don’t follow your passion // career path

blog.june18

“You’ve been fed a lie from our culture. Work is hard. Your dream job doesn’t exist. Don’t follow your passions, but develop your passions and use them for your purpose.”

I am so thankful I found this podcast. It changed the way I view work and challenged me to minister and grow right where I am. Jonathan challenges the way we look at our “passions” and offers us a better way. I love it.

I found this especially encouraging as a student. No matter where God has you right now, stop looking to where you think you should be and start embracing the sphere you are in. We get so caught up in pursuing a career and building our resumes, but God wants us to go deeper. We’re working to display Him. We’re working to make His name famous.

But most of all let’s not forget that our work isn’t nearly as important as the souls of the people we work with. My challenge to you and to me is this:

Work hard, because work is hard. Love people and minister right where He has you. Make His Name famous.

Don’t follow your passion. Follow His passion.

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We hear it all the time, “Follow your passions.” So many of us have taken this advice, moving from job to job. That’s what the world says, when really God has you in a job right where He wants you. Luke 5 shows us how Jesus used Peter’s job as a fisherman to bring Him glory. We have to change our perspective, invite God in at work (He wants to go with us), and pursue greater passions — God’s passions. Then we’ll really be on our way to adulting!

GIVE IT A LISTEN!! : Career Path

the novel of your life

beautiful and captivating and surprisingly simple- a story.

intricate details. there’s ups there’s downs there’s easy there’s hard.

a story is a beautiful mix of suspense and waiting and pure happiness and days of sweet, utter contentment. a story is a mix of hard, painful days, and beautiful, easy ones. a story takes unexpected turns to keep you locked in, to captivate all that you are with all that the author is pouring into its pages.

a story is many things, and yet it is unknown to your soul until you read it.

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blog5your life is unknown until you live it. but in every moment that you live fully you are living in the beautiful story your Heavenly King is writing for you. in every moment you are confused and burdened there is a beautiful blessing up ahead. in every moment you are hurt, there is healing in His grace right on the next page. healing that is so much greater and sweeter and more fulfilling than you could ever imagine.

just when you’ve had enough He turns the page. and the captivating thing is that He turns the pages of our lives with such graceful and beautiful hands. hands scarred thrice through with nails our sins drove deep. hands of forgiveness and grace that renew us, that shower us with mercy, that bring passion for the lives He wants us to live.

it’s a grace that has you captured because when His love invades a soul-no matter what is on the next page of your story-you’re secure in that love. you are held in that love. and you are treasured in that love in more ways than you could ever imagine.

some pages stay open longer and others seem a blur too fast to remember. and yet on every page, in every chapter, throughout every novel, there is a graceful blend of the mundane and the glorious risk of the unexpected.

unless you ask King Jesus for a heart pressed fully into His will for your life, He’ll be turning the pages and you’ll be flipping back or ahead because you’ll be discontent.

you’ll want something different. you’ll want your story instead of his story spoken through you.

perhaps the fissure of fear is driving you from seeing the beauty of his story in you. because fear does that, it destroys what our King has made to be most beautiful.

more than any other command in His word Jesus tells us not to fear. Do not fear for tomorrow, or for what men will think, or where you’ll be next year. you fear because you can’t control it.

you must learn to stop reaching for the pen to write your own story, thinking you can smooth over the pain with your own strokes or blur the bumps that make the story hard.

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give Him the pen. ask Him each with each sunrise to write His beautiful story of grace and redemption through you.

I want every heart to know this. I want my own heart to know this. That your story might not look like you envisioned, and that’s a good thing. because when your life is surrendered to a heavenly King who knows not just every hair on your head but has known every molecule in this universe for all of eternity-when you trust that same God with your story-you’re going to start to see something more beautiful than you could have ever imagined.

more stunning and captivating than all else. you’re going to see how he forms your decisions and mistakes and things you wish you would have done differently–He transforms all of that.

He uses that because it is part of your story.

part of his story that he is working in you.

the King of the Universe is weaving together million of novels of his children to bring Himself glory and honor and praise, to pursue His creation with a steadfast love. And to fear what is next in your story is to doubt the King of All the Earth. It’s to doubt that He cherishes you and that He knows what is best for the exaltation of His glory and the fullness of your joy.

He has been planning your story, and your joy, from all eternity. when the world tempts you to doubt by showing you your sorrows, look to your Savior.

