Thursday, April 18, 2013

Edited




As I was having lunch with a new friend the other day, she was sharing a small part of her life’s story with me.  As she transitioned from one life event to another, she mentioned that it had edited her.

Edited her? I had never heard that before and stopped her to see what she meant.

She explained that was the life event that took her from one direction in her life into another one that felt very different. Instead of her story going the way she had planned, it took a turn at that moment.

She was edited.

When I wrote my last book, my editor and I spent months pouring over every sentence on every page. The process was not only meticulous, it was sometimes painful. There were a handful of times when what I was trying to say just wasn’t getting across and my editor asked me to change my direction. 

But I have a plan…

I have something I’m trying to accomplish…

It didn’t matter; we needed to go in another direction. I was edited.

As a writer, I love the expression of being edited. It’s creative and precise at the same time. But as a child of God, the editing process is far more complicated. I think of all the times I’ve cried out to God because the story wasn’t ending the way I had hoped.

But I have a plan…

I have something I’m trying to accomplish…

Life got in the way and my life path changed. Sometimes the change was noticeably better, while other times the change made no sense in my limited little mind. But good or bad, God always seemed to bless me in the process. I’ll admit some of the edits in my life have been harsh and extremely painful – taking me a long time to understand why they were necessary. But God has done great things! He managed to reconstruct the broken pieces and use me in a new way. Who does that but God?

Have you been edited? Are you being edited right now? Just because the story isn’t going the way you planned, doesn’t mean it won’t end the way you hoped. If you’re like me, the ending God will create will be far better than anything you can imagine yourself. Amen? We are always made better in the process.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Hungry?




This morning the craziest sounds interrupted my quiet time with God. My little Chihuahua, Chica, was sleeping in her blankets in my office and her tummy was grumbling – loudly. I had already filled her bowl with a fresh mixture of food but she’d have no part of it. She didn’t want to leave the comfort of her blankets to take time to eat.

Instead of being frustrated with the stubborn pup, I thought about all the times I’ve been just like her. I will become engrossed in something and forget to take care of my own basic needs. Food, water, going to the restroom – all become of little importance when I am laser focused.

If it’s so easy to lose our focus of our physical needs, how much easier is it to ignore our spiritual needs? I heard an interesting saying a few years ago that goes something like this:  “If you skip one day of spending time with God, He will miss it. If you skip two days of spending time with God, you will miss it. If you skip three days of spending time with God, everyone around you will miss it!” 

God wants to fill us with His strength, love and power every day. But all too often we’re just like Chica and we’re focused on something else. She wants the warmth and comfort of her blankets, what do we want? Do we want that thing more than we want the spiritual nourishment that God provides? The crazy thing is that we may actually get both! God gives us the desires of our heart when they align to His will for our lives. We’re more in sync with His will when we spend time with Him. Therefore, our heart’s desires are more likely to be in His will… do you see the pattern?

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You may or may not agree with that, but one thing I do know – it often sets the tone for the day. So does our daily time with God. It fuels us to handle the things of our day with strength and grace that we wouldn’t have on our own. If you don’t want to do it for you, do it for the people around you… it makes us all better!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.’” John 6:35

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Love the one you're with




While on a date night with my husband, Greg, I discovered an interesting phenomenon. The majority of the couples sitting around us had something in common – one or both of them kept messing with their phone.

Now, I’m not some kind of phone prude. I like to stay connected and consider myself a pretty accessible person. But I am beginning to learn something – I need to love the one I’m with! Scheduling time with someone doesn’t mean anything if I don’t give them my full attention. Have you ever been out to lunch or dinner with a friend who interrupts your time together by answering texts, responding to email or even answering a phone call? How did that make you feel? I hate to admit it, but I’ve been that person.

So I decided to make a change. Over the last few weeks I’ve purposely ignored any texts or email (unless they were from my kids) anytime I was meeting with someone. No matter what! I have found that the world didn’t come to an end during the hour and a half that I sipped coffee or enjoyed a meal. And, with giving them my full attention, I was reminded that I know some pretty amazing people. 

We live in a fast paced, busy world. Life happens all around us whether we actively participate or not. But God gives us 24 hours in every day, so how are we using them? Are we so busy multitasking that we have lost our sense of purpose?  I can guarantee that if you trust God to take an hour or two of your time to pour His love into another person, He will bless your obedience and grow your relationship. 

We are designed to be in relationship with God and with others. But we can only be blessed and be a blessing when we fully engage in the people He brings across our path. So I have to ask…do you love the one you’re with?

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Therefore encourage each other and build one another up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11