Just Another Parenting Blog-Let’s Do This

Parenting is not for the faint of heart. I have a set of twins. When they were 2 years old, we were teaching them to sleep through the night without getting out of bed. Well, of course, they outlasted me and I fell asleep in one of my “stay awake till they fall asleep” shifts. Parenting fail. And they made me pay. Anti-up mom, the toddlers are in charge..IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT!!!!! In a span of about 30 minutes, one of my sons found the nail polish (I still have no idea how he did that) and painted his arms and legs with it (I think it was supposed to be his toes and fingers.) The other twin went to the freezer and lifted some popsicles for both the bandits and they met back in their beds and cracked open a cool, tasty treat at 2 am. I was “surprised” to wake up. Because I thought I was already awake. I was also surprised to wake up to some war paint and ice pop celebrations. But, I did what any mom would do. I went into the other room and screamed into a pillow. I proceeded to take a few pictures because my husband insists on capturing the moments that “someday we will look back on and laugh.” I wasn’t laughing. But, I’ll hand it to the guy, I’m laughing now…3 years later.

It is by the grace of God (as it always is) that my twins did not get into anything harmful that night and that they are still alive to tell crazy stories like this…times a lot more stories that put my parenting to the F grade status.

But all stories aside, parenting is so hard and so rewarding and in so much need of counsel, wisdom, and pursuit of those who have gone before us. Seeing that parenting has been happening for awhile, it always amazes me that each parent has to go through their own “firsts” and experiences and trials and trial runs to figure it out. And then they pass on what knowledge they have been given to the next rookie who has to go through it all again for the first time.

Because parenting isn’t about raising great, wonderful, perfect humans. Parenting is ultimately about understanding God’s love for us (as our parent) and passing on that gift. And no one can perfect that process. God gives us the next generation to pour our love and experience into who will hopefully impact the world as an heir to their Heavenly Father. But the journey is trying. The road can be long and daunting. And we all need help figuring it out.

My husband and I have a handful of umbrella standards of parenting that we live by to keep us sane (let’s be honest) and grow our children into the responsible, mature, Godly adults that “someone” “somewhere” reassured us they could be. I’m only going to tackle (literally and metaphorically) one topic of interest at a time. Parenting is an ongoing engagement of the mind, body, and soul. It’s the best ride of your life but you better buckle up. If you aren’t exhausted at the end of each day, you can probably bet there is some “adulting” to rub up on. Welcome to mommy fight club.

I am going to share in each article something I have learned that has helped tremendously (in big ways and small). Please don’t feel like you are failing or that I think I know diddly squat about ultimate parenting, because we are all just TRYING TO FIGURE THIS OUT!

I will say that everything I have learned is by the grace of God and His words of ultimate truth and guidance from Scripture. Sometimes I will directly source where I am drawing from in Scripture and other times it will be a general Biblical principle that fits (I pray) with the consistency of God’s character and teachings.

This blog is designed to help…not judge. Enjoy the process of parenting and learning because there is no escaping the journey and we all grow from these wise wee ones and God’s design of their hopeful optimism and endless need for authority and leadership. God puts the challenge of love and growth before us everyday with miniature mirrors and blesses us with passing on everything He has taught us to the next generation. From my home to yours…let’s do this.

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A Tribute to Soulful Spirituality

This blog is an extension of a concept from a book I have not read but found fascinating enough to want to share. It is from “Soulful Spirituality” by David Benner.

Seriously, I don’t know anything about the book by Brenner except a conversation I had concerning the following idea, so everything you are about to read is my paraphrasing a concept that has helped me put words to a lot of what seemed to be scattered thoughts.

David Benner suggests (from what I understand) that there are two types of qualities that exist in the human makeup that heavily shape how we experience God and the world around us. There is the soul and there is the spirit. These words are being loosely used and are not the definitive soul and spirit that we are used to referring to but are small aspects of them.

