The period in my life that I have affectionately referred to as my time of “temporary retirement” is quickly coming to an end. I am pleased to announce that I am taking a new job at the end of this month! While I am excited about what lies ahead, I am also aware of what I am giving up. The time to support & serve those around me, goof off (let’s be honest,) and to just sit in my Father’s presence has been so special and I wouldn’t trade any minute of it.

I’ve had time the past few months to really process whose I am and who He has created me to be. He has called me “Sara.” He has called me “seen.” He has called me “fiercely loyal” and he has given me a “tenderness gifting” caring for the one’s and two’s instead of the masses. He has given me a passion for written encouragement, creativity, cooking and other cultures. And he has given me skills to plan, organize and pay attention to details. And I get to REST in all of this, knowing that he is creating a beautiful tapestry with every part of me – the good, the bad and the ugly. For His glory and my joy!

Going into this job, I want to desperately cling to what He says is important, not what the world says is important. I don’t want to fall back into my previous habits and forget how I have been called to live. Just like in my last post, I am praying to see situations with Heaven’s Eyes, filtered through what God says has eternal value.

Lessons from Disney

There are a lot of nuggets of wisdom that God has been hiding away in my heart these past months. Ironically, most of them are quite vividly portrayed in Disney’s Cinderella (2015) – last year’s live-action movie. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and watch it. It is just lovely.

Here are just a few of my favorite moments (WARNING: Spoiler alert!)

  • Cinderella’s actions are guided by a promise she made her mother to “have courage and be kind.” Jesus calls us to the same thing – he tells us “do not fear” (1 Peter 3:6) and he calls us to “bless” and “serve” others (1 Peter 3:9, 1 Peter 4:10). And the greatest commandment, above all else, is to love: love God, and love others (Matthew 22:36-40.)
  • When Cinderella’s fairy godmother lets her know that the spell will be broken at midnight, Cinderella doesn’t stomp her feet, throw a tantrum, and say “doesn’t the pain that I’ve been through indicate that I deserve more time?” Instead, she graciously responds with a thankful heart, and says: “That’s more than enough time.” I want to have that spirit of “enough” where, instead of holding expectations, I am thankful for every little thing and see it all as a magical gift that I’ve been given, but do not deserve.
  • When her stepmother accuses her of stealing the glass slipper because “nothing in this life is free” Cinderella responds that “kindness is free.” Which is so true! Why do I always act like it costs me something to be kind to the people around me, regardless of how they treat me?
  • Finally, when Cinderella is walking down from the attic to meet her prince the narrator asks:

Would who she was, who she really was, be enough? There was no magic to help her this time. This is perhaps the greatest risk that any of us will take. To be seen as we truly are.

Cinderella have courage and be kind

I want to be willing to be authentic and vulnerable. To be seen for who I truly am because then everyone will know that is not by my own strength that I do anything. I think by being vulnerable, it gets my mess of pride and arrogance out of the way and reveals how God has been working in my life. People will see who God says I am instead of who I pretend to be. 

Lessons from a Kung-fu Master

Ip Man 2 - Think before you react

Another movie that I feel like God used to really help me get a picture of his heart was IpMan. J.J. is a lover of kung-fu movies and I am a lover of J.J. so I watch them with him. IpMan is actually a really good 3 movie series about the guy who ended up training Bruce Lee. Even if you don’t love kung-fu movies and don’t love J.J., you’ll probably still enjoy the movies so go watch them!

The scene that really had an impact on me is when IpMan is told that his ‘enemy’ has his student captive. He doesn’t jump up and panic with a knee-jerk reaction of anger but instead he sits there calmly, takes a smoke from his cigarette and a sip from his tea. After he has processed in his heart what his next move should be, he then calmly stands up. I want to be like that!

Also, IpMan is a human superman, without the cape, but he stays so humble and gracious. He treats everyone with kindness and respect (even when he is kicking their butts!) and he has that same mentality as Cinderella – have courage, be kind, and be thankful.

As I contemplate leaving my cocoon I am so thankful that God uses all things to remind me of what is in His Word and then point me to Him. Even a silly (sorry J.J.) kung-fu movie. And now it is time to spread my wings again and fly into the great big world.

Side note, I’m not just ‘willing’ these changes in my heart but by spending time with my Savior I am noticing how He is softening, molding and rubbing off on my heart to make me more like Him. I am oh-so-thankful. It’s just like how the Bible says in John 15:4-5 – we bear fruit when we abide in Him (live, dwell, continue without fading or being lost) and stay connected to the vine. Now that I think about it, that’s probably the biggest lesson I’ve learned the past few months – how sweet it is to abide in Him and then watch as he takes care of the rest.

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