I am so excited to introduce you to my hometown gal who has been my bestie for literally decades. Wow. When we met in third grade at Awana's I know we weren't thinking, "we're gonna be friends for decades…" That just isn't a very realistic third grader thought. I am so grateful for our friendship. I have memories ranging from us laughing so hard during prayer at youth group that Elizabeth somehow bite down on her thumb with her teeth and drew blood….to fall parties….road trips…..to sticking with each other through all the awkward school dancers and ever more awkward crushes….to Target….hot chocolate….fall parties…..and being in each other's weddings. Elizabeth is a wife, a mother of two little cuties and an educator. She loves Jesus passionately and is full of wisdom. Enjoy her and check her out here.
Today's prompt: Grab a guest post! Swap blogs with someone, and share about anything.
Yesterday was my 29th birthday. That is so strange and unfamiliar to write..... 29 years old. You know how some years you approach your birthday and think that it sounds so old, but once your birthday actually comes you are like, "oh, that's not so bad". Well, that hasn't happened with this one yet. I think it is the looming fact that next year begins and ends a new decade of my life. How wonderfully marvelous and terrifying. In truth, I love getting older. I do! I love looking back over the years and charting my growth of maturity emotionally, mentally, and spiritually speaking. It is as if an imaginary yard stick has been placed against the wall and I have been able to chart my growth over the years. It's one of my absolute favorite things about growing up. Aren't you glad that we don't have to remain stagnant with no hope of change? While we do actually reach a point in our life where our physical height stops growing, our innermost beings have the opportunity to continually flourish. It's such a beautiful picture of God's grace.
I was wrapping up my devotions last night and I got the urge to look up a different version of the scripture on my phone. As soon as I opened the app, I knew that there was a message waiting for me. It was if the spirit was whispering to my heart, "this one is for you". The verse of the day was from Colossians 3:12-14 in the message version,
"So chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God
picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.
Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense.
Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless
of what else you put on, wear LOVE. It's your basic, all-purpose garment. Never
be without it."
That's my prayer, y'all! No matter what happens in this 29th year of my life or in the years to come, I pray that I would be a living, walking, and breathing example of this verse. I can think of no greater way to bring my Father glory than to live out the very qualities of who Jesus was and is. Like this verse says, we were chosen to live out a life of love. Let's dress ourselves in the splendor of what love is and exemplify it through the characteristics listed here. I can think of nothing more beautiful and God honoring than that. Now, I am not saying that it will be easy. No sirree! It will have to be a daily choice and surrendering of our very human nature (Who wants to be content with second place?) If we are really honest, so many of these qualities go against everything our culture values. It is certainly hard to look like Jesus when the world is calling for the opposite. Take a stand; be different. Clothe yourself in love and be the very definition of beauty.
So, as I pray this verse for myself, I pray it for you who are reading too. May you find your compassion, kindness, humility, quite strength and discipline in the weeks and months ahead. May you discover what love is really made of and find the greatest blessings in forgiveness.