Within our personhood, the spirit is on a constant gravitational pull upwards to the ideal, innocent world that the Garden of Eden was and represents. The spirit ascends relentlessly into the understanding and celebration of what was (and is) supposed to be the habitation of goodness, the thrill of the divine touching down on humanity and the assumed posture that life is meant to be lived with happiness, ease, and excitement. This transcendent position of spirit does not claim perfection or demand unwavering elation but is rather unyielding in its fundamental belief that our lives are not only capable, but rather designed, to live out the advantages of the pure, divine pleasures that existed when innocence had yet to be tampered with.

And in the same fleshly abode lives our soul. The soul intertwines itself intensely with the understanding that after the fall of man, brokenness pervaded the world around us, and the heart within us. The soul fuses its divine responsibility with the reality of sin and is on a committed magnetic pull to descend into the daunting task of facing off with the divine struggle that taunts man because of sin. The soul embraces the reality of brokenness and doesn’t try to fight it but rather fight for the training to be prepared for it until we cross this side of Heaven. The soul represents the ideology that we must learn to find God through the struggle, not in spite of it.

Here is the kicker. From what I understand, all of us apply one of these God-infused attributes dominantly in our daily lives and general thought processes. So, you make ask, “which one am I?” Or think, “That is sooo me!” as you read the two descriptions. For practicality sake, I am going to give one very simple example and insert how a “spirit” and “soul” personality might handle the situation.

EXAMPLE: Two people go out to dinner. As they are eating, the waiter asks if they are interested in ordering their special dessert of the night…a “truffle-kissed chocolate delight.” Simultaneously, one answers with a resounding “no thank you” and the other person with an excited “yes please!” The waiter decides to give them a minute. The two people decide to talk through their reasons.

The individual that said no makes a compelling argument that our bodies are not designed for an overload of sucrose and we need to be cautious with how much sugar, fat, etc we take in beyond a temperate amount. They go on to explain that health is so vital to the quality of life a person has and that is of the utmost importance to protect.

The other person who answered with a yes contends that life is about experiencing little pleasures and the secret to the quality of life is finding happiness where it is offered in moderation and living in the moment with the understanding that life is short and lets enjoy it to its fullest.

So who is right? Depending on whether you have more of a “soul” bent or a “spirit” leaning you will answer that question accordingly.

This is a simple example of the soul and spirit meeting together at a crossroads of possibility. If you are married or in any intimate relationship with someone, surely you can relate to many of these moments of seeing things so differently and certainly there are so many reasons why; from gender to personality type—opinions, values and ideas emit from our pores and we almost can’t help it…it’s just “the way we are.” Well, I am adding spirit and soul to my list of explanations of why I am the way I am inner dialogues that I have with myself (just in case no one else finds my elucidations as exciting as I do). I have come to believe these two descriptions of spirit and soul greatly assist in illuminating so much of my divine constitution and am quite grateful to be able to begin to wrap words around that.

SPIRIT”: Have you ever met a person that just seems to be filled with hope and possibility sometimes with even having no reason to be? Or they are pumped with excitement and passion and enjoy things and people on a level far elevated than the status quo? It’s almost like they go to a transcendent place and can appreciate life, love, and laughter on a rich level that provokes imitation. But that’s what it would simply be—a drab copy of the untouchable quality they possess. It’s so powerful that you want to jump on their bandwagon (so to speak) and just taste the world they live in if even just for a moment. These are the people that personify the essence of “spirit.” The “spirit” quality is flexible, trusts in the goodness of others, believes there is more out there than what most settle for and aren’t afraid of how it looks or who is looking as they chase the light. They see the workings of the supernatural and are able to somehow embody the mystery and wonder of it. They seek to participate in majesty not just be spectators of it. Most of us thoroughly appreciate greatness and those who filter life through the transcendent lens help us to become a part of it.