He is writing it through you. and the greatest story you could imagine cannot compare to the majesty of The Eternal God’s plan for you.

your future is held in the hands of your King. nothing is a mistake in his eyes. no timing is a mistake, no words spoken-none of that is a mistake.

you’re going to have moments and days full of pain where you look back on decisions you made or things you said and your heart will hurt because you feel you’ve failed. you’ll feel as if  you’ve taken the wrong road and are too far gone. but dear hopeless wanderer, if you are indeed His child

He will always bring you back to the right road.

and even the times of painful wandering, they’re part of his plan. your mistakes are being weaved into a beautiful tapestry.

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0ne day you’ll see it. all the pages woven together in beautiful binding. you’ll look back and you’ll read His novel. a novel in which His love for you is displayed in infinite measure.

until you get to that day, keep believing. keep placing your faith in the work He is doing in your life. and don’t try to peek ahead and see what’s up next, we serve a God of surprises.

and perhaps the next one is just waiting for you if you step out in faith and believe Him to be the Greatest Author and the most loving Father.

enough + enough

she sat down and breathed deep. her heart and mind needed clarity, a place of quiet, peace.

she felt the trap of comparison slowly pulling the life out of her, and she was tired. after all, it’s exhausting work trying to be someone you’re not. It’s exhausting work placing a standard upon yourself you weren’t even made to match. It’s hard to pretend to be someone you’re not. It feels impossible to breathe when you’ve convinced yourself you have to fit the mold that squeezes who you are out of you.

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she let her head rest agains the grass and looked up. there are times in our lives when we feel incredibly small and insignificant; this was one. so many things had begun to feel empty in her life and her heart, unclear and confusing. the enemy had begun to tell her that if something in her life was not as clear as day it was wrong– when really she needed to see that Jesus trumps clarity.

Jesus trumps confusion.

Jesus trumps suffering.

Jesus trumps feelings of worthlessness.

Not because he removes confusion and suffering and feelings of worthlessness but because He is greater than them.

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I want to plead with this girl–because it’s me. yet lately in my soul there seems to be no greater distance between what I know and what I feel. but girl, if this is you, keep seeking Jesus. keep pressing into him on the days and throughout the weeks when you don’t feel like it. seek first his kingdom, his righteousness, his glory. seek to serve and realize it’s not about you, and your feelings of emptiness will fade.

I’d tell her that if you are not living as the person King Jesus created you to be, no one else will do it for you. you are small, but so far from worthless. your heart and your story are completely unique to you, no one else can take your place. don’t despise openness, honesty, and vulnerability. It may be hard, but learning to be open is one of the greatest gifts you can give to yourself. let the world see your brokenness, and in your weakness, let the world see the greatness of your God.

and that other girl who seems to have everything together–she’s hurting too. we’re all broken, and to pretend we don’t face struggles each day is to miss out on knowing the great strength of our God. If you could do it all, you wouldn’t know the joy of prayer and the presence of God. If you had everything perfectly together the sweetness of surrender would be distant from your heart. you were made for purpose, not perfection.

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change comes softly and slowly. stop trying to be someone you’re not and stop wearing yourself out because you haven’t grown to be the person you long to be. you are enough. let his song of pleasure over you delight your heart. you are held.

she looked up into the clear night and pulled the blanket around her. and slowly she began to whisper to her own heart that the One who hung the stars holds her tight. she didn’t have to fight who she was and wish she was someone else, she was free. and in freedom we find the joy of surrender, of giving all of our heart to Jesus. whisper it to your heart, “you are enough.

because you are truly enough.

from distractions to purpose

Sometimes I wonder why there are so many distractions. Why there are so many things pulling me from the face of my Savior. Why isn’t it easy. Why isn’t it less of a fight.

Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetThe devil and the world and my flesh are masters in the craft of deceit. Sometimes I get caught up in listening to the lies. I play them over and over in my mind so often that they begin to sound like the truth.

But there’s a truth Jesus keeps bringing me back to. I have been called to be different and set apart for the Lord in the midst of a world that hates God. And this world that I am inbut not of-is going to seek to do everything it can to pull me away from the face of my God.

I could give in. I could become like the rest of the culture that seems appealing. The culture and the world that seem fulfilling. The world that promises so much-and yet delivers destruction.

But I am not called to love a world that hates God, and that blasphemes His name. I am called to love God and others radically. I am called to live a set-apart life. A living and breathing sacrifice of conformity to His image.

Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever. { 1   J o h n   2 : 1 5 – 1 7 }

If I love this world-If I love money, possessions-If I’m constantly concerned with my image and appearance, I am loving a world and things of the world that are pulling me directly away from the Savior I claim as my Lord.

