Why You Share What You Share

Why do you share what you share on social media? Think about it.

  • Do you want to prove your point?
  • Do you want to inform people? Of what?
  • Do you want to associate with someone, and sharing gives you the appearance of a relationship?
  • Do you want attention?
  • Do you want a good deal, even if it’s too good to be true?
  • Do you want to increase your following?
  • Do you want to push buttons, surprise or shock people?
  • Do you want to passive-aggressively hurt or offend someone?
  • Do you want to brag?
  • Do you want to encourage people?
  • Do you want to welcome accountability?

Are your intentions on social media different than sharing in person?

It’s important to know your motivation for sharing. It’s your heart issue, and you need to keep your intentions in check.

Sharing is an invitation.

You get to invite people into…whatever you choose. When you click the share button, you give a bit of yourself. You give a snapshot of who you are…or who you want others to believe you are, which still gives a glimpse of who you really are. If you deceive others, you deceive yourself. You can never be unaffected by the persona you project to others. It is still you. You click the share button. Your intentions affect you.

It seems like a lot of pressure, but really, you can accept it as an opportunity to take a deep breath. Inhale and consider your motivation. Filter it through God’s will. Is it share-worthy? If it is, it should also be God-worthy. Does it honor Him? If the answer is “yes,” then exhale. Share. Click the button. Love God. Love others.

It sounds simple. But really, it is. We can get tied up in our intentions, or keep them pure.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5)

You Stood Me Up

I waited for you today. I had hoped to meet you in the quiet corner of the coffee shop you frequent. I enjoy sitting across from you, listening to your heart. Hearing you share about your daily life thrills me. I’m honored when you share. I want to walk through life with you. I’ll listen to the details and never trivialize them. I’ll listen to your dreams no matter how silly or out-of-reach they might seem. I’ll help broaden your perspective to see the big picture.

I just want to sit with you. I treasure our silence. It’s the time we spend together that I value. I waited, hoping you’d slip into the empty chair across the table from me.

I know you’re busy. Even on the days when your schedule goes smoothly, it’s difficult for you to fit anything extra. I wish I wasn’t “extra.” Perhaps you don’t understand how invested I am in your life. I want you to know I support you. I love you, and because of that love, I will always approach you with compassion, patience, kindness – and accountability. You might not always like what I say, because my love for you is bold enough to confront you when you need to be confronted. I care too much to let you continue with faulty thinking or unhealthy behavior – no matter how extensively you’ve rationalized it.

You probably get mad or frustrated with me at times. On those days, you avoid spending time with me. On the days you don’t push open the doors and purposefully walk toward me and sit to share time with me, I miss you no matter what your reason is. When I look at the empty chair across from me, I’m sad. I watch people coming and going; many of them are alone, connecting with no one but the person managing the exchange of money and goods. I listened to people placing their orders with specific instructions and becoming disgruntled when the end products aren’t exactly as expected. Every now and then, I catch someone’s glance and exchange a quick smile.

I long for substantial connection, where someone is open to my investment into them.

That’s what I want for you. I miss you. I’m waiting for you. The empty chair and my longing heart are waiting.

Love, God

Lesson from Nature: The Invitation to Savor

©PurePurpose.org
©PurePurpose.org

There’s always an empty chair, waiting for you, inviting you to savor God’s presence.

We often settle into our routines and drive right by, perhaps glancing at the view but not seeing the chair with our name on it for that moment. We miss out.

We long for time in that chair, a moment to breathe and look around at the beauty and feel the breeze. Yet, sometimes, we don’t get the time we need…the time God extends to us…because we rush by. We don’t accept the invitation. We either ignore it or reject it. And we miss out.

God misses us, too.

Sure, He is always present, so in a sense, He can’t miss us because He’s with us. But haven’t you ever missed someone while sitting beside or across from him or her? When someone isn’t fully present when you’re together, it’s as if you’re not really together. It’s that way with God. Just because He’s with us doesn’t mean we’re with Him.

Maybe you don’t believe God is calling you to sit and savor right now. But maybe you need to open your ears and eyes. Take a breath. Wait a moment. Listen. Watch. Pay attention. If you’ve gotten used to ignoring or refusing God’s invitation, it’s not quite as easy to hear.

I will listen to what God will say; surely the LORD will declare peace to His people, His godly ones, and not let them go back to foolish ways.  (Psalm 85:8)

 

Growing Up with Kids

Each step our kids take as they grow up is an opportunity for us to grow up, too.

parentingWe get so busy helping them grow up that we might miss the opportunities we have to grow as well. When they face a new situation, we help them sort through it. We give them advice, tips for dealing with the newness. We listen and encourage. What about when we face a new situation as parents? Do we respond using tools that have worked in the past, or do we patiently consider the best response to the specific situation? Do we take a deep breath and face the change with the same courage we try to give our kids?

