Living Freely and Lightly

Living Freely and Lightly

DAY 1 OF 5

Accepting Jesus’s Invitation to a More Abundant Life

It’s funny how certain phrases and names can stick so firmly, isn’t it? I can barely remember what we did last weekend, but I will never forget the words of my sixth-grade teacher: “Emily, lighten up.” My face blushed red, and I turned so no one would see my tears. I was embarrassed and felt scolded and ashamed that I had disappointed my favorite teacher with my overly serious, overly perfectionist, overly concerned-with-what-others-think-of-me ways.

Lighten up.

I don’t think he meant anything mean; he was completely accurate in identifying my need to chill out. But it hurt because it collided head-on with what I was leaning on to prove that I was enough. Here’s the thing: When you feel like your value is based on what you do and how well you do it, everything becomes really important, and you will do all you can to make sure everything is done just how you think it ought to be done or how you think it’s expected to be done. Your identity is at stake!

But what if this isn’t actually true? (Hint: It isn’t true!). Instead of informing the questions of our value with our behaviors and outward actions or listening only to what our society or family or we say about ourselves, what if we believed what God says about us? What if we take my teacher’s advice and lighten up?

The weight of pleasing others is too heavy. The burden of trying to prove yourself worthy is too much. It’s tiring to hustle for significance, exhausting to be bossed around by insecurity, and no matter how hard you try, eventually self-effort will fail to satisfy. I know that’s not very good news, but this is: Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28). Or, in other words, “My child, lighten up.”

Because of Jesus, you can remove from your shoulders the weight of other people’s approval and instead tune your ears and focus your eyes on what God says about you and how he would have you live. Can you imagine moving through your day with the confidence of knowing that who you are in Christ is enough and never too much? Knowing deep down that you are okay not because of anything you do or do not do but because a good, kind, merciful God looks at you with tenderness through the sacrifice of Jesus on your behalf? What a gift!

Together, we will explore four invitations Jesus offers to lead us into the abundant life he has planned for us.

Jesus invites you to recover your life as you recognize your need for a new way of living.

He invites you to take a real rest as you open your hands to surrender the things that are keeping you bound.

You are invited to learn his unforced rhythms of grace as you get to know his true character, and in turn, your own.

He invites you to live freely and lightly, finding deep peace and satisfaction as you offer your gifts to the world in your own unique way.

I pray this will be a delightful place to take a breath—a deep and sacred place to hear the Holy Spirit whisper his love to you and a practical tool for exploration into the abundant life Jesus has for you.

About this Plan

Living Freely and Lightly

If the direction of your life is leading you away from peace, contentment, and true fulfillment, you will breathe a sigh of hope when you hear this holy and gentle invitation from Jesus: “Come to me… Keep company with me...

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