Much More

But a man of God came to him (Amaziah) and said, “Your Majesty, do not hire troops from Israel, for the Lord is not with Israel.  He will not help those people of Ephraim!  If you let them go with your troops into battle, you will be defeated by the enemy no matter how well you fight.  God will overthrow you, for he has the power to help you or to trip you up.”

Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about all that silver I paid to hire the army of Israel?”

The man of God replied, “The Lord is able to give you much more than this!”

~2 Chronicles 25:7-9, NLT

Today, lets take a breath and a step back.

Deep in the throws of fighting, it’s easy to get caught up.  Whatever it is you’re fighting, I’m sure it is a good cause.  Amaziah’s was too.  It’s so easy to keep plodding full steam ahead with tunnel vision towards the goal in mind.  Let’s stop for a moment and consider…

Our ideas may be honorable, noble, bold even.

God can do much more.

Psalm 127:1 reads, “Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain” (ESV).  Oh how I do not want to labor in vain!

The goal may be very worthy.  The end result may even be what God’s calling and leading us towards!  But are we missing out on much more because we’re so set on our way of getting there?

Amaziah was worried about 7,500 pounds of silver he paid to hire 100,000 experienced fighting men from Israel.  I have no idea how much money that is, but I’m guessing that since he was king and he stopped long enough to consider it, it must have been a significant amount.  Even if it wasn’t, though, the amount really isn’t the issue.  The issue is that he’s going about his business as king, doing what he thinks is appropriate to conquer those pesky Edomites, and he’s halted in his tracks by a man of God who provides Godly wisdom, truth and reminds him…

God can do much more.

He’s worried about silver?  God can do much more.

We’re worried about what– money?  Marriage?  Jobs?  Babies?  Graduation? Health?  We may have great ideas!  We may be executing those ideas well!  Yet if we see God pulling us in a different direction, we must remember!

God can do much more.

I am learning this right now, trusting that God is working behind the scenes; learning that although my ideas may be good, God may have something else in mind– something much more.

It is crazy how a little paragraph in the huge bible about a man named Amaziah can suddenly stop me in my tracks, realign my thought process and cause me to take a big breath and a step back.  Oh Lord, may I give you room to do much more.

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“Common Sense”

Today it is hard being a renter.

Sure, there are many days when I am very grateful I don’t have to pay the property tax or care if the home value drops.  Most of the time I love just sending a check each month and not worrying about the upkeep that home ownership requires.  We have rental properties back in California, so I’m well aware of all the work that goes into keeping up a home and most days I like not having to deal with it where I currently live.  It’s kind of freeing to rent.

Not today, though…. *Sigh*

Then there are days I wish I could paint the discolored walls, replace the running toilet, and just get the dang sink fixed already.  I mean how many times do I have to tell the landlord (who lives next door) that it leaks?  Not to mention that the oven ticks unless it’s unplugged from the wall.  When I asked him about that he just said to leave it unplugged when it’s not being used, and would I call the manufacturer to get the part?  Um, the oven is older than me and I have no idea what part it needs and why do I have to deal with YOUR ticking oven anyway?!  So I just unplug it when I’m not using it…

But today set me off.  Maya was quietly playing with her water table on the front porch, and he walked up and said I needed to put something under the water table so that water wouldn’t drip onto the porch.  He had asked me about this before, so I pointed out that I had moved the water table so that it was sitting on top of a bamboo outdoor rug.  He then proceeded to tell me that wasn’t good enough and it needed to be something like a tray so that it could catch the water.

?!

If that wasn’t enough, he told me he saw that I’d used the water faucet on the side of the house and that water had dripped onto the driveway and it was “common sense” that water should not get on the driveway.  I about LOST it.  What about the 17 inches of snow we’d had?  “Nature”, he replied.  What drove me nuts even more was that as we were speaking, it was raining!

To make matters worse (I was already visibly irritated at this point) he pointed out a bag of top soil that he’d left on the driveway that someone had run over with a tire and some of the soil was coming out of the bag.  He asked me if I’d done this, which I replied that I didn’t know, and why would he leave a bag of soil in the path where the cars drive anyway?  He said we should watch where we are driving and it is just “common sense”.

Oh.  My.  Goodness.

So offered to buy him a new bag of top soil, but he just shook his head.

