In the Discipleship House this week, Memes have become a new and creative way to have an entire conversation.
A conversation that follows me on the road. I’m traveling and speaking at a Woman’s conference and finding out that I’m miss the students already. Fitting I guess when I’m speaking on Spiritual Motherhood!
Thanks to group chats, my phone continues to go off as the meme conversations roll in. I wish I could give you a picture of the hilarity, sarcasm, creativity and wit these young adults have! While I can’t share their stories, I can share some of the memes they’ve made of me. The humility to laugh at One’s self is so freeing!
Join me? I mean look – it’s like I’m the many faces of Chuck Norris or something! 😅
While I may have intentionally set my phone away from the podium while preaching, there isn’t anything I would trade to not have the “mime’s” (as I may have referred to them at first, ahem) roll in.
I am blessed Yawl!
With the power of the Gospel, the only thing that should be empty is the grave. How often do we say to Jesus, I’m gonna go out put some grave clothes on and go hang out back in the tomb ok? And pick up a few burdens and chains while I’m at it? K? Cause that’s easier than trusting you today. “- Ellie Holcomb
Ouch! I’m afraid I’m guilty of returning to the tomb somedays. Life and freedom can feel naked and vunerable after the confines of the cave tomb.
Much a like a baby gets comfortable in the womb – we too find safety in the tomb. One of God’s graces in the wilderness times is to turn our tombs into wombs. The places of death and surrender also become the place where He begins to grow new life.
Once a baby is born if the ambilical cord isn’t removed, what once fed comforted, and grew the baby, now becomes a chain. And keeps the baby connected to the dead placenta.
New seasons of growth may be scary and it’s not that we want to return to the tomb, but we want to cling to the grace we found there. Cling to the familiar.
But there is new mercy every morning. In learning to trust in freedom and new seasons, there will be the process of learning what grace looks like in growth as much as we learned it in surrender and in the wilderness.
His grace is consistent. Embrace that today – in any season. Your tomb will become a womb, and Again you will find grace.
“Thus says the Lord: “The people who survived the sword found grace in the wilderness; when Israel sought for rest, the Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel! Again you shall adorn yourself with tambourines and shall go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.” -Jeremiah 31:2-4 ESV
We were swinging on the swing enjoying the fall breeze when he kept pointing to the tree branches above. The little monkey – he was always so curious.
During our afternoon walks we would often explore the different tree leaves. Today was different. He wanted to do more than just finger and feel the crunchy leaves or bark, he wanted to climb the tree. For not being able talk much yet, he could communicate quite clearly what he wanted.
Why not? Climbing trees was one of my favorite past times as a child. Sure, he was young, but here was an opportunity for me to invite him into one of my past joys. (Ok maybe I STILL love to climb trees).
Tomorrow I’m scheduled to speak at a conference on what discipleship and mentoring as a lifestyle looks like. One of the things I’ll be sharing is that the best way we can learn to love people is by loving them the way Christ loves us.
And He invites us in. Much like I invited this little guy to experience what I enjoy so much, Jesus invites me into His joy as well.
Into His death and pain yes, but also into His resurrection and life and joy. Sharing life together is being invited in to others joys and sorrows.
“Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,” Romans 6:4-5 NKJV
Today at work as I weighed out the coffee beans to make a large pot of coffee, I was struck by how beautiful the dark oval beans looked in the crisp white filter. The fluted edging of the coffee filter made the beans appear to look like the center of a flower. So simple and so beautiful.
The moments pause to notice the small thing of coffee beans in a filter stuck with me all day. Why? Why was I so drawn to a simple picture? I delighted in the beauty of those coffee beans. They were meaningless and about to be ground into powder with boiling water shot through them until they were a goopy mess. And yet, here I was excited about the way coffee beans looked in a filter.
To me purposeless, but maybe not to Him.
What if I’m drawn to the small things because He is? I’ve been praying to understand not just in my head, but in my heart, a Father who delights in me because I’m His, and not just in what I can do for Him. Perhaps I notice the small things and delight in them because He’s showing me the way He delights not just in my big wins, but in my small quiet moments too.
