A Social Media Trap

Friends, today I am hurt.  Over something so insignificant.  I am ashamed to even tell you what it is.

Facebook likes.

Yep.  Today, I commented on someone’s status and every other comment got a “like” by the poster except mine.  I was instantly upset and felt that I needed to call this person out.  How unfair and rude, because I said something nice.

I want to tell you that I do not know why I was SO ANGRY over this silly little thing, but I absolutely know why I was.  God has been trying and trying to show me that comparison is the thief of joy.  I have been battling this for a while now, but, when I realized how ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS it was that I was upset OVER A FACEBOOK LIKE, it hit me hard.  Our Father used this moment to draw me closer to Him.  God is so loving and desperately wants to draw us closer to Him that He reaches out to us in the smallest of moments.  The moments that are commonplace or moments that suddenly we are so focused on that we would not normally pay attention to.

So, there are three parts to this…

  1. I am beyond blessed to have the kid, family, and friends that I do.  I am blessed beyond measure that they love me the way that they do.  The truth is, though, that even their opinions do not matter.  If God chose to remove everyone from my life and it was just me, God would still be great and still the only opinion that matters.  Our identities are not in the opinions of others and what they think of us.  Our value does not lie in their hands.  We do not answer to people behind little LED screens, on the other end of the phone line, or even across the room.  We answer to one true God.  My value does not diminish, because someone did like something I wrote, disagrees with my choices, or flat out does not like me.  My Father LOVES me unconditionally.  His love does not waiver no matter what I do.  That is my value; saved, redeemed, restored.
  2. I am beyond blessed to have the kid, family, and friends that I do.  I am blessed beyond measure that they love me the way that they do.  I. Am. Blessed.  Plain and simple.  With or without social media and likes, loves, & hahas, I am blessed.  I have more in my life than many people could imagine.  If I am not joyful where I am, then no amount of social media love will bring me joy.  My priorities are out of whack.  Is that not the common theme anymore?  Instead of focusing on our own lives, we are so focused on the highlight reels of others’ and cannot help but covet what they have.  We want the life that others have, but we are not them.  If you do not even like ice cream, why would you be jealous that I ate some last night?  Our culture is breeding jealousy & desire and driving down appreciation for what we have.  There always has to be more.  There NEEDS to be more.  And there is.  There is more promised to us in our inheritance called Heaven.  There is more to our hearts and our spirits in Christ than to anything in this world.  So where is your focus?  Where are your priorities?  Are they in this world or above it?
  3. Grace.  How many times have you hurt someone, even unintentionally, and wanted forgiveness?  How many times have you disobeyed God and stepped outside of Him, yet He gave you grace?  How come we want grace and forgiveness when we do wrong, but are so quick to throw stones when we are wronged?  I think about the little things that I miss; not saying happy birthday, not liking comments/statuses, and neglecting texts.  I do not mean to hurt people’s feelings and, most of the time, I do not even know if I did, but what if they were?  I would hope that those people did not think I meant to hurt them.  Would I not hope and want them to forgive me?  Let us say this person who did not like my post did so deliberately.  Does this person not deserve grace?  Does seven times seventy-seven not apply here?  How about not casting the first stone?  Whether a transgression is deliberate or not does not matter in how we, as Christians, are to handle it.  We are to forgive ALWAYS.  We are not judges and we certainly are not to seek vengeance.  An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.

Our God is a loving, caring, and endless God.  He seeks to grow us in Him.  We are to live like Christ and that is our only comparison.  That means we are not to try to be like our mentors, our friends, or even the disciples.  When we fall short, when we give way to our sin, Our Father is always there constantly and fiercely loving us.  We owe each other that love.  Our value is found in that love and in that love alone.  Put the hurt and comparison aside and live in the life God gave you.  Live in the mess, the failures, the beauty, and the love.  He will use it all the make you more and more beautiful and like Him.  It is ALL for His glory.

Go forth and love others (and yourself) like Christ loves.

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There is joy in THIS?!

A few weeks ago, my sweet, loving, beautiful boy asked that I sleep with him.  Anybody who is a parent knows this is a moment to oblige, because there will quickly come a day that he will not want me to hang out with him let alone have a sleep over with him.  So, after he had fallen asleep, I gathered my pillows and blankets then found a sliver of a spot in his bed for me.

As I was lying there, I began to thank God and praise Him for this wonderful child He created and for allowing me to have the honor of being his Little Momma (his nickname for me).  I was near tears thinking of all the great things God is going to do with this child.  I imagined who God was shaping him into.  I thanked Him for who KP already is.  The moment felt almost magical in the silence with the street lights filtering in through the blinds.  Just as I was having that thought, a little boy farted.  On me.  He. Farted. On. Me.  Not just a small little toot, oh no.  It was a legitimate, full blown fart and I thought, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  He just ruined this moment!”

