Rejoice with those who Rejoice


Some of my friends suggested that I share more about my personal life through my blogs. The reason I hesitate to write about myself is that I realize my experiences differ from yours, and God has you in a very different and unique set of circumstances. This month, however, I decided that I wanted to share an answered prayer, so you can rejoice with me.

A few weeks ago, Joshua, age 9, went to school for the very first time in big boy underwear. He has been wearing pull ups since he grew out of diapers and until Christmas break, he showed very few signs of readiness to toilet train. It’s not that we haven’t tried and prayed and tried and prayed some more.

Please God, Let Joshua be toilet trained by the time he is 5!

Please God, Let Joshua be toilet trained by the time he is 6!!

Please God, Let Joshua be toilet trained by the time he is 7!!!

Please God, Let Joshua be toilet trained by the time he is 8!!!!!

Honestly, before his last birthday in September, I don’t think I even asked. I know God will sustain me if Joshua always needs to wear diapers, but this month I am rejoicing because even though I said to God, “Not my will, but yours,” I am ever so grateful that this challenge may be reaching its end.


Be Perfect

In Matthew 5:48, Jesus said, “You must be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.”

For someone who once believed God is only pleased with me if I am good enough, these words trip me up. In my mind perfect means without fault, an unattainable gold medal standard of excellence. I wondered if the words Jesus spoke embody the same connotations we use today.

Is seeking perfection in all things important? Some may argue that pursuing a near perfect standard of excellence at all times provides a good testimony. I do desire excellence in my devotion to Jesus, in prayer and in my relationships, but requiring perfection from myself in every area (whether in parenting, fitness, or maintaining my home) is a burden too much to bear.

When I researched the Greek word for perfect, I was excited to learn that while teleios is often translated perfect, its meaning encompasses the idea of completion, reaching the end, and being perfectly suited for a purpose. Those definitions comfort me because this yoke of perfection Jesus places upon me does not mean I do everything right or that I am always striving to be the best. What it means to me is that God’s Spirit within me will perfectly suit me for the purposes He has for my life. He uses imperfection (including and especially mine) to bring about his perfect will and purposes. Now as I read that verse, instead of encountering a command I can never live up to, I realize this is as an invitation to receive Christ’s perfection as my own.

Who Are You?

Like the Continental Divide which determines whether a drop of water will end up in the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean, knowledge of our identity in Christ sets our course. Our true identity is not altered by our faulty thinking, but the way we live life becomes radically different based on who we believe we are. Each day our minds are continually filled with thoughts and ideas. If we pay attention to these inner conversations, what will they reveal?

Are you more attuned to how the world perceives you or fully embracing how God regards you? The shell below appears rough, dirty and cracked on the outside, yet the inside, it is smooth, shiny and pearlescent pink. As seen by the world, perhaps your life seems boring or unimportant. BUT GOD calls you chosen, beloved, treasured and valued.

Are you listening to and believing the lies of the enemy or the truth of God’s word? Remember the thief comes to kill, steal and destroy! Here are a few of those fiery darts the enemy aggressively deploys in an attempt to penetrate our minds.

I have nothing to contribute.
I am miserably failing at life.
Nothing I do matters.
No one cares about me.
There is no hope.
This will never change.

Unfortunately, those six barely scratch the surface of the enemy’s arsenal of lies designed to brain wash us and neutralize God’s purposes. 1 Peter 2:9 in the Message, commissions us, “You are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God’s instruments to do His work and speak out for Him.”

In the KJV, Ephesians 4:22 reads, “Put off (concerning) the former conversation of the old man.” For me, this means to stop allowing the enemy or the world to speak into my life by defining who I am. Like almost everything else, the process of stopping those conversations is are not instantaneous, but gradual. However, I love the way my friend, Laurel, described the result of believing who God says we are, “If we really understood our identity in Christ, we would be rocking this life!” Yes, that is what I want- to “Rock this Life” as I wait for Christ’s return to transform this earthly body into my heavenly one.