SOUL”: Have you ever encountered the individual who exerts effortlessly the soundness of mind to make solid, wise decisions that sets them and others up for a successful future of security and protection? They seem to be able to accept what cannot be changed and concentrate their efforts on what can. This person inspires trust and respect from those around them because they understand the responsibility they have been given and handle it with a great sense of reverence.  You just almost want to hand your life over to them and hope they can make something great of it like they have of theirs. They are strong and resolved and are willing to fight for and protect what they have been given. They do not seem to be easily moved or confused and can almost sort through what is worth striving for and what is beyond a person’s ability. Their character is magnetic and their overall sturdiness is desirous. This is the “soul.” The “soul” quality has an uncanny understanding of the limitations of humanity and does not lament over them but accepts the terms and moves forward in confidence with the abilities amid human reach.  

The spirit and soul bring such an awesome dimension of God’s character to humanity and are meant to compliment each other’s uniqueness. However, there are critical steps in the development phases in order for union to take place between them. For starters, it is essential for you and I to be aware which quality of God’s persona we more identify with. After that, the next task at hand is to ask the person you are in relationship/friendship with which one they more personify. Here the fun begins. Because as wonderful as these two components are, there of course, weaknesses to them.

WEAKNESSES OF THE “SPIRIT” QUALITY: The transcendent mindset is always looking forward but either not usually far enough or so far that they don’t seem to live in reality. The Garden of Eden has far been closed off for now and short-term living causes a reactionary lifestyle verses a proactive awareness. Manifesting an extreme “spirit” lifestyle can promote quite an agitation in others when everything from details to consequences seem to be unconsidered and, worse, uncared about. There is an aspect of the “Peter-Pan syndrome” where many will often be turned off to what they would consider immaturity or irresponsibility.

WEAKNESSES OF THE “SOUL” QUALITY: The grounded mentality relies heavily on accepting what is but often to the point that “what could be” is entirely abandoned. The freedom to change and experience mystique becomes almost impossible. The “soul” digs its heels into the ground so deep to manage what needs to be done that ground turns to concrete and change is hard to come by. The very security that is being sought turns to permanency and can be very unattractive to those who are desiring the hope of anticipation and newness. The lack of spontaneity and optimism can quickly creep in and very well may be viewed as parental or controlling.

But these are just some warning signs and are by no means necessarily true. They are just some thoughts to get you started. But back to the question in the example of the debate of the truffle-kissed dessert—who was right?

No one and both of them. See, often, we try to make the spirit and soul leanings a right or wrong. But both attributes are of God and show such a wonderful, beautiful side of who He is. We spend way too much time trying to change others…you know, bring them around to the “right side,” the “better way of doing things,” the “best way” really. I have come to believe this is futile and even destructive.

Of course, change is good and the best should always be strived for! But the kink in the armor of that thought process is that either the “soul” or “spirit” expression is the problem instead of understanding the actual value and working to find God’s best together on it instead of changing a person’s way of seeing God so uniquely. Let me explain.

Someone who embodies the soul mentality will often get frustrated at the spirit way of doing things and will express concepts like, “Oh, grow up!” This is an attempt to persuade (or guilt) the spirit individual to come over to the soul’s way of perceiving things. A much more constructive way to handle that is seeing the spirit dimension and acknowledging the beauty in it but finding a solution that honors God and your relationship in the process.   

A transcendent type will often get annoyed at the soul dimension and imply thoughts like, “Live a little!” This is an effort to influence (or guilt) the soul side to see things from the spirit’s perspective instead of appreciating theirs and building from there.

See both entities of soul and spirit were given to humans as a way to experience God in the best way for them decided by God’s design of them. To try to alter that in a permanent manner is not only futile but dishonoring. However, to bring balance to the design is so caring and shows great honor to the Designer. To know how you understand God’s plans of how Heaven and earth work together is freeing and inspiring. The spirit who is drawn to the wholeness of the divine intention will always strive to bring that aspect to earth despite all its brokenness and cracks. The soul who is aware of the design on earth amidst the chaos will bring God’s order and beautiful arrangement to His creation as long as they draw breath.

