Living out Loud

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Dinner plans. Presents. What you had for lunch. Ultrasound pics. Dogs and cats. Kids and siblings. Special dates. Drama. Opinions. Thoughts. Feelings. Feel good moments. Steak dinner. Errand list. Complaints. Travel plans. What you’re reading. What you’re wearing. What you’re doing.

All of it, lived out on social media.

Before I go on, I want to give y’all full disclosure and say that I am guilty, guilty, guilty. I even have some examples that I will entertain you with later.

Everyday, we all log on and putting our best foot forward, spill tidbits of our lives, share pictures that represent the best of us, and create this painting for our friends and enemies alike of what our lives should look like from the outside.

Here’s an example. If you got through my page, you’ll see posts like this:

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I LOVED that day. We had just got our first Sam’s club card and we were like little kids on Christmas morning, holding hands and pattering down each and every aisle, laughing at the oversized portions and acting like goofs. It was a beautiful moment and a wonderful day, and as soon as I came home (or maybe in route to home to be honest) I decided to share it with my 637 Facebook friends. Why?

Maybe because it was a moment worth sharing, but I think more so because it was a pretty picture of my life at that moment. If you crept up to my window and peeked in, that is what I would want you to see. And really, that’s what Facebook allows us to do. It gives us warning that you are coming over, so we can tidy up our house and put out the fine china.  It gives us control over what others see and let’s us paint a picture that we want, that may or may not mirror reality.

My husband and I DO have a fantastic marriage, but it’s not all hand holds in the grocery store and love cuddles on the sofa. What marriage is? But you won’t see much of the posts where I say “Went shopping with my husband and argued over which bread to get for an hour. Why can’t he just embrace wheat bread? Why should I have to get white bread?” That’s not what I want you to see, because it’s not what I want to see myself.

I worry about living our lives out loud. That we get so caught up in posting pictures and status’s that we are forgetting to LIVE the moment, cherish it in our hearts for ourselves, not everyone else.

I worry about the reassurance and constant approval we are learning to rely on. How many likes? How many comments? Look at the ring he got me for my birthday, does it meet your approval? Are you jealous? Is my life desirable?

My life’s aim is to make my life approved by one man, and that is God. He doesn’t buy into the rose-colored pictures and status, but see’s the core of who I am. He seems the ugly in my life and loves me just the same. I don’t need to put my best forward for Him, but instead, His love strives me to be better.

I ask you to take a challenge with me. It’s scary and seems a bit crazy, but I think we can do it.

I am taking the next 30 days to live my life for me, to cherish my moments and keep them banked in my own heart.  I am going to be free and messy and me without status updates and pictures. With full disclosure, I will still use Facebook to talk to friends and to post blog things, but nothing personal. Are you in?

Let me know if you will take my challenge too!

With Love and Prayers,

Jenny

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I Love You

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Our God,

You are so precious and lovely.  Power and might are yours, and yours alone.  To you belongs all glory and honor and praise!  Loving Father, thank You so much for the sweet soul that is reading these words.  Almighty Creator, thank You for creating them, knowing them to their innermost parts, knowing the exact number of the hairs on their head, planning for them every second that they are on this earth.  Gracious King, thank You for loving them so hard, so fully, that You did the most perfect, painful, pure, righteous thing to be in relationship with them!  Precious Savior,
THANK YOU for becoming fully man as You were fully God, living and dieing and raising again that we may know You!! Our words will never be enough to thank You.  Our words will never be enough.  God, this sweet soul that is reading these words, You know her.  You know him.  You know their heart, their mind, their spirit.  You know what time they woke up this morning, You know what struggles they are facing.   You know their past, their present, and their future.  You know how they can and will impact this world.  Oh Lord, I pray that they know You.
I pray that their name is in Your book, right now.  I pray that You would give them renewed peace, mercy, love, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, joy, faithfulness today to follow You, trust You, and love You recklessly.  And God, pursue them.  Romance them. Touch and affect their lives today with your awesome power in a way they need and a way they can’t ignore!

Sweet soul, I love you.  I pray for you every day.  I want you to know that. I want you to know that every one of us prays for you.

