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Tag Archives: Inspiration

Monday is Coming

G.K. Chesterton penned down the words, “…God is strong enough to exult in monotony.”

I often find myself thinking about those words… Especially on Sunday nights. Why? Because Monday is coming. Monotony is coming. Waking up every morning for the next five days to (inner-cringe at these words) lists of tasks needing to be done (even bigger inner-cringe at this thought) in an allotted amount of time…

Oh… You can ask my hubby… The whole idea of a “schedule” is like a needle to my free floating happy balloon.

And then I think of that quote… About God “exulting” in monotony… That is inspiring. Truly, the entire universe is all operating in incredible monotony, sunrise after sunrise appearing in glorious light. And it makes me consider that yes- it is possible to exult in monotony. To shine every single day and to shine (yet another cringe for this late night mama)- in the morning.

(I know some of you morning people have no idea what that was cringe was for.)

It is possible to shine every day and to exult in the monotony.

But for me, that it is going to take the Spirit of God, no doubt. Perhaps for you too.

I pray that you and I get excited about this next week. That, like a child being thrown up into the air by his father’s arms, we begin to feel the arms of God helping lift us up out of our beds every morning- tossing us up and out into the tasks ahead of us- even those things that seem so out of our own reach and ability.

“Again! Again!” May we be able to have that kind of child-like joy for tomorrow as we lay our heads to sleep tonight.

Yes, Monday is coming. Monotony is coming. And the spirit of God in-dwelling in you makes YOU strong enough to exult in the monotony ahead. Shine bright friends.

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Covering Grace

I stepped outside and took in the beauty of the many trees in our backyard covered in ice.

You could feel it really, God’s grace covering everything.

Icicles hanging from outstretched limbs, each seemed to testify of a grace that covers every cold and dead place, even those places in our heart.

Those outstretched limbs, with raindrops frozen in time,

When you looked at them you could feel it- the wonder of the outstretched arms of Jesus.

He hung on a tree.

His love poured out to cover me, to cover us.

What kind of love our God is?

He whispers in the cold through frozen raindrop,

“I see every tear.

Every one.

I cover you in those cold seasons.”

And I’ll just say it flat out- sometimes life is so cold and so hard you just want to be numb,

But looking up at the beauty in those trees,

You could just feel it- this isn’t about becoming numb.

It is about becoming beautifully still in the cold, awaiting new life.

His words, “My grace is sufficient,”

They are felt in the still, cold air.

You could absolutely feel it.

His covering grace.

Icicles hanging from outstretched limbs…

Testifying today that covering grace always comes back to a tree.

May you feel his grace covering you today.

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We will Leave our Imprint

Sometimes I wish my little phone camera could catch with greater depths the beauty I see.

I woke up this morning, walked into our kitchen, passed by glass doors covered with smudges and little hand prints.

Out passed those doors a morning mist was gently moving across a dark and still lake.

Stepping closer to our kitchen windows I caught sight of what inspired me to write this morning- one window among a row of windows, covered in dew.

A tiny slug must have made its way across this window pane.

And every where it went, behind it was left its trail.

The slug is gone, but the trial remains and what is left is an intricately beautiful history web.

Like a flash of lighting caught on a dew canvas, with bolts that lead to the morning sun…

I want my life to leave an imprint such as this.

If I could only see it all the time,

How every moment and every choice,
like finger prints on a glass door, are leaving their mark.

And sometimes we… or maybe just I… feel like I am a mess, like I am all over the place.

Because like my little camera, I can’t seem to focus on the beauty in the picture.

I fail to capture the beautiful web that only God can see.

And sometimes our lives can feel so small, so worthless, so terribly finite, like a morning mist and the dew that is here and then gone.

And yet the truth is, our lives and the tracks we leave can be infinite…

Can lead others to the Son.

So here are my pictures of kitchen windows, slug tracks and finger prints on doors.

I pray this morning they might inspire someone else as well to consider how every touch leaves its mark, every word leaves its trail.

And we will leave our imprint.

May we see that and see it well.

