Pick of the Clicks 8/20/2014

It’s baaack! (Although, it’s a Wednesday and not the Weekend – but we’re away this weekend and I have so many tabs open of things I was waiting to share with you all, I figured it was time.) Here are some excellent clicks for you all:

It feels as if the world has gone mad the past two weeks: so much shock and sadness around – of the handful of things I’ve read, I really appreciated:

Ann Voskamp’s thoughts on depression and suicide after the tragic news about Robin Williams: What the church and christians need to know about suicide and mental health.

In the wake of all that is happening in #Ferguson, MO, Thabiti Anyabwile’s post Coming (Back) To America: My One Fear deserves a careful read. Actually, every one of his pieces at the Gospel Coalition this week should be read. Slowly. And listening.

Melissa Fabello’s piece Let’s Talk About Thin Privilege is an important, excellent piece about body image and women… but it should really be read and considered in light of this week’s talk about white privilege because it makes excellent, clear, nuanced and helpful comments about understanding what privilege is and how it works. It. Is. Brilliant. (Recommended by Erin – thanks!)

The genocide in Syria has me heartbroken. I cannot handle reports from trusted friends that it is, in fact, true that christians (including children) are being beheaded. I appreciated this from Hannah Anderson, who pointed out that if we feel we just can’t handle it, maybe there are things to learn from this. Stanford Gibson’s piece on Praying the Psalms from Privilege also gave deep insight and help into how we can pray for the suffering. Read it: it’s excellent.

imagesThis past week reminded me of why we have changed our profile pictures to the arabic sign for “n” (abbreviated for Nazarin, which are what Arabs in Syria call Christians) – it is a sign of solidarity with those being persecuted. I wrote about this last year at Think Christian: Christianity Includes All Y’all: From Syria to Egypt to Texas. I am really proud of this little piece, and was encouraged to re-read it.

Loved this two minutes clip from the ever-wise Karen Swallow Prior on whether the Bible should be read differently to other literature. 

Also, if you didn’t yet read about Glennon Melton’s kitchen renovation yet – do so IMMEDIATELY. (Hint: it’s not what you think. It’s 10000000 times better): Give Me Gratitude or Give Me Debt.

Once you see how awesome Glennon and the team at Momastery are, you’ll understand why I SQUEALED when I found out that  my  post on Angry Socks and Silences was to be featured over at Momastery last month. I got the email in the airport departure hall – and even though there were 300 travelers around me, I did a giddy and uncoordinated dance of glee.

Excellent: from Ann Swindell –  Complaining is a Spiritual Problem.

As someone who attends a predominantly white church that longs to be relevant cross-culturally, this was a really eye-opening, uncomfortable and GOOOOOOD read from Kathy Khang: Just Because the Door is Open Doesn’t Mean I’m Welcome Here.

A MUST-READ for college students and all those who love them – this, from Sammy Rhodes: College Doesn’t Change Your Heart, It Reveals It. 

This was my favorite thing to come out of shark week (thanks to my other wonderful Erin friend, who proves regularly that missionaries can have really fabulous, irreverent senses of humor):

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Also loved this: if company slogans were honest, this is what they would look like.

This, from Tyler Vigen, is a HILARIOUS insight into correlation. So freaking funny. (and also, important: because correlation is NOT causation, people!)

I get very frustrated with the media portraying dads as deadbeats so often… so I wanted to stand up and CHEER(io) for this ad: This is How to Dad….

http://youtu.be/6GYxH2-WeZY

And this is really important food for thought if you have boys:

http://youtu.be/OFpYj0E-yb4

And FINALLY: my top posts of the last month: Dear Bronwyn – Help, I love him, I love him not (speaking of which – got a question? Click here!), and my reflections on the ten year anniversary of our being in the USA – it’s been nothing that I planned, and I’m so grateful.

Got a click you’d like to share? Go ahead and leave the link in the comments – I love recommendations!

Thanks for reading, everyone. To take a line from the airlines – I know you have a choice of where to read around the internet, and I appreciate you choosing to read here :-)

 

 

 

Ten Years of Everything and Nothing (a reflection)

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I was raised on a musical diet of Fleetwood Mac, the Beatles and Credence Clearwater Revival. My dad spent many hours shuffling around the living room with us, crooning as he danced. I learned about hand-holding, imagining, and bad moons rising. I also learned how to dress, should one ever visit San Francisco:

And so it was, ten years ago today, that I boarded a plane with a flower in my hair and flew west with my new husband. We were literally flying into the sunset. I was surprised to find myself crying as the wheels touched down in San Francisco: this was it. The beginning of a new chapter. I adjusted my slightly wilted flower and greeted California with all the courage my jet lagged soul could muster.

