Encouragement

Bust a Move

There is just something about the new year that gives you a sense of euphoria.

If you’re like me, the idea of new beginnings makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.  You set new goals, you pick your resolutions, you look forward with hope… for about two weeks.

For the past 9 or so years (aka, every year of my adulthood), I have set similar resolutions every single year.

  1.  Lose weight/get healthy
  2. Save money/make extra money
  3. Read my Bible more regularly.

Those probably sound super familiar because you’ve probably set some similar ones yourself.

And if you’re like me, they never truly last.  You may lose the weight, save the money, and read that Bible… for a short amount of time.  Because honestly, if they ever truly stuck, we wouldn’t keep setting the same goals each year.

We start the diet, hit the gym hard, go budget crazy, and become spiritual gurus for about 2 weeks and then, life happens.  Those resolutions never involve life changes.  So, what if we picked a word for our upcoming year instead of a “resolution.”

Last year, my church focused on the word “move.”  I was reminded of this when I was working on a sign for my dance studio.

“Don’t just stand there, bust a move.”

Who knew a line from a 1980’s hip hop song could be so revolutionary?

You see, I am a thinker and a day dreamer.  Ideas are constantly flying, my wheels are always turning 90 miles an hour.  So much activity, so much brainstorming, but am I really going anywhere?

Not really.

I would even go as far to tell you I DO move.  Sporadically.  Like a gnat on speed.  I will think of an idea or a project, and I will start it… For it to just sit there unfinished because I got distracted.

I bet you can relate.  I’m not sure when it happened, but we as a society have lost the ability to slow down and commit to something.  Whether it’s to each other, a job, learning a new skill, or you guessed it, a resolution.  We lack commitment.

We move too fast to focus on one certain thing.

It reminds me of a scene in Shawshank Redemption.  A character named Brooks Hatlen went to prison in 1905 for a crime that is unknown to viewers.  When he is released from prison in the mid-1950’s, he can’t keep up with society and in a letter penned to his former inmates, he says  “The world went and got itself in a big d*** hurry.”   (Seriously, criminal or not, I cry every single time.)

Can you imagine how he’d feel now?  Being released into a society that is built around a rushed schedule and convenience?

We are so focused on keeping up with the Jones’s and seeing how many “likes” we can get on social media we often miss the big picture, causing us to never meet our end goal.

But, I would say we move.  As a society, we totally move.  We move fast, at a rapid pace.

I know I do.  I could look back at 2017 and tell you I moved a lot… But I didn’t go anywhere!

You want to know WHY I wasn’t going anywhere, even though I was running at a rapid pace?

Because my movements weren’t intentional.

The word intentional has been weighing on my heart a lot lately.

Intentional is defined as something “done on purpose; deliberate.”

As I look back on years past, there was plenty of intention behind the GOALS I set, but very little behind the steps I was taking to accomplish them.  I was just going through the motions of goal setting.

So, this year, instead of a long list of resolutions, I have chosen the word intentional to represent 2018.

So friends, are you moving?  Really moving?  Or are you just spinning your tires, walking in circles, and treading water like I’ve been doing?

Join me this year in taking steps that are intentional!

If you have chosen a word for the year, share it in the comments!  I would love to hear them.  You never know, your word may inspire someone else!

Happy New Year, my friends!

 

 

 

 

In the Swing of Faith

Golf is one of my favorite sports.
They say out of all of the golfers in the US, 77% are male. No offense to women, but golf is a men’s sport.

No wonder they called it golf… Guys Only Ladies Forbidden (just kidding, I don’t think that what it really means.)

Like any game, golf consists of multiple aspects. From choosing the right equipment, to using the right club depending upon weather variables, golf can get very complicated at times.

I’ve been playing the game since I was 5 years old. My dad used to bring me out in the yard and coach me on my swing every evening. I always looked forward to the weekends so that my dad and I could go out to the course and play a round.

My dad always told me that golf is the hardest sport to be good at. I don’t know if that is true or not, but I can assure you it’s not easy.

