Freedom in Christ

 

“When I mull over freedom, I often find myself forgetting that I was ever enslaved. Enslaved to my sinful flesh, my insatiable desires rooted in this world, and to the Mosaic law I would never be able to uphold as hard as I might try. When I forget what I’ve been set free from, I find myself submitting again to that yoke of slavery. I forget the truth of Romans 8:15:

For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ “

Today I’m sharing a celebration of the freedom we, as children of God have in Christ over at Of Larks, come join us as we continue the conversation!

Happy weekend to you, sweet friends!

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you can do hard things.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2

Yesterday I turned 26.

On the eve of my birthday my husband asked me what I learned this past year (because he just gets me) and what some highlights were. The answer I gave him was the same answer I had given my group of Bible study women just a couple weeks before: I can do hard things.

While it might seem childish, self-centered or just plain silly, it’s really the thing that has stuck with me and what I want to continue to grow in this next year. You see, when I reflect on this past year, it was honestly such a hard year. I’ve been wrestling through health issues (while not major) they have left me with more days where I just feel sick then really great. I continued to struggle through the purpose of why we are living where we are, and struggled to find true depth in relationships– which I was so deeply craving. And yet, I look back on this last year and I truly believe it has been the healthiest and best year yet, where I have truly felt the tenderness of being known by God. And I don’t think thats mere coincidence.

For years I have given myself a “get out of jail free card.” I allowed myself to say, “oh, I don’t think I can do that” more often than I gave myself a wild vote of confidence. When the going got rough I was more likely to say, “nope, not for me, I’m done here” than to press on through the mud. Yet, this past year I started both telling myself, and believing the truth that I can do hard things.

Last year I began to dig into what it meant to be fully confident in Christ. And while I know I’ve just started in on the tip of the iceberg here, I think I’m actually starting to get it. Because if I really believe that In Christ I am strong, I am free, I am so fully known and so fully loved, then HECK YES I can do hard things. Because I am not worried about failure, or pleasing someone, or living up to a wild expectation. Instead I am living freely in the truth that I am known, and loved and cherished by the Most High God, regardless of my performance and the ultimate outcome. When I shift my perspective, and set my gaze on the Lord and who I am in Him, instead of on myself, on my expectations, on pleasing others… friends–there is mighty freedom to be found.

I want this next year to be marked by living in and out of the freedom I know I have in Christ. I want to push onward and do things that make me uncomfortable, that seem insurmountable and scary, because I do not want to be a woman who fears anything but the Lord. I don’t think it will be easy, and it definitely won’t always be fun. But I do believe it will be rich, sanctifying, and I pray so deeply God-glorifying. And if I had just one birthday wish, it would be that each of you might have the courage to live your life out of the fullness of who you are In Christ. That you would grab hold of the identity He so graciously wants to give you as His child, that you would experience God’s tenderness towards you and that His Holy Spirit would empower you to do hard things. My heart is that everything I do with my life would be a celebration of God, of this great, messy and beautiful life He has given me, of the redemption He has lavished upon me, and would be to the praise of His glorious name.

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“For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good that we may share his holiness. For the moment all disciple seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11

 

 

fancy free friday

HIGH KICKS AND HIGH FIVES FOR MAKING IT THROUGH THE WORK WEEK.

I’m going to make it a new thing to share with you all the little gems I stumbled across on the internet on Friday, straight from the cutting room floor kinda style. That way we can have intellectual conversations about new hair tutorials, the art of relaxing, how we can learn to wait better, etc. and all the other good info some cool cats put out during the week. Because these things are worth talking about, people. So without futher adieu:

Exhaustion is not a status symbol: I got this in my INFLUENCE NETWORK care package this week and I’ve literally been thinking about it all week long. “We don’t know who we are without productivity as a metric of our worth. We don’t know what we enjoy, and we lose track of how tired we are.” Yikes. Preach it, Brene Brown. This woman knows what she’s talking about it. This article made me say “Hey, let’s completely unplug during our vacation in two weeks.” I’m sure there will be a follow-up post on how that all goes, so be on the lookout. And I’m sure I’ll be adding her book Daring Greatly to the list of “must read.”

Abby wrote a poignant piece On Waiting over at Of Larks this week that resonated with me so. much. Sometimes I need the reminder of what waiting looks like, and Abby’s reflection on Abraham and Sarah did just that. Three months of waiting doesn’t look quite the same when you think about twenty five years. And while I don’t believe Abby is using time as a comparison stick, it makes me wrestle with what patience looks like (truly) and how I am ultimately trusting in God’s sovereign timing, believing He will also fulfill His promises to me…. I think I can wait another week or two.

