My dream and how it answered one of my questions

Just last night, I had the funniest dream!  What is so ironic about it though, is that it has to do with the questions that I have been thinking about this past few days.  (You can read this post about this questions here.)

I absolutely love horses, and–for me–horses are an amazing embodiment of God’s beauty, grace, and power. Keep this in mind when you read about my dream… 😉 Without any further ado, here’s the gist of my dream:

In my dream, I somehow came to own a beautiful horse.  The was tall and stocky, and she couldn’t have been any more beautiful and healthy.  The horse was my love, and I genuinely cared for it deep within my heart.

The only problem was this: I was living in a small room of my sorority house with three other girls, and our house mom wouldn’t let the horse live outside on our lawn.  Therefore, I was desperate to keep this beautiful horse, and I pushed my twin, bunk-bed away from the wall.  I had created “a stall” for my giant horse right there in my room.  And so, my horse began to live in small standing room between my bed and the wall.

Since I “loved” my horse, I didn’t want to risk someone asking me about why a HORSE was living behind my bed and, as a result, having to give her away. So, I hung up my bedsheet so that no one else would see my beautiful horse.

Soon after classes began, I forgot about the horse.  Since I had stuffed her in the corner of our room with a bed-sheet to hide her stall, I forgot to fed her and clean up her mess.  I didn’t even take her outside to run anymore.  Before too long, I had even forgotten that she was living there in my room.  By the time I remembered this, the horse’s stall wasn’t there anymore and neither was she…

In essence, my dream taught me a very important lesson about the pitfall of being a Christian for self-serving reasons.  If we have spent our life seeking God and seeing His beauty from afar, He appears glorious and powerful and majestic; we know that He and His love is the most beautiful and precious gift to us.

But as soon as we take Him and merely have a selfish relationship with Him, we are doing just what I did in my dream: We push God to the corner, cover up His presence, and eventually, we forget about Him.

Today I encourage us to think of this question: How do we have a true relationship with God, then?

After my dream, here’s what I believe: We can’t just push God to the corner of our lives.  God must dwell in all of who are, and He must abide in every aspect of our lives.  Only then will His glory still be revealed.  Only when He is free to consume our affections as well as our heartaches, our beliefs as well as our doubts… only then will we experience the fullness of God’s beauty and love in our lives.

Me or God? A night of questions…

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life;

and it is they that bear witness about me,

yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.”

John 5:39-41

Do you ever wonder what your motives are for being a Christian?

Right off the bat, it seems like a simple question to answer.  To be saved from Hell, to have eternal life, to give my life meaning: all of the previous statements are quick, easy, and honest answers to why we call Jesus our Lord and Savior.

Here’s my real question though: Is the point of being a Christian to serve yourself or to serve God? To glorify yourself or to glorify God?

I write in my journal multiple times during each day and most of these times, my journaling sessions are times of prayer.  When I thumb back through the pages though, most of all of prayers are all about me, my family and friends, and our problems.  Everything is centered around me, and my prayers hardly ever are a reflection of my relationship with God.

This leads me to my next question: Is having a relationship with God built upon fulfilling your needs or finding that God is everything you need?

At the root of all of these questions is an underlying question of your motives: Me or God?

Come back and read about what happened after the night of questions… 🙂

Remembering the Reason

For the past couple of days, I’ve really been thinking about the purpose of this blog.  What are all of the posts supposed to point back to?  What theme?  What Person?

The whole purpose of this blog is to point us back to Christ and how when His love is present within, we are compelled to live our lives fully for and fully from Him.  He’s our everything, our absolute everything!

It’s so much easier to say these words rather than to live them out, isn’t it?  I’m in a dating relationship, and especially in this, I see just how easy it is to not live fully for (my complete focus on enlarging God’s Kingdom and glorifying Him) and fully from God (Him being my source of strength, encouragement, and passion).

And that scares me.  It scares me to see just how easy it is to get distracted and to forget just how much God loves us.  It scares me just how easy it is to turn away from the One that loves us the most, even when we think we are still focusing on Him.  What scares me most though, is how easy it is to forget about the cross and the new life that Christ died for in order that we may have it and live in it fully.

We have to be reminded constantly.  We must remember what 1 Peter 3:15 tells us:

“But in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy,

always being prepared to make

a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for

the hope that is in you.”

Whether it’s a necklace, a post-it note on your mirror, carrying your Bible with you, or even a small tattoo: we must be reminded of reason for the hope that we have.  That reason is Christ, and above all else, we should pray and pray that He is always, always, the Person of our true affections, the object of our praise, and the only One from which we find life.

“My son, do not forget my teaching;

but let your heart keep my commandments,

for length of days and years of life

and peace, they will be added to you.

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;

bind them around your neck;

write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Psalm 3:2-3

God’s beauty revealed in friendships

As I continue growing and experiencing many different parts of life–different seasons, emotions, questions, etc–I find that I learn more and more about God than I would have ever thought possible.

Within the past year, I have learned to see the beauty of the flower above, for an example, as a showing of God’s beauty and as a way for Him to say to me, “Look, look at this flower that I made for you!  Don’t you see its many colors?  I painted it just like that because I knew that you would find delight in it!”

And now, I am learning even more about how God reveals His beauty and love for us through all of our relationships.  I sometimes get worried because I know for me, I often go to relationships looking for something out of it.  Expectations that I have already created for the relationship can take the reigns and most times, take me down a pretty bumpy road.

But now, I’m finding that God gives us friends, family and even “stand-in” family members to show God’s beauty, as well.  If you think about it, the dynamics between two people are amazing!  God is the one that orchestrates all of it, too!  How amazing is it when we can look at the relationship and wonder, “What masterpiece is God orchestrating with me and my friend as the instruments?  What kind of music of worship can we create through the rhythm of our conversation, the crescendo of laughter, and the abundance of joy?”

Tonight, I just want to thank my friends and family for all of their love and support.  There are so many days when I take you for granted and am so consumed with my own, selfish self that I don’t love the way that I should.  For this, I am so sorry and ask for your forgiveness. 🙂

But tonight more now than ever before, I am praising the Good Lord for you!  I am blessed because of you, each and every single one of you.  Even if we have not met yet, I am so grateful for you, too, because I know that God has great plans for you!  I pray that we can meet one day 🙂 ….

It’s 2:10 am , and it is way past my bedtime!  Before I could even think about going to bed, though, I just had to write and let you know just how much I love, adore, and wish to thank you, my dear reader and friend!

Praying your day is filled with Sonshine,