Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Forgiveness The absence of it can kill you. The abundance of it can give you new life. What does it mean to forgive someone? “Forgive and Forget,” a popular phrase that seems to mean more about forgetting the person that wronged us than the hurtful act they did. To forgive means to fully understand the magnitude of hurt that someone inflicted upon you, absorb it, and choose to release it. To forgive someone means to set them free from the bondage of their shame, regret, and darkness. To forgive means to set yourself free from painful recollection of the damaging incident, to breathe new life into the wound, to be healed and restored. But beyond forgiving someone of what they did, true forgiveness incorporates a restoration of relationship. God’s love was displayed in greatness through his forgiveness. He held back nothing, no strings attached, no conditions. He simply gave up his rights to himself, fully understood the magnitude of our hurtful acts that separated us from him, absorbed it, and died to it. He totally set us free from our guilt and shame and brought us back to a place of relationship with Him. To receive that is to have new life. To reject that is to choose death. In this Holy Week, the week that Jesus went to the cross to offer us complete forgiveness and fellowship, will you receive his forgiveness and have new life?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sing A Song
Sing out loud, sing out strong! The Psalms talk a lot about singing praises to God. I love Psalm 98:4, “Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music.” I am one of those people who often bursts into song! My husband has said that living with me is like living in a musical! Music is a powerful tool to feed our subconscience, express the deepest parts of our soul, help us learn important principles, or make us well up with emotion. The song that our life sings, reveals the true passion of our heart. In Psalm 40, David writes about the troubles he’s facing in his life and how God has rescued him, “He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.” If the same stale song has been playing over and over again in your life, be encouraged that God wants to give you a new song. God has the power to change the theme song of our life! What song is on your lips today?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Parenthood is a Marathon
The LA Marathon was last weekend and I have several friends who ran in it. I’ve heard from many marathon runners that the whole experience teaches them so much about life. The training, preparation, pacing one self, knowing when to kick it into high gear, when to fall back a bit - it’s all a metaphor for life. Prior to having children, I ran my life more like a sprint. Trying to fit it all in, and do it as quickly as possible! I ran non-stop and loved every moment. Now that I’m older, and have 3 small children, my pace has slowed down a bit! And I’m learning not only to pace myself for this long journey called motherhood, but also to pace out their little lives while they are under my care. It’s really easy to rush things because it becomes so much fun! But life is best when it’s experienced in the proper time, not too early, not too late. Let them walk when they’re ready, let them take to solid foods when they’re ready, let them sleep over at a friend’s house when they’re old enough to enjoy it and not cry in the middle of the night! There are so many fun things to look forward to with our children, but let’s not rush it. We’re in the midst of a marathon here, not a sprint! We need to train well, pace ourselves and our little ones, know when to push into the next season, and when to slow down. We’ll be stronger, healthier, and happier if we treat parenthood more like a marathon than a sprint.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Simply Show Up
I love to drop in on the ocean, no toys, chair, extra lotion or umbrella – just show up and see what she has for us! She never disappoints. Today her mighty waves provided challenge for the surfers. The little sticks found on her shore were transformed into spires for a grand castle. The breeze above her beckoned the seagulls to soar higher. The ocean is a place of never ending possibilities, especially when you visit her with children! Sometimes I clutter up the beautiful simplicity of life with a bunch of extra stuff. I feel like I need to come prepared, have all the right equipment, get back-ups just in case… But to simply show up, unannounced, no gear in tow, and allow nature to unfold her grand plan is to be surprised time and again. Nothing can be more entertaining, instructional, life-giving, and inspiring than the wonders God has created. We don’t need to have all the extra stuff, simply show up!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Lucky Charms
I’m so thankful for little fun things in life like St. Patrick’s Day! It’s the only day in the year to have a “boiled dinner,” shamrock shakes from Mc Donalds, wear tons of green, and delight in green milk (or beer if you’re a grown up!). Enjoy!

Monday, March 15, 2010

There are so many things to celebrate in life. A little boy’s first haircut, a 40th birthday, a promotion, a wedding, a living God… The list goes on and on. Currently my life is filled with all of these celebrations and more in a matter of a month! As we hop from party to party, I’m reminded that even without a grand event, there are little things that happen every day that are worth celebrating. Like a child reaching an age where they can truly help in the kitchen, a friend who dropped in just to say hi, a brilliant blue sky with hills so green you’d swear you woke up in Ireland! Life has it’s share of tough, discouraging times that can swallow us up. To totally disregard our pain and frustration would in a way diminish the things worthy of celebration. In the midst of fatigue, fear, stress… let’s give equal time to the things worthy of celebration. Celebrate that you live in a free country. Celebrate that you have one good friend. Celebrate that a Living God knows your name and forever has you on His mind. So much of life is worth celebrating, open your eyes to see the party going on in yours today!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

This Little Light of Mine
I’m going to let it shine! But on what? Light. What a powerful tool when pointed in the right direction. A famous work of art comes to life when placed in the proper lighting. A long, winding road becomes a path to promise when it is revealed by headlights. When my light is pointed on my children, I can light them up and reveal who God made them to be. It’s powerful and beautiful. When my light is growing dim, I point towards God, the source of light, and I am recharged, illuminated, and given new vision. When our light is hidden under a bush, (oh no!), we choose to take God out of the equation, snuff the light, and become ineffective. No matter how small, take your little light and point it in the right direction to powerfully effect those around you. And keep your head up, because someone just might be pointing their little light towards you to bless you today!

Monday, March 8, 2010

I’ve Got Your Back
Some of the most comforting words I’ve ever heard were, “I’ve got your back.” To know that someone is on your side, cheering for you, fighting for you, willing to take the bullet for you – it’s empowering and freeing. I’m a fighter by nature. For some reason, throughout my life, I’ve been put in situations where I’ve needed to fight for what I believe in, for what I want, or for who I am. Whereas that can build strength in a person, it can also create someone who fights when it’s not necessary! I was very blessed to have a boss who once told me, “I’ve got your back,” and that he was on my side. He told me that I didn’t need to draw lines in the sand all the time and come out fighting, but rather trust that he was for me and not against me. Two years in that working relationship allowed me to learn what really is worth fighting for and what isn’t. It was a beautiful and necessary preparation for marriage! In my wedding ceremony, my boss, who is a pastor, married us. He reminded us to have each others’ back – to protect one another and take care of one another, and most importantly, to fight for one another. Whether it be a friend, parent, sibling, or spouse, make sure in your life you have someone who’s got your back. We’re not meant to walk through the battle of life alone.

Monday, March 1, 2010

A Small Window
Many years ago my brother took me to the beach in the rain. We walked on the sand as it rained and it was magical. After that day, I’ve always loved the ocean most when it’s raining. Last Saturday we took the kids to the beach for a breakfast picnic… in the pouring rain! We all piled into the back of our SUV and ate our bagels while watching the waves and listening to the pouring rain. We giggled, ate, and pretty much sat on top of each other! It was lovely. Then, for just a moment, the rain stopped, sun came out, and dolphins began to jump - literally! The magic continued. We got out of the fogged up windows and began to play on the sand, enjoying the brilliant blue sky and the warm sunshine. It was amazing how just a few moments before, and what would be a few hours after, it was pouring! A small window of hope, a moment of calm in the midst of a storm, a time to catch your breath before the struggle returned. A powerful time to be reminded that God is present, watching every detail, giving us respite along the treacherous journey, whispering hope and promise to never give us more than we can handle. He gives us those small windows all the time. His promise to us is that even though the waters rise up around us, we will not be overcome.


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