Big News!

Well, I’ve waited a few days to share this with you, but wait no more!

This past Saturday, CMB and I signed an official lease for our new home!!!

It is the most darling house with original hardwood floors throughout. It has two giant bedrooms, and two fun bathrooms. It has a fireplace in the living room and a perfect wall of recessed bookshelves. The kitchen has new counter tops and a cute little fridge. It has a beautiful dining room (which I think is my favorite room) and two screened in porches. It has a great backyard and it’s in our favorite area of town! We’ve already started picking up new furniture (hellllllo, craigslist), and planning out some new adventures.

We’re so stinkin’ excited about our cute little house, and we have about a million DIY projects already lined up that we can’t wait to share with you guys.

For now, I’ll leave you with a picture of the cutest fiance in the world, opening the door to his new home for the first time.

Could he be any cuter?

I’ll keep updating with all of our new projects and fun! For now though, I’m off to buy new cabinet hardware for our new foyer table. 🙂

Madlove.

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No More Guilt.

2010 is almost over and it seems like every blog I follow has been filled with New Year’s Resolutions or new things they’d like to try in the upcoming year.  I’m not usually big into this kind of stuff, mostly because every year I say that I’m going to give up chocolate or Coke or whatever other sickening thing I’m munching on at that moment, and I completely cave in by January 10th.  I set myself to fail every year, and this year I’m just gonna skip the whole ordeal.

However, with the end of the year drawing close and with all of the exciting things that are coming up in 2011 (IT’S WEDDDDDDDDDING YEAR!!!!!!!!) I can’t help but try to use January 1st as a fun little kickstart to a few things I’d like to change.  My resolution this year to end my guilty pleasures. But not in the way that you think.  I’m not at all saying that I’m going to stop having guilty pleasures…I’m simply saying that I’m not going to feel guilty about them anymore.  I’m embracing them..every single one of them. And as lame and embarrassing as most of them are, they are a part of what makes me, and I’m not feeling guilty about that anymore. 🙂 So, as a declaration to blogland, here’s step one to embracing all of the things that make me, me.

1. I’m an avid watcher of MTV’s Sixteen and Pregnant. I could watch this show for hours on end, and there have been more than a few episodes that have made me reach for the box of tissues.

2. I love John Mayer’s music. As mainstream as he is, and as arrogant as he can be, I just can’t not listen to it. I own every album he’s ever released, and going to his show was on my bucket list.

3. I eat extremely non-healthy things for breakfast almost daily. Cold pizza, last night’s cookies, potato chips, cold spaghetti, ice cream, kit-kats, and the list goes on. It’s horribly unhealthy and I’ve been told time and time again (mostly by CMB, I’ll add) that I should stop, but how could possibly turn down a cold slice of Hawaiian?

4. I ride with my gas light on for as long as possible. And, I actually ran out of gas in my neighborhood a few weeks ago at 10PM and CMB had to come to my rescue. He laughed. For days. Since that incident, I’ve tried to be a little better about it, but the little gas pump still shows up on my dash pretty regularly.

5. When my iPod is dead, I pretty much only listen to country radio. It’s pretty embarrassing. I’m not at all saying that I think the songs are brilliantly written, nor do I think that some of the singers are that amazing. But, maybe it’s because there’s still a little bit of a Georgia girl somewhere inside me, or maybe it’s because I grew up listening to it (along with Christian radio), I just love it. I’ve been secretly getting music snob, CMB, to convert, and secretly, he has. I have more fun singing and dancing along to country radio with CMB than I do with songs that are made for those sorts of things. And he does too, even if he’ll never admit it to anyone.

5. I love to sing. But only when I’m alone. CMB are about to get married and he has still never heard me sing for real.  Because I don’t like to sing in front of people, I think I’ve developed a slightly decent talent with mouthing the words to songs.  It’s almost as much fun as actually singing.

