Monthly Archives: May 2012

Don’t Waste Your Precious Life

Image

This is Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a Christian during WWII who was hanged at a concentration camp at the age of 39 (in 1945, Flossenburg, Germany) for participating in the Protestant movement against the Nazi’s. His book The Cost of Discipleship along with John Piper’s Don’t waste your life  were two books I tried to read in college, both of which were richly lost on my overfilled and distracted young mind.

I’m working my way through Piper’s Don’t waste your life and it’s challenging me in radical ways. Just want to share 3 ideas from the book this morning. the first is where the title of the book came from:

For me as a boy, one of the most gripping illustrations my fiery father used was the story of a man converted in old age. The church had prayed for this man for decades. He was hard and resistant. But this time, for some reason, he showed up when my father was preaching. At the end of the service, during a hymn, to everyone’s amazement he came down and took my father’s hand. They sat down together on the front pew of the church as the people were dismissed. God opened his heart to the Gospel of Christ, and he was saved from his sins and given eternal life. But that did not stop him from sobbing and saying, as the tears ran down his wrinkled face-and what an impact it made on me to hear my father say this through his own tears-“I’ve wasted it! I’ve wasted it!” 

Just as Piper’s response was one of fear and horror to think of coming to the end of his life having wasted it, Kevin and I have talked a lot about having a life that is worth something (so that we don’t come to the end of it feeling as though we wasted our precious days and weeks and years.) What does that mean? What does that look like? How can we NOT be stagnant in our faith?? I SO DO NOT WANT TO BE WASTED!! Our lives are but a mist. (James 4:14,”Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” So I’m reading this book, and this time around, it’s speaking to and feeding my hungry soul. 

Part 2 that has deeply affected me this morning-Section entitled The Christ-Exalting Paradoxes of Life

A life devoted to making much of Christ is costly. And the cost is both a consequence and a means of making much of him. If we do not embrace the path of joy-laden, painful love, we will waste our lives. If we do not learn with Paul the Christ-exalting paradoxes of life, we will squander our days pursuing bubbles that burst. He lived “As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.” (2 Cor 6:10) The Calvary road is costly and painful, but it is not joyless.”

Love that. Are you pursuing bubbles that burst? I can’t tell you how much my perspective has been starting to shift. It’s wonderful. 

3rd quote from this book that you need to hear, “Can work and leisure and relationships and eating and lovemaking and ministry all really flow from a single passion? Is there something deep enough and big enough and strong enough to hold all that together? Can sex and cars and work and war and changing diapers and doing taxes really have a God-exalting, soul-satisfying unity? Now (referring to after this chapter) we see that every experience in life is designed to magnify the cross of Christ. Or to say it another way, every good thing in life (or bad thing graciously turned for good) is meant to magnify Christ and him crucified.” 

“You want to be inspired? Please read this book. We only get one life. You may not get your “someday”. What will you do with your today? 

Advertisements

Found a sweet poem in my book today. it’s called “clothesline”

Image

you

us

them

those people

wouldn’t it be lovely

if one coule

live

in a constant state

of we?

some of the most 

commonplace

words

can be some of the biggest dividers

they

what if there was

no they? 

what if there 

was only 

us?

if words could be seen

as they floated out

of our mouths

would we feel no

shame 

as they passed beyond 

our lips?

if we were to string

our words 

on a commmunal clothesline

would we feel proud 

as our thoughts 

flapped in the

breeze?

-Marilyn Maciel

Sweet Spot

Image

There have been so many hard times in the last 2.5 years for us. So many losses and heartbreaks, in a deep intimate way. Hurts that shook my foundation and belief system. Hurts that gave me reasons to cry in the shower, cry out to God, and just cry. 

Obviously, those 2.5 years weren’t LADEN with only bad. There were good things too, like friends getting married and having babies. Like getting our wonderful house and making it into a home. Like getting our sweet puppy dog and seeing some really beautiful places in Europe with my love.

But I am just excited to say that I feel like I am in a sweet spot of life, and I don’t want to miss it. Sweet cuddles. Sweet family. Sweet Summer is here….SUNSHINE, cookouts with friends, farmers markets and iced coffees. Sweet baby sounds and smells. Sweet baby that I get excited EVERY MORNING to get our of his crib 🙂 Sweet husband that I’m so thankful to fall asleep next to every night. 

I recently found the final paper that I wrote at the end of my Theology degree at St. Ambrose, and it was on the Covenant relationship of marriage. Words can’t explain or express the joy and fulfillment that a true covenantal marriage brings, and I feel like God has graciously given us a marriage built on a covenant promise. Highs and lows in the last almost 4 years of marriage have brought us closer than I ever thought a human relationship possible. (OBV, we are not even close to perfect, but we are learning and it’s so freaking fun.) Forgiveness is present, and we give it generously. I love my husband. (And the Mother’s day card he gave me last Sunday…geez, talk about making a woman choke up.) 

My little sis recently moved in with us for an internship in the QCA this summer, and she is generously and happily spending lots of time little Coleton, which provides us not only date nights but helps me feel like our family is getting to know the joy that this amazing baby brings. 🙂 I’m excited to get closer to her over the summer. 

Life is good, and I hope even in the midst of hurts you can find some serious sweetness this summer. Don’t miss out on the sweet spots in your life. 

Image