Is There Truly Never Enough?

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There’s not enough time in the day, I mutter to myself. Rushing to get lunches made, shoes on and out the door for school. My calendar and schedule are full. My to-do list overflows at the brim. I place it all on me… I must get it all done. But at the end of the day, my soul reverberates what my lips muttered that morning. Not enough. Not enough time.

 

And we go through our days like this, don’t we? Not enough time to do the things we want to do. Not enough time to spend with each other. Not enough time to take care of the things put into our care. Not enough time for, well… living.

 

It’s not just time that seems to be scarce these days. Money is tight- at every turn. Resources seem to run low, and the timing of it is worse. Our energy seems to wane, exhausted we run towards the quickest fix- caffeine for some, a power bar for others. We can’t seem to create for ourselves what we need most, time, money, resources, energy, relational capital.

 

This scarcity some days wears on me like an achy muscle. Always there and getting worse by the hour.

 

How do we live when there’s not enough?

 

How will the quality of life be rendered when with each passing day, there seems to be less of what I need?

 

I turn towards the news of the day, and find that all around me, scarcity seems to rare its ugly head. Not enough protection in our schools for students, not enough good teachers to go around. Not enough patience on either side of legistration. Not enough time to listen, so we push our agendas on each other. Not enough understanding and willingness to see another’s perspective.   

 

Not enough. Not enough. Never enough. It’s the anthem of our culture, the theme song of Target, Amazon, and the local grocery store.

 

And yet…

 

The God of Abundance

When we turn to scripture we see a different story. The tune is different, the lyrics to the God song strung throughout this amazing story is that God is not a God of scarcity, holding back from us goodness, provision, and resources.

 

No! He’s the God of abundance, of overflow, of making something out of nothing, of praising the widow for the heart in her little offering.

 

We have a God who brought the throws of creation into being with the rise and fall of his own voice. We have a God who thought up great oceans and mountains, and then called them forth. He is the one who over and over again in scripture takes what people have, and makes more- the four thousand, the five thousand, the widow, the wedding party, the faith of the father and the mother, and even the waves in all their power.

 

And so, why? Why do we hesitate to believe in the power of abundance not in our days or our wallets, or our calendars, but in God Himself?

 

The Reality of Abundance

The reality in each of our lives is that of abundance.

 

Not because we have so much, but we have a God who can make much of our little.  Not because the time and understanding and resources are overflowing but because in the hands of God, our lives ARE taken care of.

 

Yet, the reality is God knows what we need- be it healing, a listening ear, time to be faithful to what He’s called us to, money to take care of the thing put into our care, or energy to put towards them. Friend, not only does he know what you need, but He also is constantly striving to provide for those needs.

 

In the midst of this truth, though, this truth of abundance, we get tripped up, don’t we? We see the lack of resources, the lack of time, the lack of listening ears and we decide we need to take matters into our own hands. We need to push and to strive, conjure and coerce, and we end up exhausted, soul tired, and at the end of ourselves.

 

Each time we end up this way, know this: Our God is waiting for us to turn towards Him in our sense of emptiness, our defeat, our lack, and allow Him to remind us of being the God of abundance.

 

Turn Towards His Abundance

Not only can He create more time for us, He is the Creator of the beginning and the end of time. Not only can He provide for us, but all we have is His to begin with. Not only is God the one through whom our whole life is held, but all of life around us is held in His grip too.

 

Scarcity is the language of the culture- our spinning out of control, addicted to busy culture. Scarcity screams at us at every corner. But scarcity doesn’t have the last word. Scarcity is not the end of the conversation.

 

Adbundance, overflow, more than enough. That’s the language of our God.

 

Your reality is not stuck in the reality of culture. No, your reality is held in the hands of a loving, more than capable, Almighty Savior, who is not only aware of the slipping through the cracks moments of your life. And who then reaches low to catch the things that slip- holding them in grace, providing in his mercy, and treating our lives with the reality of abundance.

