When You’re Desperate to Be Pregnant With the Things of God

pregnantI have heard that there are women who can start to show signs of pregnancy even when there’s no tiny life growing inside of them. A desire so strong it ends up manifesting itself physically.

And I’m starting to think they can happen spiritually, as well – these false pregnancies.

We look around and see these women birthing God-sized dreams, doing amazing God-sized things. And we want it so badly, we start thinking we see the signs. We mistake the flutterings we feel inside as we gaze at their manifesting dreams for the stirrings of our own plans and purposes.

And we labor and we work and we bear down hard, but nothing comes. Nothing happens. And we pull back and we look up and we shake our heads in frustration and confusion. “Hey. What’s the deal? I’m wanting to do this for You.”

And I have been this woman wishing I could pee on some stick to let me know – am I pregnant with Your dreams for me yet God? Have You planted something wondrous inside of me? Am I going to birth something for You? And will that be sometime soon?

Well-meaning people, they don’t make any of it much better, these pregnancy desires.

They ask the couple that’s been married for a few years when they’re going to have a baby. Because the couple needs that pressure? Because the only reason you get married is to have children? Because they want someone making them feel like there must be something wrong with them since they haven’t had a child yet?

Seven years into writing at this place, I’ve had some of those same well-meaning people with their well-meant questions. And I know they mean it as a compliment, but I shift uncomfortable when the question comes up – So are you writing a book yet? And I smile and say I might like to someday, masking feelings of failure and disappointment because I’ve tried. I have felt the longings and I have felt the stirrings and I have sat down and tried to make the book words come out – but they haven’t.

And what’s a woman who longs to birth something good and lovely and noble for Him to do?

Pen in hand, heart and pages laid wide open, I spent time last week journaling and talking to God about all of this. This stuff of dreaming with Him and being brave and birthing God-sized things. Me – this woman who is just now learning to stop apologizing for wanting to write. And I thought about being pregnant with my girls. How there was the day I deep down knew I was pregnant, no awkward stick required. And as my girls grew, I swelled with them, their kicks and nudges becoming undeniable.

And I can’t help but smile as I remember my third daughter. How I was wide-eyed and begging the laid back doctor to hurry over because the pressure, oh the pressure. That girl was coming and he needed to put down his cup of coffee and come catch her fast. And he scoffed a bit until he walked over and checked me. And when she came onto the scene with no more than a push or two, I bit my tongue and didn’t say a word to him about how a third time mom, she knows what she’s talking about.

My journal filled with questions.

Is this what it will be like when I’m pregnant, Lord?  

With a book, with an idea, with a dream.

Will I deep down know? Will there be this swelling and this stretching? Will there be these undeniable Holy Spirit kicks and nudges? And when it’s time, when it’s really and truly time, to bear down and birth those dreams – won’t I know? Because I’m thinking I will be so swollen with them – with the pressure and the need to push those dreams out weighty and urgent – I’m thinking surely, I’ll know it’s time.

And I while I feel like there are stirrings – tiny ideas forming and coming together – He’s telling me it’s just not time.

It’s not time to labor.

It’s not time to push. 

I journal more:

Books and babies – they need time to grow.

Books and babies – it’s not healthy for them to be pushed out too soon.

Books and babies – they are meant to be conceived and birthed out of covenant relationship intimacy.

Conviction stirs and I start to wonder if I have long been seeking Him out with a misaligned heart. A heart so desperate to birth something that I have started approaching my Love not for intimacy, but instead simply for pregnancy.

Seeking Him out as a means to an end.

Begging Him to conceive something in me.

Slipping into a place of wanting something from Him more than I desire to be with Him.

His whisper in my heart is tender and clear.

Just be Mine.

Just enjoy Me.

Enjoy My love.

Enjoy My presence. 

Enjoy a deep and soul-satisfying relationship with Me. 

Seek Me for Me. 

Because He is the one who satisfies. He is the one who fills my soul. He is the one who can sustain me, who holds me together. And when I approach Him, I need to approach Him for Him.

I already know from having children – they are a blessing, but they aren’t my soul’s true satisfaction. They are dear to my heart, but having them didn’t make me or my life complete. And I’m fairly certain – doing things for God isn’t going to either. No dream, no accomplishment, no blessing long longed for will ever make me whole.

The greatest gift will always be my relationship with Him – Creator of the Universe, Lover of my soul.

