If the title of today’s post seems a bit bold and assumptive, it is. I am hoping it is bold in a way that will make you smile.
If the words wholehearted awesomeness alone don’t quite get you to a smile, check this out.
The other day my daughter was lavishing herself in a bubble bath, filled with all of her favorite zoo animal toys. She embodies wholehearted awesomeness simply by the fact that her bubble baths will last until the water gets cold. Not warm, cold. Mountains of bubbles are an absolute must. She was a good twenty minutes into her latest water adventure when suddenly, I heard a torrent of laughter from the bathroom and went to see what was up. This is what I saw.
It’s a little plastic giraffe with an afro made of bubbles. She sweetly called it a “giraffro”. Everyone at our house had to laugh out loud and then I had to grab the camera. This needs to be included on my list of life’s greatest moments.
I love my daughter’s heart. It is so innocent, so sweet and so confident of all of the gifts and talents that she has been given. She is most certain of what she loves and what she does not care for. She, sometimes stubbornly and persistently, goes after those things that bring her joy. While I sometimes find myself frustrated up against it, I also so deeply admire it in her.
I don’t know what God has in store for her life; what struggles and joys lie ahead, but more than anything I hope that she can hold on to her wholehearted awesomeness and continue to approach life with such passion and enthusiasm. I want there to be much joy in her life.
The same is true for my son, who has his own version of wholehearted awesomeness. His version usually includes some pretty tremendous eats (like donuts the size of your head, or mini donuts, any raised glazed donuts or bacon & donuts). It also includes time at golf courses. All of which he prefers to do with his closest pals.
As for me, I live out my wholehearted awesomeness through my mission – to encourage with love, passion and enthusiasm. It’s through Passionate Encouragement and Prayer that I hope to UPlift people and spread JOY all over.
It’s about conversations over coffee, writing letters, note cards, post it notes, crazy little presents and random for no reason other than we love you surprise parties. It’s snacks and emails and text messages and cups of tea and posts to face book. It’s a hundred different little things that are meant to show love and bring hope.
I have to admit that some days are better than others when it comes to living out my mission. Sometimes I just plain fall flat. Sometimes I am tired and discouraged myself. Sometimes I am selfishly bitter and frustrated. Sometimes I just feel that all I give amounts to a whole lot of nothing. Sometimes I say “yes” to all the wrong things and then get mad because my choice has left me with meager crumbs of time, talent and treasure to do what I feel I have been called to do.
So I am on a personal mission right now to do several things.
One is to focus more on the process and less on the results. I always seem to be in the middle of something…or many things…and the results seem to be truly fleeting. Memories are short. It seems that if I am always in the middle, then the middle is what I should be focusing on. Savoring it, loving it and loving the people that I am with, instead of pushing so hard to just be done.
Two is to let go, to surrender. I want to let go of at least some of the things that I am holding onto so tightly that they are cutting into the flesh of my own hands. I know there are things that I have on my plate of responsibilities that are not designed for me in this time and this place. I am working on letting go of them, but doing so in such a way that is loving and caring, and sets everyone up for the best moving forward.
Three is to BE ME faithfully. I try so very hard, probably more than I realize to be the best for everyone else. I like words of affirmation, I like praise. It motivates me. I know I am guilty of doing things, many things, in hopes of that encouragement coming back around to me or because encouragement was lavishly given to me up front. So I am asking myself if I think I am the best person to do this, or if I just seem like the best person because of my lack of resistance.
I am attempting to make progress to let my yes be yes, and my no be no. Honestly, I’m probably working more on the NO side of things right now. I keep telling myself that not every good idea that I or someone else has is a good idea for me to follow through on. Setting boundaries for my time, talent and treasures is a way to worship God and be faithful with what He has given me.
I am doing all of this in an attempt to live out this verse.
“Love the Lord and follow His plan for your lives. Cling to Him and serve Him enthusiastically.” Joshua 22:5.
This verse came up in my daily flip calendar on January 25th. I haven’t flipped my calendar yet because I am still lingering on this verse. Focusing on the process, letting go of my plans, surrendering so I can have open hands & the energy to follow God’s plan, being who God created me to be and setting those boundaries are all ways that I hope to serve Him enthusiastically.