I write this in my journal over and over to remind me when I face temptation. To remind me that this world is not my home. To remind me that the reward of hope in Christ is far greater than anything this present existence has to offer. To preach to my soul that Jesus satisfies. He fulfills.

And all the trials and temptations I will face in this life are worth enduring compared to the weight of glory that will be revealed when we stand blameless before the Lord because we have rested in the work of Christ.

For I consider that the sufferings  of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. { R o m a n s  8 : 1 8 }

I’m learning so slowly-but surely-to take the lies I am confronted with day-by-day and replace them with truth. The TRUTH of Scripture. The TRUTH of the Gospel.

Learning to set my eyes on heaven and focus my vision on the God who has promised an eternal reward. On the God who is my hope. On the God who lavishes His love upon me infinitely- in spite of the world that seeks to pull me from knowing it.

He brings me daily, weekly–from distractions–to purpose. From being confused and confounded to knowing clearly why I am here. He brings me to know the truth in a world that is screaming lies.

Love,

Madyson

coming down from the mountain

she looked out across the empty plain and knew immediately the reflection in her own soul–

everything felt empty.IMG_9222IMG_9267she could rest in the beauty, yes. she could see the branching oak trees and small delicate flowers. she could see the leaves changing in sync with the turning of the season. but she couldn’t see the point.

she knew the point for sure. she knew what every church-kid should know–it’s for His glory.

but why couldn’t she feel it? why couldn’t she know the fullness of the beauty-giver and sing and rejoice shout and dance?

that’s me.

it’s not that I don’t go through seasons of rejoicing and knowing the grace of my Savior. it’s that I forget his grace so quickly. it’s this: I’m on a spiritual mountain. I come down. and somehow I stop nourishing my faith.

oswald chambers must be reading my mind right now–or maybe it’s HIM working to get my attention

It is because of our trusting in experience that we see the steadfast impatience of the Holy Spirit against unbelief. All of our fears are sinful, and we create our own fears by refusing to nourish ourselves in our faith. How can anyone who is identified with Jesus christ suffer from doubt or fear! Our lives should be an absolute hymn of praise resulting from perfect, irrepressible, triumphant belief.

yeah, that first part sounds an awful lot like me.

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this question is the heartbeat of the world. it’s the shadow of the trees. the beams of the sun. it’s the question of the philosopher and of the layman.

why am I here?

and as His daughter I’m learning more and more–that unless my faith is planted firmly and steadfastly in His sovereign work, I am left with nothing.

because without Christ there is no purpose. and if I stop nourishing my faith. If I stop believing every second of every moment of every day that His work is enough–I’m actually left right where the rest of the world is. emptiness.

oh, but if I nourish my faith. If I spend more than my leftovers. If I give my Savior the best of my time, the best of my resources. If I begin by obedience–I will begin to know His joy more fully, His plan more fully, and His purpose in me more fully. if I give all my time to His presence-to living continually before the face of God-then I will begin to know His fullness.

because when you boil all the philosophical questions down in the world to one, you get this: Will you surrender your soul to King Christ for ultimate fullness, or will you give your soul to the world for utter emptiness?

IMG_9225IMG_9151because knowing His fullness isn’t about working harder–

it’s about learning to rest.

You say, “child, come here.” You whisper, “daughter, come sit at my feet.” and so I come. weary and weak and discouraged and faint-hearted I come. I come because where else will I go? there is only one Well Beloved who whispers the food that I need to live–the words of eternal life. He makes the weak thump of my heart into a steady beat of grace. I am nothing in myself-but I have everything in Him. You, Jesus, are my only steadfast and true preserving power in this life. I have found where I belong. What I was made for. I have uncovered why I was made-you have shown me. I was made to thrive in the presence of The Lord of Hosts. and nothing really satisfies but to chase that presence. Oh You’re awakening me, Jesus. so slowly, but surely.

love,

mm

on “l o v e”

710e1d97a5f962c62d271da5fccb696aI googled “define love” today.

love
noun
1.an intense feeling of deep affection.

ouch.

I would perceive, then, that the next step is to try and figure out how to maintain a certain feeling. If we are to love then we must always have this intense, fuzzy feeling?

wrong.

well what about this stuff:

“it’s just bigger than the both of us”

“There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

“Love is like the wind, you can’t see it but you can feel it.”

Really? Is this the best we can do? Is love really a feeling only? Something that happens accidentally? The WIND?

I’m a little bit frustrated.

