Monthly Archives: May 2012

Day-trader: investing in people

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One of my old jobs had an IRA benefit.  Over many years I ended up with about $7000 worth of investments.  Then the US market dip took it down to about $4000.  Slowly but surely it’s regaining.  But I’m not really believing it will amount to much on the short-term.  It will take many many many years to increase in value.

In some ways, that’s how my Faith life is: small investments that are not worth celebrating today.

There’s something pretty awesome and cool about “day-traders” and the way they buy and then fully sell in the same trading day.  They literally get to see the fruit of their investments each and every day.  Of course, not every day is worth celebrating… but there definitely are days that are hugely profitable.  Some days when then bell rings to end trading, there are huge celebrations.

I want to have days like that!

– – –

There it was. Set with other pieces of furniture at the thrift store drop-off. I turned my head to get one more look.  I realized I didn’t have a photo to remember it by and, as I drove away, I felt a very deep sense of loss. 

It was a 6-drawer dresser that I’d tried to rescue.  I had spent so many hours trying to fix it up but it was beyond my level of expertise.  And so it sat in our garage for years when someone else could have been using it.

Sweet light blue dresser. Going off to live another life, with other people. I’m glad you will be loved and put to great use with another family. It makes me sad that I won’t get to be part of that life. It makes me sad that you will be living life without me.

That blue dresser is a symbol for me.  A metaphor.

For about 15 years I was involved in youth ministry.  For nine of them we were youth pastors.  The job of a youth pastor is odd:  Invest deeply in teenagers and families who will outgrow you and move on.  Of course, it’s a good thing that they grow up.  It would be terrible for them to stay in highschool for ever.  But it is sad none the less.

My husband and I and our amazing team of leaders are life changers.  Every teen came to us in need.  Aren’t we all that way?!  In need of a little more love, a little more guidance, a little more of so many things?  And so we gave and gave.  Days and days of our time.  Months and months of our love.  Years and years of investing, caring, encouraging, supporting, praying, being there.

I have such sweet memories of all of them.  They were so cute and little when they started to leave childhood behind.  So brave and courageous as they started discovering their worth and the joys of putting their gifts and passions into action.  There is nothing like getting to watch humans grow into their strengths!

Oh I love those kids!  They are all like the blue dresser.  Created for a purpose. Being prepared by God for their lives. And, all too soon, they are old enough to leave their families (and their youth pastors) and head off to live life. But unlike the little blue dresser drawer, I do get to witness the lives of many of our much loved youth kids.  They have all grown up now.  Can you believe it?!  I can’t.  They are men and women.  They are living life.

And it’s a sweet thing… I can actually see the fruit of our investment.  Some of them are still local and part of our church family.  I’m getting to watch them put their gifts and passions into action in such beautiful ways.  It’s awesome.  And, thanks to Facebook and Twitter, I get to follow the lives of a bunch more who live near and far.  It’s such a joy to hear them share about their jobs and families and ministries.

I can actually see the effect we had on them.  They are doing things we encouraged them to do.  They are quoting things we talked about.  They are investing in ways that were modelled to them.  They are re-speaking words of guidance I heard them receive.  They have been deeply affected by our investment.

I don’t say these things out of ego. I speak out of amazement. 

Blue Dresser Reminder = The power we have in each others’ lives is incredible. Thank God He has invited us to be His hands and feet.  It’s so cool that He fills us with His Spirit and we get to minister with His life-giving love and power.

My true disciples produce much fruit. This brings great glory to my Father. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit that will last. (John 15:8 & 16)

Blue Dresser Regret = I haven’t done a good job of celebrating the investment.  I mean, It seems arrogant to do so.  But here’s the truth: That blue dresser is better now than before I came into its life.  And the same goes for for those kids.  Every year we had graduation blessings for our graduating seniors.  It was a time to celebrate them and honor them.  I’m so glad we did those annual celebrations.  But if I could go back I would add another layer of celebration:  to thank and honor the people who invested in the lives of those kids.  I’m inspired by Paul’s “ownership” of the work God did through him.  I think I’ve been missing out on a lot of joy that Paul clearly had.

