Perfectionism vs Love 

In reading the passage above during my time with Jesus today I was heart struck. Struck by the love my Father has for me. A love I can’t even begin to comprehend. A love that is everlasting. It’s not dependent on my actions, my choices, my works. It’s a love that loves me through it all. I can not comprehend this because my human mind doesn’t have that type of love. The closest I can come to is the love I have for family, my children. But still it’s no where near the love He has for us. 

I’m a doer and I tend to work for my salvation. Voluntering at church. Overworkibg myself. Trying to be the momma who never looses her cool, the best wife.  Trying to have it all together, the perfect pintrest life. But that’s not real. That’s not what a God expects. We are called by His love, His sacrifice, not by our own need for perfection. 

As Christians I feel we try to hard in the wrong ways. We push for the perfect “Godly” family yet miss the broken and dying souls. We argue  and bicker over what version of the Bible to read, or say certain devotionals are not of God. We argue over music, theological beliefs and say you can’t truly be saved if you utter a cuss word. We fight to be a people of perfection, instead of a people full of love. 

We are called to be salt and light….not perfection, judgement, and hammer bearing. Think of salt…it flavors the food we eat, but too much and it’s overbearing and we won’t eat what it’s on. In a cut a lil  stings but it can heal the wound….too much and it burns and leaves a mess. But not using it causes it to become worthless, tasteless.  Light is the same. …..it helps us see, opens our view and vision but too intense and we are blinded. Hidden under a covering the light does not good as well, if it’s hidden why even use it? (Matthew 5:13-16) It’s balance. It’s truth in love….not too much and not too little. Think of Jesus, He spoke truth coupled with love. He healed on the sabbath, he ate with tax collectors, he drew a line in the sand but was honest with the woman at the well. He is our example of how to be salt and light covered in love. 

Oh my dear sisters and brothers if only we could learn this lesson. If only we could find that balance. If only we could stop trying so hard and forcing that bandage upon others. If only we could love as He has loved. To see we will fall down and to know it’s ok. To be a helping hand to another brother when they fall, instead of another shove down. 

He loves each of us with an unfailing love. A love that calls us to him ….the love that hung on a cross. The love that drew us to our Savior. Let’s venture to be more like Jesus. To love in spite of. To not seek perfection but instead seek to be salt and light sprinked with love. 
Much love, 

Alissa Marie 

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Your Wounds Are An Opening For His Light

As I spent time with the Lord this am, I read in the Jesus Calling devotional. God spoke to me about how he uses our “wounds and weaknesses as openings for others to see his light.” I was asked to dream on the page about how He might do that for me.

As I started to write the first thing that came to my mind was helping the homeless in NYC. I saw a vision of me with a baby on my back, my husband pushing a stroller and we were talking to the homeless. We were reaching out without fear, with understanding, with love and compassion.

I was surprised the vision was not me on a stage leading others, like I would think. It was me with my babies in tow, loving those that others deem unlovable. It was me going into the places others wouldn’t dare to go, knowing He is with me. Knowing if He leads I will follow.

I could discuss my wounds my here but instead I feel lead to say how God can use my wounds and how I have been blessed in those wounds. Jesus lead me to Matthew 5 today and the Beatitudes. How fitting.

The Beatitudes

“God blesses those who are poor and realize their need for him,[a]
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
God blesses those who mourn,
    for they will be comforted.
God blesses those who are humble,
    for they will inherit the whole earth.
God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,[b]
    for they will be satisfied.
God blesses those who are merciful,
    for they will be shown mercy.
God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
    for they will see God.
God blesses those who work for peace,
    for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
    for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.

Read those again and let it sink in…when we go through trials we are blessed. He blesses us if we will just open our eyes, and that is how I feel about my trials, my wounds and weaknesses. I see how he used and is still using those things to make me who I am and to create a heart in me that can love others. A heart that makes it like second nature to talk to those on the street and connect with people who others may never even attempt to connect with.

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This picture here shows it all . My husband said, “You look so happy here. Like this what you are meant to do.” This is Courtney from New Jersey. She was on the street at Harold Square getting money and working to get a place soon. She said they ate with donations and saved the rest. She allowed me to pray God’s blessings over her. She had a joy and I know God can and will do great things for her. I am blessed to know her, to see her joy amidst the struggle.

I ask you to look at you life, the wounds, the trials, the weaknesses and see the blessing in those. I ask you to chose Joy over discouragement and I leave you the the words from Jesus Calling.I can use your weaknesses and wounds as openings through which others see my light. Dream a little here, (in the comments section or on a piece of paper),  about how I might do that. 

Light Pierces the Darkness

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This reminds me of God’s love piercing through the darkness of our hearts and bringing his light to us. I am humbled and see this is how I need to be with those around me; a light in their dark. I don’t need to add darkness to their life, I need to see through their anger, hurtful words, etc and break through with the light of Christ. After that the choice is theirs.

“Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.” – Isaiah 58:8 

Who are you yet to be?

 

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Sounds echo from my speaker….words of life to me. They make me feel special  and alive…each one in such a different way. I envision a different part of my future, my past, my present. I envision who I want to truly be. How I want to truly live. I hang onto the fact that I can be who I chose daily….some days its a poofy skirt over my jeans, others hippy pants and a flower in my hair, and then some fancy. But with most songs I hear. With most visions of myself…I see an “earthy” girl. A girl in laid back earthy clothes, with a square foot garden, a pregnant belly and a pen and page. I envision the sun, food cooking in my crockpot, fresh fruits and veggies, laughs, smiles, finger painting with the kids, tents, forts, sitting in the sun with my doggies. I envision helping others, taking someone a meal. I envision life, a breeze, music, peace. Maybe it sounds simple to some. Maybe it sounds “old school,” but to me it sounds blissful. It feels like me and who I am to be. My prayer is asking God to help me follow His path to have the vision I truly feel he gave me. To let go of what the world says I need and embrace the simple gifts from God, that are truly the big gifts.

Don’t get me wrong…I love the city. I love traveling. I love going to theme parks and I still want those but I want to be the me I am meant to be more than anything. Sometimes we pursue what we think we should. What we think is the right thing, when all we need is right in front of us. Right at our finger tips. It is what I call the “beauty in the infamous void.” It is what is inside of each of us in that well known void…the truth hidden..the beauty.

So I ask you to look at you. To just sit and be. To pray and see what God is showing you.Are you the person you are meant to be? Are you living the dream God has given you or are you living the dreams of others or what you think is right. Listen to the wind or turn on a song…for me its The Lumineers, Mumford and Sons, Imagine Dragons, Phillip Phillips,needtobreathe, etc. etc. etc. Find what speaks to you. It changes over time, as we grow, as God changes us, gives us His new path. What spoke to me at 16 and changed my life…saved me…isn’t what speaks to me now. Find what speaks to you…what God uses to get to you and listen to Him. What is right in front of you?

Next answer the question above from Mary Oliver…”…..what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Now…..let’s take the steps together to be who God created each of us to be and change the world!

 

Image taken form Google Image search for the quote-exact words. (www.somethingyettobe.com)