Moving Requires Work

Sometimes life feels completely settled and organized. Other times, our lives can feel like utter chaos:). This photo was take early this morning as I stood (with strong coffee in hand) surrounded by a sea of brown boxes of belongings and packaging tape…chaos. I’m so over packing.

We are in the process of moving this week and I have been blown away by how much stuff we have accumulated over the last several years. Even after cleaning and purging and donating, we still have so many things. 

What struck me most wasn’t just the volume of belongings, but the fact that when every article was in its place, we had room to walk, room to run and move around. But when boxes from each room made its way to our front room, it all looked overwhelming and so out of  place. Ahhh…just like life.

Here’s the lesson I think I am learning today: 

When we allow God to dig into the tough corners of our life, and sort and get rid of things and attitudes and habits that are not of any value to us, we may really feel overwhelmed by all that is unearthed. We may see a mess in the middle and wonder why we hung onto all that weighed us down. We may also wonder “how on earth are all the real things of worth going to get back into a secure place?” and “will we ever have room to breathe and move and grow?”

Moving isn’t an easy process. Neither is the work of The Father. It isn’t easy but, it is so necessary for our life.

Friend, I’m pretty sure your living room does not look like mine today, all filled with clutter and boxes. But if you find yourself reading this, I bet you can understand the work that God does within or hearts.The deep, deep, work. Sometimes it feels relatively easy, other times it can feel like major surgery.

Whether you feel like life is swell and full of wide open spaces for growth and movement, or whether you feel like you are surrounded by mountains of stuff that need to be removed  or relocated from your life…you are not alone.

We can experience so much freedom when we allow Our loving Heavenly Father to just do what He  needs to do in and around us. Removing what is not hurting us and holding us back and replacing it with love, hope, peace, patience, kindness,gentleness, and self control. Placing right attitudes and habits within us,and healthy relationships that we can nurture around us. 

Lots of love to you this morning and as always, peace -liz

Made Beautiful

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2:10 NLT)

I have always been fascinated by anything creative.

Art.
Music.
Architecture.
Movies.
Books.

And as one of God’s creations, I think it is inherent in all of us to look at His creation and be in wonder.

A sunset,
Pictures from the Hubble Space Telescope,
Coming over a hill while you’re driving through Colorado and seeing how beautiful the Rocky Mountains are.

With all of that beauty and splendor, it is surprising to me how easy it is for us to get stuck in the mire of life.

“We are gonna have to make cuts…sorry.”
“I’ve met someone else…”
“Somebody find Charlotte and get her on the phone… hurry, it’s about her son…at the hospital…”
“Come back in a week for the results of the tests…”

We are constantly inundated with the junk that is thrown at us in life. Some of the mess is our own doing and some of the mess is completely outside of our control. It is so easy for us to focus on it.

“Why don’t I have what I need?”
“I deserved that raise!”
“It’s not fair!”

I have found what defines me as a Christian isn’t how I respond to life when things are going well. What defines me as a Christian is how I’m doing when things are sideways. It’s easy to look at every situation and only find the negative…

It is always easier to destroy than create.

Looking at God’s creation, everything has an innate desire to create.

A spider creating a web,
a bird creating a nest,
a beaver creating a dam,
a mother and father creating a child,
a family creating a life together.
All these things point to every single thing having the distinct purpose…
to create something of purpose, somewhere.

So what do we do with all the brokenness, with all of the problems?
I am not trying to minimize what anyone is going through. We have no shortages of terrible things that can happen in this world.
But, where can we turn and see something better?

My cousin Joe, one of my favorite people on this planet, once said,
“When I look at a piece of pottery that fell, or is broken, it becomes more interesting. Those imperfections make it way more interesting than if it had stayed ‘perfect’.”
It has been almost 20 years and his words are still etched in my brain.

This is where we can turn to see something more…something made beautiful.

There is a Japanese art called Kintsugi, where the artisans fix and restore broken pottery with a special lacquer and they put gold, silver, or even platinum dust in it.

It. Looks. Amazing.

When I see the Kintsugi pottery, I can’t help but think that God does exactly the same style of artistry with us- even better. With our brokenness, with our fissures He is filling us with flecks, and facets, and particles of His hope, love, truth, light, and life.

Through whatever you might be experiencing in your life right now:
May you know that you are His masterpiece.
May you see the precious beauty of God’s hope filling your life.
And may you know that God has never abandoned us but has always brought the pieces together to make something vastly more interesting and beautiful in us. So that we, in turn, can see the value in all things and all people around us and create something beautiful with our lives.

“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (Eph 2:10 NLT)

-Josh

Go the extra mile: Check out the song “Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)” by Hillsong. A perfect reminder of the love and grace that is all around us today and always.

Coming Soon

Good Morning friends!
Just a quick update to let you know that in honor of Valentine’s Day, we will have a guest blogger next week and you do not want to miss the nuggets of wisdom that he will bring! He’s one of the most wise men I know and it is my honor to call him my best friend and  my hubs Josh Trujillo:). For real friends, Josh is not just book smart- he is extremely life-smart.  Add to that:patient, kind, hilarious, generous, handsome, witty, honest, and creative. Seriously guys, he is all that:). I mean, look at his pic! So make sure you check back into the site in the next few days to read his post. I heard a snippet of his message for us and I am excited about reading the rest!