…Onesimus. I think of him as my own son because he became a believer as a result of my ministry here in prison. (Philemon 1:10)

Blue Dresser Inspiration = I want to be aware of and delight in the investment opportunities I get each day.  I want to take time to notice the effect I’m having on the lives around me.  I want to enjoy the fruit of my investment while they’re still in my life.  I specifically thinking about my little kiddos.  All too soon they will launch into their own lives.  I’m also thinking about my church family and the specific people I feel God has asked me to invest in these days.  All too soon the season will change and our lives won’t be intersecting like they are now.  We should celebrate today!  Totally makes me want to throw a party with all the people I love!  We are “iron sharpening iron” and it’s so good!!

Again, the Kingdom of Heaven can be illustrated by the story of a man going on a trip. He called together his servants and gave them money to invest for him while he was gone. He gave five bags of gold to one, two bags of gold to another, and one bag of gold to the last — dividing it in proportion to their abilities — and then left on his trip. The servant who received the five bags of gold began immediately to invest the money and soon doubled it. The master said, ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!‘ (See Matt 25:14-30)

An ode to the investors:  Parents, Grandparents, Families, Teachers, Coaches, Mentors, Youth Leaders… all those who invest in teenagers.  You are awesome.  I celebrate you and all the love you invested and all the pain you endured!  The teen years do awkward things to humans as they pass through them.  To all the people who invest in teenagers despite the danger factor of doing so:  Your investment was worth it!  You have made an impact that will bear fruit for many years to come.  To all those who invest in the people around them… you rock!  You are fulfilling the call we each have to build up the Body of Christ!  (Eph 4, Rom 12, 1 Cor 12)

An ode to my investors: Dad & Mum, my teachers & professors, my pastors, my mentors… all those who have and still do invest in me: Thank you!!  I hope I’m quoting you often and emulating you in hugely honoring ways!

How about you?  Who has God placed around you that He is asking you to invest in? Do you see the effect of your investment in the lives around you?  What would it look like if you took notice of your effect and celebrated your investment with God? Have you thanked the people who have invested in you?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 44; Luke 23:26-56

Flying porridge and God’s view

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I don’t have a mop so cleaning our kitchen floor involves me getting on my hands and knees with a cloth and hot water.  I don’t actually think a mop would be good enough to do the work. I have to do some pretty hefty scrubbing.  You see, our toddler is in the throw-food-everywhere phase.  It comes out of nowhere… flying porridge… flying defrosted blueberries… and tonight: flying sunflower-butter and jam bread.  He’s fast. One second the food is going into his mouth… then a split second later it’s being over-arm pitched across the room.

So tonight I cleaned the kitchen floor.  I scrubbed the floor, the side of the cabinet, the high chair seat, the chair the seat is attached to.  Scrubbed and scrubbed.

Result? It doesn’t look clean at all. It looks like I’ve never cleaned it.  But only if you didn’t know what it looked like an hour ago.  If you were here an hour ago you’d be amazed at the difference.

A few years ago my friend had an alcohol binge.  He had been clean and sober for a while.  But then he went missing.  The next day he called his room mates to say he was safe and fine apart from a raging headache.  I was so sad.  What had happened?!  He seemed to have been doing so great… really moving forward into life and really growing in his walk with God.

In those days I was being mentored by an awesome humble gifted pastor.  I shared with him how sad I was for my friend.  His response was a total surprise to me and a much-needed correction.

“You think he’s failed.  But failed what? Failed in YOUR eyes.  Failed YOUR standards. But you don’t know how far he’s come.  Compared to you, he’s come a very long way.  Compared to him, you are barely growing.  This is why judging is so dangerous.  You cannot and must not judge people on what you see today.  You have no idea what yesterday was like.” 

Truth.

The LORD doesn’t make decisions the way you do! People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at a person’s thoughts and intentions.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

Tonight my floor reminds me of that experience.  Reminds me to pray for God’s eyes to see people with.  Only He knows what the floor of our lives looked an hour ago.  Praise God He knows how far we’ve each come!  Thank God He gives us the mercy, grace, strength, forgiveness, healing, restoration, cleaning, freedom, joy, hope, vision… to keep on going and growing.

Tonight my floor also pushes me to want growth for my child.  I’m looking forward to the day he stops throwing so much food.  And I think we all yearn to grow beyond the struggles we have today.  Keep growing us and transforming us Holy Spirit!

How about you? How’s your spiritual floor looking these days?  How’s your judgement of other people?  What has God been speaking to you about lately?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 42, 43; Luke 23:1-25

Dirty House Confessions: The power of community

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This week a special woman sent me a message: “I have a proposition for you – feel free to turn me down. I was wondering if I could come over and clean your house once or twice a month. (This is not an insult to your house, I just figured you might not want to spend your time cleaning.) I know that having everything be clean and tidy can be a wonderful thing, so I was wondering if I could help you with that. I don’t want to be paid or anything, you just give a lot to people and I would like to give you something back.”

