Tag Archives: Shower

Showers: Helping you figure your life out since always

“So Anna, what are you going to do with your life?”

“Anna, what’s your passion?”

“Anna, what are you going to study in college?”

“Anna, what are your plans for the future?”

These questions used to terrify me and irritate me to no end. Every day, someone asks what I’m up to or what my plans are, and up until about 35 minutes ago in the shower, my response ranged from “Well, I think I’ll go out for running back in the Dallas Cowboys*” to “Let’s be honest, I’m going to die alone with 74 cats and nobody will notice until 3 weeks later.” It was a sad, unfulfilling existence with no real direction or passion. And then I realized what has been in front of me this whole time.

The world.

All of it.

The whole thing.

I want to see it. 

If you don’t believe me, check my travel board on Pinterest.

Allow me to expound a little.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

-Hebrews 13:14 NLT

If you’ve grown up in church, or even attended church for any length of time, you’ve either heard this verse or some iteration of its message. We are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. We have no permanent residence here, we are simply passing through. One might even venture to say that we are merely guests here, passing through on our way to the Home that Christ is preparing for us in Heaven (John 14:1-4).

Fair warning, this could get a little eisegesis-y, but bear with me.

So we’re guests of the world. It’s an interesting thought. This place is not our home, we are just stopping through on our way Home. And what does a proper guest do for their host? I believe Miss Manners (yes, I just did make that ancient reference.) would say that a gift is in order. Do you see where I’m going with this? Flip back to John 15, if you have your Bible available (and if you don’t, open another tab and google it. The internet is a magical thing.) and check out vs 18-27. This is the part where Jesus is briefing His disciples on everything that is going to happen after He ascends into Heaven. Jesus wasn’t just going to leave us to our own devices when He went to prepare a place for us, He planned ahead and left us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a gift. When we receive salvation, it is said that we receive the ‘gift of salvation’ or the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit.’ A gift. Are you tracking with me? Guests give their hosts gifts, the Holy Spirit is a Gift, and the logical conclusion is…

Obviously to buy the world a novelty corkscrew and a nice bottle of wine to say thanks for letting us stay for a bit.

Ok no really though.

When Jesus was training the disciples, He frequently commanded them to spread the gospel wherever they went.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

-Acts 1:8 NKJV

And since the Holy Spirit is now within us, our job is to be witnesses wherever we are. Consider it a thank-you gift to the world for putting us up as we pass through. But above all, we are following a direct command from God. 

This is the part where my wanderlust comes in.

I’ve always loved to explore. I love to see new places, try new things, go on adventures. I can distinctly remember being approximately 7 years old, going out for a date with my daddy in his work car, telling him I wanted to go to India. I had no idea where India was or what was there, but I wanted to go there. And then I got older and Tanzania sounded cool. And now I’m looking at going to Bible college in Italy. This dream of traveling the world is becoming more of a reality as time goes by. It is now that I realize that the world is my passion. I want to see the as much of it as I possibly can. I want to meet new people, and hug them, and tell them about Jesus. Geez I sound like a starry eyed traveler. But it’s all becoming clear to me now, this is what I want to do with my life. Not necessarily be a missionary, but rather be a sojourner. I realize now that I have this incredible gift, the gift of salvation, of the Holy Spirit, and I want to share it, share Him, wherever I land.

That’s what I want to do with my life now.

Fact of Life: If you listen long enough, Jesus will tell you what to do. And if it’s really His idea, He’ll provide the means to make it happen, too.

 

*Note: After a few offers from the Cowboys, I’ve had to stop telling people that’s what I wanted to do. They didn’t seem to understand the joke.

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Ode to the Shower

Dear Shower,

Oh, where to begin? Shall I write a flowery intro? Or just cut to the chase?

Well then. Since no flowery intro has come to me, I shall simply tell you how I feel.

I love you, Shower. You’re the best friend anyone could ask for. You’re always warm and inviting, ready to wash away the dirt and grime of the day’s events. You’re ok with me singing OneDirection at the top of my lungs when we’re hanging out. Not many people would put up with that, but you do. That’s what I love about you, Shower, you’re so tolerant and non-judgemental. You don’t care if I’m covered in horse manure or if I have paintball schrapnel in my hair. It’s so refreshing to be with someone like you. You accept me for who I am, dirt and all.

-Anna

Now if I was to make this spiritual, I could say that Jesus is the same way. Because He is (except for the tolerant and non-judgemental bit… but let’s not get into politics here.) He accepts us for who we are, dirt, slime, paint, et al., and He washes us clean and renews us daily.

Fact of Life: Yoga pants are God’s way of telling us that, no matter how bad things get, He loves us.

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Hands.

*Precursor/Disclaimer* I haven’t fully carried this logic all the way through. I think there are some connections that still need to be made (maybe I need to shower again). This is just a thought that I had.

John 20: 27 – Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.”

I have this thing about hands. I like hands. I like to look at them. When I’m holding someone’s hand, I notice the texture of their skin, the strength of their grip, and the general shape of the person’s hand. It’s almost subconscious. God has a thing about hands, too. For one, He made them. When He didn’t use words, God formed things with His hands. With them He shaped the earth, everything in the earth, and His most precious and beloved creation: man. Since He created us in His image, He gave us hands, too. Hands that are used to create, relate, and some other ‘-ate’ word to finish that sentence and make it sound good. When Jesus came into the world, He used His hands a lot. Those hands worked, taught, performed miracles, healed the sick, cared for the poor, and, finally, held Him to a cross for MY sin. My name has been etched in the palm of His hand. Etched with a nail. It’s there. It’s permanent.

