Category Archives: Random

Broken

I struggle with being a perfectionist. I hate doing stupid things. Actually, I rarely do stupid things because I like pretending that I have it all together. Of course, I don’t. But it always really deflates me when I really mess up. I realize that striving for perfectionism is the opposite of what God wants for us. Which is interesting because many people believe that faith requires following a bunch of rules. In reality, God can finally use us once we realize that we’re broken messes. Sometimes I feel like he is saying, “thank goodness she finally gets it—I can use her now that she realizes her brokenness and my strength.” I think that Francesca Battistelli puts it so well in her song Free To Be Me:

I got a couple dents in my fender
Got a couple rips in my jeans
Try to fit the pieces together
But perfection is my enemy
And on my own I’m so clumsy
But on Your shoulders I can see
I’m free to be me

Every time I hear this song on the radio, I am stunned by the simplicity of the statement, “perfection is my enemy.” Because for my whole life, my heart and mind have believed the opposite—that perfection is the goal. I love how God has blasted the truth into my life in so many ways lately. He is not asking me to be perfect. Although he is sanctifying me and bringing me closer to him, it’s not really about me at all. I am his vessel; God just wants me to understand how broken I am because then his love and forgiveness can shine through. It’s about him using my life to further his plan and his kingdom.

I want to share something that I wrote back in the spring at a women’s retreat. I never planned to post this, but God is weaving this theme through my life right now. I hope that he uses this to speak to someone else too:

Why did you choose this vessel?
Cracked, broken, ugly, unclean
What if I contaminate those around me instead of sharing your love with them?
What if I am no different from non-believers; what if my life has no fruit? no joy?
And the Lord responds,
It’s not about you—it’s about me
Me molding you, changing you
Turning weakness into strength
Making whole what is broken
Healing your heart, accepting you, forgiving you
Holding you in my arms and filling you with my water
Teaching you to be joyful like the child playing in the leaves—
At peace with herself because she is a child of the King.

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Hold Loosely

This past weekend, I felt the need to get rid of some things. I went through my closets and donated four boxes of clothes to Goodwill. There were clothes in the depths of my closet that I haven’t even worn this decade. Since returning from the recent mission trip, it seems necessary to simplify my life. And I’m not totally sure why … Ireland isn’t exactly a third-world country where I saw people in utter poverty. It’s not like I went to Africa like Annie or to Nicaragua like Ally (both are out of the country right now on mission trips—go check out their blogs and then come back here!) However, taking a week to totally focus on serving God in a foreign country—without television or cell phones or internet (except to post a few quick blog entries)—shifted my priorities. I feel the need to have less stuff and less clutter in my life.

I am reminded of a verse that I’ve always pondered. In Luke 14:33, Jesus says, “So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own.” I have always wondered how literally we should take this verse. I don’t believe Jesus is asking me to go out and give away everything I own and live on the street in a box. Instead, I believe that he is asking us to hold loosely. So often, we cling tightly to possessions and surround ourselves with stuff because we believe it makes our lives more meaningful or entertaining. “Giving up everything we own” means giving up our hold on things—acknowledging that none of it is ours and remembering that our Father is the one who gives and takes away.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in the latest fashion trends and fill my closet with clothes. Or to feel envious of someone’s beautiful home and fill up my house with decorations. It is easy to lose perspective when I’m focused on myself. I think our downward-trending economy is teaching all of us that we can live without a lot of things that we previously considered necessities. More than ever, I am learning to cling tightly to my Jesus instead of my possessions.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this verse and the concept of holding loosely.

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Filed under Faith, God, Missions, Random

Optional

Upset is optional.

I read that statement on a bumper sticker earlier this week. And I love it. Over the years, I have allowed a lot of things to upset me: things people said to me, what people thought of me, what I presumed people thought of me, and so on. Thankfully, I am a reformed drama queen (for the most part). I realize that most of the rides on my emotional rollercoaster were unproductive and unnecessary. So, these days I usually forego the option of upset.

The quote made me think: what else in my life is optional? What about anxiety? I know that many people struggle with anxiety and for serious cases, it’s not a matter of just deciding not to be anxious anymore. Believe me, I begged God for years to take mine away; when it didn’t happen, I assumed it was a lack of faith or diligence on my part. Instead, I had to deal with the root fears causing me to be anxious. And now that I have done that, I am opting to banish day-to-day anxiety as well.

There are a lot of things that I could choose to be anxious about right now:

My niece’s unexpected hospital visit (currently on day 3)

My upcoming mission trip to Ireland

Swine Flu

The source of my next paycheck after the consulting project ends this week

… just to name a few. Instead of being anxious, I choose to be peaceful and place it in the hands of One who can handle it all:

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:33-34

I’m slowly learning to live in the present by turning my eyes upon Jesus and resting in the fact that he’s got it all under control.

Anxiety can be optional, too.

P.S. If you need something to make your cares and concerns seem smaller, take a look at this post. 26,500 children each day—I choose to get upset about that.
allisonsign3

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A Lesson in Friendship

I found this video today through a great blog, Nashvillest. I loved the clip so much that I had to share it with you. Plus, I haven’t had much bloggy inspiration lately, so my posts have been infrequent. Enjoy the video – maybe it will provide some inspiration for you today!

(Click on the link below – there will be a short 20-second commercial that CBS added to the beginning followed by the video):

Friendship

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