This hair tutorial was literally so educational for me, particularly at the end, because who would’ve thunk to lift upwards towards the sky??? Thank-you Kate for making all our hair more beautiful.

I’ve been slowly working my way through the She Reads Truth Proverbs study and man-o-man it is so gosh darn good. If you’re in a bit of a slump of new study material can I personally recommend this to you? Because it’s real good, folks.

 

This weekend I’m looking forward to the potential of warm weather (LIKE IN THE 80s!!), maybe playin’ some tennis with my fun hubby, fighting off the ticks that have officially COME ALIVE (is anyone else as disturbed by ticks like I am? Because I’m genuinely terrified), and finalizing our Great American Road-Trip stops. We’re all about celebrating those National Parks!

Enjoy your weekend, party people. See ya on Monday!!

 

 

What Summer Has Taught Me

glacier

It’s been pretty quiet around these parts recently, I’ll be the first to admit it. But gosh, my mind has been stirring with ideas and thoughts and little bits that I just want to remember, chew on and come back to again and again.  The summer season is always a breath of life into my soul, this year especially.  It’s in these months of quiet reflection where the world comes alive again–and teaches me new things too.  Here are a few of the things I’ve learned this summer, and want to continue to know more.

  1. The summer months are meant for messy houses. Maybe this is me waving my get-out-of-jail-free card post vacation unpacking, but I think its more a realization that I want to be outside and be in the water, breathing the fresh air more than I want to be cleaning the dishes, sorting all the papers and making sure everything is perfect. That’s what winter and being inside is for. Summer is for embracing the messy, the coolers that aren’t yet put away, the sandals that are scattered everywhere and the chance to run around the neighborhood until the sun goes down. Can we call this a purposeful mess? Because I think that’s what it is.
  2. Glacier National Park is the Disneyworld of the outdoors. Seriously.  People. Have you been? Because if you haven’t you need to go, and let your eyes be in awe of the creation around you.  Gosh, there will just always be a part of my heart that yearns for the mountains– the cool breeze in the evening, the fresh scent of pine, seeing the millions of stars glittering above me… there is just so much life to be found and fuel for the soul. Can we go back now?
  3. Year two of marriage is so good. Now that we’ve officially crossed the threshold of “working on year three”, I can look back with clear eyes and see the sovereignty of the Lord amidst hardship and also see all the good. Sometimes we think we never want the person we married to change, but lately I’ve been praising God for change, for knowing the heart of the man I married now more than ever.   Goodness, it may be sanctifying but it is so rich.
  4. Friday Night Lights and #texasforever. I don’t even think this one needs an explanation. And I might have teared up a bit at the end of it all, because WHATTHEWHAT. Why couldn’t there have been a season six to just drag it on. For real. Netflix is just the bees knees and simultaneously the worst ever, can we all just agree on that?
  5. I desire to be more confident in Christ. I think I hear the word confidence and more often cringe a little inside as I misconstrue it into arrogance or a self-centered pride. I suppose if I am confident in myself it can so often be/is? maybe? all those things.  But what does it look like to be confident in Christ, in the Lord who is working in and through me? How might I boldly approach the throne and all that He has laid before me knowing my trust is not in myself (because I’ll continue to fail over and over) but rather deeply rooted in the Lord.  Big thoughts that I still just can’t even. But I think the Lord is doing something here. So we’ll come back to this later.
  6. Abigail and Hannah are two really cool cats. I know you’re like “who the heck are you talking about” but I mean like the biblical Hannah and Abigail.  The Abigail in 1 Samuel 25:2-44 who talked David down from his rampage, who spoke with confidence that she clearly only could have had from the Lord. And Hannah (from 1 Samuel 1), Samuel’s mom– her heart is just so beautiful before the Lord and I just want desperately to learn from her worship filled life.  These women seriously glorified the Lord with their lives and I think there is so much to be gleaned from them.
  7. Get outside more. Is there a better way to clear the mind and fill the heart? I don’t think so.

We could continue this but I think I’m just going to end it now before this turns into a real novella. I’m so thankful for summer and time to process.  And I’m thankful that there is still August “the Sunday of summer” as Ellen would say. Enjoy the last hurrah before fall, and also, please share with me: What has summer been teaching you?

Abiding and Letting God.

