Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Perfect Love Story

Valentine's Day.

It's one of those holidays that people love or hate. Truthfully I've always loved it because working with children gives it a different meaning altogether.

It's about hugs and being best friends and chocolate candies and handing out cute little dinosaur and princess Valentine cards.

But as you get older, this sudden pressure comes upon us. It sort of starts in middle school with the carnation sales. Even if you don't really want to take part... you can't help but feel affected by it.

The quest of finding someone with all of these "perfect" attributes that we have on our check off list begin to add up.

So we place all of this pressure on ourselves or the person we're with. We place our whole identity in them.

Then that person disappoints us. We disappoint them. A marriage falls apart.

So we take off and look for that "spark" that makes us feel alive again in another person.

And then we come back around to where we started, realizing that person didn't have it either.

Does this mean we're doomed? Of course not, and here's why.

A few months ago we lead a bible study and picked out verses, wrote them in cards and sealed them. I prayed over them that whoever would get that verse truly needed it in their life. And then we handed them out to the girls attending.

The verse I got?:

// But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. // Matthew 6:33

A few months passed, and this verse started to dwell on me. This all ties in I promise.

Here we are trying to find the perfect guy or girl and honestly go to all costs to find them.

We date around, read magazines, watch movies made about our perfect "soul mate"... did you forget about Bella and her unhealthy obsession for Edward?

Then they leave. Or maybe we leave.

We convince ourselves something is wrong with us so we either cry and walk around like we never had a life before they came into the picture, or we on a go on party rampage pretending that person never existed and recite the whole "I don't know need anyone to make me happy" line. 

And then it dawned on me.

That person we're looking for doesn't exist. Nor will they ever.

We all have a "hole" in our hearts aching for that perfect love. And that's why we're all on the search to fill it.

We wait and go from person to person, but then realize no one fits and that hole is drained just like it was before. 


Because that hole was never meant for just anyone. We're trying to fill it with a person that's less than perfect when it was meant for Jesus himself.

He 's the perfect love story. The one that'll never leave you, the one that waits for you even when you throw an adult tantrum that you know no one will put up with.

Because a person cannot fulfill that list you have your mind. We're giving away the role to someone that can't do it.

I can't fill it for someone and neither can you. Nor can't your mom or dad, brother, sister or best friend.

But that's okay. That verse and its promise covered me like a blanket on a cold day.

That my heart belongs to Jesus first, and then everything else after.

And then all of the anxiety I held in my mind and churning stomach was put to ease.

So I'm not supposed to find perfection in a person? Nope. I'm not supposed to be perfect? Nope. 

Jesus asks us to give ourselves to Him first. Give Him your time, job, dreams, etc... and then everything we ever wanted that He knows is good for us.... He'll take care of.

I hope you have beautiful Valentine's Day. But most of all I hope you know that it's okay if you're still stuck in the in-between.

Sometimes the best time is the in-between.

That's when God takes our hand and shows us what we've been missing out on all along. What our hearts really yearned for.

Because His love is perfect. And your love story is waiting to be written... just give it to Him and you'll see. <3

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Present

I was once described as being someone "on a rollercoaster of either the highest high or the lowest low... but never just in between". That being my emotions, of course.

And I thought about it, scratched my head over it, and at the end of the day, I don't completely disagree with it.

I've realized on the daily basis, I'm either super excited about something in the future... or I'm bawling my mascara-coated eyes in my car over something that happened, hasn't happened, or isn't happening.

And saying it out loud really helped me dissect what my problem is: I CAN'T FOCUS ON THE PRESENT.

I never thought of it as an issue. Just something that everyone probably goes through.

But working with children day in and day out... will teach you something about life that you wouldn't otherwise notice if you never step into their world.

Children are the simplest human beings in the world.

They wobble around with their squishy lunchboxes in hand, talk with their way too full mouths at the kid-size lunch tables, blurt out they're going to go poo, tell you that you're wasting trees by taking 3 not 2 strips of paper towels... all the while pulling you in close just to whisper they love you and then seal it with a big wet kiss on your cheek.

Children are all about the now.

There's nothing in their minds that tell them to worry about lunch tomorrow, or maybe little Andy won't want to be friends after what happened yesterday.

Anxiety? Pffttt that word was clearly first mentioned when someone blew out their candles into the teenage world.