If my dad taught me anything about golf, it would be these two principals:

Play against the course, not other people. The course already has a score of 72. Can you beat that?

My dad always said “Son, you are not good enough to be mad at yourself when you make a bad shot.”

My dad has always been really good at golf. He can take a one year break, get up, and out-drive me any day.

It wasn’t until recently that I actually beat him in a fair match. He then proceeded to remind me that I didn’t beat the course, though.

My dad also taught me some other important aspects of the game that I’ve transposed to my walk with Christ.

My dad always says that you never get better on the course. It’s only after you go to the driving range, and the chipping, and putting greens where you get better.

As Christians we expect our walk to be strengthened if we only go to church every Sunday. That may satisfy you, just as playing a round of golf satisfies me, but that’s not how you get better.

Jesus has called us to more than church; He’s called us to an abundant life of more and more of Him.

Small groups, discipleship, mission trips, and serving your neighborhood are just a few examples on how to strengthen you walk with Christ. One of the most foundational ways you can increase your faith life is by reading your Bible and praying consistently.

Just like in golf, if you don’t stay disciplined in the Word and in prayer (the fundamentals), you regress.
It’s not like riding a bike where you can just pick it up whenever you want.
It takes dedication and the constant want to better yourself.

What better way to sum all of this up by quoting from the Good Book.

James 5:13 says “Is anyone among you in trouble? Let them pray. Is anyone happy? Let them sing songs of praise.” 
I hope this encourages you to not only dig into the Word more and to strengthen your faith, but to also to get out on the course and practice those drives.

-Taten

Against the Grain

This week I started researching how bloggers make money.
You see, while Pinterest-ing I stumbled across an article talking about this woman who was making like $6,000 a month by blogging… And because curiosity killed the cat, I kept digging and pinning and reading.
And digging… and pinning… and reading some more.
Let me go ahead and throw it out there, I am a simple girl. So real talk, if I made $30 a month, I’d be ecstatic. Do you know what I could do with that $30?
Buy a dress from Target.

Pay the water bill.

Fill up my gas tank (and then some).

Order a 3 piece tender from Goldfingers 3x that month.
And don’t even get me started on these peoples followers. 34,000? I got excited last week when my blog post reached 50!
See, simple girl.
But simple girl or not… I kept researching.
And with researching came…
Confusion

A lot of words

Anxiety

Frustration

Stress eating (helloooo, baking at 10PM)
This happened over and over, every time I’d just shut down one page and open another.
And after all of that, you wanna know what finally stopped me in my tracks?
When every site I visited highly recommended that I should pick only one topic to focus on and only one audience to serve.
And I just couldn’t.

That is not who I am.
That’s not what I built my blog on.
I wanna write about Jesus. And food. And politics. And teaching. And everything in between.
I want to speak to teenagers. And twenty-somethings. And middle-agers. And the elderly. Men and women, alike.
Because, these thoughts that drive my writing?
That is organized chaos at its finest.
 Thank y’all for joining me on this journey against the grain!
Check out the new logo & design and don’t forget to follow my new Facebook page.
Blessings!
PS… I also wouldn’t be mad if someone presented me with a simpler way to get paid through blogging!
 

Pinky Promise?

See you tomorrow,”  I tell him.

“Pinky promise?” He says, every afternoon when I walk him to the bus.

After a quick lock of our pinkies, 12 more hugs (approximately), and a reminder that you can’t kiss your teacher, I send him home for the day.

“Love you, Miss Hollis!” he calls out over his shoulder as he clambers up the steps to his bus… Already forgetting that he was mad at me for not letting him climb that concrete wall 5 minutes ago.

Oh, the heart of a kindergartener.

11 days, I’ve known these children.

We have laughed, wiped tears, danced, played, learned, sang…

We’ve shared lots of stories, sticky high fives, knock knock jokes, and about 3,345,097 hugs…

They know Miss Hollis is the keeper of the animal crackers, the band-aids, the Play-Doh, and the magic air kisses for boo-boos of all kinds.

