Extravagance. The word leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Images rush to my head of .. opulence. Ridiculous expensiveness.. wasteful.. excessive..
But the word has been redefined for me.
I was having my morning alone time with Jesus and was reading in my devotional book about the widow who gave her two last coins. I’ve read the story countless times, heard messages preached and illusions drawn. But it hit me in a fresh way. A radical way.
“She gave extravagantly what she couldn’t afford – she gave her all.” (Mark 12:44b The Message)
That’s how Jesus described her to his friends.
It was a praise.
Suddenly, the word is beautiful. Giving more than she could afford.
That’s what Jesus is asking of us. To not just give enough that we feel better than the next guy.
To not just give our all.
He wants EXTRAVAGANCE.
What we can’t afford.
I’m so tired of living a life centered around my trio of most important people.
I’m tired of just being a great Christian. Tithing, serving, faithfully attending church.
I’m gonna give what I can’t afford. I’m gonna live an extravagant life.
I’m gonna climb out of my cozy,comfy boat and stagger onto the waves.
Radically take risks, join the war.
Follow the One who is the Light.
I’m not the DIY type. I’m not super crafty and its prettier, easier and faster for me to just buy things rather than try to create them. But something caught my eye on pinterest and it looked so easy and it was something I adore. Candles. And coffee. Both of which I have a borderline obsession. It was like a holy matrimony.
There was a picture of a little ceramic cup filled with coffee beans and a tea light. The warmth from the candle makes the beans release their aroma.. and ooh la la.
I couldn’t resist and had to try it. Only, I improvised a little and used a coffee mug. Because I think that is just way more awesome.
So now I can enjoy the coffee aroma even when John is not creating something magical with his espresso machine.. and at the same time, the little flickering light of a flame.
I’ve been doing a lot of thinking the last few days. About life. Relationships. The differences between perfect online friends and real messed up people. Don’t freak out that this is an anti-social media blurb. It’s not. I love social media. You can connect instantly with people you love all over the world. I can see pictures of my international friend’s babies within minutes of their births. It’s a gift that has connected us to the world.
But I think there’s a catch. It’s so easy to instead of being in the moment you are in, enjoying the people you are with, to constantly be in the other world. How many times do we take a photo just to post it online? Or as soon as we get to a restaurant with buddies we have to “check-in” so all of our online friends can see that we are having a great time? What about actually having a great time? We spend so much of our time, energy and love creating this perfect life of ours online, where we can be whoever we want to be. We can be shallow, fake, perfect. No one on there has to know about our hurts, has to know about the stupid things we said, the embarrassing things we did. What if instead we stopped and set down the phone, looked into the eyes of the people we are with and focused on them? Their pains, problems, hurts, joys, loves, interests, passions..
I love details.. I love the tiny lines, the tiny specks, the intense color. Things you have to look at really closely to notice.. beauty waiting to be seen. To stop and take that second look, to study a little more closely. I think God loves detail.. I think he makes it so that we don’t just pass by and glance at his creation but actually stop for a moment to really look at it. To really enjoy it. If you’re not looking for it, you’ll miss it. If you’re focused on things you need to do, places to go, problems weighing you down and just glance at the world around you.. you won’t see it. I think he wants us to search it out. To seek it. And that’s why he hides it. He wants us to take the focus off of ourselves and problems and such, and focus on beauty.. His creation.. singing it’s praises to their Maker.
Today is my birthday! And this year I’m asking for something a little different. Instead of presents, I’m asking for gifts for the children around the world through my gift catalog with World Vision. There’s a large variety of gifts to choose from: a goat, medicine, school books, fruit trees, clean water, a soccer ball… and the list goes on. If you feel lead to give towards my birthday catalog, please click HERE. Even if you don’t feel like this is the time or place for you to give personally, I have a request. Please share my gift catalog with your family and friends via Facebook, twitter, email, reblogging this or any other social media outlets. The more people who known about it, the more people who get a chance to give! This gifts are literally life changing and not just for the child who receives the gift, but for the whole community as well. It’s life changing for the giver, too.
“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.” Matthew 25:40
It rained during the night. And I woke up to a world covered in mist and raindrops. It was foggy and cool and you could feel the moisture in the air. And then I saw all these shimmering jewels in the grass. I ran over and there were all these little tiny spiderwebs covered in shining raindrops. It took my breath away.
I love rain. It’s refreshing. I love how the world smells after a rain. In fact, that is my favorite smell in the world. I love walking in the rain. I think it reminds me of God. Like little kisses falling down from heaven onto me. Little gems of beauty. The cleansing, the fresh air, the nourished earth – it all reminds me of what God does in my soul.
To purchase these photos in high resolution click HERE. 100% of profits will go to help people in need.