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The Only Thing That Counts

February 13, 2013

My daughter, Hope, is one of those people who knows how to dress.

She’ll put on a blue and white striped shirt, throw an army jacket on top, black stretch pants on the bottom, finish the look with some little brown ankle boots and look like a fashionista.

I get all stuck in a garanimals state of mind. Did you ever wear garanimals? It seriously scarred me for life. And made me resistant to the delight of the unexpected.

Matchy matchy became the curse of my closet.


Hope set me straight one day. “Mom, your outfits need a little pop!”


She started whipping my outfits together in a way I’d never dream.

An orange necklace with an outfit that had not a stitch of orange.


Leopard flats with a dark blue shirt, teal necklace, and black skinny jeans.


A grey and white striped shirt with a patterned black and white scarf brought together with a bright red jacket.

Are you sure?

She was more than sure. With great confidence she introduced me to the world of adding a pop- a little something unexpected. A new way of expressing myself. And it has been delightful.

So, I started thinking, what if I did this with other areas of my life? Other places where I’ve slipped into the “same old, same old” ruts.

Might the delight of the unexpected make other aspects of my life more fun?

Galatians 5:6b says, “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Might this be an invitation to discover another new way to express myself? Express my faith? Through unexpected acts of love?

Yes. I think so.

So, I did a little experiment. I started reading Bible verses by adding on a little question/challenge to myself at the end: “…. So that I can love who?”

For example, Romans 12:2, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” … so that I can love who?

There is someone in my life who needs my love but I’ll only be able to do it if I let God change my mindset. I need to add this little pop- this new expression of my faith through love.

Philippians 4:19, “God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” … so that I can love who?

There is someone in my life who needs something that I think I can’t give. But I can give when I realize God is supplying me in abundance. He is the supplier. I just have to open my hand and channel some of my blessing in this person’s direction. I need to add this little pop- this new expression of my faith through love.

Why not try this yourself? No, not the leopard flats and teal necklace… although that is quite the charming combination. But rather adding the question, “so that I can love who?” to the end of the verses you read this week.

It will certainly give you a new way to express your faith. A way that God says is the only thing that counts.

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  1. Heather

    Sometimes the answer to that question is ME. To love myself as Christ loves me. That is what God is showing me in this season. Thank you, Lysa!

  2. Charlene

    Great thoughts – thanks for reminding us that our time in God’s word should lead us to share His love with those He places in our lives!

  3. Esther

    A very important reminder that the whole Bible, not just tidbits here and there is about love. Yes Jesus breaks it down for us in the end, but it would be nice to think that we could move beyond that elementary understanding and begin to really see the kind of love that awaits us when we are just willing to dish it out!

  4. Carrie

    I love this. Thank you for this reminder. I am so matchy, matchy with everything. Thank you for showing me how to apply this in other areas.

  5. Sandy

    Thanks! I needed that! and I know just what God would have me to do to show that little “pop” of love for that person who needs some extra love today. 🙂

    (Oh….and I have a daughter like that too… where she got her fashion sense, I will never know!)

  6. Hope @ The Flourishing Tree

    Love this idea of adding “pop” and a question of “so I can love who” at the end of Bible verses. Thanks also for sharing the picture of your lovely Hope!

  7. Julie

    I love this! I love this all the way around! Thank you so much for sharing. I don’t always have time to comment, but I am here reading and you make such a difference in the way I think. Thank you!

  8. Holly

    Thank you Lysa! What a great way to start my day.

  9. Phyllis

    Great idea, Lysa!! And would you mind if I borrow Hope for a day? 😉

  10. Cathie Calvetti

    I have been asking The Lord the same question and He has given me a fun little task. Making little art projects and giving them away. Often to total strangers. It is so much fun! We can never out give God. Especially when we do it in love!

  11. Amy

    Oh how your post was just what I needed today. Who do I need to love that is so difficult to love? My mother. When you have an 83 year old mother that has been mentally ill all my 47 years of life, maintaining a relationship with her is draining. Draining emotionally and then physically. I DO NOT have it within me to love her. My own mother! The guilt and shame that I have such a difficult time loving her is weighty. Round and Round spinning in my brain is Honor your Mother and Father. How can I have a the Christian witness I so desire if I don’t feel love for my own mother. What kind of heritage am I giving my girls when I don’t have one to learn from? How do you break the cycle so it stops with this generation? I know the answer. GOD! Living it out is what Lysa you say in your book “Unglued” as “Imperfect Progress”. I am still working on it. In prayer and deed. Thank you for sharing yourself with us. It helps put a new perspective or “pop” in how we can look at things.

  12. Laurie Fletes

    Thank you for giving me the Word for today! I needed those exact verses to quiet my extreme anxiety over some medical claims that the insurance agency is completely unfairly denying. I need to renew my mind, focus on what counts, and trust Him to supply my needs!

  13. Betty Petrie

    Never thought of adding a question at the end of my Bible verse! Thanks

  14. Erika

    What a great idea – thank you! And your daughter Hope looks. exactly. like. you. 🙂

  15. Debbie Fultner

    What a good reminder that because God loves us, we are to love others. In this world of chaos and confusion, love of o

  16. Ashley Rigdon

    I am so going to do this from now on!! Thank you so much for your daily wisdom and encouraging words. I look forward to hearing you speak next month at The Avenue church in Waxahachie and then in the fall at WOF. I have a prayer request. My husband Nick had an interview this morning for a coaching job at a school that he would love to coach and teach at. Please pray for him.Thank You!

