Not Unredeemed

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Word Snacks and She Reads Truth

There are two little devotionals I’ve been wanting to share with you all for a while that have been a big encouragement to me. I’m taking a sabbath break from my normal content and have been waiting for a chance to share these with you. Enjoy!

The first is an other 31 Days Series by my friend Natasha Metzler. She is doing 31 Days of Word Snacks. They are short  devotionals and scriptures and this series has been a big blessing to me. Check them out here.

The second devotionals is on a website called ‘She Reads Truth’. It’s a community of women that are studying scripture together. The reading plans are simple, doable, and affordable. You can order a book if you want, but all of their reading plans are downloadable in their app. What I love about She Reads Truth, is that reading plans are short 2-3 week studies at a time, and they are easy to do with long distance friends! I just completed the Hosea plan, and it was perfect timing for my life as the Lord is showing me how much He pursues me. I will be starting their study on Hospitality in the next few days. Check them out here.

Truth when you only have a minute

Truth when you only have a minute.                www.natashametzler.com

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

Great prints and downloads from She Reads Truth, come with every study

 

 

 

 

 

She Reads Truth and Word Snacks” is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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What I love about being Single.

Ya’ll, I want to get married. A lot. But not to the point that my longing for it slays the appetite for the living of what I do have. (To paraphrase Jim Elliot). The full quote says:

There is a somewhat philosophical realization that actually I have lost nothing. We may imagine what it would be like to share a given event and feel loss at having to experience it alone. But let us not forget – that loss is imagined, not real. I imagine peaks of enjoyment when I think of doing things together, but let not the hoping for it dull the doing of it alone. What is, is actual – what might be is simply not, and I must not therefore query God as though He robbed me – of things that are not. Further the things that belong to us, they are good, God given, and enriched. Let not our longing slay the appetite of our living.” Jim Elliot

The things that are given to me are good, God given, and enriched. Sometimes I’m tempted to believe the lie that if I enjoy singleness, what God has given me, than He won’t ever give me marriage. Friends, whatever the Lord has for us IS GOOD. Singleness is not a punishment, and my enjoyment or misery in it, will not manipulate my Father to give or withhold good things from me. If I’m single, than this is a good thing and I can celebrate what I have!

I’m also not going to compare and contrast the joys of singleness with the responsibilities or joys in marriage. I know that there are things that are easier for singleness to do, and there are things that can be enjoyed only in marriage. To compare the two is futile. To each is a season, and we are called to live fully in the joy that each season provides, knowing that both are good gifts from the Father.

A lot of married folks have told me “you should enjoy singleness because once you are married……(fill in the blank happens)…..”. I want to reply, well yes, I do enjoy…blank…. but I would also enjoy this …blank… about marriage. But the truth is -Joy isn’t a comparison or a guilt trip, it’s a choice to be thankful for the good that we do have.

In my life right now? I enjoy

Spontaneous road tripsfall

Long baths

Sleeping in

Good coffee

Long talks

The time to read

Decorating my house

Cooking

Exploring fashion styles, and not settling on any one style

Traveling extensively

The ability to deeply pour into others lives with my time and energy

Intimacy with Jesus

Podcasts

Fall

Tall boots

Finding Beauty in all things

You see friends joy doesn’t limit itself to a relational status. Give yourself permission to enjoy where the Lord has you now. Fear is a great enemy of joy. And the Lord reminded me of what John says

Perfect love cast out fear. For fear has to do with punishment.

Singleness is not punishment. So we don’t need to fear enjoying it.

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! Matt 7:9-11

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

His heart is for us. And He has good things for us. This is why we can enjoy both singleness and marriage. Neither is an exclusive destination for joy.

Living fully alive today for me, means I trust His goodness. And enjoy the blessings I have!Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive

“What I Love About Being Single is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Teamwork

 

Teamwork

TEAMWORK – It’s the duty of a gentleman to provide covering fire while the lady reloads.

I have a confession to make – I’ve always secretly wanted my marriage someday to look like the teamwork in the picture. Cheesy? Maybe a little. :)  But my greatest heart’s desire for marriage is teamwork in ministry. I want to be in the battle trenches with my husband fighting for the Kingdom. And I don’t just want to load his gun from the sidelines, I want to be there firing my own. Fighting together for God’s glory.

Perhaps my greatest heartache over the years has been coming home to a quiet house and wanting to shout “look what God did today!” or coming home exhausted in tears, heartbroken over the pain I’ve encounter in others stories. It’s those nights I need to cry and be reminded that I am not their Savior.

