When the Blog Was Young

I saved this photo for an “epic blog post” that I was going to write, which never got written. I was going through a Disney phase. And I was really loving my phone (even though I broke my screen in line for a long-awaited Dr. Pepper at EuroDisney.) I even have a half-written blog still in my WordPress draft folder from 3 years ago, titled “Disneyland Theology” because the only thing I hated about our Disney circuit was the message that it is all about your dreams coming true and your efforts, rather than God’s dream for our lives and God’s Spirit working strongly in us.

Recently I have felt weak. Not physically, but emotionally weak. The start of September is always my lowest point in the year. So many expectations. So many unknowns. About 2 months ago, I started laying it all on the line. Everything. Holding it all on the alter, saying, “God, I surrender every single activity I have in my life to You. If you don’t want it anymore, then take it away, or at least make me aware that I need to do away with it, even if it will be hard.”

This blog represents one of the million things in my life that could constitute a full-time job in my life. I was talking to my loving, encouraging, incredible mentor, Laurie Berglund, for whom I am eternally grateful, and she and I came to the conclusion that I currently have about 25 things on my plate that could legitimately constitute a full-time job. AND YET I KEEP PILING ON.

This season I am asking God to curb my passions, to cut them in half, to remove any guilt related to hanging on to things. My loving, encouraging, incredible friend, Aleisha Stephens, when she was in town in July, helped me to see that, over the past decade in Ukraine, I KEEP PILING ON, without removing anything else. The nostalgia for the way that we’ve always done things (prayer breakfasts, language lessons, attending everything related to youth) will no longer suit us in a new stage of leadership and life.

I must remove. This blog is one of the things that sits on the altar. It could be removed. I really don’t need to worry about disappointing people if I ceased; the world has enough noise without mine added. Instagram and the JV Prayer Room can easily replace it. And it’s not like this blog has always been God-honoring or painted the picture that now, ten years later, I’d want to paint. I’m also becoming anti-nostalgia, simply because I live at such a pace that I rarely breath enough to look forward, let alone look back. I was even thinking – wow, if I had to flee Key West or Marco Island, I wouldn’t even care to take all those logs of pictures and scrapbook boxes that I’ve been gathering over the past 25 years. At the same time, I’ll keep it up, just in case ūüėČ Maybe just not as fresh. Just as the Spirit leads, just like everything else should be in my life.

I don’t have time to look backward. God is calling me forward! This is not a bad-attitude thing! This is a rejoicing in the fact that His mercies are new every morning and I believe He is working out above and beyond what I could ask or imagine for my future. Life is too short to keep doing things the old way, to keep looking back. I’m looking forward in this season. AT JESUS. I’m not looking at my peers to the sides, although comparison is always quite tempting. I’m not looking back at old ways, although it is often safer. I’m not looking forward into the unknown. I’m just looking at Jesus.

This is who Jim Carey sees when he paints Jesus (fascinating little Christ-in-culture clip).

Jim Carrey: I Needed Color from JC on Vimeo.

This is who I see when I close my eyes to look to Jesus. Isn’t He beautiful?! And He is strong, and able, and the Judge of all. He’s got it. He’s not surprised by my future. He leads me to green pastures. He is the epitome of strength and gentleness. Laser-sharp vision on Him is what makes us stronger and braver than we could ever imagine. Oh, how He is the answer to my challenging falls, to my 25 full-time jobs, to my emotional outbursts, to my discontent, to the chaos in my church, to the uncertainty of my future. Oh, how I love Jesus, and that He is enough. Every time.

 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man, dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance. When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades. Rev. 1:12-18

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