First thought = “WOW! Yaaaaay!”

Second thought = “Ugh, I’d need to clean in order to get ready for her to clean.”  (aka Pride?)

Third thought = This is the power of community.

There’s a huge part of me that wants to live in an “intentional community” that is geared towards inter-dependant community.  I am fascinated by people who live that way. Sadly, many seem to be governed by a dominant personality and most are cults or cult-esque.  But I totally DIG the heart of living in community.

Funny story: I was chatting with a friend about wanting to live in a commune… “but not a weird commune,” I said. “A cool one.”   My friend’s response was, “You know how it can be cool and not weird? Stop calling it a commune!”  HA!  True.  hence my use of the term “intentional community.”

We live in an apartment complex.  Four apartments on one property.  Last Fall we started getting together once or twice a month for “Compound Dinners.”  These get-togethers are so much fun with lots of food and great conversations.  LOVE it.  We’re sharing life.  We’re trading favors. We’re looking out for each other. We’re being a community.

But this young woman’s offer to clean my home is a whole other thing. It’s not like a dinner gathering where she would benefit directly.  She wants to come and give without receiving.  Her family is very dear to me and I feel like they give so much to us.  I give nothing back to them.  Nothing.

Isn’t that the beauty of the Kingdom of God as a community?! Not a one-on-one relationship with direct give and take.  But an indirect cultural organism of sorts where there are all kinds of giving and receiving happening all the time.  No record kept and no tally of who-owes-who-for-what.  Lives pouring into other lives with a confidence that our gifts to each other are what life is all about.

All the believers were of one heart and mind, and they felt that what they owned was not their own; they shared everything they had. (Acts 4:32)

There is so much power in this Kingdom community. Sharing life. Giving and serving. All our needs met. Being knit together. Experiencing real love.

Here’s the epiphany I had today: Through the Holy Spirit we have the heart of living in community on a level that is beyond the abilities of humans. 

Let me explain…  Being in a commune we would be able to see each others’  needs.  We would probably have a schedule of service where everyone signs up to serve the needs of the community.  It would have some processes and organizational systems in place to keep things running.  But the Holy Spirit gives us something even greater… His perspective and His power.  Instead of being able to see each others’ needs… the Holy Spirit speaks and tells us in miracle ways.  Instead of a schedule to serve… we ask each day for God to show us what to put our hands to.  Instead of processes and organizational systems… we have a Kingdom in action that goes beyond our efforts, our geography, our lifetimes.

This young woman’s offer has reminded me, yet again, that Christians should have this awesome hallmark: giving and serving with the Holy Spirit’s insight and power.  We are part of a Body.  We are part of a Kingdom.  Our gifts and passions are needed.  Giving to each other is our call.  Having ears and eyes to see the opportunities the Holy Spirit brings us is our essential modus operandi.

If you give, you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, and running over. Whatever measure you use in giving — large or small — it will be used to measure what is given back to you.” (Luke 6:38)

There is so much power in Kingdom community. It’s WAY better than my commune idea. 😉

How about you? What amazing gifts have you received recently?  Do you see the Holy Spirit showing you how and when to give and serve? What can you do today to use your gifts to bless and serve?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 41; Luke 22:54-71

I like to know there is some great reason…

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The water was warm. He was having so much fun with three foam letters. When it was time for the shower to end he was very unhappy. Screaming in protest, he walked backwards away from the shower door.

“Ok kiddo, it’s time to get out of the shower.”

SCREAM

“It’s time to get dressed and get ready for the day.”

SCREAM

“It’s time for breakfast. Time for porridge.”

The tension melted away from his face and he ran out of the shower full speed.  Funny kid.  He just needed to know there was some great reason to get out of the shower.

Oh boy do I relate. I like where I am. I’m comfortable and warm and I don’t want to change.  Even when I’m not in a particularly good season, I’ll still choose to stay where I am.

Sometimes God will tell us what’s ahead.  But honestly I feel like He rarely gives me details. Mostly I feel that He says, “Come with Me” and asks me to let go of the past and walk with Him into whatever is next. 

