Out my Window: Sun shining so bright off the snow.
Enjoying: Having my family under one roof. Decorating for Christmas with both boys here. The candle my son found at work Vanilla Chai, smells so good! I am into crepes right now. I am learning how to perfect the art and science of them.
Listening to: I love A Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack (Vince Guaraldi). Listened through a few times. The Holy Post Podcast https://www.holypost.com/holy-post-podcast. John Branyan’s podcast https://johnbranyan.com/listen-podcast/ weekly episodes.
Started and almost finished Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill Perry. I feel like this is another book that is made even made better as an audio. She reads her book, but Jackie is a Spoken Word Poet so it is artistic and interesting in style, plus she wields the Word in a powerful way. I highly recommend this read for all “Saints and Aints” as she calls people. It was inciteful into the gay community, but also a powerful overview of theology of identity. I was moved, challenged, encouraged, and inspired by it. I did end up skipping most of Chapter 5 due to her sharing a situation of sexual abuse.
Unbelief, just like Satan, will always take the easy way out. It will tell us to eat the fruit in exchange for knowledge, instead of fearing God to gain real wisdom. Unbelief will unravel our perceptions of both suffering and the blessedness of life and beckon us to skip self-denial at all costs with the faux promises of comfort that can’t extend beyond the grave.
I don’t believe it is wise or truthful to the power of the gospel to identify oneself by the sins of one’s past or the temptations of one’s present but rather to only be defined by the Christ who’s overcome both for those He calls His own.
Christ did not die to redeem us in part. Neither did He rise so that we might have life in portions. But with us having a body made for Him, as well as the mind, will, personality, and emotions that it contains, we must understand that God is after us becoming victorious over any and all sin that would hinder the whole person from serving God fully and freely.
By my bed: Unhurried Leader: The Lasting Fruit of Daily Influence by Alan Fadling, this is set a side for now due to Advent. I now have Watch for the Light: Readings for Advent and Christmas compiled by Plough Publishing by my bed and The Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp and Advent and Christmas, Wisdom from G.K. Chesterton laying around to pick up and read in free moments.
My carry around book has been: The Heart of Recovery: How Compassion and Community Offer Hope in the Wake of Addiction by Deborah and David Beddoe, review coming soon.
I also joined another book launch team. I was given a three chapter peek at She Laughs: Choosing Faith over Fear by Carolanne Miljavac. Review coming, along with some promotions on social media. Definitely a simple read. Carolanne tells stories, some very funny that she weaves a truth through to encourage.
Pondering: Identity… the significance of where we find it, the forming of it, the re-learning, or learning for the first time our identity, or shall I say our truest identity and how to walk in it. Sometimes it is easier to see in others than in ourselves when identity is mixed up a bit, and found in some, or all of the wrong places. I am pondering what it looks like to consistently walk in out truest identity, and that pesky word that never quite settles fully in my mind… abide… I know its synonyms, but it still seems to be just out of reach when I try to wrap my mind around it. I know it is daily and many times moment by moment walking with Christ in deep connection, but abiding, dwelling, “dailying” is a natural extension of who we are, our truest identity in our truest home, so those places that do not feel settled or lived in seem to be places that abiding is not fully walked out. Much to think about in this area.
Learning: Walking. Jackie Hill Perry is such a powerful communicator. Her way with words and the Word has given me much to think about, but obedience and walking in our truest identity whether we will like it or not, was very profound. She was talking about figuring out what it meant to walk as a woman when she surrendered her life. She went out and bought a bra and women’s underwear which she had not worn in years. They were uncomfortable and unnatural steps for her, but were steps of obedience to honor God with her whole self whether she felt like it or not. I was thinking how I truly want to pursue holiness living, but I do not always feel like it. It was brought to light this past week that when I am tired or just done that I get lazy with my thoughts which slides over into my speech. When Jackie was talking about obeying God at all times because He is truth and His ways are always best even when I do not see or feel like it was a challenge to me, not in a legalistic way, but in a submissive, I am going to trust you to fill in for my weakness way. Today I had opportunity to practice what I am learning. I stayed quiet instead of “upping my personality.” I stayed a bit back, instead of letting my mouth spill out whether in a sarcastic way or humorous with a bit too much edge way. It was surprising to me at how much more restful it was to just step back and allow the tired and some of the frustrations to just settle in and not interact with them and bring attention to them, which usually gets a laugh or brings some sort of satisfaction, but is not who I want to be. It takes me on a side track that usually ends with me having to repent and apologize, or just be frustrated that there was too much me in a situation. I think I am learning that maybe it is actually less of me, or at least less of the truest me that shows up and overpowers the situation. Walking in small steps of obedience allows me to learn how to step into my truest self and to be more at home in the space I am in.
Home: Christmas decorations make everything look better, not to mention a worthy reason to dust and vacuum.
Fitness and Mental Health: Went for a few snow walks that were so beautiful and physically and mentally good for me. A couple ab workouts with my oldest. Having a partner to encourage is helpful. Still need a more consistent plan, but moved a bit more this past week. Mental Health: listening to podcasts and audiobooks has been beneficial for me. Christmas lights make me happy. This candle is relaxing.
Giving Thanks: So thankful for extra time with my oldest. Also a new job for my son in his dream job. My younger still enjoying his job in spite of the holiday rush. Christmas time, lights, extra time out with my husband, drive time to listen to podcasts and audiobooks, provisions, grace…getting to see a dear friend and meet her little one.