The Buoyant Worries (#jammed daily devo, day 343)

December #jammed: Grace, gifted.

Day 343: Grace floats.

“Look at the birds of the air …” Matthew 6:26a
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“Bloop…” Down went a loon, in search of a meal or maybe just respite from the wind that day.  Moments later …

“Bloop,” it popped up beside me again as I hastily walked down the pier with my crazy doodle dog, who scared it right back down into the safety of the river waters.

Today’s verse asks us to look at the birds. Do we look at the birds? They have these awe-inspiring survival skills built into them. Some can float. Others glide on the wind. Still more run fast on land.

There are other birds that are much less fascinating to watch. Like the seagulls that steal french fries even though there’s a lake full of food across the street. Or, geese that stay all winter long even though they can fly away to somewhere warmer.

Whether we understand all of them or not, there are a lot of them, and none seem worried about the methods to their bird madness. Maybe that’s why I”ve never been a fan. Perhaps I’m a little jealous of their carefree mind-state.

Bird-envy.

 Here is the bottom line: do not worry about your life. Don’t worry about what you will eat or what you will drink. Don’t worry about how you clothe your body. Living is about more than merely eating, and the body is about more than dressing up.  Look at the birds in the sky. They do not store food for winter. They don’t plant gardens. They do not sow or reap—and yet, they are always fed because your heavenly Father feeds them. And you are even more precious to Him than a beautiful bird. If He looks after them, of course He will look after you.  Worrying does not do any good; who here can claim to add even an hour to his life by worrying? Matthew 6: 25-27

We are always worried about something. Finances, health, our children, our parents, friendships, hardships, road trips …no matter how successful we are at suppressing it, worry will pop back up for air just assuredly as the loon to breathe.

 Nor should you worry about clothes. Consider the lilies of the field and how they grow. They do not work or weave or sew, and yet their garments are stunning. Even King Solomon, dressed in his most regal garb, was not as lovely as these lilies.  And think about grassy fields—the grasses are here now, but they will be dead by winter. And yet God adorns them so radiantly. How much more will He clothe you, you of little faith, you who have no trust? Matthew 6:28-30

When worry threatens, dive into the safe waters of God’s Word.

 So do not consume yourselves with questions: What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?  Outsiders make themselves frantic over such questions; they don’t realize that your heavenly Father knows exactly what you need.  Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and then all these things will be given to you too.  So do not worry about tomorrow. Let tomorrow worry about itself. Living faithfully is a large enough task for today. Matthew 6:31-34

click to tweet graph, dec jammed

Father, Praise You for this piece of Scripture, that encourages our worry-prone minds to rest in the presence of Your promises. Thank You for rescuing us from thoughts that threaten to drown us in anxiety. Forgive us for our lack of faith and trust in Your plans for our lives, and bless us to be more responsible with the reality You have entrusted us with. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Thought Re-Routing,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!

The Window Birds (#jammed daily devo, day 219)

August #jammed: Reflecting on Grace.

Day 219: Right there.

No one is righteous—not even one.August 7
 There is no one who understands the truth;
 no one is seeking after the one True God.
 All have turned away; together they’ve become worthless.
 No one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:10-12 (VOICE)

They were back. Those early birds that chirp in the dark hours of morning, to announce a day on it’s way. It’s always the first thing I hear when they’re there …even before my alarm clock. In the North, they disappear for a while, and the silence is kind of sad. I miss their happy little conversations before the traffic picks up and the day drowns them out.

Today’s Scripture reminds me of the silence left behind when the birds fly South. For some, the silence has never been broken by the Voice sent to save us all. The conversation hasn’t started and they simply don’t know. It’s as sad to me as the silence of a cold winter morning …void of life.

The return of the birds doesn’t make life better or easier, but it does take our minds to a cheerier place.

A Christ-led life doesn’t make life any easier, but it does make life worth living. He grants us Peace, Hope, and Light. On the dark, cold, and quiet days of winter He warms us and encourages us.

Today’s verse reminds us that none of us seek what is good without Jesus. We are incapable of it, and blinded by pride when we think we’re just fine without Him. IF that were true, He would not have come here …would not have died on the cross.

“No one.”

When we are tempted to compare, let’s remember Whose we are and Who we follow … and that without Him, we are simply lost.

#jammed click to tweet jun:jul:aug

Father, Praise You for creating us to rely on You. Thank You for the way You guide us out of our own peril and into the arms of Christ. Forgive us for comparing ourselves to others …thinking even for a second that we are better or worse than anyone else. You are able to love us all perfectly. Help us to know You better each day. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

Get the conversation started by commenting below, and let’s encourage one another as we face life in 2017 armed with grace! 

