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The tension of a tragically, beautiful world

I've been wanting to do a count of all the miles I've traveled in only a few short days.

I'm thinking the numbers would add up to something quite high, but no matter what they amount to, they'll never compare to the vast amount of emotions, joys and sorrows that this heart has covered in a mere couple of days.

From sitting by your friend's side while her dad lies sick with cancer, to sharing beautiful moments of truth with a small band of Christ-followers, to holding those who've just laid a loved one to his final rest, to celebrating the exquisite beauty of a dear friends wedding day. 

There are painfully tragic moments all weaved together with the gloriously beautiful moments in this great span of time that we each call our lives. 

And this is the tension we rest in here on earth, while waiting for a perfect eternity. 

We're all caught up in the midst of awful pain and breath-taking beauty. 

We're forever wondering how we can be holding on to both in one single heart. How it's possible to one day grieve a loss, and the next day dance with joy at another's celebration.

We'll forever face the tragic whether or not we're okay with facing it. But tragic can become a thing of beauty too, when we go and lift our eyes up, right there in the midst of it. 

It can become a window to the very truest beauty of all-the beauty of seeing His hand working amidst it all, bringing it all into a glorious display or redmption.

Tragic can be turned upside down and begin to shape a steady row of miracles, if we go on and let it.

Tragic can begin to shape you and I into greater lovers and greater followers of the One who faced the greatest of all tragedies- of a Savior being slain by the lost lambs He came to save.

May we not waste away our moments of tragedy by simply trying to rush right through them. May we look up instead, and see what is to be gained right there in the midst of them.

Live strong and full right there, in the tension of the tragic and the beautiful.

Take it all in and let it guide you to the one who will one day wipe every tear and will rejoice with you forevermore.

Yes, this painful, broken world is one day coming to an end. Spend your days below letting yourself be broken for the others in your life, that the beauty of heaven can shine through every crack.

And when life is marked by the beauty of Another World, don't let it slip by without a heart full of rejoicing invested within it. For there lies the reminders of our own after life. 

There within those moments of blissful glory, lies the reminders of what exactly is to come for the heart that believers in the One who won our victory forevermore.

There's a whole lot of us-the dreamers, Christ-followers and seekers of grace. 
Would you care to join us in our great pursuit? Join here

Walking in grace on unexpected roads

When I was a girl, I'd dream up the ultimate life. That's what we tend to do, right? Picture it in our mind and then spend our whole life trying to make it our reality.

And yet so many times we chase without ever holding in our possesion the life of our childhood dreams.

It could be for any number of reasons. Maybe you've grown up to find that life is a little more complicated than the simplistic view from your childhood days, or maybe events beyond your control have gone and taken over control of the ten year plan that you were in the midst of working through.

Or, maybe we could all find that the greatest dreams come true, when we open up our hands and lay our hearts bare before the One who crafts the galaxies and spins this earth in a perfect, perpetual orbit. 

How to live a day that holds more weight

They say that time flies and we're all pretty sure that it's true. We look back on the days that made up the weeks, which made up the months that somehow turned into years, and we wonder exactly how we've gotten to where we are.

We wish we could freeze it-store it all up to be lived all over again. But the fact is that time just keeps on passing us by without us knowing just how to even pause for a moment to catch enough breath.

Maybe these steps could create a day that stays around long enough to hold some real weight. Maybe just one of these ideas implemented into your day could give it enough weight to carry right on into eternity. I think it's worth a try, don't you?

Right now, let's do a little brainstorming on what simple choices we could make in order to live in a way that brings more of significance into our day. Here are a few of my own to begin...

1. Fight the urge to share it all. When your favorite moments come around, jump into them fully instead of reaching for your phone like usual. Embrace it, notice every aspect of it, open your eyes wide and tuck it all back inside of your mind. It'll sometimes do better than all of the likes of Instagram.

2. Add a few more hours to your day. I've heard it said and said it myself-what we all wouldn't do for just a few more seconds of time. Go ahead and do the dreadful deed of waking a few hours early. My best advice for success-when the alarm goes off, jump out of bed before your mind has time to start. You'll be amazed at all you've accomplished before ten in the morning, and the sunrise views make a nice little bonus.

