We are ALL IN!

Remember back last summer when I said we were building a house?  Well, it’s done!  And we are moved in!  It is beautiful, I love it, I feel absolutely blessed beyond my wildest dreams.  Here are a few of my favorite places so far:

My shoe shelf in my closet:   My shoes..  See those heels in the top left corner?  The teal ones?  Yeah those are my faves….however, my new yellow ones are now running a close second in the favorite department. I guess it’s obvious I have a slight obsession with shoes….  My closet is a dream.  Anyone that knows me knows that I love all things fashion. (My husband knows because of his shrinking wallet…ha!)  So, when my sweet hubby had this closet built for me, I was in heaven.  🙌🏻 Glory!!!!! 🙌🏻  Enough about my closet, the rest of the house is coming together and I just again have to brag on that amazing husband of mine – do you see the table in the dining room?  Yeah, he built that!  I have to tell you when he said he wanted to build this table, I kind of maybe said “yeah right, you don’t build things.”  And I really didn’t have high hopes.  I know that sounds terrible but really, he didn’t have high hopes either so I’m not being mean, I promise!  He isn’t necessarily a handy man…well I guess I have to say he wasn’t.  He seriously built this table y’all and it is AMAZING!  Anyone that has walked into our house, that is the first thing they notice and compliment!  He is so proud of it and I am too!  That is something we will treasure always.  Truly we will.  It is a place where we will enjoy family dinners and have friends gather.  It is a place we will make new sweet special memories.  I look at that table and think of years to come as our boys grow, our family grows and maybe one day long long(VERY LONG) from now, my grandchildren will even sit at that table and we can say “your grandfather built this.”  You know what though?  I have realized something.  All of this is ‘stuff.’  Simply ‘stuff.’  If we aren’t careful it can become our idol, or a mask or a bandaid.  Their was a time I can say that clothes, shoes and really ‘outer beauty’ was my idol.  I was consumed with new clothes, new hair and definitely new shoes!  Guys, I helped lead worship on a regular basis at our church and I was more worried about having a new outfit every Sunday than I was about the condition of my heart. -Frightening-  That friends is where we start to fall and fail.  I was complimented all the time about how beautiful I looked or how someone loved my new top or my sparkly heels and I began to feel really good about the outside.  Yet inside, was getting more and more dark.  Big head, ugly heart.  Eww……  I saw this quote the other day:  “How pretty your face is matters so little in comparison to how pretty your heart is.”  Oh….shoot.  TRUTH.  I recently had lunch with a precious woman whom I’d had a slight miscommunication with and over the last several years we just seemed to not really connect well.  So, she asked me to lunch.  And I went.  Nervous as all get out thinking this woman is going to tell me that she doesn’t’ like me, she thinks I’m shady, she doesn’t’ trust me and on and on and on my mind went.  *—yeah that anxious thing I’ve mentioned before, I still battle it from time to time.  Darn that enemy for creepin’ in, in our weaknesses!—*  Well, at our lunch she confessed to me that the awkward tension between us was because I intimidated her.  She shared with me that my outer beauty, how dynamic I am with people and my smile really intimidated her.  Umm, I was baffled.  Especially, ESPECIALLY because she witnessed what I went through.  She knows ‘the story.’  How could she possibly be intimidated by me!?!?!  -Remember, I failed BIG TIME!!!!-  Y’all I looked at her and said: “You do understand that all that stuff is on the outside and for a long time my inside was really ugly.  So their isn’t anything to be intimidated by.  At all.”   Praise the Lord, my heart is transformed now and I can say that the Lord is helping me ‘pretty it up.’   It is so amazing to me that he can create beauty from ashes.  — 🎤🎤“Grace, grace, God’s grace..”🎤🎤—

I tell you that story to say:  you can put on a good show but a show it is.  And do you know what shows do?  They end.  It may take 8 months, 8 years or 20 years, I don’t know – but your show will end.  You will fail.  You can have a pretty lil’ house, pretty clothes, a pretty face but until you bring it all to the throne of the Almighty it means nothing.  Until you surrender your ALL, every. single. stinkin’ piece of you, you will suffer.  And the sad thing is, people won’t know.  But you do and He(Our Great King) does – and darned if that isn’t THE WORST most sickening feeling ever to have ALL. THE. TIME.  On the outside you may smile, you may look pretty, you may seem like a beautiful happy family/person, but if you haven’t allowed the Lord to come in, turn the light on all your ugly and transform you, man life stinks.  It took a few years and a giant mess for me to come to that realization.  Yet, when you can walk in freedom and not in negativity or secrets – gracious it feels amazing.  I love my beautiful new house, but it isn’t my identity, I love all things fashion, clothes and shoes alike, but none of it truly makes me beautiful.  We must clothe ourselves in Him, consume ourselves in His Word and surrender our everything at His feet.  Then we gain a beautiful perspective on life and what it is supposed to be.  We have to gain understanding of the Bible in it’s entirety.  Until we are digging in scripture every single day and understanding His Word for all that it is, other ‘things’ are our idols, our focus, our lives.  I’m reading this book right now, “A Theology for the Church,” and I believe it sums this up beautifully.  It says, “When the doctrine(God’s Word) is understood in the context of its dramatic narrative, we find ourselves dumbfounded by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, surrendering to praise.  Far from masters, we are mastered; instead of seizing the truth, we are seized by it, captivated by God’s gift, to which we can only say, ‘Amen!’ and ‘Praise the Lord.’”

When we immerse ourselves in scripture, when we consume ourselves with Him, we fall more in love with our Savior and His words and in turn our hearts are transformed from ugly to pretty and we can’t help but worship Him with all that we have and all that we are.   We have to be ALL IN!

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thorougly equipped for every good work.”  2 Timothy 3:16

“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10

More later…….

 

Source:  Daniel Akin, Bruce Riley Ashford, and Kenneth Keathley, A Theology for the Church (Nashville, TN: B&H Publishing Group, 2014)

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