Brown Thing

This is the story of brown thing. Brown thing is my mom’s favorite blanket, a quilt made my my great-grandmother and her sisters.

My granny told us not to use brown thing, that it was for decoration only. Obviously we didn’t listen, and just like she told us it would, brown thing ripped and tore, and I’m now in the long process of patching up brown thing with old t-shirts and my poor sewing skills.

And isn’t that kind of how our relationship with God works? We take His sweet grace and we rip it, and ourselves, to shreds. We have holes so big they could be jumped through, because we fall into sin’s trap. We think our grace is too speckled to possibly cover us, that there’s no way God could love, let alone save, us now. We’ve certainly just messed up all of our chances.

Praise the Lord that He doesn’t think the same way our broken little minds do.

God takes us, full of holes, ripped into pieces with all the stuffing falling out, and He so lovingly and gloriously stitches us back up to be as good as new, all because of the sweet grace Jesus provided on the cross. There’s no mismatched fabric or uneven stitching when He’s through with us. We will never run through His grace because He is always so patiently waiting to fix it.

He’s patiently waiting to fix us.

All we have to do is ask. And that’s the best news of all. When we’ve stretched ourselves too thin, when we’re at the end of ourselves, God is calling to us to just let Him fix us.

So, friend, will you?

Loving Freely

I love a lot of things. 

In high school, there was a girl who wouldn’t even say the word love just to talk about it–she called it the “l-word.” To her, it was reserved for special occasions so the word meant more. I used to want to be like her. I’m definitely not like her. 

I love everything and almost everyone. It all gets a big piece of my heart, without me holding anything back. My job, my school, my friends, my hobbies. I love it all, with a heart wide open for anyone to enter and anyone to pick at. I guess you could say I’m passionate about everything I do. But I just prefer to say I love it. And if it puts me at risk for getting hurt, that’s okay. I’ve given it my all. 

God Is My Only Football

Now that I’ve got your attention.

Today I was reading through my Bible, looking at notes trying to find a verse that a book I was reading had called to mind. Skimming through my notes, I found one tucked away, written just as pristine as all the others.

“God is my only football.”

The verse I had been noting was talking about a lack of footholds, and I was trying to express that God is the only steady foothold. Somewhere between my head and my pen, my intentions had gotten a little messed up and I wrote down football instead. And I got to thinking, how often does that happen? How often do I start off with good intentions, but I mess up and make a mistake? How often do I start off with bad or mediocre intentions, starting off with a mistake?

The answer is a lot. My little heart is a mess, and my English skills aren’t much better when I’m speaking. It’s all too easy for me to trip myself up. But God, He still uses my mess for His glory. It doesn’t matter how I mess up or what I mess up, He’s gonna bless it and He’s gonna use it for His plan. I might get embarrassed, I might slow down the process, but He’s gonna make it all okay in the end, loving me all the while.

And how awesome is that? God uses me, and you, inherently human, for His divine plan. He knows we’re going to mess up, but He still uses us. Our God is perfect but requires no perfection from us. So how about it? Are you gonna let God be your only football too?

Love Your Enemy?

Y’all.

Y’all.

I’m writing this post when I am still feeling fresh wounds and the attacks are still going, so this might be an emotional roller-coaster ride for you and it might be full of spelling and grammar errors. Bear with me. This is one of those things that is better raw. (So I tell myself).

Tonight I’ve been working on a group project and it’s been great, I’ve been able to get a lot of the work done, but one of my group members has just been incredibly rude. He’s not collaborating, he’s blaming us for everything, he’s being passive-aggressive, and because we haven’t finished on his timeline he’s attacking us.

It hurts. A lot. Because when I think of this group project I see how much we did get done over a holiday weekend, and I’m just proud. It might be due Wednesday but a lot of it is already done, and yeah it’s rough around the edges (a little more than the edges), but we have a full day to edit. We haven’t even seen each other since Wednesday and we’ve done so much.

And for, let’s call him Partner L, for Partner L to be so incredibly rude to us, it’s not fair. It’s just not. It’s incredibly rude. And to top it off, he’s facebook ranting about us even though he added us on facebook! He sent out the requests so he knows we are all “friends”.

But let’s not let that facebook title get mistaken for the truth. Partner L is certainly not my friend. To be completely honest, I just want to yell at him. Ask him why he thinks any of his behavior is acceptable.

But I won’t.

The Bible, and people, talk a whole lot about loving your neighbor even though you disagree with them. But that’s just disagreeing. What about your enemies? What about those people that are just tearing you down, aren’t just disagreeing but actively arguing? What about them?

(Obviously they are still your neighbor.)

It’s hard to think of someone like that as your neighbor though. So tomorrow when we meet up, I’m gonna show a whole lotta grace. I’m gonna bite my tongue, be nothing but polite and even friendly. Partner L does not deserve it, but I don’t deserve what Jesus did on the cross for me.

A friend of mine once told me to “Shine bright, little bird” when I was having a bad week. But that advice applies here. Tomorrow when he wants to argue, I’ll be nice. I’ll let myself shine through, not by arguing but by showing grace and patience and all of those things I’ve got to really work hard to be.

Peaceful(l)

Morning coffee.

The lawnmower rolling by.

Hammers banging on something, with absolutely no regard for the time of morning it is.

The weatherman promising us the rain will end soon (the rain will not end soon).

Screaming from the living room about who knows what.

Dogs barking because a knock came from somewhere.

A pink calculator and the repetitive calm that comes with math.

A Bible that may or may not be open, even though it’s not being read at the moment.

Scratches at the door because that dog wants back in.

Hollering because it’s dinner time and nobody is prepared.

That is peace.

My heart is full.