This morning’s shower was a good reminder that I need to trust God and follow His directions.  And I’ve spent the morning thinking about my barriers to following His voice.  Here’s my thoughts about why God doesn’t tell me what’s ahead:

– Sometimes I’m not ready to hear what’s ahead.  I need to trust that He is protecting me, nurturing me and equipping me.  When I need to know, He’ll tell me.

– Sometimes I’m too stuck in my ways to hear Him.  I need to let go of control and be ready to embrace His directions with joy.  Maybe once I start listening to Him, He’ll start giving me more details!

– Sometimes what’s ahead is something I have no concept of. There are some things in life that my baby doesn’t know the words for yet, or has no experience of yet, or simply is too young to grasp the concept yet. I need to trust that God is all-knowing and I am not.  When I can understand, He’ll tell me.

Have I told you what my all-time favorite Bible passage is?  Today’s shower metaphor brought it to mind.

Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are his riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his methods! For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be his counselor? And who could ever give him so much that he would have to pay it back? For everything comes from him; everything exists by his power and is intended for his glory. To him be glory evermore. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

It’s a gorgeous sunny Saturday in our part of the world. My husband is actually home today and we have zero things on the calendar. Glory! And this shower metaphor was the perfect start to the day. I feel like God has grabbed my attention to talk with Him about trusting and following Him into new seasons.  I have started a bunch of new seasons lately.  Intense medical treatment for chronic Lyme disease. Dramatic dietary changes as part of the treatment. A new work opportunity that will be very fulfilling and also help to pay for my huge and ongoing medical bills.   My heart sister has moved to the other side of the world.  Two other dear friends are moving to other cities. And blah blah blah. I could go on and on.

I feel myself backing away from the open doors and huddling inside the warm shower of my past seasons. But, as Paul so beautifully said, “I know the One in whom I trust.” (2 Timothy 1:12)

I do trust you Father God.  I know you will guide me Holy Spirit. Thank you God that you are so good.  I trust Your love.  I trust Your plans.  Help me to run into the opportunities you open for me.

How about you? What has God been speaking to you lately?  Does He speak to you through life metaphors and word pictures? Or other ways? I’d love to hear about your walk with Him.

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 40; Luke 22:31-53

The Coffee, The Drinker and The French Press

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It was like the French Press was speaking to me: “I don’t understand. What did I do wrong? Why am I being packed away?”

My friend has loaned us her Keurig for a year while she’s abroad. The beautiful machine and a box of coffee cups arrived late on Tuesday night. We immediately plugged it in and enjoyed its glorious beverages.

This morning I washed the French Press and prepared it for storage.  Oh sweet coffee press. I feel terrible that I won’t be using you anymore.  I feel guilty for moving on from you so quickly.  You have been so wonderful. So faithful. So good.

And then it dawned on me.  I was focused on the wrong thing.  It’s not about the tool that makes the coffee, it’s about the coffee and the drinker of the coffee. 

If the Press really loves me and loves coffee, it will be okay with a nice life in retirement.  For if the Press really loves me, it will be glad that I am being served by such a wonderful machine.  And if the Press really loves coffee, it will be excited for the wonderful beans to be brewed in such a glorious way.  Of course the Press will hold on to the sweet memories of its service and there will be days of pain and longing.  But if it has the right heart, the Press will be a huge fan of the new season.

– – –

This is how my mind works.  I see metaphors everywhere.  Some are profound and beautiful.  Some, like this coffee revelation, are a little goofy and odd. But bear with me!

I am the Coffee Press.  The Coffee is God’s Kingdom & favor.  The Drinker is the Body of Christ and the world.

God made me for a purpose and gifted me with skills and talents to serve Him.  Some seasons He uses me in incredible ways.  And the Body of Christ and the world gets to drink in God’s goodness because of me!  Oh the glory of getting to serve God in such a way!  I love when He uses me to do beautiful things.

And then, the season shifts.  A gift I had seems to grow stronger in someone else.  A project I birthed gets moved into someone else’s hands.  A ministry I gave my all to moves in a direction I don’t understand. A church body I invested in changes its style and I feel sidelined.

Ever felt that way?

Is this common to all humans.  Seasons change and our roles and relationships shift.

The question is: What do we love the most?  Do we love the Kingdom (Coffee) and the Body & world (Drinker) more than we love ourselves (Tool that makes Coffee and serves the Drinkers)?

I love new seasons and change… when I’m a tool that’s involved in the new season.  But real humility and love grows in the times when I am side-lined.  It gives me a time to focus on my love of God more than my love of doing things for God.  And at the end of the day, I just want to be ready for whatever purposes He sees fit to use me for.   I will be glad regardless of whether I’m in everyday use… or in storage clean-and-ready for an occasional use.

