To be a photographer, one must photograph. No amount of book learning, no checklist of seminars attended, can substitute for the simple act of making pictures. Experience is the best teacher of all. And for that, there is no guarantee that one will become an artist. Only the journey matters.
One true word: possessions.
Stuff is so overwhelming. We have too much of it. We don’t NEED 99% of it. And boy, we just keep going back and getting more, don’t we?
I remember when my kids where babies and every trip to target included $100 in purchases. Ugh.
As believers, how do we navigate the sea of stuff? It’s constantly in our faces and being shown to us by media, the Internet, and even by our close friends and neighbors. “Be like me! Get more stuff!” The world shouts at us!
I’m in a process of having less stuff. Over half of my clothing is sitting on a table in my garage. For sale. Almost all the books I’ve been hoarding and keeping for 20+ years are for sale. Over half of my “crafting” stuff is out here. All luxury unneeded unnecessary things that I just buy.
Everything in me is in flux and change right now and I’m so glad. God is flushing it all out. Helping me get rid of stuff. Both inside me and outside of me.
The important things in life are the people around me. The word inside me. The light that shines through me. The intentional good I’m putting out into this world. The kids I’m raising. My marriage. Being a generous, responsible steward of what god has blessed me with. Letting go of the unforgiveness inside of me. These are the things that matter.
Not all this “stuff.”
Acts 20:35 “it is more blessed to give than receive.”
Clean out the stuff that’s hindering you from the life you were meant to live. Do it now! Make a tangible list of three small steps you can take today to get rid of something. My favorite author, Bob Goff, calls it “quit something Thursday.” I promise you, you will feel 2 million times lighter and better. Go. Do.
Philippians 3:12, “I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.” NIV
Hebrews 12:1-2 “Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us RUN with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us FIX our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” NIV
but oh, listen to how Eugene Peterson paraphrases is for us in the Message, “It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls!”
Golly, God has got ahold of my heart today… and I think it’s because yesterday I was completely broken. Like for real. Like had to seek medical help. Like needed an intervention of the harshest sorts.
And you know what? He provided it. I don’t know why or how he knows exactly what I need to hear when I need to hear it… but he does. I heard and I’m listening.
Friends, I have been holding onto anger, bitterness, rage… ugh. I’m exhausted! Holding onto these things is life-sucking and overwhelming, and just plain depressing. LET GO.
Today I wrote down all the things that I need to forgive. All the pain, all the anger, all the bitterness. OUT of me and onto paper. THEN, I burned it.
Now, I’m sure I will get hurt again. I am sure I will need to forgive again. But, boy I am a new soul by letting that out of me.
The toxicity of unforgiveness will eat your soul alive from the inside out, and it will wear itself on your body and it will destroy precious things in your life. Get it out.
THEN, I did them. Yes, I ordered them months ago and I admit, just took the celophane off yesterday. Yes, I’m afaid. Yes, I might fail.
BUT: doggone it! I’m going to TRY.
I’m going to press on. God loved me so much that he sent his son. By his love, I HAVE VALUE. Not only value, but purpose. And no matter what I’ve done, where I’ve been, or who anyone thinks I am or am not, I KNOW in my heart of hearts, who I am in Christ.
And I’m going to live it.
I’m going to live it today. And everyday forward. From now on. I’m determined. I’m pumped!!!!!!! My heart is on fire. AND, I’m making progress.
I am thankful, full of peace, full of joy, full of hope. All by the power of letting go and getting right.
Guys, do it. Get it. This BEST life, the life of abundance that Jesus has for us, is WAITING for you. Why, oh why, are you NOT Living it? Why? WHY? WHY? WHY?!!!!!!!!!!
Come one! Let’s do this.