Monthly Archives: April 2015

Weekly Favorite Links (April 23-29, 2015)

(Photo Via)

It is warming up in Southern California this week and I, for one, am not ready for summer. I just want to enjoy spring and skip to fall and winter. I was even hoping (and praying) that the little rain we got this past weekend would last longer into the week. I mean, hello, how awesome are free car washes? Alas, that was not meant to be. Sigh.

Hotter weather greatly affects my mood. I am definitely not a beach person and super sunny days just aren’t my thing. I am definitely a cloudy skies and raindrops kind of girl. When it’s blazing hot outside, I am much more easily irritable, more impatient, easily angered, and my body just feels unmotivated to do any kind of work. I just hate feeling sweaty and warm all the time. Can any of you relate?

However, I can’t blame the warm weather for a poor, unhappy heart. Just a couple days ago, I got upset at my brother and flew into a fit over something really trivial. Even in the moment, I knew I was sinning, but I still tried to justify my attitude and actions to myself. While the heat does raise my body temperatures, it cannot take responsibility for my poor choices. It only reveals to me what was already there in my sinful heart. And boy, it’s not pretty. But that’s when grace and mercy meets me. Sweet, free grace that shows me that I need Jesus, and that I need the gospel every single day. When I see myself for who I truly am, I am a wreck. A complete mess. Still, a mess that only God can make whole.

So while I hate hot weather, I am thankful for the lessons learned these past couple days. I need Jesus. Always.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 17-22, 2015)

bedouin campfire

(Photo Via)

On my way back during an early evening run, I was surprised to see dark orange-pink clouds rising from what seemed like the back of my neighborhood. It only took me a few seconds to realize that it wasn’t clouds that I saw, but actually smoke, and that there was a fire burning from beyond my point of view. At the time, I didn’t know where the fire originated, but it seemed really close to my home.

Thankfully the fire was farther away than my observations, and my family and I were safe. We weren’t close enough to the fire for any necessary evacuation (praise God), but our entire house did smell like a barbecue pit for two days afterwards.

In unexpected, unforeseeable situations like these, how would you respond? What if the fire was really close? Would you try to run back into your house and save your most prized possessions? Would you run back to warn your loved ones?  It’s hard to say how I’d respond. I’d probably only have seconds to make some important decisions in that situation.

There were still some lessons to be learned. That fire was a good reminder for me that this life is short. In seconds, everything that our family worked for up to that point could have gone up in flames; our house could have turned into ashes. The reality is, something like being caught in a fire or an earthquake or a shooting could happen to me at anytime, anywhere. It’s totally out of my control.

On the other hand, I do have greater control over my responses. Yes, in that scenario, I would’ve probably had an immediate, natural human reaction. If we did have to evacuate from our home and if the fire did end up burning everything that we had, I would be upset. But I pray that if something like that did happen to me, I would still have joy and peace. I pray that I would still have faith in God’s sovereignty and choose to dwell on his grace. What are houses and other material possessions in this life when we have something better and eternal in store for us?

I hope that I’d respond with joy because of a greater truth that I believe in, which is this: my salvation can’t be taken away from me and my citizenship is in heaven. This life is temporary, this life isn’t my home. I’m a foreigner here on this earth until the day that I’m reunited with Christ. How comforting is that truth. If I’m ever tested one day, I pray that I wouldn’t just know it but believe it with all my heart.

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Weekly Favorite Links (April 9-16, 2015)

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Sorry this weekly favorites post was late, guys! I’ll make it up to you soon. It’ll be a surprise. 🙂

Something I’ve realized, after taking my half-marathon training a bit more seriously this week, is that I hate to exercise alone. I much prefer exercising with at least one more person. It can be a bit humbling, but I need accountability. I lack discipline when it’s just me, myself, and I. I can easily talk myself out of running that extra mile or doing a few more reps. I’d much prefer being a bed potato and choosing to nap instead of venturing outside. It’s so much more painful and difficult (and lonely, too) when there’s zero accountability. I mean, it’s not that I couldn’t exercise alone, but it’s just so much better to do it with others.

I have more motivation and energy when I’m working out with someone. When I’m with others, I know I need to suck it up. Don’t complain; endure the soreness and keep going. When one person is on the verge of giving up, the other can support and encourage them to continue. And when the workout’s over, we can cheer and do little happy dances, or crash onto the floor. Together.

The Christian life is also just like training for a half-marathon, except the prize and stakes are higher. And others running it can definitely tell you that accountability with others is a necessity, not an option. We need to make it across that finish line, because we’re promised to receive the crown of life from our Lord and Savior. We must learn to be patient with the sanctification process along the way in order to be reunited with Christ. It’s not meant to be a sprint, but a test of endurance and faith. It’s an arduous race, but when we reach the end, it will be a sweet, glorious reunion. Persevere, persevere, persevere.

Like the saying goes: no pain, no gain.

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