My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Diversity is Liberating

Strolling the streets of what feels like home: Lexington, KY. 

This is where I left Jesus, searched for Life abundant in every nook and cranny, including some really dark corners, and found Jesus again in all His liberating beauty. (Well, truly He reached down and lifted my head so that I could finally see Him.)

This place holds many memories for me, some bitter but most wonderful. I held many jobs, had many friends, and sat through many classes. I failed a few (oops), but finally graduated college after about 8 years with a degree in English Education. But my greatest classroom was all of Lexington and the enthralling subject was life. Yes, I love this city with a small-town feel.

Unfortunately, my reason for visiting this sweet place is not happy. My momma is at the University of Kentucky hospital, battling a possible blood clot, pancreatitis, pseudo cysts, and a massive kidney stone. She knows at least one surgery lies in her future. She has been through much suffering and my family would covet your prayers. 

Today, my brother sits in the hospital room with her while I am out to eat and grab a birthday present for my big girl, who is 6 today! Happy, happy birthday, my beautiful, sweet, and loving big girl. You couldn't make a momma prouder. I'm so in love with you.

As I walked the halls of the hospital and the sidewalks on campus, and drove down the streets of this ever-changing yet ever-familiar town, God re-opened my eyes to the greatest part of His awesome creation, His children!

I just realized what I love and miss most about this place:  the diversity in all of us! God makes us so beautifully different. And it is so obvious on a university campus. And so obvious that these young students get it and embrace it. I think that's why I love this  place so much because there is diversity everywhere I look and it makes me smile and wonder at a God who is such a creative and masterful artist!

And I am not just talking about skin color, hair color, religion, fashion, or size. I mean we are just unbelievably different! We have vastly different personalities expressed in unique and creative ways. 

I needed this reminder. 

Why do we so often try to be the same and with peeps who are just like us? We are like a coral reef, so varied and colorful! There's not another soul just like us on this entire planet, nor has there ever been one like us, NOR will there ever be another! I think when we try to be similar, we rob God of a chance to demonstrate His glory in all our beautiful differences! 

This is liberating!!! 

Oh, how I pray God will not let me forget this as I go back to a town where most of the people share the same skin color and even basic life principles. Under each of us, no matter how similar we may look, is a very unique beauty that God created to be explored and appreciated. 

You blow my mind, Lord! May we never lose the wonder of your ingenuity and creativity. And may we always remember the confidence You offer us through Christ to express our true, unique selves. As we realize our true identity as your child, may we be liberated to embrace and express our very great--vast and wonderful--differences! I'm so in love with YOU!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Whispers of Hope for 2014

Today I started a 10-week devotional prayer with a local group of women.  Our group reads Beth Moore's Whispers of Hope, a daily devotional book, then checks-in on Facebook through a private group.  We either like the group's daily post or comment on it to say, "Hey, I was here, I have done my reading, I am still in this with you." On this first day of our 70-day commitment, I was awakened to something nearly dead in my life:  creativity.

A question was asked of our group:  Are you more creative or orderly?  After some thought I realized that at different times in my life I have leaned more heavily one way or the other, alternating between order and creativity.  But since becoming a mother, order has had too high a priority in my life.  My prayer this morning was that God would help me rediscover the creativity that He has placed within me, within all of us.  He is a creative God and we are made in His image.  It's in there.

Also, through my reading and reflecting this morning, God revealed something far more disturbing.  My overarching priorities need to be rearranged.  Lately, I have put nearly everything before God, and I have put things that don't matter before my family.  For instance, I often find myself placing a higher priority on the things I do FOR my family than on doing things WITH my family...service over quality time.  But I know my kids are not going to remember if they had a clean house or what kind of food we ate.  They will remember the games we played together, the times I chased them around the yard, and the snacks we ate inside a quilt-tent with flashlights.

Keeping a clean house and having order are my priorities.  Those things are for me.  And I have been putting them first, which means, in essence, I have been putting myself first.  Then, after being a housekeeper, if I'm honest about how I'm spending my time, I have put my kids and husband before God.  So, essentially, my priorities have looked like this:  house (self), family (others), and then God.

Lord, may my priorities align with your priorities this year:  God, family (others), then myself.

Kicking off a new year with fresh determination and whispers of hope.  His mercies are new every morning, and every year.  Thankful for the ways God has given us to mark new beginnings.