Guess what. It’s my birth week! That means it’s a week that’s all about books and lunch dates and quality time. I DO love my birth week.
We don’t do a lot of gifts around here, but I almost always get a new book or cookbook. This came in the mail today and I can’t WAIT to start cooking some new recipes!
Something else that I’ve been enjoying this week is the Profile Picture Challenge on Facebook. The idea is to post your first profile picture and your most recent profile picture side by side to see how much you’ve changed since you’ve been on Facebook.
Facebook and I will have our 10-year anniversary this week. With the exception of a few leaves of absence, our relationship is still going strong. Yay, us!
Looking back at that first picture of me with two cute little girls sitting on my lap (one obviously unhappy about something), I think we can all see that I’ve definitely changed a lot. Things happen in 10 years!
But what’s even more obvious than the change in me is, of course, the changes in my girls. They’ve gone from adorable, chubby, 3 and 4 year olds, to lovely 13 (almost) and 14 year olds.
You can’t avoid noticing their growth. It is obvious.
This made me start thinking: can you see my growth? I don’t mean the wrinkles or the extra pounds. Can you see my growth?
Am I a different person than I was 10 years ago, or am I exactly the same. If one of my friends, like a shortened version of Rip Van Winkle, fell asleep 10 years ago and woke up today, would they feel like nothing had changed with me? Or would they see a completely different person?
I hope I’m different.
There are some striking similarities between 2009 and 2019 for me. Both years represent some of the most challenging times in our marriage. The challenges in both years were completely unexpected. They shook our very foundations and changed the way we live our lives.
Challenges in life (and therefore in marriage) are unavoidable. So are uncertainties, inconveniences, and even crises. We can’t change that.What we can change are our reactions to those situations, and that’s what the Facebook Profile Challenge is making me examine. How am I reacting?
10 years ago I froze. I seized up. I quit functioning for a period of time. I’m not doing that this time.
While the crisis of 2019 is completely different, it’s also completely real. It started in 2018 but this time I didn’t seize up.
That’s not to say I have handled everything perfectly. There have been a couple of desperate late night texts and phone calls to close friends. There was a day of tears at the beach. There has been crying on the bathroom floor with the shower and fan turned on so no one else could hear. There have been questions and and cries towards heaven.
I haven’t been perfect, but I have grown. This is due in large part to the way my Bible has aged. That’s something I’ve thought about, as well.
If you took a picture of your Bible 10 years ago, and a picture of your Bible today, what would it look like? Would it look the same? Would it still look brand new? Could you put it back in its box and return it to Amazon or Lifeway or wherever you bought it?
My Bible looks different than it did 10 years ago, and that’s the only reason my life looks different. Words and verses are underlined and highlighted. The front cover is full of sticky notes from friends and children that I’ve worked with at church. There are tear stains on some pages and battle scars on others.
Dates are written where prayer requests were prayed. Some of those dates are followed by a second date and a short phrase where the request was answered. Others are still being prayed over and waiting. My Bible looks different.
But it doesn’t look as different as it should. If it had been used daily, I suspect that it would be falling apart. I probably would have had to buy a new one by now. It’s probably had more wear and tear over the past 3 years than in the 7 before that.
But that’s okay, because that is a sign of growth as well. My relationship with the Lord is growing. I am spending more time with Him. More time relying on Him and less time worried and fearful – although that it still something that I struggle with.
More time listening to His Word and basking in his love, and less time listening to the world and the opinions of others.
I want to encourage you to work on that profile picture – the one of your Bible. Pick it up, use it, read it, BELIEVE it. Let’s challenge ourselves to have Bibles that show we are actively participating in the battle being fought for us and our loved ones. Let’s have LIVES that look different 10 years from now instead of just pictures that look different.
I believe in you. I am praying for you. I am also encouraging you to get involved in a Bible Study group – at someone’s home, at a church, or with your family.
I participated in a couple of amazing Bible Studies on prayer last year, both by Priscilla Shirer. You can check them out here:
I’d love to hear about how you are growing, and any great Bible Studies you’ve participated in.
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