My favorite blog reads from others:
There were many great things written this year, but I’m highlighting five posts that I enjoyed, written by my friends. I’ve provided a short excerpt from each, but click on the title to read each post in its entirety.
How do I reconcile this pursuit to get things done with the pursuit to get this one thing right?
With another word.
Pace is a rate of movement. Tempo. Progress. A single step even.
Pace stands in the gap between striving and perseverance.
Emojis are not indicators of intimacy.
Remember the history, the memories, the other times your friend cared instead of commented. If she remains by your side, shows you love, forgiveness, keeps her promises to you, or shows up when you need her, than relax. Release her from “liking” every single thing you post. It is not fair to you or your friend. You are asking the impossible.
Resist the temptation to judge someone’s level of affection from a lack of their momentary affirmation.
Loyalty is not reflected in a “thumbs up” or in a “smiley face.” The only symbol that does reflect loyalty is a cross shaped one.
A wise friend challenged me. She said rest is an act of trust – trust that God’s got all the plates I’m spinning and I can soak in a bubble bath with a large glass of wine without worrying.
She was right.
But for me that trust needs to be intentional. Trust, and therefore rest, won’t happen by themselves. They won’t happen unless I INTENTIONALLY trust God. It’s an act of my will, something I need to choose to step into.
I will count it among my best; resting comfortably in the arms of a Father who adores me, a God who knows this momma’s wounds. A Savior who is fully aware of my distresses, certain of exactly where and how my son is right now… at this moment, under the same sky, 1000 miles away; if not for the hurts of this day – would I recount all the joy?
If not for the rollercoaster of titles; mom, mommy, foster-mom… mother of the bride… military mom – would I be able to recall every moment of this day? Fresh out of tears, swollen eyes, stuffy nose, here on the sofa documenting a date that must be saved.
Entering into God’s rest is choosing to believe over and over that we are safe and secure in His love. And we can enter into His rest any time of day, no matter where we are, who we are with, or whatever is going on around us.
Spiritual rest is not a place, but a person and His name is Jesus.
Your favorite reads from my blog:
According to the stats, these five posts from my blog were the readers’ favorites.
The easy A is yours. That which you are striving for has already been done.
You can stop studying. You can stop counting. You can rest.
You don’t gain or lose your value based on how you perform. You don’t lose your edge as you age.
Since you are in Christ, by faith, you have 100% approval because of the finished work of Christ.
It’s like you are receiving the perfect score that has been accomplished by the star pupil. Jesus’ perfect sacrifice and your acceptance of it, declares you righteous. Your bad marks are gone—as far as the east is from the west—your sins are forgiven, forever.
Something amazing happened when I turned 40 last September. Almost overnight, I stopped wearing makeup so often. In fact, there are more days that I go without it.
This might seem like a trivial admission, but it was the result of a significant internal transformation. You see, other people’s perception of me dictated much of my life up until this point. I slaved away, trying to look good on the outside and the inside through image management and behavior modification. That is, until I discovered the best beauty secret of all time…
Your friend doesn’t want to burden you, so she tends to hide how she’s really feeling. She wants to listen to you and help you but every once in awhile she wants to be heard. Sometimes she makes a hurt or need known, but sometimes others don’t really know what to do with that.
She loves to be in your corner. Truly. But sometimes her corner feels lonely.
When she’s out in front or in charge, or throwing confetti to celebrate others, she gets weary sometimes. She enjoys doing those things, but every so often let her be the recipient of the celebration.
I was weary from all the work of trying to measure up; striving as a Tightly Wound Woman.
I was living like a slave, not a daughter.
A slave toils to earn her keep. A daughter rests in her position as an heir.
A slave worries that she won’t be enough. A daughter knows that she doesn’t have to be enough in order to be loved.
A slave aims to please the Master. A daughter delights in her Dad who is already pleased with her, because she is His.
I want you to remind you afresh that God can do the impossible.
He can part the seas whenever He is so inclined, He can redirect us when we’re ready to fall off the edge. He can hold us up when we are falling apart. He is faithful when we are faithless. He is strong when we are weak. He is so kind to keep us on course as we walk out our calling.
My favorite writes from around the web:
Here are five of my favorite things I wrote around the web this year.
I Will Not Stay Silent (Down Syndrome, My Brother, and Iceland)
I know a few things and I will stand by them.
1. All life is precious regardless of age, ability, beliefs (and whether or not you are good at math and science).
2. Your level of functioning does not determine your value, God does. And believe me you are valuable! He died to prove it.
3. Hard things are a part of life, but hard things can enrich our life in ways we never imagined.
4. My brother with Down Syndrome loves me unconditionally and better than most. That’s saying a lot in our hate-filled age.
To learn more about my wonderful brother, Brian, read 31 Days with My Brother.
When the Five-Year Plan Falls Apart (guest post for Tricia Goyer)
This vulnerable post is about a challenging time in our early marriage, where we found ourselves in a place we hadn’t planned on.
Our five-year plan frayed at the edges.
We experienced ups and downs during this season, like the surging waves of my post-natal hormones. But, finally, it seemed like things were steadying out and calming down. It looked like Adam was a shoo-in for a youth leader job and we were waiting on the details of a financial package. Adam stopped applying for other jobs because we felt confident that God was leading us to this one. We anxiously anticipated the phone call that the church was indeed going to hire him…
Moms, You Don’t Have to Be Good at Everything (post for Lightworkers.com)
Your worth is not measured by the number of homemade birthday cakes you make. Your value is not based on whether or not you run a half marathon. Your home decorating skills, or lack thereof, are not what determines your success. Where did this idea come from, that today’s mom needs to be an expert at everything?
We could blame it on reality TV shows or pretty n’ perfect Pinterest boards. Regardless, it’s time to throw off this notion that we should be experts at every domestic and marketplace skill.
I’m confident there is liberation waiting on the flip side of this “I’m every woman” mentality.
Do You Fear Being Invisible or Visible? (post for Purposeful Faith)
It’s vulnerable to feel exposed—to be paraded in front of others and scrutinized for how we look, act, and what we say. We wonder if we have spinach between our teeth (or chocolate cookies stuck to our molars) as we offer the message that’s been entrusted to us. Will they laugh at us? Will they listen? Will the insecurities show through our coordinating ensemble?
It’s lonely to feel concealed—to be masked from view and not really feel known or understood. We wonder if who we are is enough and fear what might happen if we are called upon to share. Will they laugh at us? Will they listen? Will the pounding heart and wobbly knees show through our security blanket?My friend is afraid of being seen. I'm afraid of being invisible. How about you? Click To Tweet
Hope on the Horizon (guest post for Abby McDonald)
Do you feel paralyzed in your ability to break free from a mindset, circumstance, or sin? Do you ache for a better country yet find yourself in wandering desert? Is your heart tethered to despair as hope faintly flickers?
Sometimes we feel lost in times of transition. Sometimes our faith is shaken as painful circumstances scrap at our heels.
Yet, as we remember that we are not orphans but daughters, not paupers but heirs, not abandoned but Beloved, our posture changes—even if our situation does not.
I hope you enjoyed these favorite reads and writes from 2017. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite reads and/or writes were.
P.S. This is my last post of the year, but we’re looking forward to finding more grace in the unraveling, together, in 2018. See you then!
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