We planned to stay for three years: get the PhD, in-n-out (<— see what I did there, Californian friends?)

“We can make our plans,” says Proverbs 16:9, “but the Lord determines our steps.”

We planned for 3 years, but as it turned out, PhDs take longer than you think, and I had much to learn about being married to a grad student.

We planned to find a small, evangelical, liturgical church like the one we had known and loved back home. Instead, we landed up being welcomed into a large, Baptist church.

We planned to stay connected to our community back home, and find our space back there after a “quick jaunt” overseas. Now, we have a box with invitations to more than 60 weddings Stateside in the past decade. We have witnessed births, deaths, marriages, and our threads are now woven into many places in this community’s tapestry.

We planned to return home and start our family in South Africa. Instead, we now have three American-born children, whom we send to public school, and whom we awkwardly instruct about American holidays.

I planned to return to vocational ministry. Instead, I’m stunned and simultaneously grateful to find myself as a stay-at-home Mom: a completely unexpected career path. And then there’s this writing thing, which I did NOT see coming but which, in hindsight, makes such sense.

He planned to pursue a career in academia. Instead, he’s happy in research… and darn good at it, too.

We planned to stay Proudly South African forever. And we still are proudly South African, but we have also accepted that we are now immigrants, and though we didn’t come with this intention, we are now applying for permanent residency.

We planned, but He Has Plans.

Today marks 10 years of our being here, and even though NOTHING has gone the way I planned it, I am filled with gratitude. I look around, and my life is unrecognizable from the way I pictured it would be when I was dreaming 20, 15 and even 10 years ago. This life I now live in suburban America is not at all what i imagined, and yet – if I dig a little deeper, while the form may be unrecognizable, the content has been the same all along:

for we love and are loved,

we have work to do wherever we are, 

and no matter what – we are kept by a good and gracious God.

These things remain the same. And I am so very, very grateful.

 

photo credit: Bart “America” (flickr creative commons)

Finding God On The Streets – {a guest post by Brenna Lyles}

In February I had the pleasure of spending a few hours in amiable car conversation with four college women. They were magnificent: they turned a commute (boring!) into a road trip (wildly fun!) We were on our way to hear Gary Haugen speak about the Locust Effect – so I already knew from their interest that they were women with deep convictions. I also discovered that God had gifted some of them to write. A few weeks back, you heard from Tifani Oaks. Today, please welcome my other lovely driving companion, Brenna Lyles, to the Words That Changed My World series!

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It was my freshman year of college when I began to take initiative in my faith.

A series of “college experiences” gone sour led me on a path to a on-campus Christian fellowship. Despite growing up in the church, I had never experienced such a group and I was both intrigued and inspired. I immediately began immersing myself into this community of young people who were sharing their lives together and living with an indescribable fire.

As I grew in relationship with God and fellow believers in the following months, I came to understand the realness of my faith. It was more than just a book filled with intangible theories and moral codes, it was life. And I was finally ready to make it my life.

Suddenly, it seemed the chandelier that was my life went from dull to noticeably lit.

For months, I had heard a voice from within telling me that there was so much more in store for me, that God had a greater plan for me… if I was willing to change. These words came in parallel with a weekly sermon series on the Apostle Paul’s notion of “putting off” the old self and “putting on” God’s best version of me.

So, I started small and changed some things. The obvious things. I stopped swearing, realized the toxic effects of gossiping and my judgmental attitude, made myself accountable to several friends and mentors, and ended a relationship of two years that I knew was both disobedient and holding me back in my walk with Christ.

And, gradually, life seemed brighter and I began to experience a deep sense of peace. So, I dusted off my hands, sat back, and let God take it from there.

I’ve changed. I’ve done my part, I figured. It’s time to wait for God to follow through on that great promise.

But it didn’t come on my time, which left me discontent and irritated. I still had many areas of my heart that needed a little fix-me-up, but I neglected that small detail.

Was all this “putting off” for nothing? I began to wonder as time went on.

I felt God telling me it would take yet some more work.

Perhaps a month or two later, I read Francis Chan’s Crazy Love. The book, in conjunction with my quest for putting on a new self, inspired me to spend a day feeding our town’s homeless people – a population I knew very little about but very harshly judged for their “poor life choices.” I recruited my best friend; we made some PB&Js and drove downtown.

