It’s hard to be God’s beloved today. Isn’t it easier to plan to more beloved, to be better in some way — tomorrow?
Tomorrow, we are always more confident, more healed or less anxious — and then, we might feel like we deserve to have peace, choose joy or stand up for ourselves or find our voice?
But, what if God is calling us to be his beloved today?
Now — as is?
Happy Soul List
This is the question I asked myself a few weeks ago when the new year started.
I’ve brainstormed a list called Bonnie’s “Happy Soul List” on New Year’s Day.
I said to myself, “What are the things I would do, start, attempt, or enjoy if I actually was in fact God’s beloved 100%? If I actually had Jesus, with me physically in the flesh, wherever I went, how would I live my life differently?”
In fact, as our family sat around the table enjoying a New Year’s dessert and snacks with Hubby Eric and my six-year-old Caleb and ten-year-old Josh — I asked each of them to come up a list of ideas that would be their “Happy List”. And we would share our list.
Since that time, I have helped Josh, Caleb and Eric launch some of their happy ideas in play. I am SO good at helping others get their soul needs met!
But, my list? Well, I have made a little bit of movement. I picked the low hanging fruit. And guess what? Yep, they involved other people. Those seem to be easier for me. Like inviting friends over for my first Chinese “hotpot” dinner last weekend (I’ll have to tell you more later. “hotpot” is like Chinese version of the French fondue).
But, the ideas on my Happy Soul List that have nothing to do with anyone but the secret, quiet me — that only Jesus knows?
Well, those ideas I’ve been hemming, hawing and over, analyzing to death.
And three weeks have passed.
When the ideas first come to me, they are always simple.
Always one choice. The one words God puts on our hearts are quiet.
But, they are always clear. Simple.
But, then we take His one word — and try to safeguard our tomorrows by throwing a lot of choices onto the simple idea he’s placed on our hearts.
We kind of take it upon ourselves to then, risk-proof these beautiful ideas God sweetly, gently prompts us with a whisper.
We complicate the whisper. Then, our hearts become conflicted with confusion.
Give Yourself Permission
As I took the boys to the Lego store, God began to speak to me:
Too many choices can paralyze us. One soft whisper of God is all we need.
Give yourself permission to simply move and do that one movement.
Will it be perfect? no. Will other people be happy with it? maybe not. Will it be “successful”? maybe. But, the point is not the outcome. The point of the movement is to be alive. To be present. To be the YOU God created. Right now — with Jesus!
So when we take the perspective that leaving the results (or consequences, positive or negative) to Jesus is a step of faith — then, yes our movement will be perfected in God’s love and by faith!
Has God continue to place something on your heart to begin, do or return to?
Gently turn away all those other ifs, buts, or what-ifs — and simply return to the one word God quietly put on your heart.
It’s never too late. Be the beloved. Today.
Press In and Push Aside
Then, later that week, as I thought back on a hike in Muir Woods our family took a few weeks ago, a song came to my heart and God whispered again.
” In the secret, in the quiet place. In the stillness You are there.
// In the secret, in the quiet hour I wait, Only for You, ’cause I want to know You more…
// I am reaching for the highest goal, that I might receive the prize.
// Pressing onward, pushing every hindrance aside, Out of my way, ’cause I want to know you more.” lyrics to I Want To Know You More by Chris Tomlin ?
Let’s make the most of the twilight remains of the week.
Let’s press in. Let’s push aside every thought that pushes us to toil our way to tomorrow and savor the prize that is ours today: Jesus Himself.
A Bolt of Lightning: Immediately
Finally, as I took my walk a few mornings ago — my spiritual whitespace is a walk outside everyday before I write or do anything — a passage came to my mind:
“As Jesus was going along by the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. Jesus said, “Come, follow me.” Immediately, they left their nets and followed Him.
Going on a little farther, He saw James and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending their nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.” Mark 1:16-20
The word immediately hit me like a thousand watt bolt of lightning:
I’ve been been casting my net in the sea. Being a fisherman, doing what I’ve always been good at: trying to catch a successful outcome. A safe outcome. A known outcome.
But, to be the beloved, I must leave my nets immediately. And follow Jesus. Today.
Do that thing. Make that call. Send that email. Write that thing. Reach out to ask for help. Tell someone I don’t want to do that and decline. Commit and say yes….
I’ve been mending my nets. I’ve been looking at all my worries, insecurities, shortcomings (which are very known to me).
And I’ve also been focusing a lot on the critical voices of people in life who do not regard me (or my ideas) as beloved. I’ve been afraid to “leave” their critical words and just go do my thing. Because I’m trying to mend the nets — change their mind — about me or my ideas.
I’ve been working hard to mend myself from my imperfections. And I’m trying to avoid the hurtful imperfections of others. I’m trying to fix and mend things that God doesn’t want me to fix as his Beloved.
Friends, this is not the voice of the Beloved.
Let’s not worry about tomorrow.
Let’s not wait.
Listen. God’s One Word Whispers
Jesus is sweetly whispering —
Take my hand. Drop your nets.
Come. Let’s leave everything.
Say goodbye. I have a different life ahead for you.
You are my beloved. Yes. You.
Believe it. Come follow me.
What do you think of a fresh start, friends. Today?
Respond. Your Words
Jesus is gently calling for you and me.
Leave safety. Be my Beloved. My love will keep you safe. Follow me instead.
Notice, Jesus calls his disciples to follow him — together.
This journey to be beloved is shared. Let’s help each other.
Don’t think. Just do. Be his beloved. Today.
Share. Your Heart
What is the One Word in today’s verse that speaks to you?
What is God whispering on your heart to do today?
Pull up chair. Click to comment. I love hearing what speaks to you. You make this place real. Psst… enjoying #OneWordCoffee with you is on My Happy Soul List. love, bonnie
Next week’s 2/4/16 #OneWordCoffee prompt: happy. Create & brainstorm ideas for your “My Happy Soul List” (i’d love to hear your list or your experience of creating one! feel free to let your One Word for 2016 inspire you.)
For more encouragement, get a copy of Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.
#OneWordCoffee Link Up
Soul Writing With Jesus — Together
This new #OneWordCoffee Wednesday series inspires us to create space in a simple way, to be present, hear God’s whispers, to be refreshed & renewed. ?
Every Wednesday, I’ll invite you to stop, pause, & reflect on a One Word prompt.
Then, you share how One Word speaks to you: 1. simply post a comment (or) 2. write a blog post, link up on Wednesdays and visit the post before yours to comment and encourage. place the #OneWordCoffee badge in your post(click here) & link back (or) 3. tag photos #OneWordCoffee on Facebook or Instagram inspired by your one word.
#OneWordCoffee ☕️ A simple invitation to create a new rhythm for your soul. To stop and hear God’s whispers. And swap some stories together.
Today’s 1/27/16 #OneWordCoffee Prompt: today (or) choose any One Word of your choice.
Next week’s 2/4/16 #OneWordCoffee Prompt: happy. Create & brainstorm ideas for your “My Happy Soul List”. feel free to let your One Word for 2016 inspire you.
photo credit: kelly ishmael