They say ‘opposites attract’. I’m no longer certain of that as a blanket statement, but I do know that others can have the same heartbeats and passion as each other while at the same time being completely opposite in approach or personality.
My “bestie” Meg, shares a lot of the same passions and heart for Jesus and people as I do, but she is SO different from me. So different. She is as introverted as I am extroverted, short as I am tall, fair skinned as I am brown, and smirks inwardly as much as I do outwardly.
When the Lord is changing her, He works in her slowly and steadily. It will be months sometimes before she can put a concept into words as she grows. But she grows oh so beautifully. If she was an ocean shoreline, the Lord is the lapping waves. Come back in 10 years and you will have noticed how the shoreline has changed shape dramatically.
When the Lord is working in me, it’s more like bursts and spurts, and loud explosions of ‘ah ha’ moments. I can almost immediately articulate what the Lord is showing me. If I was an ocean shoreline, then the Lord would be the breakers that crash against the shore. In 10 years, my shoreline all have changed just as much as Meg’s as the waters shape our hearts.
Sometimes waves lap, and other times they break, but what matters is that shorelines change. It’s been easy for me over the years to either get frustrated with Meg’s process, or envy it. And hers with mine. There have also been times since when the Lord has worked in my life like a lapping wave, and Meg’s example has helped me to not fear the Lord’s quiet working. He isn’t a God to be put in a box, and in different seasons He speaks and works differently in us and in others. The key is not expecting others journeys to look like our own. As believers, Jesus is the journey we all say ‘yes’ to. The evidence of His work is what we should be looking for in each other – not our similarities or differences.
We have each been woven together by the Lord – He knows us deeply. And He knows how we can best hear Him. He puts friends in our lives that are different from us so that we can learn about and meet a different side of how the Lord works and loves. Differences are not for comparison or frustration, but for appreciation and stretching. If the world were filled with people who all related to life just like you, how boring would that be?
Unity doesn’t come from uniformity, but diversity. You don’t get unity by combining two of the same things. You create unity by connecting diversity with a common thread. For Meg and I, that unifying thread has been Jesus. I need her diversity and she needs mine.
You need diversity, and the world needs yours.
Shifting Shore Lines is Day #20 of “In Deep” a 31 Days Series
To do list and to remember lists, room diagrams, run sheets, menu’s and staff team lists cluttered my phone, clipboard and brain. The only way I was going to take on the day and thrive in it was to sit and be quiet, to set it all aside for a few minutes. I snuck away to my favorite coffee shop. I thought about blogging for tonight but instead poured over Jeremiah 31 and 32.
One thought chased another as I looked out the coffee shop window at the early fall snow. Something about those verses and looking out the window got me thinking about hope as Sara Grove’s song lyrics reverberated through my heart and mind.
You do your work the best that you can
You put one foot in front of the other
Life comes in waves and makes it’s demands
You hold on as well as your able
You’ve been here for a long long time
Hope has a way of turning it’s face to you
Just when you least expect it
You walk in a room
You look out a window
And something there leaves you breathless
You say to yourself
It’s been a while since I felt this
But it feels like it might be hope
So instead of a blog today, you’re getting an excerpt from my journal as I pondered fall leaves, dead branches, hope. And how that hope connects with the way the Lord both scatters and gathers things in our lives as He did in Jeremiah with the people of Israel.
Before Hope can live, before it can be birthed, it must be conceived. Hope begins when things still look bare and barren, it’s starts in the grey before the light of dawn. Before any tangible reality comes into sight – hope breathes quietly first.
When it’s still dead and seemingly barren, when the snow is starting to fall, and spring is far off, hope. Look out the window and let the broken sticks leave you breathless, for the God who scatters also gathers. The Father who allows death also beckons life. Hope beckons life instead of despair as it calls out:
“Keep your voice from weeping,
and your eyes from tears,
for there is a reward for your work,
declares the Lord, (Jeremiah 31:16)
The Lord who scatters, still values what was scattered or lost, and will once again gather. And this feels like it might be hope. (Jeremiah 31:10)
“It feels like hope” is Day #19 of “In Deep” a 31 Days series