3. Let go of the social barriers that keep you from reaching out. We'd rather call them our walls of protection, but what exactly are we keeping ourselves protected from? Jesus never saw a need for walls of protection, and neither should you and I when it comes to our every day interactions. Live outside of your comfort zone and you'll begin to see what real living is all about. Next time you're in public, tear right through the wall between you and another human being. You'll never know just how much they might need the real Love that's inside of you.

4. Stoop down low to the littles in your life, and begin to see through their precious eyes. There's a reason God gave us the nudge to be like a child, and we all tend to skip over it far too easily. We overcomplicate and under-care and throw out the God given curiosity that brings us what we're meant to enjoy. We make ourselves to big and our God far too small, thinking we know best, when He holds it all. Yes, we'd all do well to look through these little eyes and get our world changed up a bit.

5. Learn to keep a book open. We'd all wish for more time to learn, more time to think, and more time to grow through the wealth of a treasured good book. We say we don't have time, and maybe that's true for you. But what if we each added up the amount of times when we reach out for our phone out of boredom, or a few minutes wait. Add it all up and you might just find a book or two of time, in your minutes of in between time. Learn to keep a book close by and choose to read a page instead of scrolling a little more.

6. Live boldly in the only thing that is really going to matter. We're all about our living boldly and throwing off fear, but what a crying shame it will be if we get to the end of our lives and find that we lived in shame and fear in the most important thing. In the end it will all come down to who gave all to follow Christ, and who counted up their lives and found them too precious to let go of. We've got to stop fearing what the world is going to think and start speaking out on the most important thing. In the end, God's not going to applaud our boldness to wear what we want and each speak our minds, but rather who showed the real meaning of bravery by saving another lost life. 

7. Learn to write down as much of life as you can. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and sure it might be true, but a picture is never going to add the detail that's wrapped up in your mind. Describe it and feel it and let the words flow freely onto the page. This is what generations will look back on in order to know the impact of your earthly life. Let it speak of Him who created you, and let the generations ahead gain a spot next to you on this beautiful life that you've been given.

I've seen glimpses of the beauty of each of these ways of life, and yet I've far from mastered a single one of them, I'm afraid. So why don't we band together and learn to make our days count, instead of watching our lives keep flying right by?

Start with one maybe, or come up with your own. Live intentional, because He's placed a number on your days, with a purpose for each one. Don't loose a bit of it to lesser things.

Now it's your turn, go ahead and share-what little changes could you make?

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The doors that lead us deeper in

In all of your imaginings of heaven, do you ever sit and wonder about the list of things that we're going to be surprised by?

I like to think about what could be listed there among the countless things that will catch us off guard in comparison to being in His glorious presence. After all, what do our earthly minds know about a place that is called eternal? What does our short sighted view really amount to standing up against all of time.

When you've got to fight daily

There are days when it seems to be a battle to simply keep the focus. You can have your eyes set on the Master, you can have your heart fixed on what is true, and yet a thousand times you feel the pull to look, instead to doubt.

The enemy tries his best to deceive you, sending little lies to run right through your mind. He tries to make the fears appear greater than the source of safety you are leaning heavily upon.

Choosing to see the least of these

You and I have always been taught that bigger is going to be better than the little that we've got. We're told to go as far as we can, and embrace every bit that this life has to offer. We're taught that success is measured in numbers and the great heights that you are able to reach.

We've all heard it said, "go big or go home." As if this life is wasted if you don't reach up for the best.

Our culture seems to cheer the loudest for those who are running the fastest towards their own, self-created version of success. Our world stands up to applaud those who've given their all to the fight for more in their earthly lives.

In search of deliverance

As we all seek to move forward in the journey of following after Christ, there is one thing that we never want to find in our lives.

It's called idolatry.

To the heart that truly knows Him, this idea ought to bring a cringe to our souls as we think of giving our worship to anything of waste.

We know in our minds that He's the One true God, and yet our affections seem to constantly fight to be given to objects holding nothing of value.