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How to Live for the God Things

So the kids and I were standing there, toes sifting through the sand… No, not on a beach- but on a volleyball court at a park in the middle of town. And it really started to dawn on me, how young children are experts at being able to dig in and enjoy what is right there in front of them. They don’t worry about what they look like. They aren’t filled with phobias that are sure to quench fun. They aren’t bothered by getting more than a little dirty. And more than anything else they are enthralled, deeply fascinated, and wonderfully provoked by everything around them… Sand begs to be sifted. Their hands long to dig, to hold, to mold- to make the unseen seen… Castles out of trampled ground… Words echoing in a heart, carved out in the sand.

Why do we adults forget? Why do we lose that sense of wonder, of desire, of purpose? Why do we so often forget that the trampled ground around us can still be built up? Why do we allow fear to stop us from truly living, and from really getting deep into the good things… The God things? What does that even look like anyway? What does it look like to live for the God things?

Perhaps it looks like our 18 month old son looked on the changing table in the Mexican restaurant bathroom last week. He laid there, in the middle of a public restroom, and his ears tuned into the music on the speakers above. We couldn’t even hear it in the restaurant, but there in the quiet of the empty bathroom we could. And our little boy started to smile and wiggle and dance… And dance and dance. It didn’t matter that we were in a public bathroom. He could hear the music and he allowed the music to move him to joy. His joy changed the atmosphere.

Just like when our young children made a beach out of that patch of sand that was etched out under a volley ball net in the center of town and then turned it into a canvas. All on their own, letter by letter, they wrote out their messages in hope that the next people who came by may read them and leave feeling as they felt there in the sand… Free.

We can live like that… Not seeing things for what everyone else says they are but instead seeing them for everything they can be.

We can dig deep and start building where ground has been trampled.

We can leave our messages in the sand.

We can tune our ears to the sound of God’s song being played out all around us and chose to dance.

I pray this week for anyone who may read this that a fresh wonder for life rises up in you. May you start to stop more often to do the seemingly ridiculous… Build those castles… Leaves those marks and dance when God leads you to dance.

– Charity

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Glimpses of His Love

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For two nights now (mornings technically) our neighbor’s dog has kept me awake with her barking.

The last three times the kids and I have left our neighborhood she has run with all her might along side our van following us all the way out of the development.

I have tried to stop and tell her to go home, it never works. The kids all laugh and cheer as they watch her run. Hours later when we pull back into our driveway the kids and I all look for her. She sees our van and runs back to us filled with joy.

Early this morning her barking was so loud that I broke down and got up to see what all the fuss was about. Come to find her sitting right in front of our front door barking and on high alert and what appeared to be perhaps someone walking the neighborhood in the far off distance. And as much as I wanted to be asleep, and thought I would sternly scold her, I did no such thing. I just stood there, overwhelmed by the love of God.

If we all could only catch glimpses of how much he loves us. We would see a God who pursues us, chases us down with all his might, and desires to remain at our side. We would see a God who keeps his eyes fixed on us, even though we have left him in the dust.

Look back, and there he is. You will see him in the rear view mirror of your life. And yes, he is always closer than he appears.

We would see a God who always runs to us with joy when he sees us coming home. We would see a God who watches over and guards us, who sits faithfully outside the door of our heart and just keeps barking, a God who wakes us up in the darkness. And we would see a God who desires to remind us of his love through everything and anything around us… even a neighbor’s dog.

May your eyes be opened to his love for you today. May you see his love for you through something so ordinary and yet incredibly extraordinary.

You are so loved. So desired. So guarded. So celebrated every time you come home to his love.

Psalm 139: 8-12

If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,” even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.

 

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That’s Crazy

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On Monday night my mother kept our kids so hubby and I could enjoy a wonderful date night. We sat talking and enjoying a meal at a local seafood restaurant. Being that we were both eating fish, a certain passage that the kids and I had been reading the day before in Matthew came to mind. Hubby and I talked about that famous story of the fish with a coin in its mouth. Do you remember that one? It is found in Matthew 17:24-26.

Essentially this is what went down: The disciples had come to a certain city by the sea and after arriving, tax collectors went up to one of the disciples and said, “Does your teacher not pay the tax?” The disciple then went to Jesus, who, in typical Jesus-style, answered the question with a bit of a parable, His final answer being, “… the sons are free. However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself.”