It was one of those broken nights where the Lord reminded me that He was MY Savior. In the quietness of my lonely tears, longing for someone to share the burdens and victories with, the Spirit whispered that He was there. I could tell Him about the love and pain in my day. I began telling the Lord about my day, not just asking Him to do things in my day. Intimacy is built through conversation – not check lists. (Read more on intimacy with the Lord here).

The shift was subtle friends, but it was huge. In charting a long distance course of ship, a small angle in the beginning becomes a 100-mile shift.

My angle began to change as I allowed the Lord to provide covering fire for me. I no longer felt completely alone in the trenches. And I think this is why, in large, I don’t feel acutely aware that I am single most of the time. Of course society is constantly reminding me I’m single, and I have rainy days like the next person, but the Lord has never once abandoned me to battle life alone.

Friends, this is the truth of the Gospel in singleness – the Gospel.

He has not forsaken us.

His yoke is easy, and His burden light.

He is our Savior, friend, provider and protector.

He fights for us and along side us.

His faithfulness is as strong as the night’s covenant to the day (Jer 33).

His mercies are new every morning (And sometimes that includes coffee! Hello :) )

He is our shepherd.

Have you ever thought about what it is like for the Lord to your shepherd? We can all quote the psalm but I was oblivious for years as to what it meant for Him to be my shepherd (or as Peter puts it – the shepherd and overseer of my soul).

The Lord over sees my soul! He takes care of it. He’s the rest for the weary, and joy is already from Him. He leads me by quiet waters, and restores my soul. Walks with the Lord just enjoying the beauty of nature, or sitting by a stream seriously restore my soul. Or sitting in a coffee shop with a book.

What brings peace and rest to your soul? That thing? It’s the Lord’s gift to you. His way of giving you grace so He can restore your soul! The Lord providing covering fire for you, so you can reload to deal with life.

While some days I still wish for a physical man to be in a team with, a man is only one way the Lord can bless us. While a husband may offer protection and provision, the Lord IS our protection and provision and sometimes He chooses to channel that protection and provision in part through a guy. But it’s not the only way He provides.

Teamwork – the Lord is a gentleman providing covering fire.

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “Teamwork is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Singleness and the Gospel

So what does the Gospel and Singleness look like? It looks like the Gospel. Jesus’s love doesn’t split His children into groups or categories. It unites them into one. I used to believe the lie that I was missing out on a part of the Lord’s love because I was not married. We rightly compare the church to marriage, or marriage to Christ’s love for the church. But marriage is a picture of that love. It isn’t that love. In the sense that the love that Christ has for His church isn’t reserved for just married couples to experience. As individual sons and daughters the Lord has intimacy and love for us – for you, for me. While sharing the love of the Lord with someone is beyond precious, we can only share it when it’s first precious  in us.

Marriage is also not the only way that we can experience a picture of Christ’s love for the Church. This is might be an

uncomfortable thought, but in our longings to be with those we love, we can in part taste the way the Lord longs for His Bride. How many times have we longed for someone, ready to love them but they went about and did their own thing?

How many times has the Lord stood by, ready and willing to love you? While you went about and did your own

thing? – What To Do With Longings (read more here)

I have a full heart tonight friends but my brain is very tired. I hope to explore more on Singleness and the Gospel as the Lord is awakening in me the recognition of the power of the Gospel in my every day life as a single gal, but for now – living life fully means sleeping. For He gives His Beloved sleep! And I am His Beloved.

Because this post is so short, please take a moment and consider this question:

In what area of your life is God standing waiting, ready and willing to love you?Ready and waiting

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “Singleness and the Gospel is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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7 Practical Tips to Thriving Solo at Weddings

I’ve honestly lost count of how many weddings I’ve been involved in! Cake, flowers, coordinating, serving/catering, bridesmaid –Response Card I even played piano once! (I’ve gotta be close to 27 Dresses!) In all of these weddings I’ve only had a date once. Once, ya’ll. And that date was a blast! But the other weddings were fun too. I’m not knocking that dates aren’t wonderful – they are. But going solo can also be wonderful. I’ve cried my fair share of tears over the years at going to yet another wedding alone, so I’m not here to condemn you friend, or tell you to buck up. Bring the tissues and I’ll cry with you.

My heart for this post is to offer you some hope and practical keys that have helped turn RSVPing to weddings from dread to joy for me.

Ready?

Check. # in party? 1.

