Delilah Dior Dominica
A woman's journey exploring her passion for Faith, fashion and travel.

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Greatest Valentine.

With Valentines Day just around the corner, love is certainly in the air. Red and pink have snuck their way into every crevice of the universe and glitter and lace are racing off the shelves. I personally have always been a fan of Valentines Day. I’m sure my affection for the holiday began in kindergarten when we exchanged Power Ranger and Lisa Frank Valentines and got to eat candy by the bucket-full before our parents could tell us “just one.” Since then, I have learned that, to most, Valentines Day means roses, chocolates, wine, smiles, candle-light, and romance.  To me, it just means love-letters. I am a self-proclaimed love-letter addict, so can you blame me for being Valentine’s biggest fan?

            When we are young, the ‘love-letters’ come in the form of simple and mass-produced cards that have a catchy rhyme and a to: and from: spot. Somehow, that was all it took to convince me that a boy really liked me; a generic Star Wars Valentine that said “To: Jill From: Zack. You’re the coolest girl in the galaxy.” That was it! I was hooked on these little suckers! As we grow older, we stop exchanging pre-printed Valentines and start exchanging real words. You see, for someone who so enjoys the art of writing, few things steal my heart like a letter. I wish I weren’t so predictable, but I am. I would read them and re-read them and memorize all the sweet parts that melted my soul. Then I would fold them back up and put them in a box, only to re-read them for years to come.

            The thing is, the way we savor those sweet love-letters is exactly the way we should savor the Bible. We simply should not be able to get enough of His Word. We should have to be torn away from its splendor and reminded to put it down so we can eat and sleep and rest our eyes. Every word dripping with honey, sweet as a lullaby should be constantly dancing around in our thoughts. Like our favorite song that soothes our soul, we should ‘put it on repeat’ as it plucks every heart-string. It should evoke joy, reflection, admiration, change. 774, 746 words from the very mouth of our King; we are so undeserving of this precious gift.

            Sadly, instead of memorizing every word and clutching this book tightly to our chests in amazement that someone loves us as much as this, many of us do a five-minute devotional in the morning, read the Bible verse at the end of it and call ourselves fed. If I had written the love of my life a letter and they continually read one word here and there and sometimes never read it at all, I would be so confused. If you love me, don't you want to know me? Don't you want to know how much I care for you?

            I desire to be absolutely, madly in love with Jesus. I want His words to be like my favorite Valentine. Just the way I saved every note, text, letter, and scrap of paper from my husband…replayed in my head every “I love you,” and every “you’re beautiful,” I want to hold onto every lesson and promise sent to me in this Book from my Savior. Jesus paints the sky for me every morning and hangs a night-light in the sky for me each night. He blessed me with a husband that surpassed my every dream. He soothes my spirit when I’m afraid and heals me when I’m hurt. He chose to entrust me to the greatest parents He has ever created. (Maybe I’m bias…) He planted in me a passion for art and for love and for life. He died for me when I was so lost and so selfish and so blind to His majesty. Have you ever gotten a letter from someone who loved you that much? If you had, I bet you would read it. And read it. And read it again.

            We should be head-over-heels in love with our Father. We should be hanging on His every word. After all, he is the author of the most wonderful Valentine there ever was.

“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead in our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.”

Ephesians 2: 4

Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Far Right Lane

I have said many times before that we should look different than everyone else. We should measure our ethics and standards against the Bible rather than measuring ourselves against this world we live in. I have been hearing this message everywhere I turn lately, and today it hit me like a ton of bricks.

            My husband and I took a class at our Church yesterday and at the end of the six-hour meeting, the Pastor randomly spoke about driving the speed limit. He said “The law says drive 50, but ‘everyone’ is driving 70…what does obedience look like here?” That watered something in my spirit that had been growing, but I didn’t think twice about it. You see, a few months ago my husband heard in his prayer time that he needed to drive the speed limit. All. The. Time. It makes me insane to be chugging along at a ripe ol’ speed of 55mph on the highway. My heart nearly bursts every time I’m in the passenger seat, and if one more Smart Car zips past us I might need to be institutionalized. (Submission, guys. This thing is no joke!) As painful and frustrating as driving the exact speed limit is I know my husband is being obedient and I am proud and supportive.

In my car, however, I drive fast. I always make sure that I’m not the fastEST, but me and my Rav-4 stay under the radar and get the job done. I never really asked God if He wanted me to drive the speed limit. Why? Because I really didn’t want to take the chance of offering it up, just in case He said yes. Well, I was running late to Church this morning, mainly because I had stopped to get a much needed latte. To make up some time on the road, I found the fastest thing moving and drove right behind it with hopes of arriving on time. Let me just say right now- the truck in front of me was literally moving fast enough to break the sound barrier. (I shouldn’t be allowed to say literally anymore.) Low and behold I am pulled over, I am given a ticket, I am late. 

I complain to myself, Why didn’t that truck get a ticket?! There were two options.
A.                    The truck was going so unbelievably fast that the police didn’t even see it. (Okay, Unlikely.)
B.                    God has put it on my heart to be obedient in all things. And I wasn’t.

I finally arrived to church with my nearly untouched Starbucks in hand- the same Starbucks that cost me a ticket- and found myself trying to remember if there are signs that say “No Food, No Drinks” outside the auditorium. I see people every week with Thermos’ and coffee cups so I knew that it was accepted. Sure enough, however, walking up to the door I see about ten signs proclaiming food and drink are not allowed. I was torn. My pumpkin-spice latte was harmless! It needed me! I asked a greeter with fingers crossed and my sweetest smile, “Can I bring this inside?” Guess what? I had to dump that sucker out. I wanted to say “But everyone else brings coffee in there!” Yet in that moment I knew that God has no interest in me compared to everyone else, his interest is in me compared to His Word.

Bam. Just like that I no longer have the grace to be ‘good enough.’ I have been called to be holy. One of the greatest things about walking with Christ is that we will always be called to be better. There was a time when I had no problem gossiping. There was a time when I could tell a white lie and feel no guilt. I could be gluttonous in my eating and not feel an overwhelming conviction listening to degrading music. If we are seeking Him- and truly seeking - we will be pruned on a daily basis. The Lord knows when we're ready to take a bigger step towards living a life that glorifies Him in all areas. No shortcuts, no buts. It will be challenging to make the shift, it is challenging to have integrity in areas so small, it is challenging to live a life that few people understand or respect, but I know it is more than worth it. Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”

What do you feel the Holy Spirit tugging on your heart strings about? Sometimes, the areas of our life that are in the shadows are the ones that are most important to our Father. Be in prayer about what areas you should submit and commit to be obedient in them. I challenge you to drive the speed limit for a day! Let me know how your blood pressure is tomorrow(: 

"Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God- truly righteous and holy." 
Ephesians 4:21