Monthly Archives: January 2016

communing well

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It’s Sunday and I just got done with church. Well, I didn’t just get done. I got done, then I went and ate some nachos, and now I’m having coffee. But, I went to church today. That’s the point of this whole thing.

One of my most treasured times at our church is that every week we partake in the meal of communion. Our Pastor presents the elements that Jesus instituted as the meal of remembrance for His people – that they would feast on this meal until the day He returns.

As we approach the table, the communion servers speak the words, “This is the body of Christ, the bread of heaven. The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation.” When I hear these words spoken over me, I think – every time – that I am given life by the Bread and redemption by the Cup.

I am often served communion by some of my best friends. And I get really emotional on those days. But that’s besides the point. Just a little extra nugget of what it’s like to be me. You’re welcome.

Dictionary.com defines communion as: “a group of persons having a common religious faith; association, fellowship; the act of sharing or holding in common.”

I love that every week, my church reminds me that I am in fellowship with the One who brings me life. That I participate and share in the act of redemption by the body & blood of Christ.

And communion is starting to mean a little more to me. I’m starting to realize that, as I walk down the isles to the table and as I partake in the elements of communion, that I am continually learning what it means to dwell with my Savior, and in a group of people who have a common faith. I am constantly learning that communing well with those around me means that I am open and honest about my life.

That I listen well to the needs of those around me.
That I not only pray for, but act on, the moments of joy and sorrow that enter into the lives of those I’m ‘communing’ with.
That I allow the truth of the Gospel – that Jesus’ body was broken and His blood poured out so that I can stand in right relationship with the Father – to transform my life. Not just for the sake of my happiness, but for the sake of His great name.
That I know in the depth of my soul that the meal Jesus offers will never run out – He will never say, “Sorry, we’re all out of queso.”

Communing well means that I receive and share in the redemption that Christ freely offers – no strings attached – and live in the freedom that my best efforts, and my worst moments, have no effect on the offering of the bread of heaven & the cup of salvation for me.

if you’re interested in knowing more about the lovely place I call ChurchHome, click here and join us some Sunday!

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fulfilled. kinda.

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I went to Chicago this past weekend and had some of the most delicious barbecue I’ve had in a llllloooooonnnnnnggggggg time. Growing up as my father’s daughter, that’s saying something, because that man can GRILL. Also, growing up in the MidWest, barbecue is a big deal.

I ate a pork plate with fries and bread and coleslaw alongside my friend and was filled to the brim. Metaphorically, that is. I don’t really have a brim, since I’m a human.

Anyways.

I was stuffed. I was satisfied. Fulfilled.

Then I woke up the next day.

I was hungry all over again. My fulfillment had subsided. I was pretty empty as far as calories go.

And my stomach is not the only thing that happens to.

So many times I am fulfilled by a coffee date with a friend, dinner out with the ladies, a trip to my favorite city, a tweet from one of my favorite actresses (it should be noted that I’m still on an adrenaline high from that, and yes, that was a shameless plug for myself).

I am on a mountaintop of emotion, so full of joy and happiness and all the good things one can feel.

I am completely satisfied by the circumstances of my life.

And then I wake up the next day.
Or I have a minor argument with a friend.
Or I see an ex and am immediately reminded that my life is not what I thought it would be by age 26.

My fulfillment is oh so temporary, and it is so easily replaced by emptiness when I allow external people/places/things to be the source of my satisfaction.

I’m like the people Jesus talks about in John 4 that drink of water that will cause me to thirst again. Instead of drinking of the water that Jesus gives me – the water that will become in me a spring of water, welling up to eternal life. (John 4:13-14)

Instead of seeking a deep drink from the Living Water that is Jesus, I am content with sipping from dry wells that the world has to offer.

And I wonder why I’m on such an emotional rollercoaster 83% of the time.

My head and my heart know so well that nothing of this world can satisfy in the deep way that Christ can. Yet, the things that we often seek for fulfillment are not bad things – relationships, food, shelter, work. The trouble is when those things become my god. When I rely on my friends to fulfill me, I am left empty, because guess what, they are just a bunch of sinners too. When I go to food for satisfaction, I end up gluttonous and desiring the created thing over the Creator.

May my fulfillment come from Christ alone. May I be able to say along with the Psalmist, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on each that I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73: 25-26)

refrigerator rights

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I first heard the term”refrigerator rights” when I sheepishly asked for some water, or coffee, or other beverage at the home of my Gospel Community leaders.