I know I raised my voice.  I may have rolled my eyes.  I wasn’t exactly turning the other cheek, and I explained my frustration at the level of analytics he was providing on my every move.  It’s “common sense” he kept saying, and I kept reminding him of how it’s “common sense” for a landlord to fix things like ticking ovens and leaking sinks and the other things I’ve told him that are wrong that he continues to ignore.

How come he gets to pick on me for getting the driveway wet but I can’t ask him to fix things?!  I felt like a little kid who was being treated unfairly by a parent.  And I felt bad for raising my voice and getting upset.

I went into the house, left David a long, very annoyed voicemail and put Maya down for her nap.

And so here I sit, trying to find the Hallelujah in this and remembering our rent is super affordable, the neighborhood is safe and an overbearing landlord that doesn’t fix things is better than what most of the world has to deal with regarding living conditions.

But I also want to be real with y’all.  Today was not my best day.  Today it sucks to rent.  Today my oven is annoying the HECK out of me and while I’m so grateful for so much in my life, today I whined.  A lot.  Today I wanted to throw “common sense” out the window and purposefully start dowsing the porch and the driveway with buckets and buckets of water.

Today revealed the not so pretty parts of my heart.

So if you’re ever tempted to think us Urban Hallelujah gals have it all together and never lose our temper and are perfectly sweet, I’m sorry to say you can’t sit here (insert Forrest Gump voice).  My husband said I let an 80 year old man ruin my day with a little bit of water.

Common sense says I need to get over it. 🙂

Have you ever had one of those days where something just set you off?  What did you do?

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Not Pretty, But Beautiful

I can't believe my baby girl is 2! :)

I can’t believe my baby girl is 2! 🙂

I was scampering around the internet, trying to find something super cool and fun to do in celebration of Maya’s 2nd birthday.  She made it to 2!  I thought to myself.  This is a huge feat for not just her but for us!  We’ve got to make it super exciting!  Super COOL!  Super FUN!!!

Just like you’d expect, ain’t nobody living up to pressure like THAT.  Go figure it was pressure I was putting on myself.  So after a couple hours of looking up ideas from here to New York City to Paramus to Riverdale, I cashed in my chips and decided it wouldn’t be a pinterest pretty party.  No, no, no.  Maybe one year; yes– definitely some year, but this would not be the year.  Number two would not be the photogenic party…  It would be the opposite actually!  Just us, some cake, a few presents, and of course the beautiful birthday girl. 🙂

And you know what?

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Super cool, super fun table setting 😉

It wasn’t pretty.  The “Happy Birthday” sign I bought at Target ended up not having the “A” in “happy”.  We ate frozen potstickers on paper plates and put a candle in a store bought coffee cake.  We wore two-dollar party hats and sang the birthday song somewhat off key.  I didn’t edit a single one of these photos.  I cherished the entire evening.  It. Was. BEAUTIFUL.  I thought to myself, screw pretty.  I’ll take beautiful today.

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Happy birthday sweet girl 🙂

Mamahood has surprised me in so many ways.  I am surprised I enjoy it this much, humbled by how much I don’t know, and encouraged to learn that what I do know most likely won’t really matter.  I am so grateful God changed my dreams and that my husband supports my decision to stay home.  I am ever in love with the little heart my girl has and it’s ability captivate mine.  I had no idea I would like being a mother.  I had no idea I would love her this much.  Mamahood, while a crazy rodeo, has won me over.

To all of you out there in blog land, who look around at the messes and your middle piles (because come on, we all have a middle pile, yes?  The dirty pile, the clean pile, the middle pile that’s somewhere in between but surely will be worn again!) it’s more than fine if it’s not pretty today.  It’s okay you’re serving dinner out of that 9×13 pan and not that pretty serving platter.  It’s really alright that your cupcakes were made from a box.  They probably taste amazing, if it’s the same box mix I use! 😉  It’s beautiful what you’re able to give your family.  Whatever it is.  Easy mac or Five cheese macaroni, it’s all beautiful.

Even if it’s not pretty!

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Dreams Change

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What happens when you look around at your life and can hardly recognize yourself?

When the life you dreamed of while you were in college doesn’t even mirror the slightest that your everyday mundane now calls you to, what is the appropriate response?

What do you do when you are so knee deep in a different story than the one you would have written for yourself back in high school?

And…

Wait for it…

What if you are completely okay with it?!  Content with it even?!  Dare I say happy even!

Let’s give ourselves permission to be okay with changed dreams.  Let’s whisper a hallelujah in knowing that they’ll most likely change again.  Let’s let out a sigh of relief– relief that it’s okay to do something we didn’t originally dream of.

