Tuesday, February 4, 2014

{Storyline} Only Love Today

Love this encouragement from Hands Free Mama.

God has many roles in our lives. He's a father, shepherd, king, author, and creator. He's full of grace, love, judgement, forgiveness, commandments, promises, hope, and strength. And in all of that, he's a storyteller. He creates the story and he gives us roles in the plot. He knows the conflicts and how we'll overcome them.

And he lets us in on the ending.

But we're not there yet. We're still in the pages, discovering more of what adventures, characters and conflicts are part of our stories. Through it all, God wants us to connect. To Him. To ourselves. To each other. To our neighbors. To strangers.

It's a risky business, really.

"Love is all about risk and it's not for the faint of heart. A controlling person is driven by fear, not strength. People are controlling because they fear the risk inherently involved in relationships. The more fearless a person is, the less controlling he becomes.

Now, here's a truth that may surprise you: God isn't afraid and so God isn't controlling. He actually gives people the opportunity to walk away. This is the only way God can have a sincere, authentic and loving relationships with His creation."

{Donald Miller in "Storyline"}

"Storyline" is about God's story and how we all have a subplot within that. I'm working through the book with some online friends and I'm blogging my way through. This week we're talking about the introduction and my mind is already flooded with thoughts.

So here I am thinking about planning and writing and living my story, but not because it's mine. Ultimately, it's God's. He's the author, but he let us in on the pages. He lets us dream and plan and pursue. Yes, sometimes he changes our plans because he sees more of the book, but we're given freedom and creativity that we can use to intentionally make a difference.

For me, knowing this reminds me life is a process. There's going to be good days and bad days but if we're seeking God, our life is going to matter because it's about more than just ourselves. Sometimes we don't know what next, but we do know the conflicts and adventures and relationships are taking us somewhere and through it all we're slowly being perfected into becoming more like Christ.

I've been thinking about this subplot of mine and I'm not entirely sure how it will unfold. But I also know that's OK. I don't always have to know the future because I know the Author of it all. 

But when I think of my story, what comes to mind first is how I want to be a person who provides for other people and cares for them in tangible ways. As a wife and mom I already do this on a near constant basis. I also see myself reacting this way when I see a need. I want to gather items, offer assistance, etc. In church Sunday, the sermon mentioned how Jesus was hospitable.

Community and hospitality have always been such a big part of my life. It's been around kitchen tables, during play dates at the park, and in ordinary conversations that God has transformed my heart. It's been in these every day places I've seen God most vividly.

Hospitality comes from the same word as hospital. And, yes, it's just as healing.

Because I've been changed in community, I want to be able to share some of our story of becoming a family and being a family through a written story. I want to collect diapers and supplies for the expecting momma who is being shunned in her home country and seeking political asylum here with her daughter is who about my daughter's age. I want my convictions to be lived out in action.

I want to love. Only love today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. It seems simple, but it's complicated and transforming.

I used to think that meant I had to have a bigger audience and bigger dreams. But seeking God gives me all the audience I need. He gives me strength and purpose right here, in my ordinary, everyday life caring for my family, my friends and others in my small-town community.

I'm not entirely sure how this subplot fits into God's master story, but I believe it does because love matters and is worth the risk.

How does knowing God has a story {and we're part of it!} help explain life? What do you think your subplot might be in the story of God? You're welcome to link up your thoughts below or share in the comments. Each week, there'll be a different prompt. Next week we're talking about where we've been so far in our stories and mapping our lives on timelines.

This is the first post in a 10-week series as I work through "Storyline" by Donald Miller with some friends. 

I'm also linking this post with some other friends: Jen Ferguson and her Soli Deo Gloria party; Jennifer Dukes Lee's #TellHisStory; Beth Stiff's Three Word Wednesday; and Lyli Dunbar's Thought-Provoking Thursday. All these communities encourage real love. 

Want more stories? Like 152 Insights on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin'. Subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."


  1. I LOVE the quote you shared from "Storyline."

    I, too, want to be the hands and feet of Jesus, I think it's the best way to show His love when we meet others where they are in their time of need. I once heard someone say, that it's great to tell people about Jesus, but what they really need, in that moment sometimes, is a hot meal, or money for bills. Not about where they will go if they don't repent and believe. When they are getting their tangible needs met, then we will be more open to hearing about our God.

  2. I'm so tracking with you here -- about the ability to let go of the control because we do not have to be afraid. And about it's not about the vastness of our community, but how we live within that community. Amen!

  3. KristinHillTaylor2/04/2014 2:56 PM

    Yes, even hearing you say it again speaks to my heart.

  4. KristinHillTaylor2/04/2014 2:57 PM

    Good to see you here, Alecia! God's teaching me about this right now - giving where I can and leaving the rest to Him.

  5. "But seeking God gives me all the audience I need. He gives me strength and
    purpose right here, in my ordinary, everyday life caring for my family, my
    friends and others in my small-town community." This is something I think is so important to remember. How are we serving our community. Am I loving well those right in front of me?

    I'm just so excited about being on this 10-week study with you. Thank you again for reaching out to me.
    Love you.

  6. KristinHillTaylor2/06/2014 3:51 PM

    I'm so glad you joined in the study!

    Sometimes it's easier for me to think about how to love those I don't know as well, but God is really showing me the importance of pouring into people right here and not giving my family and friends what's leftover.

    Much love to you, friend.