Wednesday, August 31, 2011

not a bofa

He sat on the sofa across from me.

(I cannot type the word sofa without hearing the line:
"and the bofa on the sofa acts as if he doesn't care.")

But my guy on the sofa
He's no bofa.

He listened without trying to fix a single thing.
No words of advice. Or suggestions. Or anything.
Just cared enough to only listen.


And then left me alone with my thoughts when I needed him to do so.

Sometimes love is shown in the simplest of ways.



Tuesday, August 30, 2011

wrapping it up

How do I wrap up a month of focusing on a full life?  It's not as if I have arrived. Not even close. I still have half a notebook page filled with ideas. Yes, a notebook page because I think best in blue ink and spiral binding.
Therefore you all have not heard the end of my "full life" thoughts, but I can't just write about it. I have to live it. As I do, the stories of this new adventure will undoubtedly end up here, both successes and failures.
But for now, I'll return you to your regularly scheduled program filled with pictures of the two cutest boys on the planet (no bias here), top ten lists, five minute Fridays, imperfect prose entries, and any other thing that pops in my mind that I can't help but display on a computer screen.  I write because I can't imagine NOT writing. It's like eating, sleeping, and breathing to me.


Thanks for joining me, this month, friends.  (And yes, I know August has thirty-one days, and today is only number thirty.)





Monday, August 29, 2011

continuously filled

"...let the Spirit fill your life." Eph. 5:18 (CEV)

My mind is spinning from a Jim Cymbala DVD. I'm having a hard time organizing my thoughts because so much of it is the next phase of putting into practice everything God has been teaching me this month. The timing of it all amazes me, and I wish I could go to coffee with some of you and dialogue about it.

Cymbala mentioned on the DVD - 
  • There's a difference between having the Spirit living in us and being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • There's a difference between being a Christian and being a Spirit-filled Christian.
  • Eph.5:17-18 - is actually a military-style command in the original language - so we are supposed to be continuously filled.
  • Filled does not mean like a glass of water. It actually means being controlled.
  • The key to a Spirit-filled life is to humble ourselves. 
  • (And my fav):It's not about what you are doing; it's about what you are becoming.
So what does that mean for me, on this journey toward a full life?
It means I have to daily ask to be filled with the Holy Spirit - to be empowered.  I don't believe this empowerment is for anything super-spiritual or hyper-emotional, although at times it can have a charismaticl/emotional component.  I believe first and foremost that this empowerment that comes from God's Spirit is for obedience.
Deciding to ask daily to be filled with God's Spirit is a huge commitment. It means God may use me in ways that take me out of my comfort zone. It means He is going to be producing love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control in me - and those things aren't produced in a comfy little bubble.  It means to whom much is given, much is required.
Am I ready? I think so.
The alternative is to miss out on the most intimate, exciting, adventurous, and loving relationship I could ever have.  The alternative is to have a half-full life, which is not a full life at all.
So we are stepping out in faith, The Hubs and I, after so many discussions lately, including one last night on this topic.  We aren't sure what it will look like or where God will lead, but we are asking Him to show up and to move in our home, in our lives.  We want the full life for which we were created.






Sunday, August 28, 2011

MM 800-812

I have pictures I want to upload, stories to share, thoughts to discuss, but for now, just my gratitude list.

800. a Sunday school DVD that stirred up a ton of thoughts - seemed to correspond well with what God has been teaching me this month - (I'll blog on it soon.)
801. date night courtesy of "Boppy and Nana" who were in town this weekend
802. a whole lot of ice cream this weekend
803. pastor that didn't shy away from a semi-controversial subject
804. convicting reminder that the Church MUST do it's part if we don't want the government to do what Christians SHOULD be doing (I'll be writing about this sometime this week, too.)
805. extra hours of work for me - good news since The Hubs had a couple clients cancel - continued provision
806. short hair
807. hair dresser who I trust enough to say, "Do whatever you think is best." - That is trust, friends. :)
808. boys who are excellent during Sunday lunch with Boppy and Nana
809. bacon cheeseburger with onion straws - be still my heart
810.The Hubs mopping while I was getting my hair cut
811. playing outside with the kiddos in the morning
812. tentative meal (dinner) planned for M-F for the next four weeks

Friday, August 26, 2011

I have no fullness apart from...