Last week I read the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.  You probably know her as the COO of Facebook and the ever popular TEDTalk feature a few years ago.  She’s many women’s hero right now.  I loved her book; I hated her book.  Reading that book made me realize how different my dreams are today then they were 10 years ago.  But this post is not about that book.  It’s about dreams.

It’s about how sometimes dreams change; about letting ourselves be okay with that and embracing the new dreams springing up inside.

I used to dream about being a really “successful” working woman.  I dreamed about wearing heels to work and working on “important” things.  I followed that dream.  I had fun.  I enjoyed it fully.  Yet slowly, things changed.  It wasn’t overnight, but wow, this life I live today isn’t what I dreamed of back then.  My life is not exactly what my 20 year old self would aspire to be.

And… gasp…

I’m still happy!

The internal struggle still exists.  While reading Sheryl’s book, I missed the projects and office drama and people and thrill of bringing product to marketplace and helping customers and everything in between.  At the same time I read “Let Me Be a Woman” by Elizabeth Elliot and longed for a simpler time, an Anne of Green Gables kind of simplicity.   How is it that these two worlds can exist in the heart of the same woman?

Dreams change.

My 20 year old self would not recognize me.  She would probably judge me.  She would feel bad for me.  She would wish she could write my story differently.

I would smile at her and tell her it’s okay that dreams change.  My dream will not always be to stay at home with my toddler.  She will grow up, God willing.  Dreams change.  My life today is not what I dreamed it would be back then but it has transformed into my dream right now.  My life today probably isn’t going to be my dream of the future.  I’m sure I’ll be ecstatic to be done with diapers and “wee sing” and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse!  Yes, I hope my dreams change! 🙂  Even so, while I am here, I want to embrace this stage and be fully here, eyes open, fists open, taking in and giving my best to what’s right in front of me.

Emily Freeman from Chatting at the Sky says it so well:

One of my own personal struggles is a temptation to always look ahead to the next thing, idealizing the other-ness of what is not rather than embracing the essence of what is. That’s not always bad, but it is a delicate kind of learned art to be able to look ahead while also celebrating now, to imagine what could be without discounting what is.

As I’ve been reading in the gospels lately, I’m reminded of how personal, present, and local Jesus was when he was here on earth. He didn’t teach about roads he hadn’t traveled on or cultures he didn’t live among (even though as all-knowing God of course he could have). Instead, he chose to sit with neighbors in neighborhoods, to walk with them in celebration and in grief, to eat meals and use the stuff of meals – bread, salt, wine, fish – in his conversations. He spoke of the future because that’s why he came, but he didn’t do so at the expense of the present.

Let yourself be happy in your current dream.  Don’t waste happiness and joy wishing for the dream of the past or future.  Dreams change.  Embrace it, girlfriend.  Believe it or not– some dreams are not timeless.  Like some friends or seasons or fresh basil some will come in to your life for a period and then they will leave.  They will play a part in your life for a moment or an hour or a few years and then they’ll quietly transform into something completely different.  Dreams change.  It’s okay.  You don’t have to justify it to anyone.

Dreams Change.

Just go with it!

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And to KNOW…

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Sometimes in the life days, the normal sacred nothing days– that’s when He speaks and says be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10).

It’s those days full of everything and nothing when I can’t seem to remember a thing I’ve done yet I’ve been ‘busy’ all day long… Those are the days He calls and beckons me to the hope of glory, Christ in me (Colossians 1:27).

The water dripping under the sink, the toilet that keeps running and the stove that won’t stop beeping unless I unplug it– the constant reminders of fixes that need to be done and calls that should be made…  This is when my spirit says give me direction Lord!  How much longer?  Give me clarity, show me the future!  Guide my steps and lead me!  And there in the dripping faucet He says in that still small voice to live is Christ (Philippians 1:21).

How many times have I asked him for the next thing, for the next move, for the next clue as to what I should do?

Where I should go, who I should talk to, why He allowed it, what I’m to say, where He’s leading…

Don’t get me wrong, all these things are good and noble.  I believe God does meet us in our asking, and often will direct our steps with specific answers.  He has done this many times for me!  I do, however, believe this is not the end all be all.  This is not what we are living for– that magical crystal globe that tells us what we should do, be, say or where to go.  This is not why God created us, this is not our purpose.

We are to know Christ.

