Ask Them Questions

Question

Last night, I had the opportunity to go over to a couple’s house for dinner. I provided a “Mistake Cake” Dessert (what was supposed to be a bundt cake, that turned into a trifle) they provided a delicious dinner , and we just chatted about life.

The conversation was delightful-topics including marriage, exegetical preaching, current readings, and the like filled our evening. Before we sat down to eat, I asked the Mrs. about how she was feeling about life right now.  I asked what she found most difficult, how each member of her family is dealing/processing with the current situations, and just listened to her story.

I didn’t think it strange to ask her those questions, because I care about her! I want to know how she is doing! But later in the evening, her husband said something about how rare it is that someone ask how SHE is doing. They have been in ministry for many, many years, and she has mentored many people. They have found that most of the time, the conversations circle around how the other person is doing. Far too infrequently, he said, is her life and struggles addressed and talked about.

Honestly, I was surprised by that.

But then I thought, perhaps that is normal for people in ministry, or who have a counseling heart. Perhaps they listen SO often, and give advice SO frequently, that others simply forget to ask how THEY are. And they deeply need ministered too as well!

So I guess all this to say, that when you are sharing your life and burdens with others, do not forget to also care for their burdens. Remember that their shoulders that help bear your pain, through strong, could certainly use a friend to bear their pains as well. 

This quote has been steadfastly on my heart and mind these last few months:

Loving

Listen. Love. Ask. Care.

Thanks for reading 🙂

When They are Hard to Love

1208150659a

For the family member that purposefully pushes each of your buttons.

For the broken friend that speaks harshly in every circumstance.

For the co-worker who irks you.

For the neighbor you try to ignore.

For the person you struggle to love.

Pray.

Pray for them over and over and over again. Pray for their day and their heart and their circumstance.  Pray for their joy, their holiness, their faith. Pray for God to give you His eyes to see them, and His heart to love them.

Prayer may change them, but it will absolutely change you.

Checking Jesus Out at the Door

Don’t you hate it when you realize that you just checked Jesus out at the door?

No I don’t mean “oh hey Christ-looking good”-that’s just weird,

I mean when you ignore him-thinking something else will satisfy you more.

 

You talk to him, cry with him, learn of his goodness while sitting at his feet,

And then all of a sudden your cell phone rings, it’s time to go

There’s someone more important to meet.

 

And though you know He is the only one who truly knows you, and time ignoring him is a waste

You’ll spend hours of your day, living and thinking as if he doesn’t exist

Only when it’s convenient actually seeking his face.

 

And I hate this about me, and I’m sure you hate it about you.

Why can’t I embrace and live the reality of a relational omnipresent God

Instead of just being who I want to be and doing what I want to do.

 

I don’t want hours to go by when I don’t even think of Him.

I don’t want to make decisions or have conversations without His input

Thinking that my own worldly wisdom can do on a whim.

 

Because frankly, I’m an idiot. Forgetful, sluggish, weak-just to name a few.

And so when I depend on my own strength and understanding

I just make a mess of things or can never follow things through.

 

And every time I do that, every time he isn’t a part of my convo, evening, or plan

I know I’ve just squandered an opportunity to experience true delight and flourishment

Instead wasting heart and effort on what? The approval of sinful, mortal man?

 

So I have to constantly realign my sin-soaked, selfish heart, my wandering focus and  my gaze

And when I’m in the word, I have to plead to the Holy Spirit

to help me keep His glory and majesty present every minute of every day.

 

Because the truth is that the best, happiest, fulfilled we’ll ever be the side of glory

Is when we are steadfast in knowing, showing, devoting, delighting, proselytizing, obeying, appreciating, consecrating,

and resting in the beauty of our God and the grace of his gospel story.

 

(This poem started as a rap because I have a secret desire to be a rapper for  a day…but it is much harder than I originally anticipated! Also, I am rhythmically challenged so this little poem is just going to have to do!)

I Know Why You Are Still Single

I feel like I hear the question “What’s wrong with me? Why am I single?” on the lips of my dear female friends a lot. Whether they are 20 or 30 or somewhere in between, they seem to have somehow been convinced of the idea that their singleness is a result of something they are or are not.

They aren’t outgoing enough.

They aren’t thin enough.

They aren’t young enough.

They aren’t pretty enough.

They aren’t smart enough.

They just aren’t enough.

Let me tell you the real reason why you are single right now. It’s not because you are awkward, or overweight, or too homey or too make-upped, or too loud, or too quiet, or too anything. Because, let’s be honest, think about it, there are LOTS of happy, holy people who are married that are *seemingly* alllll those things.

It’s simple really. The only reason you are single right now is because God wills that to be.

And if God wills it to be-it is the BEST thing for you.

Now don’t get me wrong, you can ABSOLUTELY be playing a part in that process. If your desire is to be married, there are things you can be doing to aid you in getting there. You (and others) can be (and should be!) praying. You can respond to godly pursuit. You can find ways to mingle with godly, mature men. You can read books on godly masculinity, femininity, and relationships. And all the while you should be working towards sanctification. Not for/because of a one day relationship-but because of a deep desire to please and look like the Lord.

But ultimately, it is up to the Lord. He is sovereign over all things.

[God] works all things according to the counsel of his will.
(Ephesians 1:11)

Our God is in the heavens;
he does all that he pleases.
(Psalm 115:3)

I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
(Job 42:2)

He can easily bring someone into your life. He can easily incline someone’s heart to you.(Proverbs 21:1!) He could have easily had you married years ago! But that was not His will for your life.

A man’s steps are from the LORD;
how then can man understand his way?
(Proverbs 20:24)

Many are the plans in the mind of a man,
but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.
(Proverbs 19:21)

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”—yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. . . .  Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.”
(James 4:13-15)

God chose to allow a season (or lifetime) or singleness, and that is okay. He has a reason for it. And that reason is that through this season He is going to be able to work in you in remarkable ways for His name’s sake. He is not punishing you. God only allows and permits things in your life to make you look more like Christ. There may come a time, my dear, dear, sisters, where that refining process of sanctification will take place in the covenant of marriage, but until then, don’t be anxious! Concentrate on knowing who God is, and being what God calls you to be, instead of concentrating who “he” (future-Mr.-godly-pants-spouse-husband-man) might be and wondering what he would want you to be.

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30

Your Savior is your first love, your ultimate love, your only perfect love, and your only everlasting love. If it is in God’s sovereign plan for you to have a spousely love,  it will happen! Not too early. Not too late. All in his perfecting time and because of His sovereign will.

~ Psalm 37 ~