January 18, 2015

3 Resolutions for the Tired Hearts

We are officially over half way through the month of January and inching our way towards February. Purposefully, I have waited until the mass wave of New Year’s resolutions and words have filtered through the blogging world. You see, this post is not one of those beautifully written and perfectly articulated posts for the new year. Hardly even close.

This post is for the tired hearts.

This post is for the people out there who feel exactly the same way as they did on December 31st. These words are for anyone who wants to feel refreshed and energized, but instead feel like they are running on empty. This post is for you, sitting behind your glowing computer screen, on the days when you feel most exhausted. These words are written from my heart to yours, from a state of tiredness that no caffeine can fix. The new year came, and my soul still felt weary.

I love new beginnings. I love clean slates and fresh months. I love the new year. I even love resolutions. But, not this year. This year, January 1st felt an awfully like 2014 and I couldn’t shake the feeling that I was no more motivated to be better, run faster, and jump higher then I had been just the day before.

2015 has come, and I am still me.

I still hesitate in my prayers as I wrestle with who God is. I still drive the same road to work and sit at the same desk. I still question. I still hope. I still breathe this good air and drink clean water. The new year did not bring about any outwardly changes into my hemisphere.

I tried to think of goals. I tried to write a list of all the changes I wanted to make, emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I tried to motivate myself. Jump through one more hoop. Draw one more circle. And sadly, slowly, I felt defeated. Before the year had hardly even begun, I was tired. As the clock struck midnight and the page flipped to a new day, I was ready to cross off the whole year. Next year, I told myself, I’ll feel more prepared. Next year, I’ll be ready for the new year. Next year, I’ll have it all together. Next year... 

Enough. I am enough.”

In my tired heart, God’s steady voice whispers truth. In the midst of my fears, my obsessiveness, and my chaos, God is constant. True. Yesterday and today, tomorrow and forever, He remains who He is.

Enough. I am enough.”

With just the smallest whisper, my new year has been rocked to its core. Enough, God? But what about dreams, jobs, grad school? What about food, a home, a friend? Are you enough, God?

Enough. I am enough.”

Suddenly, any resolution I might have tried to make pales in comparison to the thought that God is enough for my tired heart. Do you ever have those realizations that you have been running and running for an illusive goal, when the real prize was right next to you the whole time?

I’ve had this idea that I needed to have it all together, present a perfect picture to the world, and then it would be okay. I drew this image of perfection around New Year’s day, imagining myself planning and proactively seeking new things. But when that picture failed to live up to my expectations, I felt weary. Tired. Ceaselessly shooting for an impossible goal. When all along, God has been steadily running right there next to me, whispering, “I am enough.”

Eighteen days into the new year, I finally have resolutions.

1.     Wake up and pray, “God, You are enough.” Pray this every day until my heart leads the prayer without prompting. Pray it until the words are etched across my mind and engraved into my very being. God, You are enough.

2.     Tell someone else, anyone else, as much as I can, God is enough. You don’t need to take better pictures, or run faster races, or build bigger houses to have worth. God is enough. His love is enough. His acceptance is enough. Stop pushing and pulling and always feeling tired because it is never enough. All of those earthly thing, they will never be enough. They will never satisfy. But God is enough. Always.


3.     Write it out, a hundred times if necessary, God is enough. Write it until my fingers cramp. Write it until I've mailed a thousand letters to the far off corners of the world. Write it into my life until my heart finds renewal. Write it in my words until they stop saying “I’m worried” and start saying “God is enough.” Write it into my eyes until they only seek the road He has prepared, instead of wandering to lesser paths. Write it until my muscles remember how it feels to trust in God even when it is hard. God is enough.

Will you join me on this journey? Sure, we won't lose weight with these resolutions, at least not physical weight...but our hearts might feel lighter. And we most probably won't grow any stronger, at least not physically. Chances are even high that our homes won't become more organized, unless we really do consider the heart as a home. Overall, the world around us is not likely to change too dramatically. But what if, just what if, we changed in the process? What if we began trusting Jesus more completely, more fully, then we ever knew was possible? What if our faith leapt into the arms of Jesus and found a save haven?

What if, just what if, we began to really believe and hope and trust and know... God is enough?