11 days and they’ve already decided to trust me.
11 days and some times I think my heart might explode.

I didn’t end up here by choice.
This new season came after a series of disappointments, both big and small.

You’ve been there too, I am sure.

These less than ideal situations we find ourselves in… They hurt, they are hard, they push us outside of our comfort zones… but, God.

He uses them.

To mold us.
To teach us something.
To help us help others.

To get us to the place He’s prepared for us.

Whatever the situation, He always keeps His promises.

It’s in these moments, we are reminded of Jeremiah 29:11…

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

And it’s in these moments, deep down we’re in kindergarten again…

“Pinky promise?” we pray silently as we climb the steps on the big yellow bus of obedience.

And He does.

Welcome to kindergarten, Miss Hollis.

I think I’ll stay a while.

Hit the Paws Button

“I love your blog, homie!” he said.

Everyone needs a friend like Taten.  He encourages you when you need it, but isn’t afraid to hand over a large dose of truth.

“You need to talk about girls and their dogs,” he said,  “How white girls and their dogs have made an explosion on social media, and how men need to take place of dogs and take women back.”

I chuckled, because as ridiculous as it sounded, I knew he had a point.

IMG_5737

Now before you point fingers, yes I am obsessed with my dog.

Because who wouldn’t love the most precious, beautiful, smart, and cuddly little girl in the whole world?  If there was ever a Queen of the Rat Terriers, my sweet Gabby would easily take the crown.

And it doesn’t stop at my own dog.

If I go to someone’s house, the first thing I look for a dog to play with.

By choice, half of my social media accounts are overflowing with dog pictures and videos.

They’re. Just. So. Cute.

So anyway, enough about my own obsession with dogs, I took to Instagram to do a little research.

I began with the search bar, where I typed in #dogs and here are my findings..
– #dogs – 46,780,570 posts
– #dogsofinstagram – 70,370,026 posts
– #dogstagram – 33,631,493

This is not counting #puppylove, #puppyeyes, and #puppies which all had posts well into the tens of millions.

So, what’s the deal?  Why the skyrocket of puppy love? (Yes, actual, puppy love.)

I mean, dogs have always been considered (wo)man’s best friend, but has there been a sudden rise in fur babies?

Or is it social media, doing what social media does best? Takes something seemingly simple, and part of everyday life, and magnifies it?

It allows you to take a snapshot of the cute and perfect moments, slap a filter on it, and craft the perfect caption.

But when we see those perfect pup moments, what we really think is…

“Wow, my puppy just peed on my shoe, and that girl’s chihuahua is sitting shotgun in her car sipping a puppaccino.” #jealous

Oh, but dear friends, that’s not limited to dogs.  Social media shows you a mere snapshot of everyone’s life, while hiding the scary and messy parts.

The perfect relationships
The easiest of pregnancies
The super mom
The adventurous, living-life-to-the-fullest single lady

Because who wants to share pictures of the bills you fought with your husband about last night?  Or pictures of the mom-to-be hugging the toilet with morning sickness?  Or a family photo of your little monsters… I mean, angels… after you caught them coloring on your white sheet-rock walls? Or a selfie of you sitting on the couch watching Netflix by yourself… again?

I sure don’t.
I don’t want to show you my vulnerable side.
I don’t want to share my struggles with you.

But how much better off might we be if we did?  How much more enjoyable would life be if we just shared our messes with each other?

Would it be so hard to show one another that deep down, we’re all the same?

Maybe the struggle wouldn’t be so #real if we could just own up to it.
Because I’ll be honest, I’ve never bonded with anyone over our perfect Instagram posts.

With all of that being said, girls have always love puppies… It’s not our fault they’re more photogenic than men!

Juuuust kidding.

 

 

 

So guys, ask her on a date to the animal shelter.  Girls, drop the camera and rub that baby’s belly.

IMG_6048

 

That’s all I have for now, so I’ll just leave you with this! Ain’t she cute?

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings!

 

P.S I am ALWAYS open to post suggestions… What topic would you like to read about?

