Today #3

Today, I was reading through Psalm 139. And verse 17 “His thoughts towards us are as countless as the sand on the shore” (my paraphrase) really struck me. I’ve heard the verse before, many times, but decided to sit with this verse for a bit.

My first thought was “why?? Why does God think about us so much?”
And almost immediately after I asked myself that, I heard in my head,
“Well, why so you think about your cat so much??”

“Because i love her.”

Bingo.

God thinks about you because He loves you.
Simple But so hard to wrap our heads and hearts around.

Psalm 139

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Today #2

Today, my friend and I went to Whole Foods to get dinner. There was this huge section of the store where you could grab a container and fill it with all kinds of food. I was very hungry, and very excited about all the food choices. I probably grabbed a little bit of everything, and then I saw something: 9.99 per pound. CRAP. I held my container and guessed how much it weighed, surely not over 1lb or 2. Surely, I didn’t grab THAT MUCH food. This strange sense of shame and guilt flooded my heart. I knew it was too much. I wish I could have put some of the food back. I wish I had had more self control. Yet, there I was standing in line to buy this meal. I didn’t want to see how much it had cost. I knew I could guess all day long but the scale would ultimately have the final say. I actually asked the cashier not to tell me what I cost haha. I paid for the meal and walked out.
My friends, many of us are holding our life in our hands estimating how good or bad we are. Some days our good actions outweigh the bad and we think “wow I’m great.” But other days we see our mistakes right in front of us, we can’t put our choices back, and guilt and shame flood us. All of us have sin (Romans 3:23), are sinners, we all put food in the bowl and there’s one scale that decided the cost: God, perfect and Holy.
The cost? An eternity spent paying for our sins. (Romans 6:23)
But God being Rich in mercy, sent His Son Jesus to earth. HE lived the perfect life, and died the death we deserved. All of our sin. All of God’s wrath was put on Jesus. He died and resurrected from the grave which proved that He was who he said he was, the Son of God. He did this because He loves us! (John 3:16)

The scale says “sinner” but the receipt says Paid in Full. If someone had paid for my meal, and I went to cashier and said “I want to pay for it.” She’d say “you can’t, it’s already paid for.” I spent a majority of my life trying to earn my salvation by being a good person. I tried to tip the scales in my favor, now I trust God’s provision for my sins and Jesus death and resurrection on the cross. #nomorestriving #nomorewholefoodsbuffetslol

TODAY. #1

Today, a 3 year old girl I was nannying for was riding her tricycle. Something strange happened. She stopped and said “I have to go pick up my rocks.” She got off her bike and went and grabbed 4 or 5 big rocks one at a time and put them on the back of her bike. Then, I watched as she struggled to ride while keeping her rocks on her bike. She would turn her head around, looking back at the rocks, which meant she wasn’t looking where she was going. She would ride into the grass, lose a rock and beg me fo help. She didn’t go far and she got really frustrated. “Look ahead!!” I kept saying. I even offered to take the rocks but she said “no they are mine!” It was all pretty silly to watch, but I also wondered how often i act just like her. Collecting past hurts, carting them around, eyes glued behind me, not looking ahead. Letting these rocks decide where I go and what I’m worth. You’re not the sum of how everyone treats you. You are worthy because God said you are.

What are you looking back at today? Your past? What rocks did you pick up this morning? Are you looking ahead or crashing into the grass cause your eyes are glued to the rocks?

Take some time to choose to forgive, to let go, to leave the rocks on the ground. God is close to you and wants to help.
Psalm 23, Psalm 46. Psalm 139, Psalm 121

Faithfulness in the Mess

Full confession, I have not been writing lately because I don’t have my life together. No one does, really. But,  I found myself slowly creeping away from sharing stuff on Facebook and blogging because change is coming and I don’t know what the future holds. Job changes, potential opportunity to serve overseas, none of it in my control, but so desperately I want to control it all.  As a writer, I like to be able to sit down and write out what is going on in my life and have it all make sense, or at least just write the big updates down.  That’s what Facebook is for right, “Hey guys I’m having a baby!” or “Hey guys, i’m totes engaged to this guy #weddinghashtag #lefthandringfinger” Or “I got my dream job!! #myliferules #humblebrag #blessed” All the big life updates. Seeing how most of my big life updates recently have been a process, I don’t like sharing it unless I know that it’s going to happen. I think that’s wise. I don’t have to tell everyone everything all the time.  It is a process. And that is okay.

I like to have stuff figured out, to have a plan (and I’m type B), and to have an answer when people ask “What’s going on in your life, Marlie?” Usually, I’ll just ramble and always end it with “i’ll keep you posted.” Gosh, if I had a $1 for everytime I’ve said that the last 2 months.  I’ve had my mind and heart focused the last 3 months on this future opportunity to serve. I heard a pastor say, “Many people tell me they want to do great things for God. Not many come and tell me ‘I want to be faithful today.'” Pretty sure I needed to hear that the most out of anyone in that room.

Being faithful today.

That my friends is the real challenge. I spent 90% of my mental space thinking about the future, wondering about the future, and always usually worrying about the future. For the last 3 months, present-Marlie turned into a zombie, cause she checked out of the hotel and is living in “future land.” Checking out of the present in a sense is like I’m telling God: Where you have me doesn’t matter, the people around me don’t matter, the job I have doesn’t matter. Because all my headspace and energy is spent looking towards the future. Because that’s when I’ll serve, or share the gospel or love people around me.

Being Faithful today and taking life 24 hours at a time has been a game-changer for me.

Friends, there is freedom and peace in taking each day as it comes. I can’t control what opportunities come my way, but I can control how I take advantage of today. Where ever you are,  there are opportunities to make a difference. I don’t think the Enemy is out to get us all to be murderers or rapists, I think he is okay with letting us be slaves to worry, prone to apathy and feeling like our life does not matter right now because we’re not where we want to be (discontentment and doubt.)

The Enemy’s firsts words to Adam and Eve introduced doubt into their ears and sunk deep into their hearts:

did God really say….

Today, I still hear that whisper of doubt and it can be crippling.

Did God really say He has a plan for your life?
Did God really say He cares about you?
Did God really say He is for you and not against you?

The answer to those questions are a resounding YES. and Amen.
Open your Bible and start reading. Drown out the lies with truth from Scripture.

Ephesians is a great place to start.  This is Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesus, but perhaps God preserved this text for thousands of years because it’s his prayer for us as well.

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:16-19

 

In all the mess, I know God is in control, faithful and at work,

 

Marlie.