Thursday, March 31, 2016

Why I'm glad Unicorn Bones Were Found this Week

So CNN reported this week that unicorn bones were recently discovered in Siberia. Journals of applied sciences and Snopes weighed in, and yep, legit news reporting has confirmed that the mythical creatures I've dreamed about since youth used to roam the earth for real. Except they were nothing like my dreams or screen printed book bag from sixth grade. The fossils show that they had the single horn, as their name suggests, but instead of being of stallion stature aglow in rainbows and fairy dust, they were rhino-like woolly mammoths who hung out in Kazakhstan. Well, that's disappointing.

I spy a metaphor for life in this story. Sometimes we dream about a magical job, stage of life, or place to live. We spend lots of time imagining what it would be like there. We'll love it! Sure, it won't be perfect, because we're mature people not looking for a Fairy Tale, but it will be wonderful and we'll be so happy. But then we get there and find scenarios which never showed up in our daydreams. We did not authorize any of these adversaries and plot twists or cliff hanger moments. Our story was supposed to be shiny and light. We knew it wouldn't be spotless, but we never thought it would be so hard and humbling. And yet, these surprise elements are precisely what make up the best stories.

My life hasn't looked a lot like the fable I'd dreamed it would be. Things didn't happen in the time-frame I'd plotted out and I've had to say goodbye to key characters far earlier than I wanted to. Yet I am more fulfilled and joyful than I ever imagined I'd be. Real life, it turns out, trumps Fairy Tales all day long. When there's no script to follow, the unpredictable, messy and challenging parts come and the good stuff happens...the parts I don't want to miss. Not necessarily easy parts with rainbows and glitter, but meaningful moments where I'm refined to become the person I really want to be. It's in these seasons wisdom is gained, perspective is sharpened, and sweet times are birthed. Precious, deep, and wonderful times where I think my imperfect heart might explode from the love within it for the imperfect people I call mine. I was never aiming for perfect, after all. 

I want my story to be about triumph, strength, spiritual growth, and glory to the author of my life. These elements are only found in tales where things don't go as planned and obstacles emerge. I'm learning to welcome the times when my little script is no longer relevant so I can remember Whose story this really is. I've found Him to be such a gracious playwright who never leaves me alone in my struggle, ensures my victory, and loves me without end. 

So with this I raise my glass to the one-horned woolly mammoth! He isn't likely to grace the front of many coffee cups or t-shirts, but he's alright by me.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

I Hope You Know How Much Jesus Loves You

Ainsley loves to make cards and notes and decorate them. I think I received seven cards from her on my last birthday. I wasn't surprised at all when she told me she wanted to make Easter cards this year. I gave her some cardstock and colored pencils and let her have her way. When she finished the first one for my dad, she asked me for an envelope and before sealing it up, I spied this little gem:

I was so struck by the simplicity of her wish and find it perfectly fitting for Holy Week. 

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." 
John 3:16

In a world where some of the loudest voices for Christianity are often filled with hate, I cringe at what people might misunderstand about our great God of love. I don't want to be lumped in with those who claim to be Christians while they make divisive and idiotic statements. I hope no one ever assumes I think the way they do simply because I am a Christian too. But more than my reputation, I want to protect the image of God. 

He is love. 

He loved the world (the whole world) so much that he gave his only son.

So that whoever believes shall not perish.  

This love is so much bigger than we can even comprehend. Oh, but if we could see that doing anything without love can never... not one attributed to Jesus. Being a Christian means we follow the way of Christ and He led in love --- may we do the same.

So on this Easter and everyday, I hope you know how much Jesus loves you and what a God of love He is. 

Oh how He loves you and me.

Happy Easter indeed! 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Why We Need to Just Do It

“You will never plow a field by turning it over in your mind.” ~Irish Proverb

I’m a muller. I like to think things through before I make a decision. I’m not abysmally slow, mind you. If I’m at a restaurant, and the waiter starts with the person to my right, I’ll have a decision for him by the time he gets back to me. I just want some time to consider my options before I make up my mind.

When the decision is weightier than what I’ll have for lunch, the mulling time does increase. It is safe to say I stew over an idea. I think about it from every angle before discussing it with a trusted friend who adds her perspective, which I proceed to consider. All the while, I’ve taken no action.

Read more on The Glorious Table.