Isaiah 49:16 – See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; your walls are continually before Me.

I have freckles. Random, I know. Those freckles are in a pattern on my body that is unlike anyone else in the whole wide world, because God placed them there; however, there’s one particular freckle that has a special significance to me now. In the very center of the palm of my left hand, there is a tiny little freckle. It’s pretty cute. When I read the verse above, Isaiah 49:16, I thought a lot about it. God must have pretty big hands if He can put the name of every single person that has ever lived, or ever will live on the palms of His hands. But then another thought occurred to me: maybe He doesn’t have every single name on His hand. Maybe it’s just one scar on either hand. A scar from the nails He took for the sins of every person that has ever lived, is currently living, or ever will live. That freckle on my hand is permanent. When I first discovered it, I thought it was some sort of dirt and tried to scratch it off. When it didn’t move, I realized it was a mark in my skin, and left it there. God put it there for some reason. I know why now. God has my name written on the palm of His hand, maybe the freckle on mine is His signature. His mark. Just a thought. So now, whenever I see this tiny little dot on the palm of my hand, I remember that God has my name written on His.

Fact of Life: Freckles don’t come off, no matter how much you scratch them. Nail polish remover doesn’t get them off, either. I tried.

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D-E-D

Once upon a time, there was a child abandoned on an island with nothing but a Bible. As he grew up, he read the Bible over and over from beginning to end, and accepted every word as complete truth. Eventually, the kid was rescued and brought back to America. Having read Paul’s epistles to the Church, the child was eager to connect with the body of Christ in the land of the free. So that Sunday, he walked into a church. What did he find? What would he find if he met the church in America?
What would happen if that kid ran into me on the street? Would he be able to immediately identify me as a fellow believer?
James 2:20- But do you want to know, oh foolish man, that faith without works is dead?
Ouch. He didn’t say that faith without works is pretty flimsy. He didn’t say that it’s kinda weak. No. Faith without works is DEAD. D-E-D dead. Dead things don’t do anything. Dead things are completely and totally useless. Dead things are a hindrance to living things. Therefore, if my faith is not accompanied by works, not only am I dead, but I am also a hindrance.
Matthew 7:19-Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
Again, ouch. A tree that doesn’t produce doesn’t just sit there and look pretty. It is there to serve a purpose, and if it doesn’t, there is no point for it being there. The tree isn’t reprimanded. It isn’t encouraged to do better next time. If that thing doesn’t produce, it’s done. The end.
1 Thessalonians 4:10- For indeed you do practice it toward all the brethren who are in Macedonia, but we urge you, brethren, to excel still more.
So maybe I do have faith with works. Maybe I’m actually doing pretty well in that area. I cannot afford to be satisfied with just helping out on Sundays and doing my little weekly routine. I need to excel still more. To push farther, go out of my comfort zone. I need to grow. A few weeks ago, my dad (who is also my pastor) taught this section, and he said something that I’m pretty sure I’m never going to forget. As he talked about this concept of “excel still more,” he brought up growth. If something stops growing, it is no longer alive. You must constantly be growing to stay alive, and if you stop, you’re dead.
Growth is not comfortable. Nobody said it would be. If being a Christian means that we need to be growing constantly, then clearly Christianity isn’t supposed to be comfortable. If we’re comfortable, then we’re not growing. If we’re not growing, then we’re dead. I think we’ve already established that being dead is a problem.
So what would that kid find when he walked into my church? What would he find if he met me? Would he meet some flimsy little dead thing, or a growing Christian with every bit as much fire and zeal as he has?

Fact of Life: I’m completely lost without my Bible. I tried to finish this post (from the 1st Thessalonians verse on) with a different Bible because I think I left mine at school, and it was miserable. I love my little Bible!

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God is…

*Preface: I wrote this on September 27, 2010. It was a ridiculously hectic/stressful/depressing time in my life, much like now except it was way worse then, but God is still good.*
Today, I was presented with several issues that needed addressing, but I was unsure of how I should speak to the persons involved. I had been going through my usual internal panic/emotional distress pattern (updated version 2.0: Now with extra prayer!) Then I got in the shower. I was really hoping that God would give me just the right words to speak to my friend, but He didn’t. His plan was, of course, so much better than mine. As I stood there, the Lord reminded me of who He is: He is Good. He is Faithful. He is Sovereign. He is Perfect. He is Righteous. He knows everything. So simple, so textbook. So profound. I’m almost speechless at those statements.
Psalm 66:5 “Come and see the works of God, He is awesome in His doing toward the sons of men.”
If God is good, then absolutely no part or portion of Him can be bad. Therefore, everything He does is good. Good, as in, not bad. Good as in perfect. Flawless. It’s rather stunning to think about, really, considering all the bad things that happen in the world. He knew those things were going to happen before He spoke the world into existence.
God must be a great writer. Any good writer formulates the idea for his story before he writes it, and he knows the personalities of the characters before he pens them to life. God had the whole story written in His head eons before any of it happened, including every character, every tiny, insignificant detail, every major event, all of it. Before it ever happened. Most writers have just a basic idea of where they want to go with the story, and then they polish and perfect it as they go. God is the ultimate writer.
Romans tells us that He works all things together for good. Again, elementary, but trying to wrap my mind around it in view of all the crazy situations around me gives the Sunday-school lesson so much more value.
I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in your life right now, but God told me to write down everything and post it for you. I hope God speaks to you through this and reveals Himself to you in a way you may not have thought of before. Sometimes, it’s the simplest things that teach the biggest lessons.
Colossians 4:2 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”
2 Thessalonians 3:16 “Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.”

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