Thursday, April 28, 2016

Nail Trimmings



Whispering it, declaring it, or sharing it, I can't get over reminding my new daughter how much I love her, especially when I am doing things she does not understand or particularly enjoy.

Like every time I attempt to trim her fingernails.

I hold her close and take her hands in mine. I caress her head and whisper that sweet assurance without ceasing: "I love you, Natalie." She twists and squirms and affirms her disgust with her whimpers. I continue on, steadying my hand. And I remind her, "I love you, Natalie."

Even as I begin to chip away at her nails (by God's grace, without drawing blood), it seems to be her nature to twist and turn. I press on, all the while reminding her that it is because I love her that I do what is best for her. My nail trimming or discipline and instruction in the future is not in spite of my love, but the (imperfect) fulfillment of my love for her.

And I will do it all with the reminder that I love her.

~~~

The most beautiful thing I anticipated and am experiencing as a new parent is the imperfect lens we get to use to marvel at our perfect Heavenly Father.
How deep the Father's love for us! How vast beyond all measure! That He should give His only Son to make a wretch (us) His treasure!
Please remember, dear friends, that every word in Scripture, every detail of God's design, every law set out, every punishment given, and every punishment fulfilled in the death of Christ, and every command He extends until His return was done because of  His love for us and ultimately and supremely for the glory of His Name.

When He beckons us to seek Him above all else (Matthew 6:33), He does so because He knows what is best for us.

We are the "mocking voice calling out among the scoffers." And even still, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Most notably, our Father pleads with us to remember. He goes into painstaking detail in His Word to chronicle how He has been faithful to lead His chosen ones from captivity and slavery into a life of life and freedom serving Him, our good, good Father.

He whispers, shares, and declares His love for us in every action He takes, every nail He trims (Psalm 66:10-12).

May we hear His reminders of His love for us and tell others about Him more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today. He works all things for His glory and our good. What a great, great Father!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Me too

Each day I saw them, this pack of girls some call cross country runners and others call “crazy.” As a freshman in my high school marching band, we shared the August heat as they looped around the school buildings and I moved in calculated formations. These were paths we had chosen even before our pencils would compose formulas and annotations in the coming year. I knew nothing of the world they lived in, and they knew nothing of mine. But one day, I would join them in their pack.

One day I would be one of them.

~~~

It has been a long time since I have dared to try something new as I did in my freshman year of high school. (Well, besides becoming a wife, mother, Chick-fil-A employee, or substitute teacher, but that’s beside the point.) There’s so much more I want to do! I dream of training others in fitness and nutrition, coaching high school track, leading a group exercise class, mentoring girls, and blogging.

Oh, how passionate I am about those trades and how I dream of joining their ranks! The people in these fields are my modern pack of runners in the distance. We are already sharing the same air, but how do I run with them?

My thoughts about pursuing these new ventures can be summarized with one lie after another:

Too many others
Too hard
Too much time
Too expensive
Too saturated of a market
Too inexperienced

Now some of these are very real factors to consider. But that is all they should be—variables, not barriers.

Freshman year when marching band ended and my JV basketball season was over, I was faced with another excuse for not exploring my love of running as a member of the spring track team. Basketball had already run one week into the spring sports schedule, and I was convinced I shouldn’t show up to practice. I would continue to watch the runners from afar.

Too late.

Or was it? After my mom contacted the coach to ask if I could still join the team because I was too embarrassed, I was given the go-ahead to pursue the sport that would transform my path.

One little shift in my thinking and a little boost from someone who loved me (shoutout to all the moms out there), moved me from the sidelines to the track. The “too’s” in my life no longer meant “more than should be” or “excessive,” but now “in addition.” This attitude shift cleared the barriers to I could see a bridge.

Too late becomes me too.


~~~

May we all banish the lies of too little or too late and instead say "me too" more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today. Please pray for me as I discover how I can be a passionate lover of Jesus, wife, mom, and (by God's provision) coach and trainer!

Allison

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

My Father Says So

Looking for a book about Christianity that will change your life and open your eyes to the beauty of Christ? Well, besides the Bible, look no further than Classic Christianity.

Not only was it life-changing, but it was life-giving! 

Do yourself (and everyone you know) a favor by reading, meditating on, and sharing this book!
~~~

Whose opinion about you carries the most weight? Whose matters most?

As I was talking with my husband yesterday, I joked, "I'm such a terrible wife." 

I quickly remembered he doesn't even want me to joke about not measuring up, and I apologized. But his response was an unexpected nugget of grace!

Who has the authority and position to judge my aptitude as a wife? My husband. The receiver of our actions, attitude, love, respect, (and cooking) is the only one who can measure its effectiveness.  My wifedom is meant for my husband.

As a Christian, who has the authority to label me good or bad, righteous or unrighteous? God and His Word.
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (‭John‬ ‭1‬:‭12-13‬ NIV)
When we put our faith in Christ and not ourselves, we are reborn as a child of God and are no longer a child of sin and wrath. What our Father declares about us, then, is absolute truth. It is not conditional on anything else in the world.

