Little Victories: successes that appear to be small or less significant in a grand scheme.
When you hear the word victory, you may think that the only way to achieve it is to defeat an enemy or overcome a tremendous obstacle, but at the root of victory there is a choice.
From the moment you open your eyes to see the red lights on your alarm clock, you are given a choice. To get out of bed or not? To live or not?
That one choice opens you up to an entire day of endless possibilities. To have coffee or not? To say hi to him or not? To pick up an extra shift or not? Seemingly small decisions could lead to little victories and the many little victories that make up your day, the many bigger victories await you in the future.
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
– 1 Corinthians 15:57 (ESV)
Jesus died for us so that we could walk in the ultimate victory. Why not celebrate that in the simplest ways?
We have been given a high calling by the God of the universe, and each day He urges us to walk in a manner worthy of that calling. Every choice we make is important for our welfare spiritually, mentally, and physically. They can draw us closer to God, help us glorify Him, and become better than the people He first saved.
So what counts as a little victory? Some of mine include: drinking more water and less coffee, reading my Bible instead of watching Netflix, or complimenting a difficult coworker.
In essence, any good choice is a little victory. Why? Because every good decision is a victory against the enemy of your sinful nature, the part of you that wants to give in to your flesh that’s weak.
Like blessings, little victories can come disguised as something insignificant and go without being noticed or appreciated.
So, count your blessings and your little victories, and look forward for what’s to come.
Soaped down, hot water jetted, and towel whipped, your car might as well have come out of the furnace like a piece of blown glass, crystal clean.
You know the feeling. Your beautiful wheeled baby is free from the layer of grime that had begun to build on the doors. Not a spot or blemish can be found sprinkled on the windows. The leaves stuck in the windshield wipers have been vanquished. And that’s not all.
The crumbs wedged in the crevices of the seats have been lapped away along with the dirt and candy wrappers that littered floor. Dust no longer coats the dashboard and the coffee stains have been scrubbed until their existence is forgotten.
To top it off, a little cardboard tree hangs from the rearview mirror filling the car with the aroma of sexy Black Ice or whimsical Tropical Sunrise.
That drive home feels just as satisfying as if you had driven straight off the lot with a new car. Remember that feeling and savor it as I tell you why a car wash is on my mind.
You see, that’s how I feel when I read the Bible. That’s how I feel when I spend time alone in my room praying. And not just the “Dear God, A. B. C. Amen” kind of praying, but simply being in total awareness and transparency with God, which is a state we tend to reserve for when we’re really in a bind.
As a result, I always end up feeling clean and new, but I often wonder why I don’t strive for that as often as I could?
Can we really say we drive a clean car when we only clean it once in a while?
Only when the dirt and clutter get too overwhelming, we finally cave and clean out the car, just to wait another six months before doing it again.
Our hearts are the same way. Every day adds another layer of grime or a new addition of garbage and we are the culprits. We allow it. Wouldn’t we feel better if we just kept the car clean?
I know God would prefer it that way.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” -Proverbs 4:23
The God of the universe can hold the stars in his hand like a pile of gold dust and yet He sent His Son so that our hearts could be His forever. We are just that precious to Him.
If we don’t take the time to maintain the condition of our heart with God’s Word and His presence, our heart will suffocate from the negative forces designed to strangle the life out of us. Their weapons? Chainmail of laziness. Arrows of bitterness. Daggers of anxiety. And of course, the tempting poison of everything the world has to offer.
As I challenge myself, I also challenge you to make more room in your heart for Jesus because He is the ultimate satisfaction and the greatest weapon for when Satan tries to steal it away. Believe me, he will try. It might take more work, but all the effort is worth it.
Don’t be caught with a dirty car, because you’re chauffeuring the King of Kings.
Romans 12:2, Psalm 51:10, Matthew 5:8
Singles Awareness Day, more commonly known as Valentines Day, is all about making you feel crazy sorry for yourself.
I mean it’s about love—celebrating love.
If you’re in a relationship, congratulations! I hope you and your other half make the day special, saturated in rosy romance. But for me and my single pringles out there, it’s a reminder of the fact that we don’t have someone to shower us in love, attention, and gifts.
Leading up to this day, we single folk like to collect the fixings for a Happy Valentines Day without the main ingredient: a significant other. Our recipe includes chocolate, rom-coms, wine, etc, and we give it all to ourselves to make us feel a little bit more special. Why? Because the world says we need to feel a little more loved on this day.
