I can look a little different, but that’s okay.

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Sometimes I get weird looks because of my appearance. I have two more piercings than a good girl should, I dye my hair weird rainbow-mermaid colours and I’m too poor to keep up with fashion trends. For example, I introduced myself to a someone at church the other day while wearing my (absolute favourite) T-shirt with my bones printed on the outside of it. In return I got a weird look, a point in the direction of my shirt, and an awkward silence. I still don’t know their name. #awkies

I am so thankful that Jesus doesn’t look at the outside. He’s concerned with my heart, not my grunge-ish tendencies, holes with metal in them and other oddities. Make no mistake, my insides can be just as strange and ugly as my outsides, but he’s the one who sees that and helps me do the spring-cleaning to make my heart shiny, new, beautiful and joyful.

Although, I do understand the judging of the inside by the looking at the outside. I’m a big fan of people watching, and an even bigger fan of giving back stories to the people I watch, both consciously and unconsciously. Sometimes I even do this out loud when I’m with my favourite person. Its a good way to pass the time. However, recently we made up a crazy, messed up story for a couple, when I realized that I can look and dress a heck of a lot like them. It made me think about the stories and assumptions people make up about me.

I know I can never control someone’s perception of me, so I don’t worry about what others think (at least not regularly), but what I can control I’d the person I portray when I speak and act. It reminded me that I am an ambassador of Christ wherever I go, and to whoever I meet.

That reminder punched me in the gut. It forced me to remember choices that I have made to ensure that I am being as much like Jesus as I can be. Whether those things are choosing to not swear or refusing to drink alcohol, I need to know why I am doing them or else my resolution wavers and I begin to slowly slide towards doing those things or thinking those thoughts.

The solution? Being an active ambassador for Christ.

That’s really broad, isn’t it? So how can I narrow this down? First: daily reminding myself, and asking him to remind me in every situation to resemble his holiness. Second: following through and actually resembling his holiness. Yeah. That’s it. I don’t have anything else. But the cool part is, he’s got it all.

In fact, he actually has already given it all to me through his Holy Spirit. I don’t need to worry about what to say, because he has the words. I don’t need to worry about what to do, because he has the directions. All I have to do is obey, which really takes off the pressure.

  So even though I look a little weird, Jesus has made it possible for me to only be the good kind of weird. And for that I’m really thankful.

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*Insert mushy title about family*

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I really love my family. I’ve just spent a couple on seconds reflecting on how awesome my weekend has been, and that is the conclusion I have drawn.

You see, my family is so much bigger than the people I share blood and features with, it extends to neighbors, friends, and, most of all, the church. My family is a lot of things; my family cares for each other, my family is generous, my family is unafraid challenge each other, my family is welcoming and my family is fun. The people in my life are so much more than that short list of things, but those are the characteristics that I have been awed by in the past few days.

I am so thankful to be placed where I am, with the people that I am with at this moment in time. They are the best, and its an honour to be able to share life with one another.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” Proverbs 17:17

“Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art… It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival.” C.S. Lewis

My family, the ones I was born to and the ones I chose, add value to my survival and are the best companions to face adversity alongside. I’m grateful for them.

His grace is enough, even for an imperfect matric student.

I’m officially a Matric student. This came as a surprise to me as the end of school is something I have never looked forward to. I’ve always learned in the moment, only thinking about what subject I will do next of what I could possibly have for lunch. Yet now I am here on the threshold of the end, without and mental preparation, or schoolbooks (yet) for that matter.

I don’t know what to expect from this year, but I do know that I have some big decisions to make. I am afraid and confused, I don’t know what I want and I don’t have a plan. I also have some important commitments to God, others and myself that I intend to fulfill. The thought of these reminds me of my incapability to basically do anything, my weakness, and my utter need for a God who is bigger and has a better plan for me than I could ever imagine.

This year will be fast and full, and the only way I will make it is by riding the waves of His grace. He is capable, I and not. He is strong, I am weak. He has resources, I am broke. He is big, I am small. He is holy, I am sinful. Most importantly, He is loving, and I am loved. His perfection overshadows my imperfection and his grace is enough.

So I know I will make it. My planning will not be a result of faithlessness, it will be done in the knowledge that God directs my steps. My results will not be because of my strength, wisdom or ability, but simply because of His favor. For that I am thankful.