Owning Our Quirks, Not Our Sin

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8: 18-21 NIV)

When asking for Orange Juice, but what comes out of your mouth is Ketchup . . . own it!

This morning I was struggling to shake off the grog of another night of dysfunctional sleep. My husband graciously supplied my request and plopped down the ketchup bottle in front of me.

While everyone laughed, I took the bottle of ketchup and poured myself a tall glass. My family’s laughter turned to gags of horror as I downed a tall, refreshingly cold, and tangy glass of fresh squeezed ketchup.

We are all broken.  Bound to flub something. The skinny ones, the stocky ones, the tired,  the well rested, the weak, and the strong. These slip ups, that once sent me reeling and shutting down from humanity because “once again I said the wrong thing”, are absolutely nothing compared to the glory that is being revealed in me!

I’m a mystery loving, creative, artistic, encouragement writing, deep feeler of the world! I take my mistakes way too seriously. And I am learning to laugh.

I notice that many of us who wrestle with despair don’t easily laugh at ourselves. And laughter is truly good medicine. Laughter often snaps our soul out of its spiral down to the pit and brings us back to the reality that there really are good things happening in our lives. Mistakes of speech, or practice, or discovery, are like play-dough. Roll them out and make something new.

The only thing to truly humble ourselves and learn to address is the sin in our lives. If our mistakes don’t separate us from the love of God, then own it! God very much has a sense of humor.  I think he probably had a deep belly laugh over my antics this morning. After all, he did create the Platypus.

 

Broken Butterflies Cover (9)

Surrender is not a wound rendering your wings useless, but the gift from God, lifting you to His highest purpose.

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Laughing our way to the Cross: Practing Lightheartedness

I take things so seriously and I have been that way from the womb. Cultivating a light heartedness, no matter our personality, is a part of character development. How is that even possible for one as serious and sometimes awkward as me? Well how did Jesus do it?

He partied!

He ate meals with his friends!

He spent time with children!

He was disciplined!

That last one seems out-of-place in our wild life of the party mentality. Disciplined people can be fun to be around? Yes, because discipline lightens our load and makes us more effective in our celebration. Amazing how much more creative I am with a clean desk. Jesus was disciplined without attempting to control the outcome. He retired to a quiet place to spend time with his heavenly father, but if the crowd searched him out, he ministered to them. There is a difference between control and discipline. Control says, I must have things a certain way to function, but discipline stretches, strengthens, and prepares for us to receive our day.

As I am becoming more disciplined in exercise I am better able to be a blessing to my family. Consider the wise words of Elle Woods,”Endorphins make you happy, happy people don’t just go around killing their husbands.” (Reese Witherspoon, Legally Blond) I took her advice. Sunday I was extremely agitated, but after spending forty minutes on the bike trail calmness reigned in my out of control thinking.

Start small 5 minutes. Start with 5 minutes of outdoor time. Love gardening, spend 5 minutes daily weeding your bed. All kinds of biblical lessons there!

Spend time with children. My church has a stain glass window of Jesus on his throne, welcoming little children into his lap. It is easy to see how much pleasure Jesus took in them. My kids wrote me a birthday puppet show last night. They even broke out in song. Love it!

Creation itself throws one big God party! Are we too serious to pause, laugh and celebrate? Life bursts forth with streamers and noise makers every morning I wake up. I am not going to be outdone by the colorful pansies in my garden, or the robin singing his praises outside my office window. My art class surprised me with a cake and sang happy birthday to me yesterday. A gift arrived under my Jonathan tree. Delightful!

How much I value fellowship with you! Even though my “letters” for many of you, come a considerable distance, I still feel a bond with you as we share life together. Some of you I get to break bread with in person. I learn so much, and take pleasure in watching God in your lives. So, throw your streamers! Don’t become so bogged down by the brokeness that we forget that the cross wasn’t the end of the story. Resurrection was God’s invitation, and ALL of us are on the guest list. That is worth celebrating!

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