6. I’m not one of those people that finds joy in cleaning things. I do love coming home to a clean house, but I’m not really a fan of doing the actual work. There are few times when I get really into cleaning, but during those times, I get really in to it. I clean and clean and clean and then if I haven’t satisfied the cleaning monster that has raged up, I will RE-clean what I just cleaned. It’s ridiculous.  CMB happens to be more toward the end of the “joyful cleaners” spectrum, which we think is God’s sense of humor.

Anyway, there they are. Those are the things that make up part of who I am.

 

And I’m not sorry. I’d challenge you all to let go of the guilt that makes you who you all are too. 🙂

Madlove.

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Love Actually Is.

Well, hello there. Let’s just skip my apologizing for not posting, you’re all too used to hearing that. 🙂

I suppose another update is in order, as much has changed in the last few months.

I’m days away from starting my last semester of college, and although I’m beyond excited to put this behind me, I can’t even express the dread I feel for the upcoming weeks of work. It appears that my last semester will be loaded with six classes and lots of outside work.

That being said, in sixteen weeks, I’ll be “out in the real world” whatever that means, and there are certainly times when I feel apprehensive about what life after May means for me.  See, I’ve majored in Education, but honestly have no desire to do anything related to that for at least the next few years.  I know it sounds like I just wasted years of college education and stupid amounts of money on something that I don’t even want to do, and I should suck it up and get a job that requires me to use at least some portion of the information that I have soaked up in the last few years.  But for now, I don’t feel called to that profession, and I think it would be stupid for me to sign up for a job that sometimes requires sixteen hour days full of things that I most times sometimes loathe.  So, on April 30, 2011, I’ll be a tired and fearful graduate, fresh faced graduate who has no idea what the next step will be.

The holiday season is almost over and I can honestly say that this year was probably the best year of celebrating that my family has had in a long time.  It was a nice and refreshing week of laughing and relaxing without the eerie cloud of grief hanging over our heads.  And, while there were times that it still felt wrong to be celebrating without one of us, it felt more right this year than it has since one of us left.

And now for the reason that I have been unashamedly absent from blogland..

CMB and I got engaged.  Because I’m the worst blogger, I neglected to share this news with you for almost three months. With our crazy schedules and with all of the new things that seem to come with being engaged, my free time has been spent stalking following some wedding design blogs, and even though my “drafts” section for this blog has filled up rather fast in the last two months, I’ve just never gotten around to posting anything.

The journey we’re on is definitely fun and it’s so stinkin’ exciting, and honestly, I still have to pinch myself sometimes. Planning the wedding has been so much fun, and even though it has it’s moments of unwanted stress, we’ve been blessed to only encounter people who want to help us and who encourage and uplift us with every step.  I still have many moments every day when it all “hits” me.  In my moments of self reflection, I still keep asking myself why it is that CMB chose me. I feel so completely undeserving of this incredible gift and when I imagine life after walking down the aisle, I usually need a kleenex.  I’m obviously pumped about wedding day, but if we’re being honest, I’m a thousand times more excited about the day that follows wedding day, and the day after that, and the day after that.  I’m excited about all of the little day to day things that I’m gonna get to share with CMB.  I’m excited about grocery shopping, traveling, and even sharing laundry…yeah, I said I’m excited about doing laundry. I can’t wait for the years of laughter, tears, ups, downs, and memories that I’m gonna share with my best friend.

CMB and I are gearing up for our monthly travel (or at least it seems like we travel that frequently). We’re heading up to Nashville in a few weeks, and I am so excited. We’ll be up there to take care of some business for CMB, but I’ll let him tell you about that. Anyway, this trip is the first of many giant steps of faith, and even though I’m positive that there are obstacles already in place, I’m not even nervous.  I’m so excited for CMB and my little heart swells at the thought of how life changing this is going to be for us. (I’ll fill you guys in after CMB breaks the news to blogland).

Anyway, I think that about sums up the update.  Now, on to my reason for posting..