As I return off the plane from the vacation of my dreams and am met with 21 degree weather biting at my nose, I look up and ask ‘how much longer?’.  I see Him theoretically smile and reply, be found in me, know me, gain me (Philippians 3:8-9).

I am to know Christ.

I don’t know how much longer my sweet little family will be in New Jersey.  If I am completely honest with you, it has been a long year and I am ready to move on.  I rejoice in knowing the Lord led us here, but often wonder why.  I have yet to make a strong network here like I did when we moved to Portland.  We have yet to feel completely connected at church.  We are inside most of these snowy days and worked hard and high into the night.  We seek direction and reasons and wonder at it all.  We pray for clarity and peace and joy.  We ask Him to lead and direct our steps, will He show up and be clear and go before us?  Will He give us the direction we so desperately desire?

And His answer is KNOW ME.

At first it didn’t even seem like an answer at all.  I asked again.

KNOW ME.

Perhaps I have been so caught up in the whirlwind of moving and settling and finding and discovering and waiting and wondering that I have forgotten I am to seek Him and find Him, seeking Him wholeheartedly (Jeremiah 29:13).  He is my end; He is my goal and prize (Philippians 3:12-14).  Not California, not warm weather, not my mama or my sister close by again…  He is my everything, and I am to know Him well.

To live is Christ (Philippians 1:21).

I want to know Christ (Philippians 3:10).

Christ is everything (1 Corinthians 15:27).

May we know Him better still, with each passing day.

God in my living, there in my breathing
God in my waking, God in my sleeping
God in my resting, there in my working
God in my thinking, God in my speaking

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

God in my hoping, there in my dreaming
God in my watching, God in my waiting
God in my laughing, there in my weeping
God in my hurting, God in my healing

Be my everything, be my everything
Be my everything, be my everything

Christ in me, Christ in me
Christ in me, the hope of glory
You are everything

~Tim Hughes, Everything

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When What You Have, Is Not Enough

Leaves

I could see the man struggling up ahead; battling the autumn wind as it blew the garbage can he was pulling, over in a fury. Tossing all of its contents out on the street, I watched from afar as the man ran around in a frenzy as the wind whisked everything in opposite directions, each piece seemingly on a mission of it’s own!  And just as he had steadied the garbage can long enough to fill it with each of the runaway scraps, almost instantaneously, another frigid gust of wind blew again, causing a wave of trash to spill onto the street once again!

Bad day…” is all he said as he walked by.

I smiled, because that’s all he had to say.

We’ve all been there. Working feverishly, when a gust of wind so massive and strong, leaves our efforts spilled out on the pavement. As the wind continues to blow, we grasp aimlessly at all that is whirling around us! And just when we have steadied ourselves, and nearly dusted off all the dirt from our clothes… Poof! Another gust blows it all right back in our face again!

Damn wind.

I dont know about you, but for me it’s been a ‘crayon on the walls – milk on the couch – hot pink stickers on the floors – earrings in the garbage – “look mommy, I colored my white sneakers with your red lipstick!”  kind of week! A week in which you find – you aren’t nearly as surprised as you should be – that you found a piece of uncooked pasta in your bed, and that you struggle to determine when it was that you last took a shower!

You know you’ve endured a week like this, when you are envious of even your own instagram pictures- portraits portraying the perfect little ‘tantrum-less’ family, bright blue skies, picturesque cityscapes, and more ‘glow’ and less ketchup on the faces of your children thanks to the lo-fi filter!

And although occurrences like these don’t make it a bad week, I think we could all agree it can definitely make it a windy one at best!

And just as I was settling into bed one night, weary, and bracing for another day of mayhem, this thought came to my mind…

Give thanks for what is NOT enough.

I thought back to a message I had heard years ago by Bishop T.D. Jakes on the feeding of the 5,000. A story that no doubt, the majority of us learned back in grade school thanks to a soft spoken sunday school teacher, wearing a gold cross around her neck, and manning the flannel graph board! (The lesson falling somewhere between putting your quarters in the plastic church steeple for offering, and getting star stickers for reciting your memory verse!)

In Matthew 14, Jesus spends the day with a large crowd of people. As it gets later, the people become hungry, and instead of turning them away and sending them home,  Jesus instructs the disciples to feed them.

Looking at what they had, the disciples questioned their ability to do this for obvious reasons…

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered.

“Bring them here to me,” he said… taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves.

