The Lie We Believe

The Lie We Believe

photo (62)Yesterday, Bob Goff spoke at our church, and I loved everything he shared, but one thing really stuck out to me. He said it’s a lie that we are defined by our failures, and it’s an even bigger lie that we are defined by our successes. I love that because way too often I go through my day giving myself points or taking them away. Saw the bottom of one laundry hamper–3 points. Went to the grocery store and only went over budget by $10–5 points. Didn’t lose my cool when the two-year-old threw herself on the floor screaming and kicking because I took away the nail polish and then accidentally stabbed myself in the eye with the mascara wand when the yelling went three octaves higher–1000 points. Yelled at my kids, “Can I please just have one moment by myself?” when they barged into the bathroom–minus 8. Bob said a dozen times love doesn’t keep score. I want to keep score though because I want a big, gold medal on the days I do well. And on the days I don’t I want someone else or something else to blame. But love doesn’t work like that. Otherwise, the cross would never have happened.

I was picking up a few things around the house this afternoon, and I came across Lyd’s picture on the Magna-doodle. In her mind, Daddy has spiky hair like a rock star, Lottie has crazy hair, and we are all smiling and holding hands. That picture is absolutely not accurate of our every day. Most of the time Charlotte doesn’t even want to hold hands to say the blessing because she’s already shoving food in her mouth, but I smiled when I saw her picture because she captured our something special. We make lots of mistakes. We mess up and lose our tempers. We wonder if that thing we just said or did will come up in counseling when they’re adults. We have to apologize to the girls and to each other.

But this thing we’re doing where we say hard things like “I’m sorry” and “How can I help you?” and where we do hard things like throw away the scorecard and swallow our pride and forgive–this is love. Love is messy and beautiful. Love is exhausting and the only thing worth pursuing.

In Italics: Love Does

In Italics: Love Does

photo (5)A couple weeks ago, Matt and I headed to Alabama for a quick road trip. On our trip I read Bob Goff’s Love Does out loud from cover to cover. A collection of stories that will have you laughing out loud, pulling over for Krispy Kreme donuts just because the “Hot Now” sign is on and searching for shiny pennies. You guys know books are my favorite gift to give and receive, and this book will now be my go-to gift for grads.

In his chapter entitled “The Story,” Goff tells the story of his son Adam’s purchase of his sailboat. Adam bought the boat for a steal from a man who loved the boat but simply didn’t have time to take care of it anymore. The seller was looking for someone who could “add to the legacy of this boat.” Goff goes on to share…

When I asked Adam what he wanted to name his boat, he sat back in his chair for a long minute looking up and to the left. He fiddled with his jeans some and then said, “I want to name her The Story.” I realized that Adam saw this tattered sailboat completely different than most people would. Most would see an old jalopy of a sailboat better sunk than sailed. For Adam, though, The Story wouldn’t be a sailing machine; it would be a story machine. To him it was filled with whimsy, wonder and adventure even before he untied it from the dock…

I always learn a lot from Adam. I want a boat or a motorcycle or a hot air balloon named The Story too. I think we should all get back to building that rocket ship we dreamed of when we thought about what our life would be about. I want to be doing things today, not just flipping through crinkled and yellowed mental pictures of what happened a long time ago. I need my own vehicle to get there, though; we all do. That vehicle will look a little different for everyone. One boat size, one story size, doesn’t fit all. We each need to get into something of our own each day, something that will take us to a new place, a place that needs us. Perhaps I’ll name my boat Whimsy and try to untie it from the dock in my mind at least once a day and take it for a lap. Maybe you will too.

Maybe it’s because I was named after a boat and dream of learning to sail or maybe it’s because my daddy reminds me of Bob Goff, always learning and never afraid to try something new or maybe it’s just because I love stories, but this chapter resonated deep within my soul. Our worship pastor Josh Maze says before every baptism, every Going Public as we like to call them, “Every person has a story. And every story exists for God’s glory.” What’s your story? I feel as though I’ve just discovered mine, just been handed the keys to a rusty, dirty old boat in desperate need of some TLC. But I can see what it could be. A little wax, a lot of elbow grease and the courage to leave the dock and set sail.

I loved every inch of this book, and I’m betting you will too. And every penny of proceeds goes to Goff’s ministry in Uganda, Restore International. Love Does.