On Christmas Eve, CMB and I had to venture out to the Atlanta airport to pick up his pop. If you’re at all familiar with the Atlanta airport, you probably know how incredibly crazy it can be. But, despite it’s craziness, I think it ranks on my top ten list of favorite places.  The place holds a lot of memories for me, and it has often times either cured or spurred on my travel bug.  I’ve visited the place many times to pick up someone or say goodbye, and each time has been completely different.  It was in the atrium of the Atlanta airport that one my dearest and most tender memories came to be..dropping CMB off for his solo trip to Peru. Time and time again, the airport has taught me something..

My most recent trip to the Atlanta airport (other than Christmas Eve) was just a few days prior to that. I flew in for the holidays and I’m seriously not over exaggerating..when I stepped into Concourse C, I took in a breath like most do when they step into fresh mountain air. Yeah, I know I’m a weirdo. I was so pumped about my short little journey to baggage and to my mother who was awaiting my arrival.

So back to Christmas Eve. We got there about thirty minutes prior CMB’s dad’s scheduled arrival, and soon discovered that his flight had been delayed a few minutes.  So, we grabbed a bagel and I convinced CMB that we should pick a spot to stand and watch people coming up the arrival escalator to greet their loved ones.  Let me just tell you, if the Atlanta airport wasn’t on my top list of places, it certainly is after that half hour or so of watching people find their people. Because the Atlanta airport is so huge, there are so many people from every culture imaginable and it was one of my all time favorite things to witness their greetings.  CMB stood next to me and laughed as I cried with each new family or couple or friend finding their person/people. I don’t know if you guys have ever seen the movie Love Actually, but the opening scene is from London’s Heathrow airport, and the narrator says this:

Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion’s starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don’t see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it’s not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it’s always there – fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge – they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaking suspicion… love actually is all around.

I got to witness that on Christmas Eve. Not a single person who got off that escalator yelled at their person. No one spoke about stupid stuff going on in the world. No one threatened another person. No one argued. No one stormed off. No one scowled. No one hashed out old regrets. No one was welcomed with hateful greetings.

Instead, the travelers were often greeted with spouses or significant others tackling them out of their pure excitement and joy of seeing and touching the others face. They were greeted with cheesy signs that their families had made that let them know that they were loved. They were greeted with tears of joy and love.  CMB and I felt like we were standing in a little pocket of existence where it seemed like no evil actually existed.  I stood there, rooted in my spot, crying as the old Indian man greeted his grown son with a kiss to the top of the head. I listened to the family beside me laugh and eagerly anticipate the arrival of their beloved college student.  I watched the family break the barrier that we stood behind as they rushed to the middle of the hallway to greet their grandparents and sons and daughters that had just arrived from a distant country. I watched the soliders come up the escalator and look around only to find that the loud clapping and cheering they were hearing was for them.  I watched the army man return home to a fiancee who couldn’t hold back the tears. Over and over and over again we stood there and watched tangible love happening all around us. There is seriously nothing better in the world than that. Those thirty or so minutes will be something that I cherish for the rest of my life.

If you’re questioning if love exists, or if it’s something that can happen in your life, I’d challenge you to root yourself to a spot and just watch the world pass you by for a few minutes.  Love exists wherever you choose to see it. Go beyond all of the dark and hateful things that seem to rule our lives and seek out a little ray of light.  Go love someone. Let someone love you. Seek out the ultimate love in Jesus, and walk in His ways. Hold on to love and pull out that ray of light whenever the darkness closes in.

Hold tight to the goodness of love and when you’re in the darkest of seasons, remember that “love actually is all around.”

Madlove.

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La-La-La-Love.

I’ve had this blog floating around for weeks now, and after stewing over it for long enough, I’ve decided to just publish it already.

*This might be a challenging post to read, but don’t we all need a little challenge in our lives? 🙂

The last few weeks have been INSANE.  There seems to be so much “good” going on in my personal life, but so much “bad” going on in the world around me.  The other day I had a random and unpleasant experience with someone that spurred an extremely deep and intense conversation between me, CMB, and some friends.

