Inside Out

The world tells you who you are, and you listen.

You aren’t pretty enough.

You aren’t smart enough.

You’ll never be successful.

You don’t matter.

You aren’t loved.

You aren’t worthy.

You aren’t enough.

Your Father tells you who you are, and you ignore.

You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

You are more precious than rubies.

You are covered with grace.

You are loved beyond comprehension.

You are upheld with His righteous right hand.

You are strong and courageous. 

You are redeemed. 

But you are not alone. You are not the only one who has wished you were different or better in some way. I’m with you. 

Today I came across an old, broken and abandoned house. And I thought about how it’s kind of the perfect representation of how we see ourselves.

But then I saw something else. I saw flowers blooming inside of the house and all around it, and I realized the truth of who I am and who you are. We see our outward appearances, but the Lord sees our hearts. And they are beautiful. They are sacred, meant for the Holy Spirit to dwell. The Lord sees us as his beloved child, without flaw.

I think both you and I could be a little bit more like this house. It doesn’t care what the world says about it, nothing can keep it from blooming inside. This world has beaten it up. But guess what. It’s still standing. Its flowers are still rooted and grounded. And they aren’t just inside, they are all around. This house knows it’s true beauty and doesn’t want to hide it. Instead, it’s spreading from the inside out. 

I’m giving us both a challenge: Let’s press in and discover who God truly says we are so that we can rebuke the lies the world tells us. And then let’s go share that truth with the people around us.

In other words, let’s spread some wildflowers. 

♡ a tethered heart

Take a Shower

You know how some people drink coffee to function at their best, others take a nap to solve a problem they previously couldn’t, and others fidget with things to focus? Everyone seems to have something that motivates them, but it isn’t that simple for me. I can’t just drink something, fall asleep real quick (although I wish I could because I love naps a lot), or pick up something around me. No, I have to be in a home, preferably mine, which is not where I am a lot of the time! And that is because my thing is… drum role please… taking a shower.

Now let me explain. A lot of people have shower thoughts, and many of those people are those who take really long showers and have the time to get lost in their mind. This is not the same as that. If I step into a shower with the need for an idea, I step out of the shower with the best one. It’s literally insane. It doesn’t matter how long the shower is, it just happens. Even when I am not in need of an idea, I get one. Pretty much every time. I need some kind of waterproof notepad because I’m always rushing out of the shower to write everything down before I forget any of it (because it’s usually many things). Just the other day I couldn’t figure out what to write, so I took a shower and came running out to write my blog! What’s more, a shower gave me the idea to start a blog in the first place! My family finds it quite entertaining to find out what I discovered each time I open the door. I personally think it’s quite fascinating, and usually I’m pretty excited to take a shower.

Here’s the thing though. You may already know this (if not, sorry for the spoiler), but the shower is not magic. And it took me a while to realize (in a recent shower) that the reason it happens is because the shower is the one place I am completely attentive, without distraction. It is the one place the Lord can reach me without anything else getting in the way. Even when I’m praying or doing my quiet time, I’ll see something as my mind wanders off. But in the shower I’m staring at blank walls. Yes, my mind can wander in the shower too, but at this point I am so expectant of the ideas to come that it is all I focus on. I remembered how I used to make it a point to pray while in the shower and realized that overtime I have subconsciously trained myself to focus solely on God while in the shower.

So full discloser: It is not the shower that gives me ideas, it is the Lord using something as simple as a shower to reach me.

I think it is so amazing that He loves me enough to meet me wherever and whenever I am available, since I usually make myself unavailable. His grace literally washes over me as he speaks to me in giant gushes all at once since I fail to hear his gradual whispers throughout the day. He has not given up on me and he will never give up on me. And the same is true for you.

What I’m saying is that you don’t have to go take a literal shower (unless you stink, then please do), but go take a shower! Find that space where you can meet with your Father without anything else party crashing. I say party crashing because that time with Him is a party, at least in my opinion. Just the other day I came bursting out of the shower and found myself jumping on the couch, which I really never did as a child. It was pretty fun, not gonna lie.

SO! I dare you to give God a few spare minutes (but they gotta be good minutes, none of that pray for a bit then look at your phone for a bit nonsense, which I am guilty of) and see where He takes you. You just might find yourself getting told to stop breaking the couch 🙂

♡ a tethered heart

Snail Mail

I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love getting a handwritten letter in the mail. Nothing tells someone you value them like taking the time to think enough in advance for how the letter will take to arrive, write with your bare hand, lick the really gross sealing thing, pay the some odd cents for a stamp, and wait patiently for a letter back (goodness forbid they just send you a text). True love right there, am I right?

Sometimes you do not know that a letter is waiting for you in the mailbox, and it’a a happy surprise. Sometimes you do know and the excitement builds (or the impatience) as you wait for it to arrive. Either way, they are so much better than the every day bills and advertisements that come your way.

Here’s the thing: hearing from God is a lot like waiting for a handwritten letter. More often than not we wonder why God is not speaking to us. We grow impatient as we wait for the answer to come, and then give up when it doesn’t come in the time we want it to. But on the other end, God is writing an intentional and unique response to send your way just when you NEED it, not when you want it. And because of that, we aren’t always there to open the mailbox when the time comes. Instead, we sift through our own answers or ones other people throw at us, and a lot of times it’s junk mail. Then, when we finally get the mail, we realize what we missed.

I have missed out on so many important words from the Lord, but I have also heard many. And let me tell you, his are always so much better than mine, without fail. Just like opening that surprise letter, his words are refreshing and just so much more exciting than anyone else’s.

So the next time you ask the Lord to speak, remember that He loves you enough to spend the time and lick the envelope even when He knows there’s a chance you won’t open the letter. So take the time to check the mailbox each day until a letter arrives. Because even though we don’t know when it’s going to arrive, it will and it will be worth the wait.

♡ a tethered heart