Wednesday, April 17, 2013

a time for everything

I love being full of joy.

I love smiles and giggles and uplifting attitudes. I don't always feel like it but I do my best to emulate happiness because I love being happy and I know I have plenty of reasons to be. This last week though I've been realizing, one emotion is not meant to run our whole life. This morning I've been reading through Ecclesiastes 3:1-14
There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

    a time to mourn and a time to dance,
     a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
    a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
     a time to search and a time to give up,
    a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

    a time to be silent and a time to speak,
     a time to love and a time to hate,
    a time for war and a time for peace.  

What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathomwhat God has done from beginning to end. I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him.

 A close friend of ours lost her sister, Tiffany*, very suddenly last week. She was so young, it feels.. so unfair. I know she's in Heaven and that's wonderful and beautiful but it's left me heartbroken for her family and opened my eyes to the fact that I've never totally grasped that full understanding about seasons in life. Seasons of mourning and sad things.

At her funeral Tiffany's dad said "life is all about people." I loved hearing that from him. In a time of great loss and sadness her entire family stood so strong on that understanding and gave thanks for Tiffany's life.

Life is short but we are here to reach out to the people around us. To love them with the love the we've been given. Money, success, things.. all fade away. But souls live on for forever. We live on.

*If you click here you can give to Tiffany's family online to help cover the sudden expenses they were not anticipating. Just wanted to be sure and include this link this incase anyone had in their heart to bless this family.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

learning how to rest

Are you tired?
Worn out?
Burned out on religion?

Come to me.

Get away with me
and you'll recover your life.

I'll show you how to take a real rest.
Walk with me and work with me -- what how I do it.

Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.
I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

Keep company with me and  you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

Matthew 11:28-30 (MSG)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

recommended reading

Today I ended up poking through Relevant magazine online and came across this alluring title. At first glance I didn't feel like the author, Ward, was totally feeling my marriage vibes. Overall I'm not a fan of the way he phrases his first point, though I understand what he's saying about sacrifice and growth. I just like the phrase "happily ever after" :)

But from his first point, I loved this:

I have gone through so many moments in our short time of marriage where I suddenly see something about myself I don't like. When I think about it... I don't think I've ever noticed so many negative things about myself in such a short period of time! It can feel really overwhelming and embarrassing but Stan is always at my side, encouraging me to make changes and helping me to move forward.

Ward's second point is great too (I wont tell you that one so it can be a surprise!) but when I read the final point my heart fluttered.

The Lord gave me a greater understanding of this statement while praying for my sister-in-law last year. She was preparing to become a blushing bride so I had been asking the Lord how to encourage her during that last stretch of wedding preparation. The Lord showed me that a wedding is not only a celebration for the two individuals becoming one, but all the hundreds of people that will come from their union. The families that will form because of those two "I do"s. It's so easy to only see the bride and the groom in that moment of flowers and makeup and fancy suits. But the bigger picture is that they are taking the first step towards creating a family that will change the world.

You can read through the whole article here. It's an really interesting read and has some great truth in it that I think more people need to hear, both before and after they're married.