January 2, 2016

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 122

Happy New Year, sweet readers!

2016... I know, right?  It will take awhile to get used to writing that down but I am so ready for this fresh start... this blank slate... this brand new beginning!

In finding a bit of the old routine this week, we are back with TTIDN --and on a Saturday even!  I pray you had wonder-filled holidays and maybe you were so busy and gloriously unplugged... I hope so! But if you were then maybe you missed these Must Read posts, and that is of course why I am here! To hook you up! #YoureWelcome!

Featured this week are posts by Donald Miller, Deidra Riggs, Marie Gregg, Alia Joy, Ann Voskamp, Tony Kriz, plus a post from right here, and - of course - a video to wrap it all up! 

Happy Reading! (Ya'll know to click on the authors' names below to read the entire post, yes?)

* We will start this week, with Donald Miller  with Start Life Over...
"A bi-product of being more focused and on task, I found out, was personal health. I lost weight, got better at relationships, and experienced less boredom and depression. I’m convinced human beings were not designed to stare into their belly buttons and think about life. They were designed to live life.

Back when I sat around and let life happen to me, I was sad, isolated, and way too focused on myself and my problems. I’ve no desire to go back.

The conversation got me thinking, though.

My life really has changed. I mean it’s gotten way better. I’ve written a lot of books, built a successful conference company, spun off a phenomenally successful brand strategy process, and even gotten married. So what in the world happened to me?

What I realized was there were 5 basic ideas I discovered over the years that allowed me to change. And amazingly, I’d not shared these ideas with anybody. And they’re really good. I mean, they worked for me. It’s like I got to start my life completely over.

Later this week, I’m starting a blog series on each of the 5 ideas we need to understand to start life over. Naturally, the series is called Start Life Over.

And I think you’re going to enjoy it..."

* This post by Deidra Riggs with her last post over at The High Calling entitled 2016 Resolutions: Transformation That Endures... 
"So many times, our attempts at making resolutions, turning over a new leaf, or charting a new path have their roots in a belief that the person God created us to be is not enough. I’m not talking about being perfect. The Bible teaches us perfection comes only through Jesus Christ and his substitutionary death on our behalf. We are not perfect. But, the person God created you to be is more than enough to cause him to rejoice over you with singing. God takes great delight in you. He’s not waiting for you to lose a few pounds or quit smoking or be a better steward of your resources in order for him to love you.

I didn’t know that when I was ten years old, and sometimes I forget it, even all these years later. God doesn’t want me to be a different person; what God is calling forth from me is more of me. The same is true for you. You’ve been uniquely designed to impact this world as only you can. Our attempts at changing ourselves and the way we live our lives should be guided by the one who gave us life, rather than motivated by a false sense of acceptability determined by culture or our neighbors or the people we see on TV. Our growth and transformation should be in response to the work of the Holy Spirit in us and not governed by the cover of a magazine or the events in a thirty-minute makeover show.

When we celebrate the unique person God created us to be—scientific, creative, introspective, zany, quirky, thoughtful, extroverted, compassionate, and more—we honor the Creator. And, when we offer that celebration up to God, he receives it as worship. When we let God direct the transformations in our lives—through his word, through other believers, and through the work of the Holy Spirit—the transformation sticks, despite what the latest scientific research might predict about that."

* This one from Marie Gregg with The Final Countdown...
"It’s time to step away. Get quiet. Listen.

So, dear reader, as we mark out the last days of 2015 and step into a fresh year (with no mistakes in it, as Anne Shirley would say), my encouragement to you is this: Rest. If you need a nap, take one. If you need to go to bed earlier, crawl under those covers. If you need to say “no,” do it with firmness and don’t look back. If you need to get out of a toxic relationship, go. Turn off the computer, ignore the phone, catch that episode another time. Remember:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

– Matthew 11:28-30 (NKJV)

Don’t pick up what He has not asked you to pick up. Lay down the heavy loads, the worries that keep you up at night. Be you, the you He has made and called you to be (Ephesians 2:10). Most importantly, get your focus off of yourself. Look up. Look around. See what there is to see. Find where He might use you. Because somehow, in doing the work we were designed to do, in letting go of the other, the greatest rest is found.

Let’s leave the old struggles behind. Let’s make the choices we know we can make in His grace and power."

This post by Alia Joy with When I'm Still Unfine…
I’ve been gathering the pieces of me. I am rolled up fetal-like in bed, my eyes red and sore. My mind is numb today, a dullness quelled by anti-anxiety medicine and so many hours of sleep.

Nehemiah creeps in to my room quietly, but the rattle of the pieces in the Trouble game he’s carrying shimmy and crash against each other.

“Mama, will you play with me?”

He puts the game beside me on the bed and hoists himself up tucking under the covers. I pop the bubble that juggles the dice and move pieces around the board and silently hope he wins soon and that his victory will take placate him enough that I can crawl back under the blankets.

I am unraveled and raw. Tender and weak in spots like fruit gone soft and spotty, my skin slipping too easily when pushed. And the world never stops pushing.

I want to say I am so much better. I want to say I am returning to writing and that the other medical issues I first took a sabbatical for are wrapped up and tidy. I want to say I loved the time off and I got things sorted and I’m not afraid of what’s to come.

