Magic School Bus Days

old-school-bus-1431364-1599x1066Ms. Frizzle was transporting a school bus of kids into a digestive tract on TV as I pursed my lips, squeezed my eyes shut, and put the ruler to the top of my head. Careful not to move my hand up or down one millimeter, my pencil scratched against the door frame. Quickly I turned to see. Nope. I dropped the ruler and got into bed. I had not grown shorter.

Yes, for a brief time—spurred by my middle school love interest in a boy 1 foot shorter than me—I prayed nightly that God would make me shorter.

I am tall. Really tall. And in sixth grade, I was about the same height I am now (6 feet), which meant I was lucky enough to be the giant in braces, wearing large purple glasses, walking around with jeans four inches too short that sagged against my skeleton frame.

It was bad enough that my 7th grade teacher pulled me aside out of the blue one day to say, “Don’t worry. One day boys will be taller than you.” I was that awkward.

Oh, and it didn’t help that all my best friends happened to be gorgeous.

But Hebrews 13:5 says, “Stay away from the love of money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, ‘I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.’’”

Life is chock-full of things we want to be or have. We are nearing the Christmas season and guaranteed there are going to be people walking around December 26th in beautiful new Nikes, pea coats with oh-so-chic collars that’d make me feel like Sherlock Holmes or a New York model, shiny new Apple watches that, again, makes one feel like Sherlock Holmes of the future… you get the point.

Instead of trying to brainwash myself not to think about all the pretty things I want or wish I could be, I find it essential to read and reread the second part of Hebrews 13:5. We can be content with everything in our lives because and truly because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”

If God—you know, only the greatest most important Being in the universe—wants to create me and have a relationship with me and promises not to abandon me no matter how selfish and annoying and boring and immature I am, why not be satisfied?

Being with God—now and forever after—is much more exciting than a pair of shoes.

 

Check it out!

Daily Reading: Hebrews 13

Bible in a Year: Jeremiah 1-2; 1 Timothy 3

 

Let’s Discuss:

  1. What do you wish you had? What do you wish was different about yourself?
  2. If you had what you wanted, what else do you think you might want? And if you had that too, what else would you want? Do you think you could ever have enough that you’d be totally content?

Write a comment below if you like! I’d love to reply:)

 

 

Pearls and Dreams

pearls-2-1417045-1279x911We were still in pearls and trailing black dresses as we sat on barstools after the gala and talked about the evening’s end. It was the last of the ACFW conference (American Christian Fiction Writers), and we were all in good spirits after incredible food—three days of waiters offering coffee in white porcelain cups after every meal (one waiter even fluffed a napkin and put it on my lap)—conversation, interviews, and for some, awards.

I sat at the same table with one woman I’d met earlier, one who during the conference was full of grace as she encouraged and prayed for individuals as they walked into those terrifying 15 minute interviews. It was impressive to see that during the gala her face came up as one of the three finalists for an award in not just one but two categories. Unfortunately her name wasn’t called and she didn’t end up on stage with plaque in hand (this time). Still, what an honor. I congratulated her, but saw the understandable disappointment lingering in her eyes.

I thought to myself, “I’d be thrilled to be you! Walk home with two finalists awards under my belt.”

And it made me think.

Of the hundreds at that conference, we all had the same basic goal and could easily look to the person on our left or right and want to be in their position. The fun-loving girl chit chatting about thrift shops and plane tickets ended up being an author of (*pause while I google*) 12 books! I go to the bathroom and recognize the face of an author whose book I’m currently reading (I almost chanted the creepy phrase from a bathroom scene in her novel over the stall)! I turn around at dinner to find I’m back-to-back with none other than Francine Rivers.

But regardless of where we are, of the temptations to want to be in others’ shoes and situations, I find the words of Lewis impeccable:

“Never, in peace or war, commit your virtue or your happiness to the future. Happy work is best done by the man who takes his long-term plans somewhat lightly and works from moment to moment ‘as to the Lord.’ It is only our daily bread that we are encouraged to ask for. The present is the only time in which any duty can be done or any grace received.”

What’s the point of not being happy with wherever I am right now? As a follower of God my hopes and dreams are not even my own. Who cares if I succeed or fail in finding an agent, selling my book, writing words that reach hundreds, thousands, millions? If it is not in the will of God, or of eternal significance, then may such ventures pass away unattended. But if it is the will of God, and of eternal significance, then I’m sure God can nudge the plans forward for His glory.

Because, after all, this isn’t about me.

 

Always be joyful.

Never stop praying.

Be thankful in all circumstances,

for this is God’s will for you

who belong to Christ Jesus.

 1 Thess 5:16-18

 

Check it out! C.S. Lewis The Weight of Glory

 

Daily Meditation: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28

Bible in a Year: Isaiah 59-61; 2 Thessalonians 3