Be the Beggar

Let’s jump right into it. If we’re honest with ourselves we don’t like to beg. Begging is a lowly action that’s seen as somewhat scornful and disgraceful. When we think about a beggar we immediately imagine the man or woman near intersections or in front of convenience stores. We picture dirty, ragged, and awful smelling. At the site of a beggar we flea. We avoid them at all costs and we teach our children to never become one of “them.” The issue with this is that we’ve taken the idea of begging to the extreme that we would much rather suffer in silence than beg the Lord in desperation for help, for an answer, for a miracle, or for something as simple yet powerful as, hope

The issue with this is that we’ve taken the idea of begging to the extreme that we would much rather suffer in silence than beg the Lord in desperation for help, for an answer, for a miracle, or for something as simple yet powerful as, hope

Culture Christianity has promoted the idea of the Instagram, picture-perfect life. We share the highlights of our life with pearly white teeth rocking the latest trends while behind smiles we are internally crippled at the reality lived with unanswered prayers, desperate cries for help, and recurring heartache. How unfortunate that we’ve become okay with this. How sad we’ve deemed this lifestyle of pretense, “Christian Living.” Don’t get me wrong, I by no means am promoting airing your dirty laundry for the whole world to see, however when we rely on personal strength, knowledge, and gusto, we remove Jesus from the equation. The issue with this is that we unknowingly walk in pride that keeps us from falling on our knees before the savior we claim to serve. We forget that the deliverance we desire cannot and will not come from personal strength but rather from full dependency on Jesus. That’s the great exchange that occurred during salvation. With salvation comes the exchange of independence for dependency on your Creator. The sooner we humble ourselves and come to this realization that we must beg and place dependency on Jesus, then can we experience the fullness of God. 

We forget that the deliverance we desire cannot and will not come from personal strength but rather from full dependency on Jesus.

I struggle with this. I like the idea of appearing like I have my life figured out. I don’t want people to worry about me or about my problems. Marriage has taught me that I can lean on my husband and he can lean on me when one of us is struggling. Marriage should be an example of our relationship with Christ. Not that Christ ever depends on us, however, it’s the idea that whenever you are in relation with Jesus you trade your independence with trusting a Known God in the midst of an unknown future. I’ve experienced this many times during my almost two years of marriage. There have been days I am thoroughly discouraged or feeling completely hopeless and my husband reminds me I am not alone. He embraces me not with judgment, but rather with compassion and mercy. He reminds me of the God we serve and nudges me to have an attitude of desperation. To beg God in times of need and whenever life’s going smoothly. This begging is messy tears. This begging is not really for an immediate answer (while an immediate miracle sure sounds great sometimes). Rather this begging is ridding all pride and becoming the least of these. It’s saying “God, I need you and I depend on you and you alone.” It’s easy to walk through each day in the pretense confidence of personal strength, however, whenever we get in the posture of a beggar, that’s when the dirt comes out. That’s when the ragged parts of our lives are revealed. That’s when the awful-smelling parts of our hearts are aired. The awesome part about this beggar posture is that God someone in his mercy restores peace, joy, and a sweet-smelling heart. 

Mark chapter 5 illustrates begging from three completely different views. One from demons, another from an influential leader, and another from a woman rejected by society and her entire family due to an unclean nature of illness over 12 years. This chapter illustrates the powerful posture of the beggar they all have in common. The demons knew the authority of Jesus that they begged. A man who was by society’s standards influential and well-known put aside his societal stature and begged. A woman who was dejected and rejected, scorned and shunned for over 12 years did not lose hope, but begged. This shows that you and I are not too big or too small, neither too great nor too lowly to fall on our faces and posture ourselves before the Lord for help. Will the miracle be immediate? There’s no guarantee, however, I promise you will receive from the Lord what He desires in that time. Don’t be too proud to beg. 

Mark 5


Too Lazy to Hold a Grudge

I hate to do this to my ladies, but we are genuinely the worse at getting over drama. We’re actually experts at keeping drama lingering for extended periods of time. We’d instead hold onto a grudge, ignore the situation and rework our entire life around not seeing or being around the person we have a quandary with than maturely confront and move on. That’s not to say men do not struggle with this, however women, just have a special talent to keep the music of chaos going. 

Marriage has taught me to pick and choose my battles. It has also taught me what true maturity is. When it comes to conflict resolution I will gladly admit that my husband is far more mature than I am. I’ve gotten better however it’s not my strong suit in the slightest. I blame the innate driven personality that has me hold on to grudges longer than need me. In the past, I would much rather hold on to my rightness than confront, heal, and move forward. In marriage, holding on to a grudge doesn’t quite work. It may feel like it’s working for a while, but eventually, it will come back to haunt with crippling effects. 