The Lord, ever so lovingly, smacked me upside the head, like He LOVES to do, and reminded me that I am to be thankful and joyous about every moment of this boy’s life.  Every moment of my life.  There was no moment to ruin.  KP giggled so hard the next morning when I told him what happened.  He saw the joy and humor in the situation.  To him, it was perfect.  And, like usual, he was right.  That moment, farts and all, was perfectly a KP moment.

So often, I find myself comparing different situations of what actually happened to the way I would have designed it to happen.  I see all the imperfections and things that went wrong.  I can find no joy, no sunshine in the ruined memories and situations.  I let my mind run wild with the what ifs and all the should haves.  There is beauty in the failure.  There is sunshine in the cracks.  God meets us there.  He meets us in the imperfections and dirt (and farts) of life to remind us that there is NOTHING we can do that does not have value to our journey, to our life.  He loves us in the junk.  He did not design us or this life to be perfect.  He designed it to be a journey of growth, joy, struggles, and love.  There is purpose in our failures and shortcomings.  There is joy in being exactly who Our Father designed us to be: imperfect, flawed, and His.

The next time my son wants a sleepover, I will jump at the chance to snuggle and to pray over him, farts and all, because that is who God made him to be; a little boy with too much dirt on his knees, who rough houses just a little too rough, and who thinks farts are the most hilarious thing in the world.  His laugh every time that he farts is the joy for me.  I am thankful to have a boy that is healthy enough to play all day , getting dirty, and still have the energy to fart enough times to gross his Little Momma out.

God promised us imperfect, tough, and challenging situations.  He also promised us joy in all of those and that they would all be used for His glory.  Look for it everywhere, because the joy is there.

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Weighted Sin or the Weight of Sin?

Well, there it was.  I said it thinking I knew exactly what I was saying and that it was just an observation, but it was anything but.

During a conversation with a friend, about his ex-wife, he told me she had cheated on him.  I said, very astutely, “Well, she must not have known The Lord, then.”  It did not seem judgmental, pious, or presumptuous in the least.  I thought that he would agree with me and move on.  Instead, he said, “No, she did.  She just made a mistake.”

Boom.  That hit me like a brick.

Does anybody remember weighted grades in school?  Tests counted for 30% of your grade, but there was one or two major tests that counted for two tests instead of one.  A weighted grade.  If you messed that one up, it was worse than the others.  It mattered more than the other assignments and tests.

As humans, we want to do that with sin.  I automatically assumed that, because this woman sinned, she must not know The Lord.  She could not be saved or have relationship with Him, because she was sinning.  Big.  Sure, I sin.  I know I have sinned, but this was AN AFFAIR!  This woman was definitely worse than the saved people I know.  Right?

In the eyes of God, sin is sin.  A lie is no better, and no worse, than an affair.  We feel heavy when we sin.  Our hearts hurt.  It does not matter how you sin.  All sin pulls you away from God.  There is weight to every mistake.  In the world, we put weight to different sins.  Murder results in jail time or even costs you your life.  Intoxication can end with fines, jail time, or losing your license.  But what punishment is there for me lying about what I ate for lunch or where I really was Saturday night?  I may make someone mad, but I could also make them mad by telling them the truth.  Of course we view sin with different weights, because they have different impacts.  An affair can tear apart marriages and families.  Stealing leaves someone without.  These sins harm other people and that makes us view them as loftier sins, but all sin is lofty.  For God, there is one weight of sin simply because it pulls us away for Him and how He wants us to live.

Just because a person sins does not mean that the person does not know God.  I sin pretty much every day, even if it is something “little” and God gives me grace.  He gives me forgiveness.  He grows me through and out of that sin.  What I owed that woman was grace not judgment or weight on her sin.  It was already heavy enough…

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Trust Fall; More Than a Game at Camp

Close to a year ago, my son sat on the steps in tears. He was not in trouble and the tears were not his hurt tears. Baffled, I asked him what was wrong. He replied, “Mom, someday I am going to leave you and move away and you will have no one to take care of you.”

My heart broke. My poor, 6 year old child wanted to know I would be taken care of when he left for college…in 13 years. Ha! I had to giggle at his sweet concern. I seized that opportunity to explain to him that I was strong and did not need a man to take care of me. I also had The Lord, my friends, and my family. Even without him in the house, I would be anything but alone. I was convinced that was a good explanation and it would appease him. I was wrong. He did not buy it for a second. How was he not buying it?!

He wasn’t buying it, because neither was I. Since that discussion, and even well before it, I craved a partner, a man, a husband. I was a serial dater and every man was liable to be my next true love. I did not trust my Father to know best for me. I did not trust Him to take care of me when I would be “alone.”

When I finally had that “ah-ha” moment almost 10 months ago, it was like a punch to the gut. How could I teach my son to trust The Lord if I refused to do so myself? God specifically gave a Word to my spiritual mom that I needed to give myself to Him and then He would give me the man.