I was approached the other night in Barnes and Noble by some nut of a man misguided old man who apparently thought I needed a lecture.  I was politely minding my own business in the Christian section, when he started talking to me.  He basically went on and on about some series of books that have all the answers and how I “could spend my whole life looking for answers among the pile of bullshit” that was on the shelf in front of me.  After a brief second of shock, I tried to relocate a few shelves down, but he only got louder as he lectured about how all of these people (mind you…I was looking at C.S. Lewis books and the like) have just missed it.  (I’m pretty positive that this man was off his rocker)

Anyway, I left the store in a state of extreme frustration.  I was SO fired up about this encounter (poor CMB, he had to hear me go on and on about it..). The nerve of this man!! *This little encounter happened around the same time that I heard and read about the growing number of suicides due to being outed as a homosexual, so I was already on edge.

When I left the store that night, I wasn’t fired up because of the conversation that I had had with the man (he was somewhat sweet, and he just needs a little guidance).  I could care less that he said some cuss word or that he rambled on and on and on and on.  I was fired up because he approached me not out of love or compassion, but out of condemnation and pity.

There was something about that encounter that set me off.  Obviously this man doesn’t represent 100% of Christians, but it still got me thinking…

What are we doing?  I think it saddens God to see Christians approaching people out of hatred and self-righteousness.  I’m more and more convinced that corporately, we’ve missed it.  Why aren’t we out meeting people where they are?

What gives us the right to stand on some street corner protesting abortion?  We don’t even KNOW those women.  I’m sick and tired of hearing that “if adoption funds would go up, we’d adopt every unwanted child.” That sounds like a cop out. I just read a study that showed that in America ALONE there are more Christians than there are orphans in the WORLD.  How many of us are willing  to get off that stupid street corner and take time to walk inside the clinic?  How many of us are willing to take time to get to know these women before we stand outside and (silently or not) scream out that they’re sinners.  Why don’t we take time to LOVE them before we show them that we hate what they’re doing?  Jesus absolutely cares about that unborn child, but He also cares about that struggling woman, and unfortunately the world today doesn’t see that reflection in Christians today.  It seems like we’ve put the cart before the horse and we’ve chosen to “hate the sin” before we’ve made sure that the the sinner knows that we “love the sinner.”

What are we doing about the homosexual epidemic happening in our world?  I recently watched a video from The Ellen DeGeneres Show and after, thought to myself that it’s pretty sad that Ellen DeGeneres can point out the right actions before Christians can.  In my opinion, corporately, Christians are just as guilty about pointing out “fagots” and “homos” instead of sticking up for them and calling them “loved” and “cherished.”  So what if they’re gay? Guess what? Sometimes, I say cuss words…Sometimes, I gossip…  And whether I stumble for a moment, or whether I choose to make a bad decision for the rest of my life, God is still God and sin is still sin.  No sin is heavier than another, and when it’s all said and done, He’s gonna judge me just as harshly as the “gays.”  Who do we think we are that we can attack them for their lifestyle choice?  Do we honestly think that our Bible-thumping, screaming, hatred is gonna convince them to turn to Jesus?  If you were gay, would you want to associate with Christians? I wouldn’t.

In a book that I read, it showed statistics that said that the number one thing that Christians are known for is being anti homosexual.  We’re not known for our love, we’re not known for being followers of Jesus, we’re not known for our compassion, we’re known for hating gays.  We’ve made sure that the gay community knows of how much we disapprove of their lifestyle, but we’ve neglected to make sure that they know that we love them regardless.

We’ve put such weight on the abortion issue, the gay issue, and other issues, that we’ve seemingly made them “unforgivable.”  Paul murdered Christians, and he was one of the closest followers of Jesus. God’s grace and mercy know no bounds, so why are we trying to box them in?  Honestly, who do we think we are?

