Feeling Full


I don’t know what it is, but I’m feeling more full this year than I was last year.  No, I’m not referring to that “my pants are too tight after the holidays” fullness that we all feel when we’ve had way too many pieces of pie or popped one too many Lindt Chocolates into your mouth on New Years.  You know what that feels like – that awful feeling when you have to loosen your belt a smidge to keep from exploding and flying about the room like a wild balloon.

No, I’m talking more about an inner emotional feeling of contentment.  I feel like I am more successful as of late at trading all the shiny little things in this life that keep my attention for the more valuable things right before me that I so easily ignore.  Days when I’m less consumed with myself and actively looking or creative ways to build others up and serve others.  Now there’s a life lesson…..when a self-centered, prideful heart learns that she’d rather add value to those around her, mostly because it keeps her eyes off of herself…that’s a win-win and deserves a “yay God”!

John Fischer asks, “Can you imagine what it would look like if everyone found our fullness from being in relationship with the one who created them?  Not needing anything emotionally from those around us because we were so full of Him? Imagine if our peace and contentment and security was fed by the time we spent with Christ so that we weren’t needy, and only looking to add value to others around us.  If we were working out of His fullness – now THAT would be revolutionary!”

If that were possible, understandably there would still be times when we would fail…because we’re flawed people, but His grace would be enough for us.  No beating ourselves up with guilt, knowing that we are accepted by Him and since He is enough, therefore we are complete! When we’re FULL we’re free because we’re not working from a sense of deficiency.  We’re not looking for emotional deposits into our love tank…we’re the ones handing them out!  We’re not looking for handouts…we’re handing out confidence and grace to those around us like parade candy!

Imagine how much drama might be sucked out of the social and relational settings in our lives if we just accepted HIS fullness and let it invade our lives?  I was raised around drama, so that’s a lesson that took me many years to learn. So the question I continually ask myself is “do I have a sense of contentedness that doesn’t even compare to who I am, how I’m equipped, or my set of talents?”  That’s my daily desire – to live out of his completeness, and serve out of HIS completeness.  Knowing that I am accepted by Him and He is enough…so therefore I am complete.  Amen and pass the Reeses Peanut Butter Cups!

So I fumble through this life trying to do the best I can.   I’m on my knees a lot, asking forgiveness for the times that I don’t bring Him glory.  Asking Him to forgive me for the times when my pride, entitlement, arrogance and selfishness shadow His glory. But I also know that My Father wired me a specific way and that my tendency to keep my eyes on myself is part of my fallen makeup, and so my daily struggles are part of my journey to teach me valuable lessons.  That’s the “power in weakness” thing, and so these lessons are all a part of my heart change and transformation.  Filling me up.  Making me more full.

This might be the only time I don’t mind loosening up my heart belt.

Gift be with you

giftWow!  A new year is here.  Christmas has come and gone and the gifts have been opened, some returned, and the gift-giving has subsided…unless you’re like me who has a daughter with a January birthday.  How did you do with receiving gifts this Christmas?

In my line of work, I often hear conversations end with the phrase  “grace be with you”.  It sounds so spiritual, doesn’t it?  So Christianese.  I even sign my emails that way sometimes…mostly because I want people to think I’ve got it all together in the giving out of grace to those around me.  Ha!  Well, I recently heard someone describe grace this way….”take the word grace and replace it with the word gift…that’s another way to understand grace”.   Maybe I should end my emails with “gift be with you”.

We are nothing more than daily recipients of the gift.  The gift of grace.  We often don’t deserve gifts.  We never deserve grace.  For that reason I want to be a grateful recipient of it.  I blog because I want to orient my life around the gift….make it the theme of my life….no matter how I may bumble and stumble through it.   I’m right there with you.  Trying to figure it out.  I’ll be the first to admit that just because I blog about it doesn’t mean I’m great at it…but if I can point others to that pure gift – His pure grace – well then I can lay my head on my pillow at night content in the transfer.  That’s pure Jesus.

If we focus our lives on flaunting what we know…what we do….what we don’t do…that’s not what Christianity is supposed to be about.  It’s about knowing Jesus, and if its not, then we’re orienting our lives around our abilities and works.

With any gift…there is a giver involved.   I think when people say “grace be with you” they are saying “may you experience the life transforming gift of God – the giver – that will keep and sustain you.”  You’re nothing more than a recipient of the gift.  Daily.  365 days a year.  Be a grateful one.

So here’s to the anticipation of another 365 days of new possibilities and new opportunities for grace sightings and receiving.  Happy New Year!