P.S.S Sorry, Taten! I don’t think I provided any good insight on dogs and girls!

An Open Letter to the Good Guys and Girls

Dear friend,

You’ve heard the old saying, “Nice guys (or girls) finish last.”

If you’re reading this, I bet you’ve felt that way a time or two.

That sting of disappointment when you’ve been dismissed as second choice.  Or third. Or fourth.  Or not considered at all.

It could be at work, church, when you’re dating, or life in general…

You work harder, you do a good job, you do what you’re supposed to…

You live “right.”

And you still don’t measure up.  Your desires still go unfulfilled.

You still don’t get the job…
You still don’t get the promotion…
You still don’t get the guy/girl…
That particular group of people still won’t accept you…
You still can’t get pregnant…

There came a point a few months back when I decided being “good” and living “right” wasn’t worth it anymore.

Because how can you continuously try so hard only to keep falling short?

How can you keep praying to a God that seems to be ignoring you?  Who won’t answer you?

I decided I couldn’t.  I wouldn’t do it anymore.
I didn’t quit believing, but I did decide that kind of God just didn’t deserve my attention.

And besides, it seemed to be working for everyone else.

In Matthew 5:16, Jesus tells us to “be the light.”

But it seemed the pool of darkness and sin was more appealing to everyone else, so I decided to dip my feet in… try it out and give in to those worldly things we were warned against.

You quit praying.  Quit going to church.
Don’t reach out to your friends, because you don’t want to hear it.

And there is only one word I have to describe the way I felt.

Tired.

Because living in that darkness brought guilt, and anger, and worry, and loneliness, and discontentment.

Because it’s exhausting holding on for dear life when you’re riding a roller coaster of emotions.

So, like tired people do, I slept a lot.  And I laid on the couch.  And I indulged in mindless Netflix binging, and junk food, and an endless stream of social media posts that I couldn’t measure up to.

If there had been a hole for me to crawl in, I would have done just that.

I write all of this to say, do not let these hard situations dim your light.

Or dull your sparkle.
Or steal your sunshine.

Or whatever catchy phrase it is that you choose to use.

It so easy to, though.
Because you tried so hard, and you still weren’t the chosen one…

It. is. not. your. fault.

When you are good to someone, and they continue to tear you down…

That says more about them than you.

When the desires of your heart continuously go unfulfilled…

That’s not your fault either. 

I know it’s hard to believe, especially in the moment… because you suddenly feel that you’re not enough.  Your efforts were pointless.  You must be undeserving.

And so maybe you slowly crawl back inside yourself.

Or maybe you just wake up one day and give life a big ole proverbial finger and walk away from it all.

Or maybe you turn to something to numb the pain…

Or maybe you’re not there yet, but you’re just so tired and discouraged and it doesn’t feel good…

But hear me when I say…
You keep running toward that light we were called to be.

As for whatever is trying to extinguish your flame…

Maybe it’s time to close that door and cut those ties.
Maybe it’s time to quit trying so hard and just let it be for a while.
Maybe it’s time to lay those worries down at the cross and trust God’s timing.

I know you’ve heard it before and you’re rolling your eyes.

But keep praying for those people.  Keep praying about your situation.

Pray for yourself, too.

For peace, contentment, and trust as you wait on those desires of your heart to be fulfilled.

And keep shining your light.
It is not easy, but it is worth it.

Your friend who’s been there,

Callie

Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue  to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”  Hebrews 10:36

 

The coffee pot of my soul

Recently, my sweet mission friends brought me back a bag of Haitian coffee.  Fresh, finely haitian-coffeeground, straight off the farm, Haitian coffee.  It’s not like any coffee I’ve ever seen, touched, tasted, or brewed.  It’s a strong, frothy coffee and the texture is almost like baby powder.  Or, shall I say it? Dirt.

So, delicious as it has been, you can imagine the mess it makes when you go to brew a pot.

