Eating…Raisin Bran Crunch
Drinking…water, but I’m excited to try some sipping chocolate from Trader Joe’s!
Listening to…NPR on my drives. They’ve been talking about the Walker Art Center and about the Supreme Court. Oh and Ebola of course.
Reading…A Memory of Light by Robert Jordan, True Woman 101 Divine Design, Basic Training for the Prophetic Ministry, and the Bible.
Remembering…all the little babies and all of the love that I’ve seen throughout the day as people mark and point out that today is National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day.
Loving…Trader Joe’s oreo like cookie butter, my little man, the husband, and just God’s favor.
Missing…Boaz since he’s off pheasant hunting with my dad.
Wanting…a vacation to somewhere fun and really just to travel!
What have you been doing recently?!
I was beginning to think that I should have titled this series “Life” since it seems like I mostly have time to write up a quick post about our day or share a picture or two, but then if I go all connector-like and slow down, I realize that really becoming the beloved is partly about embracing this every day, ordinary life. There’s so much to find in the little moments of grace and the moments of struggle. I get to be the beloved in both places.
In much of this series and in life, I’m finding the “both and” instead of “either or,” which leads me back to thinking about the prodigal son story. The prodigal son and the older brother were both loved dearly by the Father. The Father wanted them both to experience and enjoy in all His goodness. He had gifts and experiences for them. He did not live by “fair” standards nor did He buy into a scarcity concept. No, indeed, the Father promoted abundance. There’s more than enough to go around. There’s more than enough for everyone to be loved fully.
When I find myself forgetting that there is enough, I find myself stepping out of that fully loved place and into one of jealousy, envy, and fear. Mostly, I fear that by someone else being promoted or lifted up or complimented or loved that the equation then flips around to equal that I am not whatever they are. Instead, there is room for both of us. The older brother missed out on that. He and his brother could be celebrated and loved. His brother didn’t need to be a threat to his security, identity, worth, or celebration. I’m sure there were enough calves to be eaten and hugs to go around. The Father was willing to celebrate and enjoy this life with both of his sons. He didn’t need to chose only one. He included them both.
I’m not there yet, but that’s where I’m headed. I’m jumping into, “becoming” aware, and embracing just how I am the beloved and others can be too. There’s room for us all at the table.
When we’re living in the knowledge that we are beloved, we can pour out that on those around us. We can affirm them, speak truth to them, and love them. Blessed to be a blessing.
We are ever giving thanks to God for all of you, continually mentioning [you when engaged] in our prayers, recalling unceasingly before our God and Father your work energized by faith and service motivated by love and unwavering hope in [the return of] our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah). [O] brethren beloved by God, we recognize and know that He has selected (chosen) you.
-1 Thessalonians 1:2-4
As I read through my Bible this morning, I landed on this verse that fit oh so nicely with this month’s theme. I looked it up in a few different versions and loved the idea of the words that come before hope…
steadfastness of hope
endurance inspired by hope
patience of hope
endurance of hope
All of these characteristics of the Thessalonian’s hope come right back to a deep seated belief in being the beloved of God. The more secure I find myself in how God sees me, the more patient and enduring I can be (with His help!).
What stuck out to you in this verse?
At the end of the day, when my little family puts up with my silly ideas of fitting everyone on the green chair for a picture, when the puppy is sleeping on me, when I get to watch my man play with our little man, when I get to hold them all close, and when I get to breathe in all the pieces of this life that’s when I feel a glimpse of resting in being the beloved wife, mommy, and puppy owner that I am. They love me well.
There’s something sacred about Saturday mornings. They are typically a day without work and come with a slower pace. Growing up, I loved Saturday morning cartoons and being able to stay up late on Friday night. I’m finding myself today wondering about what future Saturday mornings will look like for my little family. Last week, we walked to the farmers market for breakfast and it did my heart well. Today I’m curled up in bed holding a sweet, snuggly, sleeping boy waiting for the husband to get home. This is just about as perfect as it gets in this season (only thing better would be if the husband was home!).
When I think ahead, I hope my kids will jump on the bed on Saturday mornings and make time to snuggle even when they’re a little older. We will make it a family affair of slow mornings with big breakfasts and lots of play.