We’re so concerned with speaking in tongues and prophesying, but it’s all crap if we’re gonna live our lives the way we’ve chosen to live them.  What good does speaking in tongues do if we’re snubbing our noses at the homeless and calling the local high school kid a “homo?”  Do you think that standing on a street corner protesting abortion really matters if we’re not building relationships and making sure that they know the love that we do?

It’s time to re-align our priorities.  Today’s corporate Christians are far from a mirror image of Christ, and it’s time we get back to our mission. 

1 Corinthians 13 paints this issue better than my words do..

If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.  It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.

We’re here to love. Why don’t we start showing it?

Madlove.

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Follow.

Fact: I’m a sucky blogger. Seriously. I pretty much think of an idea for a “good blog” everyday, but fail to A. type anything..at all..and B. I’m not sure that anything I type out falls into the “good blog” category.  So, I’ll wear the crown of loser blog girl. 🙂

I suppose a quick little update is needed as much has changed since my last few posts..

For starters, school has kicked back up and I’m so excited trudging through.

I’m working at a delightful little preschool and I’m loving on some precious little kiddos, who are surprisingly teaching me more about God’s love than some adults I know. 🙂

CMB got a fun job teaching some crazy middle school lads and lassies, and his story time at the end of each day is pretty much my favorite thing these days.  I LOVE middle school minds.

I’m volunteering with a local organization that has changed me from the inside out.  It’s a non-christian organization but you can’t even pull into the parking lot without being overtaken by the love of Jesus.  I’ve never felt more at home in such a place..I absolutely love that His light shines in that place without anyone speaking of it.  *Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about speaking some light..but as my sweet lil’ momma always taught me, “actions speak louder than words.”  Needless to say, my time with these people is some of my most treasured time these days, and I’m so stinkin’ excited about some doors that are opening up with them.

Honestly, my days are crammed.  Finding 10 minutes of quiet time without falling asleep is like finding a needle in a haystack. I find myself going to bed earlier and earlier and still sleeping in until the very last second.  Managing 5 classes, the homework that comes with those classes, a job, a clean house, and any aspect of anything remotely social has been a pretty big challenge. But, I’m diggin’ in.

Before all the madness of my now crazy life set in, I went through a few weeks of some seriously beautiful time with the Big G.  There were a lot of heavy things going on and although in no way do I feel like my faith was shaken, I did feel a sense of longing to go deeper and find out what I was supposed to look like according to Jesus and not just what someone has told me or what I feel like looks or feels right.  In my daily readings, I was coming to a place where Jesus was doing a lot of the talking and he was preparing his disciples for his crucifixion.  I was reading passages that have been beat into my head throughout the years, but for the first time, I stopped to think about what He was really telling them..

It’s hard not to be disgusted at the image that “Christians” have portrayed..especially when we compare that image to the image of Jesus Christ.  The very image that we’re set to pursue, we’ve tarnished, and it’s almost embarrassing at times to say that I’m apart of a group of people that parade around with attitudes that I’m pretty positive Jesus would be disgusted with (myself included in that group at times) *Obviously, not all Christians “parade around,” but you get what I mean..

I just hit this point of being fed up with it.  I’ve felt this burden of urgency that I can’t shake.  I feel like every blog that I write touches on this, but I think it’s so easy to forget it and I suppose I’m your reminder 🙂

CMB and I went to this church one time when we were out of town, and I left with the most disgusting feeling I’ve ever felt..after leaving a church!! Never, have I been in a place that was more about building up the body (with no intent of sending it out) and basically being content with “church.” Seriously?

Where would we be if Jesus had chosen those 12 disciples and kept them hidden away to build them up and make them the best little Christians in the world, while leaving the rest of us to stand by and watch, or live in ignorance?

I’m all about encountering the love of God and learning and searching and growing deeper in Him, and I think church is most often the environment where we do so, but at some point I think it’s important to put into practice what we say we stand for.  I think church should be refreshing and safe and a time with family, but I think even more that it should be about equipping and meeting the needs of the lost and broken, and I sometimes feel that corporately, Christians have missed that mark.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not hating on the Church..ironically enough, I’m writing this post in the back of one right now..

