The Impact of the Cleaning Lady

cleaninig

If you want a quick lesson in socioeconomics, just try visiting your local gym. It makes me laugh the difference between the gym in North Hollywood and the gym in Studio City. It is like two different worlds. The music that they play for Zumba is even different.

The gym in Studio City is very upper middle class. The girls all look gorgeous (Yes, even at the gym) and all of the guys are ripped. Everyone is in the film industry. They are all actors, actresses, or are in production.

But the socioeconomic lesson is not what has been impactful on me. The cleaning lady is who has been impactful on me.

This cleaning lady knows everyone. She takes the time to say hi and chat with everyone. Forget social status, forget race. I doubt that she even notices that. She extends kindness to every lady that comes into that locker room. To my shame, I can’t even recall her name right now.

Her testimony has been so convicting to me. Am I taking the time to reach out to those around me? Shouldn’t I, the person who is claiming to be Christ’s representative, take the time to know people?

My husband is so good at this. He chats with everyone. He knows the bread man at our local grocery stores. He meets the guy who is eating breakfast next to us at the restaurant counter. And you know what? He shares the Gospel a lot more than I do, because he takes the time to know people.

My husband and the cleaning lady have had an impact on my life. I can’t feel self-conscious about extending Christ’s love. I need to reach out to those around me. You are never going to be able to share the Gospel if you don’t initiate a conversation.

So today, say hi to the checker at the grocery store. Ask the delivery man how his day is. Stop the mailman and ask what his name is. Take time to get to know people and you will be surprised how doors open up for the Gospel.

Do you know anyone who is really good at this? 


7 Truths About Discontentment

There is great gain in godliness with contentment

1. It will consume you. 

It creeps in subtly in your thought life. Those little “Oh I wish I had that…” thoughts are the seeds of discontentment. Discontentment creeps in in seemingly small ways, but the effects of it are devastating. Unchecked discontentment becomes consuming. Stop discontentment at the smallest jealous thought.

2. It will consume your prayer life.

It is ok to pray constantly about your struggle. But what I realized is that I was praying the wrong prayer. I was asking the Lord over and over again for the thing I wanted. But what I needed to be praying for was that I would have the right attitude. Even if I never got what I wanted.

3. It is ugly.

Discontentment will reveal parts of your heart that you didn’t know were there. The Lord allows hard things in our lives to show us our depravity and our desperate need for Him.

4. It’s the opposite of thankfulness.

Discontentment is essentially saying that you don’t want what the Lord has given you.

5. It never stops being a problem.

It is a constant battle. We are in a life-long war with this sin issue. Struggles with sin help us develop perseverance in pursuing Christ-likeness.

6. When you are doing “good,” it’s lying in wait.

We  remember to pray when we are struggling. But how about the moments where life is easy, when the struggle isn’t there? When our guard is down, we are the most vulnerable to temptation.

7. If you get want you want, it is never enough.

When I was single, I wanted a boyfriend. When I was dating, I wanted to be engaged. And so on, and so forth. It doesn’t go away when you get what you want. The heart problem is still there.

It is so easy to become bitter or discouraged over the battle with discontentment. But we have to change our perspective. The Lord allows trials and struggles in our lives to reveal our sin and to conform us to His image. In His gracious plan, He wants us to be more like Him. He wants us to count all things as loss for the sake of knowing Him. Let us persevere in pursuing Christ-likeness and thank Him for loving us.


Prayer for Work

The sweetest husband sent me flowers at work last week!

I am writing this Sunday night, so this is not a hypothetical post. This list is my actual prayer as I think about another work week.

I am incredibly thankful for my job. The Lord has truly blessed our family through it. But as I gear up for another long week, I pray these things earnestly.

Lord, help me remember my job is not about me. 

So often my thoughts about work are directed at myself. am tired. wish I could stay home. But as with all other areas of life, my job (even though it is my job) is not about me. It is about the Lord and His work. For me, working helps us pay for my husband’s seminary education. When I remember the eternal purpose, it helps me to have a good attitude.

Father, I pray that I would be motivated by love for you.

I love the Lord and therefore I strive for excellence in the workplace. Not because I want a raise. Not because I will get recognized. I strive to my job well because I love the Lord and want to obey Him.

I pray that any excellence I achieve would be a reflection of my Savior. 

