Thursday, June 27, 2013

"Show Ready"





A new chapter has begun in my household – we’re moving. With one kiddo in college and another that soon will be, it’s time to downsize! For those who noticed I didn’t blog last week that was why. We were getting our house “show ready.”

If you’ve ever sold your house or toured one that was staged properly, you probably have a good understanding of what I’m talking about. Being “show ready” is making your house cleaner than any normal person would keep it, scaling down your personal momentos, and giving the impression of being comfortable and welcoming without actually looking like you live there. Kind of. It’s complicated.

Living in a “show ready” environment is a delicate balance. You live there, but you can’t live like you normally would. You have a schedule yet need to be flexible to alter it at a moment’s notice. You can keep your decor but only a little so they can still imagine their own. Once you have the house looking like it should, you then must maintain it – all the time. It’s pretty stressful!

This reminds me of a few people I’ve met over the years. They seem to live in a constant state of “show ready.” They put their best face forward all the time. Anytime they’re asked how things are going their answer is always, “Fine.”  They go along with whatever you want without ever voicing an opinion. They seem to live for the approval of others, thinking that if people really knew them they probably wouldn’t approve at all. Can you relate? Have you ever tried to live “show ready?”

I’m doing all of this with one goal in mind – sell my house. So I trust the wisdom of my fabulous realtor who knows more about all of this than I do. But we don’t have to live our lives that way. God doesn’t intend for us to. Humans are messy, complicated creatures who are anything but “show ready.” And that’s okay. We can show people our mess. We can admit when we don’t have the answers. We can be honest when things aren’t fine.

God had one goal in mind too – make us more like Him. Just as I’ve turned to someone with knowledge I don’t have, God provides direction for us as well. We can allow our lives to look more like Jesus and less “show ready.” People around us don’t need to think we’re perfect; they need to see we’re following God. Only then will they buy into what you have.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” Ephesians 5:1-2


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Cover Up





Date nights are a big thing for my husband, Greg, and me. We are fully aware of the importance of prioritizing our spouse and giving them your full, undivided attention at least once a week. 

Last night we enjoyed a concert at our church home followed by a tasty dinner at a nearby restaurant. We both enjoyed our salads, nice conversation and a slower pace. It wasn’t until he leaned over to steal a kiss when I realized… I had goat cheese breath.

For the rest of our dinner I drank water to rinse out the flavor but it didn’t seem to help. Why didn’t I keep a toothbrush in my purse? Chewing gum didn’t even seem to make it go away. Greg was far too polite to say anything, but I knew full well it was noticeable.

This made me wonder, how many other things do we try to cover up? Bad attitudes, wrong choices, or even our sin nature are all things that can cause a stink. What we need is to be washed clean with God’s living water but instead we try to pretend it isn't there. For example, I have been guilty of trying to ‘serve’ my guilt away. Thinking that if I could just be good enough, no one would pick up the stench of my sin. I end up ignoring the problem and inevitably making it worse.

Part of the problem is our tendency to sin; the other part is how we think. I’ve done my share of stinkin’ thinkin’, have you? As humans, we are all going to make mistakes. But are we forgiving ourselves for them? Or do we let them fester and decay in our spirit as a constant reminder of our failure? That can end up being stinkier than the sin itself! Either way, we need to allow God to cleanse us with His love through His Word. Only then can we become fragrant instead of rancid.

Do you have something stinking up your life? Are you suffering from some stinkin’ thinkin’? Friend, there is not enough air freshener or peppermints in the world to cover up the smell of our sin. So maybe it’s time to be washed clean and have a fresh start!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.” John 15:3

Friday, June 7, 2013

God will


In my quiet time this morning, God laid a few things on my heart to journal. Then He told me to share it with you...

God will. That's what I need to remember today - God will.

He will restore what has been lost.
He will provide for my every need.
He will protect me from my enemy.
He will bring justice on those who have wronged me.
He will forgive my sins and mistakes.
He will guide my path.
He will keep His promises - all of them.
He will equip me to do what He has planned.
He will open and close doors for me.
He will love me when I fail.
He will see the hope in me even when I can't.

His timing is not my timing. His ways are not my ways. He is perfect. He cannot fail.
His love endures forever.
He will.

Be blessed,
Jennifer

Thursday, June 6, 2013

What's to come




I peeked out the window at the gray sky this morning as I was gathering my things to leave. I tossed the last few things in my purse and then saw my sunglasses sitting on the kitchen counter.  Do I take them with me? I quickly decided better safe than sorry, tossed them into my bag and headed out the door.

Two hours later I was wearing those sunglasses to block the bright rays bursting from behind the clouds. I was thankful to have brought them along.

How often do we focus on what’s happening now instead of preparing for what’s to come? I could have assumed the heavy, dark clouds would shower rain down the entire day and left my sunglasses behind. Been there, done that. Instead, I’ve learned that the weather changes quickly here in Texas. The weather you see now isn’t what you’ll see a few hours from now. 

Our lives are the same way. We can focus so much on the here and now that we don’t prepare ourselves for the there and then. Our current situation is temporary. The season of life we’re in is temporary. Our time here on earth is temporary. But how often do we fail to prepare for what’s to come?

I don’t know what conditions you may be in, but I certainly have my share of clouds rolling in and out of my life lately. No matter how the rain pours or the thunder booms, I know that it is temporary. God’s won the battle and the forecast still to come is bright!

Be blessed,
Jennifer

“Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5 (ASV)