Sunday, February 12, 2017

Thoughts on Time and God

Does anyone else feel like waiting on God to do "His thing" is like holding your breath underwater for a really long time? I am NOT a patient person, although I'm developing into one (slowly), thanks to my children. In my immediate family, my impatience is notorious to the degree that my dad would call me "Impatience Johnson." I always held to a lesson Grandma taught me: NEVER ask God to grant you patience because He will give you ample opportunities to learn it. Grandma always has been, above all things, practical and wise.

And yet as I've grown up, I've really begun to understand how time works. One second will always be just one second. One minute will always be sixty seconds, and so forth. Time is a constant. Sometimes, it's an asset, and sometimes, it's a liability.

Furthermore, I've come to a real epiphany on time: it does not work the same way for God as it does for us. Since He created it, He can bend its rules as He sees fit! Our job is simple: bring our needs to God, and He'll respond with His solution. In most of my circumstances, waiting for the solution has been much more difficult than realizing I had a need. Why? I want to do the work. I want to be the clever one who thought of a solution to her problem. Where's the glory due to God in that?

When we wait for God to act or answer our questions, sometimes it really does seem like forever. Realize this though: sometimes, He's just waiting for one of His other kids to be obedient and be the blessing we need them to be. We are just as responsible for the way we use our time as we are the way we use our bodies, money, belongings, etc. When we don't have an issue that needs heavenly intervention, we need to be most "in tune" with God to make sure we are doing everything we can to help others out. Just because we're doing well doesn't mean that our neighbors are!

I urge you (and myself) to be especially aware of all the opportunities we have to be a blessing. Sometimes, it just needs to be a smile and wave at the neighborhood kid who looks a little down after school. Other times, it'll be acting on a conviction that came as a result of prayer and communion with God.

The point is, we need to be using our time to enjoy God, as John Piper encourages us to, and to fulfill our commission of spreading the Gospel. This can be done through full-fledged, "legit" ministries, like being a full-time missionary, or by being a godly role model for our at-home family and church family. God calls us to serve exactly where we are. We don't have to be like Paul to be doing our godly job! Use your time well!

-Domestic Goddess out.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Closet Update

Well, it's been a month since I slimmed down my closet. 

I've cheated a few times:
1. I really just wanted to wear a different T-shirt, since I just kept one.
2. SuperBowl Sunday-I dug out my collegiate jersey and wore it in the name of football.

I've also adjusted my closet:
1. I removed a pair of shorts that I love but are not really in good shape anymore. I replaced it with a (just recently purchased) skirt.
2. I gave a pair of LuLaRoe leggings that didn't fit me properly (I was experimenting with LLR's unique sizing system) to my friend and replaced them with a dressy-ish T-shirt.

Overall, I like having my narrow options. Even if I don't lay out my outfit ahead of time, I'm not in my usual "I have no idea to look cute" mindset. I've gotten braver and starting mixing prints. What do you think of this combination?

Have you narrowed down your wardrobe? How are you liking it? Leave a comment.

Blessings, my friends!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don't Believe

Title: Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don't Believe
Author: Tom Krattenmaker
Genre: Non-fiction, Agnostic, Christian, Religion

This book was exactly what I hoped it would be. Confessions of a Secular Jesus Follower: Finding Answers in Jesus for Those Who Don't Believe, by Tom Krattenmaker, is a beautiful explanation of who Jesus the Man is, what He (still) stands for, and how we can incorporate His teachings into our lives, nation, and world...without needing to believe in His divinity. I'm a Christian, and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read this. I learned a lot about several of Jesus' most famous teachings. 

I read about a chapter per week (exceedingly slowly for me), taking time to both absorb and tear into the information. I discussed what I learned with my early-morning walking partner, who is also a Christian. We both really appreciated looking at our beliefs from a non-Christian perspective. Krattenmaker helped us realize there's so much more to what we believe, and we are both moved to positive action in our community. Christianity is, in the end, a set of beliefs, and I believe we honor Jesus most when we model our lives on His, sharing love, showing mercy, acting justly.  Jesus is a man, and as leaders go, He is the best, and I'm thankful for His love and mercy towards me.

I've shared what I've learned with others, and I'm doing my best to keep my eyes more open to the world around me. Krattenmaker is absolutely right: There's no need to believe in Jesus as a Savior in order to emulate His good works. Becoming more Jesus-like (loving your enemy, serving the marginalized, calling out the privileged/corrupt) is what more of us need to do, particularly in today's topsy-turvy world. Krattenmaker's book is making me dig deeper into the Bible passages I thought I knew so well-I love that there's always something new to learn. Confessions definitely is leading me to a closer relationship with Jesus, and I am thankful for Krattenmaker for helping open my eyes.

This book was so good, I'm having trouble deciding what to pass it along to. I'm guessing my pastor will get the first borrow-he loves reading even more than I do, and this book is right up his alley. :)

Blessings to you, friends. Happy reading!

**In exchange for a post, I received this book from Blogging for Books for review**