  1. Buy a new dress (or suit). Seriously. Going to a wedding in your old stand bys might be economical, but if you are able to- buy, thrift, or borrow a new outfit. Do something a little new to feel beautiful/handsome and boost your own confidence a little. Showing up at a wedding feeling drab, will only make you feel more gloomy. It is not a sin to feel good about yourself, and singleness is not a punishment! If you go feeling confident and on top of the world, your whole perspective will change.
  2. Look around for someone else who is alone. Maybe standing in the corner watching, or eating cake at the table alone. I love dancing with a passion, but it can get real painful, real quick, to watch the floor fill up with couples. Rather than moaning at the lack of single guys at weddings, or guys with the courage to ask girls to dance, I’ve taken to going over and asking another single gal to dance. I promise them I’ll be the cutest guy they will dance with all night. The joy on their face as I clumsily twirl them around brings me incredible joy. And in a flash we are having to much fun to think about being alone!
  3. Leave if you need too. Yep, there is this thing called grace friends. If we are having a hard time, give yourself the grace to leave. I wouldn’t advise that this become a habit, because there is joy to be found, but taking a walk during the slow dances, or bouquet toss is ok. :) It’s also ok to cry. I give you permission!
  4. Find a way to serve. Busy hands create camaraderie, and a sense of belonging and joy in giving to others. As a wedding coordinator, I always need help – esp a clean up crew! Ask whomever is in charge what you can do, or offer to help the bride ahead of time.
  5. Keep a moldable heart before the Lord. He may want to change your perspective, or to comfort you. Either way, He will show you Himself. One of the perspective changes I needed to have was to realize that this day was not about me. It was about learning to ‘rejoice with those who rejoice’. Spend time in the word and with the Lord before you leave for the wedding.
  6. Use the flexibility of resources (time/money) that you have as a single to do or give something creative to the couple. Invest in them and the excitement will grow (Esp if your love language is gifts or acts of service.)
  7. Last but not least – ignore the grey hairs. Yep. The thing I hate the most about singleness? – Grey hairs. I always wanted to be a young bride but these days the silver wisdom of life is starting to streak through my long ebony hair. Trying to pluck them all out before a wedding is not a good idea. Ahheem I’ won’t say how I know this, but I’ll leave you to laugh at that mental picture. (It hurt!)

Solo does not mean less than. It means solo. It means you have been given an incredible opportunity to bless others, and in the process be blessed. I’ve been given incredible chances to minister and impact people for the Kingdom because I’ve gone to events solo. Chances I would not have had if I had a date. It’s worth it, if you make it worth it.

Being Single and Fully Alive today means that I do not wait to enjoy weddings. I’ve wanted to have a choreographed dance at my own wedding someday for years. And maybe I still will, but for now? Why not have a choreographed dance now? The time to live is today. So my real life example of # 6 was doing this dance at my sister’s wedding in lue of a toast. White Christmas fans, you will appreciate it. :) (Email subscribers – view it here)


Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “7 Tips to Thriving Solo at Weddings is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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Love Formulas

“Are you married?”

“No”

“Engaged?”

“No”

“Dating?”

“No” (Seriously, is this guy going to get it?!)

“Interested in anyone?”

“Not really…”

“So you are single?”

“Yep” (Would you like me to spell it out for you?)

Awkwardness paused as a gigantic “why”? hung silently in the air.

Without making excuses for my singleness, I smiled and gently excused myself to take care of more wedding details.  I actually chuckled as I walked away. How was I supposed to respond to situations like this?

In the past I would have tried to explain my singleness away, embarrassed and overcome by  feeling inadequate. I may have also walked away and had a good cry, or silently responded with sarcasm “I’m still single because I eat small children!”

This time as I walked away I was amazed by the fact that I was amused, unaffected and even more surprisingly, I did not feel the need to give this stranger a reason for my singleness.  (Yes, I’m a recovering people pleaser turned confidant, pre-approved woman in Christ!)

The last time a guy asked me a similar line of questioning, it was followed by an invitation to get a beer after his work shift was over. But in this instance the guy was in high-school. Now I guess he could be hitting on me, but more than likely he was just trying to wrap his mind around the fact that an intelligent, passingly beautiful woman was single, with a much younger sister getting married first. I think this was more the case because he was simply echoing the sentiment my own brother expressed earlier in the day when I came out in my bridesmaid’s dress:different script

“Dang girl! Why you still single? You’re smokin today. Are all the guys blind?”

Chuckles. “Well thank you bro, – you look like a stud muffin yourself.”

My brother’s compliment warmed me and again I smiled as I gave him a hug; choosing to not answer the question and see his heart and the compliment behind it.

 People’s opinions and genuine concerns of my love life (or lack thereof!) rarely bother me anymore (praise you Jesus!). This is because I have learned something vitally important – everyone’s story is unique, and there is not a hierarchy of “better -ness” in God’s plan for each of us.

Your story is and will be as unique as you are. We are so vastly different, with different needs, different personalities, love languages, passions, callings, and giftings. I love hearing people’s love stories. Love the way each story is different and yet the same. And the only thing that is the same about each story – is that there is a story. The script is different each time because our God never runs out of creativity.