Oh sure I realize when I’m in the thick of it that it won’t look as perfect or idyllic as I see it now and that’s okay. There will probably be arguing over who sits where or who gets to eat the first pancake.
And how does all of this tie into my “becoming the beloved” series? Well. Saturday mornings remind me that I love days doing things I love with the people I love even when it’s not perfect. In the same way, being the beloved means I can come to God and show up in this life with all my messes and still find myself having a good Saturday morning curled up in bed eating pancakes. Even on the days where I’ve spilled the syrup or dropped a plate or forgotten to get the juice. I can still come and be accepted and loved. And we can still find joy in it all.
Trust in Him at all times, o people; pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. – Psalm 62:8
I love that throughout scripture I see examples of God hearing and answering His people. He longs for them to cry out to Him and to come to Him. He asks them to cast their cares on Him. He binds up their broken hearts. He knows their sitting and their rising. He does not act like an indifferent bystander. He’s working for us and for our good. So, today, in light of writing that, I’m going to share some of the things that are tucked into my heart and just plain make me happy (besides, Fridays are for happy things!).
- That husband of mine who does life with me. He is such a gift. Such a rock and such an encouragement. The road has been rocky and full of adversity, but I’m grateful that I chose him and am still choosing him…and grateful that he chooses me still.
- Baby oh baby. Mr. Asher is pretty much the happiest baby and my goodness I am so blessed and privileged to be able to be his mom.
- My Lindo. He’s the one I miss and the one who taught me to love little boys so much. I’m so glad I got to know him and for all the ways he cracked open my heart. He taught me much and he is part of one of my absolute favorite God stories.
- My Africa. My heart still beats for this place and for this country. This is such a both and of happy and the heart wrenching grief of not being there. This is where I pour out my heart waiting for God to weave this piece back into my life in a bigger way.
- That crazy Boaz. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and led me on a path toward more joy, laughter, and lots more snuggling than I could have guessed when I brought him home.
- Church. I couldn’t have guessed all the ways being on staff at my church would challenge, encourage, change, and ground me. There’s so much goodness in being planted in a local church.
- Community/Friends/People. The world is so full of so many good, good people and I am so glad I’ve gotten to know and do life with a lot of them!
I think (maybe?) sometimes part of knowing you are the beloved of God is remembering, taking note, and being grateful for the things He has put in your life. He is good to us.
What has He put in your life that makes you happy?
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
I’ve written before about Lectio Divinia here and about how much I enjoy it. For a quick recap, you read a section of scripture four times focusing on different parts. Here are the four steps:
This morning as I was chatting with some ladies, we ended on the passage above and I thought it was fitting that God would tie this right into my 31 days series. Here’s what spoke to my heart on the three active steps.
- The word/phrase that stuck out was guard. I was reminded about how God goes before us and is behind us. He really has us covered and I can trust in that.
- The invitation that I felt prompted by was say it again. This kind of put me on edge because I knew that the meaning I was pulling from the phrase is a little different than the context, but it resonated with my heart. The way I took it was that God is inviting me to say His word again. To speak out truth over myself, my family, and others.
- My response to God was one filled with thankfulness. I am so thankful that He doesn’t leave, that He hears all of our cares, and that He gives good gifts. Asher was sitting on my lap smiling away during this one and I just thought it was a fitting picture to have about rejoicing and casting our cares on the Almighty.
So, that’s where I’m at today. Soaking in this word!
What sticks out to you from the passage above?
So. There’s this thing that I did a few years ago and well I saw it pop up again and thought…let’s go for it again! The goal: write every day for the 31 days of October. Plus, I recently got chosen to join in on a writing course (I am pumped!) so I thought this would be a good opportunity to add accountability and fun to writing.
I’m diving in with my expectations open and my heart willing to explore all different avenues. I’m anticipating that you might find mini devotionals, pictures, quotes, scripture, life updates, and heart thoughts throughout the month. I suspect that each day will bring a bit of a surprise along this journey. I want to bring my heart deeper into an intimate knowing that I am the beloved of God. This is something that I’m pretty good at knowing in my head, but getting it to my heart is a whole other story. And so it begins!
p.s. Maybe you’re wondering why I picked a sprinkle doughnut for a button picture? Well, check back for a future post on that little topic later this week!
Beloved: dearly loved, a much loved person