What Does It Profit to Gain The World and Lose Your Soul?

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In her book; Present Over Perfect, Shauna Niequist writes, “What kills a soul? Exhaustion, secret keeping, image management. And what brings back a soul from the dead? Honesty, connection and grace.”

My soul feels a little lost lately. I am a bit exhausted. I have not been keeping secrets, but I am ever ridding myself of image management. This blog is a hashing out of my mind onto virtual paper.

Honesty: Deep calls out to deep. I live to feel the waterfalls, breakers, and waves of God roll over me. I seek and need that revelation and encouragement to live out this day. If I strive, it is to know who I am in Christ. It is a longing to understand and believe my identity in Him. My value and worth are not in what I own, but in who owns me. The world screams at me that I am foolish and lazy, that I am independent and capable of making my own decisions, to create my own success. Sometimes I lend an ear to that. Too many times I align myself with the voice that says I have failed, and that I am worthless.

Connection: Out of this struggle and and dependence on God, I realize that I am just the container. A cup. A vessel. A receptacle. I hold something of greatness. I am great because of the greatness I hold. I am amazing because I am a unique container, created by a potter in which no two are a like. I am connected to the One who knows all things, who is all things, who owns all things. I reach out to others, I connect, I engage, they drink, and I drink. I apprehend the living water that infuses with my cup to create one unique soul that is like no other and was not meant to be.

Grace: I cannot fail because it is not I that lives any longer, but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live, I choose not to live for myself, as if there were such a thing.  It is Christ in me the Hope of glory. Christ being extended to others with the love and mercy that has been poured into me.

There… my mind is starting to be renewed, and set right. The world is starting now to dissipate, and my soul is being nourished and fattened.

A Beautiful Heart

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My husband gave me a card today, inside it said,  you have a beautiful heart. If I read that on a great day, being in a euphoric state of mind, it would have been humbling. But I read it today. Today which came after last night, in which we had quite a spirited argument.  I woke up just as angry as I went to sleep, even though we both take “do not let the sun go down on your anger” quite literally!

My heart wasn’t beautiful! I had a card for my husband, but I couldn’t bring myself to give it to him. When I write something or give a card, I have to be in complete agreement with it- if I am not, it would be a false representation. But he not only left this card for me to read, he wrote in it one of the most expressive notes I have ever received from him! It was extremely real, loving, kind and humbling. No one knows me better than him and no one sees the whole package like he does….and yet, he calls it beautiful.

We took time to pray before we went to work today, we prayed through, until all of the misunderstandings had subsided and the peace that surpasses all understanding guarded our hearts and minds once again. This is new for us. We didn’t used to allow work to wait before and we allowed other matters to have preeminence over our relationship. This was the right thing to do! Ask for forgiveness- Go to God and say we are weak, our wisdom lacks and He is the answer!

To tell you the truth, the card and my husband’s expression reminded me so much of Jesus. He thinks my heart is beautiful too no matter what! He doesn’t look on the outward appearance, but He looks at my heart. That is solid and mature and I am not always there. This Valentines day, is such a great reminder of that other-worldly love. A love that dies to self so others can live. A love, not always sexy and romantic the way we think of love, but solid, mature, and always there no matter what. It’s rare and I am humbled to have such beautiful hearts hold mine<3

Sorrow And Joy

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Can you  be grateful for everything that has happened in your life-not just for the good things but for all that has brought you to this day? Remember, it was the suffering of God’s Son that brought forth a family of people known as Christians.  My own suffering is what God used to bring me to where I am today.

Right in the middle of the tears, the dance of joy can be felt. Seen from below, from a human perspective, there is an enormous distinction between good times and bad, between sorrow and joy. but from above, in the eyes of God, sorrow and joy are never separated. Where there is pain, there is also healing.  Henri Nouwen

I found an old photo album that I had made my husband for his 4oth birthday.  I had asked people to write him notes or letters of how he affected their life. I peppered the letters with pictures of the writers and our family. Looking upon it made me smile and I was so grateful that I had the thoughtfulness of mind to do that when I did, for our mothers are no longer here with us. Their letters are especially special!

But looking at the album also brought a deep sense of gravity to all of the trials and tribulations we have been through. There have been so many, down- right, ongoing, hard times, with little release. I haven’t always handle them with grace. I have had an emotional break down and I have tried escaping. I understand what Nouwen is saying about our perceived distinction between good times and bad times.  And I can also bear witness to what was the apparent worst time of my life, bringing the exact change and healing that I needed.

We are all on this journey together. We can help each other become more grateful for life even with pain. God is hidden in the pain and suffering of the world, and we get to reach out in compassion and show our love to others…that is the point<3