Adoration (So Amazing)

“I could sing of your praises all day long, I could sing of your praises all day long, all day long. Because you are so amazing to me, I lift my hands in adoration to you. You are so amazing to me, I lift my voice in adoration to you. I could sing of your mercies all day long, all day long. I could sing of your mercies all day long, all day long. Because you are so amazing to me, I lift my hands in adoration to you. You are so amazing to me, I lift my voice in adoration to you.” Forever Jones

On the Daily Grind:

When things end and you have to pick up the pieces, you sit and reflect… not in an angry, why-did-this-happen kind of way; but I’m disappointed in myself.

I recently said that I’m going to pretend the last month didn’t happen. Does that weary in well doing ever translate into relishing in doing wrong [Gal 6:9]?

You know how they say be watchful of false prophets [Matthew 17:15-24]? It’s not so much that they come in with their guile tongue and deceive you… it’s more that you allow their logic to come in and persuade your already willing mind.  “Temptation comes from our own desires, which entice us and drag us away” [James 1:14].

If you’re loyalty is divided between God and the world, you are unstable in everything you do [James 1:8]. When you go against all the plans God laid out for you, the shame that floods in can be overwhelming. You feel broken. You feel incomplete. You feel foreign in a familiar place.

And lastly you’re left humbled; so humbled that the Grace of God is still in your life though you have failed the testing of your faith. His promise to love you remains, and because of that promise you are able to shake the shadows surrounding you.

And in your asking for forgiveness, for guidance, for strength, for wisdom… sometimes you ignore the answering call. You see yourself in the mirror, but upon walking away, you forget what you look like [James 1:23]. It’s hard to realize that my face never changes; it’s the perception of the reflection that causes confusion.

That desire to wake up and be whole again… the overarching response to a momentary corruption. And not knowing where to turn.

I Praise God for his ability to make me forget. After I do something bad, the pressure that weighs crushingly on an enslaved prisoner. I just want to be complete, valuable, desired.

But I placed my gift in a hole… the infertile tundra where the leaves whip at my seeds, the roots soaking up the fertile soil, my seeds unable to burrow. We are given gifts in accordance with our abilities, given ideas bigger than our current opportunities; but it’s up to us to walk by faith. You have to be diligent in listening for the right moment.

I really have to stop being so anxious for tomorrow, that I forget about the possibility of today.

Readers: What dreams do you give to God daily/weekly/monthly? What desires of your heart will you give to God so that he can move in your life? Do you know your TRUE desire?

Beautiful Flower

This is a song for every girl who, Feels like she is not special, ‘Cause she don’t look like a supermodel Coke bottle, The next time the radio tells you to shake your moneymaker, Shake your head and tell them, tell them you’re a leader, Now we’re moving from the darkness into the light, This is the defining moment of our lives, ‘Cause you’re beautiful like a flower, More valuable than a diamond, You are , powerful like a fire, You can heal the world with your mind, There is nothing in the world that you cannot do, When you believe in you, who are beautiful Yeah, you, who are brilliant, Yeah, you, who are powerful, Yeah, you, who are resilient” India Aire

I recently read on the blog Letters of Note about a book where celebrities wrote letters to their 16 year old self. And it made me pause. What would I say to me at 16 on the ending cusp of 23? It’s only 7 year, but in 7 years I left home and went to college; gave my life to Christ; traveled the world; graduated; became a “professional”; developed meaningful friendships; had my heart broken (twice); and best of all learned to love myself. Ahh the journey! Here’s what I would say to my mini-me.

Hi Little One,

I’m sure you’re shaking your head at the endearment. The adult you were forced to become scoffs at weakness, while the child you are clings to the affection. Take a second, dear heart, and accept that someone cares. *Whew*.

Now that we’ve finished with the preliminaries, how the heck are you? Wait let me think back and remember. You’re upset. There was no theatrical sweet sixteen where Jake (aka Charlie) comes in to wish you Happy Birthday and confess his undying love. Not that you would accept it anyway, com’on babe… the man wears mascara for goodness sake!

At least this birthday the mice didn’t eat your German Chocolate Cake… that’s a plus. And the Aunties pooled together to get you some money for school. Yeah babe, that’s right Georgetown is right around the corner!

Look at you! You hot sexy beast you! Getting into Georgetown at 15… who does that? Who celebrated their 16th birthday by getting into college? And who cares that you weren’t valedictorian, seludictorian, or any other type of –torian. Nobody remembers those amazing, over achieving losers anyway. There, did that make you feel better? Probably not.

You know what’s important right now? YOU! You who are  beautiful! Hey there, don’t shake your head at me little miss, you are BEAUTIFUL. And might I add that you were at a wonderful weight in high school? I mean I’m working on my fitness now, but this is after the balloon effect… so if you really want to pump up the volume: make the gym part of your life, cut out meat (trust that you can do it), and never look at another fast food restaurant again in your life (EVER!).

But I digress, I guess what you’d really like is some practical pieces of advice? Or to know that everything turns out peachy? I can’t give you all the answers ma petite chere (yes honey, you speak French & Russian… Look at me now… oh wait Chris Brown isn’t even known yet… *sigh*)

Here’s what I can tell you. Life is such an amazing journey! Don’t be so quick to bypass any of the detours or hit cruise control on the highway. Never be afraid to make mistakes. Stop trying to grow up so quickly. Stop letting worthless men in your life that lie in your bed and weigh on your heart. The only validation you need, the only relationship that matters is the one you develop with Christ. He becomes the ultimate love that lets you bounce back from your mistakes (and trust me that there will be men-y… [get it? “Men”, “y”= “Many”?— yes you’re still corny]). This is the type of love that overwhelms your doubts, forgives your past, fills your every bucket, and propels you forward. I know you’re atheist brain can’t accept the answer to a willing heart, but it will come.

Don’t be in such a rush to reach the next tree that you miss the banana sitting in front of your face, Donkey Kong.

Ahh… enough sap… Now for the practical things… never get a credit card, invest in yourself first (meaning learn how to manage your money and you can start by putting $25 toward Google stock), take lots of vacation (actually take every vacation you ever get), stop wearing your hair in a pony tail, please buy some clothes that fit, stop hiding your boobs in sports bras (let the girls free ok?),  flirt more and accept less, and start writing your thoughts down regularly.

If you do these things I promise you’ll learn that 1) no one can take away your awesomeness 2) people love to be around you and want to cleave to your side 3) (addendum to #2) you never have to force people to like you 4) no one’s shadow has more depth and dimension than yours 5) you’ll never have a big butt… but you definitely have millions of things that are 1000x better.

If you don’t do these things, well you will learn all the same things, but it just takes longer and hurts a little more (especially the thing about the butt… man, that’s CRUCIAL!).

Be Stupendous,

L

P.S. if you decide to skip school for a year to travel around Europe while having daunting affairs with Paolo and Sven before coming to Christ, well I won’t blame you for it… hahahaha just kidding!

P.P.S. you have a GREAT sense of humor by the way!!

Readers:

What would you say to you at 16? Looking back would you change anything? How would your 16 yr old self feel about the feedback from the older, wiser you? Doors open mayn!

 

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