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lori & steven mcclure

helping you write a better love story

Month

December 2015

The World of Like

Deep down, we all want to be liked, don’t we? In a world powered by online (read: manufactured) affirmation, it can be all too easy to fuel the fire of “like me” that burns inside every one of us. Voices call for our attention 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there’s no shortage of opinions consistently weighing us down and directing us on how best to live our lives. It’s easy to get swept up in living lives with the sole purpose of getting the most likes.

What would happen if you decided not to play along?

Yes, everyone seems to want something from you, even if it’s only your attention. But the flip-side of that truth is this; not every voice deserves your attention.

What would happen if you took some time to shut the voices out before 2016 starts?

Even better, what if you listened to your own voice for a change?voices

Can you hear what your body, mind, and spirit are whispering through the louder sea of opinions?

What are you saying to you?

God has placed a purpose inside of you and inside of me, and He’s given you all you need to fulfill that purpose. Maybe it’s time you begin living into it.

  • What’s that thing you always thought you’d be doing by now that you’ve let fall away?
  • What have you been putting off?
  • What gift is lying dormant inside of you?

In our world, we have to fight for silence. We have to fight to listen to the still, small voice instead of defaulting to the loudest ones. We have to fight the fear of purpose, the fear of failure, the fear of vulnerability.

I encourage you to tune out the madness because there is no shortage of voices willing to boss you around if you let them. But you know what? This could be the year you summon the courage to turn away from them, and listen to yourself for a change.

Let 2016 be the year you start listening to the voice that matters: yours.

You don’t need a guru to clear the path for you. What you do need is to listen to the One who created you, the One who knows you better than anyone else, the One who puts the longing for purpose in you to begin with. Let His voice guide you into your purpose.

***Is there something you know you were meant to do but you’re afraid to finally go for it? Leave a comment and share your purpose with us. We’d love to encourage you as you make 2016 the year to follow your purpose with focus and clarity.

Beyond the Fog . . .

Fog

 

I love fog.

For me, it’s a simple reminder that not being able to see something doesn’t equate to that thing not being there. Sure, this could be used as a simplistic argument for the presence of God, but I mean something more — more than just His existence. I’m referring to His work: in my life, in my family, and in this world.

Yes, I believe in God. And yes, I believe He is at work (again) in my life, in my family, and in our world. However, sometimes I fail to see any proof of this truth. Sometimes it doesn’t feel like He’s working. Sometimes it feels like He’s not even there. It’s at these times I think of fog, and I remember that something being hidden is not the same as something being gone.

This morning, here in Northern Kentucky, it looks like someone has erased downtown Cincinnati, but, of course, it’s still there. The picture above, taken from just outside our apartment, would normally be of the city skyline. Today, it’s just a wall of gray. In the same way, even when it feels as if He’s moved (or maybe never really been there), I remember God is always there and always at work.

God is and ever shall be.

Amen.

-s.

A Holiday Prayer for Those Who Hurt

For some people, the holidays are a magical time of year. These are the folks who decorate early, mainline pumpkin spice lattes, and finish their Christmas shopping before you’re done scraping cranberry sauce off the floor. Is that you? If so, be happy in your Christmas bliss.

Christmas, prayer, hope

But maybe this isn’t you. At all.

You’re tired.

Worn out.

Sad.

Lonely.

If so, you’re not alone.

For some, the holidays are another reminder there isn’t enough to go around. For others, the Christmas season is a harbinger of painful memories, disappointment, and loss.

So, we speak to you today. We speak to the ones carrying extra emotional baggage through November, December, and even well into January. We only want to tell you one thing.

It’s okay.

It’s okay to be sad and lonely and disappointed. It’s okay to cry while others laugh. Allow yourself to sit with the hurt during this season instead of trying to push it away every moment of the day. Because all that pushing? It’s exhausting.

Let yourself mourn for what you’ve lost or never had.

Allow the pain to come. Allow yourself to grieve for lost loved ones or empty bank accounts or broken families. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to recognize you’ve lost something everyone else seems to have.

Most importantly, remember you’re not the only one. Don’t let Instagram pics and Facebook posts fool you. Behind the smiles, people all around you bear the weight of disappointment, too.

Next, while it’s good to pause and reflect and grieve, we also encourage you to take a second to look at what you do have. If you can’t find anything else to be thankful for, there’s one thing we all have in common: life. If you’re breathing, start there.

While you might feel alone, we can unite across distance and time through prayer. So, we’d like to offer this holiday prayer for you to whisper on your hard days, and we’d also like to offer our prayers to you. If you want, we’ll pray for you. Leave a comment or message here (or use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) letting us know you’d like us to remember you in prayer, and we promise we will.

You are not alone, my friend.

You are never alone.

And if you keep moving, it will get better.

advent, hope, prayer

Holiday Prayer for those Who Suffer

Father,

I come before you to acknowledge my thanks for the life I’ve been given. You are the giver of life, and I thank you for my life even though I feel burdened by pain and my days feel long and empty.

I come before you admitting my brokenness. I come before you to lay my sadness, hurt, pain, and disappointment at your feet.

I ask for hope to replace hopelessness, provision to replace deficit, comfort to replace sorrow, companionship to replace loneliness.

In my sorrow, I ask you to open my eyes to others who hurt, so I can make a difference in the life of someone else. Help me to remember the truth that we all need each other.

I thank you for your peace and presence, and I ask you to remind me of the promise and potential life offers even when I feel like I’ve lost it all.

Show me your grace as I seek to remember your goodness through my pain. Show me small reminders of your love for me as I seek to set aside my worries and trust in you for all things.

I give myself to you completely. Help me when I can’t help myself.

In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I pray,

Amen.

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