My One Word Resolution

track

Thanks to the inspiration from MyOneWord.org, I’m losing the long list of resolutions this year and choosing just one word as a theme for the year.

D I S C I P L I N E

It’s the word that keeps coming to my mind, even though it’s not a popular one.

To take it a little deeper, I desire more discipline in…

speaking less and listening more

cultivating deeper relationships

relying less on caffeine

journaling about everyday life

affirming and uplifting my husband

not comparing myself to others

knowing Scripture

sitting on the floor with my children

wisely/intentionally stewarding the gifts and resources God has entrusted to me

putting letters in the mail

my personal time with Jesus

realistically working off baby weight

sharing stories of God’s love and grace

joyfully serving my husband and children

consuming less and creating more

giving my anxiety struggles to the Lord

controlling my emotions

being bold in sharing my faith

laughing more and stressing less

… and more as I continue to reflect on the theme of discipline in 2014.

Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize. So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified. – the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 9:24-27

Have you made any resolutions or considered choosing one word you’d like to focus on?

A love story & lemonade

lemonade1Yesterday I went for a run around White Rock Lake and in the distance I noticed a little boy selling lemonade on the side of the running path. I felt a nudge to talk to him and share something really important that my pastor reminded me of that morning in church.

I stopped and first asked him if the lemonade was free. He said it was $.50 and that it was for a raffle at his school. I told him I didn’t have any change on me. After we talked about his school a little, I asked:

“Do you mind if I tell you something?”

His brown eyes got big and he was focused.

“No,” he replied.

“Have you ever thought about how much God loves you?”

“Yeah.”

“What do you know about Him?”

“Um… They nailed him to a cross. He didn’t like that. It was very bad… And um… the people didn’t like him because he said he was the son of God and stuff.”

“You’re exactly right. Where did you learn that?” I asked.

“At my school,” he replied.

He told me he was 9 years old. His name was Kyle and he wanted to be an architect when he grew up. I told him when I was not too many years younger than him that I accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was 6. I tried to explain to him that growing in a relationship with God takes time and when he gets older that he will understand even more. I explained that Jesus died for him and died for his sins (the bad things he does) so that he can have a full life.

He didn’t say anything after that. I could have been way over his head or he was just listening.

I sensed our little conversation coming to a close. I said it was nice to meet him and continued on my run.

Kyle was the cutest kid ever and he taught me something about faith.

The gospel is simple that even a 9 year old could grasp it.

Yet in its simplicity it is so incredibly profound. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose again, but that fact can’t just stay there. The question is whether I will act on that truth by following him and surrendering all that I am to him because of what He’s done for me.

The love he showed on the cross might seem simple, but it wasn’t. It was “very bad” like Kyle said, in all of its forms. It was evil. All the sins of the world… he bore them. It was his blood shed on the cross that has set us free from our sins.

It’s just so amazing that Someone could love me this much. And even crazier that God sent his son to prove his love for all of us. He has given us this awesome gift of undeserved GRACE and He’s inviting all of us in to accept it. If anything in this world could lead me away from my sin (in repentance) and closer to him, it is because of his kindness and undying love.

My prayer for Kyle is that one day he will become an architect who knows the fullness of God’s love and that he will love him in return.

Running for Sunrise

Part of the White Rock Trail

Part of the White Rock Trail

On Sunday morning, John was up and ready at 4:30 AM so I decided to do my long run of 7 miles for the day. I started at 5:00AM. Since it was still dark out, Jeremiah followed close behind me in our SUV. Running that early just isn’t fun to me. Everything is closed. No one is around. And I longed for sunlight.

No matter how far I run, I always run on Swiss Avenue, a well-known street in Dallas lined with historic mansions. I pictured everyone snug in their beds. Past Swiss Avenue, I jogged on the sidewalks of Lakewood, a charming area where my final destination would be. On the left in the distance, I saw a few workers at Whole Foods getting their day started. I smelled doughnuts from a local shop, reminding me of my intense hunger pains. Past the neighborhoods, I reached White Rock Lake where I had around 3 miles left.

At last, the sun  pierced through the clouds- bursts of bright pink and orange. Fishermen were out for their morning catch. Cyclers, walkers, and runners breezed by- sweaty and short of breath just like me. The light I had longed to see had finally arrived and it was beautiful. It gave me a new burst of energy to finish what I’d started.

There are days where I sense darkness, that I’m in a valley and I just long to be with Jesus and to be at home in heaven. This is not at all to say I don’t love life. I absolutely do. God has given me fullness of joy in His presence. I love my husband, my son, family, and friends. I’m overwhelmed all the time by God’s grace and goodness in my life. And it’s depressing to think about dying one day. But I still have days where my heart longs for my eternal home in heaven- where I’ll be healed from the brokenness of sin within me and restored to God’s perfect image.

At the end of 7 miles and wanting to eat a dozen doughnuts, I was encouraged that in Christ, there is no darkness at all. He is the light and gives light to everything. He alone is what our hearts are chasing after.

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