Write 31 Days – Day 23: How’s Your Performance?

Write 31 Days – Day 23: How’s Your Performance?

“Man often tries to do through performance what God already did through creation.” 

~Kris Vallotton~

I think sometimes, we as believers, forget. Forget the power of God’s design in creation, forget the power of the Cross.

We forget that He loves us more than we could ever love ourselves. He wants connection with us more than we desire connection with Him.

He has already made a way through creation and through the Cross. There’s nothing left for us to do except choose Him – choose “us”.

We need to quit trying to perform for or earn what He has already made provision for!

new dani whimsy

This is Day 23 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

 

 

Write 31 Days – Day 21: Get Up!

Write 31 Days – Day 21: Get Up!

“I don’t think you can get up until you can get up, But when you do get up, run!”

~Mitch Stroda~

Sometimes life gets you down. Sometimes it feels hopeless, with no way of ever changing.

In some seasons, it seems many days (sometimes weeks) go by before we have the grace to “get up”. But if we continue to stay plugged into Jesus, the grace will come.

Grace to move on may not come immediately but when it does come, grab it and run forward in life!

new dani whimsy

This is Day 21 of my “31 Days of not-so-famous Quotes” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all about this 31 day venture, please visit the overview page HERE.

 

Day 30: Offering Up Legalism

Day 30: Offering Up Legalism

Legalism. Yuck. What an ugly word. One definition of legalism is: the judging of conduct in terms of adherence to precise laws. For someone who believes that we can only be saved (come to Jesus) through His grace, legalism is the exact opposite. But for many years, I was a legalist. I judged. I looked at people and judged them by their conduct, their behavior. I worked to make sure my conduct and behavior lined up with the rules and principles of a good Christian. And if it didn’t, I certainly didn’t tell anyone. I just tried harder the next day. So fake. So gross.

I’ve been on a long journey of getting free of legalism. I’ve been on a journey of the heart – my own and others – becoming the most important thing. It’s amazing how offering up your heart to Jesus, instead of your good works, creates a much more intimate relationship. It’s amazing how when you sit with people and get to know them and their heart, judgement dissipates. It’s amazing when you come to terms with the fact that you’ve got some ugly in your heart that’s affecting your behavior, that awareness, gives Jesus permission to work on the heart – which in turn will change the behavior. It’s a process though. At any given season in any of our lives, we are in process of Jesus transforming us. A constant transformation is happening, so judging myself or others on outward appearances at any point in the process is… dumb.

So legalism and self-righteous judgements have to go. They have to be offered up for the freedom and intimacy that we can experience that is so much better.

***This is Day 30 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

Day 27: Offering Up My Own Comfort

Day 27: Offering Up My Own Comfort

I don’t mind hugs but there comes a point, if they last too long, that I start getting uncomfortable. I’m not a clingy, touchy type. Especially when I’m perfectly fine.

When I miscarried our son, this past May, there was grief. Grief is meant to be consoled. And hugs are a great way to let someone know that you care and are hurting with them.

Because church is an awesome place to feel the Lord’s presence and comfort, I very rarely was sad or grieving while at church. I usually felt (feel) refreshed, whole, and happy at church. But that is where you encounter people that you know and there were a few times over the first few months that I was approached by someone who wanted to show me how much they cared by giving me a hug. I was fine with that. But every once in a while the hug would turn into one of those clingy ones. The kind that make me uncomfortable. Especially because I wasn’t feeling any sadness in the moment.

With the first awkward, clingy hug, I could feel myself start to withdraw when the Lord began to speak to me. “This hug isn’t about you. It’s about their own healing.” As a woman would begin to sob into my shoulder (as I remained dry-faced), I would have to remind myself that this hug wasn’t about me. It wasn’t about what I was comfortable with, it was about someone else’s healing through my own loss. Others have loss and grief that maybe didn’t get dealt with in a healthy or thorough way – for whatever reason. And my own loss, and the grace that was encompassing me, was not only for me but for the healing of others as well.

