Live FREE!

“So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”

John 8:36 (MSG)

“Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.”

Galatians 5:1 (MSG)

Live FREE.

As we come to the end of the first quarter of 2018, it can be tempting to fall back into the same traps that slowed our progress in past years. I have become vigilant in identifying and rejecting the broken cycles of fear and doubt that once held me captive, threatening to ensnare me once again.

Walking out our journey to lighter living, means being intentional about maintaining our freedom. We may not be able to control everything that happens to us in life, but we have been given the power to respond to life in a way that maintains our freedom.

Today, refuse to be entangled in situations, conversations, relationships, commitments, habits, or thought patterns that draw you away from God, and lead you back into bondage.

Rejoice in the freedom we have received, paid for with Christ’s sacrifice on an old rugged cross, and released to us by His resurrection from the grave.

Let God’s reckless love overtake you today, and live lighter!

This is for the Great Pretenders…

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“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.””

1 Samuel 16:7

We all know it’s not real until it’s on social media – or at least that’s what our technology-driven society would want us to believe anyway.

We post beautifully scripted captions and posed snapshots of our lives – using lighting, angles, cropping, and our beloved filters to gloss over and smooth out the rough edges that disrupt perfection. We allow the world to see what we want them to see – and hope that they can see nothing more.

Yet, we’ve all seen a photo or two posted, where the person didn’t realize that we could see the “hidden” imperfection reflected in a mirror or nearby window. Tell the truth – those photos are hilarious! Or there is the beautifully crafted caption, only to have someone who knows the person in real life, blow the whole thing by making a comment that completely discredits everything that was written before. Awk-ward.

If only there was a filter for real life, right?

Unfortunately, so many of us treat our lives as if we can merely pick an outfit, put on some makeup (slaying that highlight and those brows), snap a pic and throw a filter on it to make everything wrong appear right. We become so accustomed to dressing up our shortcomings and shame, that when life eventually rips off the Bandaid, we are traumatized all over again by the sight of our unhealed wounds. 

What if, instead of taking falsified “bestie pics”, we took the time to work on and maintain healthy friendships?

What if, rather than pretending to have an excellent relationship with our Bible and vibrant prayer life (courtesy of our lovely study Bible and journal photos), we actually spent private time with God, letting out an ugly cry or two when needed?

As we continue our pursuit of a life lived lighter, it’s high time we drop the weight of our carefully crafted and curated facades – our decorative but fragile walls we have put up to keep others from discovering our “truth”. We might be able to fool people who don’t know us, but we aren’t fooling anyone that matters. We aren’t fooling ourselves, and we certainly aren’t pulling a fast one on God.

What good is it having a perfectly styled, toned, and contoured outer appearance, while on the inside, we are depressed, discouraged or feel like we’re dying? Be free from the pressure to play pretend. Get real with God, get real with the people who care and keep you accountable, and get real with yourself.

We will have so much more to offer the world when authenticity becomes more important than popularity, and building a firm foundation becomes more important than wearing it.

Just Be Still

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him…”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭37:7‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Yesterday I talked about not holding our breath. Yet today I feel as though my breath has been taken away – courtesy of a painful case of bronchitis.

I’ve been so out of breath, the best I could do is lay in bed propped up against my most comfortable pillows. As I wait for my medicine to get to work and alleviate the discomfort, I found myself feeling guilty for not doing all the things I had planned for today and the next few days. I sent email after email, asking for my pending absences from my weekend activities to be excused, and just as I started beating myself up mentally, I was reminded of my topic for the day: “Just Be Still.”

I realized that physically, the more I moved around, the worse the discomfort in my lungs became. Breathless and tired, I got a clear picture of the reason rest was at the top of my care plan.

For me to breathe normally again would require a break from my normal pattern of activity. As it is in the natural, so it is in the spiritual – sometimes regaining our momentum will require us to hit pause, and just be still.