Taking the little they had to offer, Jesus gave thanks to God!

He gave thanks for what was not enough!

Surely there was no possible way that 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish would feed 20 people, let alone 5,000! But Jesus was thankful for it regardless.

Only after he gave thanks, did that which was NOT enough, become MORE than enough! And not only were they able to feed every one of the 5,000, but in the end, they even had some left over!

The truth is – if we were really honest – we would admit that we too desire for God to bless us with more than enough! And yet, so often we refuse to acknowledge what we already have!

We want a bigger house, a better paying job, a more exciting opportunity (and god only knows in my case, a better behaved toddler, Michelle Obama’s arms, and a bigger kitchen… ) but the fact of the matter is, we need to stop complaining about what we don’t have, and thank God for what we already do have! Even, when it is NOT enough!

treesThis last week I felt even more, God pressing me to admit when I am not enough – not enough as a mom, not enough as a wife, and not enough as a woman! The times when the winds are raging and I want to throw up my hands and give up. The days I don’t have enough patience… enough energy… enough time…. and not nearly enough paper towels! The days I want to light pinterest on fire and watch it burn, or curse out the friend on Facebook who insists on giving daily play backs on how ‘uhhhhmazing’ their workout was!

I could feel the Lord asking me to come to Him – the same way the disciples had – and bring to Him my feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness.

I love how Jesus responds in verse 18, when the disciples come to Him and admit that what they possess couldn’t possibly be enough. His response is simple, ‘Bring it to me’.

Jesus didn’t turn them away for their lack of faith, or talk them into believing that what they had would suffice,

He only asked that they put the little they DID have, in His hands.

And so I told the Lord, that I wasn’t enough… I admitted that at times, I am painfully insecure, and described to Him my ongoing struggle to find my identity in this world. I told him, that too often my temper flails, and negativity gets the best of me. That I panic in a cluttered room, hate the playground, and can’t for the life of me master the sock bun!

I owned all of my shortcomings, and l chose in that moment to place them all in His hands.

But I didn’t stop there…

Although I don’t have it all, I thanked him for what I DO have! I have rockstar hair, and beautiful nail beds (yes, there is such a thing believe it or not! 🙂 ) I am thoughtful, and I am bold. I don’t sweat the small stuff, and I possess a faith in the Lord that is unshakeable. I have a gift with words, and am always, ALWAYS down to go t-peeing at any given moment! Not to mention, I can make a MEAN roast chicken!

After giving myself some much-deserved credit, I realized that the potential greatness in me – that the potential greatness in ALL of us – is  no different than the seemingly measly bread and fish that the disciples gave to Jesus!

But our God doesn’t see the mere amount we have to offer, He sees the potential for it to be used in a way that is far greater than we could have ever dreamed possible!

The truth is, If we desire to someday move from NOT having enough, to having MORE than enough, than we must first bring it all to Him – the fears that are looming, the money that is lacking, the joy that is missing, and the sanity that is dwindling – lay it at His feet, and thank Him…

Thank Him for what is not enough.

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Step. Away. From. The. Mop.

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This week I welcomed my first house guests! 3 of them!

And for the sake of simple math;

3 guests + the 3 of us = 6 people

6 people in my 650 sq feet New York City Apartment!

6 people not including our mouse ‘friend’ Luca –Yes, I gave him a name… and no, a name doesn’t make me anymore excited to see him bolting into my kitchen in the middle of the night!

3 days, one bedroom, one bathroom, a pull-out couch and an air mattress! Praise Jesus!

As I prepared for my guests arrival, I couldn’t help but to think of how much my life had changed in just a year…

In my ‘past life’ I often enjoyed making extravagent themed meals – because a meal with a theme, is so obviously more enjoyable 😉 – and making wall art out of paper bags and poster board! I even noticed when Rachel started folding her bath towels differently, and went home to practice folding mine the same way!

I know some of you probably want to punch me in the face! I kind of want to punch me in the face too, when I say things like that, but ’tis the truth!

photo-3I started to cry at the thought of how my life had evolved from throwing exquisite 1st birthday parties – complete with intricately handmade party favors and melted ice cream cone cake pops – to transporting already-smushed hamburger buns for an hour long train ride from Manhattan to Yonkers, for a shotgun 2nd birthday barbeque in Ricky’s aunt’s neighbor’s backyard!

I recalled my previous guest room – the one I had designed straight out of a magazine, with crisp white linens, a dramatic gray wall, and a crystal chandelier overhead.

