12.31.2015

You Are (Un)Invited

The party sounded amazing. The people I’d heard were going are easy to be with, incredibly fun, and all have mad skills in the kitchen. And when I saw the invitation posted on a friend’s refrigerator I smiled at the creative brilliance.

The only problem was I didn’t get one.

I’d been checking my mailbox for days.

Every time I walked back down the driveway empty handed, I kept assuring my sinking heart that because we live in the country my mail is always a day or two or even seven days behind everyone else’s. No big deal.

But three days before the party when the invite still hadn’t arrived I ran out of assurance. I lost the pep in my rally. And I realized I was, in fact, not on the guest list.

When I ran into one of the hostesses later that day I lobbed out the equivalent of a Hail Mary throw in the final seconds of a game, “What do y’all have going on this weekend?” And then I felt as pitiful as the quarterback who watches the opposing team take what would have been his shining star moment and turn it into an interception.

She replied, “We’ve got plans with friends most of the weekend but would love to catch up with y’all on Sunday after church.”

And that’s when the hardest of all the realizations hit me.

We weren’t invited because they simply hadn’t thought to invite us. We weren’t in the circle of “weekend plans with friends.” Immediately the thought that hopped on me and stuck with super glue tenacity was “I’m not good enough.”

Read more from my post over at (in)courage today by clicking here.

6.9.2015

When I Want to Be Mean

I looked at the text message in complete disbelief. Why couldn’t this person see how insensitive and hurtful she was being?

I don’t know who made up the saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” Either they had nerves of steel, or they lived on a deserted island with no other people. Because not only do words hurt me but they make me want to fight back and be mean, too.

Have you ever had a little situation with someone where you just knew you were right and they were wrong? Or at least you could make a really good case for your side of things?

Oh how I have this burning need to state my case in these kinds of situations. It’s like an inner attorney rises up desperate to defend my rights and get the other person to see things my way. This is pretty normal, right?

Yes. But normal doesn’t always mean good. Especially in light of Colossians 2:6-7, “So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

I should live rooted in Jesus’ teaching and overflow with thankfulness. The opposite of this is when I’m rooted in self-centered opinions and overflowing with grumbling. I need to let God show me how to see things from this other person’s side and gain a different perspective. In doing so, I will be strengthened and taught.

Colossians 3:12-14 reminds me, “… as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity” (NIV).

My job isn’t to fix this person or make them see my side of things. My job is to obey God by offering an extension of the forgiveness I’ve been given. But I can also stay healthy in this situation by remembering forgiveness doesn’t mean giving this person access in my life that sets me up for destructive patterns.

Finally, Colossians 3:17 reminds me, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (NIV).

Everything I do and say tells a story of whom I serve. If I act out of anger and spite, I give in to the ways of the enemy, spreading his darkness. If I honor the Lord with my actions, I serve to further the Name of Jesus and spread His light.

At the end of the day, honoring God leads to good things. Anything else leads to confusion, emotional exhaustion and a lack of good things.

I processed the text message mentioned above with my husband. He said something that brought much clarity. “Lysa, you know when you’ve taken the high road, God blesses you. You’ve seen these blessings over and over as you’ve made choices that honor God. So choose a blessing today and save yourself the emotional turmoil of trying to prove you’re right.”

He’s a smart man.

I know this isn’t easy stuff. I’m having to live it in the midst of feeling hurt. But I’m also feeling more at peace being able to see another perspective — a healthier perspective — a Biblical perspective. And I’m really excited about the blessings that are surely coming my way.

Dear Lord, You know the hurtful words and actions that have come my way. Please give me Your strength to not retaliate, but instead to react based on Your Truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

unglued_cover Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control with my book Unglued. You can get your copy here.

Today I’m giving away 5 copies of Unglued! Leave a comment below telling me one way you’ll choose to take the high road this week.

2.27.2015

Never doubt the power of speaking words of life into another…

There is a little piece of nylon rope attached around my wrist that boosts my heart on a daily basis.

Bob Goff put it there last June. He burned the ends together creating an astoundingly strong bond. “You belong,” he whispered.

And something deep in my heart settled.

If you’ve been visiting the blog for a while, you know my story. But for those of you who haven’t heard me share a bit about my growing up years, parts of my story are hard. Really hard.

I was the little girl very much unwanted by the dad who gave me life.

He doesn’t talk to me to this day. And while healing has been doing its thing in deep places within me, I still have moments where this whole deal reeks. Like cigarette smoke that suddenly swirls past me in a restaurant.

I don’t like it. It stinks. I didn’t ask for this. I am frustrated that I can’t block it from coming in my direction. And sometimes it even sticks to me for a while with an annoying lingering that’s hard to get rid of.

That’s a bum deal, right?

So Bob, this dude with a crazy sense of breathless wonder oozing with the sincerest Jesus love I’ve ever seen, crosses my path and stops to see me. Really see me.

He prioritizes me for a few moments above all else to whisper words of life into the very part of my soul that needed it the most. The part that never heard those words from my dad. The part that sometimes still wishes for something that a broken dad can’t give.

And Bob places this bracelet of belonging on my wrist for me to see daily. Jesus has done so many things to rewrite the truth of my identity… and this is certainly one of the sweetest.

Never doubt the power of speaking words of life into another.

speakingwordsoflife

Hit the pause button on all of the projects that are screaming at you from your to-do list today and speak life into another person. It doesn’t have to be complicated or well-crafted. Simple words of encouragement are simply powerful.

We need to make sure it’s people, not projects, that occupy the sacred places of our hearts. And to help us do just that we’ve created this beautiful printable set that reminds us to prioritize relationships in the midst of our to-do lists.

POP_ForSale-01

For a limited time, we’re making these People Over Projects Printable Sets available for only $1.99. Think of it as a fun, relationship to-do list – things you can do to invest wisely and deeply into people who need your encouragement.

Get your printable set here.