Monthly Archives: March 2018

It’s Just Not Fair!

How many times have those words come out of our mouths?  “It’s just not fair!”

It started when Johnny got to play with the favorite toy truck instead of you in daycare.  And it continued throughout your life.  Santa gave Sally the ultimate sought-after gift at Christmas and he didn’t give you one.  Anna got junior high cheerleader and your cartwheel was much better than hers.  Billy got a brand new truck for his 16th birthday and you got the privilege of sharing the family station wagon with your brother.

Mary got the coveted college acceptance letter and you went to state school.  Jeff was promoted.  Julie got engaged.  Pam had twins. Scott’s son was the football MVP.  It’s just not fair.

We have turned from a loving, trusting, “help your neighbor” community into a pick-up-your-sign-and-tell-the-world-it’s-not-fair society.  And you are exactly right!  It’s not fair!  But what about this?

I know a guy whose son was charged with some made-up crime, mocked, spit on, cursed at, beaten, ridiculed while walking to his sentencing and eventually beaten to a pulp and then hung…yes, hung on a cross with big, thick railroad spikes pounded into his hands and his feet WHILE HE WAS STILL ALIVE!  Then a sharp, crown of thorns was shoved forcefully on his head until blood spewed down his face, squirting with every heartbeat in his chest.

And they stood back and watched Him die!!

Yea, life’s not fair.  You betcha.  Today we remember how unfair it was that Jesus was falsely accused, made fun of and tortured to death just so that we can get a free pass for all the not-fair stuff we get away with today.

The difference?  He came back to life!  He is alive today.  And He is waiting with open arms and a smile on His face to tell you He died and rose again to make sure we didn’t get what was fair.

Accept this It’s-Just-Not-Fair gift from Jesus today and live in freedom as you exchange your life for the gift of His.

Making The Most of Your Life’s Space.

“Make the most of every inch of space.”

That is the theme of blogs, podcasts and TV shows everywhere cashing in on the new wave of tiny spaces.   They refer to their collection of techniques as “small space decorating” or “extreme small space decorating”.  Tiny houses are all the rage and minimalism takes the prize.

I love organizing, decluttering and decorating.  I love seeing how these masterminds take the smallest of areas and make a beautiful space out of it.

Last week while I was in Atlanta, I stayed in a hotel that lived up to that theme.  It was a regular hotel room but it seemed so much bigger.  It had a king size bed, a comfortable couch that pulled out into a bed, an ottomon to rest your feet while watching TV and a little portable TV tray where the legs went under the couch allowing the tray to be brought close for maximized use.

There was no traditional closet as we think of it but rather an inset to the wall on both sides of the window with rods for hanging clothes and a place to keep the iron and ironing board all hidden by beautiful matching curtains.  The refrigerator, microwave, coffee center were inset into the wall next to the bathroom allowing one door to double as a bathroom door and closure to the coffee center with just one effortless slide.

There were shelves all the way up the bathroom wall next to the vanity and a shelf encompassing the vanity area itself maximizing every single space possible.

I was impressed to say the least.  It certainly had the newest industrial interior decorating style while still feeling warm and very functional.  I kept finding  hidden shelves and drawers everywhere I looked.

And then right there on one of the shelves in the TV unit was a blue hard-bound book with the spine facing me.  The Holy Bible from the Gideons.  I gently picked it up, running my hand over its cover with a soft smile on my face and warmth in my heart.  Of all the spaces in that room, they still found a perfect spot for God’s Word.

That should be our life’s mission.  In all the decorating of our homes, the search to make healthier choices in our lifestyles and the decluttering of every corner of our lives, we should always find room for God.

We can be dressed in the most stylish of clothes, have the coolest of home decor and the most organized of schedules but if we don’t find room for God, we’ve missed the boat.

As you start your adventure through this day, take time to make room for God.  I believe He loves tiny spaces, spinach smoothies, leopard-print outfits and shiplap decor but only when He can be found in the center of it all.