Children have a great sense of the present. They don't focus on past situations or look at the future with longing. Today is their focus.

If only adults had the same mentality. But instead, it's as if we're driving and looking at the small rearview mirror instead of the wide dashboard with the road ahead.

And I think that's why as adults we get so anxious about everything. We focus on what's already been done and gone or hasn't even come yet.

But what for? Today has struggles of its own.

// T
herefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. // Matthew 6:34
Can you imagine if our minds didn't even have the capacity to remember things that well? We'd probably be like Dory and all of the worries we have would not be a problem anymore.

I admire children for this reason. They don't hold onto grudges or worry. They simply have today. They forgive, forget, cry, smile, and play. 

I suppose that's why Jesus said in order to receive the kingdom of heaven, one must become like a little child:

// Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. // Matthew 18:3

It makes sense if you stop and think about it.

Think of all the people in your life you have today, that perhaps you won't have tomorrow. I want to be joyful about that.

Think of all the wonderful things you could do and enjoy now, that perhaps you couldn't in the past or won't be able to in the future.

I guess that's why the present is called the present... it's a gift that's meant to be enjoyed right now.

The past is the past and no longer matters, it's part of who we were... but not where we're going. It doesn't define us anymore.

And we're not in the future nor do we know what's coming up next.

But you can rest assure we have a Father who has the entire map of our lives already laid out. 

He knows what's ahead, so adjust your seat, look ahead and trust in what the GPS is telling you to do and just drive.

He's got this... He's got you.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Time is at hand

It's 6:07 in the morning. The house is quiet and as I gaze outside my window, it's still pitch black. The only faint light I see is coming from the glowing moon.

I can hear the clock's constant tick... reminding me I only have a set number of minutes before I have to go get ready for my day.

The thing I’ve come to know is that there is a constant war going on for time and energy.

What we do, where we go, who we are with, how much time we spend on it, and the list goes on and on.

Nowadays we seem to be perfect time wasters on the things that don’t to add much value to our life.

Social media has been a big proponent of the way our time spent has changed our generation.

But there’s other things as well that have always been around like television, mindless scrolling on the internet etc…

And I’ve come to a conclusion: that the devil doesn’t really care how we spend our time quite honestly. As long as we’re wasting it.

This scares me. 

There is so much to be done and we only have the time given to us to do it!

I can almost see the hourglass spilling away, the rabbit from Alice in Wonderland chanting... "I'm late! I'm late! For a very important date!..."

So why would I want to waste the precious time I’ve been given and just throw it away on things that don’t add value to my life or anyone else’s?

Right before Jesus went up to heaven, he left instructions to the ones he loved and his disciples:

// And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believes and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believes not shall be condemned. // Mark 16:15-16

In other words: There is no time to waste!

Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mean to say you can never watch tv or listen to music or enjoy being with people you love. And I'm just as guilty scrolling instagram for inspiration. 

God intended for us to enjoy our lives with people we love, creating and doing the things that bring us joy.

But the difference is to not waste our time on things we know aren’t going to make us any better than we were 5 minutes ago.

Any ideas? I'm sure you can think of a few.

The things that will bring us down instead of lifting us up is what I'm talking about. Things that probably could’ve been replaced with something better.

Good question to ask yourself if what you’re doing is actually just wasting time: Is this going to grow me/help me or someone else in some way?

I think deep down we all know the answer to that.

Me? I want to be present in my life. I want to make sure everything I create, photograph, and write will add value to me and those around me.

I want everything I say on here be a reflection of my life and to glorify the God who made you and me.

I want to have a conversation with my Nonni when I’m at the table, and not look down at my phone as they wander off looking around in silence.

In the blink of an eye, our lives will pass. What scares me the most? Knowing I had a purpose, or in this case I'm gonna call it a mission (because that's so much cooler!), and I never completed it, because I'd rather scroll mindlessly on Instagram.

So let's stop wasting time. It’s too precious to just throw it away on nonsense things. Go and talk with your grandparents. Go take a walk with a friend. Cook something. Make something.
Read a book. Travel to a place you've never been. Take a kickboxing class.

Read the Bible and learn the incredible stories that are in there that you never knew about. There's so much you can learn in a lifetime!

Be intentional… the time is short.