I Love My Life (American Style)

I was asked by a friend to take a little time in my blogging and discuss my current life, in addition to my little snippet of devotions I've been writing each day. To be honest I forget that many of you actually know me (LOL) and thus might be interested in what's going on in my day to day. So this morning, you will be graced with two blogs in your email, not only a little devotional, but a little update on my crazy, fun, adventurous, often chaotic, joy filled, Jesus loving, STILL in faithful pursuit... life. It's not always glitz and glamour, but it's always... always... worth it. Why? Well because everything with Jesus is. I'm sitting here with my globe covered "go into all nations" coffee cup and I'm reminded of a phrase that we said daily while in Congo..."I Love My Life". Perhaps in remembrance of the blog from last night (Where's Your Focus) I can see where a trip to DR-Congo, a war torn, chaos filled, sleepless nights, no running water, tragedy stricken nation felt like absolute BLISS. Because everyday we focused on the blessing of our mission. Rather than impossibilities we dreamed for what God could make possible. Rather than deaths we focused on the joy and life found in precious community. Rather than the tragedy we saw the miracles and hope. Rather than the lack we saw the blessing. Rather than the struggles we focused on the pleasure of obedience. Rather than the sacrifices we focused on the opportunities. Rather than gunshots we chose to hear our voices in worship. Rather than the demonic we focused on Him. There was never anything that a good cup of hot tea, vulnerable time with teammates, and intimate worship couldn't cure.

So this morning, as I think about my friend asking me to share about life, honestly, I can't help, but smile and think... "I love my life".

Yesterday included faith building, encouraging, and vulnerable communication with a dear friend in Scotland; laughter and discussion about transition from foreign mission field to jobs and life in America, teasing on trauma counseling, discussion on Jesus' pruning, Harvest School, birth order and surfing from a friend in Virginia; joking with college friends in texts; visiting people; planning and preparation for fundraisers and taking a team to Haiti;  meeting with people and students; tears of laughter and tears from encouragement; frequent pauses to play another fun song or catch another clip of a new sermon I was listening to while taking time to breathe. To put it plainly I was BUSY.

As time was nearing to wrap up at work, the song "This Is What You Do" came through my speakers, followed by the drawing of the One I love. "Come Enjoy Me". Busyness gets put on hold when He calls and I quickly picked up my computer and danced my way into the sanctuary (the beautiful thing about working at a church is there is lots of room for dancing) where I began to sing and laugh as the words penetrated deep.

It's always like springtime with You, making all things new
Your light is breaking through the dark
This love it is sweeter than wine
Bringing joy, bringing life
Your hope is rising like the dawn
This is what You do, this is what You do You make me come alive

Moments like this full of fun, raw, joy and intimacy with my Creator are what captivated me about Him years ago as a teenager. His ability to make me come alive. His way of bringing comfort and joy no matter my circumstances. The way He corrects and disciplines with such love that it almost feels like affirmation. Journeys of faith and trust beyond what I ever imagined He could take me on. His faithfulness and trust worthiness that I have become so dependent on. Life as His daughter, His Beloved, His Friend, His Servant, and life lived enjoying Him, being myself, and knowing with confidence that He enjoys me. 

The truth is I've spent too much time as of late making things complicated that He meant to be simple. Not always easy, but simple. Yet in His awesome, incredible, supernatural goodness and love, He's always ready to set things straight, forgiving and forgetting our sins, and moving onward in faith, hope, and love.

So as far as life goes... "I love my life". I'm enjoying time at home to allow God do some surgery in me, rebuilding relationships and community, refocusing, studying, working, resting, and drinking LOTS AND LOTS OF COFFEE. I feel blessed to have the flexibility of watching Rural-Awakening become what God wants it to become, while He makes me into what I need to be (what a never ending process). I'm beyond blessed with an incredible community world wide that is constantly holding me accountable, challenging me, encouraging me, and making me laugh.

I'm thankful for the opportunities that God gives me to see His heart in the nations, but also in my hometown. I'm thankful for His patience, kindness, and grace as I learn what it really means to love Him, be loved by Him, love others, and be loved by others. I'll ever be learning, ever be growing, and one day 50 years from now, I'll still be sitting with my coffee cup in hand, loving Jesus, talking about growing, declaring the mighty works of God locally and abroad, just doing all I can do to be faithful to the One who loves me. Life with Him is always, always, always worth it.

Be Blessed, J. Tate

radical