Thursday, June 13, 2013

picking through the rubble from the past few weeks...

when i've lost my writing voice, the words just keep piling higher and higher.  they make less sense.  ideas seem fuzzy.  i tend to get buried beneath the rubble of a jumbled mess of words and thoughts.

when i find myself there, it means i've lost myself in life.  real life.  life with my family.  my church.  my friends. 

the past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind of activity.  first, my best friend was in town for work.  which meant extra time with her in the evenings.  second, vacation bible school was rocking this week.  each year the numbers seem to grow and attendance soars.  this week i had the pure pleasure of watching over 400 kids learn about Jesus.  my God never ceases to amaze me!

the evenings have been long and the sleep has been short.  which doesn't leave much room for anything else, especially when you work a full-time job.  i've found myself out of the Word...catching it here or there, but no long quiet spells with my morning coffee devouring my daily bread.  that's how i like to feast.  slow.  deliberate.  savoring each morsel.

but these last few weeks have left me buzzing through the drive-thru window.  piecing a meal together.  having it my way, right away. 

and so, it's no wonder i find myself starving.   for quiet time.  begging for substenance to satisfy this hunger in my soul. 

after vbs tonight, my girl set off for the coast with her nana and cousin.  i'm heading there tomorrow after work.  but tonight, i find myself with a few moments to clear my head and feed my soul. 

it was in these words where i began to dig out from beneath the rubble.

'so encourage each other and build each other up.'
      ~1 thessalonians 5:11

these past few weeks i found myself in desperate need of encouragement.  it came in the form of my best friend.  i've encountered several other women who could use the same.

women are never without need for encouragement.

but beauty is only born from ashes. and i've watched in amazement as the burnt, charred mess of women flourish into something new, something beautiful after simple words of encouragement.  after a hug and a pat on the back.  after gentle words filled with the love of Jesus.  after tears have been shed together and ears have listened with a desire to understand.  after prayers and promises and the pouring out of oneself to pour into another. 

after all of that, beauty begins to emerge.

so why is it that women tend to have such a hard time encouraging each other?  

i've heard women gossip and backbite and tear another woman down.  only for her to be warmly welcomed the moment she walked up.  i've listened as women built themselves up, without a second thought of building up the woman on her left or right. 

i've been that woman before.  i didn't much care for her.

i watched over 400 children learn this week how to stand strong for God.  several children that i adore, as if they were my very own.  my two nieces.  my dear friends' sons and daughters.  my precious lovie. 

but everything they learned this week will not teach them how to stand strong for God.

they will learn to stand strong for God by imitating the adults around them.

how will we teach them to stand strong when faced with gossip?
how will we teach them to firmly stand when confronted with doubt or worry or anxiety?
how will we show them to brave the unknown and stay grounded on the rock of truth when everything around them threatens to shake and bend?

i'd rather bite my tongue off than speak ill of another person. 
i'd rather lean on God than wander aimlessly down dead-end paths that promise quick-fixes.
i'd rather take cover under the shelter of an Almighty fortress than stake my hope in the sand. 

i implore you to hold me accountable to the Truth.  i beg you to allow me to do the same for you. 

God can only fill us up to the degree we pour ourselves out on those around us.  the way we live has a tremendous impact on those around us. 

may we be imitators, walking in love, building one another up while we pour ourselves out.  may we find ourselves completely dry and empty so that we may be filled up with Him.

'therefore, be imitators of God as dear children.  and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.'   ~ephesians 5:1-2

how may i encourage you this day and build you up in the faith of Christ Jesus? 

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