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Saturday, July 19, 2014

date @ governors island

what a beautiful place governors island is!

we went for a "day date" yesterday & had a blast.
it's a 5 minute ferry ride from the bottom of manhattan and when you get onto the island itself you feel like you're forever away from the city...that is until you turn around and see the view!

How cool is this? It's called Framing New York.
Such a cool idea.

they have free bike rentals before noon!
riding bikes may have been my favorite part :)
(plus our view of the NYC skyline & statue of liberty was pretty awesome!)

did I mention free dairy-free & gluten free ice cream?!
salted peanut-butter
chocolate chai

it was an amazing afternoon!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

crying over can openers

All I could hear was "errrrrrrrr....." as I tried to open up diced tomatoes with my electric can opener...but I kept trying a second, third, and forth time. 

It wasn't working. 

I became frustrated and thought to myself, "My mother-in-law told me I shouldn't rely on an electric can opener..." 

So I reached for our hand-held can opener & I turned, and turned, and turned. Nothing. I was putting so much effort into opening this can...and these dang can openers wouldn't help me out at all!

"All I'm trying to do is make dinner! That's it! Does it need to be this hard?! This effortful? This frustrating?"

As I stood in my kitchen I glanced at the half-made pot of spaghetti sauce on the stove..then at the rest of the ingredients that needed to be in that pot but couldn't be opened...and I started to cry.

After lots of tears over "can openers" I asked myself what was really going on?

I realized when I was saying, "Does it need to be this hard?! This effortful? This frustrating?" I wasn't talking about the cans that couldn't be open...I was talking about my life

Underneath this girl that has been pretending to "have it all together" there was a fearful, frustrated, and tired girl. "I've been here before," I thought.

A recovering-perfectionist never likes to have a relapse. You see, it reminds them that they're not perfect...oh right, that's why they relapse...because they didn't understand that they weren't perfectly able, on their own, to recover themselves.

That's where I am... the reality of my imperfections, my lack of trust in the Perfect One, and my utter brokenness have smacked me in the face... 

I've been trying so hard, on my own:

-to make hard circumstances into positive life experiences (with a big smile on my face and a thumbs up!)... instead of letting the situation be hard and bringing it to the Lord to show me His goodness & faithfulness even in hard circumstances

-to get it together when something happens that makes me feel completely out of control...instead of bringing my fearfulness to the Lord who is in control of all things

-to juggle life out of my own weary, tiresome effort instead of coming to the One who said, "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest..."

Out of my struggle with perfectionism I look to the Lord and say, "Well, how can I do this right?! What do I need to do? To change?"

& out of His great love, patience, and kindness He tells me to come to Him just as I am...a broken mess, weary, fearful...

A voice cries:[a]
“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord;
    make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
Every valley shall be lifted up,
    and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
    and the rough places a plain.

And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
    and all flesh shall see it together,
    for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

(Isaiah 40:3-5)

These words spoke comfort to God's people--those exiled in Babylonian captivity. 

These words also spoke comfort to me in my brokenness and my need for refreshment. I picture my uneven ground with rough places...trusting in my own efforts, being fearful...but I know the Holy Spirit is doing a work in me. Making my uneven ground level and my rough places into a plain. 

I will turn my eyes to the One who is perfect...who lived the perfect life I cannot live, the One who died the death I deserve, and who rose again defeating death and sin... so that I may have life...full and abundant life!

I bought a new can opener. One, because I needed it & two, because I needed a reminder to stop living by my own effort. I needed to be reminded that because of Jesus there is a new way of living...

 But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. 10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. (Ephesians 2:4-10)