Monday, January 30, 2012

I’ve Been Quiet Lately

“The spirit of man is the lamp of the Lord, searching all the innermost parts of his being.” – Proverbs 20:27

I’ve been quite lately. I’ve been quietly working on me.

So many people are afraid to work on themselves, and I think I’ve come to understand why. You see it takes very little to say you’re working on yourself. It takes quite a bit more courage to actually do so. Doing so means 1st admitting there’s something to work on – something unglued, out of place or undone about you. No one wants to be a wretch undone, including me. To the contrary we spend most of our lives masquerading as the one who’s “all together”. But I am that wretch undone. So, I’ve been working on me.

As I countdown to my 40th birthday (62 days before the big day, in case you’re wondering), I feel myself shifting. Does it happen to everyone around this age or what? I don’t know if it’s automatic or not, but I feel it. I’m starting to focus on what I want the rest of my life to look like, and that means giving an eye to what my life has looked like thus far. I’m considering my lessons, my writing, my priorities, my strengths, my weaknesses, etc. Although all of this introspection is challenging and can even be somewhat painful at times it also feels good.

It’s kind of like working out. Sometimes those 3 miles on an elliptical seem to pass like 3 years. The process is painful and severely lacking in the fun category. Yet, for some reason, each time I walk out of the gym I feel revived. I feel a sense of accomplishment that is absolutely priceless and that no one can take away from me. Because I am putting in the work, not only will I reap the benefit of a healthier, whole, FREE me, but so will those around me – my family, my friends, and even the people I don’t see. Somewhere there’s someone watching me, looking for one brave soul who is crazy enough to intentionally enter the no man’s land of self-exploration, to allow the lamp of the Lord to search the innermost parts of her being and expose all that is unlike Him and inherited from elsewhere. He already knows how you came to be in the chains you are in. His desire is that you will seek the key to unlock those chains.

So yes, I’ve been quiet. Realizing that I could write anything, but I want to write something that someone can relate to and receive from. I hope this was one of those somethings.

Completely me,

 

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Infamous Yellow Dress

Ok, so you’ve “heard” me talk about my prissy yellow dress, right? The one I bought while a chill still ruled the air and department store mannequins wore the only signs of spring being just around the corner? The one I FINALLY wore for the very first time just the other day?

Yes! Yes! That one!

This dress makes me smile just looking at it. It’s not solely because it reminds me of why I thank God ALL OF THE TIME for creating me as a woman. I’m just giddy about the way the color shouts at me, “smile or I’ll blind you”. Lord knows I needed that colorful push the other day. If you read Wednesday’s post, you know or can imagine that lately there are days when I need LOTS of extra coaxing to turn the corners of my mouth upward and to dry the tears from my eyes. Sometimes, wearing a little sunshine aids the effort.

God is faithful to give us just what we need when we need it, and I am so glad there is just no limit to the creativity of His methods. And to be honest sometimes I just love the way He loves on me with a little something girly. I mean a few years ago I wrote this post about a pair of designer jeans. (Don’t ask, just read the post when you get a chance. :-)) Believe me, I dare not reduce the glory of the Lord’s grace, mercy, and compassion toward us down to my female infatuation for frilly fashion. Not at all. However, I do make it my business to attempt to take note of His every blessed smile upon me. Some of the smiles I just might miss if I limited myself and Him to the box myself and others tend to try to keep Him in.

Ok, so you’re probably screaming, “Monica get to the point already!!” It’s Friday, so a serious point to this post would be, well, too serious. So, no “serious” for me today. I’m simply here because I realized I’ve talked about it twice, but…

I NEVER SHOWED YOU THE DRESS! Duh!! I know at least half of you have been curious, so here it is:

The Infamous Yellow Dress

How girly is that?! This little number certainly helped lift my spirits a few days ago. Ok, so let me hear it. What is your favorite fashion find that as soon as you saw it, bought it, or received it made you start humming “Jesus loves me this I know…” in your head? See you in the comments.

Completely feeling God’s love for me in the midst of it all,

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Epicenter of Destiny – Thoughts from She Speaks 2011

Proverbs 13:12 (NASB) reads, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fulfilled is a tree of life.” It’s true I’d wanted to attend the She Speaks Conference – this meeting of like minds in the areas of writing, speaking, and women’s ministry – since 2004. I’m not sure my heart was sick each year I was unable to go, but knowing God’s timing is perfect did soothe the apparent sting of disappointment.

Eventually…

As I walked into the grand atrium lobby, the sun’s afternoon rays perforated the windowed ceiling. The gaze of eleven floors of hotel room doors and windows witnessed my arrival. On this day, desire had finally come, and I was positioned to experience the life and synergy this gathering of 650 women would inevitably produce.

I arrived 24 hours before the official start of the conference. With each passing hour, the atmosphere swelled with momentum as one eager woman after another stepped off a plane, out of a shuttle van, a bus, or a car, and clicked her heels onto the marble floor of the hotel lobby. Anticipation and great expectation filled the air as intoxicants, and I… well I deeply inhaled.

My brain contorted as my mind struggled to comprehend how each woman taking her turn through the revolving door entered with a similar gift and maybe even a similar story as the woman before or after her. Yet, despite our commonalities, God has a unique plan for advancing His messages of love, hope and freedom to a different audience, in a different way, through each willing and obedient vessel that passed before me – a plan that can only be accomplished by the power of His spirit alone.

Wow…

I was very comfortable in this place.

So, this is what it feels like to be at the epicenter of destiny – the place where a willing, obedient vessel commits her God-given gift(s) to be used to fulfill His plan for her life (the complete details she’s yet unsure of), for the purpose of freedom, by the power of His Spirit.

The epicenter of destiny is less of an event and more of a mindset, a place of true identity, and the actions and lifestyle that flow from that place.

Are you willing and obedient?

What is/are your gift(s)?

Do you trust God’s great power and His planning perfection?

Have you tasted freedom? Do you want to lead others to it?

Have you been to the epicenter of destiny?

Completely ME,