Even though I might be among you curled up on the couch watching a romantic comedy with a chocolate heart in hand, I want to give you a few reminders for this day.
You are beautiful. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
You are loved. (John 15:9-17)
You already have the hero who gave up His life for you. (Romans 5:8)
You have the deepest love letter in your possession. (2 Timothy 3:16)
Be thankful for your singleness. Be thankful for your significant other. Both can be such a blessing in your life, and it would be a shame to waste a blessing because of the warped perspective we have about love.
I invite you to join me in reflecting on our first love, how beautiful and pure we look in His eyes, and how we live to show the world our love for Him.
So, if you’re like me and have a twinge of self-pity rise within you on Valentines Day, remember a greater love surrounds you that is deeper and wider than any love a human can give.
Ushering in the new year can fill you with bubbles of elation, infusing your mind with dreams and possibilities of the next 12 months to come. So it should. We all need that jolt of motivation and inspiration that charges us to take that extra step.
Though December 31st and January 1st feel the exact same to some, others look at it as if we have crossed through a magical portal that makes us a clean slate with a fresh path ahead of us.
I can’t help but compare God’s power to the wonder of the new year. His love made us pass from death to life just as simple as passing from 2017 to 2018. Through Him we can continue to live as a clean slate with the knowledge that He shares a piece of the future with us each step of the way.
Like leafing through the crisp pages of a new book or journal, adventure is waiting for you. This year is another chapter in the story that will make you the person God created you to be.
I will always encourage you to make time to spend with your Savior this year. My last new year’s post suggests how. Why? Because with a new year comes new difficulties and probably some tough times. But blessings are also coming your way and maybe even some miracles. We must accept whatever happens with the strong faith that Jesus is in it all.
Keep going. Those words are the beat to which my anthem will follow for 2018, what about you?
The hype leading up to the total eclipse on August 21st didn’t really phase me.
Until the hour came.
Suddenly, the phenomenon that had everyone talking became real. Through foil lens, I saw a black disc push its way between me and the sun. As I began to grasp the significance of this event, a flame of excitement finally ignited.
My family and I staggered around our backyard staring up at the sky in glasses that surround you in darkness. We fumbled with cameras trying to capture an image that can only be appreciated if you experience it for yourself. It felt like the quickest sunset ever as the sky grew dim to dusk in a matter of seconds.
Then it happened.
I ripped off my glasses along with hundreds of thousands of people to see the majesty. Surrounding that same black disc was a light so white that I thought I was looking at a ring of angels holding hands. Knowing that so many people were sharing a speechless moment made me think of Revelation 1:7
Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him — even those who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. So shall it be! Amen.
When the sun peeked out from behind the moon, the first ray of light was so brilliant I had to look away. They call it “the diamond ring.” It couldn’t be more appropriate of a name because when I think of a diamond ring as big as the sun, I think of how God has given us the largest engagement ring in the universe and one day, the church will be his bride (Revelation 19:7-9).
It’s mindboggling to realize how we have no control over such an event. I read someone refer to us as simply “onlookers.” When it comes to God’s power, we are only onlookers, reveling in the wonders of God’s creation.
The change in my attitude towards the eclipse reminded me of an important lesson. I felt like doubting Thomas as I underestimated the eclipse until seeing it for myself.
Circumstances/events in our lives come and go, sometimes with warning and sometimes without. The fact is, we should be ready for anything God brings to us, whether it be times of blessing or times of disaster. Everything happens so we can see The Chief at work.
I’ll admit, these takeaways didn’t come to me until after the awe of the moment. But I want to treasure this experience so that I won’t be forgetful like the Israelites in the Bible, who saw miracle after miracle and still turned away.
I hope that you were just as impressed by our once in a lifetime event…until 2024 at least. Comment on what the eclipse meant for you; I would love to hear your experience.
PS. Don’t forget to check out my pictures of the eclipse on Instagram- @leahjordanmeahl
The other day I was reading my devotional, Grace for the Moment by Max Lucado before going to work. Under a list of bullet points I was surprised to read “Make major decisions in a cemetery.”
I had to reread that line a couple times. It seemed so random and not flowing with the other ideas, but I pondered it nonetheless. I decided that my next morning walk would be at a cemetery not far from my house.
The morning was slightly cooler than it’s been the past blazing week. I pulled into the cemetery and instead of being surrounded by headstones, I was surrounded by bouquets of flowers. Most of the grave markers are set flush to the ground so you have to practically be standing over top them to read them.