It definitely has not been an easy journey letting The Lord control any aspect of my life, especially this one. I can tell you, though, when I let go and fall into God, I am at peace. I can take joy in the place where He has me at this moment. I can finally meet a single man and have no expectations beyond friendship. I am no longer anxious wondering if this man is the one or if this man is…God will show me when HE is ready.

For me, I struggle trusting God when it comes to relationships. For others, it is jobs, children, friends, church homes, moving, etc. The more you fall into Christ, the more you experience peace and appreciate the work you have to do right where you are. He has placed you there with purpose and intent. Be happy in His plan for you, because it only leads to His glory and your joy!

God bless,
Britt

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…and may the odds be ever in your favor

Today is Reaping Day…sort of.

Two years ago, at about 1:30 in the afternoon, my fate would change forever. Where I was going to go or what I was going to do were questions answered with a blank stare and an, “I don’t know…” I felt lost, confused, and unsure of my path, my mission, my life…

My life had hit a low point (as all good revelation stories start). It was the first day of Spring Quarter and, instead of being in class, I was in counseling. As my counselor talked me through my issues and reassured me that I was okay and I was going to continue to be okay, I relaxed. On my drive home, I was sitting at a traffic light at a fairly busy intersection. I was trying to just clear my brain and veg out. I definitely needed to relax and calm down from all that had been going on. In that moment, my heart began to race and I couldn’t catch my breath. I was convinced I was going to die right there at this busy intersection. I began to panic, which only made the situation worse. Obviously, I did not die, but what happened next would change my life forever.

Suddenly, my heart stops, I feel like I have just seen the most breath-takingly gorgeous person. Almost audibly I hear, “You need to believe in God.”

Um…say what? That is not something my atheist mind would think of on its own. Seriously. My best friend was Christian and we debated all the time. His persistence did not affect me; I continued to be undoubtedly atheist.

So back to the audible thought. What do I do with that? Seriously! At first, I was dumbfounded. There is no way that was real. I was just being crazy, but, without a conscious thought, I found myself dialing a familiar number. Almost in tears (again, another hint to myself that I was simply having a breakdown), I began to tell my best friend, Kevin, the events of that day and the last few unending minutes. His response was to invite me to church. Ha! Yeah, right. I was not going to be a “Sunday Christian.” I did not even know what it meant to be a Christian. I was not ready to quit cussing, partying, having sex before marriage, etc. I was not ready to live by a set of unattainable standards that did not make sense to me, but that is where it all began…

Less than five months later, I found myself sitting front and center, next to Kevin, at church. AT CHURCH! The place did not burn down, I did not get cast out or struck down, and I did not get ignored. What happened was that I found my family and my home.

I look at my life now and the journey that I have had and I am thankful for those moments where I felt I was drowning and wouldn’t survive the cut of being a Christian.

So with that I say (while shoving cake in my mouth to celebrate), Happy Saving Day! The odds are forever in my favor.

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The Yes Movement

The Things I See Up Here

The simplest of words have always held the most power.

As writers we use a massive vocabulary of verbosity to voice our inner thoughts and convey the message we have to share. Yet all around us is a world of single words and slammed doors. Rejection at every turn.

From the earliest stages of our lives we learn to fear one word answers. From the “No” you get from your parents when asking for something to the “No” you get when you ask that girl you have had a crush on for as long as you can remember if she would go the dance with you there is nothing more crushing than a one word rejection.

We are conditioned to say “no” to anything that makes us feel even the slightest bit uncomfortable. We are taught to say “no” to the things that seem strange to us. We are taught…

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Habits Die Hard

For Lent, I decided to not watch TV at home and give up Twitter and Facebook. For Facebook, I completely deactivated my account and deleted the app from my phone (basically the only way I accessed it). Sitting in its place now is my Bible app.

At first I thought this was pretty cool. The icon even looks cooler than the Facebook one. Through the day, and out of habit, I have been clicking that spot. Expecting to see updates about what people ate that day, their exercise regimes, and who else got engaged, I got a shock when I repeatedly saw the verse of the day.

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 6:6, 7 NIV)

Numerous times through the day I saw this and began to get a little frustrated that nothing was changing, there was nothing new to read…then I remembered why I gave up Facebook. I nearly have Deuteronomy 6:6-7 memorized. Have I really been checking Facebook that frequently?!?! I knew it was a problem, but did not realize to this extent.

As sad as it is that I checked Facebook more than my Bible and Bible app, I find some comfort in the fact that I made the right choice for Lent. I want to spend more time in and memorizing The Word. Check. Off to a good start, because I learned two verses today! This is the reality check I have been needing about my priorities. As hard as this will be (obviously I am already having withdrawals), I know I am on the right path toward bettering my life as a Christian!

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