There is no good in me except for what Christ has accomplished. I pray that others would see Him in me.

Help me to be content where you have me. 

It is so easy to think that another situation would make us happier. False. We are going to be happiest and most blessed when we are living in obedience to the Lord.

I pray I would show love to my coworkers. 

May my interactions with my coworkers show that the love of Christ abounds in me.

Lord, provide the strength to give my all. 

We are called to do our work heartily in Colossians 3:23. In this passage, it means we are to do our work literally with all our soul. May we rely on His strength to work our hardest for His glory.

What is your prayer for work?

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The Post with the Most Views

 

love

Every morning while my husband is still sleeping, I pray for him. I pray that he would love Christ more. I pray that he would have energy and strength for the day. I pray that he would be effective for the Gospel.

This morning I have the privilege of thinking over the past four years and praising the Lord for what He has done in bringing us together.

My family makes fun of my husband and I for celebrating the anniversary of when we started dating. But both of our birthdays and our anniversary is within 6 weeks of each other. We love to rejoice in what the Lord has done in our lives and remembering our dating anniversary gives us an excuse to celebrate!

Every year that we have been together, I have made a list of why I am thankful for Nick Melonas. Last year I shared those lists with you and it got the most views ever on my blog! And rightly so, in my opinion! My husband is an incredible man! This morning I want to add to that list.

I am thankful for my husband and love him because:

  1.  He sees me at my worst and continues to love me like Christ would.
  2. He is overwhelmingly generous.
  3. He is teachable. Over the past four years, I have seen him grow and change in many ways.
  4. He sees things with Gospel-clarity. Meaning, in everything, he recognizes the Gospel-implications.
  5. He is supportive of my hopes and dreams.
  6. He is unselfish. He never asks for anything. Seriously. I have to listen carefully the whole year and secretly make a list of ideas for Christmas gifts. It is that rare that he mentions something he wants.
  7. He is unmoved by the things of the world.
  8. He always has an eternal mindset.
  9. He is always willing to serve. To a fault.
  10. He is growing in leadership as the head of our household.
  11. He loves to make me happy. It is his joy.
  12. We have different strengths and weaknesses, but are of one mind. We like to say that our relationship is like a coin. Two different sides, but still one entity.

Nicholas Melonas, I am so incredibly thankful for you. Thank you for your humility and selfless love. You have taught me so much about what it means to love Christ and others. I look forward to many years to come.

I love you!


On Loneliness: Upward and Outward

loneliness

For some, it feels achy. For some, it feels hopeless. For lots, it seems like you have no one to relate to.

Loneliness. 

I want to talk about loneliness a little bit today. I would venture to say that at some point in our life we all feel lonely. Whether we are a mama home with little kids all day or working a job where we sit alone in a cubicle forty hours a week, at some point in our lives each of us feels a little lonely.

We were created for fellowship. That is how the Lord designed us. We were created for fellowship in order to reflect the communion of the Trinity. We crave companionship because we were meant to be in community with other Christians.

And as always, since fellowship is something that God created, Satan wants to destroy it. He wants us to feel alone. He wants us to feel like we can’t relate to anyone. Why? Because when we feel alone, we are much more vulnerable. More vulnerable to temptation, more vulnerable to wrong thinking.

When we feel lonely, it is easy to have an inward focus. We think about how we feel and what we wish was different. It is easy to become discontent.

If you are feeling lonely, I urge you to strive to focus upward and outward. 

Focus upward on your Heavenly Father. He has told you that He will never leave you nor forsake (Hebrews 13:5). He will give you everything that you need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). He promises to comfort us in our affliction (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Human companionship will never fulfill your deepest longings. But Christ will.

And focus outward. If you are feeling lonely, I promise that there is someone who is feeling more lonely. Look around you. I know that there are hurting souls out there. People who feel like no one understands what they are going through.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 is a beautiful passage. It says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Because we have been comforted by the Divine Comforter, we are able to minister to those around us.

A lot of people in my life have expressed recently that they are experiencing loneliness. My advice is if you are looking for friends, be a friend. If you are in need of comfort, comfort those around you. If you are focusing upward and outward, it is hard to focus inward.

And most of all, remember that God loves His children. The Most High God, the Almighty, the one who spoke and the world was created, loves you. If you are His child, you are loved with an everlasting love!