And we are thankful for you.

And we can’t wait to know you!

Love,

Mary

Using the Platform for Hope…

I usually don’t get involved in these type of debates or politics.

I leave that up to the people

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Photo by: polsifter

that get paid to do it. I usually subscribe to the avenue that love and hope will fix the cracks in our world, that politicians lie, and that fighting over the little things when there is a world of people that don’t know the Truth about Jesus is a much bigger problem worth fighting for.

With that said though; This Chick-Fil-A debate is making me sick.

Support or not support gay marriage, when did we become so closed minded that we can’t except anyone opinion unless it matches our own? Where does that get us? What kind of intolerance are we starting with that mindset?

In fact, this very project is meant to show the beauty of five uniquely different woman with different viewpoints and opinions, but share one IMPORTANT truth, the Jesus is the Lord of our lives. We may disagree on other issues, but at the end of the day, that truth alone will bind us. I can’t imagine what this project would look like if we all read each others posts and argued or boycotted them. We would be missing the point completely. We would be wrapping ourselves in closed-mindless and lacking the ability to grow.

There are many things I used to strongly believe it, with conviction and passion.I would debate them and stand up for them, but after many discussions with people that loved me enough to challenge me, I saw the other side and it faded away. It’s called growing. And trust me when I say, it is hard to admit you were wrong.

The problem with this Chick-fil-a debate is that it is running of hate.

Sure, boycott them if you like, because that is your right. But, why the slander, the hate sprayed across the internet, the campaign to ‘take them down’ and ‘make them suffer’. Really?

All while the other side is using the Bible as a means of hate and judgement. If you want to use the Bible to sling hatred and judgement at others, you are missing it. Love is used 508 times in the Bible.No one will ever hear those beautiful 508 times, no one will ever be changed and feel the hope in those 508 times if you continue to only use anger and hate. We are not here on this earth to judge. We are here to love.

Are we really at the point in this fractured world where we need to boycott and slander everyone and everything that doesn’t match our own view points?

With that mind set, I guess as a Christian, I need to stop eating or shopping at places that are owned by people of a different religion. Or maybe I should ask my employer how they feel about pro-life vs. pro-choice before continuing my employment there. In fact, maybe I better boycott and cut out everything and anything that doesn’t match my own view on the world.

Do you see how once this ball gets rolling, it will be impossible to stop?

How will we ever learn? Where is tolerance? Love? Acceptance?

If you agree or disagree with what was said is NOT the issue. I am also not suggesting we abandon our opinions or stay mute on the things we feel strongly about. The issue is what we are doing with that opinion.

I can absolutely assure you that blasting them with hate won’t change ONE person’s opinion. Not one.

And isn’t that what we are trying to do? One side is trying to boycott and hate Chick-Fil-A into changing their stance. The other side is trying to change the other sides way of thinking but using the cross as a malice of hate. But no one is moving because everyone is on the defense, trying desperately to “win”. There are no winners in the game of hate.

You know what might change someone’s opinion? Love might. Befriending them might.  Using this debate as a platform for HOPE might.

What might happen if both sides put down their arsenal of hate and instead filled it with love and tolerance. I am not saying you have to agree with that other side, or even think they were justified. Just listen. Send your letters and explain your side. Use your own judgement and by all means, if you feel it’s right, make your own decision to stop eating there. Listen to the decisions. Form an opinion. Follow you heart. Just don’t hate.

Don’t just wait to stand against something, but figure out what you stand FOR.

Just a week ago, a man walked into a movie theater and killed and injured people who were just trying to have a good time and enjoy a movie. . Many were hurt. Damages were unimaginable. Pain is their hard reality.

And here we all are, fighting over the opinion of a CEO at a fast food restaurant.

We are missing it.

Ignorance and hate are becoming the backbone of our county and it literally hurts my heart.

Please, no matter what side you are on, put down your hate. Let’s stop this now, before we live in a world where the only people or places we associate with are ones that match our own narrow mindedness. Please see the beauty in uniqueness and difference in people. It is how God created us; different and beauty so what we may learn from each other.

Love people for who they are and don’t hate them for what they aren’t.

Jenny