Yesterday afternoon, I was zipping through the apartment, cleaning up the little messes that pop up over the week.  Washing up the dishes, putting on a load of laundry, etc. when I spotted the coffee maker.

While I had spent the week hastily wiping up the dusty coffee mess, the coffee maker needed a little more attention.  So I wiped down the outside, I sat the carafe and the filter basket in the sink to wash, and then….

I looked down in the water reservoir and was horrified to see coffee grounds.

Brown, misplaced, coffee remnants in my WATER reservoir.

“No, no, no.” I thought, “That can’t be right.”
There’s COFFEE, in the place where I put CLEAN water each morning.
It doesn’t go there.
How did that happen?
How long has it been there?

Frustrated, and a little disgusted, I started the process of cleaning my precious coffee maker… and I realized, that coffee pot is my soul.

My coffee maker’s purpose is to take coffee grounds and turn them into a cup of coffee.  The coffee goes into a filter, water into the reservoir, and together it becomes something new.  Something yummy and enjoyable comes from what at first appeared to be a pile of beans.  Without the coffee maker, the grounds are useless… (To a coffee drinker, at least.)

I know you’re wondering by now where I could possibly be going with this, so bear with me.

Our souls are the water reservoir.
Our lives are the water.
The world is the coffee.
And Jesus is the filter.

Every morning we wake up, with a choice.  We can take on the world alone and just deal with some seemingly useless, bitter, dirt-like coffee grounds.

Or, we can take on the world with Jesus who can filter out the useless, and the bitter, and the dirty parts, and together we can make a pot of coffee.

But, dear friend…

Just as the coffee grounds will get in your water reservoir, the world will get in your soul.

As Christians, we’re sent out into the world to spread the love of Jesus.
You’ve heard it before, we’re to be in the world, but not of the world.

And as Christians, we know that’s much easier said than done.
Because though we serve an amazing God, we’re still human.

Our hearts still break.
People still leave.
Sickness still happens.
Jobs are still lost.

At every corner you turn, there’s chaos.
And with every scroll down your Facebook feed, there’s someone experiencing the desires of your heart…  Someone got the blessing you‘ve been waiting for and they’ve documented it for the world to see.  Painful, concrete proof that you’re still coming up short.

Another day and our prayers still go unanswered.

And more often that not, in our moment of why… the world will creep in.

With why often comes, I’m not good enough. I’m not worthy.  I will never measure up.  I did something to deserve this.  If I did this, then that wouldn’t have happened.  If I was more like her, I wouldn’t still be alone.  If I had paid better attention, I could’ve caught it in time.  If I was a better wife, maybe God would give me the baby.  If I had worked harder, I would’ve gotten the promotion.  If I was prettier, skinnier, wealthier, more out going, more creative, more desirable, more deserving, easier to love….

We’ve all been there.  And honestly, we all go there every. single. day.

And our society doesn’t help.  We’ve become a group of people who rely on instant gratification.

We want the free two-day Prime shipping option in our prayers…
We want blessings to come as quickly as Facebook likes.
We want a DIY guide to a better life.
We want a pot of coffee in Keurig time.

Which is why we have clean our coffee maker regularly.
Which is why we have to seek Jesus regularly.

The world tells us what we should be doing now, when God’s plan says not yet.

With that kind of burden to carry, it’s not enough just to run our lives through His filter.
We have to actively seek him.

No, I don’t want to clean my coffee maker every day… but I don’t always want to read my Bible, either.  Or pray.  Or extend grace to others.  Or look for a blessing in the not-so-good moments.

Most days, it’s much easier to stew in angry thoughts.  It’s much easier to pick out your own flaws or to place blame on others, because then at least, we have an answer to the why… Even if it’s wrong, it feels like we have something to hang our problems on.

And it’s much harder to accept that someone else received your blessing, because God has other plans for you.  Or it’s just not your time yet.

Some days, you won’t brew a good pot of coffee.
Some days, it will be more like a sad bowl of dirty, bean water.
Some days, you may spill your pot of coffee on your white linen pants.

Life is hard.  And it hurts.

