Happy 100th Day of Cultivate 2018! Today concludes our summer reading of Melanie Shankle’s devotional, Everyday Holy! I hope you have managed to make a little time each day to spend just a few moments centering your mind and spirit in God’s word and Melanie’s signature commentary on it!
That right there, that Esther 4:14? That’s my LIFE verse, people. (Well, it one of them, anyway… 😉 ) I even have it hanging in my office!
That verse, and the story of Esther in general, remind me that our life and our prayers, and the decisions and actions born OUT of them, are so very important. Every minute of every day you spend here on Earth has purpose and meaning far beyond what your sweet brain can comprehend. Don’t waste you time wishing things away or living in moments that have already passed. Stay here – in the present and DO YOUR THING. Even if (maybe even BECAUSE) it’s hard, and scary, and lonely. Something always depends on you doing YOUR thing, love bugs.
It’s been a good, good summer here in my house and I pray the same can be said about yours. I know it seems like we were a little quiet around here, with fewer posts than normal and not as many social media posts. That’s because we have been SO VERY BUSY behind the scenes and have big things to announce this fall! We’re growing and evolving and planning and EVERYTHING! And couldn’t be more excited about what’s in store for us and for YOU! But more on that later this week…! (I love a good cliffhanger, don’t you?!)
For now, let me congratulate you on 100 days of cultivating your FAITH by investing your time and energy in scripture even if just a few moments each day. God DELIGHTS when you spend time with Him, sweet friends. Well done!
One thing that’s been running around in my head lately is that powerful F word: FAITH. (Sheesh, move your mind up people, what did you think I meant?!) It occurs to me we might mix up various definitions of that word and it can get in our way of knowing and believing in our amazing God. There is a big difference between Faith (with an uppercase F) and faith (with a lowercase F). This summer, we’ve been hopefully cultivating the uppercase kind! What’s the difference? Let’s start with this definition from Hebrews:
The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this Faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. Hebrews 11:1, The Message
In other words, uppercase Faith is based on HOPE. Not wishful thinking, but hope. Uppercase Faith is BELIEF in something good and holy and sacred that is bigger than you. And by the way, the miracles we witness everyday from flowers blooming, seasons changing, medical healings, and teenagers actually putting away their laundry without being asked are the evidence that backs up this Faith!
Lowercase faith is based on our human-sized belief, which cannot comprehend the bigness, vastness, etc. of the God we profess to know. Therefore, lowercase faith is constrained by our own human experiences (and lack thereof) and we fill in the gaps with our own limited understanding and data points to make sense of things. Lowercase faith isn’t a bad thing, it just relies on our wishes. But uppercase Faith? It relies on BELIEF that transcends understanding.
And, you guys, I want to assure you that uppercase Faith does exist in you and in me. How do I know? Because you and I pray to a good, good God. If we didn’t have Faith, we’d only be making wish lists like those we made at Christmas when we wrote letters to Santa, only to forget later what we had asked for or settle for something we didn’t want in the first place. Prayer sticks with us and we don’t stop believing with HOPE that God will answer our prayers (of course, in His time and within His will…but that’s a sermon for another day!).
This summer, I have cultivated and grown in upper case Faith, and I hope you have, too! I pray you’ve seen Him in so many ways over the last 100 days that encourage you to keep going back to His word and to sit at His feet on a consistent basis. Every good thing starts small and needs tending. So keep the Faith, sister friends, and cultivate it!
Thank you for going on this journey with us this summer. And if you like surprises, come back on Thursday for a few FUN announcements to get your Fall FAITH going!!!
Peace, love, and SO MUCH JOY!