To serve the Lord with love, passion and enthusiasm, now that is wholehearted awesomeness!
My dear reader, did you realize that you are filled with wholehearted awesomeness too? You are this beautiful treasure, this amazing combination of gifts and talents that have never been seen before and will never be seen again. The time and the place you are in right now, you are here for a purpose. You were made to be YOU.
When you spend a bit of your time, talent and treasurers developing your identity in Christ, wholehearted awesomeness is bound to follow. Your brand of awesomeness is going to look so much different than everyone else. That’s a great thing.
No one goes to a museum to look at 100,000 black and white copies of the same thing. They go to admire original works of art; one of a kind pieces with varying colors, textures, sizes, depths and structures. You were not created to be a copy. You were created to be an innovative masterpiece. The one that is framed by a Holy God, who loves you and delights in you. A God who always, always, sees the wholehearted awesomeness that lies within you.
You do not have to have permission to live with wholehearted awesomeness or to be the you that you were created to be. I say that because as an innate first born rule follower who is more about asking for permission, I know that the silly littlest “rules” can keep us back from wholehearted awesomeness. Here’s a Bible verse that I hold to for my permission;
“Because of what Christ has done, we have become gifts to God that He delights in” Ephesians 1:11
Christ has signed the permission slip and paid the fee for us. Through His sacrifice Jesus took what we were and made us new. He took the broken and made it whole. He gave His heart for us. He took what was stained and made it awesome. God delights in wholehearted awesomeness and Christ made us a delightful gift.
Now it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel that you are in the middle of so much, that you don’t even know where your wholehearted awesomeness is stored. I understand. I have been there myself. It’s not about big changes, upsetting the entire apple cart or running away from everything.
Start small. If you gave yourself 10 minutes today to do something that would add wholehearted awesomeness to your world, what would it be? What can you fully put your heart into? Sketch a drawing. Take a picture. Leave a voicemail. Sing a song. Write a card. Compose a poem. Color a picture. Bring a friend some ice cream or cocoa. Send a text message. Do a silly dance. Put on your nicest outfit and admire your beauty. Say a little prayer. Look up times for those classes you have been wanting to take.
Whatever it is, do it. You can spend at least 10 minutes of brain power wondering if you should or shouldn’t, but don’t do that. Just do it, give yourself to wholehearted awesomeness and let God delight in you for those few moments.
Beloved and Amazing Lord,
You are absolutely incredible. Your ways and your thoughts are not my own, but wow, I can’t help but be drawn into awe as I attempt to think about the wholehearted awesomeness of who YOU are. Your crazy love for us. Your amazing talents to craft so many unique and precious individuals.
I think about my silly analogy of an art museum filled with masterpieces and it is such a constrained analogy, because You give life, abundant life. We can move and breathe and interact, evolve, develop and change. That is awesome.
Lord, I pray for all of my precious readers. I pray that they would live lives of wholehearted awesomeness. I pray that they have the bravery and courage to just be who You made them to be. I hope they are enthusiastic about clinging to You and serving You in whatever way You ask them to. I pray that their eyes, ears, minds and hearts are focused on You so that they may not get caught up in trying to be like anyone else, but are faithful whether you call them to the big or to the unnoticed.
Lord, I pray too, for our hearts to be encouraged. Lord, help us to know that You see everything that happens to us, everything we do and everything that gets overlooked in an average day. Lord, when people come to us in an urgent rush because they missed a deadline, help us know that you see the work, the effort and the energy that goes into resolving the issue. When someone calls out the blue with another request, and knows nothing of the tears that were just falling down our cheeks, remind us that not one tear is missed by Your careful counting heart. When we work so hard to complete the tasks and the finished job pile grows, but we are questioned on the one thing we have not accomplished yet, please help us to know that you were cheering us through every single task.
Your accounts hold it all in place, all the unnoticed and unfelt and unobserved and unmentioned. You know God. You know. May Your knowledge and awareness be an encouragement to us. May Your wholehearted awesomeness inspire our wholehearted awesomeness in this day.
In the amazing name of Jesus, amen.