My husband doesn’t allow me to hold onto a grudge. He challenges me to be the bigger person by walking in humility. Funny how being the bigger person requires lowering yourself by putting pride aside. Nearing two years of marriage and I am proud that one of the character traits I’ve grown in is humility. Rather than pouting and giving the silent treatment for hours, whenever Jarrod and I have a disagreement the time of silence has decreased significantly. Whenever I am in the wrong I’ve learned to approach and admit versus waiting for Jarrod to approach and him having to pull teeth and nails for resolution. The goal is not to cast blame, but rather to find reconciliation and peace as means for the relationship to grow stronger and for said disagreement to either not occur again, or to find a means to come to some middle ground. That applies to both marital relationships and any relationship outside of that. 

The greatest test of your personality will present itself in your most intimate moments and circles. How we treat those moments determines how we handle moments outside of those circles. I’m determined to be too lazy to hold a grudge. While laziness isn’t a habit I condone, in this particular area I am determined to be the master of laziness. I encourage you, to BE LAZY about holding on to a grudge. At some point, we need to come to the realization that grudges’ shelf life is actually very short. It has an expiration date whether we like it or not. Most of us are holding on to what’s been spoiled and expired. It explains why we smell so rotten whenever we speak. It explains why the way we live is pretty crappy and reeks pretty badly. 

The Psalmist, David, knew not to hold onto things. He had all right to hold on to anger, bitterness, and a mean grudge. Most of us can justify why we believe we are in the right for what we’re holding onto, however, your rightness doesn’t work in the kingdom of God. How you live day in and day out tells a bigger story and is the script that we have on the resume we present whenever we take out last breath and face our Savior.

David writes in Psalm 

"Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil." -Psalm 37:8

That thing you’re holding onto either has control over you or you have control over it. Having control over it is maturity. Letting it take control of your life to rare its ugly face every time it wants to only brings destruction to your life and the lives around you. It has an expiration date. Be the one that’s too lazy to hold a grudge. Do what is right, not what feels right. Forgive and love. Button line, it’s what we are called to do as Christ’s followers whether we like it or not. 


Lady in Pink

Have you ever met someone and were immediately captivated by their presence? No, I am not referring to romantic encounters. I am referring to those moments where you cross paths with someone or see them from afar and their presence captivates, convicts, and motivates you to become a better person. For me, that’s the Lady in Pink. 

The Lady in Pink wore a business skirt suit. Her shoes along with the rest of her Sunday best were bright pink. Not so much so that you were blinded by the color. Rather, you just couldn’t help but notice. She walked with a sense of grace and pride. The pride she carried was not of arrogance and stature but rather of assurance of who she is. While every stride she took was deliberate, they were also graceful and filled with courage. The Lady in Pink wore a smile on her face that complimented her rosy cheeks. Her smile had hints of wrinkles from the years of wearing the beaming grin she carried through both on the mountain top and in the years of the valley. Her hair curled it’s natural shining white revealing her age of wisdom. The Lady in Pink while short in stature carried a stance of a woman on a mission; a mission of purpose. 

My husband’s gentle hands occasionally brushed past mine as we settled into the back row. We were late to church but got there just in time for the last song before the transition into the sermon. This is when I spotted the Lady in Pink. The lead pastor called for the students in high school to lead a time of prayer and altar call. The stage was lined with students ready and eager to pray. Some of the congregation responded but reluctantly. Mostly those around the age of high school students prayed for each other. The Lady in Pink in her deliberate yet grateful and courageous stride walked up to the altar. She walked up for prayer from one of the youngest students and then slowly made her way to each student that was waiting to pray for someone. She patted each one on the shoulder; a sign of goodwill and encouragement. Each with a sense of courage sparked as she walked and met each of them where they were at.

I was moved to tears. I was overwhelmed at the sight. When I looked over to my right, I caught a glimpse of my husband’s eyes and saw he too was captivated by the Lady in Pink. You couldn’t help but be moved by a woman who by society’s standards has aged and lived a life enough to need prayers, yet she humbly approached the altar and received prayers from someone whose experience of life was short compared to hers. The Lady in Pink exemplified youth despite having seen twenty years over her nominal life of three scores and ten. The Lady in Pink wrecked the pride in me and tugged my heart to yield to submission in my walk. The Lady in Pink opened my eyes to a way of living in confident freedom. The Lady in Pink…. Despises youth not, rather she walks in it.