Also, you may have noticed the updated profile pic (yes, my photographer let me drink coffee for the shoot), as well as the super dreamy headshot of Josh, courtesy of Libby Neder Photography (right here in Denver yo!). Libby is an extremely gifted photographer who we met this past Summer and my family and I were so pleased to be able to work with her for our own photo session. So if you’re looking for someone to document your life events really well, check her out!

http://libbyneder.com

Talk to ya’ll later friends!
peace-liz

37 Years In

Happy birthday to ME! And yes, I am still accepting gifts and mass quantities of coffee too. I’m another year older, and hopefully, another year wiser. I tend to get reflective about my life when January rolls around.
Lately, I’ve been reflecting about how life is a gift.

My last birthday was spent celebrating the incredible life of my Grandma-In-Law that walked into eternity a few days before my 36th birthday. Grandma Sara was the only grandma I ever knew- she was such a role model to me in life & faith. Her life continues to inspire me as a wife, mom, and Jesus-Follower (she was the best, seriously the best). Around this birthday, our family heard of a few losses of loved ones by those we know and love. I may not know everything, but I do know this:

Celebrating life doesn’t always include cake.
Sometimes it includes a colorful party.
Sometimes it includes a room full of joy and laughter.
Other times, it includes a room full of cold, pastel-colored flowers and
deep
deep
sorrow. However…

Celebrating life is still a gift.
Friend, let’s go deep for a minute…

We are never promised a peaceful life up to the spry age of 100 years old.
We have not been promised a life absent of struggle or strain.
We are not even promised tomorrow.
What we have been given is the gift of right now and it is brief -like a vapor- in the scope of all eternity.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” (James 4:14 NASB)

When we wake up in the morning and we are able to breathe deep, it is a gift. When we are able to hug a friend during a regular day, it’s a gift. When we are able to smile at a complete stranger and brighten their day, it is a gift. When we find ourselves in the midst of a battle and are surrounded by caring friends, it is a gift. When we experience defeat or an unthinkable loss and are barely standing, it is a gift.

Let’s get even more real:
When you are holding a child who is sick or full of great need and you can do nothing else for them, life is precious and fragile and it is still a gift.
When you feel the panic of violation because articles of worth, your personal belongings, were stolen from you (true story ya’ll)…life is not about stuff; life is about people and sharing life with them. Even under these circumstances, we can know His perfect peace and know that life is still worth celebrating.

Through every season and situation of life, God is still good and this life is still a gift.
He’s given us all beautiful and mysterious gift and we need to remember to celebrate it well.

Celebrations usually include gifts.
Now, gifts are not meant to stay in boxes wrapped up with a shiny bow.
Our gifts were designed with a greater purpose and were designed for use. This life is full of opportunities to experience both. Often times, those opportunities will look more like
Pain
Struggle
Brokenness
Weakness
Loss…but when we’ve come through to the other side, whether by the skin of our teeth or with plenty of room to spare, we must remember that life, and celebrating this life, is a gift.

Your life is a gift my friend. Don’t let your gift gather dust or stay hidden. By holding back our gifts of life, we are depriving someone who is in desperate need of those exact experiences of hope and faith. Your life, all of it, matters. The glorious parts as well as those that feel mundane. The parts you want to put on display and the parts you think aren’t worth sharing. Every day that you are able to see this truth and know it deep down in your soul is a day for celebration.

“Long before He laid down earth’s foundations, He had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of His love, to be made whole and holy by His love. Long, long ago He decided to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!) He wanted us to enter into the celebration of His lavish gift-giving by the hand of His beloved Son.
Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, His blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we’re a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans He took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.
It’s in Christ that we find out who we are and what we are living for. Long before we first heard of Christ and got our hopes up, He had his eye on us, had designs on us for glorious living, part of the overall purpose he is working out in everything and everyone.
It’s in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what’s coming, a reminder that we’ll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.”
(Ephesians 1:4-14 MSG)

Friend, I know this is not your typical birthday reflection on how wonderful it is to be 37.
I didn’t want it to be.
This is just my observation having only 37 years in.
I tried a couple other drafts, but I came right back to the deep. The exact place I try to live from. Sometimes I feel like I get it right, and others…well, let’s just say I’m a pro at the do-over;).

My challenge for you is this:
What will you do with this gift of life you’ve been given?
How will you spend it?
How will you celebrate and share your gift of life today?

Your life is precious and matters a great deal to God. Only in Him can we find the peace, joy, hope, courage, love, honesty, redemption, grace, and mercy that we can share with this world through our personal stories of experience.

I’d love to hear your thoughts today on how you will personally celebrate and share life. Please comment below or share this message with a friend (preferably over coffee and chocolate cake). Make today different by celebrating and sharing this beautiful-messy-challenging-awesome life we’ve been given.

Peace-liz

Go the extra mile:
Check out this song- I can’t get enough of it!