For my daughter: love well

Love well, little girl.
Life is hard
but it is also sweet.
Learn to turn the other cheek.
Patience makes you ocean-strong
so shake the earth
climb a mountain
break a wall
write a song
cross a sea
tell a story
for words
are
powerful.
Little girl, listen to mine.
Be kind.
I daresay you’ll find that by taking the time,
you’ll stick in their minds.
Love well,
and put others before yourself.
But I know
it takes bravery and brings pain.
You never know quite what to say
and it takes you way beyond what’s safe.
All you want is a break,
an escape.
You’re tired of the chase
and you’re craving a haven.
Little sparrow, keep praying!
Love well,
for he won’t let you go.
He’ll see you through till the end.
Darling, there is no treasure so dear as a friend.
That love is a gift
So take time and enjoy each other
Laugh and cry with each other
Stand by each other
Beside each other
Like iron on iron you’ll set sparks alight
and as they rise in the sky
the night will turn bright
as together you fight the good fight
and fix your eyes on the light.
Little girl, love well.
And someday
when there comes a man who will blow you away,
who’s your anchor in the eye of a hurricane,
not afraid of a little rain–
a man who will stand by you,
laugh and cry with you,
live, love, and die for you
come dark times or bright, who will strive toward what’s right
who takes time and lightens your life,
faith-filled and faithful,
for richer or poorer,
better or worse,
will traverse the adverse, unswerving,
and take honor in serving–
who makes you better than yourself
and then makes you something more:
let no power in hell or on earth,
the hospital or the hearse,
the heights or the depths,
when you’ve got nothing left
when you’re blessed or you’re hurt–
none of these can separate
what God has put together
Remember
Two become one, and it cannot be undone
You have a soul like the sun
So love well
And together you’ll tell
the world
what the Lord has done
In your own little way
you’re a witness of faith
You know the Name
of the one who came:
the mountain-maker
heart-shaper
ground-shaker
stone-breaker
earth-creator.
So take heart,
be brave,
be wise and be kind.
Love well.

The stepladder and the galaxy

“You will live in awe of what you credit with the blessing in your life.”
Paul David Tripp

An interesting thought. I see it in my life. If I credit my happiness with good friendships and being well-liked, that is what I am going to value and chase after. If I credit my fulfillment to hard work and learning, that will be what I come to pursue more and more. Same thing is true for extracurriculars and entertainment and writing and material possessions and the status quo or anything else; if I credit my joy as resulting from God’s blessings, then pursuit of God will be my priority. It’s an interesting little perspective check. Especially when it’s so easy to get thrown off course, even if you’re valuing all the right things but keep getting them in the wrong order.

It reminds me of a metaphor used to explain it to me a few years ago, the stepladder vs. the galaxy. We often think of our priorities as a stepladder: 1, 2, 3, 4, and so on, down the line, ranked highest to lowest. But godly priorities look more like a galaxy–with him at the center, and everything else in orbitals around that. All lit by his light and grounded by his gravity; each held in its proper place as he pulls all of it to himself. A stepladder missing a rung may not be very useful, but a sun without its planets still burns.

Christ-followers, remember not to make too much of this life. Of these earthly pursuits that are so good, perhaps, but are naught but a taste of what our God has to offer. Let us not lose sight of the sun amidst its planers. Let us revel in his brilliance and be filled with his fire.

Happy New Year!

Bre