And just as having a healthy, intimate relationship with their daddy is one of the best gifts I can give my girls, this is one of the best gifts I can ever give the world –

My heart deeply and intimately connected to the heart of God.

And what I’m about to say will sound crazy and may even reek to some of a lack of faith, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of the bravest and best things I’ve ever done.

I’m laying it down.

I’m laying it all down.

The plans I have had. The dreams that I’ve been begging Him to make happen. I’m laying them aside for now. And not that I am going to quit writing all together. I am just going to quit trying to force out words. I am going to stop trying make something “happen” with my writing on my own.

Because I don’t want to do something just so I can say I did something. And I don’t want to try to give birth to something that He knows I’m not equipped to live with yet. And I don’t want to seek God just because of what He can do for me or even through me. And it may not sound brave, but for an insecure heart that has all too often longed to be a somebody in the world, it is.

It’s the brave choice to trust His love and to just be His.

I can let Him do what needs to be done in me when and how He knows it needs to be done. I can quit trying to force out things He has yet to fully develop in me. I can know that there will be beautiful things birthed out of my time with Him. Things I don’t have to manipulate to make happen. Dreams and plans and purposes that He’s knitting together as He sees fit, that He’ll help me birth when the time is right.

I can just rest in His love.

And it feels awkward and uncomfortable, when I come face to face with the people I know in real life who read this blog. And I tell myself it just doesn’t matter – if they think I’m prideful or crazy. It doesn’t matter what anyone does or doesn’t think because I know this – if He leads me to write it, then there’s someone out there who needs to read it.

And today, I just want to encourage you, whoever you are, to do this with me:

Lay it down.

Whatever you keep showing up in your time with God begging Him to do for you or in you or with you?

Lay it down.

Take your hands off. Resist the desire to push, to manipulate, to try to make it happen.

Lay it down, even if just for today, and simply seek Him for Him.

Seek Him.

Enjoy Him.

It’s not going to fall to pieces if you don’t put your hands to it today. It’s not declaring defeat and saying it’s never going to happen. It’s not a lack of faith. And just so you know, it’s not wrong to want to be used by Him, to want to birth beauty for His glory. He created us on purpose and with purpose.

But today, maybe we just need to simply say this:

God, I want You more than I want anything else. 

Honestly? I think we are going to be amazed one day when we look back and see what He could birth out of a heart positioned like that.

A heart positioned in faith.

A heart positioned in trust.

A heart positioned to simply rest and receive Him.

I love you, friends.

*** Photo credit ***

When Everyone Else Seems Like Fine China {And You Feel Like a Dollar Store Teacup}

communionI have felt such a strong pull to do communion on my own at home recently. To break off a simple chunk of bread, to pour my small cup of store brand grape juice, and to lay my heart bare before the Lord. To thank Him. To remember. To press in as tight and as close as I can. To ask Him to fill and then to pour out.

And as I was heading out to go for a walk one morning, I felt the tug. To pause. To press in. To take communion. So I pulled out the bread, grabbed a fresh bottle of juice, and then reached for a cup to use. A dollar store teacup one of my daughter’s got at a birthday party caught my eye. My thoughts began to swirl as I pulled it out and set up my small time of communion.

It’s not a cup many would find value in. The imperfect floral pattern around the top. The chipped, fake gold paint lining the rim. It is, quite honestly, a cheap cup. Not a cup to grace the tables of kings and queens. Not a cup that would be sold in the finest of stores. Not a cup the world would really find all that desirable.

Except for the thirsty.

When you are thirsty, truly thirsty, you don’t care what vessel your drink comes in – fine china or a dollar store knock off, exquisite crystal or brightly colored plastic. You just want your thirst to be quenched.

And as those thoughts settled in my heart, before bread or juice ever even touched my lips, I was undone.

Because I can still get so caught up in and hindered by thoughts about my own vessel, about what I think I have to offer. Not just my physical “vessel”, but also my personality and my gifts and abilities. I get to feeling small and unimportant, forgetting that what matters is what is going to pour out of me. What matters is what will slake the thirst of those who are parched for hope, parched for joy, parched for living water. Water that will become a fountain springing up into everlasting life (John 4:10-14). People need to taste of my Savior, not be impressed by the woman carrying Him. And He doesn’t just let certain “impressive” people carry Him. Anyone willing, anyone who calls Him Lord, may offer Him to a thirsty world.

Tears slipped past my feeble eyelash barrier as truth set in.