#greatgrace17

Happy Bird Listening,

Megs

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Stay encouraged!

The Book of Happy Faces

To combat the darkness ever permeate in the atmosphere, I choose to unearth the joy of Jesus by following the happy faces.  Facebook…Twitter-verse…Instagram…Pinterest…my news feeds looks like a Christian motivational speaker threw up all over them and then added glitter.  Facebook can be a platform for the positive and encouraging, or it can be a festering blister of negativity that haunts my bright little screen.

“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Matthew 12:34

It’s not reality, and there’s only 1,440 minutes in my day. The excessive amount of ranting that opportunely may drench my day cannot always be shut off. But in the realms of social media I can unfollow negative sloth, never to be bothered by it again. I even have the power to block it forever, if I deem it too invasive to my joy.  That’s brill. If only that sentiment could be applied to incoming text messages…

 A little bleep landed in my new text alerts one midnight… a photo from my oldest daughter a midst the first Bucher Sister Sleepover. I had been excitedly talking with a friend…down the stairs…in the same house…and missed her first couple of messages. (Side note, I think she’s taken note not to ninja-stealth-scare me anymore by creeping down the stairs and sneaking up behind my chair…good for the old ticker…)

I hastened up the stairs to confiscate her phone and tuck her in, scrolling through her sent messages as I slowly creaked her door shut.

I’m no better than my daughter at waiting for a reply when it’s something I need to know straight away.  And when I post a blog and no one comments, my heart does sink a pinch.  But on the flip side, the concern of inconsequential “dings” and missed ring-tones bead up and trickle to the floor.

“Beep. Boop. Bop,” my daughter’s “phone” busted into the afternoon stillness.

“Beep. Boop. Bop.”

The buzzing robot alert stirred my eyes over to the loft desk.  My daughter bypassed the “I just received a message and must answer right now” circuit board, and continued Barbie’s latest saga to save all of humanity by pairing up with Flynn Ryder… “Barbie’s” crush.

“Beep. Bop. Boop.”

My curiosity did not meander down the stairs alongside the cat.

“Brianne, aren’t you going to see who’s sending you messages?” I prodded… “Someone sent a picture…”

“No.” She quipped, aggravated to be interrupted mid- wedding in the dream house.  Far cry from the urgent response she needed on sleepover night.

“What’s that like?” I seethed, as I searched the dusty corridors of my brain for a pre-technologically controlled remnant.  I confess, I wait for the dings after a blog post like my cat waits for food when her bowl is only half full.  The whiplash of feedback on social media flaunts my convictions and exposes my addiction to encouragement.

It’s a ridiculous plight to develop discipline over, I realize. When to put the “ding” down and look up and out at the world happening in my family room…lest I forfeit my witness of  Barbie and Flynn’s vows.  I mean, Barbie may never marry again, and I will plausibly regret forevermore not showing up in any of the wedding photos.  Blast!

That December afternoon, I caught my five year old’s accused eye roll of amateur status… as I texted and checked one-handed whilst my play-doh cupcake turned into a hot mess. My family needed me to pay attention, not just be present. Inspired, I vowed not to let the fourteen days of Christmas break my daughters and I counted down for in angst unfold with me holed up in “busyness” at my desk, while the sounds of joy filtered up the stairs and underneath the crack of my closed door.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

Introducing my daughter to texting and face-time is only the beginning …social media is right around the corner. I learn how to process faceless communication right alongside her, and have purposely built up a wall of “Jesus-joy” to guard my heart…and hers, until she’s old enough to take the wheel.  I don’t walk the pier everyday with intentions of getting pooped on by a bird …but it’s possible. (Especially lately… What is it, bird-ageddon over here?!) I’m not focused on the birds, I’m focused on the view. I don’t hear their crazed cackling in my ears, because I have different song streaming through my headphones. I choose my focus.

I don’t know what hard-knock is about to sound at my door.  Ailments are imageeverywhere.  But God doesn’t trip me up with obstacles to make me grumble through my day and life.  He’s the God of humorous silver linings.  The One who allows me to walk through an entire cloud of seagulls without getting pooped on; but then get blasted by the only one around in a ten mile radius.

He’s given us His only Son so that we can choose to unfollow the things that make us miserable.  He did not give us life to make us suffer.  He gave us life for joy!  Fight the good fight and roll with the punches…knowing each blow does have an eternal purpose… and your life has a specific one.

Stay encouraged.  Be happy.  “Follow” the light…Christ.

“Be joyful always.” 1Thes5:16

Happy Sharing,

Megs

Stay encouraged!