Imagine standing in an endless field – boxes of every color conceivable lie scattered at your feet, extending as far as you can see. Yet, you’re looking for the yellow gift boxes – those elusive ones that always meet your expectations. Whenever you’ve opened a yellow box before, you discovered the exact gift you’d hoped for. But those yellow boxes are few and far between.
You scoot past the red, blue, green, and orange boxes. Rolling hills are covered with purple, teal, and gray boxes. You nudge away the mundane brown ones with a push of your toe. Sometimes you trip over edgy, black boxes, hoping that a corner of yellow will soon catch your eye.
Only the yellow boxes seem worthy of opening; only they gain your attention…
I wonder how many times I’ve ignored the gifts of God simply because they didn’t meet my expectations…Continue Reading…
(This post first appeared on the Gateway Church’s Pink blog.)
A tall piece of pink card stock graced my dresser top throughout 2013. A list of specific goals. Not so much resolutions to begin on January 1st as they were habits or accomplishments to develop and fulfill throughout the year. It made January easier to swallow in 2013, knowing that I didn’t need to miraculously morph overnight into a super-human goal-conqueror.
Some goals I met. Many I didn’t. One I knocked out of the water.
But everyday, I’d see my list and have direction. So, even on those goals I didn’t fully meet to utmost perfection, I still worked on…still kept at the forefront of my mind what mattered.
This year, I felt a tug from the Lord to shift a little. Rather than a neat list of my top ten for this new year, He gave me two words. Two simple words that underscore a depth tremendous.
Freedom. As in freedom to be exactly who God has designed me to be. As in freedom from the fear of man.
Gratitude. The kind of gratitude Ann Voskamp portrays with exquisite and agonizing beauty in her book One Thousand Gifts. Gratitude that embodies a habit of thanksgiving for both big and small. Gratitude that opens the door to joy and grace. Gratitude that is deeply thankful for the life that already is rather than constantly hoping for the things which are not.
“Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
Freedom…Gratitude…A new way of thinking…A new way of being…that will touch every area of my life and, hopefully, the lives of everyone I touch.
So, with a fresh slice of card stock, resembling the sandy grains of dirt into which God breathed the Breath of Life, I begin a new year. Not so much a list of to-do’s. Much more it is a list of “just be” and be fully.