I want to say I can do this. I am ready.

But the reality today is that I don’t know what I can do. I look at this space and I feel incapable of writing anything worthwhile. It feels like gibberish, and the keys feel foreign under my fingers. I have been contemplating shutting the blog down for the past few months. I can’t know if it would be a relief to walk away or a loss. Sometimes it feels like a lifeline and sometimes it feels like a strangling thing. Is this just one more thing I can’t manage to do?

I think about how thankful I am that I can reach out for prayer and I have real life friends around the world who will lift my name to Jesus when I can’t seem to do it myself.

I love that when my mind and flesh are so broken, I belong to a body that holds space for me.

But today, when I wanted to say thank you so much for your prayers last night and don’t worry, everything is fine now, I can’t. Because while I am so thankful for your prayers, I am not fine today. I wasn’t fine last night. I may not be fine tomorrow.

And sometimes you have to be able to come and say, I am unfine. Still.

Maybe there’s grace enough for that but I don’t always have it for myself.

This post by Ann Voskamp with THIS IS THE YEAR: when New Year Resolutions feel hopeless — & you want some SOULutions...
I grabbed a pen and decided… I didn’t need New Year’s Resolutions this year… I want SOULutions … for a new me. I need to purpose in my heart & let prayer and perseverance meet, let there be a plan to purposely aim for, because if there’s nothing to aim for, you’ll get it every time.

My penmanship isn’t all Spencerian swirls like Marion’s but I scratched it down...

...Scratched the whole thing down — then slipped the SOULutions into a frame. Figuring that unless you can daily see your Life SOULutions…. the year will end up to be more of a dissolution of your life. Maybe that’s one of the keys I’d never turned: Framable SOULutions — to frame up a new year, a new you.

Snow’s melting on the farm here, on the last days of the year, the pines and the eaves out at the end of the barn dripping one sliver drop at a time, old things melting away."

* This post from my friend Tony Kriz with On The Other Side of Christmas...
The 4 weeks of Advent are very hopeful, joy-filled and peace-proclaiming, just as the candles remind us. It is marry-on-donkey-and-joseph-travel-to-judiaa time of Angels, heavenly voices, supernatural encounters, and miraculous pregnancies. That is some pretty inspirational stuff. Sure there is that “no room at the end” downer, but besides that, it is the stuff of Sunday school pageants (come to think of it…)

But what about after that?

What about after… the shepherds are back on the hillside, the angels have dispersed and the divine-conversations have ended?

What was left on the days after Christmas?

This is the part that we don’t often talk about. These are the parts that get forgotten in our Nativity plays.

Maybe, instead of Lords a-Leaping and Golden Rings, the 12 days of Christmas were set aside for us to remember what happened on the other side of Christmas.

On the other side of Christmas there is a peasant family with an illegitimate child trying to reenter a judgmental culture. How many friends would they lose? How many whispers and glances would they need to endure? Would Mary be treated like a prostitute when she went to the market? How much work herod_kills_innocentgwould go to other carpenters whom clients now “suddenly prefer”?

On the other side of Christmas there is a coming genocide like a foul stank in the air (Matthew 2:16-18). A whole generation wiped from the unwritten history books… an entire nation of inconsolable mothers, wailing in the night… Power exerting unbelievable violence over a marginalized people group.

On the other side of Christmas there is a refugee family running from that power and violence. Did they have more than the clothes on their backs? Leaving the only land they had ever known, the land of their forefathers and foremothers… crossing to a foreign land, just hoping that some new government would accept them, protect them. The
exhaustion, fear and fragility the must have felt.

The Christmas story is not all about stars, angels and miracles. It is also about marginalization, violence and refugees.

Maybe this is what the 12 days are asking us to remember."

* This one from right HERE with Happy New Year 2016... aka My Annual Prophetic Post
"If you have been hanging around my little corner of the interwebs here, then todays' post will come as no surprise!

It's the very beginning of a very brand new year! 

Whether we are blanketed in white or not, this day always makes me think of freshly fallen snow... pristine, untouched and still un-tread-upon... no thing or no one yet traipsing right on through it.

That Purity doesn't tend to last long, does it?

Before too long, our year can look like this... a well traveled path.  But before the trail is blazed and we just follow along... let's set aside a moment or two and ask the Lord for direction!

No matter what 2015 held, here we stand with a clean slate... a brand new start, a new page. Here we stand with hope and excitement and possibilities anew brimming over and spilling out, if we will but let them!

New Years Day, for me, always starts out early when the sun is just rising and the house is still groggy from all the holiday fun.  I pour a cup of coffee, grab my journal and the Bible, pull a blanket up over my lap and purpose, again, to close my eyes.  I breathe in deep and slow... I reflect back, for I have learned not to rush right into the new without first fully giving honor to the old.  I take my time.

And then... I lean in and listen..."

Lastly, we close This Thing up with a video each week and sometimes it is funny and sometimes it is worship...
This time --well, this time it's this song that I woke up singing on New Years Day!

Happy Weekend, y'all!

No comments :

Post a Comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

Blog Archive