a list, whitney, and lessons

Well... it's Sunday.  The last day of the weekend.  The time to prepare for the week ahead.  Tonight, I have so many random thoughts running through my head, and I really need to put them somewhere else other than scrambling through my thought processes.  So, get ready - here it goes...

1.  The passing of Whitney Houston breaks my heart and leaves a certain sadness.  The funeral was on tv yesterday, and every other channel is playing some sort of tribute to Whitney.  You know you have certain people or specific songs or smells associated with big moments in your life - well Whitney Houston and her music is very much associated with my adolescence.  I remember hearing the controversy behind her film - The Bodyguard.  I remember the first time I heard her duet with Mariah Carey - When You Believe.  Her voice left everyone speechless and was such an incredible gift.  I read in a book once that anything good in a person is evidence of God's image that we were created in, and I think that people, like Whitney Houston, who have such incredible gifts of music, grace or kindness have a little more of that evidence of Him in them and end up leaving this world far before we would like simply because they are not fit for it.

2.  This morning's message at church was on depending on God to use your weaknesses instead of relying on your own strengths.  This is a lesson that has been hard for me to process in the past and one that I continue to learn day by day.  I am infinitely aware of weaknesses and God's power on a daily basis at work, but for some reason I seem to leave out some areas of my life when I consider how powerful God is in my life.  *A HA MOMENT*  I have recently been very convicted for the care I take of my personal temple - my body.  This is the area that seems most daunting for me as it is an area in which I have consistently struggled.  It is a self-control issue, and biblical self-control is turning every struggle over to God.  This is something I cannot do on my own; therefore, I require God's power and discipline.  Wow, this is so incredibly freeing for me.  I feel strongly that this an area of worship for me that I am neglecting, and I have worried about it immensely.  However, it is not through my own power or for my own glory, but through His power and for His glory will I take better care of my body.

3.  Also this morning, we talked about living a good story.  I think about the life Whitney Houston lived - one of incredible success but marred by horrific struggles and a tragic finality.  I don't want a boring story, but at the same time I want my exciting story to be for something bigger than myself and my tiny part of the world.  I want it to matter.  Now I know there will be failures and tragedies along the way, but through every failure, a lesson learned and through every tragedy, grace to fight another day.  I want this story and this life to bring glory to God.



Usually these things consist of something that has been on my mind or something that I have learned  that seems utterly profound to me; however, today this post is about that holiday coming up.  Which holiday, you ask?  That's right - Valentine's Day.  I have been known to call it "Single's Awareness Day," but I have realized a couple of things that I thought I would share with you.

1.  I am a hopeless romantic, and as such I love the idea of setting aside a day to celebrate the people you love.  Many people consider it just a stupid, cheesy day invented for florists and greeting card companies, but there is some actual history to Valentine's Day which *gasp* I won't go into.  I like to think of it as more of a bookmark for anyone to take a breath and reflect on your own personal history.  Whether that includes a spouse or not, I believe it to be of vital importance to recognize the love in your own life.  I am not married, but I do have wonderfully loving parents, an adorable niece and nephew who show so much love, two of the best sisters anyone could ask for, much more family  that I love dearly, and a legacy of love from my Grandparents. Also, I have wonderful friends and my children at work are so precious to me.  All of this does not even compare to the love of Christ which I feel is continuously poured out on me - I am truly blessed to be surrounded by so much love.

2.  Lately I have been truly convicted about my conduct and behavior.  Am I kind with my words?  Do I show love to both the people I love and strangers?  I think so many times it is easier to show love to strangers than to those that are closest to you.  How messed up is that?  Do I show love to my children at school?  Some of these precious little ones see me more than their own parents, and how many times do I have a bad attitude or become frustrated with them?  The past few weeks, I have really tried to take a step back, to evaluate, to think, and to be more kind with the words that come out of my mouth and to show more love to the people I love the most and to my children at work.  I am reminded of the verse in John 13:35 -

"By this all men will know that you are My disciples - that you love one another."

3.  Okay so maybe it is more than a couple.  Anyways, my attitude and showing love is all part of this conviction to love on purpose.  This may not make sense to anyone but me, but so often I feel like I am on autopilot.  I sleep, eat, work - that's it.  I wake up a week later, and wonder what I did the past week.  I feel so shameful that I did not live that week, day, moment for what they are - precious gifts from God.  I want my life to matter, to serve a purpose; therefore, I must live it on purpose.  I don't want to take anything for granted, and I want the decisions I make and the things I do to serve a greater purpose.  

So this Valentine's Day, I challenge you to look at your life and the chronicle of love in your life.  I also hope that these words are of encouragement on your own personal journey.

Have a great week on purpose!

Much Love,