The King wants to use this cup.

This vessel.

The shape, the size, the apparent worth to the world of my vessel, of your vessel? Those things just don’t matter. They don’t matter to the thirsty. We don’t have to be fancy or impressive. We just have to be available to our King.

My dollar store teacup may not look like much, but it is useful. And it is clean. And this woman? While I may not look like much to some, He says I am useful in His Kingdom. And so I pray, asking Him to keep this vessel clean.

Lord, let me be an empty vessel You can pour out of.
Let me be a clean vessel. One where sin, pride, and selfishness do not mix in and pour out as well. 
Let my life leave the sweet taste of You on the lips of the weary. 
Let me be a vessel for the thirsty. 
Pour out of me, I pray. 

Today, maybe you need to stop looking at your “vessel”. Maybe you need to stop comparing yourself with others and simply let the God with whom NO ONE can compare pour out of you. He wants to use you – no matter how plain and unimpressive you may feel.

He wants to bless the thirsty through your life.

May we remain clean and usable hearts before our mighty and loving God,

A Post For the Invisible, For the Uninvited, For the Ones Who Desperately Want a Seat at the Table

out6hWMI sat down and broke bread with a friend this week.


Her sandwich involved fried jalapenos. Mine? Chipotle mayonnaise.

And sitting at a small metal table outside of a gas station (we’re fancy people, y’all), both my body and my heart were fed. We laughed and we reconnected and we talked about family and work and faith and…tables. Not the long stretches of wood with four legs attached to them. Not those kinds of tables.

We were talking about the “tables” so many of us long to sit at.

The executive tables.

The tables where the popular people sit.

The tables reserved for the people up front. The people who matter. The people who are big and smart and super important.

Those kinds of tables.

And we talked about how we can fight and claw and work and manipulate and schmooze our way into a seat, only to get there and find out it isn’t all we thought it would be. And sometimes we even look back and see the high price we had to pay (or that our family had to pay) – all so we could get a seat at that table.

And none of this is condemning leaders or those who are high up in whatever field they may be in. This isn’t me saying they got their seats the wrong way and they should be ashamed of themselves. Not at all. We need leaders. I need people smarter than me doing all of the important stuff I can’t do. (See. I just used the word “stuff”. I obviously need smarter people who use bigger words.)

For me, our conversation was a personal reminder that I need to check my heart on what I am striving for. It was one of those moments where you realize you need to decide what it is you really want to spend your one life on.

The Holy Spirit nudged me with a telling question on my way home from lunch.

Do you want to make a difference or do you want to be famous?

I shifted uncomfortable in the seat of my minivan.

Because did you know that there are “tables” in Christian circles?

There are.

And I have felt somewhat like I am in high school – this awkward and invisible girl who doesn’t seem to quite fit in anywhere and who feels so very small. I look around and I see all of the ladies who are the “in” gals. And they tweet out sweet messages about each other’s books and speaking engagements. And they post pictures of themselves together having a grand time doing things that look fabulously fun all while being ministerially important.

And a secure heart would celebrate.

But I confess, this heart isn’t totally secure just yet. And there are days I have had to quit looking at my Twitter feed or my Facebook page because it feels like I am looking at the popular table. The table I was not invited to.

And I told my friend that I know, I know I could push hard and promote and connect and try to make something happen. I could make my way to some table somewhere. But that isn’t God’s plan for me or His best for me right now. I know He will open the right doors at the right time and place me at the right tables. And if I push and move outside of His will, it will dearly cost me and cost the precious people at my table – my sticky, crumb and school paper covered kitchen table.

Do I want to make a difference or do I want to be famous?

Because if I want to make a difference, I already am.

I don’t mean that in some prideful or boastful kind of way. What I mean is that we are all making a difference. Of course, we get to choose whether it is a good difference or a bad difference. But we are all making an impact at the tables where we are sitting. Whether it is where we pull up a chair over dinner with our family and our friends or where we sit across from coworkers with our bag lunches or how we sit down and pull up close to talk about the things that matter most to us in places like this blog.

I – by simply being me and being obedient to Him and by making Him known in all that I say and do – am making a difference.

You – no matter how small you may feel – are making a difference.

And it’s really none of our business to try to count up how big that difference is. God knows what He is doing, and He doesn’t need us to tell Him He isn’t doing a good enough job employing our gifts and talents and abilities in this world. (Oh. My. Toes. Did that hurt anyone else???)

