About a year ago, I decided to do my first Whole30. One of the foods you are asked to give up for the 30-day eating plan is bread. But here’s the thing: I absolutely love bread. It only took a couple of days without it to make me seriously contemplate giving up and pulling into the nearest Panera. Needless to say, that month was a hard one. But the fast made me realize just how dependent on certain foods I had become, and each day, I had to make a conscious decision to stick with it.
If years of watching HGTV shows has taught me anything, it's that our society perpetuates an expectation of getting more than we are willing to work for. So many future homeowners set out on their way to finding the house of their dreams with a long list of the features that they believe to be non-negotiable (open floor plan, granite countertops, a large backyard for the dogs to play...), and confidently smile at their real estate agent when they announce that the amount of money they would like to pay for their new space is not much more than the total of an average grocery receipt.
Don’t be afraid? Stand still? Stay calm? I can imagine the looks on the peoples’ faces upon hearing this from Moses. There were probably a few dropped jaws, involuntary guffaws, and shouts of disbelief. The Israelites were ex-slaves and refugees. They left behind everything they owned and knew to follow a man who claimed to have the word of God and currently faced a terrifying unknown future. I’m quite certain that I wouldn’t have been eager to trust Moses’s exhortation at this point.
I’m one of those people who loves doing Bible studies. I enjoy completing the homework and always opt for the longer in-depth studies because I love studying the Bible. I actually enjoy diving into the original Hebrew and Greek text and trying to discern the author’s original meaning. But our enemy is always one step ahead, trying to figure out what might trip me up next. You see, an unexpected problem with my love for Bible studies is that there are so many to choose from. Way too many.
For many of us this question might be one we ask after completing a task, like when we graduate, finish a work project, finally move, or maybe when we land our dream job. But how do we answer it? How do we know when or how we take the next step? How do any of us even know what the next step is? I guess the simple answer is, we don’t know. No one, not one of us really knows what the next part of our lives looks like. We don’t even know what tomorrow looks like. And maybe, just maybe, that is a beautiful thing.
Godly, socially adept men seem to be extinct, which makes dating hard. Too many disappointments, let-downs, or occasions of being “ghosted” have left their mark on the masses of Christian women and the general response is despair or cries of, “Where have all the good men gone?” I’ve even done this. I’ve been embittered and hopeless after one too many heartaches. I’ve blamed men for being too cowardly, too selfish, or, in some seasons of my life, too elusive.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "The earth laughs in flowers." I am inclined to agree with him, since few things in this world bring me the same singular sense of joy as watching a flower use its God-given power to bloom, flourish, and reach toward heaven with its brightly colored petals, as if offering a sign of worship to our Creator.
Do you ever feel like you’re not good enough? Do you find yourself constantly worried that you don’t deserve the life you have and someone is going to call you out on it? I’ll be the first to tell you that I often question my self-worth and God’s ability to use me. I’m currently knee-deep in the job-hunting trenches, and while I know that I am qualified for the positions I’m applying for, I still find myself doubting my abilities and feeling like a fake.