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. ... And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace." John 1:14 & 16

Christmastime is usually when we hear these verses, but lately they have been a couple of my faves.
I have no fullness apart from Him.

Awhile back I went to counseling.  And one of the pieces of advice the counselor gave me was, "fake it till you make it."  I hated that advice. I still do. I stopped going to that counselor even though she graduated from my alma mater.

I can't fake it till I make it.  When I pretend that everything is okay, inside I still feel miserable.  I cannot fake a life of joy or hope or thanks or any of it.  Not for long anyway.

So what is the alternative? Resort to my natural pessimistic tendencies? I guess I could, but that doesn't make my life much fuller either.

I have to make the choice to be authentic but still optimistic. I have to choose to have the perspective of saying in the same breath, "Such and such sucks, but it could be worse. I have been given the gift of ______. " I have to choose to ask for the grace to continue pursuing the full, abundant life even when I'd rather pull the covers over my head. I have to choose to pursue the Giver of the Full Life.




(author's note: I realize this post may have seemed like I am having a difficult time right now - I am not. But I have at other points in my life, and I probably will again. No worries - life isn't perfect, but it IS pretty full right now.)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

faithFULL

There are many definitions of faith, and even more quotes on the subject, but Hebrews 11:1 is one of the best out there.
"Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen." (HCSB)
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (NLT)
"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen." (ESV)

Is my life full of faith: Assurance of, conviction of, confidence in, and proof of the un-seeable and sometimes un-understandable things in which I believe?

The last two or three years have taught me a lot about living by faith - being assured that God has a plan for my life and for my family, convicted that He is not the author of confusion, confident that He is doing a work in my life, and being given proof time and time again that He can work all things for good.

I don't know how people with a smooth-sailing life can have strong faith.  I'm not saying that they don't, I just don't have much experience with that. It seems that a life that gets filled with faith gets that way because of the challenges and circumstances that can only be overcome because of faith.

Faith is boldness when it is easier to be timid.
Faith is forgiveness when it is easier to be bitter.
Faith is trusting when it is easier to control.

Without faith, can life be JOYfull, THANKfull, MERCYfull, GRACEfull, HOPEfull, WONDERFULL, PRAYERfull, WORSHIPfull, and BEAUTYfull?


I think faith enables us to have the other things in life that make us full.





Wednesday, August 24, 2011

when I'm feeling drained

It seems strange that as I spend a month focusing on what can make our lives full, I was feeling a little drained this week.  A new job doing childcare at home this month meant adjusting our routines and re-evaluating our priorities.  The last few days I chose to veg out in the evenings with a novel or a dvd instead of refueling in the Word. I felt a tad hypocritical.
And the last few days I have been drained.
So I resumed studying James. I just spent about twenty-minutes before I turned Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin back on, but it helped. I doubted that the time would help, that piddly amount done a little begrudginly at first, but it did.  And this morning I am ready to face the day with thanksgiving and joy and hope because I have received grace. Grace that even though I will not always be a perfect mom or baby-sitter or wife or friend, I can still start fresh each morning. Filled. Full.


Monday, August 22, 2011

hope floats

One of my all time favorite movies is Hope Floats. Harry Connick, Jr. in a cowboy hat, a fantastic country soundtrack, Sandra Bullock with some ugly-cry moments, and this quote:


"Beginnings are usually scary, endings are usually sad, but it's what's in the middle that counts. So when you find yourself at the beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. And it will."

Isn't that true?
I think of college - scary in the beginning (especially with the suitemate situation of '99), sad when it ended, but amazing moments in the middle.
Relationships follow that same pattern, too, whether in friendships, romances, or family dynamics.
Motherhood - I'm not sure if I am out of the scary-beginning phase, but I know that every moment counts in this journey, and at the end of it, there will be tears.

It's hope that gets us through our journeys.
Hope that the middle does count.
Hope that our time here on earth will mean something to somebody.

Even when it seems hope is gone, it really isn't.  It may be hidden by circumstance or situation, but hope is always there if we just pursue it.  It wants to be found. It gets us through the most difficult times - the idea that something better is just around the corner, that even things that aren't good can end up working for good.  Hope wants to fill our lives because without it, there isn't much worth living for.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

MM786-799

I've spent the last few evenings reading and conversing and laughing while contemplating if I love Tina Fey or Alec Baldwin's character more. I spent the wee hours of Friday/Saturday with a coughing Bubby on the couch, and the wee hours of Saturday/Sunday with a Bugaboo (who normally sleeps all night through but seems to be teething...) This afternoon we said goodbye... I mean see you later to dear friends. The weekend was filled with a lot and a little, and here it is Sunday night again, and I wonder why time moves the way it does, why life moves the way it does...
and in everything I choose to give thanks.

