What she could…

I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for almost two hours trying to come up with something to share. I’ve pulled out so many books looking for inspiration that now my desk is in total shambles. I’ve responded to some e-mails in the midst of the hair pulling and thinking. I tried a glass of blueberry lemonade, but all it seemed to do was make the baby kick and turn within me. I was still left with a blinking cursor and an unforgiving clock.

So I asked myself, “Does this mean you aren’t learning anything if you don’t have anything to share?”

The last thing I want to do is ramble on or post if there isn’t something remotely beneficial to say. So I opened up my journal and took a refresher course in the past week. And in doing so I found my connection.

Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” (Mark 12: 41-44, NIV)



Now the Passover and the Festival of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were scheming to arrest Jesus secretly and kill him. “But not during the festival,” they said, “or the people may riot.”

While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.

Some of those present were saying indignantly to one another, “Why this waste of perfume? It could have been sold for more than a year’s wages and the money given to the poor.” And they rebuked her harshly.

“Leave her alone,” said Jesus. “Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me. She did what she could. She poured perfume on my body beforehand to prepare for my burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her.” (Mark 12:1-9, NIV)

Two women. Two sacrifices. Both did what they could.

Sometimes I don’t feel like I have anything to offer or give. On days like that I ask for help, I make a cup of hot tea, I write a letter, and I keep my eyes up. I do what I can.

There’s nothing wonderfully spiritual about this revelation or statement. I don’t share the stories of these two women to bring guilt into the picture, but to simply show that He noticed. He sees you. He hears you. And on the days when you feel like all you have is a measly penny to offer, He smiles when you give that beautiful, tiny thing. It’s never not enough for the One who can take five loaves and two fish and feed thousands.

I need that reminder today.

When I feel empty, I give.

When my gift feels out-of-place, I pour it out. It’s for Him.


Look Outward

Day 4 of heartache

“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” (The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis)

“I spent about three weeks hiding tears all day long.  I was a mess.  So, I started in the Psalms.  I clung to the verses.  They are plastered on post-it notes all over my desk.  And as I made it to Psalm 33 I found out that he was keeping me alive during the famine.  I turned my eyes to see the students and friends around me and I began praying – boldly.  I have seen God radically alter the lives of my kids.  This Sunday I marveled as a girl I have been lifting up to the Lord since late September asked me to stand with her as she decided to be baptized.  I entered the water and joined the Pastor with tears in my eyes.  I was witnessing these students coming from hollow existence into real living one at a time.”

If we want to see our grief melt into joy, the first step is usually to change our point of view from inward to outward focus. The truth of the matter is that joy flows most often when we take a step back from ourselves and notice those around us. Joy comes from blessing and encouraging others, rather than focusing on our own needs. When life is “all about me” it leaves little room for the joy that emerges through loving people.

“When we’re feeling our lowest, helping others actually makes us feel better about our world because it reminds us that the world isn’t all about us. Volunteer with strangers or attend to those family members or long-lost friends you’ve neglected during your adventures in romance gone wrong.” (The Art of Rejection, Hayley & Michael DiMarco)

The temptation can often be to desire that all time spent with friends post breakup be focused on our feelings and the challenges we are experiencing. We definitely need and want accountability in those times to keep us from taking steps backward. However, if all of your conversations are about your breakup, you aren’t doing yourself or your friendships any favors. Remember that your friends have struggles and challenges of their own. Be sure that the conversation and relationship goes both ways. Stay connected and attentive to the lasting relationships that God has placed in your life!

“Praise our God, O peoples, let the sound of his praise be heard; he has preserved our lives and kept our feet from slipping.  For you, O God, tested us; you refined us like silver.  You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs.  You let men ride on our heads; we went through fire and water but you brought us to a place of abundance.”  Psalm 66:8-12

Psalm 66 reminds us that God has preserved our lives and that He has been the one to keep us from drowning in our hurt. Our hurts linger because our expectations did not meet up with reality. But “the only way you will be destroyed is if you let yourself be destroyed.” (The Art of Rejection)

Fix your eyes upward and outward. He will see you through.

Following and Listening,