 

So friends, don’t let scarcity have the last word.

Turn towards God whose truth is abundance.

Overflow, enough, and grace is available. Today, now, in this moment and the next.

By his word, he can bring just what you need this week. And gladly will! 

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If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life! 

Today Is the Day of New Possibilities


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No One Told Him He Couldn’t

 

We walk into the expansive gym- ceilings to the sky, open air echoing with the sounds of pure delight, a little chaos, and the pounding of small feet on the mats. My boys bound around, not a care in the world, looking for their next thrill.

 

As we walk around the gymnastics equipment, my oldest zeros in on a spring board and a bar. “Hanging makes me strong, Mom.” He insists. And so, I follow him over, my youngest trailing behind.

 

The older one, bounces and catches the bar, with little effort, his height an asset to the apparatus. But then, I notice my younger son eying it too. With confidence, he gets in line to wait his turn on the spring board. If my brother can do it, then certainly I can- he must be thinking.

 

He follows the pattern his older, taller brother followed… run, bounce, catch.

 

 Run, bounce… fall.

 

The pattern didn’t follow suit.

 

All smiles, he got back up, walking to the back of the line again- determined to try yet again. When his turn comes up, he runs, bounces… and… falls. Yet again, his pattern is different. He still smiles when falling. The thrill of the bounce and flying through the air is enough motivation to get him right back in line to try yet again.

 

Ten. Twenty. Then thirty times, my boy tries.

 

No one has told him he can’t. No one has told him he won’t get it, and so instinctively he knows, if I keep going, eventually I’ll get it.

 

I stand in awe at this tenacity. His frustration level didn’t rise.

 

He just kept trying.

 

A few times his fingertips hit the bar, and that was reward enough to keep trying. But, as I watched, I realized there was something I could do help. With his height, he needed the spring board just a touch closer to the bar. So, we made the small adjustment.

 

Run, bounce, fall. Again and again. Until… Run, bounce, SWING. Run, bounce, SWING.

 

Smiles a mile wide, we laughed together as he hung there like a monkey. You bet I celebrated when he caught it, again and again.

And you better believe I celebrated when he kept trying and fell.

 

Because it wasn’t the accomplishment that thrilled me, but his confidence.  His confidence that eventually, if he kept trying, he would get it.

 

When Were You Told You Couldn’t?

 

And that’s the thing, as kids we did things, we practiced and practiced. We tried and tired until somewhere along the way we were told, or we told ourselves that we COULDN’T.

 

We were all artists in first grade, but by seventh some are and some aren’t. We were all ninjas climbing ladders, and monkey bars in third grade, but by ninth, some are athletes, and some aren’t. We are all learners in kindergarten, but somewhere along the way, some are deemed “book smart” and some just… “have other strengths.”

 

But the reality is God is always about doing new things in us, bringing out new fruit, shaping us for new endeavors. He never says, we can't, or we shouldn't try because... we might not succeed.

 

The God of New Possibility

 

Even in the midst of failure, and especially when it seems like there are parts of us that are dying, even then he is the God who whispers… “keep going, I’m by your side!”

As we see in the book of Isaiah, God is the God who brings new possibilities out of the dead ends and the impossible, and the things we were told we just… couldn’t.

 

“For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
    I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.”

 

 

Don’t you see? It’s not our doing that brings the newness, the fruit, or the possible, out of the impossible. It’s God!

 

The fruit isn’t always the point of growth, because that God’s doing. Our job is to keep trying, keep getting back in line for another shot at the spring board, and to pay attention to where God might be aiming us.

 

The fruit is a by-product of the effort. Sure, success can be an accomplishment, but not the ONLY accomplishment.

 

While it’s true that people are given different gifts and talents, that doesn’t mean we can’t grow other skills; and that certainly doesn’t mean we don’t try new things. In fact, because God is the God who brings new possibilities and new fruit to once dead talents, skills, and abilities, We better be on the lookout for the NEW things that God is growing in us.