Only to then have my thoughts turn to our ‘new accommodations’, which consist of nothing more than a cracker-crumb laden pull-out couch that the mice feed under! 

I cringed.

Tossing in bed that night, I was overwhelmed with how little I had to offer my guests.

The next morning, I woke up in a frenzy; scrubbing the grout in my bathroom floors for an hour an half, rearranging my dishes, and doing anything I could to overcompensate for the fact that my new home is reminiscent to that of a tree house!

Hours later, and after I had exhausted myself, I sat breathless and weary… and even more, frustrated with the Lord.

In that moment, I couldn’t help but to feel that by God calling us to move here, that He had chosen to take something sacred from me; relocating us to a place where cooking is a near impossibility, and Pinterest is a taunting smack in the face!  It often feels like my back’s up against a wall of mediocrity – thanks to such a small living space, and an even smaller patience level!

With only had an hour till my guests arrived, I looked around, and was surprised to find that after scrubbing nearly every surface, and moving random pieces of furniture around, that my apartment looked almost exactly the way it had before! Only difference was the air smelled of ‘Autumn Sunset’ thanks to the scentsy pot that I had running on over drive!

All that work, and nothing to show for it!

I realized then, it was something in me that needed to change!

I recalled the story of Mary and Martha; two sisters who invited Jesus into their home.

The bible says Martha was distracted with serving; probably scrambling to pick up the shoes that the kids left scattered on the floor, fluffing pillows on the couch in a fury, and looking up a quick pinterest recipe to ‘wow’ her unexpected guest! Maybe even fretting when she didn’t have the right ingredients, wishing she would have picked up some fresh flowers on the way home, and anxiously wondering if the little she had to offer Him was enough -just as I had done the night before!

Her sister Mary -who seemed to not have a worry in the world – chose to instead, sit at the feet of Jesus and listen intently to him as he spoke.

Jesus then called Martha to his side…

” Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

I could feel the Lord asking me in that moment, to do the same-

to be like Mary and not Martha…

Martha in the bible, and even more, not like Martha- flipping- Stewart!

You see, Martha’s primary focus was on RESPONSIBILITIES while Mary’s priority was RELATIONSHIPS!

Martha thought about what she could DO for her guest, while Mary wanted to savor the moment she was blessed to SHARE with them!

Oh, how I need that reminder at times!

In 2 Timothy 1:16  another example of true hospitality can be found when the apostle Paul describes a home that graciously took him in.

Paul writes these words,

“May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for they often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains”

By the sound of it, this family wasn’t appreciated simply because they made homemade pot roast, and provided 400 thread count sheets and a clean towel every day!

The family of Onesiphorus stood out to Paul above all others, because ‘In the heat of his affliction and persecution, they were like a fan in hot weather; cooling and reviving his spirit.’

They didn’t care about the baggage Paul carried – the chains he wore – and the mistakes he made! They showed love to him regardless, and openly welcomed him into their home.

I realized then, that biblical hospitality has less to do with what you can do for someone, and a whole lot more about what you can give of yourself!

No matter what our living situation is we can always offer a listening ear, an encouraging word, or an open mind!  Always!

And so I put the mop and clorox wipes away…

I worked hard to be present, and to refrain from demanding that the shoes be put in the closet.

I chose to stock the fridge with take-home pizzas, and premade conveniences – that the ‘former me’ would have scoffed at – but continuously reminded myself that this weekends guests were getting my attention, not just my efforts! 

There were times when I struggled to find my sense of humor- like the one flippin’ time I attempted to turn the oven on and the fire alarm went off!

And other times, where I had to adamantly choose to let go of hurt and past offenses –the chains we had been wearing– and instead choose not to hold a grudge.

In the end we would all share a surprisingly wonderful birthday weekend together – even with the smushed hamburger buns, store bought cake, and sleepless nights on the pull-out couch!

And the Lord taught me a lesson I can only pray I will have the courage to live out…

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To choose today, to be present above all else!

To do less, but savor more!

Step away from the mop, and say yes to staying in our pajamas!

To quit checking emails, and get on the floor and play with our children.

Let the dishes sit in the sink and instead, eat double stuf Oreos with our husbands!

And maybe even spontaneously invite someone over… for take out!

Truly seek to refresh others,

And don’t be so surprised when you too, find the refreshment your soul has been longing for!

Krista Signature