I feel slightly exposed writing this all out. Because obviously I wouldn’t be writing it if part of me didn’t want to be famous. If part of me didn’t want a place at one of “those” tables. If part of me didn’t want to matter in the way the world says we need to matter. But I don’t think I am the only one who has ever wrestled with this.

So, sweet invisible feeling sister out there, I just want you to know this:

You matter.

No matter what table you sit at. 

I have foolishly thought for far too long that to make a difference for His kingdom I had to make it “big”. That I had to have a booming blog with a massive following. I thought in terms of numbers. But God reminded me that He doesn’t think like I do (Isaiah 55:8-9). And His math is nothing like my math. (He would leave the 99 for the 1. Not exactly “make you popular” math. And He can take food meant to only feed one and feed thousands. Unbelievable multiplying math.)

I need to stop counting to see if I count.

I need to stop looking around at everyone else’s tables, pull up a seat and simply rest at His table.  

The table where I am always welcome.

The table where I get to feast on His presence and His Word and His love and His mercy and His grace. 

The table Jesus paid a high price for me to have a seat at (2 Corinthians 5:21).

The table where there is room for everyone but no room for egos (Ephesians 2:8-9).

We keep trying to get the world to tell us we matter, and all the while, there is a table set for us, daily waiting for us to come and feast on all that will truly satisfy. A table that declares we mattered enough to die for.

So this is where this girl repents – for sometimes wanting what the world has to offer more than what the Lord has to offer, for forgetting how precious and amazing it is that I have a seat at the table with the King of kings, for trying to steal a little bit of His glory for myself so the world can think I’m something, for the times I have worshiped the people at those tables instead of the only One deserving of my adoration.

And repentance sounds like some awful thing we should avoid, but it isn’t. It’s a beautiful gift. The gift of being able to let the filth of your choices and words and attitudes and actions slide right off of you so you can sit clean at His table, enjoying His presence (Acts 3:19).

The world’s most exclusive tables?

They don’t tend to welcome the filthy, the broken, the hurting.

The Lord’s table?

He not only welcomes you just as you are, He even offers to wash you clean, to bind you up, and to make you whole (1 John 1:9, Psalm 147:3Isaiah 61:1-3).

What an invitation.

Lord, help us to use our influence well. The influence we have at the tables where You have placed us. Help us to love deeply, to share all that we have and all that we are fully, and to spend our days making You known every chance we get, no matter where we sit. And instead of vying for a seat at some worldly table, instead of waiting for some elusive invitation, may we invite people to come and sit with us. To sit at Your table and to taste and see that You are good. We love you, Lord. You and You alone are deserving of all glory and honor and praise. Amen. 

I love you, friends. That you even come and sit and eat the words I serve up here? It is a gift. It is a blessing. And I humbly thank you.

And if this post resonated with you, I HIGHLY recommend reading Emily P. Freeman‘s new book, Simply Tuesday: Small-Moment Living in a Fast-Moving World, when it comes out in August. This book is teaching me more about actually embracing “smallness” instead of hustling so I can be Big and Important. The Lord is using it to give me so much beautiful permission – to be small, to be me, to be His, to just BE. I love Emily’s heart, and I am loving this book.

Learning to Live for HIS Glory and to REST in His Love,

*** Photo credit ***

The Truth About Nobodies and Somebodies

red carpetThat Jesus.

He’s really somebody.

The Son of God. 

The Alpha and the Omega. 

The Beginning and the End.

The One who is and who was and who is to come.

The Almighty.

And His list of titles, they can’t get any more impressive – Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

And the One who had every right to show up with cameras flashing and red carpet rolled out grand – because, hey, He’s the Word and He’s the One who was there with God in the beginning and He’s the One through whom and for whom all things were created – He showed up humble and small instead. The Son of God, wrapped in flesh destined to be pierced and torn to pay for the sins of this world. The Holy One, laying aside the advantages of His status, claiming no special privileges, willingly living a servant’s life. (Philippians 2:5-8)

And it hits me hard.

The great Somebody, the greatest Somebody ever, He became a nobody. For me. 

We live in this world that tells us we have to be somebody. We have to get our names up in lights or in the history books or on the covers of our own books. And we pound the pavement hard to make sure we are seen and we are known, to make sure someone can see that we really are somebody.

We can even try do it in in His name – as if only when we are really a somebody will we be able to reach anybody.

