I’m lounging on my couch sipping Yogi Chai Green with a plop of honey, it is yummy. I have been chewing on a variety of ideas for my next series of posts and just settled on one. Yay! I recently finished reading Choosing Real by Bekah Jane Pogue. Her words tug at a lot of truths that have been lost in what bogs me down in life. There are so many principles that just get lost in busyness and distraction. We forget to celebrate in life, especially when life seems troublesome, difficult, painful, or overwhelming; when life doesn’t go as planned.
Pogue says that “Choosing real” is “opting to see how present Jesus is in real-life circumstances”. She is talking about all of them, in death, in frustration, in overwhelm, in loneliness, and so much more. It is too easy to lose sight of Jesus’ with-ness in life’s hard times. Her book shares so many great ideas of how to celebrate. She shares suggested ideas to try, and shares those she has tried. This is truly a book of encouragement.
I intend to share my responses to some of her ideas in my next series of posts. The soul nudging truth nuggets she shares have spurred me on to want to live life in greater awareness and closeness to the Lord.
Here is a little preview of what my upcoming posts will be about:
TRUSTING IN THE STORM: It is no surprise to anyone who has lived on this earth for any length of time that often God does not meet our expectations as we desire or expect. Pogue suggests that the Lord is inviting us to celebrate how His manifestations end up possibly looking different from what we expect. This sounded familiar to me after having read Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist. Niequist describes a time when someone is going on and on complaining about his life, when he is stopped abruptly by the listener telling him, “These are the terms, what’s the invitation?” Life gives us many invitations depending on our perception of what is happening. Pogue suggests that as we get ”comfortable relinquishing… control for [the Lord’s] plan” we have a choice to intentionally celebrate His peace offerings no matter how they come. She says that “Faith offerings shift my perspective from me to He.” So the question is how will we respond to what comes to us in life? Pogue suggests that we can know the Lord more intimately as we lean into Him and celebrate our trust in the Lord. I want to share my exploration of these thoughts as I try to live out her suggestion to celebrate the realness of the Lord in life, and how He draws near to me as I seek Him more intentionally.
HOPE IN THE HEARTACHE: Pogue begins her book sharing the unexpected loss of her father. She shares how she had been so intent on her agenda trying to keep everything under control, and then suddenly nothing seemed to matter. Life stopped. She shares the truth that the pain in our life insists that it is attended to, and our God shouts to us in our pain (C.S. Lewis). The Lord definitely gets our attention when loss, and pain come our way, it makes us stop. Pogue shares that it is in heartbreak that faith is reignited. She says “Pain is the most unchosen catalyst to an authentic faith journey.” I have experienced this truth in my life and want to share how the Lord’s compassion has touched my life.
LOVE IN LONELINESS: Another area discussed in this book is the truth of how we can feel very lonely in life, in the mundane, in the everyday. We go about carrying out our tasks, trying to make it through our to do lists, and end up living solitary lives in the process. Pogue suggests that “Maybe solitary isn’t something we need to run away from” but rather “an indicator to run toward Someone.” She also suggests that in our loneliness we need to be looking to the Lord to see who He is putting in our lives, because He may be giving us community. What needs is He revealing? What people is He surrounding you with? How can you show love in the midst of your loneliness? These are worthwhile questions to explore. I know for me when I am feeling lonely I often pull into myself, rather than really looking to.
CONNECTION NOT CONTROL: Feeling the need to be in control is quite common in us humans. Many times it is not just control of our agenda’s, but it overflows into wanting control others close to us. Poque discusses the difference it made in her life to try to stop being in control and being honest about her needs. What is the need for control really say about what you are feeling? What do you really need? It is not easy to share neediness, it is a big risk. But Pogue found deeper connection with those in her life as she took that risk. Is it worth the fear, worth the risk? I want to consider that.
Well, that is a start, there is so much more to think about, but these will be food for though for the next few posts. I hope that you feel pulled in and will explore with me how to draw near to the Lord in these areas, how we can began to see with His perception, and how we can learn to grow in love and transparency in all of our connections, including our connection with Him. Join me in learning to celebrate the life He gives and to know Him more as we do.