Lillyann ran ahead of Mylah this morning, and she was out of breath and talking a mile a minute when she arrived in my room. Luckily, I was on my second cup of coffee and fully awake so I could enjoy her excitement. When mommy and Mylah came in, Lillyann told mommy that Mylah was going to Mere’s, and she was going to the city!! If you aren’t familiar with Bryson City, you may not appreciate her remark. Our little town is beautiful, but it is very tiny. Gina and I smiled and enjoyed the joy:) I love the perspective children bring to life, and I love the effect the girls have had on me over the past year as I’ve had the privilege of keeping them while mommy was in school. I’ve learned so very much as I’ve gotten closer to them.
Witness is about loving, and children love as God desires. They are wonderful witnesses. Christ loves that about children and asks us to be more like them. They love simply and find joy in life. I pray my witness will be as enthusiastic as Lillyann’s was this morning as she talked about going to the city. She made me want to go to, and that’s what witness is all about. Matthew 19:14 says it simply and beautifully,
“But Jesus said, ‘Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” NASB
The world says to grow up, be serious, stop daydreaming, and straighten up! Jesus said the kingdom is more like children than adults. I pray I will see life through the same lens Lillyann sees it now, and I hope she never stops getting excited about going to the city.
As I look at our beautiful town, I see why Lillyann is so excited. Folks come from all over the world to visit Bryson City, NC. I am very blessed to live and love here:)
Finding simplicity in this complicated world is almost impossible. It’s illusive and quickly flees as soon as I reach for my planner. Simplicity is essential when it comes to witnessing, and opportunities are lost as I rush in and complicate God’s plan with my wonderful ideas. His plan is a simple one to which I add my own bells and whistles. The first step in finding simplicity is renewing my relationship with God. Connecting to God allows a wonderful fullness that spills over and enables my witness to become His.
Connecting to God is as important to my heart as drinking water is to my body. Being dehydrated last week reminded me of what happens when I don’t get the water my body needs. My spirit also gets dry and craves the living water Christ offers. Sabbath is is a long cool drink of living water that gives me the strength and love I need to connect to others. God refills and restores my sluggish soul and spirit as I take the time to be near Him and drink in His love. As I’m recharged, His love spills over into all I do. A beautiful regenerative cycle begins.
My life has been about making others happy and fixing whatever’s wrong. It’s no wonder I found myself emotionally and physically drained. That’s not the love Christ showed. I’m not sure where I got my model for expressing love. Perhaps it’s just the nature of a middle child. I see clearly the futility of that cycle now, and I’m glad to be out of it and into the regenerative one. True love knows that fixing and doing debilitate and end up hurting rather than helping. I’ve done enough enabling in my life to know it doesn’t work.
Loving is so much more than enabling. Love spurs me to do for those I love, and Jesus makes it clear that all are to be loved. I find I am actually doing more for others than ever and enjoying it more as I let God lead and ignore the pull for attention and the yank of guilt. Taking them out of the equation leaves a beautiful open space for love. Love requires space; that is another simple truth I’ve learned this month. Love grows, blooms, and is able to form deep roots when given space, and love that grows deeply is love at its very best. Love that does indeed last forever:)
This message from Isaiah 6 touches and heals my heart in a deep way. The Call For a Witness wasn’t what I was expecting, and I found myself humbled by it. God gives me the space to fall apart, and that’s a big part of answering the call to be His witness. I have to fall apart to get to the place where God can use me. I must confess that my way is, as the message says so powerfully, “bankrupt.”
When I hear God and truly understand, He helps me see where my life can use a little change and helps me bring about that change. That enables me to not only accept, but tell others of His grace, love, and forgiveness. Answering God’s call requires that I give up my plans and get rid of my need for approval. It goes against my nature, but it reveals His glory in a way that is better than anything I can do on my own. There is “holy hope” when I let go of my need to be in charge and allow Him to take me where I cannot go without Him and do what only He can do through me.