Posted in Jesus Jabbers

While we were yet Sinners…Christ died for us

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

All have sinned.

Or in the singular version…we all have Sin.

Defined, Sin is the wrongdoing against the divine law of God.

Wikipedia notes, sin can be viewed as any thought or action that endangers the ideal relationship between an individual and God.

So to sum up…We are all sinners.

No one is perfect. And likely, even on our best of days, we have still sinned.

Last night, as I listened to an Easter message, I heard the pastor say “The one who had no sin was crucified for our sins”. Now, I’ve heard this for years…But…as I listened last night and know that daily I “fall short” I was amazed at my Jesus. He walked this earth and was subjected to all the same things that I am faced with daily and yet He had no sin. Then…

He took my place. He took your place. He took our place.

And as one of my favorite songs says…

With all I am

In your grace I stand

the greatest of all romance (*favorite line*)

Love of God, my Saviour

*Link to song: Love on the line

Truly it was the greatest of all romance. No person would go through that for ALL humanity. Just think, in your small circle of people you know on this earth, you might be willing to die for 1, maybe 10 depending on the size of your family. But to be brutally beaten, whipped, hung on a cross for ALL humanity…

ALL meaning…that family member that you may not see eye-to-eye with, the friend that quit being your friend years ago and the grudge still lingers, that co-worker that knows exactly how to push your buttons, those FaceBook drama starters that are always willing to debate on your post or any post, government officials in any country/city/town (including President Trump and Hilary Clinton)…

But God…

God sent his only son, to die for ALL. Literally every person on this earth, and He took All our sins with Him. We need to do as 1 John 1:9 says…confess our sins and he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins (and make sure He’s living in your heart of this isn’t the case)

So, while we all have sinned and still fall short…Jesus took it all to the cross for us…took our place, as the greatest of all romance 😊

Posted in Travel

Do you know where you’re going?

Apparently Not!

About 2 weeks ago I left for my first business trip of 2018! However, I threw myself for a loop.

Normally, it’s everyone else who is interrupting your schedule or challenging you or throwing you off balance. But not this time. This time, I did it to myself.

Self punishment. Unplanned, no less.

First interference: I left on a Tuesday. Typically 95% of my travel starts on Monday.

Second, self-inflicted interference: I planned my first flight departure for 10am.  Normally, I am a “let’s get there and get started” kind of girl who leaves at 7am but AA (American Airlines) changed some of their flight paths for New Bern, so I opted for Delta.  Some of you are probably wondering why this is an interruption. “Come on, you get to sleep in, leave later, less stressful work day, blah blah blah.” However…for this creature of habit…I started the day fine but it threw my routine of “sneaking off while everyone is asleep” to “let’s say goodbyes on the actual day mom leaves instead of the night before” (which always makes it harder). Plus, I was naive and didn’t factor in driving through 8am rush hour traffic.

Third interference: As I traveled along the interstate, instead of heading towards the airport, well I decided to go a completely different direction. (Those of you in the Knoxville area will likely laugh out loud at my lack of direction…or lack of paying attention). I literally sat in traffic for 15 minutes to get off at 640 W and headed to West Knox!

From all of this…I have 3 pieces of advice:

1. Don’t mess with your normal travel schedule or routines! Just don’t.

2. Don’t pray and drive.

I was in some pretty deep prayer thought and before I could catch myself, I was taking the wrong exit ramp.

3. *Maybe…No, it IS the most important: Don’t drive (anywhere) without first having caffeine. (I didn’t have a Coke until I got to the airport. Big mistake!)

C’est la vie

Posted in Jesus Jabbers

You Can’t Handle the Truth

Ever feel that way? Like that sometimes we simply cannot handle the truth. Maybe it’s the truth that a loved one just received a bad report from the doctor. Or the truth that it’s Sunday night and tomorrow is Monday and your are simply not ready to adult again. Or the truth that all parts of your life *feel* messy and it’s just making you “sick and tired”.

Well that’s where I was at the end of last week.

And while I know better, I even decided to camp out there. I decided that it was “OK” to let these emotions and these thoughts flood me and that while I was camped out, I might as well through my “Debbie-Downer” self a nice “pity-party.” To which I sucked my husband into as well.

THANKFULLY, he stayed strong and tried his darndest to keep redirecting my thoughts and encouraging me. Of course in ever-so slightly subtle ways, as he knows if he pushes too hard in doing good and encouraging, I will push him away, declaring that he’s not giving me adequate time to, as the old country song says, “I just wanna be mad for a while”

Now mind you. My week started out pretty normal and on Tuesday, as we entered the 2nd New Month of the New Year, I wanted to encourage everyone with a FB post essentially noting to evaluate your 2017 goals for the month of January, start fresh in February, and Be Intentional.  (Very motivating if you ask me)

So why, you might ask, did my week end so sour? Well. After that post…

All. Hell. Broke. Loose. (Sorry to any offended by my use of *hell* but shew golly, sometimes you just gotta be real!)

Work=draining.  Draining emails. Draining situations.  People were draining. Now I love my job, but last week seemed to either bring negativity about loosing so many battles where we were trying to “bridge the gap” or “manager guilt” about my team.  I left Friday with the deadlift of defeat.

Children. They are 4, 2, and 8 months. Enough said.

Marriage. It’s just hard people! We had a conversation this weekend about how 7 years is a solid time and my husband was under the impression we’d really overcome the main obstacles. I told him…it’s only just begun.  But really, when you cut through the messes of our marriage (because come on, we all have messes–unless perhaps there is a 0.1% who truly have no messes while the other 99.9% of us do or are simply being real about it…) it circles around communication.

Small Group. It was starting in less than a week and I felt unprepared to handle my own life, much less help others’ lives to be impacted by Jesus. And if anything, I was running the opposite direction of Jesus.

