accustomed to. Yet I too was once living by the beat of this drummer. And though I’m still a work in progress, God flushed out a lot of the world’s “normal” during the last seven years.
Last night as I watched the short simple video above, Sadie and her friend brought tears to my eyes…….A reminder and encouragement to me from a brave sixteen year old sister in the Lord to keep shining, keep fighting and holding fast to the Word of God, abiding in the vine and BEing God’s daughter. Yes, I’m a citizen of another age. I don’t belong here on earth. I am called to be different.
“Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” -Romans 12:2
Keep embracing your Esther moment Sadie!
“Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I must die.” Esther 4:16
It is not only the perfect, the epic, the lime-lit stage that God accepts. If it was so, it would disqualify everyone from offering anything to God. But the gifts He accepts…..a little prayer, a whispered cry, a lone tear that burns before God like fragrant incense in the night, it matters………….matters profoundly to God.
Paul writes, “Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant” (Galatians 1:10 NLT).
It’s easy for our lives to be defined by man-made qualifiers. For us to look to the eyes of man to define life, value, success and worth to us, for us to give to man the lines to set boundaries for our lives. But the times, the moments we take to lift up our gaze to our Abba, God of all….He alone the Rock, the Truth…unchanging, unturning…the eternal One who deceives us not, who does not play with our hearts….true peace comes for peace is a Man.
So as I prayed my little prayer of “help me God” this morning, I hear You whisper back at me “this matters” and I feel those words holding the places in me that needed a warm embrace. Two words joined with Your presence remind me You don’t need me to build Your kingdom. No, You don’t. You have everything You need, but You desire ME. Not perfection, not a majestic kingdom I can never contrive and offer. You want….me. Continue reading “Loved by God Through and Through (even when you don’t feel it)”
It’s easy. Easy to let the world and it’s tainted dark lies to strangle light out of our days and rob us of laughter. Easy to let the enemy run our lives, run out of our place and home in the Father’s house.
I’ve found that I’m not so alone. Not alone at all in my struggle with comparison and the shame that results; this measuring stick I like to pull out morning, noon and night to grade how well I’ve done today. There are many other women who carry this same measuring stick.
The grading system is based on how I measure up with the perfect me I want to be, to the perfect woman that I see out there daily. And with this grading system, I blame myself when I am more emotional than I think I ought to be, snap at my husband, unable to untangle the knots of hurt and pain in my heart, not sit through a quiet time without surfing the net, not cleaned my house on the day I said I would…..but then so do so many others out there.
I often find myself browsing online windows, peering in at beautiful patterns, running my hands through fabrics and well tailored skirts I can’t afford. Whether it’s pinteresting or shopboping….it’s hard to stop looking and looking and looking.
Though I don’t commit to the purchase, the longing, the lists are still there in my head….theres always one of things I would like to get.
Yet, Your words of life, Your hand in mine…draws me back to look upon……
“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!” Matthew 6:19-23 Continue reading “When All I Want is That Dress……and bag”
“What sort of world might it have been if Eve had refused the Serpent’s offer and had said to him instead, “Let me not be like God. Let me be what I was made to be–let me be a woman”? -Elisabeth Elliot, Let Me be a Woman
Why is it that these hands of mine always reached for something more than just being me. Unsatisfied with the borders of myself, the limits of my skin, I always wanted……….more.
I tried stretching myself, busying myself with attaining this “more.” Yet am I happy in this effort? Do I ever reach this longed for destination?
Abba, You found and cradled me in Your presence and whispered gently as You always do, “return from the fields and come home.”
Yet my heart understood more than what was spoken. My heart heard acceptance, understanding, and rest from pulling away from how You created me to be. My eyes saw more. They saw the pain in Your eyes that have watched me run in the opposite direction, observed for years of me contorting my body to fit various molds I thought I needed to be reshaped into, those eyes that were more familiar with my pain in this process than I was…and yet held Your hands out always to call me home. Call me to rest in what You’ve finished. Continue reading “I’ll Be Me”
Read the following article yesterday. I gleaned a lot from the wisdom Mark Rutland, the president of ORU shares here. The lessons he’s learned from life so far were good reminders to me. In a world that is many times far from God’s ways, I need testimonies from men of God like Mark to call me back to walk in the Lord’s ways especially as I enter this new year.
Recently God has been asking me something, “how are you doing?”
Such simple words, such a common question yet why does it produce so many tears?
These few words are writing upon my heart an important reminder that God cares.
He cares about my struggles, my worries, my troubles, my fears, my pain….He cares. He sees, He hears…and is not blind to me, His beloved daughter.
It’s so easy to forget. To turn away from the warmth of the light of Your countenance Abba and to just stare…..stare at problems, struggles, the silence, the unanswered prayers and queries, at myself and not into Your eyes that are filled with love. Continue reading “What’s on the Father’s Heart”
“Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
for my hope is in Him…
O my people, trust in Him at all times.
Pour out your heart to Him,
for God is our refuge.”
As the wreaths go up, yes even in tropical Taiwan, in this non-Judeo-Christian based culture, as tunes of Noel declare the glory of God amidst designer shoes…… I am pining for home, for America, for the familiar. For all the unfamiliar to pause for a second.