It’s a new year, and a new semester and a new study to dig into.  And we want to abide, we want to learn to be women who abide richly in the Lord.  And not just be women who throw around the idea of abiding, but who live abiding, making our home in the heart of Christ.

As I turned my pages from John 15 to Colossians 1, and started to dig in I was so greatly and humbly reminded of my smallness compared to the vastness of Christ.

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities– all things were created through him and for him.  And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:16-17

The study note further pointed out that Christ continually sustains His creation.  Again, that Christ sustains it.  Not Lindsay, or any of my grand plans, Christ alone sustains creation.  And here I am, thinking I am doing well to abide in Christ because I am prioritizing my schedule and energy to put my time in the word, and my time basking in the greatness of Jesus.  But after reading through Colossians and being humbled yet again by the grace of God, I realize I will never be able to abide fully in the Lord if I keep trying to be Christ.  If I am trying to be the one who holds all things together.  If I am so busy trying to hold it all together, trying to fill a role I wasn’t called to, I’ll never be able to actually experience what God truly wants for me and my heart.

Isn’t the Lord so gracious to us in calling us, tasking us, to abide in Him?  To grow in knowing Him more deeply and allowing Him to radically change our lives?  He doesn’t want me to try and sustain creation, He is already tending to creation, that isn’t my role.  He doesn’t want me to spend time toiling over the best plans I could ever concoct for my life, because He already knows them.  How selfish and silly really to think we can sustain anything in our lives on our own will and might. So as I grow as a woman who wants to seek to be intentional and purposeful with this life I have been given, I first want to start every day acknowledging none of it is of my own doing, none of it is about me, this isn’t my story that is being written, it is again and again all about Christ. The one who holds all things together.

I hope you’ll find rest alongside me this weekend as you remember your smallness and your place and the identity Christ has for you.  Because, friends, it’s so so good.  Happy Friday!

 

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The Year of Purpose.

So it’s not January 1st and it’s already the second week of the year, but it’s really the first week of getting back at it.  And I think resolutions are bright and shiny week one, but generally lose some of their luster week two, three and you know how it goes.  But when Reese and I were sitting at a coffee shop while away for the holidays, reflecting on the year and working on making some goals for the upcoming year (because I like the word goal more than resolution, don’t ask me why) the pulse of my heart kept screaming purpose and intentionality, in a way I’m praying will push me through January, February and every month to come.

When I think about time, about how much of a gift it truly is I tend to have that thought where I ask myself “what have I been doing this whole time?”  The answer could easily be re-watching Gilmore Girls on Netfilx, or cleaning our house as usual, prepping more for work, reading the latest Real Simple, more laundry or tackling my list of to-dos.  I don’t think any of those things are inherently bad, but that’s not the answer I always want to give.  I want to take free moments captive and use them.  Use them to grow in knowing God more deeply, read more books that challenge me, spend more intentional time with my husband, make more phone calls to friends,  seek to do things with my whole heart and do them well.  I want to live my life with deep purpose and intentionality.

I so badly want to live fully present, today, not thinking and analyzing all that is to come.  I want Jeremiah 29:1-11 to ring in my ears constantly, to build my house and plant my garden and care for the welfare of my city, trusting all the more the Lord has a plan for my life and in it I can find restful hope.  And I also want to extend more grace to myself than ever before, because God has steadfastly lavished me with love and new mercies every morning, and I think it’s about time I really start accepting His great mercies with open hands and a renewed heart.  I also want this for each of you who stop in to read this, because imagine the beauty we could create and the love we could share if we chose to be intentional and purposeful and grace-filled with our lives.

My hope is that this year, this space would continue to grow in purpose and intentionality, in sharing truth, encouragement and straight up real-life with you all.  So that also means telling you I hope 2k15 turns into the year when I learn to sew the heck out of life… Shout out of thanks to Mom and Dad for making all my sewing machine dreams come true and making the cold North Dakota winters not seem so dreary (I’m also accepting all beginner sewing tips too, so share away, will ya??).  I don’t intend to bore you with the list of all the things we hope to grow in this year, but I will say I sure do pray when Reese and I reflect on 2015 come December we can truly see the work of God and the ways He grew us this year, and hopefully see the sweet fruit ofintentional living.

So with that, Happy Tuesday, friends, may your week continue to be merry and bright.

 

p.s. I’d love to hear your goals for the year, because I 100% agree with the whole “if you tell someone else, you’re more likely to do it” thing.  Consider this your space to share, too.