But you know what else?  When the mess starts creeping in and the enemy puts those
thoughts of doubt and worthlessness in our hearts, there’s no better battle plan than putting on the armor of God and standing on His promises.

I’ve learned the hard way that moments of weakness are where we do our most growing… or I guess you could say, brewing.

We may  never understand why we’ve been given those bad cups of coffee, but we must understand that we are loved regardless… dirty water reservoirs and all.

So sweet friend, go check out your coffee maker… Figuratively and literally, because you deserve a good cup of coffee.

Blessings!

Naked… Or something like it.

I’ve sat down several times to write this post.  And every time I’ve shut down the computer instead.

Because how do you put into words that you’ve all but sidestepped your faith over theimage1 (1) last few months?  How do you bare your mighty Christian soul and admit such a thing?

Oh, the judgement… the ridicule… or dare I say, understanding?

If I had to guess, you’ve been in my shoes.  That season of life that trips you up when you least expect it and you find yourself in a position where you. just. can’t.

You try to read your Bible, but you can’t seem to get anything off the page.
You try to pray, but you can’t seem to find the words.
You need to go to church, but you can’t seem to get out of bed.
At best, you’re disconnected.

And if you’re lucky like me, you have amazing people in your life who see your struggle and try to speak life into you… And if you’re like me, you didn’t want to hear anything they have to say.  It’s seasons like this where you don’t want to hear of God’s goodness, or His faithfulness, or His timing.

Because you already know all that.  You already know His promises.

But you. just. can’t. put on your pretty little Christian face right now.

Have you ever been there, my friend?

I sure have.
Sometimes, I still am.

While it’s seasons like this where we. just. can’t… It’s also seasons like this that we just have to.  Because while we serve a loving God who is always going to welcome us with open arms, there is also an enemy who is just looking for the opportunity to wreak havoc in your life.

Like a thief in the night, he will sneak in and plant doubt, anger, jealousy, discontentment, confusion, and the like.

So, what do we do in times like this?  When you. just. can’t?

You do it anyway.

I know what you’re thinking… It’s probably the same thoughts that went through my mind when my dear friend Taten told me that.  And while I initially ignored his advice because I didn’t want to hear it, he was right.

Now, I’m stubborn, so don’t be like me.  But do believe me when I say, it’s okay.
It’s okay if you’ve wandered away.
It’s okay if you’re having a hard time finding your way back.
It’s okay if you feel guilty, or ashamed, or unworthy.
But the good news is, you don’t have to feel that way.

Because, Jesus.

So dear friend, crack open that Bible or open up that devotional app on your phone.  Have a chat with Jesus.  Call that friend who is always quick to listen. And just know, you are not alone in your struggles.

I know you. just. can’t. right now, but… Do it anyway.

Blessings!

A Dose of Truth in Life’s Darkness

I grew up believing in God, because it’s what I was supposed to do.  I grew up going to children’s church, and reading Bible stories, and singing hymns.  I wore pretty dresses and I loved going to Bible school. I knew Jesus was born on Christmas and we celebrated His death and Resurrection on Easter.  I knew Eve ate the apple, Cain killed Abel, I knew Noah built the Ark, and I knew Joshua fought the battle of Jericho (and the walls came tumbling down).  I could tell you that Moses parted the Red Sea and I had the Passover episode of Rugrats on VHS.  I knew church happened on Sunday and Wednesday.  And I participated in my fair share of Christmas plays.

But I also believed being a Christian was a list of things you could and couldn’t do.  And if I listened to country music I was going to Hell. (I remember that sermon quite vividly)  And if I prayed for myself, I was being selfish.

In other words, I didn’t grow up with a good understanding of what a Christian is.

And if I’m honest, I was well into my adulthood before I truly grasped the meaning.  And if I’m 100% transparent with you right now, I still struggle.

My misconceptions about faith caused me to feel unworthy in a church pew;  like a fraud among a congregation of do-gooders and biblical scholars.  More often than not, I felt unworthy because I didn’t fit into this box of Christians.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it?

