Tag Archives: dwell

dwelling in 2016

dwelling-in-2016

Well my friends, we have reached day 366 of the year 2016. At least that’s what my big ole wall calendar tells me. I don’t want to do any research beyond that, so if I’m wrong, just let me be wrong. Leap year, right?

Anyways.

For the past few years, rather than making a New Year’s resolution, I’ve chosen a word or theme for the coming year – what I hope to learn, settle in to, or be intentional about in the days ahead. For 2016, that word was dwell.

According to the people who make up meanings for words, dwell means: to live or continue in a given condition or state; to linger over, emphasize, or ponder in thought, speech, or writing.

As I entered in to 2016, I wanted to figure out what dwelling with God, myself, and others could look like. To live or continue in a state of rejoicing or mourning with those I care about. To linger over what the Lord was doing in my life, and not freak the heck out about it. To ponder anew what the Almighty can do if I just sit and continue with Him.

I wanted to ask, is this a relationship worth me dwelling in? Is open, honest life with this person a mutual calling to good, or one-sided exploitation that does both of us harm?

And ultimately, I wanted to sit in this question: If all I ever do is dwell with the One who came to dwell with us – if Jesus is all I ever get – is that enough?

You know how when they say if you pray for patience, be ready to experience opportunities to practice patience? Well, same principle applies.

2016 was full of opportunities to let life get the best of me. To be anxious and afraid and feel a lot of crap that the enemy wanted to use against me. Sometimes dwell was the last thing I wanted to do – unless it was dwelling in my bedroom, under the covers, with my eyelids shut tight.

Many times I felt a stirring in my heart/soul/insides/whatever that made me restless, itchy, anxious, and afraid. Insecurities I thought had been put to bed came bubbling back up. The opposite of dwelling seemed like the easier choice so often in the past 365 days.

But the most amazing thing happened.
I stuck around.
I continued in the state I was given.

And God didn’t leave me.
My friends didn’t leave me.
I was able to dwell in the midst of some disruptive crapitty-crap and I am coming out the other side still alive.

There are marked moments of God showing up, helping me to dwell and to settle in to life, disrupted, but not shaken by the world around me.
He allowed for words to be spoken to me that applied an instant salve on my heart.
He illuminated His mercy for me in new ways that left me speechless.
He dwelled with me throughout the entire time, not leaving me on the rickety boat alone, but stuck around, hoisting the sails, bailing water that came in over the sides, making sure that if nothing else, we stayed afloat.

Even though today is the last day of the year and most resolutions are resolved, I think this whole dwell thing has really only begun. Today – right now – Jesus is enough. Other days, honestly, it doesn’t seem like He is. But the best part about dwelling with Him is that, even when I tell Him that I don’t believe He’s enough, He still sticks around.

I cannot wait to see what 2017 brings – the joy and hope in what God is up to, the depth of relationship He will continue to grow, and the promise He is the God that will never leave or forsake us growing more and more true in my life.

Now, I need to go pack my gold sparkly heels (that I will have officially worn for the 3rd time in 4 years after tonight). I’ve got a wedding to go to and a rug to cut.

Smith out.

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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

dwell

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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