A Punch In the Gut that Went Straight To The Heart.

I got a call over the weekend from an organization in which I was excited to have an opportunity to speak.  It was a larger organization several hours away.  She wasn’t calling to finalize plans for the event months in advance.  Instead she was calling to tell me that there had been a mistake and she had to be the bearer of bad news that I was not the one the committee chose.

It wasn’t her fault.  She is new to the group and didn’t realize the process.  Instead they had secured a speaker who has a national platform and had been featured in a national magazine.  I swallowed hard and thanked her for calling because I knew it was hard for her.  I’m not mad.  These things happen and that’s how life rolls.

I will admit however that I was very disappointed.  And the devil stepped right in to use that disappointment.  I started thinking maybe this calling I have wasn’t real.  Maybe I didn’t hear God right back in 2000 at the women’s conference when He filled my heart with this dream to be an inspirational speaker.  Maybe my goals are too big and I’ve done something wrong.

Of course I’m not a national speaker and have never been featured in any magazine.  I’m not good enough.  Dreams don’t really come true for someone like me.  I’m just a small town girl with a big time dream.  God can’t use me.  Just sit in your corner and write your blog and be happy where you are.  That’s what the devil told me.

I admit I cried a little.  No.  A lot.  Again, I wasn’t mad.  It was just a punch to my ego and a pop to my dream.  I wallowed around in self-pity for a few days.  I prayed.  And cried.  And prayed.  And cried some more.

Then I went to see the movie, “I Can Only Imagine”.  That movie has so many emotions and story lines that can affect so many people in many different ways.  But the scene that hit me hard was when Bart (of the singing group Mercy Me) decided he was going to quit the band because he didn’t get the first contract that came up.  The devil was in his head telling him he wasn’t good enough even though God had given him this talent and this dream.

But what he found out was that his mission all along may have been to witness to his abusive father through a song his dad heard him sing on the local church radio station.  In the end it was his dad who found the Lord and ended up changing Bart’s life forever.  And yes, you know how the story ends.  He saw his dream come true.

I’m not saying I will ever see my dream come true on any horizon like Mercy Me but I did pick myself back up from the wallowing in my own self-pity and realize that if my mission is in my own back yard, then I will do it and I will do it as well as I know how.

God can use any of us and wants us to keep His dreams in our heart.  Yes the disappointment punched me in the gut but it went straight to my heart where Jesus was waiting to remind me that no matter what I do, as long as it’s for Him, it is not wasted.

I Corinthians 10:31(b) and 33 (b)- whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.  For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.

 

Yes, It’s Free!

Free drink coupons from Southwest Airlines.

I appreciate Southwest thanking me for all my time sitting in their seats and flying with them but what was I going to do with those free drink coupons?  I drink ice water.

As I was preparing to fly to Atlanta, I grabbed the drink tickets and thought I would just give them away.  As I sat in my exit row (with lots of room) there was a gentlemen sitting right behind me.  I decided he was the one I would offer the tickets to.

I gave them to him and explained I wouldn’t use them but would like for him to have them.  He was very gracious but replied, “I’m sorry I don’t have anything to offer you in return.”  It caught me off guard.  Then I replied “there’s no need to give me anything.  It’s just my gift to you.  Just pay it forward.”

That’s the core of the story of Jesus dying on the cross for us.  It’s really that simple.  God gave us this free gift of salvation.  We are excited to have it but sometimes feel guilty for accepting it and having nothing of value to give back.  We think we’re not good enough to get something of such significance for free.  And we’re not but that’s why it’s such an awesome gift.  We don’t deserve it but we get it anyway.

There is nothing we have to give back to equal in payment what God did for us by sending us His son to die for all the horrible things we have done in our lives, but He did it and expects nothing in return except to live a life for Him.

We’ll screw it up that’s for sure, but the good news is that we get to try again – everyday.  Please accept this free gift from God.  You can’t repay Him but you can pay it forward by telling others about it and telling them where to get their free gift.

Here’s to a life of freedom in Christ!