I’m simply saying that a “Christian” life shouldn’t be so cheap. It should be about practically walking out what He set forth for us to do.

Honestly, I stink in this area a lot of the time, but I’d rather stink and still be trying than being arrogant and complacent in my walk.(Not that you guys are :))

Going through the desert or even through the fire in any area of your life makes this concept easier or harder to grasp, but I’ve recently discovered, through going through my own fire, that His goodness is real and it’s eternal.

Whether it’s been something as stupid as a bad day at work or something as serious as an attack against my character, He’s been there and He’s been chipping away at all the crap that has been built up throughout the years.  Can I just tell you that pursuing Jesus and all that He looks like has been the hardest and most rewarding thing?

I’m so grateful to serve a God that hears my cries in the car and takes my verbal beatings when I lash out at Him, but who remains sovereign.  I’m grateful to have a God who loves me enough to reach down and embrace me when I’m in the bed feeling down, and then put someone in my path who will give me a slap to my face when I need it.

The fact is, He’s good. Always.  And I think we forget that a lot of the time.

Personally, I believe that pursuing Jesus in every aspect of your personal life is a huge challenge, but it’s the most rewarding and meaningful thing that we’ll encounter.

One of my most favorite Rich Mullins songs paints this picture so wonderfully, and I’ll leave you with some of his lyrics..

Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
Oh God, You are my God
And I will ever praise You
I will seek You in the morning
And I will learn to walk in Your ways
And step by step You’ll lead me
And I will follow You all of my days

Here’s my challenge: You know that little phrase that we hear all the time, “Lay down your own life…?” Do it.  It’s freaking hard, it’ll stretch you beyond what you thought you were capable of, and sometimes, frankly, it sucks.  (Remember, I’m a big fan of being in control. :)) But, it’s beautiful and it’ll change you.

Anyway, sorry to smack you guys with this after my prolonged absence..but, I’m finished with my beatdown! 🙂

Madlove.

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August 28th.

*If you’re not a fan of mushy posts, stop here. 🙂

Today is one of my favorite days of the year.  It’s an ordinary day for almost everyone else, but for CMB and I, it is the symbol of an unexpected birth of something that has changed our lives.  This day is the day that we became a “we.” Two years ago on this very day we started on a journey that has led us to some crazy adventures and an ever growing love.

CMB,

For the sake of not embarrassing you, I’ll keep this short and sweet.  You’re my go-to, my motivator, my comforter, my listener, my favorite, and my best friend. 🙂  There’s no one else like you, and I’m glad we’re each others “home.” I love you more than words can convey, and I thank God for blessing me with such a wonderful companion. Happy anniversary, best bear. 🙂

Some of my favorite memories over the last two years:

Watching the Bourne movies 🙂

Feeding the birds.

Target trips.

Christmas Eve services.

Harold Muffin Bear and Harriet Strudel Bear’s birthdays.

The night we went to see Andy Gullahorn, Jill Phillips, and Andrew Peterson.

Playing speed.

The night we played phase 10 at Whataburger until 1 AM.

The day we went ice skating..trying to be brave and try new tricks..constantly repeating, “Did you see that?!”

Bringing Dunbar Douglas Fir home.

Our Thanksgiving tradition (which we forgot last year :)).

Spending Sundays in our spot.

Watching hours and hours of Grey’s Anatomy.

Our beach days.

The day you permanently ruined my left foot.

Teasing you about the card I gave you that you never read.

The night you drew my portraits.

Your 21st birthday.

Our old library dates.

My first day of college.

Our road trips.

All of our pranks on Jenny.

Dancing.

Laughing.

Thanks for being so awesome, CMB.  So excited to spend today and this year making new memories.

I love you. 🙂

Madlove.

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Heavy.

To say that I have felt the need to blog almost every day during the last three weeks would not be a lie.  In fact, my unpublished blogs have multiplied and my thoughts are continuing to race.  In these last three weeks, every time I sit down to write, I get a few paragraphs out and then I hit a block.  So, I’ve just saved them as drafts and I’m sure at some point, I’ll reread them and feel inspired to finish them.