(joining with Ann)

root beer floats ~ a room full of babies - many of them specific answers to prayer in one way or another ~ six years of friendship ~ 30Rock dvds from the library ~ characters like Katniss, that I find myself wanting to befriend though she is fiction ~ The Hubs doing my least favorite chore: emptying the dishwasher ~ less time online ~ hearing Cheryl and Ron sing Blessed Assurance in harmony next to me on the pew~

daddy/son pillow fights ~ Bubby saying his letter sounds ~ brothers laughing together ~

cosleeping for a change with Bugaboo ~ post-baby jeans on sale that fit that don't make me look like a mommy ~ the cutest belly ever

8 month pictures

I get later each month with Bugaboo's monthly pictures.  I'm sorry sweet Bugaboo. 


Friday, August 19, 2011

mercy and grace

I am not a theologian, though every once in awhile I think about going to the seminary we have here in town.  I know people with MDivs and such could tell you the difference between mercy and grace. Here's what I know:

Grace - getting what you don't deserve.
Mercy - not getting what you deserve.

To me they are theological peanut butter and jelly. Yes, they can be separate, but most of the time they go together and are best together.

So what does that look like in a full life?

I think it is seeing the big picture, understanding people's hearts, doing our best to live at peace with everyone. I know that is not always possible. We are human. This is earth. There is justice and accountability and consequences. But a full life has to be filled with these two things - or it will be emptied as it drops the important things in life by trying to hold on to every little thing, things we were never intended to hold on to.
No one can make others change. But I can be ready to extend mercy and grace when the moment arrives by daily acknowledging the grace and mercy I receive and passing it on at each opportunity.


Wednesday, August 17, 2011

grace is power

"Grace is not simply leniency when we have sinned. Grace is the enabling gift of God not to sin. Grace is power, not just pardon." ~ John Piper

Grace is power. 
Do I think of it that way?
Power to forgive.
Power to give when I think I don't have the strength or ability or resources to give any more.
Power to stand up for what is right.
Power to do what is right.
Power to start each day as a new, blank slate.

Grace is not only meek and mild. Grace is strong and bold.  A gracefULL life stands out like a flower in a patch of weeds and brush because the actions and attitude of grace are so contrary to much of what goes on in the world today.

"And from His fullness, we all have received, grace upon grace." John 1:16 (ESV)

I cannot be graceFULL on my own efforts. The gift of extending grace, being shown grace, and having grace bestowed on me cycles again and again, and as it does, I am filled.
 






Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A JoyFULLMommy is the Best Mommy

I was going to write about graceFULL today. But this morning I read this over at incourage. And this message from it kept going through my head all day. I even put it on my facebook.

Burn the "Perfect Mother List." Just do what gives you joy — a joyful mommy is the best mommy.

JoyFULL. 
"The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)." John 10:10 (AMP) 

What robs my life of joy?
Stressing out about macaroni and cheese thrown from booster seats. 
Getting frustrated about laundry that I forgot to move from the washer to the dryer.
Trying to hurry up everyone and everything all of the time.
Worrying about the bills, the needs, the wants.
Looking at the greener grass on the other side of the fence.

What fills my life with joy?
Being with my husband and kids and family and friends.
Understanding who I am in Christ and living in that freedom.
Learning to trust - people, God, myself.
Getting a few things checked off my to-do list, but realizing that "after all tomorrow is another day..." (cue Gone With the Wind theme here)

What brings me joy in my role as mommy?
playing, reading, sand singing with my kids
being around them almost all of the time
having a livable house rather than an impeccable one
doing a load of laundry daily rather than one long day of laundry
giving up new cars and vacations for the everyday moments

I think joy is more often a struggle for me than it should be. 

What does that say about me? My faith? My belief system?  Maybe the struggle with having a joyFULL life is once again due to the comparison trap - trying to do things in my life that bring other people joy (or at least seem to from the outside), but for one reason or another do not do that for me. 

