Monday, January 27, 2014

Why having FUN! is hard... and the Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria!  This group exists to empower women to authentically share their hearts.  Want to learn more?  Click here to find out ways you can be involved here.  Before you leave, take some time to visit a new friend.  If you decide to link up, be sure to stop by your neighbor's place.  We want to make sure everybody at this party feels a little love!
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Yesterday I cleaned my house.  Out of defiance.

I sure am the rebellious one, aren't I?

But my One Word for 2014 is FUN! and I had had no fun last week.  So with the house a mess, a class to plan, a blog post to write, and an outline for a talk due, I sure wasn't going to start with this FUN! business on Sunday.  There was no time for that.

The whole time I was cleaning, though, John 1: 35-39 kept reverberating through my head.  Not the entire passage, but rather, this line:  What do you want?

Jesus asked his two newest disciples this question after they started following behind Him.

What do you want?
What do you seek?
What are you looking for?

And the truth is, I'm looking for security.  In all the wrong places.

In a clean and orderly house.
In obedient children.
In enough money in the bank.
In food/drink in my kitchen.
In the correct number on the scale.
In things checked off my to-do list.

When you take these things away from me, frankly, I get mad.  If you ask me to have FUN! instead of working on any of the above things, I will kick and scream.  It's not about giving into fun, but about what I'm giving up to have it.  That's what scares me.

I know I'm teaching this passage for my Monday class, so I go there with Jesus.  I imagine following behind Him, Him turning around to me, cupping my face in His Hands, and asking me with gentleness, What is it you want, my daughter?

I roll out my long scroll of things I want, of things I think I need.  And He traces the roots back of all those things with me and they all lead to security.  And He shows  me I am unwilling to have fun because I am unwilling to give up the security I find in worldly things.  What happens when I surrender them? What comes next?  I can't see it and therefore, I am afraid.

I'm standing at the edge of the cliff and I know I need to jump, leaving these worldly crutches behind.  And I know I'll be jumping to Him, but I am still scared.  All the "what ifs" are overwhelming.

I keep reading into John in verses 40-42.  Andrew is so taken with Jesus and so he goes off to find his brother, Simon.  Verse 42 says, "Looking intently, Jesus said, 'Your name is Simon, son of John -- but you will be called Cephas' (which means Peter)."

Looking intently.  The Greek word for "looking intently" is "emblepo" which means a look that is penetrating, one that sees beyond the superficial.  Not only did Jesus see Peter as the fisherman he was, but he saw who he would become -- the foundation of the church.

Jesus sees me as I am right now and all the possibilities within me, too.  All the possibilities that come with following Jesus.

And, well, He's asking me to follow Him to...FUN!  Because letting go and having fun even when the work isn't done is a huge risk for me.

It sounds so irresponsible to me, but as my minister pointed out to me on Sunday, it was pretty irresponsible for all those fisherman disciples to get up and follow Jesus.  They were taught this livelihood their whole lives.  They were supposed to work this job and care for their families.  There was no room for anything else.

Funny.  Jesus likes to make room for Himself in our lives.  Which usually means some other thing has to go.

So, He's asking me to choose.  My security or my possibilities.

I stand at the edge of the cliff and I am scared.  Driving home from Bible study, I hear this song on the radio: You Will Be Safe in His Arms and I remember these words from Jesus calling last week:
"Depending only on Me may feel like walking on a tightrope, but there is a safety net underneath: the everlasting arms.
Getting behind Jesus and following Him feels like jumping off a cliff sometimes.  Do I trust He'll catch me?  Yes.

Will I necessarily like how He catches me?  Probably not.  But do I want to learn how to have FUN!? Yes.

What about your One Word?  What do you find yourself surrendering so you can experience the fullness of your One Word?

Need some inspiration about One Words?  Watch this:
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Want to give a SOLDIER some love and encouragement? Do you know a soldier that could use a few extra prayers?  Fellow SDG sister, Beth, has created a webpage specifically dedicated to this here.  Please be sure to stop by, leave a request or a prayer, and bless a soldier today!


