Saturday, December 28, 2013

Faith at the Forefront of Friendships.

They couldn't get to Jesus through the crowd so they dug through the clay roof above his head. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat right down in front of Jesus. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, "My Son, your sins are forgiven."
Mark 2:4-5


The couldn't get to Jesus. They all knew that their only hope relied on him. For themselves and for their paralyzed friend. They fought the crowd. The obstacles placed before them. Making it seemingly impossible to get to Jesus. Their faith and passion was stronger. They found a way. A seemingly impossible way. They dug through clay! Hardened Clay! To lay their friend, the sick man, at the feet of Jesus. Because of their faith He was forgiven. He was free.

Their are so many amazing things that hit me about this passage, that I am not sure where to even start. At the beginning is as good as any I suppose.

How many of us have ever felt like that paralyzed man or his friends? Knowing Jesus is our only hope but not sure how to get there? We are stuck. With what seems like no hope to hope. Until, we have a friend (or 5) come along and carry us when we are too broken to walk. Who recognize the journey is impossible but are willing to take it anyway. The beginning of the journey will be rocky as you learn how to let them carry you or how to carry them. (Which may seem impossible itself if you've been dropped a few times) Yet, they are going to fight "the crowd," whatever obstacles come your way, with you. When that path doesn't work they help you find the next. When that doesn't work you will dig through clay. You will hurt and bleed and give everything you have just to see a glimpse of hope, of Jesus together.

 When we lower our friends down at the feet of Jesus, we are lifting them in prayer. Sometimes we are the ones praying and sometimes we need the prayer. Often times it is both.

Faith at the Forefront of Friendships.

Friendships have been a tough road in my journey.  I have been dropped a few too many times. (at times it seems like maybe it was on my head as I seem to have forgotten at times, how to be carried and/or do the carrying.) Because well, making new friends as an adult is...risky business for those of us who love first and ask questions later. (I recently read a blog post on Rants From Mommyland that placed it perfectly. )

Spoiler: Its worth it. So worth it. 100% worth it especially when Jesus is involved.

God has placed friendships in our lives for numerous reasons. Some we will never know. And while I whole heartedly believe in all types of friendships, I believe those based on Faith in Jesus are a force to be reckoned with. I think the common goal of becoming closer to Him and closer in our friendships is empowering. It allows for the faith in the friendship to be stronger then it could ever be alone. Faith in God makes for stronger individuals and stronger relationships.

I want the faith those people who fought to get to Jesus had. Never letting anything stand in my way of God! I want the faith that the paralyzed man had. Knowing sometimes He uses others to help us get to Him. In Jesus first and always I want that faith. and for friendships he graciously gives me. I want to look at the clay roof and laugh at its insignificance compared to our Lord. I want to know that when I can't get to Jesus on my own, he will use my friends to guide me so that In Him, I may be free.

There are times we will suck at being a friend. There are times we will suck at having them. There are times we will suck at life in general. There are times we will get hurt.

We will learn. How to love each other more like Jesus would. How to carry. How to be carried. We will learn. 

It is worth it.

The LOVE we experience by lifting each other up is worth it to the moon and beyond.

Zoom Zoom.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


It's amazing how after almost 4 years, I can be going along living as normal as life may get, and see something that takes me back to that day. Once the tears start, it is hard to turn them off.  Most times, as now, I am alone. Hurting. Longing to know just one other person is thinking about him too. Hurts are too easily forgotten when they are not your own. Tonight, I was reminded that I am not alone, and neither is my son. I took great comfort in these few words. Thank you Jesus. Thank you to whomever took the time to make this.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Christmas Spirit and the Lack There of...

Joy comes from some of the most unexpected places.

Christmas is coming, or so I hear. You see, I have had a bit of trouble getting into the spirit this year.

For the first time.

In. My. Life.

It was brought to my attention early in the season that Christmas had become one of my "high places." Why would that be bad you ask?

Well, for starters any high place that comes between you and God is a sizeable issue but beyond that...  this "Christmas" that was my high place, was nowhere near what God had intended. I had blindly lost sight of the reason for the season.

Sure, I knew we were celebrating Jesus' birthday. (Regardless of whether he was actually born in December or not)  I thanked God for his priceless Son for a few seconds a day and don't get me wrong, I genuinely meant it. But I was literally spending hours planning the gifts I was going to get my girls for Christmas. Focusing on the best possible present I could give them...or so I thought.

I missed the point.

Big time.

This year we are on and sticking to a pretty tight budget and life has happened here and there and I have slowly watched that Christmas present buying budget shrink into a mere existence and as that budget shrank so did any hope of seeing my Christmas spirit. I started noticing something was wrong. Seriously wrong, when I cringed inside each time my daughter would light up with excitement about Christmas morning. I was dreading it. Terrified of her disappointment. Terrified of ruining Christmas for her.

Then, as usual, it hit me ... (I am beginning to realize that by "it" I mean God. ;)

If I can ruin my child's Christmas spirit by not buying them enough things, toys, and gadgets that won't last more than a year at best I am doing it wrong. I HAVE been doing it wrong. I have been celebrating Christmas in the worldly way and inviting God to join us. I should be celebrating Christmas in God's way and asking the world to join us. Period.

The only answer I have as to how is.... love. Show them love. Let them see you show others love. Spend the time the worldly way of Christmas takes away from them with all the running and shopping ....with them. Reading. Laughing. Talking. Focused attention solely on them and teaching them to show love to others. Something tells me God will do the rest.

I should be teaching my girls the gifts that come from a simple smile, a kind word, and loving heart. Gifts that last much longer than a year. I should be teaching them that the best present comes from being in God's presence and knowing that He is Love.

I have no delusions that this will be easy. They are young and squirrelled by the new and shiny. There very well may be disappointments along the way. Does this mean I will never buy them a present? No. It just means my goal has dramatically changed. I am not terrified of disappointing my children. I am excited by the opportunities to show them beauty in the world and create lasting memories. I even feel a little twinge of Christmas Spirit coming on as I think about the endless possibilities that this allows.  And if, when the time comes, my girls leave home valuing His presence over presents I'll know that I have given them the best present I could possibly give them. The gift of knowing God's gift to us.

Merry Christmas.


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