Anyway, this morning, I was feeling particularly bloggish and was sort of at a loss with what to write about.  Not because I have no thoughts, but simply because I have so many deep issues that have been surfacing in my mind and sitting down for 20 minutes to type them just doesn’t seem to bring them any justice.  But then, I came across a very special blog.  Perhaps the best blog  I have ever read..perhaps the most timely and important little treasure I’ve been given in this season.

It is the blog of a dead man.  Creepy is the first word that came to mind, right?! But it is so not creepy.  This blog comes from a man who died a few months back, and who suffered from cancer.  He’s actually a little famous for his battle, and to say that he had a beautiful heart is a serious understatement.

So, I’m reading this blog, and all of its nuggets of wisdom, slivers of hope, cries of pain, and depths of goodness…and all I can do is marvel.  Like I said, in this season of my life, this little discovery may just be the best thing I’ve ever found.

This man knew he was going to die.  For months.  He knew.  And rather than begging and pleading with God (although there was a season of that), he prepared.  He put things in place for his wife and his three kids, and he prepared them for their loss.  He took up his cross and he walked in obedience as best as he could.  Instead of wallowing in self pity, he did everything in his power to reach people.  He truly understood what the sense of urgency is all about, and he lived the last years of his life by it.  He embraced the wisdom that he was given, and he turned his suffering into something God could use.

As I’m walking through this season of my life, the word suffering seems to be the theme.  Not my own suffering, but suffering in those around me.  God is teaching me how to share the joys and the pains with my brothers and sisters, and He’s showing me how to be His light in the midst of all of it.

So back to this guy.  He made several videos before he died, and until today, I had only seen his more recent and most well known.  But for me, the first video is even more powerful.  He made this video as a letter to himself, and I can honestly tell you guys that watching it has stirred something in me.

I’m always ranting on about the important things of life (sorry, CMB), and I’m always questioning the things we count as treasures (careers, money, cars, homes, decor, toys, etc.).  And I’m not coming from this high and mighty place..trust me, I’m just as guilty as you guys. It’s just a conviction that I always carry, and am sometimes reluctant to respond to.  Anyway, after a few hours of reading this blog and then watching this video, I felt that conviction rise up in me.  This man was dieing. He had a wife. He had kids. He had a career. He had wants. He had dreams. He had aspirations.  He was just like the rest of us…except he was near his end.  He talks about his realization of coming to that end, and how it woke him up to the things that really matter.  What a freaking testimony!  And how blessed are we that we get to see this man’s story and use it as our own warning?!

What have you done in your life that really matters?

Why are we wasting time pursuing things that are gonna fade away?  Most people always insert the typical “I’m not saying sell all of your belongings and give all of your money to the poor..” but I challenge you to question that.  Is your $30,000 car more important than a child getting clean drinking water?  Is your $25 name brand T-shirt more important than the local homeless man’s hunger?

When did we stop believing in the radical things?!  Jesus never said that it was okay to pursue comfort for ourselves and abandon those in need.  In fact, He spoke against it, and He encouraged us to be radical and even to abandon our worldly mentalities and worldly possessions.

We’re all gonna face our end.  It’s a simple and scary fact.  We have no idea what our next breath is gonna bring, so why are we wasting what we’re given on pursuing..for lack of a better word..crap?

Let’s look at this man’s life as a warning from God and wake up!  Let’s not waste our time.

My challenge to you guys is this: Pursue Him, no matter what the cost.  Show His love.  Be His light. Find your purpose. Live your lives with a burning passion for Him and look to Him to satisfy your needs.  Live with a sense of urgency.  Remember that you’re not guaranteed another breath, and do everything you can to make the breath you’re given count for Him.

Here’s the video I was talking about:

And here’s the link to his blog:

http://www.hello-righton.com/

Madlove.

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