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Showing posts with label Christy Wood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christy Wood. Show all posts

08 August

Letting Go of Perfect

After a crazy summer, I was looking forward to our perfect vacation. We’d rented a three room suite at a resort by Lake Superior. I was anticipating lazy beach days, exploring, and snuggly family time. Things didn’t go as planned.

Our suite had plumbing problems, so the owners “upgraded” us to their home. It was beautiful but also awkward and nerve wracking with two small children. Our four-year-old decided this was a great time to express how the summer’s lack of consistency had affected him. He turned into a raging, defiant, fit-throwing monster every time things didn’t go his way. It rained. A lot. So much for perfect.

Our ideals rarely come true. Perfect vacations. Perfect marriages. Perfect children. Perfect churches or ministry situations. It’s pretty obvious that we live in a world broken by sin.

We can drive ourselves crazy striving for perfection.

There is a lot of pressure on women in ministry to “have it together.” Both external pressure from other people’s expectations, and internal pressure from our own expectations. Outward performance can feel vitally important.

I went to a women’s retreat recently and one of the leaders had forgotten her suitcase at home. Instead of having cute outfits and matching accessories, she wore jeans and retreat t-shirts all weekend. She confessed this to us at a session and spoke honestly about how vulnerable it made her feel. How she was afraid we wouldn’t like her because she wasn’t “put together.” Maybe it was just me, but I liked her even better this way because she was real. She seemed fun, down-to-earth, and approachable when she “wasn’t perfect.”

The truth is, outward perfection can cover a lot of inward brokenness. But, it’s our inner self, our heart that really matters. If we are honest, we will all admit to being broken in some way. Guess what? It’s okay to be a hot mess. That’s the reality of life in a fallen world.

This why the gospel is such good news. Jesus, because of His amazing love for us, even though we were messed up sinners, died for us. (Romans 5:8.) He died to give us forgiveness, power, and life. Familiarity sometimes causes us to lose sight of this beautiful truth.

Jesus loves our broken, hurting hearts exactly like they are. He doesn’t expect us to have it all together. He isn’t shocked or disappointed by our mistakes. In fact, there is nothing you can do to make God love you any less!

Romans 8:1 says “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Are you “in Christ”; have you trusted Him alone as Savior? Then there is no condemnation. Period.
I don’t know where your pressure is coming from. It could be your spouse or family member. Maybe it’s people in your ministry. Or it might be your own personal expectations. Will you believe the truth about who you are in Christ? Will you let go of perfect and just be real?

 About the Author:

Christy Wood is a former youth pastor’s wife, mother of two, lover of Jesus, hater of legalism, blogger, and hopeful author. After spending her teens in a legalistic Christian cult, Christy is passionate about the truth and about helping people find genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. She blogs at www.letmebefoolish.com.

You can connect with Christy on Twitter (@letmebefoolish) or Faceboo

05 July

The Jesus Drive Through

Can I be honest? Sometimes I treat Jesus like a fast-food breakfast from McDonalds. I rush to the Jesus Drive Through and frantically shout my order.

“Hi! I need some peace, joy, and wisdom to go please.”

Then I dash away, not even noticing Jesus in my rearview mirror. If I looked back, I’d have seen Him wearing an apron and holding a spatula. I might have caught the puzzled look on His face as He mouthed the words.

“But, I made you breakfast.”

Seriously, what would you rather eat? A greasy Egg McMuffin? Or a light and crispy Belgian waffle with fresh fruit and real whipped cream? Would you shove that soggy sandwich down your throat while dodging traffic and making phone calls? Or would you rather linger over your waffle on a shady porch with a fresh cup of coffee and a special friend?

Girls, we cannot pour out of empty cups. We have nothing to give if we are not full ourselves.

We try. Trust me, I know. When we are already in the Word for Bible study, Sunday School lessons, children’s church, curriculum planning, youth group, etc. sometimes it gets a little old. Having daily devotions can feel like one more thing we are supposed to do. One more “should” added to the pile. One more way we are not measuring up.

Fortunately, it’s not supposed to be about a checklist or pile of “shoulds”. Daily time with Jesus doesn’t give us brownie points with God. And it doesn’t make us spiritually superior.

God created people to be in a relationship with Him. Jesus died and rose again to restore that relationship. We get to intimately know and be known by the God of the Universe! Sometimes we can get so distracted and consumed by ministry that we forget this.

What does it look like to linger over breakfast with Jesus? Maybe something like this:

  •         Take your coffee (or beverage of choice) out to your deck, porch, or other quiet place, and just be still for a few minutes. Whisper the words your heart is feeling and let Him whisper back.
  •      Use a journal to collect your thoughts. I find that my prayers have more substance when I journal because even if my young children distract me, I know where I left off! It’s also encouraging to go back and see how God answers prayers or works things out.
  •          Go into your bedroom (or another quiet room) and close the door. Light a candle. Listen to your favorite worship songs.
  •          Dwell on a small chunk of Scripture each day and let it soak in. Often meditating on a few verses is more heart-changing for me than trying to consume chapters or do in-depth studies.

Our spirits need nourishment just like our physical bodies. Ministry is hard, friends, and we cannot do it on empty. What can you do today to avoid the Jesus Drive Through and spend time lingering over breakfast instead?

About the Author:

Christy Wood is a former youth pastor’s wife, mother of two, lover of Jesus, hater of legalism, blogger, and hopeful author. After spending her teens in a legalistic Christian cult, Christy is passionate about the truth and about helping people find genuine relationship with Jesus Christ. She blogs at www.letmebefoolish.com.

You can connect with Christy on Twitter (@letmebefoolish) or Facebook.

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