So, if you are tempted to fight against this makeup in yourself or others, I would encourage you to embrace it and be thankful God counted all of us trustworthy enough to bare His image in multiple facets.

To the spirit who takes us places we could never go on our own, I say thank you. Thank you for passing on the wonder of the divine to sometimes a very mundane surrounding. Thank you for believing and seeing a supernatural realm of wholeness and pleasure that God intends His creation to experience because He is good and delights in us. Sure, you will need to “grow up” and mature into balance and wisdom but we gladly join you as you transcend to the Heavenlies in the everyday opportunities life affords. Thank you for the invitation to experience Heaven on earth.

And to the soul who embraces the responsibility of man and the charge God has put in our care, I say thank you. Thank you for caring about God’s order and design for our everyday needs and provisions and being committed to helping to bring about security and provision in our bodies, minds, and emotional well-being. Sure, you will need to cut some ties and let your feet off the ground a little and maybe even “grow down” and view some immaturities in all reality as maturities (flexibility, moderate gratifications, etc) but we gladly join you as you keep our minds and lives set on the realities of our surroundings and the challenges we must learn to face in this lifetime. Thank you for the invitation to experience Heaven on earth.

And, most of all, thank you God for giving Yourself in so many extraordinary ways. May we rejoice in all your revelations and manifestations as we learn to surrender our own desires and be all that You have designed us to be!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Day Timeline

Have you ever asked your parents how to spell a word? We all know the classic response…”Go look it up!” And in traditional youth retort the annoyed comeback goes something like, “How can I look it up if I don’t know how to spell it?” Sometimes I’m not sure if my parents just didn’t know how to spell it or if they were really trying to teach me some veiled life lesson through a strange exchange of alphabetical strategy. Either way, it left me in a high school imbroglio (yeah, had to look that one up. My parents would be so proud).

Well, high school has long disappeared in my rear view mirror but the state of confusion I found myself in then is still alive and well and haunts me when it comes to finding God when I need Him the most.

See, I’m not your church chick flunky if you know what I mean. I’m pretty sure that if there was like a church “lingo-off” I would win a ribbon or something.  I’m just saying, I can fill in some pretty important theology without even having to look it up in the Bible, like, “God is good ____…and all the time ___.” “Cleanliness is next to ______.” “Can I get a ____?” Sheesh, I was practically born in a pew. But what good does all this knowledge do when in my loneliest moments, the darkest times of my awareness…I can’t find God for myself? So I ask, “How do I find God in the times when I feel like I am searching for Him but it doesn’t seem like He is showing up?”

The most common response I hear in the church world goes something like, “You just have to wait on Him.” Or, “He is there. You just have to find Him. He desperately wants to be close to You.” Now, all humor aside, I believe these solutions to be true to my very core but when I am looking for direction these responses serve as peripheral revelations not practical guidance and I have recently found myself saying in my high school dictionary tone, “If I knew how to find God I wouldn’t be floundering around looking for Him!” Can I get a witness?!

In my deepest moments of struggle and sorrow I am introduced to a new part of me that I’m not sure I should befriend or lock in the basement and throw away the key. I have only recently invited myself to my own awakening. Even now, my existentialism is freaking me out so I’m going to back this drama train up and break it down in simpler terms.

When I meet the parts of me that question God or question myself (sometimes I can’t tell the difference), I even scare myself. I mean there is crazy and then there’s “just wave to the nice lady and don’t’ look her in the eyes children”crazy. I want to feel “normal” again but know something isn’t right in this broken soul of mine and I am forced to peek under the curtain of my own beliefs and challenge everything I know about the One, true God and that’s just plain scary.

