Sunday, February 16, 2014

Some days, everything seems so clear...

          Some days, everything seems so clear. Distractions have been put aside and you realize, as if for the first time, that God loves you. That Jesus Christ died on a cross to save you from eternal torture in the depths of hell. You recognize the sin in your life, and feel a renewed zeal to try and be like Christ.
          In a moment truth is renewed, and your soul rejoices.
          This is how I felt the other day. I had just gone to bed, and it dawned on me that I was going to see Josh again. I have known and thought about this fact for a long time, but in that moment the reality of it became so clear in my mind it gave me chills. I am an eternal being; I am going to heaven when I die. I am going to see - truly see - Josh again. And more than that, I am going to live with him. We won't  be separated by a wall of glass; we will be able to interact with each other, sing, talk, laugh. Eternity in heaven is not some vague existence. It is more alive and real than anything we can dream of.
         Everything seemed so clear in that moment. Life, death, God, love, eternity, sin... it all made the most beautiful sense.
         The best word I can think of to describe how I felt is inspired. I yearned to learn, love and grow - to make the most of the short time that God has given me in this place. I was filled with joy at the thought of seeing Josh again, and of meeting all my little siblings. I felt strong - strong enough to resist the temptations that wrack me every day. The eyes of my heart were again opened, and I realized how hungry I was for God. My soul was starving.
         But life goes on.
         Monday morning came. Before having been awake for an hour, I failed. A snappish word, an impure thought, a temptation indulged. Resolutions began to crumble, and I found myself frustrated and disheartened. Gone was the peace and joy I felt yesterday. Gone was that keen sense of His presence. I'd come back to earth, and reality felt much harsher than before.
         The thing is, our life in Christ is the reality. Experiencing His presence, love, joy, and peace should be a constant part of our lives. It's not a special treat that we only get once every couple months, a prize for being a good follower. No! God is always there with open arms. It is the sin and distractions in our lives that keep us from seeing this.
          We need more moments like this. In fact, we need every moment to be like this. Immersed in love and awe, filled with passion and resolution. Yes, you will fail - daily, hourly, minutely. So what? Get back up! Don't waste time with your face in the dirt feeling like a failure. Yes, you are a failure, but God is the Healer, and He will use your imperfections for His glory.
          Take a moment to think about the reality of God at least every day. During devotions, or even while you're doing dishes, just take a moment to pause and remember. Remember all that He has done for you, remember what is to come. And take heart.


Monday, February 3, 2014

My Awesome Dad

Originally, this was going to be something of a mock-post, but I decided to make it a real one, because it’s something worth writing about.
Long story short, while I was at a sleep-over on Friday, Dad took my laptop and replaced my screen (which was suffering tremendously from Rapidly Dying Pixels disease) and my CD drive (which died much more speedily than my monitor). When I got home and thanked him for fixing it, he jokingly said that I should write a blog post telling you all how awesome he is.
After brief consideration, I decided to act upon his recommendation.
Dads have become something of a scarcity the last couple of decades. More and more men have begun to shirk their responsibility as fathers – and not just men. Women have decided that motherhood is a burden rather than a blessing. A burden not worth carrying.
Parenthood itself has become degraded in the eyes of modern culture. Children are a bother, an expense, a “problem”. An option.
I am so incredibly blessed to live in a family with both of my biological parents. To have nine wonderful siblings and an amazing sister-in-law. To be loved and surrounded by godly influences.
I have it so good.
I love my Dad. So, so much. I am so thankful for his presence and influence in my life. I am so glad that he loves and cares about me enough to protect me. I am so thankful for my Mom, who is such a good friend and counselor.

Don’t take anything for granted. Everything you have, no matter how small it may seem, is a gift. Be grateful for it, and never cease to be thankful.
And because I know you’ll be reading this, I love you, Daddy. Thank you for always loving and caring for your family. You’re pretty awesome. <3