  1. Hi Jen, I so loved your post, as usual :)

    Where you shared about what your minister said to you, I praised our God for this comfort, because I have been having such a rough time from family over my 'irresponsible' following of what Jesus is calling me to do. I have been walking steadily behind our Lord, trusting He will take care of the details, as I follow His plan for my life. But here's the tricky bit - financially I need God to make a way through, to cover the scary stuff like the bills. This is what I'm struggling with, as I want to show how God takes care of everything to my family, so I'm knocking on that big door :)

    My word is expectancy, and 2014 has been interesting so far, in regard to this word God gave me. Thankfully we are in His Grace, and His will is far more important than my family's opinion of me. So even though it's hard, I'll keep going, keeping on trusting. God bless x

  2. I. Totally. Get. This.

    And I blogged about my word and letting go earlier today. It's like our hearts are in sync. :)

  3. "Jesus likes to make room for Himself in our lives. Which usually means some other thing has to go." Good stuff here Jen. I know there are quite a few things in my life that could go to make more room for Him.
    I'm enjoying following along in your journey to FUN. I just love your word.
    Thank you so much for sharing a link to my prayer page. I'm grateful for your love and support.

  4. Um...Jen, this post was kinda FUN to read. You are living dangerously! ;) I am annoyingly fun, to some people- some find me fun, others annoying- I guess it all depends on one's perception...but He gives more grace. Hugs. Love your word, your heart...and you, sista!

  5. Thanks for sharing how your journey with FUN is going, Jen. Not everyone will understand. ha. I do though. We uber-responsible people have a hard time letting go of what we think is the "responsible" thing to do, but sometimes the responsible thing to do is just have fun! Love you!

  6. Jen,
    I love your word and I can relate...our speaker at our women's retreat talked about how Jesus knew how to have fun, and it is part of what sustained him in the long addition to, of course, praying, community and Scripture...blessings to you as you learn to have fun :)

  7. Jen, you know some people would see the act of "jumping" as fun. I personally am with you -- I find it scary. Looking back after I take the plunge, it's never as bad as I thought it was going to be though. It's actually enjoyable and kind of liberating.

    (p.s. I love, love, love Phil Wickham!!!)

  8. Jen, I think you're on to something here....what a joyful journey! This line nailed it, "So, He's asking me to choose. My security or my possibilities."

  9. My word this year is Communication and I find myself surrendering verbal communication - to listen more - which is really, really hard!

  10. I picked WAIT as my word last year and it changed me! I am more patient and content than I was the year before. Now it is just part of who I am. I have been mulling over my word for 2014 and I think the Lord has picked EXPECT for me (sort of like Hope but slightly more urgent I think). I tend to settle and I think it's time to expect more from life. I can relate to your quest for FUN! I have always struggled with this. Sadly, (and it may not be your reason) trouble having fun is the product of growing up in a dysfunctional family.

  11. Amen! We do need to surrender part of ourselves or something important in order to truly feel safe in Jesus' arms. My one word for the year is "delight" and I am learning to surrender sorrow in order to learn I will have comfort and peace with Jesus and eventually delight. My mom went home on January 11 to be with Jesus and through this process of mourning my tears will be wiped away and I will turn to dancing with delight with our Lord. Beautiful post! Blessings, Mary!

  12. I wrote about my one word last week: Steadfast. I chose it because it forces me away from something I can do. Rather than try to control or fix things, I'm working on resting, instead, on Christ's steadfast love and mercy.

    I get this post, Jen, I do. I'm so proud of you for working on the fun--you know I'm a huge fan!

  13. Fun!!! Who gets lucky enough to have Fun as their One Word for 2014. But I never realized the problems it could cause. I'd love to go have fun but here I sit at the computer pounding out words--and it really isn't for fun. I'm bound by this and I need to be set free to spend time with the Lord and do other things He has planned for me. I need to surrender and leave that which is holding me back in His hands. Surrender--it all boils down to that again.
    And Jen~would love for you to come see my new site at Pretty excited about that.
    Blessings, Janis

  14. I found your blog through Twitter of all things! :) Love this post. Very encouraging, though I will admit I am one of those gals who is very much opposed to the 'one word' movement in the blogosphere, I still dig that the Holy Spirit is moving through you in this way and that you are encouraged with your one word.

  15. I am such a word-lover that I find it hard to go with just one. (Kind of picking your favorite child -- impossible.) And it changes from day to day, week to week.

    Today's word for me? Waiting.

  16. Jen- I love this! The possibilities of following a way lead to deeper security! Thanks for sharing from your heart...I can't wait to hear more about this fun following journey He has invited you on for this year!


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