 

 

You Can Always Try Something New

 

Remember your life is not static, not set in stone. You can always try something new.

 

Whether you succeed or not, I don’t think is the purpose of trying.

 

Seeing the growth of who you became in the midst of a project, may be the point, regardless of whether the project was a success or a failure.

Who you became in the midst of falling over and over again, may be just what God wants from your efforts. And our God is the One who is always about making us into who he created us to be.

 

 

The God of Endurance and Encouragement

 

So today, if you’re discouraged with the amount of time and care and energy you’ve put into making a change in your life, or forging a new path, or just digging deep into the things God has called to you in this season, but you don’t see the fruit of your labor…. just yet, be encouraged.

 

With each new step, you take you have a God who walks beside you. Yes, celebrating the times you catch the bar, but also celebrating the effort you gave, the attempts you made, and for showing up to your actual life in the first place.

 

For he is the God who gives encouragement AND endurance.

 

He’s by your side today, this week, this month as you endeavor to live a faithful life. He’s by your side, cheering you on today, this week, this month as you work towards fulfilling a dream, or making a change, or raising a forgotten relationship.

 

Keep going today, friend- for you have a whole crowd of people in line behind you trying new things, seeking to be faithful, and longing to see God in the midst of it all.

 

Keep going today, friend!

 

For you have a God who is not watching far off in the stands, but is right next to you, whispering, “Keep Going. You can do this. Be faithful. I’m doing a new thing in the midst of the process.” 


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If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life! 

Your Actual Life is the Only Life You Have... So, LIVE it!

 Photo credit: Eric Patnoudes  unsplash.com

Photo credit: Eric Patnoudes unsplash.com

What if I told you that you already have the life you long for? You know, the one you dream about? Would you believe me? Chances are, if you haven’t paid much attention to your life, you probably wouldn’t believe me.

 We all have expectations for ourselves, and our lives; we have dreams we seek to attain.  We have images of who we think we should be. In and of themselves these are not bad things- these dreams. They can make us seek to live differently than we are, and make us change in some good ways.

But when something that isn’t a reality becomes your focus, you lose the ability to accept the life you have. In my experience, when chasing a life you think you want, you tend towards living a hustled, worn-out, and discontented existence.

Expectations for a life we SHOULD be living will always rob us for the life we actually have.

Here’s the thing: I’m all about crafting an intentional life, making time and putting your resources towards the things that MATTER. But in order to do this we need to stop trying to live in the should’s and start living in NOW.

 

 How the Fear of Missing Out Robs You

Living to meet the expectations of SHOULD will always rob you of the heart of why you are doing something. SHOULD is an external expectation put on you, often by someone else, and sometimes put on you by… you.

Maybe, you are an excellent marketer, but your parents or spouse or mentors believe you SHOULD work your way up to senior management. So, you work with these expectations weighing on your shoulders, each day, unable to fully put yourself into your work as a marketer, because you’re striving for something beyond your real actual life, NOW.

Or you believe that to truly live out your faith, you have to something big and public FOR God. So, you live with the burden that you’re never enough, and are never going to match up to the ‘great’ people who have lived sacrificially. You fill your life with seemingly good things, but all under the guise of needing to do something public and great for God.

And then here’s what happens: Maybe you’ve lived into that SHOULD. Maybe you work hard, and finally get what you’ve been longing for- that job, that house, a baby, a marriage. And then you find that reality doesn’t match your dreams of what it would be like when you finally ARRIVED. So, you start longing for the next stage, and the next thing, and you miss what’s right in front of you.

Not only is the fear of missing out real, it’s so real that it can rob you from living your actual life. Somewhere along the way, we stopped believing in the power of our actual lives. When we don’t believe in the power of our everyday, ordinary lives, we forsake the gifts right in front of us.

The life you long to live is possible. You long to live connected to those around you, present to the joys and the challenges of the day, and wide awake to the lessons that inevitably come in life. This is possible, and not only that, but it’s possible in the life you have right now.