I am flooded with more doubts and questions than I am with security and answers and this is not the little church girl I am all too well acquainted with. “How do I find God?” my soul cries out. How do I look up a word I can’t spell? How do I lead myself and find answers when I feel blind and weak, and yet, am exceedingly aware that I’m entrusted with my own spiritual welfare? You will just have to read my next blog to see what I have discovered. Just kidding.

In the words of Helen Keller, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.” In the words of God, “Where there is no vision, the people will perish” (Proverbs 29:18). I realized (after a ridiculous amount of emotional thrashing about) that I didn’t have a game plan. I woke up everyday in my disorientation and waited patiently (for at least 5 minutes at a time which is like a record if you have attention issues like myself) for God to show up and do what He does…whatever that is exactly. And when I could not find Him in my search for Him I had no choice but to move on with my day. Why would God do that? Why, when I want Him so bad, would He veil His presence from me? Well, these were some of the many questions I asked myself after a long bout of being annoyed at everything and everyone (including the dishwasher for not getting the dishes clean enough, my kids for being kids, and my husband for trying to talk to me when I was frustrated…or at all for that matter).

I started to become very aware in my constant state of frustration and confusion that I was indeed searching but had no idea what I was searching for. I cried everyday but I wasn’t crying out everyday. It was easier to live in my emotions (even though they were ridiculously hard) than it was to set them aside and listen for God’s voice and be on vigilant watch for His presence. So, here’s the take away.

Emotions are designed by God, birthed in the heart of every man as a beautiful piece of divine DNA. They are intended to point us to Him and His nature. Emotions are not in and of themselves “character” but rather characteristic road maps to the Creator of them. Ok, that in itself is a life-long love dare but things get more complicated from there.

I felt like I was dying, like literally dying. Dying to what…I couldn’t tell you. But everyday hurt. Every hour I was aware that I was losing myself and I could not distinguish if that was a good thing or not. I would pray, journal, read my Bible, read books about the Bible but not much was  changing. I would literally say when asked, “I am doing all that I know to do but nothing feels like it is changing in me.”

And then, I heard a friend tell me a simple concept they had learned from a sermon and it moved me. Everything began to change. So, I hope it helps…even just a little.

In the book of John we hear a story of 3 siblings (Mary, Martha, and Lazarus) and their relationship with Jesus. Any relationship with Jesus would have been pretty awesome but we know that they were actually kind of tight with Him and hung out with Him (Luke 10) and loved each other very much. And, then, the most devastating tragedy that life can courier falls upon this trio; Lazarus is dying. Mary and Martha are so sad…so full of sorrow and petition Jesus to come to their town and miraculously heal their brother. Jesus hears of Lazarus and not only doesn’t come to see him in his final hours but actually waits 2 extra days to come and Lazarus dies in the interim. Wow! That just seems so strange at first blush.

The love they had for each other was special and affectionate and Jesus appears to be unmoved by His friend dying, and yet, when He arrives four days after Lazarus has been in the tomb we read that Jesus wept (Jn 11:35). However, we know from this story that Jesus had a much bigger plan (a far grander purpose) than any of His friends (and enemies) surrounding Him could see. They were all trapped in the tragedy of momentary death and Jesus knew it…and He wept. John Eldredge writes in The Journey of Desire, “Jesus weeps for Martha and Mary, and for all of us who suffer loss, but also for our inability to see beyond it. Dare I say, sometimes our refusal to see beyond it?”

The story ends with Jesus raising Lazarus back to life and showing the world that life is more than the temporary (11:25), that Jesus is the Son of God (11:27) and that every season of life (even death) is designed ultimately for the glory of God (11:4). If Jesus would have healed Lazarus in his sickness, the miracle could have been so easily overridden and rationalized away. Like maybe Lazarus was just freakishly sleepy, or maybe he ate a bad olive oil flatbread, or maybe his immune system finally kicked in. But in the death and resurrection of a very dead man, the world could not deny that God was among them (Jn 11:45).

Enter me.

