God gives all of us gifts. Gifts are meant to be shared, really. The idea of generosity is that it shows a heart of selflessness...appreciation for others, a way of showing that appreciation. There are so many different kinds of gifts: physical gifts, spiritual gifts, gifts of skill, gifts of time...the list stretches on. I'd like to use one of my gifts (the ability to communicate through writing) to tell you about another gift (today). True, today was a day in which I didn't get everything done that I had planned to, but since when does that happen? And why should I be responsible ALL the time? (Ha. Nobody who knows me thinks "responsible" when they think of me).
God loves to give us gifts. Often, we don't see them for what they are. I'm appreciating the fact that, lately, He's given me the gift of seeing myself in the light of who I am in His eyes, and who I am beyond how I feel (emotionally, physically, circumstantially). Have you ever realized how He sees you? That He sees me as one of His children, loved, appreciated, forgiven (I have the same status as His PERFECT Son!)...that truth is the kind that should cause us all to marvel every day. While seeing myself realistically (how I really am, with all my problems) is a hard thing, I love that I can see it, because with knowledge and self-awareness (a good kind) comes the ability to change. Also with a knowledge of who I am in His sight comes such freedom. I can be honest about my problems, because I know that He sees me spotlessly, without blemish because of the death of His own Son. I'm sure you all know how basic this is, but truly believing it leads to such unbelievable freedom. And yes, I know sometimes my words are redundant, and that I'm using parentheses a whole lot in this post. It's okay. :)
An area in which I tend to be hugely selfish in is in the realm of holding peoples' attention. God has opened my eyes to this somewhat obvious fault in my heart: I like to have the complete attention of people. Especially, to be completely sincere, girls. So, often I tend to let whether or not I am achieving "noticed" status determine my joy, with drastic effects when I have to take a backseat. I'm pretty sure you've seen the side effects: drastic grumpiness, solitariness, withdrawal, and silence. I don't like to share. It all comes down to selfishness and pride, which seem to be (seem to be? No...ARE, will BE) constants in my life. They always will be, but when I recognize their presence, so much of their insidious strength is diminished. I love it! All of which to say...
Today was a wonderful day. I've been so often blind to extraordinary days, but this one was impossible to miss. Today, God was here. I woke up with Him, later than I intended to. God's so gracious, though. I rode off to breakfast and discussion/accountability time with my dear friends and brothers, Johnny and Jonathan (the terrific two). IHOP was our destination, (kinda pricey, not that great) and God was our home. I love finding Him everywhere. And I love seeing Him present in those dear to me. Suffice to say, God is good. Truly believing that sentence above (which can become rote, automatic, cliche) is, in itself a gift of my God. Anyway...it was a wonderful start to my day. It's lovely to be able to share my heart, my struggles, and myself with two amazing men who love me with a love not their own.
The next part of my day involves home. I wonder how often we take our home for granted. Home is where I will never be rejected, I will never feel out of place, I will always be LOVED. In many ways, my home is the best picture of heaven I'll get right now. Anyway...at my home, I got to spend some sweet time with Him, catch some more sleep (probably the bad decision of my day...but God's good, right?), and fold the mass of clean laundry that resulted from three weeks of it piling up unwashed. And then...off to see friends!
I don't really like Starbucks too much. But I loved it today, not necessarily for the large medium roast coffee I ingested, but for the great people who spent time with me there. A dear friend, Brian, had the sparkling idea to hang out at aforesaid coffee joint for his birthday, a sort of impromptu birthday party without oft-required structure and organization. It was a grand idea. And, being the selfish person I am, I enjoyed the time there quite a lot for myself. It's so good to be with sincere people (another recent revelation). My friend Ruthi instructed me on all the new music I need to listen to (Adele is very good), the inspiring and exemplary Brian and I schemed to have exclusive Woody Allen movie-watching parties (or was it just one, back to back?), my lovely friends Marisa and Jami inspired me to go to Savers (wait for it), and many others contributed to a marvelous time of just TALKING. Fellowship is something else that is under-appreciated (similar to smiles). It is so good to be with those who know and love Him.
After a few hours, I departed the cozy coffee shop in favor of the never-before-visited Savers, in company of aforementioned Jami and Marisa. There I met some old childhood friends, Lloyd, Robert, Clyde, and Ingri and Edgar (not a misspelling. Her name really is Ingri). For four bucks and pennies, I purchased them all (6 of them!). It's good to be real with people, and, to allude to an-already mentioned struggle, God was really good to me today and allowed me to step back from seeking attention all for my own (for the most part, I think). When I'm not worrying about garnering attention for myself, I actually have a lot more fun (funny how that works). Hopefully the same is true for those I'm around. From Savers, I headed to...
Mission Bowl, where I met even more lovely people for a few hours of delightful bowling (who'd have thought?). I succeeded in throwing a few strikes, a few spares, and at cementing my status as a horrid bowler. It's okay, though: tonight I was especially at home in who I am to Him. It's good to feel his presence. When our time ran out at the lanes, onward I proceeded.
The Amos family residence found itself showered with myriads of crazy college-age kids (although I'm not sure Janice or Dawn count as college-age...), and I added myself (and the wonderful sir Jordan) to the mixture. Playing foosball (and losing) took up most of my time, along with a few quick rounds of Boggle. And then? Back to home. I love my home.
I love that Jesus is my home. That heaven is my home. That I get to be there. And I yearn for that time. Today was a day that was a gift (like...every. other. day). But today I got the feeling that God was being especially good to me, as if He wanted to help me believe in His goodness even more. Because, in the end, I will always be believing in a goodness, in the ability of something or someone to make me most happy. Everything but Him will result in disillusionment, depression, and disregard for others. Today was a day to remember that when I see Him as my goodness, my reason for joy, I'll be even more joyful! So simple, yet so true. This year will be a quest to believe in His sufficiency and goodness for me more every day that I breathe. Would you like to join me on the quest? All of the people I was with today helped me see Him more, and so, in a sense, they're already part of the journey. Thank you, all of you, for serving as windows by which to see Him.