I have always loved the sheer craziness of this miracle. I can only imagine how Jesus’ voice and tone may have sounded as he gave those crazy and yet so matter-of-fact instructions for provision. And then, for the disciple who followed the instructions, casted out that line, and indeed caught the fish with a coin in its mouth… How crazy would that have been?

Hubby and I began discussing the question I have often pondered , “How exactly did that coin get in that fish’s mouth anyway?”

Sure, Jesus could have mysteriously and miraculously formed a coin from nothing, but I tend to imagine a different scenario. I tend to imagine a man out on some edge of the sea with a coin in his pocket. Perhaps it is his last coin. Perhaps it was just change from a recent purchase. Whatever it may be, there he is with this coin in his pocket.

Suddenly the man gets this crazy inclination from what he perceives to be God… A little nudging in his spirit to “Throw out that coin.” And he is standing there… Thinking, “That’s crazy.” Yet again, he feels it, “Throw our that coin.” He stands, wrestling with his thoughts, until finally he throws the coin. It sinks below the surface and is swallowed up by a certain fish.

He never saw the fish. He never saw anything at all, except his coin sinking down in a muddy sea and he walks away forever wondering and sometimes doubting, “Why in the world did I do that? How stupid. See, nothing happen.”

Ok- I know- how the coin got in the mouth of the fish was not recorded, but it does make one wonder, how did it get there? And what IF? What IF it did get there because one man, or woman, boy or girl, threw out a coin because of some “crazy” inclination.

What if God today or tonight gave you some crazy inclination to do something in order to provide for a need that you cannot perceive? Would you do it? And if you did it- that crazy thing- only to find after you have done it that it seemed entirely pointless- would you still believe?

What if crazy inclinations are indeed tied to crazy miracles? How crazy would that be and how essential could we all be?

Something to think about the next time you get a crazy little inclination.

 

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Every Job is Important

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I just watched my honey heading out on his first trip to fly a new plane for a new airline… I watched him walk off in his new uniform, rolling behind him was his official crew baggage. As I watched him walk off I could not help but smile as I considered all the many jobs I have seen this man walk into- and I mean MANY. I have watched him head out our door to head to construction sites where he would be laying tile and granite. I have watched him walk out our door to head to insurance sales meetings. I have watched him walk out our door in full camo, heading out for new ventures with the US Army. I have watched him head out our door starting the new venture of learning to fly. I have watched him head out our door to meet with advertisers and discuss new designs and layouts in the magazine he created. I have watched him head out our door to serve up tacos from a food truck that he bought, designed and personally upgraded. I have watched him head out our door with boxes of t-shirts designed and pressed by him in route to local marathon runners. I have watched him walk out our door to fly for the National Guard. Over the twelve years of our marriage, and over the nearly 20 years I have known him, I have watched him walk into many jobs… Flashbacks to the smell of plumeria flowers as we held hands walking to his job as a bagger for the commissary when he was 15… He has never ceased to work.

But there is a reason I wanted to share his many “jobs” with whoever may read this today- and it is this: I want you to know something that the Lord continues to remind me of through my husband:

Every job is equally important. Every job is part of a greater purpose. If you have asked Christ into your heart and asked him to guide you and lead you- Everywhere you step, Christ is stepping. Your “job” is so much more than a paycheck. It is a God-given opportunity to make a difference. My husband knows this. He reminds me of this. And in that knowledge is found the secret to having deep joy in any job.

Whatever job you may be stepping into today, I pray you will be encouraged and reminded that God is stepping with you. Some of you may step into new offices today, new countries and cities… Some of you may simply step back into the same kitchen to prepare a meal for the same little faces… Each job is equally important and infact, often the “least of the jobs” is where Christ is seen the greatest:

To the Walmart employee called to unclog the toilet… Christ is shining in you. To the trash collector grabbing hold of what no one else wants to even smell let alone touch- Christ is shining in you. To the foster parent taking in the hurt and angry child who curses you and “will never” see you as his or her parent- Christ is shining in you.

Whatever job God has called you to today- it is important. It is God-given. May you shine today in the job you do.

Love,
Charity

 

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