God Don’t Make No Junk

you have been lovingly adorned by the touch of the father

Intricately woven together.Elaborately detailed. Lavishly embellished. Hand-sewn. This is how I was made.

So were you. Every single piece of you was a thought in God’s mind before it was ever on your body. You have been lovingly adorned by the touch of the Father.

To say that we are not beautiful is to tell our Creator that He didn’t do a good job when He made us. Something I tell my kids all the time is this: God don’t make no junk! (And you have to say it with a Madea-esque accent to really make your point.) 😉

It sounds trite and maybe a little bit condescending but, the truth is, You Are Special. Not because of your amazing abilities or your gorgeous long locks or even your dynamite cooking skills. No, you’re special because God is the One who gave you all those gifts. His attention to detail is what makes you so awesome.

I mean, think about it. Every single person on the earth is unique. There are no two people that are exactly alike. Sure, we might share some of the same talents or features with friends or family members but we are undeniably different in how we possess those attributes.

-our lives are an extension of God's creativity.-

Our lives are an extension of God’s creativity. We are the instruments in heaven’s orchestra, the flowers in the garden of Paradise, the gems in the Father’s crown. We are spectacular because we have been made by the un-created yet perfectly creative One.

He came up with the idea of creation on His own. Noone told Him how to do it. He just started speaking life into existence and creating beautiful things everywhere He went. The foundation of who we are is completely original and fundamentally new.

If we could just grasp this then we would never struggle with identity issues ever again. No matter how much anyone tries to be like you, they just CANNOT be you. It’s not even possible because deep inside of you is the God-given knowledge of I’m the only one of me. A copy-cat is just that: a copy. A duplicate poses no threat to the original.

When we are confident in our design, we can live loved and love well. The pressure to be someone else is off. We are each a masterpiece because the Master of every living thing put us together, piece by piece.

Advertisements

A Four-Letter-Word Christians Should Be Talking About More

I am so excited to have my new friend, Gloryanna Boge, guest post today! She writes for Only A Season about motherhood, marriage, and faith. I believe, in one way or another, that we can all relate to the sensitive topic she addresses.  Prepare to be encouraged through her authenticity and blessed by her truth filled words. Please like, share, or comment to show her some love! Thanks, friends!

laptoppic

Sweat trickled from my brow as I dabbed my chin to try and keep my makeup from smearing. I had worn my favorite bright pink dress, with “cork” heeled shoes. I wore Adidas perfume religiously during my teenage years. I went to my favorite church camp every summer for three years in a row during my middle schools days. Of course camp was during the hottest days of the year. Meetings took place outside. If we’re all being honest, camp was about seeing that boy you had a huge crush on, wearing that pink dress, and what little makeup I wore was all about impressions.

I think back to those times when I would sit outside under a huge tent and listen to the pastor talk about pleasing God. I remember when the messages hit my heart hard and crying and praying and going to bed feeling the love of God wash over me. Then there were the nights when the pastor would talk about how to please God and what seemed like “rules” we had to follow in order to feel his love. I remember a particular night when the pastor talked about idols in our life and for us to “take a good hard look” at ourselves and what we were worshipping as idols instead of focusing on God. As a 13 year old girl who had eyes for the boy sitting in front of her, idols was a topic that seemed ridiculous. No one worshipped statues anymore.

I’m gonna be honest here and say that the word “idol” is not one that I use often these days as a 30 year old, and most times, I associate those crazy people in the Bible who worshipped an actual object made out of, what was it, gold? And since we’re being honest, I tend to get glossy-eyed when I hear pastors talk about “modern day” idols and how we need to be on alert against the enemy or something like that. Idol was a four letter word that was rarely used in my “Christian” vocabulary.

It wasn’t until one restless night when I felt the Lord tugging on my heart. I couldn’t sleep. I was tossing. Turning. And you know what I was thinking about at 3:00 A.M? My blog. I was thinking about all these topics I should write about. I was thinking about how I needed to be on social media more but then my stomach started to turn because social media is draining. I felt like I was trying to be someone I wasn’t. I was focusing all my energy on this hobby I call writing, and losing my peace in the process. Yet, I kept coming back for more. I kept returning to this empty well, searching to be satisfied. Then that tug on my heart became pretty clear.

Those moments of nodding off in church when the word “idol” came up had bolted me awake in the middle of the night. My blog, which initially started out as a means to encourage others in their relationship with Christ, had become an idol to me.

I’m not here to throw fire and brimstone. All I can do is share with you how I was choking the life out of something that I initially gave to the Lord. Satan had taken something good and was twisting it for his purpose. It started when I quit waking up early for my quiet time with the Lord. This was a result of me staying up late working on the back end logistics of my blog. Instead of taking a few minutes during lunch to pray or read a devotional, I was flipping through all the social media on my phone trying to promote my blog and build blogging relationships. Not to mention times I was messing with my phone while my son was crawling about waiting to play. Then it got worse. Instead of spending time with my husband after our son went to bed and the dishes were done, I would whip out my laptop to research a plugin I needed for my blog. Some of my other relationships started to suffer because of the time I was spending with my blog.

