I hadn’t planned to share my list of things I learned this year because well, they seem rather personal. They also seem rather punch-you-in-the-gut-and-knock-the-wind-out-of-you hard. I don’t often slow down enough to process all the things I’m wrestling with, but this week has been a long enough exhale to work some things out.
I’m grateful for the hardest week ever because it’s tied a bow around all my loose ends.
So, after a long drive out of town with my family and a series of hard conversations with Thad, my list sorta formed itself in my head while in the car today and I thought, what the heck?
I’m sharing my list with you because we belong to each other and I think we’re all big enough to swallow the hard stuff in order to taste the sweetness of knowing Jesus more in the hard.
Everything has a season and things are meant to change. Things that don’t grow and change are either dead or were never alive to begin with.
We’re started and stopped a hundred things in the last four years and I’m just now learning that when something ends, it does not mean I failed. It just means that I held something loosely enough to let go and that’s a good thing.
I love Justin Timberlake and the grown-up Justin Bieber.
Don’t hate me.
Lead with vulnerability and people may see your vulnerability as a weakness. Do it anyway.
We all build community around something and some times that something is self-righteousness or brokenness.
We are all draw into fellowship with others and depending on how we mark our steps in following after Jesus, we’ll likely choose to identify with others who lean into self-righteousness or lean into brokenness. Shane Claiborne says this: Christianity can be built around isolating ourselves from evildoers and sinners, creating a community of religious piety or moral purity….Christianity can also be built around joining the broken sinners and evildoers of our world crying out to God for grace.
I’ve learned that of all the people in the world I long to identify with, I choose the broken sinners group above all others. And this simple revelation has shifted the way I interact with other believers. True story. I cannot make it pretty.
I’m a pioneer. Not a settler. I’m trying to be okay with this.
We have been created to submit our lives to Jesus and Jesus has set up His kingdom in such a way that calls us to live in submission to other human beings.
Submission is a way of life. It sharpens us. It keeps us humble. It keeps order in the world. It pushes the Gospel forward. It keeps us accountable. When we fail to submit to one another or fail to submit to the person(s) God has placed above us, we deny the Christ we claim to follow. Submission is the posture of a person seeking Jesus and seeking the welfare of his or her place.
Often, the things we pray for are gifted and we simply fail to see the gift for all the praying without believing.
Instagram is my social media jam.
Where Facebook kills me slowly and shows me all sorts of rants from people I had no idea held particular beliefs or opinions, Instagram unfolds like the Hallelujah chorus of all good things. I LOVE Instagram. The folks I follow are encouraging, uplifting, Jesus centered and use their feeds to point me back to Jesus.
Partnering with others to serve our local public schools is the biggest way I see what Jesus is doing in my city.
Following Jesus means that our bodies follow our mouths. Any of us can jump on any bandwagon or write some little soundbyte about things we care about, but when we actually move our bodies to where we say our hearts are, I think Jesus just multiplies our desire to partner with Him in what He is doing. Serving Parker Middle has radically shifted my thinking on what it means to love my neighbor. Public school has been the biggest, best surprise of my year. Your turn.
What did you learn in 2015? Something fun? Something that hurt your heart? Something that changed your thinking? Tell me.
Linking with Emily P. Freeman over at her quiet, little patch of internet for What We Learned in 2015.