Sorry this is up so late this week... I usually write my Thursday posts the night before and this week has taught me that if I don't do that, I'm at the mercy of my children's naps schedules to get it done... and naps have been few and far between this week. I also got a bit distracted by my quest to figure out a way to get Josh into IronMan Florida (which is in November and filled up in six hours this year!) and... well... I succeeded!!!! I'm not sure what took me directly to Active.com rather than the IronMan website, but eventually one of my Google searches led me there and lo and behold they had some spots open! We literally held our breaths as we hit the "register" button and Josh wasn't even convinced until he called Active.com just to confirm with them... and... it's official! Only 63 more days until he gets to try again, this time without the idiots throwing tacks in his path (let's hope!). So needless to say, I got a little sidetracked planning our mini-getaway. It may seem crazy to some, but after seeing how much work goes into the training, he deserves his fair chance at it... and I don't want him to have to wait until next fall to try again! Plus, my sister just wrote a post on spectating 101 and I'm ready to take what we learned from Louisville and kick it up a notch in Florida... particularly since our cheering squad will be smaller, which means we need to be more visible and more obnoxious, right?? Right.
So anyway... this race talk actually kind of fits in nicely with my "life verse" if you will. I know many people pick a "life verse," which is basically either the one that they live by or their favorite, depending on the person. You've probably heard the most popular ones many times (think John 3:16 or Jeremiah 28:11) and there is a reason they are popular- it's because they are that good and powerful. I mean, John 3:16 pretty much sums up the whole point of Christianity in one simple sentence... it doesn't get much more powerful than that! As for me, I have several that are reminders of how to live, how to act, etc, and I could seriously just pick the whole book of James and call it a day. I also have a special, personal affection for "All good and perfect things come from above" because it's found in James 1:17 and my birthday is on... 1/17! Coincidence? I think not! But in all seriousness, this is mine:
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need." (Matthew 6:33)
Some days it's really hard to be a Christ follower... to do the right thing, even when it's hard. Sometimes it means taking the high road or being the bigger person, even when you really just want to get mad at the situation. Following Christ means living by His rules- forgiving and loving your enemies, helping others, and "dying to self" meaning not giving in to the superficial needs and desires of this world, but giving those up in order to serve others and show glory to Him. As a family, we tithe our first 10% every month faithfully, and there are times that yes, my brain does realize that this money could pay for a vacation, new home decor, a new wardrobe, or other things that I just really want, but honestly don't need. And there's that word - need.
As I reflect back on my life, I realize that God has never let me down- not once- in providing me with the things that I need. As a church planter, we have had our moments where we struggled to make ends meet, wondering where that next mortgage payment (for a house two states over) is going to come from. But I live and breathe this verse and I give it to Him. Sometimes you just have to throw your hands in the air and say, "okay, God, I don't know how this is all going to turn out, but I'm going to follow You faithfully because I know You've got this." And He does... as long as you seek Him out, live by His rules, and do all that you can to live righteously. Sure, the things I want never go away, but I have far more than I need, and then some. In fact, I have far more than I could ever want, too, and the more this verse gets into me, the more that "want" list diminishes. I spent twenty-five years of my life living for me, living selfishly, and living by my own rules... and it worked out okay most of the time, but something was still missing. Oddly enough, the more of my selfish desires I give up and the more I put others first, the more filled up I am and that missing piece doesn't seem so big anymore. He is the air I breathe, the song I sing, and the One from which I draw all my decisions, strenght, and encouragement. He is worth seeking "above all else."
So... what is yours? I could not get the linky-thing to work (this has just not been my day or week for blogging apparently!) so if you did a post on this, please put the link in the comments. Or I'd love it love it love it if you'd share your "life verse" in the comment section and tell me why it speaks to you so much. You never know... there may be someone who will read it and it will be exactly what they needed to hear this week.
Thanks so much for sharing your heart... look for a new topic on Monday and have a fantastic holiday weekend! I think that leaves me with only one more thing to say...
GO VOLS! I'm loving that it's football time in Tennessee again! Go big orange! (and yes, I fully understand that I may have just lost some readers!)