So what does the Father say about His children--Christians?*
We are debt-free and righteous because of Christ and not our works--anything we have or haven't done (2 Corinthians 5:21).
Our justification is by faith and not the Law. Jesus has rescued us from the Law that we can never fulfill perfectly (Romans 7:24-25).
We are at peace with God and saved from His wrath (Romans 5:1, 9).
We are free from all judgment and punishment as one who is in Christ Jesus because He took all of it upon Himself (Romans 8:1).
 We are made perfect forever by one sacrifice -- Jesus' perfect life and death on the cross (Hebrews 10:14).
We are made completely complete in Christ, totally accepted, forgiven, redeemed, and spiritually alive (Colossians 2:9-10)
Our maturation is God's work through His Spirit in us (dependence), not us trying to seek and please Him on our own (Philippians 1:6; John 15:5).

Find rest in the fact that we are working to please God and not men (Galatians 1:10), and by Christ's sacrifice and God's grace He is already pleased! So let us walk boldly, freely, and gratefully in response to this great Truth more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today!

May He use us to share the Truth and freedom of Christ with everyone we meet in the coming year!

Allie


*This list is based on Bob George's Classic Christianity (pp. 99-111).







Nuggets of Grace (with Polynesian Sauce)

Miss me?

Sometimes in the busyness of life, I don't realize how much my body, my mind, my soul misses God, how much His creation misses the Creator, and how much this dying body misses the Life-Giver.

And, y'all, I have finally realized how much I've missed blogging.

In this crazy but fabulous busyness (engagement, wedding planning, moving, new job, investing in a new church, finding an apartment, a WEDDING, learning about and with my husband, the Myrtle Beach tourist season, family time, thank you notes, and job highs and lows) I have  lost my awe of what God has been doing and teaching...and how He wants me to know Him and share Him through it all!

What used to be a daily confident expectation of something He was going to teach me in order to know Him and share him with others became daily unavailability for rejoicing and sharing sweet nuggets of His grace, sovereignty, and power.

That's what I want this blog to continue to be -- sweet nuggets of His grace.

Some nuggets will be neat and tidy or wrapped in a bow, while others will be messy and still seeking direction. Some nuggets may be powerful, while others will be something that may only speak to one precious soul. Regardless, it will be His Holy Spirit that will do the work.

Oh, Lord, how I long to move out of the way and let You work and speak through me by your glorious grace...more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today!

I can't wait to get back to work!
Allie Wilson

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

I WILL

The Christian life is not about what we can or cannot do, but it is about what we will or will not do according to God’s Word and by His power!

It’s not that we can’t forgive someone, can’t love someone, can’t turn to God for comfort instead of food, can’t stop sleeping around, or can’t stop looking at men and women like sexual objects in the media. It’s not that we can’t balance work, school, or other duties enough to prioritize reading Scripture, share our faith, or commit to working with a church body to see God’s mission accomplished. 

It’s that we won’t.

We will not to. It is a choice, not an inability.

And that is the awesome thing about God’s grace.

God knows that in our hearts, our “want to” tends toward choosing our own ways instead of His Way. That is sin. It started in the Garden and it continues today.

But Jesus—in His perfect love and justice and by His grace—willed and chose to feel the weight of our sin (Mark 14:36). Our end of the deal is overwhelmingly awesome. Instead of punishment, we will and choose to love Him and feel the weight of His glory and power!

He chose our sin. We choose His glory!

I pray that you want to and choose to love God and experience His power to obey His Word more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today.

Don’t just say it—obey it! His birth, life, death, and resurrection give us that power!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Prosperous, Blessed Man

A very special person in my life turned 22 yesterday. It was also our 6 month anniversary of dating. I am so thankful that God's Word constantly reminds me of the kind of man he is and he is being transformed into.

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers, but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night.
"He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers" (Psalm 1:1-3)



I said "yes" to him 6 months ago because I wanted to go on this journey together with him -- a journey of being rooted, growing, and sharing in Jesus' mission together. Growing like a Redwood tree.

I am thankful that our fruit is slightly different (its fruit in its season) yet it is for the same purpose: We want the world to know and respond to the name of Jesus.

Next stop in working together for God's Kingdom domination: London, England, this Friday!!

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Let Him


Memory Verse: Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

In a time of holding fast to Christ while I sacrifice my old ways, it is easy for me to focus on the endurance part -- the work that I have to do and the pain that it causes me at first. Endurance (also steadfastness) is a choice and does require effort my end.

But James gives us a promise with this condition: He says to let endurance have its perfect result! Basically, let God work

Let Him be your source of success, your identity, your motivation, your comfort during this time of change. Trust Him. Let Him work.

I get so discouraged when I don't see progress immediately, but I am thankful. If I didn't have to trust or endure or sacrifice, I would worship my own ability to get results and get them fast instead of boasting in my God who lives and works out His gift of salvation in me!

Some thoughts from my dear friend Naomi yesterday:
"Too many times I get impatient and want to rush God's timing, but I go to thinking...if God was preparing chicken for me to eat I sure wouldn't want him to plop it on my plate raw. I would want him to take the time cooking it to perfection and give it to me when the timing was right."
There's power and and joy in worshiping God, not results, and giving our lives back to Him to use!


Ask God to unite your heart with His in a particular area of sin or shame or struggle in your life (Psalm 86:11). Commit to enduring in a particular area, no matter the cost. Then let Him work more today than yesterday and more tomorrow than today. Let endurance have its perfect result!