*disclaimer: if you do not know what the phrase ‘Gospel Community’ is, I’m sorry for the Christianese and will try to cut it out from here on. Also, Gospel Community is simply a small group. And if you’re unfamiliar with ‘small group’ it’s basically Sunday school…just not on a Sunday…and also kinda different. I digress.

Okay.

Refrigerator rights.

So, when you have refrigerator rights somewhere, it basically means that you get FULL RANGE of their ‘fridge. Like, you can open it and eat all the things if you want. Now, a normal person wouldn’t eat all the things, but you definitely eat some of the things. Because you’re typically in that place for a long enough time that you’ll need a snack. And at some point you’re cool enough with each other that the people whose ‘fridge you’re eating from are basically like, “dude, get your own cheese stick. You know where the coffee mugs are. And George Clooney isn’t going to pop out of nowhere when you hit that Nespresso machine.”

When I think about dwelling somewhere, I immediately think of all the places where I have refrigerator rights. I think of the people that fill those homes.

I am absolutely blown away by the way I am loved by those around me.

I love that I can invite myself over for lunch after church on a random Sunday and I end up staying for 4 hours – and be so caught up in conversation that I don’t look at my phone once. I love that at another friend’s house, when she gets me water, she automatically puts it in a plastic cup because she knows I love that cup – also, no ice please. I love that another knows just the right amount of wine to pour in the glass, and that she knows what kind of wine I’ll like because I don’t even know myself half of the time.

I love that I am known by so many. And yes, I am saying that selfishly.

I love that my people (really, they’re more like a tribe) know me better than I know myself. That they can look at me and know something is wrong. Or they can look at me and know there is something going on that is worth celebrating.

And I also love that they let me know them. That they share their struggles, their life-highs, their tears, and their deep belly-laughs with me.

I have never been known and known others the way that I do now. And I’m realizing more and more, day by day, that life is not meant to be lived alone.

God Himself even says that. It is not good for man to be alone. So He made a helper for him.

It is not good for woman to be alone either. And I think God made helpers for us, too. Those helpers come in many different forms – moms, sisters, friends, husbands, grandmas, etc.

Right now, my helpers are those that give me refrigerator rights. They are my tribe – the ones that will not let me live life alone.

This week is basically just a brag table moment of how awesome my people are, but I don’t really care. Dwelling with my people is one of the greatest gifts God has ever given me.

*also, yes, the kitchen pictured here is the kitchen my original refrigerator rights were given out 🙂

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learning to dwell

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For the past few years I’ve done this pretty cool (to me, at least) thing where I pick a word or theme of the year. One year it was discipline, last year it was #toshowingup, and this year it is “dwell.”

I think we can all agree that the only thing most of us resolve to do is not follow through on our New Year’s resolutions, so, in place of that, a friend introduced me to choosing a word/theme for the year.

I like the consistency of learning how to implement a theme over the course of the year. I enjoy the process way more than the outcome. AND it’s a lot less pressure than having to stop drinking coffee and go to the gym 8 days a week starting January 1.

So here we are, 2016, and I’m going to dwell.

I want to learn what it means to be in the present with God and myself.

I want to stop being anxious over uncontrollable circumstances.

I want to know deep in my soul that my identity and value are unshakable in Christ.

I want to dwell in the presence of my Maker, resting in His goodness alone.

Merriam-Webster defines dwell as a verb that means, “to remain for a time.”

It is active, yet it is passive. You have to make the choice to remain somewhere.

It’s easy for me to talk about rest, and dwelling, and sitting, and remaining. It’s a WHOLE ‘NOTHER BALL GAME for me to actually do it for a time.

I’m decent at dwelling for a day or so, when it’s convenient for me. But this year, this go ’round, I want to dwell forever. I want the time to not have a frame – I want to be with Jesus and remain in Him.

I doubt I’ll have this whole dwelling thing figured out by 2017. If I do, maybe you could take me out for queso and I’ll tell you all the secret things.

But I am excited about what 2017 will look like because I will have dwelt with the Savior. I will continue to learn more and more every day what it means to have my identity anchored in the Unchangeable One.

This year will be one for the books (blogs) and I’m excited to share it with you.

*what is God calling you to in this coming year? Is there a theme or word you can own for 2016?

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