What if you lived in a place where no one cared what you wore- they didn’t even see it. You just wore what was comfortable. It could be the same thing day after day and it wouldn’t matter. You were clothed. And they just saw YOU.
What if you lived in a place where folks came over to each other’s homes just for the sake of visiting or helping or loving. It didn’t matter if you served the richest of meals or crackers and water. Those were just additions to a visit. Not the purpose.
What if you lived in a place where your home was simply a shelter. A place to rest your head, enjoy company, and to sleep soundly. But how it looked was never an issue. It was simply your dwelling place.
What if you lived in a place where no one compared. No one envied. Each was working for the good of the others.
What if you lived in a place where the center of your life was truly the Gospel. Without all of the other things distracting you, and daily life consisted of being steeped in God’s Word and then living it out.
Why do we spend so much time on the details? Why do we add the Gospel to our lives instead of living our lives from the Gospel?
These are all things I think about this morning, as I gaze out into the day and realize, time is ticking. Life is short. Why waste it?
The foggy clouds of the morning rain are giving way to a hazy sunshine. And it is just like me when I see the distractions begin to fade and His glory come into light.
My prayer is that all of the distractions would be gone so we can clearly see the purpose of our lives.
55 days, 23 days, 11 days, 2 days…
Our recent vacation was full of anticipation. From the moment the trip was booked everyone was giddy with excitement. The kids were counting down the days and as we approached the final week, the anticipation was off the chart. It was basically all my kids could talk about!
At one point my son mentioned he liked the anticipation of things almost more than the actual things sometimes.
I get it. We do that in life right?
We anticipate a big event…we are consumed with excitement and countdowns and preparations…and then the event passes and life goes back to normal.
We wait and wait and we feed off that adrenaline of anticipating…and life always goes back to a new normal after. (There are even some tears shed because the event is over.)
Then we move on to the next thing. And then we anticipate a new thing…
The thing about heaven is…this anticipation…it will be replaced by those feelings of joy all the time. The anticipation never goes away. There will be no moving on the next thing. It will be the ultimate satisfaction.
It will be an eternity of completely fulfilled joy.
No matter what joy we have on earth…and we certainly had joy on our vacation…it can never compare to the joy in heaven. We anticipate here because we are longing for something more…our souls were made for more…that is why we find ourselves enjoying the anticipation.
The anticipation of heaven. Now that is a wonder. Our soul will no longer crave or long for something. We will be complete.
I have learned that earthly joys are temporary, but true joy comes from knowing this whole life is just a countdown to something better. This is not what we live for…we live for something far beyond our best vacation, best event, best joy here on earth. We can’t comprehend it.
So we enjoy the earthly blessings we have. But we know there is so much more…
And that is the anticipation that will never end.
Seventeen years ago I experienced the most terrifying day of my life.
I was a new mom with a new baby living outside of NYC. I saw the towers burning and the fighter jets flying overhead. I truly thought the world was ending.
Read the whole story here.
I remember thinking how my life had finally turned around. I had married the love of my life, a man that was truly sent from God for me when I had been in my darkest pit. And just five months earlier, I had just fulfilled my lifelong dream of becoming a mother. Something I had feared would never happen.
As I sat glued to the TV for days, which turned into weeks, my anxiety was at its highest. I would look at my baby and think how much I didn’t want life to be over. I truly was fearful that she would never grow up and our lives were going to end. I was convinced that the world was going to end soon.
I also remember thinking how the world would never be the same. And I would never step foot on a plane again.
So as I stared out the window today, on the plane, I could hardly catch my breath.
Seventeen years later… TODAY at the very moment, we were in the air on a plane, coming home from a spectacular family vacation! I would never imagine that I would be in a plane, in the air, at the very moment that disaster occurred seventeen years ago.
Such a testimony to God.
I glanced at my phone and saw the time. It was the exact time the towers were hit. I stared out the window and prayed…for those families…for all those affected. I also marveled at God.
I snapped this photo:
There is something about being a plane to realize how small you are on this earth and how grand and big God is.
I talked about my struggles with anxiety last week on the podcast, and today is a testimony to what the Lord has done. Not only did I think I would never see another year back then, here we are, living dreams I could have never imagined. Each year has had many hardships but also blessings beyond my imagination.
I never would have imagined the world today seventeen years ago. Though it’s changed in many ways, there are so many ups and downs, God has been faithful. He never changes. And today He showed me a glimpse of what power He has.
Coveting. It’s something inside us. Out of all the commandments, it feels like the easiest one to break. I mean it all started with Eve… eyeing that shiny fruit. She had to have it.
I remember as a young girl, there wasn’t any Pinterest or Instagram, but send me over to this certain girl’s house. She had it all. A gorgeous room with a high bed and all the cute decor. She even had a table for doing her and makeup. It was like a dream. She had the perfect hair, was great at gymnastics, perfect skin, all the kids wanted to be her friend. Even her notebooks and pens were cute. I remember always wanting to recreate what she had into my own life.
Somehow it never worked.
I got a perm. I wanted those curls like she had. Mine turned out just a frizzier version of me.
As I got older, still no Pinterest Instagram, but boy do I remember the early years of marriage and how the Pottery Barn catalog would arrive in the mail. I would pore over it and get lost in those photos. Once I put it down though, I was back in reality, my house with sort of mish-mash of decor that was really inexpensive. It just never felt the same.
I can’t even imagine if in those earlier years Pinterest and Instagram existed. My coveting heart at those young ages was able to sin quite enough without all of that.
These days, my heart is able to handle the pull of perfect decor and perfect hair and perfect stuff, because I don’t crave it as much anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I can start to go down the wrong road with one wrong click on my Instagram feed of a beautiful home or outfit. But I am quickly brought back to reality. My beautiful reality.
I have Jesus.
He grounds me and shows me what matters most in life. He anchors me and I don’t feel the need to find security in externals. He gives me something to look forward to (eternity) and that makes the present look different. I don’t try to find joy in things but am content with joy in Him, that will be forever.
And that is the most beautiful there is. No need to covet in the present here on earth when you long for Jesus, and you have it all.