Friday, January 9, 2015

withholding our flame.

i have been thinking a lot lately about light. after sort of feeling like i've been in a gloomier season of life, i've noticed i follow the light in the house. like a cat, i find the warm spots and lounge there close to the window. i imagine myself being outside when it's above freezing temperatures and being enveloped by the sun, feeling warm pavement. i want to go there and be there and dance around in that like maria in the sound of music minus the terrible dress and being a nun.

but i was thinking about everyone being stuck inside because of the fridgid temperatures. we're probably trolling the internet much more, at least i am. things just slow down anyway.

i remember hearing casey weigand speaking at hope spoken and she quoted something like, a candle never loses it's light by lighting another candle. 
it hits me every time i hear that and lights up areas in my heart that have become hardened to encouraging others and making lives brighter.

the internet and the blogs and the instagrams and twitters show us how we would do this in real life, so just look at it as a window into all of our hearts.
but we are stingy with our likes. and @'s and mentions. our lifting others up.
because we're really important. because our "like" isn't cheap, cmon. who do you think i am. remember how amazing i am?

turns out, you're just dust.

we're stingy with our comments because i don't want everyone to know i'm on the internet a lot. my reputation is super important because i'm super important. or we don't comment because we are jealous of that person. i'll show them by punishing them with my non comment! my non-like! silence to you, fellow human with lots of battles i don't even know about. 

turns out God is the judge.

we hide in the shadows because we want to remain unnoticed, creeping along. taking from others because they won't notice. they already have 3498 likes, they don't possibly need one more. or it will just go to their head. because i'm the judge of their character. and in the back of our heads we hear a subtle whisper, i'm not as good as her/him/that.

turns out God loves you so much, you don't have to get your value from comparing your life to others.

we all tip toe around, remaining voyeurs because we don't want people to know about us, what's really going on, the hardship i'm really facing. no one will understand, anyway. 

or would they.
turns out, God made humans for community and honesty.

humans are so much more alike than we all would like to admit. the person you most disagree with on Facebook with all their weird posts. that's you! it's hysterical, but you're just as strongly opinionated in other ways. in fact, you are just as heartbroken as they are over some hardship, you are struggling just as much with something, climbing some mountain and trying so hard. all for different things, of course. that's what makes it so annoying.

people are the worst.

i remember walking into a grocery store years and years ago with a toddler and a baby. i probably looked like a normal whoever. but my life was in turmoil and when the sliding doors opened and i saw all the people, i thought, i wonder if they can all tell my life is falling apart in this very moment. if i can just buy a couple of groceries without crying...
did i need someone to tell me that my opinions on nacho cheese doritos vs cool ranch doritos was wrong? no. i sure didn't. because
it. doesn't. matter.
 what i needed in that moment was someone to pull my cart out for me and say, you're doing a good job with your kids. here's $5, go to starbucks over there and get you an iced tea and a cake pop for that toddler.

it seems like with that knowledge in hand, that we're all trudging through this breath of life doing the best we can,  we could do a better job at rallying around one another and lighting other candles that have been extinguished by hardship and suffering. we don't have to be stingy with our flames because, at the very base of your knowledge , you can rest knowing that you're not the judge. you're not the sheriff. you're not a big deal on the internet. you are, however, dearly loved by God who cherishes you and made you with certain gifts and not others. some are eyes and hands and buns and the small toe. they all serve a purpose. he made you to love those difficult to love and not Lord over them with all your harsh opinions. opinions! say it again, OHHHH PINNNN YUNNNS.

LOVE is the command. that is such warmth, love in comments and words and likes and @'s and responses. they are the bright sunny windows in the harsh winter we live in.  they are light to those around them. they envelope people in love.

 and as it turns out, GOD IS LOVE.

happy friday and all that.

39 comments:

  1. love this! you have such a way with words, a true talent :)

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  2. If the bank were in charge of my blog-feed, I'd get a txt every time I came here to say "this looks suspicious. It's not your typical behavior" But I love what you write, and I follow you on feedly, and I'm always uplifted by what you have to say... even though I don't know you, will probably never meet you, and have no "good" reason to read your blog. And you can thank feedly for changing their extension so I'm sent DIRECTLY to a website to read the blog post instead of seeing it truly in a feed ;-P Otherwise I wouldn't comment because I'd have to click 3 extra things ;-P

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  3. Um, I've become a terrible commenter lately, but this seems like an appropriate time to comment. Love this. Love the lighting candles quote!