 

You Don't Need Someone Else's Life

If you’re like me, and many people I know, somewhere along the way you started believing that in order to truly live, you had to have a DIFFERENT life- like someone else’s life. You envied their life, or lived in shame and guilt at the life you actually have, because well, it wasn’t theirs… it… was… yours.

But you don’t need someone else’s life or the lives you see on Instagram. 

You need to live your life.  Your actual life is where God longs to form you. His formation of you, happens not in someone else’s life, but in YOURS. In the heartache and anxiety, in the joy and laughter.

You see, the people God surrounds you with are the people God wants to use to form you. Not someone down the road, not the image of the person in your mind. But the actual people. We gloss over this so much.

We think we need to have different friends, a different boss, different kids, or a different family- because those in our lives right now just aren’t the people we thought they would be. We think “this is all there is?” And miss the power of these relationships to be the material for our formation, our being drawn towards God, and our ability to live wide awake.

 

Comparison Is Robbing You of Your Life

Your actual life is the only life you have. So, why are you longing for someone else’s? I’ll let you in on a little secret…their life isn’t as good as their pictures looks- just like yours isn’t just like the life you have in your mind.

But, giving up these images- this comparison to other people’s life is key towards living YOUR real life. We can’t live our real lives, when we’re constantly comparing and seeking to live up to someone else’s expectations for ourselves.

So, give up the comparison.

It’s hard at first, doing this. But starting to live your actual life means you start paying attention to the life right in front you- something you can’t do when you’re seeking to live up to an unattainable expectation, or when you constantly tell yourself someone else’s life is better or more fulfilled than yours.

You have the life you long for. But you have to accept your actual life for what it is- in all its mundane ordinariness. Living someone else’s life, or someone else’s illusion of your life, will always rob you of the goodness of your real life. So, start living contented.

Living contented starts today. You can do it.

Your actual life, can become the life you’ve always wanted-when held, turned over and examined for what it is- a gift through which you are changed, formed, and used for the sake of others.

 

 

 

 

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If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life! 

How We Learn to See

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When my son was two years old he had a favorite game. He’d grab all the flashlights he could find, and then grab my hand, leading me to his destination of choice. Most of the time, it was to his bedroom. He would then climb on the bedrails and balance as tall as he could to reach the light switch. His toes would curl to make sure he wouldn’t fall over the top of the rail; his little fingers stretched out and reaching northward. The lights would go out, he’d fall into bed laughing and the game would begin.

“Mama!” He’d call out. The sweet innocence of his two-year-old voice enveloping the room. “Mama!” And suddenly I’d find his little hand placing a flashlight in mine.

During the game, the room started very dark. With my eyes yet to adjust, it was pitch black. But when my little man would click on his light, suddenly there was a stream of light, illuminating everything in its path. He’d swing the light high over his head.

“Light on the ceiling!” I’d call out. “Mama!” He’d shout and shine his light on his overstuffed elephant sitting on top of his bookshelf. Then he’d laugh, knowing that two seconds before elephant was in the dark, but is now able to be seen.

Then I’d shine my light on him. “Your belly button,” or “Your toes,” I’d call out. Then the corners of his mouth would pull into a grin as the skin on his little body illuminated with a dark red hue against the backdrop of the light. And on and on the game would go.

He loved it because he understood, even at two, that what catches the light, we see in full view- everything else remaining out of focus, a little fuzzy. We can make out shapes, but not see the details.

It wasn’t lost on me during that season, how much this game was like our lives.

 

Seeing God in the Dark

When we have light, we can see things clearly. But often our lives don’t feel illuminated. We make out bits and pieces and shapes of the realities of our world, but most of our lives can seem left in the dark.

Can you see what God is doing in your life? Or do you find yourself wondering why you can’t see the activity of God?

Sometimes a life found in the dark, is not a choice.  When that happens, we can remain patient; it won’t be this way forever. But many other times, we don’t see, because we haven’t trained our eyes, our hearts, our minds to see the subtleties of the reality of God’s actions in our days.  