We tend to put God in a box.

Though it’s never spoken that you have to check items off a list to be considered a Christian, it’s certainly insinuated.

  • Read your Bible.. Only the King James Version will do. (Sorry if you can’t understand it.)
  • If the doors are open, go to church.
  • If (cough, cough.. when) you sin, don’t talk about it.
  • Always believe that God is good… unless you take a sip of beer and he casts you into the depths of Hades.

I’m kinda kidding on that last part, but you know what I’m saying.

We have grown up hearing that we are never allowed to step out of line and if you do it is shameful and it must never be spoken of.  Hide your indiscretions at all costs.  Mistakes are not okay, ever.  Don’t let anyone see the dirt on your pretty little Christian face.

What we didn’t grow up hearing is that we because live in the flesh, we are going to be tempted at every turn to sin…  That every day we will encounter the enemy trying to destroy us, that the enemy will use his most cunning and clever tactics to ruin God’s perfect plan for our lives.

And if we’re not talking about that, we’re not talking about how to handle those instances.  And we’re certainly not talking about the grace that we’ve been given through Christ.  So in turn, people have left the church… because who wants to serve a God who only wants squeaky clean pew sitters?

Don’t get me wrong, sin is never okay and grace doesn’t give us the option to just sin freely, BUT what we’ve been missing is, we serve a God who loves us and is ready to meet us where we are.

So many people (myself included) have believed that we have to get our lives right before we try to know Jesus… but sweet friends, I have learned something.

 Jesus is not scared of our messes.

If our God loves us enough to send His son to die for our sins, don’t you think He loves us enough to accept us while we’re broken?

And if our God is gracious enough to meet us when we’re broken, addicted, ashamed, etc…. shouldn’t we, as His people, be willing to do the same for others?

Peter is one of my favorite people in the Bible.  We meet Peter as a fisherman who literally dropped what he was doing to follow Jesus.  And while his blind faith alone is inspiring, it’s the portrait of how real Peter was that makes him so relate-able.  In Matthew 14, we read about the miracle of Jesus walking on water.

You’ve heard it before, whether you’re a believer or not.

But what we so often overlook, is Peter’s role.  Matthew 14:28 tells us that Peter asked Jesus to prove His identity by allowing him to walk on water, but just a mere two verses later, we witness Peter’s faith wavering as he encounters winds and he begins to sink…

But instead of punishing his moment of weakness, Jesus was there to take his hand and lead him back to the boat.

Isn’t that us?  We ask God to let us walk with him and we proclaim our faith, but when get things get “windy” we tend to retreat… if even for a second.

Peter is just one example of the love of Christ.  He shows us that God can use us and love us, even when our faith wavers.  Our God is always there to catch us.  He’s always there to meet us and put us back in the boat.

Shouldn’t we do that too?  Meet people where they are instead of beating our chests and waving our mighty biblical knowledge in their face?  Shouldn’t we speak truth and love into people instead of picking and choosing the nuggets of scripture that fit our agenda?

I could write for days on this, because I have been blessed with friends and mentors who’ve met me where I was at, taken my hand, and lovingly led me back to the boat just as Jesus does.

I’ve learned God will send you people from all walks of life to pour into you, show you grace, and love you where you are.  We just have to recognize them and in turn, extend the same grace to others.

After all, His greatest commandment was to love… though the Bible never mentioned deciding who was worth it.

I still struggle everyday to wrap my mind around this thing called faith.  I still get discouraged and ask why.  I’ve prayed angry, desperate prayers.  Some days I don’t even want to recognize God’s supernatural greatness, because it’s my first instinct to throw a pity party and stew in my toxic thoughts.

But then I am reminded that those thoughts and feelings of doubt, shame, unworthiness, guilt, loneliness, inadequacy… Those are tactics of the enemy because he wants to steal our joy.  When those thoughts start creeping in, we just have to remember God’s promises.

You’re worth it.
I’m worth it.

It’s time we start living that way.

Blessings! ♥️

Callie