Monday, September 28, 2015

stories and memories and living a full life NOW.

If you ask me to tell you a story from tour, my brain begins processing several things: what kind of person you are, what sort of story you'd appreciate, whether I should make you laugh or make you serious, whether it should be about a particular place or event or just an every day life happening, or whether you would want to hear about the children or the staff.

dragging school day turned to joy in the rain {kalamazoo, mi}

And then, even with a category, there are so many stories to choose from that then I just have to sift through them all. Sometimes I have to stop and send up a silent prayer, "Jesus, WHICH ONE!?!" 

I literally have a bank of hundreds of quotes and stories from those twelve months that I can share at the drop of a hat, and it never gets old. Part of the reason is because I wrote down so much - I have a note on my phone of quotes and they make me laugh every time, and jog my memory if I happen to be drawing a blank. Or the thousands of photos on my computer. 

celebrating birthdays with some of my favorite people on this earth {ft collins, co}

Coming home, I realized that I have spent twenty YEARS with my siblings, and I don't have a story bank like that. I mean, we have thousands of memories, but they aren't well-defined stories and quotes in my head that I can share. We just....are.

liza's tenth birthday c. 2004

While I was on pinterest earlier this week (yes, yes, I was.) I ran across a quote that changed *everything*. I'm not going to copy it in its entirety here, cause I think it would take away from the point I'm making since it's in a different context, but essentially the gist of it is: our lives are beautiful and amazing and masterpieces waiting to happen. Don't wait to start making memories with your life - live it to the fullest starting *right now*.

As I read it, I realized that I have an opportunity, right now, to make hundreds of memories, store hundreds of stories and quotes, with seven of the world's most diverse and hilarious individuals. We all happen to live together, which makes it interesting, and we see each other every day. Literally every day, something hilarious happens, or an adventure, or something to remember.

three mile hike with the littles topped off with candy from the general store {charlottesville, va}

My life is canvas that the Lord is painting a masterpiece on. I can't see the finished product, 'cause it's not finished yet - DUH. And each person and each season that comes across my path becomes part of the colors and part of the work on the canvas. 

Right now, there's definitely a special grace on me because I'm in transition. I'm not real sure what's coming next, and I've spent a lot of time resting and being still and not doing much since I came home. But at the same time, being in transition/season of waiting/season of change is *no excuse* for not living to the fullest *right now.*

one of michael's junior varsity soccer games

Jesus died and rose again to make transitions a time of joy. Where discouragement, fear of the unknown, and worry used to reign, His blood brings hope, confidence and peace.

co-op day with susannah!

"Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." {romans 5}

church picnic with my gorgeous sisters

I haven't lived it perfectly, I'll be honest. Selfishness is a sneaky thing. I've had to ask forgiveness, reset my brain, take time away, turn off the phone and the computer and just go live. 

The day I realized my opportunity at home was a chance to build memories that my siblings and I will never forget, was the day the Lord flooded me with hope. It's become my new favorite word, my anthem song, the sparkle in my eye. There. Is. HOPE, because Jesus *is* Who He says He is, He always keeps His promises, and what I've entrusted to Him He will keep. There is hope.

roadtripping in frederick, md

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope." {Romans 15}

"The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish." {proverbs 10}

"But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint." {isaiah 40}

"For people swear by something greater than themselves, and in all their disputes an oath is final for confirmation. So when God desired to show more convincingly to the heirs of the promise the unchangeable character of his purpose, he guaranteed it with an oath, so that by two unchangeable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled for refuge might have strong encouragement to hold fast to the hope set before us. We have this as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters into the inner place behind the curtain, where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek." {hebrews 6}

early morning prayer vigil outside planned parenthood as part of 40 Days for Life

I can, you can, live to the fullest right now. You have the Holy Spirit living inside of you, and a Father God who loves you more than you could ever love Him back. Everyday is a new adventure with Jesus. Even in the most difficult of circumstances, even when you honestly have no clue what you'll be doing today, much less tomorrow or next week, we can still have vibrant, abundant life. That doesn't mean butterflies and rainbows everyday - it means solid, unwavering security in WHO. YOU. ARE to Jesus, and confidence that He is the one in control at all times.

underdogs for days <3

Everything I'm walking right now in my life requires courage. There's nothing that's flowing easy, or is simple, or straight forward and laid out. It's like the mist on the mountains around our home this morning - you can see right in front of you, but not much more than that. Every step I take in any direction requires courage and faith. And there are definitely days when I do not feel very brave. But the beautiful thing about Jesus and His truth, is that even when I don't feel it, His truth still stands. I'm more than a conqueror in His Name - whether I feel it or not.

So be brave today, live to the fullest! Make memories, record stories, treasure testimonies of His faithfulness in the depths of your heart. No matter what transition or season or uncertainty you are in, He is your Hope, and He doesn't change. He's just as in control as He was yesterday, and last month, and last year, and 2000 years ago, and when you rest in Him, you are free to live life the way He intended you to live.

"Love the LORD, all you His saints!
The LORD preserves the faithful
but abundantly repays those who act in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage,
all you who wait for the LORD!" {psalm 31}

1 comment:

  1. Liza. {Insert your full name here, since I don't know if I may actually use it.} This is so beautiful.

    Especially because one of my specific prayers for you has been that during this time of transition, you don't miss out on what you have now in waiting for what is to come.

    God is so good. I can't wait to hear more of your stories, both from now and from tour.

    Love ya, girl!