***This is Day 27 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

Day 20: Offering Up My Laziness

Day 20: Offering Up My Laziness

Sometimes I don’t want to. I don’t want to get up off the couch. I don’t want to play “Dora” with my toddler. I don’t want to help with homework. I don’t want to cook dinner. I don’t want to fold the laundry. I don’t want to go to the grocery store. Sometimes I just don’t want to. Today is the offering up of laziness, procrastination, idleness.

As moms we work hard. The job includes being on call 24/7. As I’ve been doing this for over 17 years, I have my moments of slackness. I’ve had my moments of throwing my hands up and screaming “I can’t do this anymore.” Whatever ‘this’ is… because it certainly doesn’t mean I want to quit being a mom or a wife. I love that this. I think it’s the this of the hard work required. I want the position and reward of being called mama. But some days, some moments, I just feel like I can’t possibly fulfill the requirements of the role. Maybe you do too.

What to do in those moments? Offer it up to Jesus. And accept grace. Grace to either fulfill the required task in this moment. Supper does need to be on the table in 30 minutes because we have church in an hour. Help me, Jesus. Or accept the grace to let that task go for now. Because sometimes laziness just means I need rest. Sometimes, idleness means that that laundry should wait for the more important moment of snuggling and watching a movie with my toddler.

I don’t deny my laziness, procrastinating heart or that I can be prone to idleness… I offer it up to Jesus and let Him show me what’s really going on and then accept the grace to change… either my actions… or my mindset.

***This is Day 20 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

Day 4: Living in the Middle of the Offering Up

Today’s Offering Up is a throw back to that time – 5 days ago – that I had to say goodbye to my husband for another 12 days. He had already been gone for 12 days and only home for 8 when he had to leave again. This is a first for us. Two back to back long trips.

We’ve been doing this gig for over 6 years now. Even though I used to go along more than in recent years. So I have a lot of practice of letting my man go for a few days at a time. We’ve chosen this life… well, we’ve said yes, in obedience, to this life. Honestly, I love that my beloved can do what he’s called to do, what he’s passionate about doing, what he is created to do. But that doesn’t mean that our life is always easy. Even when you’re walking in obedience, even when you’re doing the life that you love, there is an offering up.

Mainly, this year my beloved has taken week long or shorter trips. I’ve gotten used to those. They seem to be easier this year than the past. And when the first 12 day one came a few weeks ago, it actually went by pretty fast. I’m ever so grateful for the grace of the Lord. But when my beloved returned and I counted the days until he left again, I started to panic a bit. We don’t usually do things this way. But this is just how these trips worked out. I savored the eight days he was home. After he (and our oldest daughter) left for the airport on Wednesday, the house felt empty. I had that ‘missing you deeply’ knot in my stomach for most of the day. I feel like these past 4 days have dragged on and on. And there’s eight more to go. But there will be grace. There’s always grace in the offering up. And this is my offering up this week.

***This is Day 4 of “31 Days of Offering Up” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.***

The Post Where I Use Asterisks.. A lot

The Post Where I Use Asterisks.. A lot

**Disclaimer. Raw, my real life life, post.

A few weeks ago, I half-jokingly told a friend that I was soon to commence on Operation: Get my Sh** Together. (Only I didn’t use the asterisks.) What I was saying is that it was time to get my stuff together. After months of not ‘having it together’, it was time. And I had a date set to begin the mission.

I had good intentions. (Don’t we all.) What I forgot is that life cannot be controlled. Day one of my mission actually went pretty well. Get the kids off to their first day of school – check. Read my Bible – check. Start running again – check. Eat decent – check. Do some preK work with my baby – check. Go through her new chore chart – check. Not a bad day.

But day 2 was a little rocky. And by day 3, my baby had no intentions of doing any sort of fun school activities and the thrill of putting stickers on her chart had worn off. (She’s got her daddy’s DNA.) And the plan where my kids would easily mesh and adapt into their new school routine? Not so much. Change is hard. Much harder than we could have ever guessed.