I’ve been that woman – working hard to be somebody, chasing hard after other somebodies, wearing myself out trying to make myself into somebody I’m not, into somebody they’ll love.

And I need to stop and say this – I’m not slamming writing books. I love books. I praise God for those who have written books that have fed my soul and helped me grow. Books should be written. Books need to be written. But they need to be written as an act of service, not as a means to be seen.

And I am starting to see –  

The Name above all names isn’t calling me to make a name for myself.

Because my name? It’s already engraved on the palms of His hands. (Isaiah 49:15-16) And my name? It may never make it into the history books, but it is forever written in His book. (Luke 10:20) And my name? It doesn’t hold the power to save, to heal, to set free. Only His name holds that kind of power. The name of Jesus.

And Jesus, the One who became a nobody for me – He isn’t asking me to become a somebody for Him.

He’s calling me to live a life patterned after His.

And He came to serve, not to be served.

He came for the sick, not for the well.

He came for the nobodies, not to try to impress the somebodies too puffed up and proud to even know they need a Savior.

He, the great Somebody, willingly showed up as a nobody. 

And I love this reminder from His Word:

“Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.”
Romans 12:16b, MSG

All of this – it settles my heart. It slows down my frantic pace to be and to do and to achieve and to impress.

It slows me down and reminds me to receive – to fill up on all that He offers instead of begging the world to make me feel like I’m enough.

It reminds me to see – to notice the ones who feel like nobodies, the ones who need to know they are somebody to Him and to me.

And it reminds me to love – to offer freely and fully to others what I have already been freely and abundantly given.

What peace and rest.

He doesn’t want us to wow the world. He wants us to love it, to serve it, to minister to it in His name. 

And we don’t need the world to notice us, because He’s already noticed and He’s always had His eyes and His heart set on you and on me.

So today, if you feel like a nobody in the world’s eyes, I want you to know this – it’s okay. It really is.

He’s in the nobody using business. (see 1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

And He became a nobody for you and you are somebody to Him and He wants to work in you and through you.

Humble, small, right where you are you.

We don’t have to be somebodies. We can be small and we can be His and we can do amazing things in His name. I’m pretty sure we will be amazed when we get to heaven, when actually we see the reach and the impact He had through us – a bunch of nobodies.

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21, NLT

Blessings, dear friends,

How to Live a Fruitless and Frustrated Life

God knew you.

Before He ever formed you, before the world had ever laid eyes on you, before you ever said a single prayer asking Him what you should do with your life – He knew you.

He knew you and He formed you.

He knit you together with joy and with wisdom, with love and with accuracy. No mistakes. Just as He meant you to be. And He was well-pleased to introduce you to the world. You with His plans and purposes and beauty tucked right there into your tiny, squirming newborn frame.

And you started to grow.

Longer. Stronger.

Learning to take steps and form words and dream dreams.

And you didn’t apologize – for who you were or for what you wanted to be.

You were just you.

And I was just me.

And I don’t know when it happened. When that shift took place. When we reached that age where we started measuring ourselves according to everyone else. That point when we started questioning who God made us to be – wishing we could be more like him or like her. That moment we started apologizing for who He made us to be, as if who we are isn’t quite enough.

And I saw it spelled out for me in the Word this week. I saw the key to living a fruitless and frustrated life. And people can raise eyebrows and look at me like I’m crazy, because who in their right mind would sign up for that kind of life? But sometimes, we need to recognize the way we don’t want to go so we can turn around and travel the path we want to. Sometimes, we need someone to wake us up before it’s too late and we end up with a life that doesn’t truly satisfy.

Because I think most of us really do want to be fruitful. We want lives that have meaning. Lives that are significant. Lives overflowing with joy and with purpose. And we don’t have be embarrassed or ashamed for wanting those things. God wants all of those things for us. He wants us to be fruitful. He even goes so far as to say He wants us to bear MUCH fruit with our lives.  LASTING fruit. Why? Because when we do what He created us to do, when we bear much fruit, it brings Him glory. (John 15:1-16)

And therein lies the catch.

Or rather the key.

The key to being fruitful and joyful?

It’s found in us simply doing what He created us to do. 

Not me trying to do what you were created to do. Not you trying to do what she was created to do.

Just us. Back to the basics.

Back to a place where you are just you and I am just me. 

A place where we don’t have to envy each other or compete with one another because we know. We know that who He made us to be is good.