But God’s truth stands firm like a foundation stone with this inscription: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and “Those who claim they belong to the Lord must turn away from all wickedness.” In a wealthy home some utensils are made of gold and silver, and some are made of wood and clay. The expensive utensils are used for special occasions, and the cheap ones are for everyday use. If you keep yourself pure, you will be a utensil God can use for his purpose. Your life will be clean, and you will be ready for the Master to use you for every good work. (2 Tim 2:19-21)

How about you?  Ever been in a season change where your involvement wasn’t valued? Do you relate to my sweet Coffee Press? Did you feel rejected? Forgotten? Unloved?  Jealous?  What do you do to focus on loving the Coffee & Drinker more than loving your function?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 39; Luke 22:1-30

I need more spiders in my toilet

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There was a GIANT spider floating in my toilet bowl early in the morning.

I freaked out for a moment but I remembered: I am a brave warrior.

In the night that spider had been hanging out on the wall next to the toilet paper.  With a TP wad in hand I moved in and killed the beast.  Then I squealed a little and jiggled high up on my toes as I tossed the fidgeting body into the toilet bowl. 

 A short night’s sleep was all that was needed for me to totally forgot about my powerful Buffy the spider slayer adventure.  I don’t know why I didn’t flush. But now I’m glad I didn’t. As I pondered that floating spider corpse I realized something major: I don’t remember how awesome I am.

It’s much easier to remember my failings. My faults. My errors.  It’s much easier to believe the bad. My worthlessness. My being the odd man out.

And when I look back through my life, I see that I’ve mostly listened to the voices who point out my faults.  I’ve often allowed my value to be defined by others. After all, isn’t beauty is in the eye of the beholder? I’ve looked to my beholders to determine my worth.

My spider morning was a gift. A reminder.  I am a woman of strength and beauty.  I am a human with giftings and unique powers.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made (psalms 139:14).  Hmmm. I need more metaphorical spiders in my proverbial toilet. 

For the past four years, God has been speaking to me about me.  Layer by layer He has lovingly been stripping away my self-depreciating ways. I have been discovering the beauty of who I am.

– – –

“There is an epidemic of insecurity in our society today. Many people are insecure and feel bad about themselves, which steals their joy and causes major problems in all their relationships… They are miserable if anyone seems to not approve of them in any way or for any reason and they are anxious about the disapproval until they feel they are once again accepted.” “A sense of security is something everyone needs and desires. Security enables us to enjoy healthy thinking and living.  It means we feel safe, accepted, and approved of.  When we are secure we approve of ourselves, we have confidence, we accept and love ourselves in a balanced way.  We don’t necessarily need approval from others to feel confident.  Security enables us to reach our potential and fulfill our God-given destiny.” Meyer, Joyce (2005), Approval Addiction. New York: Warner Faith.

– – –

It has been a shock for me to realize that not everyone lives the way I have been living.  I am in awe of people who seem immune to and even unaware of the judgements and critiques of others.  It been sad to discover the cage that has restricted my joy of life and the use of my gifts.  I am so grateful that God is healing and freeing me.

People who know me will be surprised to hear about my insecurity and low self-esteem. Recently when I shared my journey with a friend she said that she doesn’t believe me because I’m the most confident person she knows.  She’s right.  I am pretty confident and verbal and strong.  My issue is not in being true to myself.  My issue is in loving my true self.

You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words. (Song of Songs 4:1)

There is such a fine balance in this. A see-saw between arrogance and feelings of no-worth. I think in Christian circles we prefer people who are self-loathing.  We really don’t like people who are conceited and self-promoting.  But neither extreme is healthy.

I love this blog post by Mike Glenn:

“The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard told a story of thieves who broke into a jewelry store and didn’t steal anything; they simply rearranged the price tags. The next morning, the expensive jewelry was sold as junk, and the junk jewelry was sold as expensive. His point is obvious. We live in a world where someone has rearranged the price tags.

“Nowhere is this switching of price tags more evident than in the area of self-esteem. In our culture, people are valued for how they look, what they can do or even what they have, but rarely for who they are. In our world, you have to be beautiful by mathematical standards (and yes there is a formula for beauty—it’s all about ratios), entertaining (not talented, but entertaining), and if you are not, the world has no place for you. If you can’t make the Top 100 in the world on some list, you are nothing.