Today was full on blowing sh** all over the walls. No getting it together, collecting it neatly in a pile. No, it was a hot mess, ugly crying, mean words, bad mom, horrible wife, I-give-up kind of day. I used to be afraid of these kinds of days. And honestly, I wasn’t expecting to have one this soon into Operation: Get my Sh** Together. But I’ve walked this deal long enough now and added enough decades with Jesus to know that He isn’t afraid of these kinds of days. He isn’t surprised by these kinds of days. No, these are the kinds of days He likes to jump right into the middle of.

Funny thing is, He spoke to me this morning before I was even fully awake. “I will do what I said I will do.” What? What the he** does that mean? What did You say, Jesus? I can’t even think of what the hay this could mean. But it’s been repeated over and over in my spirit all day long. Jesus continues to speak when we suck at life. When we suck at doing things His way. When life is clobbering us and we feel no victory. He speaks.

I’m so grateful for His pursuit of us. So grateful for His mercy and kindness – I’ve experienced His generosity in these areas over the last few months. I have no idea what tomorrow will look like. I have my pretty list. I have my ideals. I hope I respond to life in a Christ-like way. But even if I don’t, He will not fall off the throne. If I never get my sh** together, He is still faithful. He is still God. And knowing that, trusting in that kind of God, means I can’t help but go forward. He is the God who has my world in His hands – whether I feel like I have it all together or not.

The White Picket Fence

The White Picket Fence

This is Day 15 of “31 Days of Whimsical Encounters” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.

I found myself behind a white picket fence. I was in a yard of a house surrounded by a white picket fence. Oh, it was my home but a fairy tale-like home. A very whimsical feel. I was staying in my yard, pacing the fence, watching the outside world. Pacing, pacing, pacing…. I couldn’t see Him but felt that Father was in my yard with me.

It seemed like I had paced the fence forever when finally, I stopped at the gate, unlocked it and walked out. But once out, I didn’t walk, I began to RUN down the street. Right down the middle. I ran from one end of the town to the other and then back again. Just running from one end of town to the other, right down the middle of the street, with a big grin on my face. I was enjoying the run, wind blowing through my hair. I wasn’t getting tired, but keeping my strength, as I ran. I looked around, I was running with a small crowd, maybe 10 or 15 others. We just ran down the street, one end to the other, running as fast as we could. Again, I couldn’t see Him but felt that Father God was right near me, all around me, as we ran the street.

Finally, I stopped at my house again. I went through the gate and sat on some patio furniture that was in my yard. I hadn’t gotten tired from the running but felt like I was resting just the same. I looked at Father, asking Him silently if I would run again. “Oh yes,” I felt Him whisper, “now that you’ve went through the gate the first time, you can go in and out as you want.”

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**photo from pixabay.com**

On the Farm

On the Farm

This is Day 14 of “31 Days of Whimsical Encounters” – part of the #write31days challenge. To read all the posts in order, please visit the overview page.

I was working on a farm with Jesus. I hated the dirty, hard work. And I told Him so, “I hate this, Lord.” Looking around, it was such a mess and I hated the work. He told me, “That’s because you’re looking at it wrong. You need to make it fun.” His words were those that most mothers have lectured to their children. I think of the song “Clean up, clean up…” Trying to make a mundane and no fun task, manageable and quickly accomplished. But I didn’t know how to make this work fun – it was gross and not fun. All of the sudden, Jesus chucks a handful of mud at me. Honestly I wanted to be mad but with Him, how could I be? He started running and I chased Him. Before I knew it, I was laughing and having fun. “You see?” He said, “Make it fun.” I told Him that this was fun but playing wasn’t accomplishing the work that needed done. But even as I spoke, I looked back behind me and realized that the work was done. Somehow in the throwing mud and running and laughing, the work had gotten done.

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**photo by whimsyinmycup.com**