The key to being frustrated and fruitless? 

Compare yourself and end up climbing ladders you were never meant to climb. 

Because comparisons open the door to envy which leads us headlong into lives He never intended for us to live.

We see the success of others, the beauty of others, and suddenly we think we need to be who they are and start doing what they are doing. And we can end up climbing ladders we were never meant to climb to achieve lives we were never designed to live. And God’s Word tells us that kind of climbing is meaningless. Pointless.

“Then I observed that most people are motivated to success because they envy their neighbors. But this, too, is meaningless—like chasing the wind.” Ecclesiastes 4:4 (NLT)

Trying to become like someone else because we envy them? Because we long for their fruit, despising our own? All it can ever bring to our lives is confusion and disorder. All it can ever do is steal our peace and lead us to a place of rebelling against God and His plans for us.

“For wherever there is jealousy (envy) and contention (rivalry and selfish ambition), there will also be confusion (unrest, disharmony, rebellion) and all sorts of evil and vile practices.” James 3:16 (AMP)

And we can miss out on bearing our own fruit because we are trying so hard to grow someone else’s fruit. Pear trees staring longingly at cherry trees, wondering just how they can grow that delicate, red fruit instead of such clunky, odd shaped offerings. And what is ridiculous and impossible in the natural is also spiritually frustrating and fruitless for us.

How easily we can forget:

We were made to be fruit-bearers, not fruit-comparers. 

And I get it. I get the frustration. Some people? They get more attention for their fruit. They get more applause. They get more pats on the back for all that they do and for who they are. And so it can appear like their fruit matters more. Like your fruit must not be much of an offering after all. But that’s when we have to remember this:

appleFruit is meant to be eaten, not to be applauded. 

No one picks fruit to stare at it. To admire it. To applaud it for being so lovely, only to walk away and let it rot.

Fruit is for eating. Fruit is for the hungry, for the malnourished, for everyone.

And when we remember that is the point of our fruit – to serve, to feed, to nourish – suddenly, it doesn’t matter if the world notices. Feeding even just one person with our lives becomes important and worthwhile because we know we were made to bless, not to impress. We were made to bring Him – the Designer, the Creator, the One we can do nothing apart from – glory wherever He sees fit. Feeding many, feeding any, with all that He has created us to do.

I love this prayer from Ann Voskamp. I can’t remember exactly where I found it. It is simply a prayer for her daughters, and it is one I have latched onto for myself and for each of my girls.

“May she be bread and feed many with her life and laughter,
May she be thread and mend brokenness and knit hearts,
May she be dead to all ladders and never go higher,
only lower, to the lonely, the least and the longing,
Her led of the Spirit to lead many to the cross that leads
to the tomb wildly empty.” ~ Ann Voskamp

That’s what I want to be. Who I want to be. Bread. Thread. Dead to all ladders and Spirit-led.

A life that is truly fruitful.

A life that ultimately leads others to taste and see that He is good. 

And not that my life has been utterly fruitless and pointless thus far. Not at all. But I know I have missed out on bearing fruit because I have envied the fruit of others. I know I have brought frustration and confusion and disorder to my life because I have tried to climb ladders that aren’t mine to climb. And I know I have mistakenly thought the point of my fruit was for it to be on display for my glory.

And so I end this post with repentance. And if your life has felt fruitless and frustrating lately, maybe join me in this today? Because we have the choice. The choice to stop. To turn around. To start living the life we really want to live.

Heavenly Father, we come before you today with humble hearts asking for Your forgiveness. We have doubted You. We have looked around at the world and then declared with our thoughts and our attitudes and our actions that how You made us just isn’t good enough. That You have held out on us. That You have loved others more than You have loved us. That You have assigned them the better fruit. Oh, Lord, forgive us. You are loving and perfect and good in all of Your ways. Who You made us to be is good. Very, very good. And we say before You today we want to be fruit-bearers, not fruit-comparers. Today, we come into agreement with You about who You say we are – beautiful, beloved, chosen, purposed, created fearfully and wonderfully. We want to bear our fruit. Our own fruit. And we want to bear it with joy, bringing You glory. We trust You. We love You. We praise You. Amen. 

Today, you can just be you and I can just be me. We can bear our own fruit and enjoy one another’s fruit and trust that it really is all good.

I love you, friends. May we get these truths tucked deep down into our hearts, into a place where they can bloom true joy and produce pure peace.

Much love,