Expecting to simply hand out sandwiches and walk away, I was shocked when these individuals leaped into conversation with me – me, a complete stranger. It was clear they had a deep longing to share their lives, their stories, their downfalls, their journeys, their misfortunes. They spoke of broken homes, running away, addictions, oppression, and – incredibly– God’s grace. I sat on the sidewalk and soaked it in.

I cannot say it was one particular phrase or statement that did it, but I came home that day with their words pulsing through me. I felt renewed and filled and radically changed. I knew I had landed upon something.

A bit selfishly, I continued pursuing encounters with this community both in and outside of my town. Street ministry became my comfort zone. It always starts with a, “Hi, how are you today?” and ends planted on the sidewalk, immersed in conversation.

Each story I am told, each vulnerable soul I meet softens my heart – something the Lord knows I need. I am humbled by the people I have met, as I’ve realized that we are broken just the same. I am uplifted to experience an overwhelming percentage who are in love with Jesus.

Paul’s words in Romans 8:38-39 are reality for me, as I’ve realized that other’s sin and my sin are no different; drug addictions are no worse in God’s eyes than shopping addictions. Neither are outside the bounds of God’s forgiveness; neither can separate us from His love.

I have learned to better love everyone without judgment; to strive to meet the relational needs of others; to understand God’s love more fully and deeply. I yearn for a different kind of justice.

The words I felt God speaking into my heart over a year ago and the words of the poor and powerless have truly changed my world.

I’m putting off a hardened, self-focused self for a new, humbled, loving, empathetic, and selfless (yet still imperfect) me.

This coming fall, I will serve as a leader in a community service ministry team within my Christian fellowship. I hope and plan to make serving the homeless community and seeking justice my life’s work in whatever capacity the Lord calls me to.

This was the great promise.

1654409_10203230162420911_385578085_nBrenna is an aspiring journalist, blogger, and Communications and Economics student. In her down time, she can be found training for half-marathons, dancing around her apartment, sipping coffee, or cooking up a delicious, healthy meal. Brenna is a lover of breakfast, country music, public radio, theological books, and quaint downtowns. Her life’s passion is listening to and telling stories of extraordinary people. Brenna blogs at http://aninterviewwithexistence.wordpress.com/, and you can find her on Facebook.

photo credit: James Lee Flickr – Creative Commons

When What I Desire Is The End of Suffering

teachustowantMy friend Jen Pollock Michel has written a beautiful book called Teach Us To Want: On Longing, Ambition and the Life of Faith. It is exquisitely written, theologically profound, and I am savoring each page. Jen asked a few writers to share their thoughts on desire and what we really, really want. I was honored to guest post over at her blog last month: this here is the more detailed version.

The prayers of my youth were filled with desire. Prayers for a boyfriend, for college scholarships, for permission to go on the sleepover at the popular kids’ house. I wanted those things with a guilty, drenched need, and did not know where else to turn than to the God who gave good gifts. Those were the good gifts, as far as I could understand them.

The prayers of my adulthood still carry echoes of the prayers of my youth. In truth: I still pray about men, opportunities and friendships. However, I find that the life of being a mom and friend in a sin-soaked world are leading me to pray a host of different prayers of desire: “Please, I want it to be better. Please, let it not hurt anymore.”

We have weathered a good number of storms over the years, but I remember clearly the first tsunami of pain which made me pray that prayer most fervently. Our family was devastated by violent crime and we had no answers, no balm.

Instead we had questions, the most oppressive of which was this: “why would a good God let this happen?” We wanted so badly for things to be well with our loved ones, we desired good things from the one who “gives people the desires of their heart” (Psalm 37:4), and wasn’t he supposed to be the one who knew how to give his children good things? If we asked for a fish, would he give us a snake? If we asked for an egg, would he give us a scorpion? (Luke 11:11-12)

And yet there we were: snake-bitten by crime, scorpion-stung by violence.

I would not say that, having endured that trial, that I solved the ‘problem of evil’. That particular suffering challenged my faith significantly, but even in the absence of finding intellectually satisfying answers to my heartbroken questions, I still found myself drawing closer to God rather than pulling away from him.

Unglamorous as this may sound, I believe the main reason I stuck with Jesus was that I didn’t have any better alternatives. Again and again I was drawn back to John 6, where the disciples challenge Jesus with his teaching saying “this is hard to accept!” Jesus’ challenged them in reply: “will you leave me also?” Peter’s reply rang in my ears for weeks: “to whom else shall we go? We know and have believed that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:60-69)

In the wake of our trauma, I considered my options: I could deny there was a God (not really an option.) I could opt for a different religion: Islam (but Allah seemed so capricious.) Hinduism (but I really wasn’t persuaded, and the pictures gave me the creeps.) It was looking into Buddhism, though, which finally pointed me back to Christianity.

