Tomorrow I am turning 30. I feel no particular way about it, because I have been gradually aging since the day I was born, people have been asking how I feel and I feel just like I did when I turned 29 and 28. I think years are an experience and this year has been such an experience for me one of the most terrible, beautiful, sad, scary, greatest experience of my life thus far. Standing on the edge of 30 I can see how amazing and transforming it was. How much I learned about God and who I am because of who he is. I am making a list of things I want to focus on this year I am trying to do a top 5 I am currently at 4. My first one is to have intentional, meaningful, God-Centered relationships with people and to build on the relationships I already have, to understand them better, to put more time and attention into them. Second to live more intentionally , with more purpose, with more peace about the decisions I make in life. Third learn more about Jesus, learn more about who I am because he chose me. Fourth love people better, learn to be loved better, hold tight to my true source of love and try not to make someone else that main source. As I said I am still working on #5. I am excited about 30 I am excited about what it will look and feel like. I am excited for what I will learn and leave and how I will be at the end of it. I am excited about this Experience and I am more excited that I had my last experience to prepare me for this one.
On Sunday Matt Redman lead praise and worship at church. It was amazing! During worship when he spoke he said something that completely shook my spirit. He said singing is a way we can intentionally give our breath back to God who has given it to us. What a wonderful visual to release your breath in song to the King of Kings, to do it willingly, intentionally and often. It made my heart shine thinking about giving something back to Lord on my own because I want to not because I wanted something. It makes me more aware of how and when I come to Christ. Wanting to come to just give instead of wanting to receive, praying because I am thankful for what I have instead of praying for what I want and for what I think I am missing, praising him when I fill full not just when I am empty. Being aware of Him at every moment not just when i need something, not just when things aren’t going the way I think they should, but to totally be aware of him with every breath I breathe.
A few weeks ago I was at a small bible study group. We were talking and one of the ladies made a comment she said (I am paraphrasing), “I think sometimes we try to hold together our broken pieces, we try to keep from breaking all the way but the Lord wants us to completely let go to be fully and completely broken so he can put us back together piece by piece.” I heard it and immediately got offended. “She doesn’t know my life I been through so much I am as broke as one could be, what does she even mean, I am letting God put me together!” And then the Lord said, “Are you?” and at that moment I knew I was offended because I was using tape, super glue, rope anything I could to hold MYSELF together. But human effort gets human results and I never stayed together for very long a piece would loosen here a piece there I would always be in a cycle of trying to fix myself. I don’t want to fix myself. I want the Lord who created me, who knows me, who knows my pieces better than even I do to fix me. I am giving myself back to the Fixer of all things, I don’t want to do it myself anymore.
For the past couple of days I have been really thinking about my relationship with God. The fact that we are called to love him and be completely satisfied in him, makes me nervous. Sometime I dont even know if I am loving well the people who I can touch, see, hear and speak to everyday. To love God who in my human mind I can’t touch see or hear seems impossible. I was thinking to myself, “How do I do that?” and a answer came, “A day at a time.” I was thinking about the way the Lord gives us enough to live out the day. Enough not our enough, and I think for a while I got lost in that word. Enough. I was reaching for my enough, the enough I thought the Lord was suppose to give the enough I required and but the Lord was saying, ” No, my enough for you is different then your enough for you. An Enough that is really enough, yours you will continually dry out and you will need more. But mines will fill and overflow” Enough grace, patience, love to carry you through this day to give to others and still have my enough which is more than enough. I have been thinking about enough lately because I didn’t feel I had enough and I didn’t, because my enough was coming for me and from people who I wanted to fill me, when all I needed was God’s enough only his and to accept and receive whatever that enough was for that day all of it without question or comment without nagging or crying for more. My days have been filled with more peace and calm then I could have ever imagined, once I let go of what my thoughts of enough were and took a hold of God’s Enough for me.
Today I have been thinking a lot about Paul and how Saul’s life was so much easier, then the new life he choose to live with. Saul was intelligent, high ranking he knew everyone, people listened when he spoke, he put people to death with a signature or even a word sometimes. He had it all and he was fighting for something he truly thought was right. Then, the truth showed it self as a blinding light on the way to Damascus. Paul’s conversion was dramatic, he was blind and hungry for 3 days. Can you imagine if you the day you asked Jesus into your heart or the day Jesus entered your heart, you immediately went blind. What a day for Paul. But it doesn’t end there. First Paul is lonely because no one wants to play with the yard bully, even if he says, “No, No I don’t do that anymore I love Jesus like you love Jesus, I won’t kill you now.” (Creepy Smile). Then, once people were okay with him, he travels around preaching the gospel. While preaching the gospel a slew of misfortunes happen to him, prison, shipwreck, prison, beaten half to death and oh did and I say prison (not in that order). Life was hard for Paul, but he kept trekking, kept moving, kept pushing on toward the goal to win the prize for which God had called him heavenward in Christ Jesus. He ran his race and didn’t complain, didn’t back down, didn’t waver. All this to say, Paul won in the end not Saul, Saul died in the desert, yes Paul had a hard life but it was hard for a purpose and though his life was hard his heart and mind were full of joy and peace. Joy and peace that only comes from Loving and trusting a God who you know no matter how life is has you in his hands. I’d rather be Paul.
How is your heart today? Is it angry, impatience, sad, lonely, agitated or is it joyful, patience, at peace. Our heart is a topic of much discussion in the bible. A topic of much good and much evil, depending on how we manage and maintain it. So how do you maintain a heart, how do you keep your heart in a condition that upholds the most important commandment, ” Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.” You let the Great Mechanic tune, repair and do all the upkeep on your heart. It’s hard to love God with a negative heart, with a angry or sad heart, with a heart focused on what you need or want ,a heart focused on hate or revenge. The Lord carries those things for us, so we won’t carry them in our hearts, so we have room for him. He is able to make the space for us if we allow him. To help in the maintenance, we need to know what God’s word is. We need to know the truth so we understand the freedom and peace we have in the Lord. How do you keep revenge from your heart if you don’t know that the Lord said, “Vengeance is mine.” or how do you keep for letting loneliness over take your heart if you don’t know that the Lord is with you always and you are never alone. You need the word to know who God is and who you are in him, you need it understand what decisions to make in your life, you need God’s word to live and not just any type of life , you need his word to live a well and full life. A life that pleases the Lord. Your heart is important to the Lord, he wants it for himself, he wants your heart to be full of him, of his love, his peace, his joy. So, check in with your heart daily and make sure it is tuned to your loving Father.
Way up I feel blessed :-). People use that word often, without really understanding what it means. The webster definition is made holy; consecrated. If we use it in that context everyone who has given their life to Jesus is blessed. They aren’t blessed because of the amount of money they’ve made or cars or people who love them, they aren’t blessed because of what they have or what they don’t have, they aren’t blessed because everything is going right in their life, they are blessed because of the God they serve. And if you know God and accepted his son Jesus in your life you are blessed. I also believe being blessed is about the contentment of recognizing that blessed and blessings are nothing you can obtain for yourself, nothing you can earn or lose, just another one of those amazing free gifts you get from God without any effort on your part. So, stay blessed!