No Small Lives

We’re six days into the New Year and that means the ads you see on your screens and hear on your radio are all about making changes. Improving our diets. Getting fit. Taking control of our finances. Organizing our homes. Changing this and changing that.

Marketers know that with the new year our desire for a new way or a better thing or at least a change in the way we look or feel is heightened. We want our lives to be different …..we want them to be better.

But if we pay close attention to that desire we realize it’s more than that. We want to know there’s a purpose to all of this. We want to know we’re making a difference. We want to know our lives matter.

And they do.

You’re 1 in 7,000,000,000 people on this planet but there’s One who knows your name. He created you (Psalm 139:13). He is the One who gives you breath (Genesis 2:7). And he knows the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).

Our lives matter and so do our choices. Who we are at home and at work and the gym. It matters. What we do in the grocery store or the bank and at the salon. It matters.

You don’t have to be an athlete, an entertainer, a politician or author. It’s those of us in our workplaces, at the schools, and in lines at the store checkouts that make the difference.

There are no small lives. “For in him, we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:28)

And it’s the day to day living where it counts the most.

Living like it matters is when you choose to smile at the disgruntled guy in line at the express checkout and letting him go ahead of you since he only has 3 items compared to your 14.

It might be calling your parents when you’d rather sit and watch your favorite show. Or fixing a meal for your neighbor. It’s also when you don’t overcrowd your calendar so that you are available to your teenagers just in case they want to talk.

What you think is mundane may be someone’s most meaningful moment. No matter who and where you are, you can live like it matters.

That’s the most important change you can make in 2017.

Photo courtesy of nina lindgren

Name

cokeMy friend texted me “Cheers!” and this picture of a Coke with my name on it.    It put a huge smile on my face.

I was one of those kids that could never find anything with my name on it. No license plate for my bike, or key chain, or pencil.  I thought it was because I had an old name.  My mom let me get an airbrushed t-shirt at the beach every year so along with the palm trees, the ocean, and the sunset my name was airbrushed across the front or the back.  We like to see our names, or hear it.

You know how it feels when someone remembers your name? Someone you’ve only met a couple of times or someone you’ve not seen in 20 or more years. You feel uncommon, distinct, worthy of being remembered.

God knows you. By name. He knows you by heart. He even knows the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30).

God knows who you are and what you’re about. He knows what makes you laugh and cry. Your deepest pain and your greatest joy. He knows your darkest places and your most shiny ones. He knows your compassionate acts, the selfish ones, your meanest thoughts, and the softest places in your heart. Your secret desires and your dreams. He knows when you feel out of place or when you’re puffed up about being an insider. He knows when you care too much about how you look or too little about your neighbor. God knows you inside and out.

God knows you …..completely. And He loves you.

He loves you when you’re scared or courageous. He loves you when you’re thoughtful and when you’re careless. God loves you when you’re the bully or the bullied. He loves you when you want to cuss someone out and don’t because you know better. He loves you if you do it anyway.

He loves you if you don’t go to church and He loves you if you do.  He even loves you when you go to church for the wrong reasons. He loves you when you raise your hands in worship or when you stand there and think the people that raise their hands are weird. Your rebellion or “poor me” attitude doesn’t make Him love you less. Serving all day and night at church on Sunday doesn’t make Him love you more.

God knows your name. He knows you fully. And He loves you.

“Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.”

This is how much God loved the world:                                                        He gave his Son, his one and only Son.      John 3:16 (MSG)

Full-time

Merriam-Webster’s 2nd definition of full-time is : devoting one’s full attention and energies to something.

I am fully devoted to learning how to love and live well. But the thing is – I am a work-in-progress. I always will be. Nevertheless, I have something to share about what I’ve learned so far.

I’m a wife and mother of three teenagers. I also have a full-time job that I get paid to do. I’m an accountant at a construction company and I love it. I want to do it all well and I get it right sometimes. Mostly, I get it wrong and I write so that you don’t have to. But if you do get it wrong maybe you won’t be as hard on yourself because I did too.

There are moments when I’m in awe of my wonderful life….grateful and overjoyed and content. In other moments…..I’m restless, underjoyed and wondering what the heck I’m doing.

I want to live an abundant life. With a husband, 3 teens, too many bills, and a few dreams how do I do that? How do I love the people in my life well, take care of my responsibilities, pursue my dreams, and live life to the fullest? There’s no secret formula or “one-size-fits all” answer. So I learn as I go. The full life I want is in the things I do everyday. My relationships, the choices I make, the conversations, and my attitude.

The restlessness, this “divine discontent”, keeps me seeking, moves me forward and is where the abundant life is found. The journey and the searching make the mundane meaningful, the routine rich, and everyday extraordinary.

So I do it all full-time with all of my heart.

Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—into God’s way of doing things. Romans 6:12

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “All About Me.”

Name

You know how it feels when someone remembers your name? You feel uncommon, distinct, worthy of being remembered. God knows you. By name. He knows you by heart. He even knows the number of hairs on your head (Matthew 10:30). God knows who you are and what you’re about. He knows what makes you laugh and cry. Your deepest pain and your greatest joy. He knows your darkest places and your most shiny ones. He knows your compassionate acts, the selfish ones, your meanest thoughts, and the softest places in your heart. Your secret desires and your dreams. He knows when you feel out of place or when you’re puffed up about being an insider. He knows when you care too much about how you look or too little about your neighbor. God knows you …..completely. And He loves you.

He loves you when you’re scared or courageous. He loves you when you’re thoughtful and when you’re careless. God loves you when you’re the bully or the bullied. He loves you when you want to cuss someone out and don’t because you know better. He loves you if you do it anyway.

He loves you when you don’t go to church and He loves you when you do. He loves you when you raise your hands in worship or when you stand there and think the people that raise their hands are weird. Your rebellion or “poor me” attitude doesn’t make Him love you less. Serving all day and night at church on Easter Sunday doesn’t make Him love you more.

God knows your name. He knows you completely. And He loves you.

Jesus loves me, this I know.
For the Bible tells me so.

This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son.
John 3:16 (MSG)