The four noble truths of Buddhism teach this:

All is suffering (dukkha), and

 Suffering is caused by desire.

 If one can eliminate desire, one can eliminate suffering.

 Finally, the Noble Eight-fold Path can eliminate desire.

My soul rebelled. The notion that the suffering we were experiencing was caused by a (wrongful) desire to not have things hurt seemed unconscionably inhuman. Far from helping me find peace, Buddhism made me angry: it was simply NOT TRUE that we were suffering because we had a wrongful desire not to suffer.

I needed someone to say that the suffering was wrong.

I needed to know that longing for wholeness was good.

I needed someone to say that ‘good’ was, in fact, good; and that ‘evil’ was truly ‘evil’.

I needed to know that my desire for things to be right was not a denial of my truest spiritual self, but in fact a deep expression of my truest spiritual self.

In Jesus, I found someone who did just that. He wept over death. He “set his face” towards the things he wanted to accomplish. He grieved over the bad, and gave his own life “for the joy set before him”. My soul needed to know that both grief and hope were appropriate and full expressions of the human experience.  In Jesus, I found someone who acknowledged and affirmed that both my desires for joy and relationship and my desires for pain and suffering to end were good things. And more than that, they were things he desired for us too.

The timeline in which those desires would be met still needed some negotiation.

But the desires themselves were good and God-given, even in the valley of shadows.

The prayers of my adulthood are filled with such prayers.

 

The Blogger’s Husband (and other naming dilemmas)

So, here’s a question: how should I refer to my husband online?

Some of the bloggers I read have invited me right into their homes and introduced us to their family by name: Rachel Held Evans has her Dan (Go, Team Dan and Rachel!) Kristen Howerton has a feisty daughter named India: I would recognize her spunk at 100 paces, even if she wasn’t wearing rompers. Ashleigh Slater goes with Ted. Glennon Melton has her Craig, Chase, Tish and Amma. And I know Jen Hatmaker has Brendon, Remy, Sydney, Gavin, Ben and another kid whose name I don’t know so they must be either very private or very boring (who am I kidding: clearly the answer is private. Boring is not an option if you are a Hatmaker.)

Others are more cryptic. I know Sarah Bessey has an “Anne with an -e” (of course!), but usually she calls them her ‘tinies’. Parenting forums use the ubiquitous “DH” for “darling husband”, which I find more than a little cheesy. My friend Jen opted for MOTH: the Man of the House – sheer genius!  My friend Cara calls her beloved “HBH”, Hot Black Husband, a most awesome combination of privacy and flattery.

I am choosing the more private route. While I am willing to bare my own soul on this blog, my husband would rather have root canal than talk about his feelings. His trust has been long-won, and I work hard to walk the line between being honest about my life while not sharing about his. My children are in the same boat.  So while they do make appearances, I don’t post pictures of their faces or their names on this blog. But what, then, to call them? And in particular, what to call my husband?

Ann Voskamp loves her Farmer. And Ree Drummond has MarlboroMan (and honestly – who can not vicariously love a man like that?) But my husband is not a Man of the Earth, who spends his days doing manly things in manly ways, sweating manly sweat and wiping his brow on his rugged plaid shirtsleeves. He is an engineer, and an excellent one at that. But I can’t call him The Engineer. It’s altogether too Dilbert-like, and I ain’t anyone’s pointy haired woman.

And so, I call him “my husband”. Accurate, but not exactly catchy or endearing.

So I’m wondering: Do you have any suggestions? How would YOU refer to your family?

 

Dear Bronwyn: I love him, I love him not?

He loves me, he loves me not (click photo for credit)

He loves me, he loves me not (click photo for credit)


Dear Bronwyn,

 

Do people do this? Do individuals actually message you with desperate pleas for wisdom? Or am I the only one? 

 

Apparently they do :-) So glad you wrote. And no, you’re not the only one! But take this advice with a pinch of salt: after all, you asked a stranger on the internet….

It’s about a boy. Here’s the story: 

 

He liked me, he asked me out. We went on a few dates but I thought we’d make better friends. We kept ‘just’  being friends, and he kept being interested (and I kept saying no). But, confusingly (!!), over time – I began to have feelings for him too. 