I keep thinking of the puzzle pieces Bubby tries to sometimes fit in the wrong place. He can turn and push and ask for help all he wants, but until he puts the piece in the right slot, it just won't work.So it seems that the joyFULL life is understanding who you were called to be and going with it instead of trying to fit into somoene else's spot.
What do you think?



Monday, August 15, 2011

a prayer is authentic conversation

 And I wonder
when did I start making shopping lists
instead of impassioned pleas
impromptu praise
and most of all
authentic conversation?


(from the "I used to write poetry" post)


Authentic conversation.

I don't have a ton of lengthy conversations with most people these days.  I text my parents. Play phone tag with or send facebook messages to my best friends.  At this point in my life I find myself flopping into bed at night, reaching for my husband's hand, and one of us saying, "It's your turn to pray."
I think God understands that at some places in our journeys a prayerFULL life is whispering, "Help me not yell about the ink smeared all over the sofa."
A prayerFULL life is emailing a friend to say, "Please pray about a situation that has come my way."  A prayerFULL life is, "Thank You for the parking spot right next to the cart return."
Right now a prayerFULL life does not look as FULL of prayer as I would like, but He takes what I have and fills me more.



Sunday, August 14, 2011

MM 771-785

Sometimes things turn out differently than you expect. Sometimes you get to be pleasantly surprised. Those moments get you through the days that don't go the way you want. They help you persevere through the less than ideal times.  Because just when you say you don't want to hold out any hope, your hope gets restored just a little bit.
first time at the movies in a long time ~ movie that was pretty close to the book ~The Hubs vacuuming out the backseat of the car which probably had enough Cheerios and goldfish crumbs to make a new box of each ~ actions that speak louder than words ~ the way my baby boy will snuggle back to sleep on some of the mornings he wakes up an hour too early ~ computer/internet that is working a little better today ~ ideas for Bubby ~ pleasant billing people at the hospital ~ playing outside with my babies ~ reflecting on some great college memories thanks to Facebook ~ Bugaboo going to sleep on his own for naps and bedtime like a champ (and without cry-it-out so far!) ~ Fox in Socks becoming Bubby's new favorite ~ anticipating paying off one of our medical bills this week ~ "school" supplies for Bubs ie crayons, markers, paint, construction paper because I have an excuse to once again indulge in a little bit of the August rush


Thursday, August 11, 2011

put your money where your mouth is

Consider this a commercial break, or rather a public service announcement, from the full life series.

I get a little bummed about not seeing a movie in a theatre since 2010- January 2010.
I get a little worried about the state of the economy, both personal, national, and international.
But I have food and water and shelter and so much more. And there is a world that doesn't. Right now - this very moment.
http://www.compassion.com/africa-drought.htm

JoAnn and Emily both reminded me I have a responsibility. Plus, I've been reading James for a couple of weeks now (Kay-Arthur-inductive-Bible-study-method-style), but tonight I looked up a certain passage in The Message. It puts it right there in your face. Or at least mine.

"Dear friends, do you think you'll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags... and half-starved and say, "Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!" and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn't it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense." James 2:14-17

I believe the Church has a responsibility. I believe in small government because people should be moved to help others rather than coerced.  There's nothing worse than a "fiscally conservative Christian" who ignores the needs of the world around him/her.  So I better put my money where my mouth is from both my faith-based standpoints and my political ones, too.

a worshipFULL life propels us

"Just as worship begins in holy expectancy, it ends in holy obedience. If worship does not propel us into greater obedience, it has not been worship." Richard Foster

"In the end, worship can never be a performance, something you're pretending or putting on. It's got to be an overflow of your heart..... Worship is about getting personal with God, drawing close to God." Matt Redman

It's not about legalism, it's about having a life so full of gratitude for who God is and what He has done, that you must respond.  I don't think God cares how long my list of thanks is, how high I raise my hands, or how loud I sing if I don't do my best to treat people the way He wants them to be treated, to get out of my comfort zone, to let go of selfishness, to do the difficult things that I don't want to do... that is a worshipFULL life.

I don't have it all together.
I snap at people when I shouldn't, I get impatient in grocery store lines, I roll my eyes at things I overhear. But I'm learning.  I want to change.
And by His grace, as He fills me with more of Himself, the transformation begins.





