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Sometimes life feels less like a daring adventure and more like an assembly line.

Wash the clothes. Pack the lunches. Make the deadline. Gas the car. Ride the treadmill. Scratch the to-do list. Buy the groceries. Wrangle the inbox. Change the diaper. Wait in traffic. Pay the bills. Give the same presentation in a new way. Drink eight glasses of water. Pack and unpack the dishwasher. Pack and unpack the suitcase. Pack and unpack the restless feelings.

We step mindlessly from one assembly line to another, forgetting this is our one and only life.

More often than not, I think our issues and sin and discontentment stems out of sheer boredom. And boredom is born because we—as the song says—are looking for love in all the wrong places.

We scroll from screen to screen.

We move from activity to activity.

We transition from trend to trend.

We jump from one piece of breaking news to another piece of breaking news.

“Is this it?” we wonder. “Is this all there is? All we have to look forward to?” Sometimes we’re tempted to throw out the baby with the bathwater. Or tempted to stuff it all inside—filling ourselves up with paralyzing worry or hopelessness, which can silently poison our joy.

But this isn’t how it was supposed to be.

When Eden broke, something inside of us broke too. Our God-given intent was disfigured and distorted.

But as Leonard Cohen once said, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

We all have issues and problems and we’re caught in an endless cycle that will not let up. But God had a plan even before the world began. And that plan—Jesus—came willingly so that we might have life and have it to the full. Yes, He wants us to spend eternity with Him when all is eventually restored.

But He also came for the here and now—so that we might usher in His glory.

“Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10)

So that we’ll look at a watercolor sunrise and remember His faithfulness. So that we’ll hold a newborn baby and know that He’s constantly working new miracles. So that we’ll fold laundry and scrub toilets and wash dishes, recalling His provision. So that we’ll stare into the eyes of a friend or a parent or a spouse over coffee and feel that we are loved beyond explanation.

So that we’ll step into a messy situation and watch His redemptive plan take root in real life.

So that we’ll be empowered to create with the minds He’s given us—to glorify His name. So that as we laugh and play with our people, we will experience the evidence of His joy. So that as we read His living Word, it’ll transform our hearts as well as our perspective of the world around us. So that we’ll notice the vast oceans and the rugged mountains and the smile of a stranger and the curious mind of a child and, in those things, acknowledge His being.

For all things exist by Him. 

Yes, our everyday lives are filled with mundane tasks. There’s no denying that. But all throughout history God has taken ordinary and hopeless and messed up people and totally rocked their world.

Let’s open our eyes to Him, friends.
Let’s live awake.
Let’s notice His whispers and fingerprints—which are constantly breaking our seemingly mundane assembly lines.

 

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Since this is the first official week of summer—and since it’s already a million degrees outside—I thought I’d share some of our kid-friendly, family-friendly, and human-friendly goals for the summer.

I use that word loosely, as we’ve been throwing out anything exceptionally orderly or organized since the middle of May. When I say “goals,” I don’t mean that I plan to climb Everest or learn to play guitar or start a new business or reorganize my entire house or ride a gondola through Venice this summer.

Maybe I shouldn’t even use that word—goals. Honestly, it’s more of a mindset. More of a lifestyle. More a year-round vision that anyone can adapt, no matter your season. It doesn’t matter if you’re still in college, swimming in baby gear, wrangling teenagers, or easing your way into retirement.

These are three simple goals we can actually stick to—my hubby, kids, and I. They mix nicely with the warm summer sun, family bike adventures, and ice-cold popsicles (but also adhere to cooler seasons).

 

Goal #1: WORSHIP. Contrary to popular opinion, “worship” isn’t limited to 18 minutes on Sunday morning. We can worship all day, everyday, in various ways. That bowl of ripe strawberries? Let’s taste His goodness and thank Him for creating such tasty flavors. That ladybug crawling on her shoulder? Let’s stop and notice the intricate details found in all of God’s unique masterpieces. The adorably wild children messing with your sanity? Thank you JESUS that we get to clean up their messes and be the person they need most. There’s never a lull in God’s handiwork, which is exactly how He designed it. We can worship Him—at the table, in the car, over coffee (especially over coffee)—right where we are.

“I will praise you every day; yes, I will praise you forever.” (Psalms 145:2)

Goal #2: MOVE. Work hard, play hard—right? God created our bodies with the ability to jump and work and play and run. But it’s common in our society to sit. We sit at home and we sit in the car and we sit at work and we sit everywhere. Kids know better though, don’t they? They don’t sit well—which isn’t always a bad thing. Play is powerful, and we big kids could learn a thing or two. Whether we’re serving someone in our community, sweating because of a new project, or swimming with friends—movement is a good thing. Our pastor, Craig Groeschel, often says, “We can’t do everything, but we can do something.” So do the thing, y’all—whatever is on your mind. If you can move, you should.

“For in Him we live and move and exist…” (Acts 17:28)

Goal #3: LOVE. As parents of young children, my husband and I are constantly talking to our kids about what it means to be kind, what it means to share, and what it means to love. But we ALL still have a long way to go, and I’m clinging to the measurement of “imperfect progress” (thanks Lysa Terkeurst). Love God; love people. This was Jesus’ basic marching orders for us, which makes it pretty darn important. The ultimate litmus test is the Golden Rule: “Do to others as you would like them to do to you.” (Luke 6:31) Would you want Jack to say that to you? we ask Hallie. Would you want Hallie to do that to you? We ask Jack. Would you be friends with you? Would you be married to you? we should ask ourselves. It’s not easy to love each other unconditionally, but it’s worth the noble pursuit.

“Let love be your highest goal!” (1 Corinthians 14:1)

 

We can worship everyday.

We can move everyday.

We can love everyday.

 

These are goals worth having. These are goals worth living.

 

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