But in the midst of trying to run the other direction, even when He knows we want to run and hide, He still comes looking for us (He did it for Adam and Eve and still does it).  And isn’t it funny how God can then enable us to “handle the truth.”

Because you see, then there was Sunday. After my Friday and Saturday of settling into Defeat Dungeon, there was Sunday.  The day my family chooses to congregate together, with fellow believers, and worship Jesus. And in that worship. In the melody of soft music playing.  An atmosphere of divinity.  There were tears.  Tears that streamed down my face. And when the opportunity was given for prayer with a counselor, I moved. And in that moment, with a dear friend, I stopped running. I fell into His arms. The one who ultimately holds my future. Who wants what’s best for me, but it comes with a price. Because to grow in Him, I must grow WITH Him. And sometimes the truth of that growth…that stretching and pulling and tugging from the ugly and yucky and “messy” parts of life…seems like a truth we can’t handle.

And we can’t- Not on our own anyway.

Why do you think there is so much “junk” in our world?  (I should let that sink in a while longer, but I’ll keep moving on…)

When we do it on our own, we aren’t “doing” life as God intended. But if we cling to him, and resist the enemy, he (the enemy) will flee.

And that’s what I did Sunday.

Clung.

Resisted.

And then rested, in Him.

Posted in Jesus Jabbers

Airplanes, Airports, Anxiety, & Jesus

I truly believe that all of us have some anxiety when it comes to travel, especially alone. For some it’s probably suppressed deep-down, almost to the point of non-existence & for others it’s like a “glow.” You know, like the “pregnancy glow,” which by-the-way I’m not certain why it’s called a glow, it’s just sweat from all that extra weight you’re now carrying around…anyway, kind of the perfect analogy.😉

On one of my many traveling excursions, it turned out to be quite life-changing. One, which of course held moments of blatant obvious anxiety, that I hide SO well, but where as soon as I landed back home, I would know the exact purpose for my whole trip. So let’s begin, shall we…

You know the old saying, “Third time’s a charm,” well sometimes that’s even true with airline check-in desks…

Just like everyone, I started my journey at the check-in desk, only to find I was actually in line for the “Cargo” check-in. For those like me, this is Not for the average traveler, thus I looked like a fool standing at the desk. Just waiting. Thankfully a nice Delta agent asked if I had cargo, “yes, but I only need to check one of my bags.”🙈  He politely informed me I was in the wrong line, so I proceeded to move over…to the United Check-In (I was flying Delta). Again, the nice man picked up on my “glow” & asked if I was flying United. Of course, still unaware at the time (yes, one can be THAT blonde), I replied “No, flying Delta.” Let’s just say, I finally made it through security, onto the plane, and in Germany.

After sitting in economy for an 8+ hour flight, overnight, feeling like death as you start your day in Europe (this never changes), I had somehow thought it would be a great idea to head to our company headquarters for a meeting. Meaning, after picking up my luggage & getting my rental car, I headed to the airport’s womens bathroom to “get ready” & slip into a business suit… Hindsight is 20/20. Never. Again.

As the trip proceeded, there weren’t many high points above what I’ve already noted. No WIFI. Rain everyday. Forgot my umbrella. No fridge in my room (for the Cokes I packed-Duh!). Practically falling asleep at dinner with my colleagues (that same first day when I had decided it was a good idea to attend a meeting after no sleep in an airplane seat for 8 hours). And the worst migraine ever!

At this point I’m sure you’re wondering how I ever gained purpose from this trip.

Me too!

Turns out, it was all about the flight home. Every piece that contributed to a negative experience was All worth it for what I was about to encounter.

About halfway through our 10 hour flight home, I noticed this woman. A mom. Like the rest of us. Put together enough to look like we “have it all together,” but inside we are tired & worn out from the endless demands of motherhood. She was traveling with her young son, somewhere about the age of 3-5. Her son had been good but was getting to the point of being “over it.”  Mind you, my kids would have been obnoxious about the time they make the announcement that it’s safe to use electronics, so I wasn’t complaining. As I turned around, I saw her. The real her. Wiping up her spilled drink from her son’s tantrum that he was beginning to throw, & I could sense her urge to want to break down…but how could she? On a plane, surrounded by at least 80 people, who would become witness to a solo parent having a breakdown, & no one to console her. So I went to her.

I offered my iPad, but as I’d observed, she said he was simply ‘over it.’  Now I could have returned to my seat, felt like I had obeyed the unction of the Holy Spirit, or how some say, I had “done my duty,” but I hadn’t. So I bent down beside her, placed my hand on her arm, & God did the rest. I told her it was Okay the point her son was at, & not to stress. I encouraged her to know that those who have kids understand & those who don’t, don’t have a clue. I prayed with her. I let her know that if she needed anything the rest of the flight, I’d be glad to help. And I went back to my seat…feeling like I should have done more. At that point, I just prayed. For her. Her son. And an opportunity to help more if needed.

As we landed & went through passport security, retrieving luggage, customs, security, etc…I would see her. Never in a moment to offer help, but randomly.  And at the same time, I saw others see her. Mis-judge her. Critique her parenting. Comment on the child’s behavior, who at this point had been up for 15+ hours, drug through airports, sat on the longest flight of his little life, & still had to endure more. Are you kidding people?? At that point, even I want to act like him and throw myself onto the floor in refusal to remove my shoes for a security checkpoint, when I’ve never even left the airport.

And as I saw all of this, I realized how we are often too quick to pass judgement on others, offer them our expertise, without knowing what time their day started, or what flight path they have just disembarked from.

“Be kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Rev John Watson

I read this at the start of that trip. Such words have never rang so deep in my soul.