At this point, I’m still flailing about like a fish on dry land, searching for God in my darkest hours and can’t seem to get ahold of His intimate invitation to do life with Him. But it was in this story that I realized it really is in the death of me that the offer of life abundantly lays at the doorstep of my heart.

The main characters in the story told in John 11 are all consumed with the pain of death (and understandably so). They lost so much of what they knew; death had stripped them of a great love in their hearts and the pain of that was all-consuming along with the apparent realization that Jesus (God)…didn’t show up. Mary and Martha looked for Him, called for Him, and God was late. Well, that is, if you consider their timing superior. God says, “My ways are not your ways” (Isa 55:8). His plans far exceed anything we can imagine, institute, or hijack.

And that’s exactly what I was doing. I was emotionally hijacking God’s big picture plan for my life because it wasn’t in my timing (or my understanding really). Every day was hard. Everyday felt like no change was being made. Everyday I was dying and it seemed like God wasn’t showing up. I couldn’t see beyond my own pain. I called for Him, petitioned Him and God was late.

That’s because God was waiting; He wasn’t late at all. He was waiting: to be found, to be loved, to be trusted, to be noticed, to be accepted, to be wanted, to be needed in ways I had not given myself to Him fully. God was waiting to show up to save my life…not just save the day. It took the extra waiting period (the “2 days” after He was well aware of my dying) for me to see that I was dead. In His waiting, I had to wait. And in my waiting, I was dying. I was dying to: what I thought was a proper response time from God, my emotions reigning instead of directing, passively demanding God’s ways to be my ways.

I was consumed with the pain of loss (and understandably so). I was stripped of earthly fulfillment, happiness, and friendship. It hurt. And I was looking for God and didn’t think I was finding Him because nothing “felt like it was changing.” But everyday I surrendered to the truth of who God is, trusting but not seeing any results, doubting but being obedient in the ways I knew how, and God was…waiting. He was giving me time to die. He was giving me time to develop. He was giving me time to surrender my lordship for His. And it took everyday to make that happen. Things were changing but I could not see how. Because I didn’t have a game plan.

My game plan now looks a lot like what I was doing (on the outside in anyways). I was seeking and waiting. But now I know who I am seeking (a 4-day big picture Planner) and what I am waiting for (the beauty of God to win the day in my life) and how to wait for it—everyday  searching for Him knowing that each day is one piece of the puzzle that will someday be revealed as a portrait of glory for the One, true God.

And now when adversity and true sorrow strike at my inner being I know God has a grander plan that takes time. Not wasted time. Not useless time. But time to transform slowly into His image. Time to understand the miracle is bigger than a healing from a sickness of pain that anyone can overcome with a little time and rationalization. Time to heal me from death that I wouldn’t recognize unless I actually saw a very dead man…which takes time.

I am so glad God didn’t reveal the whole plan the first day I cried. Because what I didn’t know then was that I wasn’t crying out (not enough). I was sick. I wasn’t dying. I certainly wasn’t dead. He showed up everyday, with subtlety, as I faced genuine pain and longed for the healing beyond my own doing. He gave me time to do both. He gave me time to get to know Him and get to know me. One hurt. The other motivated.

I wanted to live. God wanted me to live abundantly (Jn 10:10). That takes time and time used to be my nemesis. Minutes passed like hours. And sometimes they still do when I hurt. But I am starting to realize that time is my agent of healing and patience is more than just waiting. It’s waiting with hope. Hope—being assured of something that has not yet shown itself. God is my hope. He always has been. But now, whether He reveals Himself in parts or in a knee-bending galvanizing glimpse of glory, I know He is waiting for me to learn, love, grow into His likeness and live for Him and with Him and because of Him.

It was in the dying (pain) that Lazarus’ life was in need of a Savior. It was in the waiting that all eyes were on the Savior. It was in the death of Lazarus that the Savior took preeminence. May He be seen in every portion of our lives for His glory. And be assured, He is waiting to be seen by you and me that we may truly live!