Can we trust God enough to let Him be creative?

I used to feel guilty and confused when everyone would share with me the way they met and married their spouse. To me it always sounded like ‘If I just did this, or believed that, or had more standards, or less was picky, than I would get married.”

While all of their advice was good, legitimate, and even true, I finally realized that it rang true for their stories. It was what the Lord was doing in their life at the time. This is what made their stories so powerful, and also why it was so easy for them to be convinced that this was the answer for everyone else who was single and wanted to be married.

But what was God doing in MY life? With my story?

If you have listened to more than one person’s love story you will notice that they often contradict the next person’s

- “When I was finally content in my singleness, I met someone right away”

-“I prayed and prayed and prayed, and the Lord is good and gives us the desires of our hearts, He brought so and so to me”

-“I didn’t have high enough standards, and once I realized I was worth being treated right,_____ came out of the woodwork. They were there all along! You gotta look at what is in front of you.”

-“I was so stuck on what I wanted. I never would have looked at_____ but it’s because of her that I know the Lord. She took a risk in marring me. Thank you Lord”

-“I felt the Lord asking me to wait, so I did and then in the right time the Lord brought him along”

-“I realized I was waiting around hoping to meet someone and the Lord showed me I needed to start doing something about what I wanted … and then I met______”

The Lord is faithful to meet each of us where we are at, and to stretch and grow us in the areas that we as individuals need to trust Him. Friends, there is no one-sized-fits-all formula for love.

That’s terrifying.

That’s beautiful.

Trusting the Lord to write my story has been the biggest adventure I have ever embarked on and it’s not over yet – and neither is yours.  Let Him be creative with you. Your story is and will be just as precious as everyone else’s – because it’s yours. Written by Him – for you.

 Being single and fully alive is about learning to recognize what truth and goodness the Lord is weaving into your story. If you would like to read more about love formulas please check out a more extensive look at them in  “Spirit Led Relationships” .

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “When You Say “I Do” You Get Me Too is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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When You Say “I Do” – You Get Me Too

IMG_3064The pen scratched the paper in a smooth rhythm as I signed my name. It was official. Sarah and Eric were now legally married and my signature and presence witness that agreement. Sarah and Eric chose each other, and I chose to stand with them.

Being a Bridesmaid, or a Maid-of-Honor, is not just a wonderful excuse to wear a pretty dress, or even to enter in a couple’s joy with them. It is a silent commitment; a promise and a choice to stand with this couple and go the distance of life with them. I’m committing to walking out life with them, to honor them, support them, and hold them accountable. To encourage them in the Lord and be there with them no matter what life throws their way. My hope and prayer for them is to be healthy inviduals first, and then as a couple. When they say ‘I do’ to each other and they ask me to be there? Well, they get me too!

Why would I want to choose to run the distance with the couple’s whose weddings I’ve been in? Is it because I hold to the tradition of witnessing the marriage? In part, yes. But mostly I choose to go the distance with them, because Jesus chooses to go the distance with me. And therefore it’s an honor to be asked to go the distance with others.

““I choose you.” This is the foundation of true lasting relationships. It’ is the foundation for God’s relationship with you. As Jesus declared to is disciples, ‘ You did not choose Me, but I chose you…’ Jesus chose you.” – Danny Silk  from Keep Your Love On

Jesus chose you! He chose me. Chose to pursue me through the pain of the cross, through my joys, and my sorrows, through sickness and in health, Jesus has consistently pursued me in His love. He now leaves me with a choice – will I choose Him back? When I’m angry at Him, will I turn to Him, or from Him? Run to Him with my joys and sorrows, or try to hide what I’m feeling from Him?

Choice and commitment are not limited to physical marriage. They are the basis of every healthy relationship. Jesus chose you. Will you choose Him back? The Gospel does not limit commitment and choice to a physical marriage covenant. Jesus invites all of us to choose Him back, to commit to the marriage covenant of the Lamb. To be the bride of Christ. Being single and fully alive means that I am aware that every day I have chosen and committed to pursue intimacy, communication, and love with Jesus Christ.

It’s because Jesus has chosen to go the distance of life with me, that I can choose to do the same with the people and friendships I commit to and love. Sometimes this might look like being a  bridesmaid, but more often than not, it’s quietly choosing to love those around me the way Christ loves me.

Brides

Singles, you are not left out of a covenant of love. Jesus chose you, and is giving you opportunities to practice commitment every day. Will you choose Him back today?

Today's the Day: Being Single and Fully Alive “When You Say “I Do” You Get Me Too is a part of the “Today’s The Day: Being Single and Fully Alive” a 31 Days Series. To read more from this series please click here.

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