Monday, April 7, 2014

Simple and Intentional

"It is for freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1

Walking through downtown Charleston with Lynda while we dreamed about one day doing ministry together, even though I'm buying plane tickets to Colorado and she is fundraising to be the hands and feet of Jesus in 11 countries for 11 months.

Sunday afternoons that smell like fresh bread and sound like my roommates' laughter.

Gardening with Kim as she unknowingly helped me identify lies I was believing while we pulled weeds in her front yard.

Fresh flowers to celebrate Spring.
Afternoons of fishing and the first lake jump of the year.

Thursday night dinners with Molly, snuggles from the babies in the church nursery, the long walk home from work on sunny days, and the smiles that came with phone calls from friends in different time zones.

These are the moments I'll remember from the most challenging season of my life thus far.

Sure, I'll probably remember hard things too like crying on the phone to my mom and telling the Mrs. Angie, the lady that cuts my hair, that I was just going to drop out of school and become a nomad. I'll remember the big moments too like my first marathon and spending spring break in the woods and teaching my first large group lesson.

But what stands out the most are the simple, intentional moments.

I have found myself echoing the words of Ann Voskamp when she said, "I want to see beauty. In the ugly, in the sink, in the suffering, in the daily, in all the days before I die, in the moments before I sleep."

Likewise, I think relationship with Jesus is not based solely on big, momentous occasions, but on small, every day moments that make up a beautiful life.

Of course, the night I accepted Christ will probably always be vivid in my mind and I can no longer think about New Year's without remembering celebrating it in Nicaragua. But even more than the mountaintop feeling that Jesus has let me experience time and time again, I remember the sweetness that comes from the intentional nature of Christ.

The first time I read Isaiah 61 out loud.

Each time He reminds me that I am and always will be good enough for him.

Sunday mornings where truth from the Holy Spirit echoes off the walls during worship.

Small, intentional moments.

I'm writing this because I don't think I'm the only one who has found themselves craving a life full of small joys. I don't think I'm the only one that is tired of living event by event and instead wants to see Jesus in the every day.

The good news is that when we pray for nuggets, when we look for Christ, he delights in overflowing our lives with the true joy that can only come from him.

Today, I am praying that God would never cease in giving us the chance to live simply and intentionally. I pray that day by glorious day each one of us would be blessed by small, simple moments with Christ.

PS. Allison Vesterfelt and Tsh Oxenreider have both written beautiful books that speak on the idea of living intentionally despite chaos.