I’m just…

I’m just tired. I’m just frustrated. I’m just bored. I’m just fine. I’m just busy. I’m just stressed. I’m just fed up. I’m just done.

Life can be hectic, that’s for sure. And as strong as we try to be, spinning our multiple plates, we can instantly find ourselves piled up. Or piled on and maybe even feeling piled through. Stuck with life’s fork, we can feel cooked to the core. And we find ourselves saying some of these “I’m just…” statements. And we’re supposed to treat people like Jesus when we’re feeling like this? What! Are you kidding?

If you’re anything like us, this messiness of life is only compounded and magnified within the walls of our homes. Our spouses and children get a front row seat to the best and worst of our character. And in the midst of frustration, weakness or exhaustion we can shoot off an “I’m just…” statement and hope it’s enough for everyone to understand that we’ve given all we can give for the time being. But isn’t that our problem? We’ve given all WE can give. And we haven’t relied on the graciousness & provision of the Lord.

Some times I like to picture Jesus munching popcorn. Watching me. Slightly chuckling. Similar to watching a comedy with foreshadowing, He sees the coming train wreck of emotions I’m about to put myself through, and it’s comical. I picture Him smiling, and waiting. Ever patiently waiting. He waits for me as a husband and father to loose the grip of control and let Him move. His words to me are the very words I should be speaking over my family.

Instead of “I’m just tired”, I should let Him speak through me to say, “He is our rest”, “give us rest Lord”. Instead of “I’m just frustrated”, it’s “He is my peace. His understanding is higher than mine.” Rather than boredom, Jesus is my purpose and my joy. Instead of using the lie of “I’m just fine”, it’s showing my family that I’m comfortable with some genuine honesty. It’s showing our children the raw emotions of life, walking through the painful moments together, and then quickly pointing them to the powerful characteristics we find in our Savior. And instead of saying, “I’m done”, maybe we should say “I’m letting Him begin!” After all, Jesus is just enough. He is JUST what we need.

Refresh us, oh Lord! Renew us as parents, and husbands, and wives. May we find all we need in You alone. That is my prayer today. Amen.


Let It Breathe

Let It BreatheI’m impatient. I’m reminded of that every night at dinner. This is when my mini-me, Ryker, almost 3 years old, becomes instantly happy after taking his first bite. Prior to that he’s fussing incessantly. The dinner-time math equation goes as follows: fussy hungry boy + food = immediately happy boy. It’s ridiculous. And evidently he’s a reflection of his father. So yeah, I can be impatient, and ridiculous. Can’t we all, though?

Being impatient can have it’s benefits. You get your way faster, quicker, and possibly done efficiently. But therein lies the biggest problem. We get our way, not God’s perfect or best way. Regarding this, God recently gave me more words to strengthen my approach to work, marriage, parenting, and those lovely stressful moments in life.

It happened while I was riding shotgun in my friend’s car partaking in one of my favorite pastimes: Eavesdropping. I was droppin’ the old eaves on his phone conversation with his wife. [Disclaimer: he’s fully aware of this!] From the tone of his voice I could tell there was some drama. And in the midst of it he spoke powerful words over his wife. He simply said, “Let it breathe”. Let it breathe.

Maybe another way to say it is, “Give it time. Don’t rush in. Pray over this before jumping to any conclusion. You don’t need to respond to that person right this second! Calm down. Keep calm and let it breathe. BE STILL and KNOW that HE IS GOD! Give God room. Back up, take a deep breath, and realize He is in control. God truly is sovereign. Wait on the Lord. Don’t make a rash decision out of impatience. Let God be God and wait on His perfect timing. Address this issue after you’ve let it breathe for a bit. There’s no need to worry, He supplies all our needs.”

Quick question for you, the reader: How did God create life? The answer: With a breath. So let Him breathe life into yours. Let God breathe into your marriage today. Your job, your parenting, and even those stressful moments when you’re tempted to take the path of impatience. Step back, let it breathe, and let God breathe into you. Blessings.



Words To Strengthen (Or Save) Your Marriage

When it comes to arguments, my sweet wife Pat and I have had some doozies. That’s plural for doozy. By definition a doozy is “something outstanding or unique of its kind”. And I’d like to consider our arguments as such. Outstanding. And definitely unique! Worthy material for a sitcom at times, and at others so lame it’s embarrassing. Let me just say I’m glad none of you are there to witness how immature I can be in the home.

If it weren’t for God’s grace & sense of humor, we might not have made it over the past 12 years. But years ago in the midst of a heated discussion (of which I’m sure I was right, ha!) I did something unique in the moment of one of my doozies. I prayed. And God answered. He then gave me four words that have strengthened the Golightly home from top to bottom ever since. I looked Pat in the eyes and with conviction said, “I’m on your team!”

I'm on your teamThose 4 words have been monumental in our marriage. “I’m on your team” communicates so many other truths to one another. It’s a way of saying, “I’ve got your back. I support you. I care about your opinion. I want to hear your voice. I’m listening. We’re in this together. I’m not giving up. My disagreement doesn’t trump my fierce love for you. You’re worth more to me than winning an argument. I deeply care about this relationship. There’s no giving up in this marriage.” And on and on…

For some reason, God has continually brought me back to these words over the years. And there is absolutely no doubt God has used them to strengthen our marriage. I sure hope they’re a blessing to yours. But I’m just curious, what words has God already given you to strengthen or save your marriage?



Lovely and I Know It

I just saw a high school girl I ministered to as an elementary student. She was wearing a “Sexy and I know it” t-shirt. So we had a great talk. But being sexy is… well I guess it’s supposed to be an added bonus within the confines of a marriage relationship. But what really matters is “do you feel LOVELY“? Lovely is on the inside. It comes from knowing who you are, which only comes from knowing who God is. And you are ONLY lovely because God loves you. He knew you intimately as He knit you together in your mother’s womb. You were and are worth fighting for! “Sexy” is glamorized by the world & tells you that you’ll find worth in gaining some attention, but what the world can’t offer is “Lovely”. Only God can do that. And you ARE lovely to Him. And God has already fought for you! He sent His only Son in pursuit of your heart, so give your heart to Him ladies, and only then will you begin to understand the meaning of feeling lovely on the inside. Do you know you’re lovely because He loves you? I sure hope I can pass this on to my daughters. Sexy is overrated. Feeling lovely & captivating is powerful. And by the way, no human being should be responsible for you feeling lovely. Only Jesus can offer “lovely”.

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The Small Things. Part One.

Vincent Van Gogh said,

Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.

Our children are a lifelong work of art. Sculpted and painted by their parents over decades. It’s this fact that has caused me to chill out about “what my child is becoming!” Only because my definition of what they are becoming is extremely short-sighted. I know this is a marathon. A life-shaping journey. But I want and can unfortunately expect instant results from my children. Beautiful awe-inspiring works of art aren’t usually produced that way. And we can’t assume that any single word of advice or behavior alteration will result in an entire life transformed. After all, true heart & soul transformation is only the work of the Holy Spirit. And my job is to focus on today. Today. That’s it. Nothing more, nothing less. Each day as a parent has enough trouble of its own. So I’ll do the small things. Because they matter! My tone of voice, my words, my facial expressions. What small things can you focus on today?

[the amazing work of art was done by Payton, age 7, for Father’s Day]