A Time to Love

A Time to Love w

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


Loving isn’t always easy. Even though it is often romanticized and can be full of fun and warm fuzzy feelings, true love is always about so much more than that.

In the world, our nation, and in our communities there are heartbreaking things that are happening every single day. And even though there is devastation all around, my heart is  even more broken for those around me, family and friends, who are struggling with very, very difficult challenges every day.

We have the greatest opportunity to love within our family and friend circle. When I consider the people I know and love and some of their circumstances, I am often paralyzed because I want to relieve the pain but I cannot: a beloved father dying, the sudden death of a beloved spouse, a cancer recurring, a family of young children in limbo, the homeless, parents who are burying their child, those coping with drug addiction, the struggle of disabilities, a young mother with cancer, the list goes on….and on….

Where do I even start? 

Where can I draw the strength for loving others as they travel through unimaginable circumstances? The deep love that is required to be supportive through difficult trials can only come through God. It is only through His strength that I can bear any extraordinary burden. And true love often requires uncommon effort — fueled by God.

We love because he first loved us. ~ 1 John 4:19 (NIV)

It is always the time to love. Every person can reach out and share tangible love to those in their sphere of influence.

Show up.

Sit.

Listen.

Call.

Write.

Text.

Cook.

Pray.

Do.

Hold.

Share.

Connect.

Make yourself available, even though it pains you to watch someone in pain. Ask God to give you His eyes to see the needs and His strength to love. He surely will meet you there and give you what is needed for the moment and for the long haul.

On the Way,

Liz

 

PrayerPoints are daily Lenten devotionals that reveal a little about what God is working on in me. I pray they give you an opportunity to consider something from a different viewpoint. 

 

 

 

A Time to Throw Away

Budapest Piano_w
A random piano in Budapest!

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.


We have moved several times through the years which provides a natural opportunity to get rid of a few things. I remember a few years back when we were moving from Indiana to New York and my husband was not terribly insistent that the younger girls do a lot of purging. I thought it was a perfect time to throw out a few things and he insisted we didn’t push the issue. While my husband and I gave away, donated, and threw away all kinds of things, the girls did not. We agreed that as long as the girls were willing to pack their own boxes, whatever they kept was fine with us.

As we prepared to move from New York last spring, the girls were 4 years older and hadn’t necessarily spent a lot of time with all of the treasures they brought with them to New York. As they sorted through their stuff to pack up and move again, they were shocked at the things they had chosen to bring along from Indiana. These “treasures” they lugged across the country were not so important after all. But it took them some time and perspective to come to that conclusion. Purging when we left New York was so much easier than when we left Indiana. Some of it was age and some of it was perspective. Some of the things tied to memories they held onto had seemed incredibly important at that time but now were not. The girls donated and pitched all kinds of things this time around.

Often we hold onto things so tightly until we are ready to let go. And once we are ready, we are really ready to be done with whatever it is. Sometimes it is physical stuff or negative emotions or bad habits or toxic relationships or a grudge.

Are you holding onto things that really just need to be let go? I know I am. Even though I tend to be the person that holds onto things because I see they have potential future use, I definitely get bogged down trying to manage all the possibilities and potential. And I absolutely hold onto things that are detrimental to my spiritual health. I know God is working on my heart to get rid of some things that are hanging around and do not serve any positive value in my life. Purging some junk is definitely in order!

I love the specific opportunity to reflect during the Lenten season: it’s like boot camp for my heart — it strengthens me in my faith and softens my heart to God all at the same time.  Thanks for joining me on this journey! I would love to hear the ways God is working on your heart.

On the Way,

Liz

A Time for Everything

A Time for Everything 
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8 NIV

There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

In the scheme of life, we are all run by some sort of clock whether it is internal or external. If we live where there are distinctive seasons our activities are sometimes centered around those transitions. But even if there aren’t definite weather seasons where we are, there are seasons in life, jobs, relationships, growth, faith — you name it!

When our kids were little, we never wished they would move through stages quickly — we knew that each child had to move at their own pace and we had to let them figure it out and trust their own stride. We each have our own unique tempo. Sometimes we are attracted to those who have a similar beat and other times, knowing we need a change in pace, we find ourselves connecting with others who have a very different pulse. Sometimes I have to be very intentional about slowing down my pace because once I get going I struggle with turning my brain off to relax a bit. I am thankful for changes in pace, even though they take some getting used to. Measuring our progress by speed is useful in some ways but not in all. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

I love that God has created us each in a unique way and with a unique pace. I appreciate those around me who share my rhythm as well as those who challenge my stride.

Has your regular rhythm been challenged recently? Are you frustrated with how slowly things may seem to be moving in certain areas of your life? If you allow it, God may use your new pace might bring along a new perspective and a new peace about your circumstance.

On the way,

Liz