Pass it on…

I haven’t had much else to say lately, and I’m not one to post for the sake of posting.  But there’s something that’s telling me I should share this little ditty…

A wise friend took me to a diner for breakfast one fine sunny day during my senior year of college.  Up to this point, she had invested time, wisdom, and lots of encouragement in me quite like a few of the other women on staff with the Christian organization I was involved with as a college student.  Kelly sat me down and talked about my future plans and what I thought my purpose in life was.  I was at the crossroads.  Her job on staff was to help me figure out where God was leading me.

It’s been over ten years, and I’ve forgotten most of the conversation.  I’m sure we talked about my upcoming trip to Venezuela, where I worked with students in a similar capacity as she did for a short time.  We probably talked about her new little one (who is now 11!)  and maybe what her family’s plans were for the summer, but it wasn’t about the small stuff.  I’m typically forgetful of that, but there was one piece of not-so-small stuff that has been etched into my heart ever since that morning.  She said someone wise in her own life had shared it with her a number of years before.

I’ve kept it near and dear to my heart – finding hope in it through the really tough times, rejoicing in it through the best of times, and just trusting in it through the ordinary times. Like a beetle on a screen door in the summertime, I cling tightly to it!   I thank God for how it continues to transform me and how I get to see it work so powerfully in action with others.  Most importantly, I want my life to fully reflect the charge it contains.  About two weeks ago it challenged me yet again at a missions conference with Wycliffe Bible Translators.

I write it into cards, letters, emails, and I share it whenever I feel led to. It’s the first thing that ever gets written into a new Bible – either my own or as a gift.   Without further ado, I’m passing along my most time-tested, transformational, and enduring truth that I’ve ever received.

‘Two things are eternal: the Word of God and the souls of men.

Devote yourself to these things.”

Decipher it for yourself.  Or tell me what’s your take on it…

As always, thanks for reading!

xo,

jen

Do you seriously think God can’t use you?

I’m in this great new small group at church, and we’re reading Me, Myself and Lies by Jennifer Rothschild.  I love this woman!  Not only is she a woman who really strives to know the Lord, she’s got a great personal story.  And she’s a good storyteller, too!  That usually makes a difference.  Read more about Jennifer on her homepage here.  You might hear me talk more about her later, since she’s a favorite of mine.

But this week, we talked a lot about labels.  Labels that we impose on ourselves, labels that others impose on us, or labels that just sort of become part of who we are.  Some labels we might use to identify or describe ourselves could be things like “stepmother,” “outgoing,” “teacher,” “anorexic,” “fat,” “stupid,” “divorced,” or “irrational.”

“Incapable.”

“Broken.”

“Failure.”

Ouch.  When I examined my own labels this week, I really had to dig through which of my labels were actually true and which ones weren’t.  Whether they are true or false, unchangeable or permanent, how often do I find myself hiding behind them?  How often do they keep me from acting, saying or doing something that I know I should?  Should I allow them to hold me back?

I can think of quite a few labels that paralyze me or hold me back.  I bet you can, too.  Often, particular labels that I choose to (or simply have to) bear seem to have the ability to render me useless to God.  Or so I think they do.  There are things I want to do, or wish I could do, but inside I hear myself making excuses based on my labels.  “It’s useless to try because you know you won’t finish. You’re just lazy.”  “Why would they believe anything you say about {whatever}?  You’re just ______!”

I’ve been mulling all this over since small group this morning, wondering about those various labels I hide behind, knowing that God wants me to start taking them captive.  That’s right -full on imprisonment.  Punishment.  Life Sentence.

Then later this evening on Pinterest  {Remember my love affair with the site?}, I came across this great quote.  Ok, a bit more than a quote… a mini essay.  But it speaks to exactly what I’ve been thinking about, and I know God put it there to catch my eye.

{So, is wasting time on Pinterest permissible when it’s really divine intervention?  As I say… “oooh, how pinteresting.”}

{By the way, what a fun image of Jesus, pinning.}

But seriously.  One label in particular can really hold a lot of power over me.   It can sometimes make me feel incapable of so many things.  I’m finally ready to pull out my handcuffs and read it the Miranda.

Anything you can take away from it?

xo,

Jen