A three-word phrase divided into thirds and then
Once: This is my dream word. I would love to say something "once". Ask something "once". Pick up something "once".
Alas, it is not to be.
I have kids. I have a dog. I have a cat. I have a husband. I have a life! I will, for the rest of my life, repeat myself over and over, continually request that the lights be shut off before leaving the room, that the shoes of everyone in my family have a home and to please put them there, that the dog would quit scratching and the cat quit, for dear petes's sake! leaving "gifts" all over the house!
No matter how much I would love to never have to say something more than once, I have to remember that God grants me MUCH more mercy than I deserve. Every day I wake up and God starts over..."Remember I love you most", "Chose to honor Me today", "Let your love for Me dictate your thoughts, words, and actions".
"I forgive you".
How God must wish he only had to say these things once. But because of his infinite grace, mercy, and love, he says them over and over.
For: I love how I have people that are FOR me. They love me. They push me. They hold me accountable. They laugh with me. They cry with me. They take, they give, they sit quietly and let me just be.
They know all my ugly inside stuff and love me anyway.
They are never more than a phone call, text or short car ride away. It doesn't matter if they have been by my side for 3 years, 15 years, or my whole life. They have walked in front of me and led me when I couldn't find the way on my own, they have walked beside me and experienced all the things that make up my life, and they sometimes walk behind me, allowing me to blaze the trail, all the while willing to push me when I get tired, or help me up when I fall.
They are my people, and they are FOR me.
ALL: This makes me think of the times when I haven't given my all. I struggle with that constantly. I sometimes give just enough. I sometimes give nothing. But I rarely give my all to something. I try to blame it on the quirks of my personality. "Focus is hard for me." "long-term projects are hard when you have ADD". "I just don't have a lot of patience".
Those phrases, and the ones that are just like them, that I utter and use as my handy go-to reasons when I don't FEEL like finishing, working harder, or changing myself, are just excuses for me not to give my ALL.
Praise GOD that Jesus wasn't a quitter. He had all the opportunity, the power and the right to say, "No. I won't go further. I have already worked, sacrificed, struggled to teach them, offered to lead them, proved that I love them, and still they want more of me. I can't. I won't. I'm going home".
But he didn't.
He saw our fate, our struggle, our arrogance. He saw our in-ability to help ourselves, our repeated fall into sin. He saw what it would take to save us and he didn't quit, he didn't turn away, he didn't make excuses. He gave ALL. For me. For you. For ALL.
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