 

 

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Visions of a Vagabond

We are a nomadic people—humans that is. We are in search of wholeness and keep moving till we find it. Somewhere in us we really believe when we find the right thing or person—our spouse…best friend…a small dog that wears very tiny sweaters, wholeness will find us waiting with open arms. But in the words of Taylor Swift, “We are never, ever…like ever” going to find the intimacy that we so desperately long for on this side of Heaven. Sound depressing yet? Wait for it.

We carry our tents of hope around and pitch them in random places as single people with an embraced understanding that till we find that thing/person that makes us feel “something special” we got to keep on moving. Our belief in something better (intimacy, love, partnership) fuels the human soul to try new things, trust people with a renewed confidence, give love without getting in return, believe in humanity, be vulnerable, respond with grace and not judgment…participate in love at all. These are the road markers of life that we stop and pitch our tents at and can almost enjoy the reality of our nomadic state.

Then, for most of us, that day that we have worked for so hard finally arrives. The perfect person desires us back. The job everybody wants is offered to us. The small dog with the tiny sweater jumps in our lap in the crowded room. Nirvana. No more searching, no more soul wandering, and the tent gets wrapped up and the bricks start being laid in our final resting place of satisfaction. A permanent residency is built on the understanding that this is a place where wholeness can be found, where loneliness disappears, and our partner in life (spouse, job, blog, pride, best friend, money, dad or mom) will make us feel the intimacy we knew existed on this side of Heaven. But alas, what is this? Paradise begins to crumble slowly into a prison when the walls we have built enclose us from the great journey of moving towards the ultimate goal of wholeness. This permanent resting stop where we create anything from a home, to an excuse, to a true settled spirit of happiness actually hinders us from the opportunities that the nomadic lifestyle affords.

These brick walls of safety can be very deceiving. And while it is not always true, beware of the lies that security can create, foster, and even build a room for in our permanent dwellings. Some of these cons that we buy into can look like becoming complacent while calling it satisfaction, turning lonely and naming it maturity, settling for happiness when joy is absent, not giving ourselves in the name of building a home together, lacking vulnerability and calling it being wise. See, the problem is, all of these state of beings can absolutely be true, good, and definitely Godly but because the Bible says we often do not know ourselves very well (Titus 3:3; Jer 17:9) we have to be constantly aware of the possibility that we have found strength in the bricks when we are actually designed to find wholeness in the travelling tent.

So, “why try at all,” you may ask? For the glimpses. In a world where mortality reigns and immorality crouches at our hearts waiting, whispering that there is no more to life than this—the Creator of our soul and desire stands at the crossroads and proclaims that the good work He started in us…He also promises to complete in us (Phil 1:6)! Humanity was born with one whisper from God’s breath and holds the power of passion, greatness, creativity, and goodness because of the One who lives in us. We will never be whole on earth but we are a work of art that finds every stroke of awakening (love, laughter, intimacy, goodness) a refreshing reminder that our active and living Designer sees the whole picture of our life and promises an unveiling that we can’t fathom here on earth. The question really to be asked then is, “how badly do you want to see a sneak preview while you are here?” The pumping heart and awakened soul cries out, “As much as possible!”

We are a nomadic people—humans that is. By the great Designer, we are meant to keep traveling…keep on moving. We get to see glimpses of His greatness and creativity in the faces of those we love, in the jobs that spark possibility, in the echoes of the mountains, in the journey of love and loss. So, if you and I are willing to take the plunge and keep on pitching our tents, God is waiting to show us bursts of Heaven’s wonder on this side of the curtain. So take courage: open the windows of your soul, let the fresh air in of the Spirit that longs to move through your dwelling places, and be prepared to be dazzled by His paint brush on your journey. Or just put a mailbox in front of your bricks and let someone else send you a postcard. Looking forward to meeting you along this canvas of life!

-A Sojourner

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