Hello, my lovely friends! Oh my gosh, it’s been about a month since I checked in. My plan in July was to post twice a week with an encouraging verse, song, or praise. Just anything to say “hey, don’t give up.” Well, I didn’t quite make it.
You see, we’ve moved from Ohio to Arkansas and it has been a whirlwind! I spent most of the first nine days in July packing and saying goodbye. We had a going-away party at our house on the 3rd, on the 6th I met with my life group to say goodbye. Then on the 8th we picked up the moving truck and spent the next three days packing it, driving it, and unpacking it.
Then I started my new job on the 12th! From there I have been learning so many new things and trying to get acclimated to our new home. My husband and I switched roles too. I went to work and he is staying home to unpack, run the house, and take care of our daughter.
Fast forward and now, I know that I need to get back into action. I need to reconnect with you, my friends! I’ve missed it.
Since I fell off in July, I’m just going to pick up with my usual schedule of posting on Wednesdays. So, I hope you’ll keep connected with me and that you find some encouragement.
While I was thinking about what to tell you, I asked God for some guidance. I realized I haven’t shared much with you about our regular life. Then I remembered this verse:
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:1-2 MSG.)
This verse is so true you guys!
God doesn’t just want the part of us that’s all polished up, dressed up, made up, walking into church on Sunday with our everything-is-just-peachy-smile life. He wants the everyday, ordinary, not-so-nice life.
- The part where you struggle to pay rent and ask him for help and guidance on how to do better life.
- The part where you stub your toe and say the four-letter word life.
- The part where you eat take-out pizza, quit your diet, and promise to try again tomorrow life.
- He wants the part of you where you’re crying, just broke up with the guy, don’t understand how this happened life.
- He wants the walking the dog, grumbling because it’s raining life.
- He wants the sweaty on Saturday cleaning the bathroom life.
I know that I used to go to church pretending that things were okay. I put my church smile on, my appropriate clothes on, and put my check in the offering plate. All while I was trying to figure out how to do better, live better, and not get judged by these people today because I couldn’t take any more.
I heard a quote from someone on K-Love Radio that basically said – the church is a hospital for sinners, not a place for the righteous to judge. I know in my heart it’s so true. I also know that humans like to judge. Humans like to compare, measure up, and put down.
The truth of the matter is that Jesus isn’t most people. He loves the weak, props up the weary, heals the sick, gives sight to the blind. He sees the inside of you where people only look on the outside. If he didn’t I wouldn’t be where I am today.
I was a single mom, struggling to make ends meet, living in public housing with public assistance, and waiting tables. I wasn’t doing the best, but I wasn’t doing the worst. I was often written off and overlooked. I thought I was invisible.
Sort of like the forgiven woman in Luke 7. The woman came in, washed his feet with her tears and her hair. All while men looked on in judgment of her. Jesus didn’t, he looked on in love.
“I tell you, her sins – and they are many – have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love.” (Luke 7:48, NLT) Then Jesus said to the women, “Your sins are forgiven.” (Luke 7:48, NLT) And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50, NLT)
How amazing that Jesus saw past what she’d done in her everyday, ordinary life. How wonderful that he looked past her sins to love her. Not just her on the outside, but the whole inside version of her. Then he forgave her.
I was that invisible woman. But then God turned, looked, saw me, and said “I choose you.”
Sort of like when he chose David. God sent Samuel to anoint his next chosen king of Israel. Samuel saw Jesse’s sons and believed each one was the next king. But God looked beyond what humans see on the outside, to what is on the inside.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NLT.
In my everyday life, at my new job, in my new town, I’m looking at life with fresh eyes. I am learning new colloquialisms and new ways of doing things. I’m learning new roads and trying to adapt to new things.
I’ve learned that people often see and hear what they expect to see, what they want to see. We are afraid of change, of living a different life, and of trying something new.
I moved to Arkansas because I asked God what to do and where to go and he made the way to Arkansas. I write this blog because I asked God to give me a job to do and he gave me words to say. I go to church and be my real self without putting on the church smile because life is hard and we can’t do it alone. I go to work and say words about Jesus because I’m uniquely positioned to do that.
I make mistakes too. We don’t have a mattress right now because I got dates and months mixed up and we can’t cancel or reschedule right now. We are waiting on living room furniture because I rented a truck too small.
We make mistakes that are bigger than these things – we try drugs and get addicted; we gamble away our rent money and get evicted. People are homeless, hungry, and afraid. Kids run away and get trafficked and wish they could go back in time. Some people have violent outbursts. Others have meltdowns. Some people are racist and others are narcissists. There are users and abusers.
All of these people belong in church. All of these people are in church. Jesus seeks us all out to forgive us, love us, and heal us. Just like the forgiven woman, just like David, just like me.
Paul got it right – he wants our everyday, ordinary, walking-around life. Because that’s where we live and he meets us right there, where we’re at. Always.
Is there anything you’re struggling with in your everyday life right now? Have you had a day where you just knew God saw who you really were and no one else did? I’d love to hear from you. Enter the conversation, leave a comment below. Also, if you don’t want to miss a thing, type your email below and you’ll receive new posts to your inbox. I don’t spam you or sell your email. See you there!