If you ever need a reality check, the cemetery is a good place to go. Especially when you see the markers of children who didn’t even make it to 5 or 10 years old.
My Uncle “Skipper” died of leukemia when he was 9 years old. He was my first real understanding of death, which is odd because I never met him. Even now I feel a strange connection with him and the knowledge of his brief but precious life.
In a cemetery you are very aware of lives that have come to an end and no matter what age, they’re always gone too soon. So, here are some thoughts I had while sitting on a cold stone bench overlooking the resting memorials.
If we could check off everything on our bucket list, would we feel like it was a life well spent? If we landed that dream job, married the love of our life, had the perfect number of children, and could afford a lake house for retirement, is that a successful life?
I gotta be honest, sometimes I feel like if I don’t achieve any of those things, I’ll have wasted my life. But a passage keeps coming to my mind.
“34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?” ∼Mark 8:34-36 (ESV)
In life, we are constantly bombarded with planning our future and making goals for everything we want to do while we’re still on this earth. Whenever someone close to us passes away, we are reminded that life is short and we should always live as if it’s our last day. While all of that is true and blanketed with good intentions, it’s easy to fall into making each day about us.
As Christians, the fact of the matter is time is short.
Time is short to represent Jesus.
Time is short to do His will.
Time is short to celebrate His name in thankfulness.
I was listening to an online sermon by Todd White (worth looking up here) and he made it abundantly clear that we might be the only Jesus people see. We might be the only Bible people read. What are we doing about it? Are we really making good use of our time as servants of Christ? That’s what it means to be a Christian, isn’t it?
The Bible consistently reminds us of our selfish nature, but thankfully, it also gives us a better alternative to living. If we could just peel our selfishness away and focus on living for God and for others (Lk 10:27), there will be no greater achievement on earth as it is in heaven.
This epitaph inspired me because I realized I would rather be remembered by walking out the fruits of the Spirit than how many books I publish or performances I give. The fruits of the Spirit are evidence of God in our life so you better believe I want people to see them. They’re found here in Galatians 5 if you want to know what they are.
Let me leave you with a few ideas on how you can reveal the love of Jesus in your daily life:
Generously tip all of your servers (not just the deserving ones)
Leave notes of encouragement
Don’t complain about work
Learn peoples’ names (everyone likes to hear their name)
If you have any other ideas on how you like to represent Jesus, leave a comment so we all can learn from each other!
The next time you find yourself in the cemetery, remember the advice from my devotional: “make a major decision” to walk in the light of Jesus, bearing His fruit so the world can pick it from your branches.
P.S. Daytime walks in the cemetery are far less scary than nighttime walks.
After two whole days of nonstop raining, I got into my car on a damp and dismal morning. The grey clouds matched the greyness that had crept into my demeanor. I felt like I was driving in a fog, only seeing the road a few feet in front of me.
Attempting to pull myself out of my discouraged mood, I prayed. My heart only wanted to complain, but I knew that my God deserved more than that. So, despite my reluctance, I praised Him. After all, He’s still the God that gave me another day.
“You are God of the grey clouds as well as the white. You are God when the rain drizzles as well as when it pours.”
I looked out the window at the clouds. Their chests were puffed with arrogance, and their thick clutches threatened torrents of rain. But amidst the dreariness that loomed over me in my car, I noticed something startling.
Behind me, puffy white clouds parted ways to reveal a radiant blue sky.
I realized that the image might as well have been the voice of God, my Chief Encourager at work.
Dark and heavy clouds do not make the sky. They only cover parts of it, and they only do so for a brief period of time. Moments of sadness or any other negative emotion are easy to focus on and they are at times hard to see through. But the sky, in all its brilliance and beauty, is constantly above us, making sure we’re covered.
In the Old Testament, during the Israelites’ forty-year excursion, the Lord gave them specific instructions. When they packed up the tabernacle, they covered the Ark of the Covenant with leather and then with a blue cloth (Numbers 4:6). I don’t think it’s any coincidence that God covers us, His tabernacle, with a blue sky.
If you’re going through a grim time like I was this morning, remember to trust that God will see you through. Remember that these despairing moments are passing like a few days of continual rain. Blue skies are coming, because they’ve always been there. Just as the sky doesn’t change, neither will our God.
Don’t forget to take a breath from complaining to God about what’s making you feel this way, and take a moment to praise Him for being the God He’s always been.