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.”
1 Timothy 4:12
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Woman/Girl Boss

Urban dictionary describes a woman boss as a woman who can accomplish all tasks while remaining beautiful; a good-looking woman in an authoritative position in a business (non-sexual); a woman who is successful without the aid of others (although others may help to make things more convenient). I also like the term boss girl. Once again, the urban dictionary fails not to provide an accurate cultural description of a boss girl. That being, a woman who is self-made, running their own business, and acting as their own boss.

While I do not claim or fully support the cultural feminist movement, being a female, I do see the importance of uplifting those who are of similar biological makeup as myself. Men and women are completely different. Besides our biological makeup, our history has shaped a lot of what we do and how we have been able to step up and step out. The idea of a woman/girl boss would be rejected a century ago. Over the past century, opportunities for women grew significantly because of women who were bold, not afraid, and filled with a gumption for change. I applaud these women. I salute these women. Women who are full-time moms. Women who are part-time moms. Women who are working. Women who are grinding a side hustle. Women who are walking in their god-given divine calling. Women who have shut out the noise and stood up against the naysayers. Women who are conquering a disease. Women who are bold enough to be women. You. I applaud you for being the woman/girl boss that you are. 

There is a man who studied women well. He “knew” (insert wink) plenty of women. He wrote an entire chapter on women that we now refer to as the pinnacle for the righteous and perfect women/wives; Proverbs 31. 

According to King Solomon, here are the characteristics of a woman/wife of noble character: 

  1. Protective, brings life and passion (vs.10)
  2. Trustworthy (vs.11)
  3. Brings good (vs.12)
  4. Works with her hands (vs.13)
  5. Labors even if she needs to travel far (vs.14)
  6. Early riser and host to those in her home (vs.15)
  7. Makes strategic business decisions and investments (vs.16)
  8. Prioritizes her personal health and wellbeing (vs.17)
  9. Knows her calling and finds passion in what she’s doing (vs.18)
  10. Meticulous and discerning (vs.19)
  11. Compassionate and merciful to the poor and needy (vs.20)
  12. Has faith in her Savior even in trying times (vs.21)
  13. Is a woman of dignity who protects her marriage bed (vs.22)
  14. Lays a foundation of respect for her husband (vs.23)
  15. Knows her craft and thrives in doing this (vs.24)
  16. Shows strength in stature and models dignity in her clothing (vs.25)
  17. Speaks with wisdom and her tongue is filled with faith (vs.26)
  18. Manages her home and rejects idleness (vs.27)
  19. Praised and valued by her home (vs.28)
  20. Fears the Lord and trusts in His will (vs.29)
  21. Honored for her work (vs.30)
  22. Praised by those who surround her (vs.31)

I will admit, reading that list is intimating. Who can possibly live up to that standard? In many ways, you are living up to that standard. You may not have a spouse telling you so or children praising you in awe, but the God who created you sees your worth and the nobility you carry because you fear him. Too often, we have characterized Proverbs 31 woman as a woman who has it all. In essence, we’ve deemed that she is perfect and has no faults. If she is perfect then there would be no need for a savior. King Solomon ends the chapter with a statement we’ve overlooked time and time again. This statement summarizes the entire chapter:

“Many women do noble things,
    but you surpass them all.”
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (vs.29-30)

The common title for a Proverbs 31 woman is a woman of Noble Character. Notice in verse 29 Solomon mentions that many women do noble things. In other words, many women do what he mentions in verses 10-31. This is referred to as charm and beauty. This nobility can be at times deceptive and fleeting (fades over time). The women that surpass them (the women who are of noble character alone) are those who fear the Lord.

HOLD UP! Does that mean we should not strive to be a woman/girl boss of noble character? NO! What this does mean, is that too often we are blinded by the culture of perfectionism as females that we fail to see that being a woman that severs the Lord and fears His ways is what surpasses the woman that strives to be perfect and do life without God in the equation. Being a woman who talks to Jesus and functions in the will of God surpasses all who reject God. These noble things will be a part of your story as a God lover. They can also be a part of your story if you reject God, but I promise you they will become your demise and fleet in worth. 

Before you strive to be the “list” of things, first make your priority to fear the Lord. That list will become a part of your character when you begin to fear the Lord. My challenge to you is, to quit being hard on yourself. Quit shaming and defaming your worth. You’re a woman/girl boss. You’re killing it! Be the God-lover woman of noble character.