Do you see the picture here? Slowly, God became smaller in my life as my blog became the image in my forefront. The image I was pressing towards to make bigger. After all, part of the definition of idol is an “image” of worship. If you dig deep into its etymology, you will find that “mental image” is part of its meaning.

All I was focusing on was this image of myself as a blogger and where it was taking me. God wasn’t a big part of that picture anymore. Until recently. Until that night at 3:00 AM when I made the decision to give my writing back to the Lord.

I think what bothered me the most about this revelation was how easily I let it happen. How easily I let down my guard down. To keep myself guarded and reminded of His truth, I have made the conscientious decision to speak out loud God’s Word anytime I feel like I am losing balance in my faith.

When I feel like I am not being my authentic self, I speak His Word about being a Child of God and holding on to my child-like faith in him.

When I feel like my blog isn’t growing enough or I let social media affect my peace, I speak His Word finding favor with men for God’s glory. Not mine. I remind myself that life is not about likes. I don’t need others to validate my work. God will do that in a way that is best for me.

I speak His Word out loud to keep His image in front of me. To keep myself from letting idols creep up into my life.

I encourage you to take a step back and look at what is robbing you of peace in your life. Is it something that you have inadvertently turned into an idol? Yes, say it. Idol. It’s not some vague word that doesn’t apply anymore. It’s a word that we need to talk about more often. A word that we need to guard our hearts against.

BogeHeadShot

Gloryanna is a teacher turned SAHM whose identity is found in her relationship with Christ. She is married to her high school sweetheart who insists that dirty clothes can be left on the floor. Gloryanna writes to encourage others in their walk with Christ, no matter what season you’re going through. If you want to be encouraged, you can follow her writing at Only a Season. You can also catch snippets of her faith and scribbles on Twitter, FacebookInstagram and Bloglovin‘.

 

Sunday Rest #11

 

“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”

– 1 John 4:17-18 (MSG)

 

 

Sunday Rest #9

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name;
    make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him;
    tell of all his wonderful acts.
 Glory in his holy name;
    let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Look to the Lord and his strength;
    seek his face always.”

1 Chronicles 16:8-11

photo credit: Nothing will ever be more beautiful than the love you have brought into my life. ❤ via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #8

“I will remember the deeds of the Lordyes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will consider all your works and meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Your ways, God, are holy. What god is as great as our God? You are the God who performs miracles; You display your power among the peoples. With your mighty arm you redeemed your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.” -Psalm 77:11-15 

photo credit: Join The Flight via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #7

“That Sunday evening the disciples were meeting behind locked doors because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders. Suddenly, Jesus was standing there among them! “Peace be with you,” he said.  As he spoke, he showed them the wounds in his hands and his side. They were filled with joy when they saw the Lord! Again he said, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I am sending you.” Then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”- John 20:19-22 

Happy Easter!

photo credit: An Hour Is Coming via photopin (license)

He’s Got You on His Mind All the Time

 

 

25284270619_aff297a0e2

Wholehearted devotion.

These words define the love of my life, Jesus Christ. And you know what? I’m the love of His life too. So are you.

Do you know Him? Can you even wrap your mind around this kind of earth shaking love? I can’t and I’ve been following Him since I was 5.

It literally takes eternity to fully grasp His eternal love.

He loves us.  It doesn’t matter what you have done. Like my daughter, Grace, (aptly named nonetheless) said yesterday at lunch, “Jesus forgives all of us even if we make really bad mistakes.” He wants to embrace us all.

Jesus died for you to show you that you are loved beyond any shadow of a doubt. I can never understand this kind of sacrifice but I will spend my whole life fervently pursuing the author of this love.

I get to discover more about Him every single day. For the rest of my life. There is NO END to His amazing love. Try to wrap your head around that.

You can’t. Which is why it’s so amazing.

 

photo credit: La 14ème étape – The 14th stage – Via Crucis via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #6

GRACE.  We can’t escape His favor. We can’t outrun His lavish love. He chases after us with limitless affection. This free gift is available to us all. No one is excluded.

GRACE. We just have to reach out and take it. Then our hearts can’t help but say thank you for the rest of our days and into eternity. Because our debt has been paid. Our Savior has saved the day.

GRACE. We get to walk in newness of life. We are the blessed recipients of unending acceptance. The heirs to a promise of everlasting life. The chosen One chose us before we were ever born.

GRACE has made a way for all to come. 

“For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”- John 1:16

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”- Ephesians 4:7

“God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.”- Ephesians 2:8

 

photo credit: Gratitude via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #5

 

“Jesus answered, Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, “You must be born again.” The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
John 3:5-8 (NIV)
photo credit: I’m all right . . . I just got the wind knocked out of me, that’s all. via photopin (license)

Sunday Rest #3

 Psalm 119: 30-35
“I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I have set my heart on your laws.
I hold fast to your statutes, Lord;
do not let me be put to shame.
I run in the path of your commands,
for you have broadened my understanding.
Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.”