I don’t know about you, but I want a real definition of love. a definition of love that is courageous and bold and beautiful and I want to live it. 757edcae2651b04f4f4a33d1539ba250

I wasn’t so much startled by this definition-but I was saddened. I wasn’t startled because I see it. Flippant relationships are the thing, and the world tells us that’s normal. Because it is normal.

But we are not called to live normal lives. We are not called to “love normally.” We are called to love boldly and dangerously and selflessly. We are called to love boldly in the realest and truest sense of the word   l o v e .

In the world’s eyes, the love that we are called to is an abnormal love.

So what’s wrong with our society’s definition?

We’ve mixed up the definition of love. We’ve put the feelings in front of the choice, the fuzzy in front of the difficult. We’ve put the enjoyment before the responsibility. We’ve made the definition immature, to fit our needs. Because our society has accepted immaturity.

This world can’t find an accurate definition of love by itself. It searches and searches. But where there is no Word of God-there is no truth-nothing to be found.

Are feelings dismissed, then? By no means. I definitely believe feelings are a part of love, but I do not believe feelings are the basis for love. Because feelings will come and go like the wind. But that’s not what love is.

Love is pure. It is free from expectations. It is patient. It is kind. It does not parade itself-but gives and pours continually. Love is not rude. Love does not change as your feelings do. Love does not come and go like the wind. Love is ultimately a choice. A choice that brings emotion.

Love breaks the barriers and limitations and gives itself selflessly. Love wants the best for someone else. Love doesn’t hold a grudge. Love gives up all it wants to see another rejoice.

And love never fails. Love never sees a reason to give up because love looks to THE One who never gives up on us. Love seeks to imitate Him. Love is simply a description of Christ. we are called to be like Him.

The greatest love is seen in Jesus Christ. Who broke all barriers and humbled Himself to become like us. And He took our deserving, He conquered death with His love.

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

So pursue love. Because by it, they will know we are His.

Lord Jesus, teach me to love.

( m m )

 

on “s e l f – e s t e e m”

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from the song lyrics to the t-shirts, from books to billboards, this world is successful in captivating and controlling and conforming so. many. minds.

the world out there-which perhaps you’ve let inside-is charging the platforms with command after command to love yourself. to embrace who you are just where you are and for what you are. to never change. to stay true to the inmost heart of your being because you shouldn’t be anything else. and yet it portrays images of unattainable perfection and beauty and allure. it magnifies the impossible. and it shouldn’t come as a surprise-the world and the devil and the flesh are the greatest champions of whispering roaring lies.

and the church-we’ve retaliated with broken bullets. with nothing. the message of the “church” is now seeking to persuade and attaining to convince you that you must love yourself because you are beautiful, and you don’t need a change. but they leave out the part that you are nothing

that is, apart from Christ. and soul, you need a radical change.

in this generation of insecurity and impossible standards and painful soul confusion, the solution to our problem is not self-esteem. it is not an improved body image and a growing flaunt of self-confidence. it is not becoming fully persuaded of our own beauty that will heal our broken souls and our insecure longings.

oh this church-this church of America-needs to see that there is nothing to praise of self. there is no confidence to be gained in exuding your true personality-because your true personality is deceitfully wicked and desperately depraved above all else.

but there is a beauty in surrender to a King who is most beautiful. and the heart that bows its knees to receive His gift is the most secure of all. resting, trusting, beautiful.

such a heart does not radiate a show of self-confidence and self-love, but rather becomes a reservoir for the love of Christ which is broad and wide and full. and as His love fills this heart, this heart overflows. onto every soul this love pours out, in words that make stronger and actions that give recklessly.

and such a heart is so captivated by its Lover, that it looses time to think of what it wants to gain. this heart is not consumed with looking good, and appealing to others while in this breath of a life-but doing good, and serving others.

you will have no peace in striving to love yourself-because honestly, the problem is that we love ourselves too much. the problem is that we’re even concerned about our confidence-instead of radiating His. the problem is that we want to be esteemed, when truly and really we should be like Him-

“esteemed not”

oh look to The Cross to find your beauty. lose yourself, oh soul-in Him. fall madly in love with the breather of the existence of stars and galaxies and oceans. surrender yourself and forget all your insecurities.

because at the feet of our King, we can forget who we have been. at the feet of our King we can find His glorious confidence-that we are the Beloved of God. get alone and spend hours with the God of all existence, and you will not be the same. because His story and His plan and His glorious unfolding is so much greater than you.

and when you forget yourself-the world will blink and stare, wide-eyed with wonder at such a confidence, because you will have the confidence of Christ.

love,

(( mm ))

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