...And we must learn to see.

If you’re anything like me, you too long to see the deeper realities, the action of God, the rhythms of his grace, meeting you in the moments of your days.

You long to see- really see, those deeper realities.

 Are you, like me, longing to live a life wide awake?

 

God is in Your Ordinary

I want to see God in the ordinary, in the everyday realities of my ordinary life. And that’s exactly where, I believe, God wants to be found.

We can only find him in our actual lives. Not in the lives we hope to lead someday, though he will be faithful to meet you in the future. Not in the lives you wish you had lived, though certainly he was there in your past too.

It’s in people’s actual, real, day-to-day lives that God is at work, and is revealing himself to the world we inhabit.

I believe this deeply, like it’s a core part of me- that if God meets us anywhere it’s smack dab in the midst of our everyday ordinary lives.

But sadly, and often, my life is not in the state of being able to see the deeper work of God. I need that flashlight to navigate the ordinariness of my everyday life. And, I wonder, do you too?

Are you stumbling around your life, needing a flashlight to illuminate the activity of God?

 

Learn to See With New Eyes

In scripture, God is called ‘the One who sees.’ He’s also called The Light. Not only that, but He’s the Creator of all light. What does this mean?

 Not only does God have complete sight of the realities in our lives and world, but He’s also the Light from which these lives are illuminated.

You may just need to learn to see, again. But how do we do this? How do we learn to see as God sees?  Seeing often involves looking with new eyes at the same situations. It begins with asking God for His perspective on the seemingly small and the apparently large circumstances in our lives. 

Because maybe the way we see things isn't all there is, and we need God's flashlight of wisdom and understanding to illuminate things correctly for us. For example: 

What if God were actually announcing the wonder of the world through the kids in our lives?

What if my boy’s wonder at flashlights and your kid’s fascination with trains, and the neighbor kid’s laughter at a game of pick up football were actually tools God was using to illuminate the wonder splattered all over the canvas of His world?

How might you learn to see, if you chose to see the children in your life this way?

And what if God were talking to us through the difficulties in our relationships?

Maybe conflict is more than just frustrations, and is rather opportunities to see Christ at work in developing patience, a sense of bearing with one another and living in tension. The difficult person in your life can actually be God’s greatest asset to building character in you.

How might you learn to see, if you chose to see the deeper reality of conflict in this way?

What if God were using our hard work during our days, to draw us towards living with empathy with one another?

 When you come home, worn out from a long day of productive work, or a long day of wrangling toddlers and babies or a long day of manual labor- what if you saw your work not just as hard and draining, but as a gift. Because there are people out there who are praying to get the job you have, praying for work that brings them dignity, praying that God would move.  

There are people who are praying for your hard reality- for a job, a baby to cuddle, or a strong body that can work.  

How might you learn to see, if you chose to see the hard realities of work this way?  

You can learn to see. You can learn to be wide awake to the illumination of Christ all around you. It's right in front of you. It's in the life you're living. 

But it takes intention and a perspective shift. For if you know Christ, your whole life is the flashlight of God, illuminating His presence through your ordinary life, to your corner of the world.

Maybe it starts with praying this prayer each day this week: 

Jesus, the One who saw life with complete clarity. May you shine the light of your understanding and wisdom on our lives today, that we too might learn from you how to live life illuminated by the Holy Spirit, and clear in our mission. May the conflict and pain, the joy and the mundane all draw us closer to your side. Shine the flashlight of your presence all over our lives, that we may reflect your light in our little corners of the world. Amen.
 

For when we learn to see, we find our lives awakened to abundance, fullness and significance- flashlights and conflict and wonder and all.


If you're longing to find meaning in the midst of the mundane in your own life, I have a gift written just for you. My e- book called Jesus and Spit: Seeing the Miracle in the Mundane is yours FREE when you sign up here. Join me on this journey to discover the miracles God has in your ordinary life!