Wednesday, August 10, 2011

worshipFULL

My two year old is completely unaware of the secular and the sacred. His children's Bible sits on the same shelf as Dr. Seuss and Sandra Boyton.  He says, "Amen!" as enthusiastically as "More please," and "Thank you." He sings I've Got The Joy, Joy, Joy and then in the next moment requests The Wheels on the Bus.
The sacred and the secular intertwine in a full life.  
Worship is not assigned to Sundays, Wednesdays, Bible studies or prayer meetings. A worshipFULL life  happens at first through habit, and then it gradually just becomes a part of who we are.
Our lives will overflow with worship as it becomes something we do without boundaries, guidelines, and hesitation.
 
"God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him" ~ John Piper



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

an invitation to be beautyFULL

What makes life beautyFULL?

Is it a new a swishy skirt or a bouquet of daisies on a kitchen table? A sunset at a lake?  A stack of old books on the bedside table or mantle adorned with pictures and mementos?

To me beauty is meaningful conversation, the way my two year-old kisses the top of his baby brother's head, the sound that resonates from my piano, how my husband quietly reads from the Word every morning while eating Honey Nut Cheerios, a random act of kindness.

Beauty is not perfection, it is sacrifice and commitment, thanksgiving and grace.

My favorite singer/song-writer explains beauty pretty well:

It comes in loving community
It comes in helping a soul find it's worth


It comes in small inspirations

It brings redemption to life and work
To our lives and our work


Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces
Calling out the best of who we are

And I want to add to the beauty

To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside

This is grace, an invitation to be beautiful

This is grace, an invitation


I want to add to the beauty
To tell a better story
I want to shine with the light
That's burning up inside


(~ Sara Groves, "Add to the Beauty")




Monday, August 8, 2011

MM 758-770

The full life series will resume again tomorrow.  Joining with Ann's community and giving thanks for the things that add to the fullness in my life.

dinner with friends for the first time since all of our babies were born~ Bubby requesting "Owie, Owie" (aka "Holy, Holy" aka "Revelation Song") ~ Bugaboo laughing in the backseat ~ first "paycheck" in a couple of years ~ acquaintance's mom's tumor downgraded from stage 2 to stage 0 by the power of prayer ~ The Hubs making French toast which Bubby gobbled down ~ a whole lot of tiny fingerprints on coffee table glass ~ seeing how well my little guy gets along with others ~  thunder in the wee hours of the morning ~ finally some rain ~ toothless grins ~ courage

Sunday, August 7, 2011

when life tries to empty you

I know this month my blog has a serious tone. It isn't always like that around here. There are usually funny stories of the boys, different blog hops I link up with, an occasional vent about something ridiculous.  So if you are here wondering when that stuff will be back, it will be eventually, but God knew before I did that I would need to focus on the concept of a full life this month.

This weekend had a couple of trying moments. Even amidst this focus on learning to live an intentionally full life, circumstances are attempting to empty me. The daily things like never-ending laundry combined with the unpleasantness of confronting situations that I'd rather avoid all take a toll.

"The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."John 10:10

I want a full life.  No, I NEED a full life. I was created for it.

The full life comes from the grace of God, as we make room for Him - as we see the beauty in what we have been given, even in the moments it feels like so much else is falling apart.  There is beauty in the act of trust, beauty in the sincerity of tears, beauty in the gut-wrenching prayers which state, "I can depend on no one else but You."

When life tries to empty me, I can let it, or I can find a way to be filled.



Friday, August 5, 2011

wonderFULL

This afternoon I had my colored pencils and notebook which contains my gratitude list out on the couch.  Bubby eyed these new items - not quite the familiar crayons or markers,  but similar.  He glanced my way with the most beautiful grin, and before I could finish my nod, he began drawing on my notebook.
 

For a brief moment of hesitation I wanted to keep my notebook free from scribbles, but what better addition to my list of blessings than to have captured on paper this moment of discovery for my two year old - this moment full of wonder.

I want to be full of wonder at sunsets and conversations over coffee, at giggles in the backseat and the way the bills get paid each month. A life full of thanks for the little things becomes a life full of wonder at the little things.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

thankFULL

Right up front I feel like I should let you all know that I didn't know which way to type this one - thankFULL or thanksFULL.  It didn't quite fit the pattern as easily as most of the others, and the perfectionist in me has to let. it. go.