So tell me, what are your prayers and resolutions for this new year? 

January 12, 2015

Keeping This Covenant – Love, Even Then



I didn’t know that love would be quite this hard.

I mean, I knew it in my head, but my heart took awhile to catch up. I joked and wrote and told my friends that love looked a lot like dirty dishes, but these days, the dishes are the easiest part.

Rinse, scrub, soap, wash, dry, repeat. Warm tepid water, crinkly fingertips, wet dish towels. Rinse, scrub, soap, wash, dry, and repeat.

I didn’t know that there would be days when I would miss difficult dishes. The days when our love just can’t get the words right. When we spout off phrases like forgiveness and patience easier than we embrace them. Days when the dishes are the cleanest part of the house, because heaven forbid our words be white as snow.

When we stutter and we stammer and we try to say the right things even though they come out wrong. Because we want love to be easy. But sometimes (often), it’s not. It’s tough. It goes beyond “I’m sorry.” Love feels like fingernails on chalkboard, scraping down the rough patches of your heart and demanding that you obey.

Love. 

Even on the hard days. Especially on the hard days. Love when you can’t stand the sound of your words or his words or your words combined. Love when tomorrow seems so far away and “I do” feels like a lifetime ago. Love when “Will you forgive me?” is the hardest phrase in the world and you force yourself to spit the words out one by painful one.

Love then, especially then.

Love when the dishes are piled up and you don’t care, because your heart hurts. Love when his job changes and he’s scared. Love when your job changes and you’re thrilled. Love when he makes it, love when you miss.  Love when you’re here and you want to be there. Love when he’s there and he’s happy to be there. Love when you don’t think you can love anymore because he’s trying. Love when you don’t think you can love anymore and you don’t know if he’s trying or not. Love even then.

Love when it’s the hardest choice in the world.
Love when it’s the easiest choice in the world.
Love because you made a vow to love.
You made a choice to choose forever.
Love because you knew a day was coming when the fuzzy feelings would go away, even though you could never imagine what that day would look like.

Love then, especially then.

I knew it in my heart, on that humid stormy Saturday almost two years ago, but I could never imagine just how hard love could be. I could never imagine that even in the hardest of hard moments, it would be so good. Therapeutic. Trying. Growing. I could never have imagined that love, the sweetest love, comes in those moments when you’re angry and tired and upset, and you know that your heart and soul will unwaveringly choose him. Love because in your heart of hearts, even in the wildest moments, you know that he will choose you.

Throw out the warm n’ fuzzies. Throw out the idea that love is easy. Throw out any thought of love as a natural progression through life. Throw out the idea that love is romance, and embrace the journey instead. Embrace the romance, encourage the romance, but recognize that love is a choice you make on the days when kisses are harder to give. Love is the choice you make when you say “Please forgive me?” for the hundredth time today. Love is the choice you make when you forgive him, even though he didn’t ask. Love is all the in-between moments. The moments you would never dream to put on Instagram. The frustrations, the miscommunication, the try, try again even though we have tried a hundred times.

Love then, especially then.

Because you’re trying. You both know it; you’re on the same team. Some moments are harder than others, but you know you’re fighting towards the same goal. You’re learning and re-learning how to speak to each other. How to be kind, how to be tender, how to block your guards and continuously allow someone else to enter into your heart. Every day, every moment, every month, every year. Keep holding onto those moments when you’re tired, when your makeup is washed away, and when a hug offered in reconciliation changes everything.

Love when it’s risky and love when it’s hard, because you will begin to understand the love of God greater in those moments than you ever did before. He loves us when we are risky, when we are hard to love. He loves us when we don’t want to apologize, when we are convinced we are right, when we don’t show our love to him, when we don’t want to…he loves us even then.

I didn’t know love would be this hard. But I also didn’t know that it would be this purifying, this intoxicating process of transformation. I didn’t know that it would demand everything I have and then more. I didn’t know that love would redefine my faith. I didn’t know that love would change my heart.

Rinse, scrub, soap, wash, dry, repeat. Warm tepid water, crinkly fingertips, wet dish towels. Rinse, scrub, soap, wash, dry, and repeat.

Love then, especially then.