do not judge

Friday, November 21

My sister-in-law and I were laughing so hard the other day talking about how celebrities, when asked if they ever have any regrets in their life, always seem to say "no". My jaw always drops when I hear this because i'm like I HAVE 543 MILLION REGRETS. How in the world do people honestly say they have no regrets?

Anyway, the point is, one of my biggest regrets in life is the measure to which I have judged people. I'm not really talking about the occasional judgement of "her dress doesn't fit right" or "her hair looks weird".

I'm talking about how we can so easily judge the motives of others, or their decisions, or the way they approach situations. We can just be so critical. And have you noticed how this judgement seems to grow in size when we are actually really green with envy over what someone else has? "That person have a bigger/nicer/prettier ____ than me" and so we somehow find fault with them in order to elevate ourself. Bleh…it's yucky stuff.

A few years ago I found that this judgement stuff was especially true with a specific person in my life. Of course I never voiced it, but in my heart I harbored a very clear sense of black and white in terms of how I analyzed this person's behavior. If she did something that I thought was "wrong" then I judged it as all "bad". I literally made a judgement call over her decisions, instead of just accepting her choices as her choices, and trusting God to be in control of the situation.

It's that small freaking problem called SIN!!!! When we start believing that we are God and have the right to judge others, we have plummeted. We are NOT God, and we do NOT have the right to judge. Ever. While in Nepal, the good Lord showed me a thing or two about what His word has to say about judgement. Friends, it was depressing in the sense that I caught a deeper glimpse of my nasty sin and depravity, but also SO SO empowering and freeing learning it doesn't have to be that way! I realized my thought-life could be redeemed!

Jesus makes it very clear that the measure we use to judge other WILL BE USED TO JUDGE US.  Matthew 7:1-2 says "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you"

For a few years there, I was critical and unkind in my judgement, and let me tell you, I reaped the consequences. I felt depressed, bound up, anxious, and judged by others. I'm convinced this was a direct consequence of my own judgement.

But when I learned to forgive, and pour out grace in greater and more bountiful strokes, a beautiful thing happened in my life. My anxiety and depression lifted, I felt a deeper acceptance from others, and my heart began to roam free.

Christ set us free not to judge others, but instead to be graceful and loving. Give others the benefit of the doubt. Know that everyone is facing their own battles so be kind. When a situation arises or an event happens, allow it to pass without ascribing a label of "good" or "bad" to it. Accept that "it is" and that you don't have to judge it as anything other than what it is.

Don't be swept away and enticed by the thrill that it sometimes is to criticize or judge others. Have you ever heard that joke "they're friends because they both hate the same person". Satan's lie is that gossip and judgement is glamorous, but it is not. It's evil, it's unkind, it's hurtful (not only to the other person, but to your spirit), and it grieves the Lord. It is NOT healthy for you in any way, shape or form.

Bottom line…entrust God with the judgement. Hopefully that will free you up to be clothed with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience (Col. 3:12). Because I don't think judgement and kindness can happen simultaneously. So choose wisely.

Happy Friday friends, and may your heart be free and graceful as you enjoy your weekend! 

A walk through the trees…some Fall reflections

Tuesday, November 18

“Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.” - Jim Bishop

“Fall has always been my favorite season. The time when everything bursts with its last beauty, as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” - Lauren DeStefano, Wither

“Autumn...the year's last, loveliest smile." -William Cullen Bryant

There is something so incredibly magical about the Fall. Like the wind brings something new and the leave blossom so ripe and red and everything blazes with an intensity that makes a heart swell. Twelve years ago I was a brand new freshman in college. I was nervous and excited, bubbling with energy, a bag of fresh school supplies in tow, and eyes ready to drink my new life in.  My first day I bumped into a sunshine of a person in the hallway, her name was Holly. She was from San Diego, and it was her first time in Northern California. She came home with me a weekend that Fall, I raked up a leaf pile, and she jumped in the leaves for the first time in her life. It brings a smile wide on my face, remembering our laughter, as we delighted in the joys of Autumn. Truly, Autumn is a JOY. Now our roles are reversed. Holly and her husband live in Northern California, and Kevin and I live in Southern California. I am leaf and Fall deprived this time. But on Saturday, Kev and I drove up, into a world of dripping and painted with hues so rich and deep my heart felt so right and just alive. 

This was our walk. Through the trees. Happy Tuesday sweet ones…

Yard Sale Style: A litte country

Friday, November 14

TGIF, right? {whenever I say that expression, I still think of Full House, Family Matters, and Boy Meets World! anyone else?} This week was crazy for me, but filled with so many new adventures. Regardless, i'm glad it's the weekend!

I'm actually headed up to visit my family this weekend, and it feels so right. I grew up in an adorable community nestled in Northern California, with a beautiful park running through it, a gorgeous brick university bubbling with students and energy, and a tight-knit community. Growing up, all I wanted was to break free from our little town and see the world. I always swore up and down i'd never move back, but now i'm pinning to park myself back in this sweet place. It's funny how God gives new eyes for old places.

My parents have this gorgeous home, and my favorite feature is the fire place. At night, when it's cold and blustery outside, the fire roars on, and my mom {who is a hosting queen} makes a yummy dinner and we sit long and talk much. So much laughter. So needless to say, i'm looking forward to a weekend home. I'm also getting to stay with one of my best friends from college, and she's planning a dinner with a bunch of college friends I haven't seen in a while. Oh man, I love reunions!!

Last Saturday my friend Diana came yard sailing with me. We hit the jackpot friends. I know I say that every week, but this week was especially good! I found the most adorable shirts and dresses (A few unique tops from Urban Outfitters and Anthropolgie for the win!!), and have worn one almost every day this week! This dress is from American Rag, and I got it for $1. The earrings were $1, and the purse I got for $3~ hooray!

Hope your weekend is full of joy and rest, just a like a good weekend should be!

Happy Friday!!