 

I realized that maybe I was just scared. Scared that he wasn’t the idea of a man I had in mind. Scared that he wouldn’t be able to lead me. Scared that we had different ideas of a future. And then I decided that wasn’t fair to him. I wasn’t even giving him a shot to show me. I wasn’t having faith in God, letting fear rule my decisions. So I went to tell FINALLY tell him yes… and he said no! He said (to paraphrase) my yes wasn’t affirming or enthusiastic enough.  And so he said no. And, though very sad, I understood that. 

Then a few days later, he changed his mind. But I couldn’t do it!  I just didn’t feel I could trust it. 

 

Now what? It’s been a few weeks and he’s moving soon – but I miss him.  I’m worried I overlooked all his wonderful qualities because I was blinded by my own sins and fears and idols. I’m worried I made the wrong decision. I want to talk to him, but I don’t want to make things worse. I also don’t want to drag him back into my own personal drama. What do I do?  I’m ready to move, but I don’t know HOW. 

- Confused 

 

Dear Confused,

Wow – it sounds like you and your friend are having a significant romantic comedy of errors! Shakespeare would have had a field day with this. Also, he would have pithy and wise things to say, in rhymed couplets. I don’t have any rhymed verse for you, but these are my thoughts.

It sounds like you and your friend have recognized something special about one another, and see each other as possibilities. Sometimes, the person we’ve been looking for doesn’t come in the ‘packaging’ we were expecting (this was my own experience, anyway), and sometimes Christian ‘leadership’ looks different to what expect! Maybe this is the case with you, as it was with me. I think it takes humility and courage to admit “hey, I might have judged you wrongly, but now that I know a little more about myself and about you – I’d love to get to know you a bit more”. I know I, for one, had to make more than a few of those apologies to my now-husband.

A long time ago, someone asked me how you just “know” that this is the one you are going to spend the rest of your life with. I thought long and hard about it – and this is my theory: 

The longer we date a person, the more comfortable it is to imagine yourself in the future with that person.

So, on the first date, it feels presumptuous to even ask about what the person is doing next weekend (as if you were assuming you would see them then! How forward!) But after you’ve been dating for a few weeks, you are comfortable imagining yourself still being together next weekend – and it’s okay (and not presumptuous) to talk about “our plans for next weekend”. However, it would probably be totally awkward and presumptuous to say “how about we take a road trip next summer?” Too soon! Too soon!

However, once you’ve been dating for a few months, it becomes more comfortable to imagine your future a couple of months down the line – and you can both see yourselves still being together in the summer – and it is comfortable to talk about “us” and “summer plans”. 

But you dare not talk about your life plans yet.

And then – at some point – you find yourself thinking “I could spend years with this person. A lifetime even”…. and you find yourselves talking about it. And its comfortable.

And by the time you’re teasing each other about how they will probably still be eating peanut butter sandwiches when they’re 85 – then you know you’re ready to get married. Because you’re imagining your lives THAT FAR together in the future.

This is my theory, anyway – and it seems quite possible to me that people could be at a different stage of comfort talking about their future together in the process. In my few dating relationships, there were a few fits and starts and miscommunications… but when both of you are ready to imagine the next step, then you take the next step together. I think the whole belief that you should just “know” from the beginning is so unfair to relationships (and the Christian version of saying “I’ve prayed about it”, and so now I really should just know is even worse).

Relationships involve courage. They involve risk. They involve failure… and restarts. Even the best ones. 

In your particular situation, it sounds like you both can imagine some possibilities for the future. You’re just both feeling very awkward and unsure about how to have that conversation.

Terrifying as it may be – I can’t think of any better way to do that than to be honest with your friend. If you are praying about it, and you value him – it’s worth a hard conversation. Worst case scenario – you rehash something you’ve already talked about before and it is awkward and feels yucky. But there are many other scenarios too: ones in which you get to affirm the good you see in each other, to confess areas where you could have been a better friend, and even possibilities where you explore what a relationship in the future could look like. 

I vote ‘talk to him’. 

My own relationship with my husband began with all SORTS of awkwardness and mixed signals and bouts of silence. I was confused, and maybe scared, and I definitely misjudged him. And I’m so glad we landed up on the other side of the awkwardness.

But then again, what do I know? I’m just a stranger on the internet giving free advice :-)

All the best.