When our kids are hurting, we comfort them. But we also tell them to get back up. Try again. Be brave. Do we tell ourselves the same things? How do we respond when our kids are the ones who have hurt us? Maybe not intentionally, but they need their space. And we want them to have it. We really do. But do we respond as if we really do?

When someone has hurt, ignored, or bullied our kids, we want to pull out our mama bear claws and go after the person, but we look into our kids’ eyes and realize they need us more. We comfort them and help them heal. We help get them strong enough to face anything. We tell them not to let other people bother them, not to be jealous, not to take revenge, be the bigger person, take the high road. Do we do the same, or do we continue to steep in the anger, talk about people behind their backs, retaliate, and refuse to forgive?

We prepare our kids to leave the nest and lead responsible lives. We want them to grow up. We really do. But what happens when they leave? Do we try to emotionally pull them back? When we continue to teach them to depend on us, who is more dependent on whom…them on us, or us on them? Are we willing to leave the nest, too? Not physically, since we likely stay in the same house, but what about emotionally? Are we willing to admit that we don’t have to watch the nest so closely any more? In fact, we can enjoy long flights away from the nest?

We invite our children to change into adults. We listen to their excitement about their new experiences. We hear their struggles, too. Do we try to live life with them and share every single thing we’ve learned, giving advice when it’s unwelcome, and making their lives more about us than them…or do we let them make decisions, including some poor ones, learn through mistakes, and own the lessons they learn? Do we spend more time watching them become adults than growing as adults ourselves?

If we don’t grow, who will our kids look up to? Eventually, if we let their lives overwhelm ours, we miss out on our own lives, and they lose the influence we can give them.

We share our faith with them, but what if we only teach them the basics? What if we don’t let them know there’s something beyond what we’ve taught them, something beyond what we even know right now, that we’re still growing and struggling and searching? That God isn’t limited to what we’ve shared about Him. In fact, He’s not limited by anything or anyone. How can we encourage them to keep asking questions and searching and growing?

Are we asking questions and searching and growing?

Do you have a dynamic faith that stands firmly on the truth of God but trusts Him to constantly prune the baggage, assumptions, and legalism so that you grow into the person He wants you to be so that you not only honor Him well but you also honor the children He’s entrusted to you?

God is giving your kids steps to take as opportunities to grow. He’s giving you steps to take, too. Respond well.

Fit Faith: Agility: Trampoline Tips

When my oldest daughter was five years old, she wanted a trampoline. I wasn’t opposed to having a trampoline. I’d been in gymnastics for years when I was younger, and I knew the trampoline would provide many hours of entertainment and exercise, but I also knew it could be dangerous. I thought I’d postpone the trampoline-buying experience by telling her we’d get a trampoline as soon as she saved enough money. With an upcoming birthday and some added help from grandparents, the saving process didn’t take as long as I expected.

We set up the trampoline in the backyard but established firm rules before anyone jumped on it for the first time. We wanted to make sure the girls learned tricks progressively: no double flips before learning to bounce repeatedly while staying in the middle of the trampoline! As the skill levels increased, I caught myself replaying many of the things I learned in gymnastics, specifically, how you must place your body not throw your body.

In other words, if you see someone do something and think you can duplicate it, you need to have a plan for what you’re going to do with your body before you haphazardly throw it into the air! That’s how people get hurt. It’s important to have as much control over where your body is and how it’s moving when it’s twisting high in the air as when you’re standing or walking with feet firmly planted on the ground.

I remember my gymnastics trainer explaining to me what my body would have to do before I tried my first full-twisting back. I’d seen others do the same stunt hundreds of times, but I likely would have broken something had I simply thrown my body into the air and tried to duplicate what I’d seen. I know I wouldn’t have completed it successfully. Even with the instruction, I didn’t complete it successfully the first time – or many times after that. However, my attempts were increasingly more accurate and safe. To be honest, the technique my trainer taught me was nothing like what I would have tried on my own. I had no idea the intricacies involved in what I’d watched so many times.

It’s fun to fly through the air. It’s important to be agile, which involves quickness. However, agility also involves strength and power. It’s the coordination of nimbleness and control.

Spiritual growth requires agility. We need to be ready to response quickly to a wide variety of opportunities and situations. We need to respond with assurance.

Learn the truth and never reject it. Get wisdom, self-control, and understanding. (Proverbs 23:23)

When we have self-control, we respond with strength and power but not our own strength and power. We yield to God. We seek his wisdom and understanding, which provides us with the guidance and provision we need to proceed. We don’t simply look at what someone else is doing and try to copy it. We don’t throw our faith haphazardly in the air, hoping to master a specific skill or accomplish a level of achievement. We place ourselves intentionally in a relationship with God and then proceed with trust he will train us with intricacies we’d never imagine by just glancing at an end product.

God wants our participation. He invites us into a relationship of trust that allows us to respond quickly to him in all situations, accessing his power and strength to help us accomplish immeasurably more than we can imagine on our own.