Sunday, November 10, 2013

Labor of Love

As I was laying down today wishing I could let my mind stop thinking about everything and take a short nap before Anna would wake up I decided to read some scriptures with the youversion bible app (which is free). Upon reading I discovered this verse in 1 Thes. 1:3

remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father,

I thought it was odd to have the words 'work' and 'labor' next to each other. I thought how repetitive. So I used the Blue Letter Bible app (which is free as well) to look up the Greek meaning. What I found was crazy! So the word for work means your actual place of business or whatever you do for a living pretty much. The word for Labor means to cause one trouble or intense labor along with trouble and toil! I thought to myself, holy cow, that is so true. Let's be real...sometimes it is really hard to love people. 

Why is it so hard to love?

I think it is because it is such an intense emotion that you get caught up in. It makes you vulnerable to be hurt because you put so much effort into showing your love. And as a christian we are called to love and most of the time it coincides with our flesh, (our own will, earthly nature vs. spiritual nature) I think it is really easy to forget what manner of spirit we are. I was letting anxiety of 'what I don't want to do' overtake me. I realized that Loving others doesn't always involve what I want but esteeming others over myself. This could apply in friendships, family relationships, marriage, you name it! 

I think this verse brought perspective in my life and reminded me that love isn't always easy. It's hard work. Paul was admonishing the church of Thessalonica for their Faith, Love and Patience. Now those are three really neat things to be known for. And let's just say for the Holidays I think those are 3 important things to live by and be thankful for.

Work of faith--- May your faith be evident at your place of employment, business, house, and in everything you do.
labor of love-- May you love out of the overflow of God's love even though it will be painful and intense at times to love those closest to you or far away from you. May you continue to show grace and God's lovingkindness in the hardest times. 
Patience of hope--- May you not grow weary, but continue with patience knowing the hope of God's calling. 

Entering into Thanksgiving and Christmas, May your life be a testimony of your Faith in God, may you love even when it gets tough, and may your patience of hope in God sustain you. 

Thursday, January 10, 2013


Life has been super busy with expecting our little Girl in February!! We are so excited and yes, I have been "nesting" and trying to get everything ready! I have enjoyed making a lot of the decorations for her nursery. It is a woodland theme complete with my favorite little hedgehogs, foxes, birds, deers, and owls! I love it, it is very peaceful in there. In case you haven't heard already, her name is Anna Jean Baskins and we will call her Anna.

Our pastor challenged us to start one thing this year and really devote ourselves to achieving that goal. Instead of making a list of things that will never get done, to chose one thing and pursue it. I know for me the area I have been lacking, is my reading time with the Lord. It's so easy to get carried away and I can tell in my life when I haven't been in the word. I feel different and I don't like that feeling! My 'one thing' is every morning, usually while I am eating breakfast, to read my bible. I on purpose leave my bible on the kitchen table because if it is there it is harder to ignore it. If I have to go find it, sad to say I might be to sleepy to get it!

I don't know why it is sometimes a struggle to take the first step and really dig into the word of God. It is always so encouraging, refreshing, and rejuvenating and yet as christians it is so easy to 'forget' our source. I know when Anna comes life will be in a different season and I will have to find when is the best time to read but I want to be established with a good habit before she graces us with her presence.

In my reading today I chewed on these words Luke 7:36-50. It is the story where Simon the Pharisee invites Jesus over to his house for dinner. A woman who is a known sinner comes to the house to wash Jesus' feet with her tears, dries them with her hair, and anoints them with fragrant oil. Simon and the others were disturbed that Jesus allowed this to happen. But what Jesus replies is amazing. (verse 41:42)
   "Which of them will love more?"

"Who will love more?" The one who is forgiven of much.

We have all sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. It doesn't mean that the worst sinner will love more but it is the one who realizes how great is the depth of their sin who will love more. Don't hold yourself up in such high esteem that you cover up your sin. Admit it and fall more in love with Jesus. Let His love overwhelm you with goodness and kindness, and mercy. Search Him out. Wash His feet with your tears, don't be afraid of looking stupid. It's not going to matter what others think in eternity only what God thinks.

I will admit my time in the word in 2012 wasn't what it should have been. I was wishy washy with it. I let the cares of this world get in my way. However, this year, 2013 is a different year. A new Year and I will be a person of "One Thing". What is your "One Thing"?   "Will you love more?"