90 Days to Awaken Joy – {guest post by Liz Ditty}

I met Liz Ditty at an engagement party last year, and instantly became a fan. When we saw each other at the wedding in May, I asked how the last few months had been and she told me this story. I don’t think I breathed once as she talked. I wrote her the next day and asked her to share it here – and I’m breathless once again. Welcome (and thank you!) to Liz.

freedom in red – Jesus Solana (flickr creative commons)

We belonged to each other but lived in a friendly, stale silence.  Our paths had parted at some unknown crossroads and I found myself physically present but emotionally distant.  Our conversations focused on logistics with a polite formality to them. I began lowering my expectations dangerously, assuming that what we had could simply be as good as it gets.  No one but us may have ever noticed the fire was gone.     

I could have gone on like this for quite some time, keeping up appearances in my stale relationship with God, but it just was not enough anymore.  I needed the power and passion back.

 Real life was happening.  My fairy tale should have been at the point of happily ever after as my husband and I began our family with two healthy, beautiful children.  Instead I slipped into postpartum depression and felt deeply ashamed for lacking gratitude or joy. I needed a safe place to wrestle my demons, but I could not find a sacred ground of grace that could stand the weight of my shame. Instead, I hid.

 In the midst of my secret struggle, a friend invited me to read the entire Bible in 90 days.

 Her words of invitation, and God’s words of love that followed, forever changed my life.

I was an exhausted mother with every reason to say no- but I was absolutely desperate to claim God’s promises of joy and abundant life that felt so far away.  Honestly, when I started I had no idea how I would finish or if I could even survive on an hour less of precious sleep each day. 

I said yes out of weakness, not strength.

I needed God himself to breathe fresh life into me.  This journey meant venturing outside of the comforting guidance of authors, teachers, or pastors.  I prepared myself to tread cautiously onto holy ground where I felt unsure and unworthy, with no presence other than God and mine.  My prayer was simply, “Speak.”  He spoke.  Holy ground was more beautiful than I imagined, with an unexpectedly wild acceptance he bestowed on me there.

 I started waking up while it was still dark and cold.  As I sat in my chair with hot coffee, a soft blanket, and my Bible, my house was blissfully silent.  Instead of dreading my alarm I began waking up moments before it would go off, in excited anticipation of my peaceful retreat. Every morning, for about an hour, the Ancient of Days told me the history of mankind with wisdom and perspective that filled me with peace, broadened my perception, and challenged my view of God profoundly.

The Word of God rushed through my weary soul like a mighty wind that tore through every dark and heavy drape and blew out the tall, stifling windows to let new air and life and light inside.  It was not a random verse or two on the pages of the Bible, it was the presence of God.  I just needed to sit there for a while, seeking his voice and searching out his tone of truth every morning until I could learn to recognize it amongst the noise of my own thoughts and the clamoring of my day.

I needed to see Jacob wrestle with God.  I found my sacred struggling ground of grace where Jacob stood. I realized that I needed to stop wrestling my demons of depression and wrestle God instead, holding onto him fiercely until he blessed me with purpose, identity, and joy.

I needed to watch Israel journey to the Promised Land. God shows his heart of rescue, provision, and presence so beautifully.  I needed to realize that God’s Promised Land is flowing with milk and honey, but also swarming with giants.  Learning that God’s blessings are as often hard won as they are abundantly free shattered my disappointment; inviting me to choose courage over fear and fight to claim my promises.

I cannot possibly recite every heart directing, perspective altering, soul grounding truth that was spoken over me.  I cannot explain the love that I felt pour over me.  I cannot move you to tears when you read the story of Jesus being crucified even if, like me, you have heard it told countless times before.  I ended Revelation face to the floor in worship, more deeply connected to and powerfully loved by God than I have ever been. 

 God’s lavish, relentless love is anything but mediocre and stale.  He is ready to pour life over the dry places of our heart like a raging waterfall.  He has beautiful, challenging words to speak into your spirit if you will listen. What will he say? 

You can the Bible in 90 days (about an hour a day). Here’s how to get started.

You could try 20 minutes of reading a day to finish the New Testament in 97 Days.

At least consider setting an alarm on your phone or using an app to listen to God’s voice directly in the Bible for even just a couple of minutes every day for 90 days.

His words will change your life.

**

photoLiz loves to listen to stories, share truth, and occasionally write.  She lives in the Silicon Valley of California with her handsome techie husband and two wild kiddos.  Her soul comes to life in sunshine and open skies.  She devours podcasts while folding laundry and considers blog writing a completely valid excuse to leave dishes for the next morning.  She is in the process of becoming a Spiritual Director and daily discovers how freedom, love and calling shape the life of a Christ Follower. Visit Liz at  her blog Faith Like A Mom.