I feel like it has to be first because a life without thanks is an empty life.

Thanksgiving does not come naturally to me. I long to be thankful, but complaining and comparing is much easier. I never even realized how much my negativity drained me until, after finding Ann Voskamp's blog, I started counting gifts on Mondays.  Then I read her book, and it changed my life.

My natural response is still inclined to the woe is me.  Even today I was cleaning up mac and cheese noodles, Cheerios, and peas from my kitchen floor thinking how humiliating it is that I with my master's degree am cleaning up after toddlers and babies. Halfway through my internal complaints, the thought hit me that the One I want most to be like came to serve, came in the most humble way, even though He was entitled to so much more - He was entitled to everything.  A few months ago, I would have continued in my pity-party, and my afternoon would have been robbed of contentment. But instead I remembered to fill my heart, my mind, my mouth with thanks, and the rest of my day was much fuller than I believe it otherwise would have been.

“We only enter into the full life if our faith gives thanks. Thanksgiving is the manifestation of our YES! to His grace. Thanksgiving is inherent to a true salvation experience; thanksgiving is necessary to live the well, whole, fullest life.” ~ Ann Voskamp

It is not always easy, but it is necessary.  To get the most out of life, to enjoy it to the fullest, every day, every moment, I must be noticing the gifts and thanking the Giver.  A life will never be full unless it is first thankful.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

full people fill others

Pondering what a full life looks like is somewhat abstract to me.  I need examples, real-life with skin-on examples.

Without hesitation, the first people that come to mind are a couple I have actually known since I was born.  They didn't live by us for long, but I visited with them at different times in my life. They are the most sincere, giving, fun, hospitable people I know. I spent my best Thanksgiving with them - a house full of their family and friends and anyone they could think of to invite. They exude life to the fullest.  Love and joy and peace run deep in them and in their children.

Two other couples old enough to be my parents are other examples I have in my life. Every week for the last three years they have poured their knowledge, their humor, their experiences into lives of twenty or so young parents/married people. I look at them and I see transparency - a gift that flows over into those of us just craving someone further ahead that has not done things perfectly, but has done things well.

It seems a cycle - we must be filled in order to be full, and I think we also need to be filling others in order to stay filled. Does that make sense? Is it even accurate?  "To whom much is given much is required."  We aren't given blessings - material, spiritual, or otherwise - to hoard and save them for a rainy day.  I don't believe our blessings will run out - they may look different each day, but they will not run out.

"The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah." 1 Kings 17:16.

How can I be used to bless someone else today?


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

simplicity as a part of the process

As I let go of the grip I have on everything, the imaginary friend named Control, I am emptied.  Doors closed, babies that came too early, house that we are still in because it would not sell - all of these circumstances among others have been used to loosen my fingers.

The self is continuously being poured out, both by choice and by circumstance.  In every way my life has been simplified, I have been made full rather than empty.


"Simplicity isn't about what you give up. It's about what you gain. When you remove the things that don't matter to you, you are free to focus on only the things that are meaningful to you." Tsh Oxenider

I want to wake up every day with a certain amount of focus, perspective, and flexibility. Those things can only happen through a simpler life. As I empty my life of the material, physical, spiritual, and emotional distractions and burdens, there is room for a full life.


Monday, August 1, 2011

becoming empty to be full

As I began writing today on this month long focus on a "full life," I discovered one of the posts that was a catalyst to all of this has somehow disappeared.  It was published two Five-Minute-Fridays ago, and now, mysteriously, it is gone.
There are few things I enjoy more than the written word, and I am a little heart-broken at this discovery.  Even so, the questions that started me on this specific journey shout to me in this moment.

"Who/what will fill you?"
"How will you know when you are full?"
"Where can you go when you are empty?"
"Why do you want to be filled - and with what?"
We fill our lives with so much - homes and gadgets and people and events - but when do we acquire enough?

Sometimes it seems my life does not have room for any more problems and questions, for any more obligations and dreams.  I just long to be emptied of myself, which is a frightening thing to want. Such a request often strips someone down to nothing. And the nakedness of having and being nothing makes one vulnerable and weak, but it also makes one ready and qualified.

This month I begin by asking to be made empty so that I may be made truly full. With fear mixed with hope and a little bit of  expectation I pray that I "may be filled with all the fullness of God."