{love} on purpose

January 28, 2104

So, in my last post, several weeks ago, I promised to reveal my new
"Word of the Year".
Seems simple.
We all have the instinct to love.
I love my kids~ fiercely.
I love my husband~ passionately.
I love my parents, family, & friends~ faithfully.
But I don't always {love} well.
It's very easy to {love} my kids when they are being nice to each other.
How can I not {love} my husband when he pays me a much needed compliment?
I {love} the lovable.
It's in the shadows of a cranky mood or selfish intentions
that I am challenged and tested to push through in {love}.
I want to begin to {love} on purpose.

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:30-31

We are COMMANDED to {love}.
To {love} God. To {love} everyone else. To {love} ourselves.
Not just a little.
We are to {love} with ALL that we are and ALL that we have.
No other commandment is greater!

How do I {love} God?
Sometimes it's like a comfortable relationship; the {love} is always there,
but the passion may be on simmer.
Other times I feel like I can't even come up with the words to express how intense my feelings of {love} are for Him.
In reality, if I am to {love} on purpose, it must start with my {love} affair with Jesus.
He is the only example of true, real, pure {love}.

"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." 
Romans 5:8
"Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends." 
John 15:13
"For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit." 
1Peter 3:18

The Bible is full of examples of how Jesus loved those that were deemed unlovable.
He lived {love} on purpose!

That's what I want.
I want it to flow through me, naturally.
I am so not there. 
It's actually scary to think that this is how I am going to focus myself this year.
I cannot do this on my own will power.
I must rely on the strength that comes from Christ alone.



January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

November called for Thankfulness.
December called for Giving.
January calls for Resolutions.
Have you jumped on that bandwagon and
made a list of things that you want to accomplish
just to realize that in a few short weeks 
you'll be slapped in the face with the reality
that you may have been just a tad too ambitious?
You'll find that you're in way over your head
and you'll abandon The List 
and promptly begin beating yourself up
because you're a failure.

I'm all for growth, progress, & change.
But I also know that I am human.
Don't fall into the trap of setting yourself up for disappointment.
Am I saying that you shouldn't try to lose those few extra pounds that found you last year
or try to shake off that character flaw that you're not happy with?
No. Not at all.
I'm saying that you should go about it in a different way.

Here's what I'm trying to say...
I totally believe that God has sent the Holy Spirit to us~
To guide us and speak to us.
It's not magic, and it's not out of reach. 
It's not something that only happens for other people.
God will totally meet us where we are and give us all that we need.
We just need to listen.
I have discovered that God wants us to accomplish things in a certain order.
We may not be ready for some things before others.
For the past several years, 
as I have made a conscious effort to grow closer to God,
I have heard the voice of the Holy Spirit within me 
telling me where I need to focus my energy.
I've dedicated each "new year" with a WORD 
that I've been given to purpose toward.
Whatever your word is, you should write it down
somewhere, anywhere, everywhere!
And then begin to seek out God's will in your life through prayer.
{I've learned that when I am sincere in lining myself up with the will of God, my prayer life bears more fruit. It's one of the most powerful things I've ever experienced.} 
Make yourself available to opportunities that stretch you in that area.
Educate yourself on what the Bible says about it.
Exercise it. 
And pretty soon, you'll find out that 
you've wandered into a space you've wanted to be all along.
Everything starts falling beautifully into place.
Those challenges start to become smaller 
and you can more easily discern & conquer what doesn't belong in your life.
Then, without fail, you'll hear another whisper.
Oh, the places you can go!
It's a precious journey and the thing is, instead of getting weary,
each "new year" finds you eager for new challenges.
And it's because you fall into God and let Him carry you where He leads.

Stay tuned...
I'll tell you about my new WORD soon.

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35