  17. Debra

    Awesome, amazing, wonderful!!! Garanimals…definitely have had that same fear in my closet for years!!! So that…love that phrase…I can love, encourage, serve…who?? I’m going to do it with some POP! Thank you, Lysa!!

  18. nancy

    Thank you Lysa for this wonderful ideal. I have been praying for the Lord to soften the heart of someone to love me but the Lord is telling me that my heart needs to soften and forgive and to love them with my whole heart. Please pray that I may fully forgive and love the way the Lord loves me.

  19. Luz Ramos

    Several mornings ago The Lord place in my heart to send morning txt to 5 beautiful sister of church we immediately began a txt conversation which lead to one of us share a deep area of concern in her household we immediately began a prayer chain and giving her words of encouragement. We’ve had several txt of uplifting chat we made us realize We definatly need to show love to others and be there for one another I am very glad God showed me how to show faith through love for my beautiful sister.

  20. Diane W. Bailey

    Wow, Lysa…you know…that is really profound! “so you can love who”? That right there, is some tough meat…and I need to chew on it! Good Job, Lysa.

  21. Marcie Joy Brown

    I love this Lysa!

    I will definitely try this in my next devotional time with the Lord.

    And frankly, I needed a little “Pop” today, so thanks…

  22. denise

    Are you kidding? I wish they had Garanimals for adults, I need them. I never know what goes with what and I have no daughters to help me. I would love to see the elemphant top that can mix and match with other elephant bottoms. I laughed when you wrote about Garanimals, I am always talking about them..ha ha.
    Great inspiration, especially for the first day of Lent, I will be pondering this until Easter.

  23. Melanie Dorsey

    I really like where you went here. Very doable when you have the empowerment of the Holy Spirit in it!
    On another note ~
    Our women’s group just concluded our study of Made To Crave. Last night we had a final large group discussion and it was great! Your hard work has been a blessing to many. Thank you. Our facilitator prayed specifically for you to be blessed and refreshed as your words in MTC blessed and refreshed us.
    ‘Just wanted to let you know.

  24. Beja

    This spoke right to my glitter heart! LOVE this!

  25. Debra

    Happy Valentines Day Lysa. Have a wonderful Day!

  26. Sue

    Hi Lysa, I know that this dedication in your book for was for me. I have asked God in the last 6 months to help me to Crave Him more than food. I never had trouble as a little girl and even a young women. But I’ve noticed that as I’ve been getting older it been difficult for me to keep my weight off. I just got your book yesterday and I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but I look forward to starthing it so that I can get back on track. Thank you so much for writing the book. Happy Valentine’s Day and may God bless you in through your ministry. Sue

  27. Beth Smith

    You are so clever. What a great thought!!

  28. Glenna S. Edwards

    I adore this post!
    1) I can always use some fashion help and 2) I like the idea of asking more often how wisdom from God’s Word can help me know who I can better show love; true love ~ God’s love.
    P.S. I shared your post for the Misters about Valentine’s Day to my husband. He took your words to heart and flowers showed up the Tuesday before Valentine’s Day! I was delighted and surprised. Thank you for your part in that little miracle. 😉

  29. Jody Jordan

    I too have a “Hope” daughter. No idea where she gets her fashion sense, but I love it. I used to always be matchy and I remember Garanimals! But she has her own sense of style and she always gets compliments from her friends, so I let her go with it. Thanks for sharing this story!

  30. LaTara

    Oh that’s good! I need a little pop too in both areas. Lysa you are a blessed woman of God with much wisdom. Love reading your blogs. Thanks for sharing! O:-)

  31. Marissa

    I would love to do something special like this for someone very dear to me. I think we all need daily reminders of God’s love for us. When truth is spoken in our life we can move mountains.

    God Bless You!

  32. Debi

    What a great idea. I could sure use the encouragement right now…some extreme family issues going on. I would love to also make one of these for my daughter but right now I feel so lost I wouldn’t even know the verses to use.:(

  33. Audrey VerMeer

    My friend Ruthann Van Vark would love this!

  34. Cheryl Albury

    Would love to win your scripture box, going through some rough times right now…Keep reminding myself God is in control, praying for guidance, just feel so much in the desert right now.

  35. Norma Keyser

    I love this idea of a box with scripture, if I do not win one, I am making one, for myslef and for my sisters

  36. Allison Frost

    I would love to give this to my daugher who is 11. As she is entering the tween years I have seen her previously simple life become more complicated. This box with scriptures would make a wonderful gift for her!

  37. Tiffany Newcomb

    Loved the personalized scripture box! Such a great idea. I am already thinking about all those I would like to give it to as a gift. Lysa, I have also been enjoying your devotionals. They are very inspiring. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  38. Brenda Hoehne

    I have a good friend,Sandy that I love to go to bible study with & some times she can’t attend due to work but I loved the idea of the box so she can know we think about her when she can’t be with us!

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