Jesus Our Ultimate Do-over

Who doesn’t love a do-over? Waiving hand vigorously over here! I cringe when I think about teachers, coaches and myself telling our kids through the years “there are no do-overs”. Guess what? We were all wrong. Dead wrong. Life is actually one gigantic do over for most of us. Here’s another fact: do-overs are biblical. Jesus is our ultimate do-over. He died to give us new life. The past is erased and everything is made new. “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!“-2 Corinthians 5:17. Isn’t that the most exciting news you’ve heard ?!

I definitely could use a bazillion do-overs. Words that have stung. Words that have threatened. Words that have belittled. Emotions that came from a place of fear, hurt, and ultimately deep unwavering love. I am so thankful. Let me say that again: I am so thankful. Thankful for God’s grace. I am in utter awe of His mercy. Moved beyond words by the cross.

Secondly I’d like to say prayer works. If you find yourself in a place unable to pray (1) call out to the Lord audibly (2) call, text or email a friend and have them intercede a team of prayer warriors on your behalf. I can not emphasize enough the importance of crying out to the Lord. He hears us. He sees us. He loves us. “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them“-Romans 8:28

Recognize that prayers may not be answered immediately. Prayers may not be answered fully. Prayers may not be answered the way you had envisioned. Guess what? Pray anyway!! God sees the narrative. We may be able to envision how we want the story to end. That conclusion may coincide with God or it may not. Trust that all the hairpin turns and crazy mishaps throughout the journey are making for a story worth telling. A testimony that glorifies what only He can do to save a life.

If you have been in our home you have seen the gallery wall we have in the back of our house. We have every year of school (for each of our daughters) framed from transition to 12th grade. it’s one of my favorite things about our home. Each school year picture reminds me of the joys and challenges from each year of their lives. If it was not a great year? No worries~ just glance to your right and you will see the next school year framed. Each picture holds the joy and promise of a new year. A do-over from the previous mistakes of the year before and a continuation of the great things from years past.

Not all of our prayers have been answered…yet.  I’m 100% certain God will masterfully intervene  when His timing is perfectly suited. Many prayers have not been answered the way we would have expected. And many answered prayers have blown us away. God responds to our prayers, as my mother used to say, in three ways: (1) yes (2) not yet and
(3) I have something far greater planned. Keep praying.

God’s in the business of do-overs. He loves us deeply. There may be a multitude of plot twists along the journey. Probably more do-overs. Today? Today is a new day. Today I know who the Author is. I trust that He is in control. To God be the glory.

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”-Hebrews 11:1


Bonnie & Clyde And The Gold Coins

I did something Tuesday that was better than cake. Better than a massage. Almost better than salt water. I took a nap. A deep sleep drool provoking childlike nap. In the middle of the day. And I felt absolutely no guilt about it whatsoever. It was glorious.

I went to bible study, grabbed a quick bite of lunch with friends. Ran home to grab my to do list and let the dogs out. When I walked in the back door I was greeted with havoc. At first I thought we had been robbed. A table was overturned, books on the floor. An 1800’s antique bowl, which was filled with wrapped chocolates, was on the floor. Chocolate wrappers scattered all over the floor.

Quickly I realized the “robbers” were Bonnie & Clyde. Our 80 pound black lab and her 40 pound corgi accomplice. They had some how managed to overturn priceless antiques all in the name of chocolate gold coins. Not only did they eat the left over Christmas candy they left the empty gold aluminum “coin” wrappers all over the house.

I called the vet first. Needed to find out if I would in fact be the one to kill them. Or would the chocolate be their demise. Next a walk to let them get the gold coins out of their pockets so to speak. Then the cleanup began. I was so mad! They are 8 years old not puppies for gosh sakes! By this time two hours had passed and my afternoon out of town to-do list was not going to happen.

So with the mindset of Scarlett Ohara “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow” I laid my head right down on the sofa. I propped my feet up and slept. For two hours. The only reason I woke up? 80 pound black lab was licking the bottom of my shoe….which, naturally, had an empty gold coin wrapper stuck to the bottom of it.

I actually was mad at my four legged children because they had disrupted my ridiculously over zealous schedule. I was already stressed thinking I wouldn’t get everything done. In the heat of the moment I didn’t think anything except (1) dumb @&?! (I may be saved but when provoked my tongue can’t help itself) dogs! you’ve messed up my whole afternoon (2) I’ll never get all of the “to-do’s” checked off of this list (3) great, just more work

The reality is it just didn’t matter. The list could wait for another day. The world was not going to stop if I was unable to make the thirty minute drive to Fresh Market or SAMs club. In that moment though? I was furious. Mad that my plans, my schedule were interrupted by Bonnie and Clyde (not their real names).

The truth of the matter is that little voice in my head (Holy Spirit) had whispered to me loud and clear that morning. I felt nudged by the Spirit to stay home. I didn’t feel great. I also needed to clean up, work, make phone calls, get laundry started and rest.

Yes, I have to make myself rest. If I do not pace myself throughout the week my type A personality will dictate what it thinks my diseased body should (operative word) be doing. If I pace myself? I’m fine. If I do marathon sprints of activity I usually end up in a flare for weeks. Honestly, if I don’t pace my days I end up in the bed or in the doctors office or in the hospital. When I choose to ignore my body it’s actually a very selfish act. It affects our bank account, my husband and those depending on me. I chose to go out to lunch and jaunt out of town despite knowing that the Lord was tapping me on the shoulder. Yeah, that worked out real well.

Do you struggle with the flesh and the Spirit too? Or is it just me? We receive nudges from the Lord but we ignore them. Our wants and needs before His. I can usually justify just about anything to Him. Usually there is silence which I pretend to interpret as “Yes sir-e my plans are a go!” If my children had done that to me I would be livid. So why do we do it to God?

He calls us to obedience. John 14 clearly tells us we are to demonstrate our love for Christ through our obedience to him: “If you love Me, keep My commandments”. For the Christian, obedience means complying with everything God has commanded. The good news? God’s grace. He showers us with it despite ourselves. Case in point~drool provoked afternoon nap.

I’m thinking that if I had listened to His nudge on Tuesday morning I wouldn’t still be picking up “loose change” and gold coins all over our backyard Thursday morning.

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day.”- Matthew 6:34