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  4. I almost didn't comment, because it seemed cliché to do so after a convicting post. But, oh! Thanks for always uplifting and Truth telling. I am so blessed by your words.

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  5. Sugh good goodness. Keep it up! I love the encouragement to keep encouraging others.

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  6. good words my friend. Thx for keeping it real 👊

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  7. I hope you're writing a book, because when I read posts like this, all I can think is I WANT MORE. You have an ability to write about faith and vulnerability in a way that makes my faith stronger just by reading. Thank you.

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  8. Thank you. Beautiful and life-giving.

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  9. this is my favorite post you've written. it is just the nudge I needed to encourage some people that God has laid on my heart this week. thanks, jami!!

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  10. I like you. I wish we could be friends IRL. Plus I just keep thinking of you shaking it off on insta and I smile. Your Carleton is so so good.

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  11. Beautiful words! Thanks for sharing them!

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  12. The clincher was that Doritos line.
    I love all your words. They are the weirdest kind of Jesus.

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  13. amen sister. best blog post i've read in a while!! <3

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  14. I just.... tears, and thank you... ♥

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  15. I've just discovered your blog and your Instagram. And this is so true! I needed this! Thank you

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  16. truth. preach on. love to read your words, they often echo my own thoughts - you just have a way with words and the ability to get those thoughts out clearly. thanks for writing.

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  17. So I decided to brave Trader Joe's with babe in arms plus two spider monkeys which happen to be my boys. I know, I'm a super confident mother and all that. Somehow the monkeys stayed in their cage, which happened to be the cart, and my legs. But the whole time I wheeled/hurricanes my way thru the store, we were in people's way. We had to wait while they moved. We had to scooch over. People stared at us. People glared at me, because how dare I have children in public. They were being extremely well behaved, and all I could think was "I wish someone wold tell me I'm doing a good job instead of 'wow looks like a handful!'" Not because my kids were perfect, but because mom's need encouragement! Thanks for the jab for me to encourage others too.

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  18. Such a good word! I'll like this a thousand times if it helps get the word out! Looking forward to meeting you later this week as the "other" helper😊.

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  19. for you i will try to pull someone's cart over and give them kudos for taking care of their kiddos and share a smile.

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  20. Oooohhh m'gosh. I think my eyes got wider as I read further and further because someone was actually putting to words what's floating on my head. Great post and great reminders. Thank you!

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  21. YOU are a light! thank you ... always encouraged by you.

    "darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. hate cannot drive out hate: only LOVE can do that." - martin luther king

    xo

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  22. how did you knoooooooooooooooooooooooooow

    all the praise hands all the truths

    I needed this.

    thanks.

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  23. Now every time my weimaraner moves from sun spot to sun spot around my house, I'll think of this post :) But seriously, thank you for this reminder about community and honesty and just being real with each other and not stingy with our light.

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  24. So thankful for you and your blog. Praise Jesus for you and His truth coming out of your mouth.

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  25. Every. TIME. you. write. it's. EXACTLY. what. I. NEED. to. hear. You my sweet friend have a special gift! I am thankful for you!

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  26. So, so thankful for you...I mostly follow you over on Instagram until I get more than ten minutes on the computer, look through my bookmarks, and see your blog. I love it. I love your honesty, your point of view, and that you always bring it back home: It's all about Jesus, and learning to be more like Him. I'm going to keep my eyes open for a mama who needs a Starbucks and an encouraging word.

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  27. The moment I stopped reading your post, I immediately e-mailed 2 friends in need of encouragement. Thanks for this challenge and wonderful reminder. The light is spreading...

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  28. I usually don't comment b/c...well, I don't know! I guess I just never really thought it would make a difference one way or the other! BUT, just wanted to thank you for your honesty, wit and encouragement! Thank you. :)

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  29. i definitely needed to hear that because sometimes i'm so quick to assume my voice doesn't matter. thanks for the reminder that we are called to be the light and we can't do that hidden under a bowl.

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  30. I can't even tell you how timely this is.
    Tears. And no onions involved.

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  31. I'm newish to your blog but loving so much about your writings! I too have a daughter with unknown medical issues/special needs! And I love your heart and honesty!
    Anyways, kids are in bed and so I popped on here to see what's up with ya'll! (no...I'm sadly not from the south...I'm Canadian actually! HAha! I would just like a southern accent...or a British one! lol! ) I just have to say, I found this post both convicting and encouraging! I am inspired and guilty! I love, LOVE the candle flame quote - whoa! ;)
    Blessings to you and yours this night! (or day...or week! :D)

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