“This pressure on self-esteem has devastating consequences in the lives our young adults. Young men commit heinous acts just to prove to someone they are a man. Young women get involved in destructive relationships because they are told they are nothing is they do not follow the culture’s standards.

“Every week I’m reminded of how important the gospel message is: You are loved! You didn’t do anything to earn it or deserve it, but God gives it freely! It’s grace! You are created in His image, paid for by His death and invited to live a new way with Him in His resurrection. You are valuable—indescribably so—and it is only the good news of Jesus that tells you that.

“Paintings are valuable because the artist signs them. Imagine—please, take a few minutes to imagine—what some museum would say you were worth if you could show them the signature of God upon you. That’s what the Imago Dei means: God, the greatest Artist, has signed you and me. Our self-esteem is not based on what we have done, but in who made us.

“We are deemed beautiful, not by some arbitrary standard of the world, but by our Maker. God has created us and loves us. That makes us—everyone of us—beautiful, because we are the bearers of God’s beauty.

“When you know what you are worth, things change. Your life changes. What will you change about your life, as you understand the value God has given you?”

– – –

How are you? Do you see the beauty of God’s workmanship in you? Do you see others through a lens of criticism? What is your story of discovering your self-worth?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 36; Luke 20:27-47

Smitten

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Is there anything better than Love?

My first summer in the US, I served as an intern at a large Foursquare church and made such wonderful friendships there.  Summer ended and most of my new friends headed back to their colleges in other cities and states. Gladly there was an awesome bunch from a local college and I got to join them on the Junior High youth leadership team at church.  I started working with the student-led worship team for Wednesday nights and Sunday mornings.  (Awww, those kids are still so special in my heart.  They are all grown up now and I doubt they remember those Junior High days but working with them is one of my life highlights.)

One of the college guys had a bass guitar we used for youth worship.  He always brought it on Sunday mornings but we also needed it on Wednesday nights when he had track team practice and couldn’t come.  We came up with a plan for him to bring it to me on Wednesday afternoons at the local Christian bookstore where I worked.

“There’s a reeeeealllyyy cute boy at the front counter asking for you!” My co-worked teased.

And that’s how Wednesdays became my favorite day of the week.  He was really cute.  And he had a way of looking deep into my eyes that just made me swoon.  He was strong, gentle, and kind.  People loved to be around him.  There simply was something really special about that guy.

I ended up marrying that guy.  And he still makes me swoon.  His quietly magnetic nature came to mind as I read today’s readings:

After that, he taught daily in the Temple, but the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the other leaders of the people began planning how to kill him. But they could think of nothing, because all the people hung on every word he said. (Luke 19:47-48)

Straight up, there is something really special about Jesus.  People couldn’t get enough of Him.  Crowds upon crowds followed His every move.  He said really challenging and deep things and yet the people weren’t scared or offended.  It just made them crave more time with Him.

The more time I spend with my husband, the more time I want to spend with him.  We used to be co-workers where we shared an office and worked together daily.  People often asked us how we could being together all the time without driving each other crazy. His peaceful stability and strength are essential for my sanity and with him in my life I thrive.  He says I don’t drive him crazy and that, instead, my colorful ups-and-downs give him motivation and vision.  From my point of view, he is my first choice for team-mate regardless of the situation.  If I could, I would spend all day, every day with him.  Am I a bit obsessed? Probs. 😉

Isn’t it the same way about Jesus?  The more time I spend with Him, the more time I want to spend with Him.  When I listen to Him, I am just like those people who “hung on every word he said.”  I feel a bit smitten. Jesus has a way of reaching into my life and heart that is so beautiful. I crave to be around Him more.

Problem is, life gets busy and stuff happens and before I know it days have gone by without spending time with Him.  I would never have let that happen with the cute boy I loved.  As a wife I have now have to choose to not let that happen with my man.  And as a daughter of God I have to choose to not let that happen with my Father God.

This is one of the reasons why I love reading my Bible daily with my church community. I love the accountability and I love the shared experience as we listen to God speak and put His Words into our hearts and lives. 

Today I feel reminded to cherish my relationship with my husband and with my God.  To not take those relationships for granted.  To be intentional to have time with them.  To remember why I am in Love with them.

How about you?  How do you keep committed to your love?  How do you stay smitten?  And what helps you in your relationship with God?

Want to read through the Bible with me? Today’s readings are Psalm 34; Luke 19:28-48