Need

Need.  Jesus, I would prefer not to have any.  Yet, in Your infinite wisdom, You created me with many needs: (1) need for food, clothing, shelter at the basic survival level, (2) need for friendship, understanding, affirmation on the emotional level, (3) need for growth, adventure, fulfillment on the soul and spirit level…so many needs on so many levels.  This is Your good design, so rather than balk at my limitations, I embrace what You’ve given me — this gift of needing.  My prayer is that I would experience You as my Provider, that I would fall deeper in love with You as You meet each need with infinite wisdom, extravagant generosity and much loving attention to detail.  Amen.

The Mundane

I wonder what You think of the mundane, of the routines of life, Jesus.  I wonder if the mundane was created to keep us humble, faithful in the little things…or if the mundane is a result of our fall from glory.  Somehow, I think we were created for so much glory that we never experienced boredom.  But now, in this fallen state, our glory is hidden, often hidden in the mundane.

Some people adore routine.  Some people would rather die than live trapped in routine. Then there is everyone else within these two extremes.  I’m one who prefers variety, fresh ideas and experiences.  Yet, over the years, I’ve also come to relish the sameness of my morning routine, the joy of bringing order to things — my paperwork, finance, space…  It is a strange paradox that I love the novel and the routine, that these two loves co-exist in me. Regardless, I’m grateful to enjoy both, grateful for the many simple pleasures from Your good hand.  Thank you, Jesus.  Amen.

Potential

Eating an egg this morning, I asked God why He made eggs.  I felt like God said to me that He loves potential.  Even more, He loves potential fulfilled.  Each of us has so much potential packed into us, so many divine treasures.  We reach some of our potential here on earth, but I think it will take all eternity to unpack the treasures inside us.  Jesus, my prayer is that potential will not stay mere potential, but be fulfilled…not just for me, but for the ones You’ve put into my life.  amen.

Struggle

Struggle.  It can be glorious, heroic, inspiring.  But it can also be demoralizing, debilitating, emotionally draining.  Struggle can bring out the best, but can also reveal weakness, darkness.

I personally prefer a life of comfort and ease, devoid of struggle.  Yet my life seems to be one struggle after another.  Each struggle Your invitation to overcome, to greater glory, to deeper intimacy with You, Jesus.  Sometimes I step into Your invitation.  I face the struggle head on and draw near to You.  Sometimes I deal with pain in not such life giving ways.  My prayer is that I would struggle like You, Jesus.  My prayer is that I would embrace every struggle You call me to and bring heaven into another little part of earth as I draw near to You in the grappling.  Amen.

Smiling & Laughing

I love that You made us able to smile and laugh, Jesus.  I can’t think of any other created being who can break into a smile like humans.  I’m not sure if angels can smile, but I know animals cannot smile.  They can wag their tails. They can purr.  But I don’t know any animal that can smile and laugh like humans.

Smiles are like sunshine to my soul.  Your smile, Father, radiating from Your face gives me such an incredible sense of well being.  I love knowing that You are happy with me, pleased and proud of me.  I also love knowing that You have everything under control.  Seeing other people smile and hearing people laugh also warms my heart.  Finally, when I smile or laugh, I find that it makes me happier.  It’s like my emotions follow my smile.

I love the nuances of a smile: there’s the subtle smile, the goofy grin, the over-the-top-I’m-happy-to-be-alive smile.   There’s the polite laugh, the nervous giggle, the loud guffaw.  In all it’s shades, the smile and laugh are a great gift from heaven.  Thank you!  I want to hear Your laughter, feel Your smile, see the expressions on Your face today.  Amen.

To be astonished

Jesus, I want to have a heart that is astonished by who You are, captivated by Your multifaceted wisdom, fully alive to appreciate You.  I want to see miracles in the mundane, to be delighted in the treasures of every day life that are missed when my heart is dull.  I want to wonder as I look at the sunrise, the sunset and the normal daylight that shifts throughout the day.  I want to feel a jolt of excitement when I see a puppy or a child happy to be alive. I want to believe that You are One who does miracles even in the delayed answers to prayers. I do not want to pull back in believing to keep my heart from hurting…and when You answer these prayers and I finally see heaven in hellish places, I want to celebrate and keep celebrating into eternity.  This is my prayer.  Amen.

Friendship = Sharing

I love that You share Your Spirit with me, Jesus.  What deeper more intimate thing could You share with me than Your Spirit?  I love breathing deeply, knowing that You are the very center of my being.  I love closing my eyes and quieting my heart, turning inward where You live and listening to You.  In a world where people hold back their heart, thoughts, treasures, You give.  You give everything — Your body, heart, reputation, comfort, glory…Your very Spirit.  Thank you.

Friendship – Seeing Well

I feel like friendship is about seeing another well.  When our strengths are seen clearly and celebrated, we flourish.  When our weaknesses are seen and accepted, we feel treasured. Even when a weakness is being lovingly exposed, if we feel truly seen and loved, the negative feedback is a gift.  We know we are being invited to step more fully into who we are created to be.  When our emotions are seen and understood, especially really dark emotions, we are healed of trying to hide and segment ourselves into separate parts.

It hurts to be misunderstood.  It hurts to hide parts of the real self for fear of rejection.  It hurts when people do not see, remember or acknowledge us.  Yet in friendship, we can be healed by the gaze of a friend who sees us for who we are and champions us.

Jesus, thank you for seeing me well.  Show me how You see me so that I fall deeper in love with You and me.  Help me be a friend who sees well.  Help me see You well.  Help me see others well.  Let Your kingdom of love expand by my seeing well.  Amen.

Friendship (2)

Friendship is a gift and a mystery.  Sometimes it lasts for a season.  Sometimes it spans a lifetime, weathering many changing seasons.  Some are fragile, destroyed by an imagined offense, while others survive the successes and tragedies of life.  I marvel at friendships and all that needs to be in place for a friendship to begin, grow and flourish.  I relish the magic when a friendship flourishes.  It is one of the deepest pleasures of life to be lost in conversation, exchanging ideas, joys and sorrows.  Friends give strength to face tremendous challenges and comfort in loss.  Friends also make our wins a joy as they celebrate with us.  It is a rare gift to have someone who is safe and listens well, who openly shares who they are and who rallies behind you.  Volumes can be written about the intricacies of friendships, but I’m grateful that You created them.  Thank you, Jesus.

Friendship

Jesus, I’m grateful that You’ve created friendship.  You could have created a world devoid of friendship, but it says a lot that You created me with the capacity for deep friendship. Friendship makes life colorful and worth living.  Thank You that at the core of everything is friendship.

I love that You are willing to share everything in Your heart with me.  You are willing to be transparent.  I love that You are willing to sacrifice Yourself for me.  You gave Your life in a very painful and degrading way.  I love that You share in my joys and my sorrow.  You don’t become envious when I am doing well, but You’re truly happy for me and celebrate my successes.  Nor are you a fair weather friend who leaves me when my life is not much to celebrate.  In fact, You move closer to comfort me when my heart is broken.  You rally all around me when I need the support.  I’m grateful because You do not use me for Your benefit, but You serve me and lay Your life down for me and give and give and give.  Thank you.  I treasure Your friendship.