Why I’m Marking Things in Green

August 2, 2010 | 34 comments

We’re the last ones out the doorway that passes under the white steeple, and my Favorite Farmer turns the key on another Sunday.

The girls click seatbelts, ask for TobyMac’s “Funky Jesus Music” on the way home, and we crank it to Volume Max. We’re living in the glow of the Gospel.

And when you’ve been filled heapin’ full by the Spirit, you can’t help but wear broad smiles and sing it loud and trade fist-bumps and high-fives.

We drive past cornfields, with tassles stretching higher than anyone around here can remember. We steer the van into the driveway, and unload the Bibles and the half-full Gatorade bottles and the stray toys that rolled under the seats.

Bellies are growling, and I open the refrigerator, to find that the last two shelves are heaped high with sweet corn. We moms tell our children that their eyes must be bigger than their stomachsbut maybe mine are, too?

And that’s when it happens. In the cold air of an open refrigerator, I’m once again struck by the abundance that is my life. And here in this space, I’ve marked just a bit of it in green: the food and the fields and the family and the fellowship. The two-car garage, and a van to park inside of it. A church and our Bibles and no fear of going thirsty or hungry. (And we even leave the Gatorade bottles half-full.)

Because water and Water — and bread and Bread — are always in abundance here.

We could live for months on the food stored in our cupboards and freezers. And the Real Food? It is in abundance, too, readily available in leather-bound covers and gold-lined pages that tell the story of a fallen people and a great Redeemer. But how often do I walk right past it, because I think I’ve had my fill???

And this is what God’s Word does. It comforts, yes. And it instructs, of course.

But it also convicts. And rightly so.

My favorite farmer locked the door on another Sunday, but not without the Word sneaking past glass doors to lodge into the heart. As it should …

We heard the Bible story of another farmer, who produced a good crop. He had nowhere to store his crops, so he decided to tear down his barns and build bigger ones. And the farmer would say to himself: “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”

And I ask myself: “Do I store things up for myself, or am I rich toward God?”

***

The phone rings, and it’s the neighbors. Would we like to join them for supper?

We say, yes, we’ll bring the corn. And they’ll serve the hamburgers. And some friends in town will bring a cucumber salad.

Because this is what we ought to always do with the abundance: share.

***

We have much — and not just the stuff crowding the shelves. We’ve been lavished with the Good News. What am I going to do with these riches? Am I just going to fist-bump the girls as we sing TobyMac, and call it good?

We have a feast. We want to share.

Father, show us how…

Related: This one made me think: Over at The High Calling today, Douglas Hicks, author of Money Enough, challenged readers to consider abundance and true happiness. You can find his story by clicking here.

by | August 2, 2010 | 34 comments

34 Comments

  1. Red Letter Believers

    JDL….Have you read, "the Hole in the Gospel" yet? Wow. It will change your outlook and your life.

    I had some immigrant friends from Guatamala who told me the most amazing thing to them was making a trip to the grocery story. Selection. Freshness. Beauty.

    He cried the first time he walked into Safeway

    Reply
  2. Elisabeth LaMouria

    Great as ever – your words are always an uplifting to my heart. Thank you. I too just wrote about the overflow of my heart and the blessings that God has poured upon my family in the last couple of years. It's been a tough road, and He has been faithful as always. He is so amazing!
    God bless!
    -The Lean Green Mommy Machine

    Reply
  3. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    David, Yes, I have read that book. And I think you might have been the one who recommended it to me. Very convicting. And I read it — of all places — at a lush resort in Cancun this winter. Ugh … That book's message sticks with me. And that's a good thing.

    Elisabeth — I'll head over to read about your blessings. Thanks for stopping by!

    Reply
  4. A Simple Country Girl

    Oh sweet love words of Jesus were tasted here this Sunday as well.

    And that corn? Care to share? Do you ever eat it raw–right off the cob? We drip corn juice down chins, reminiscent of baby's milk-stained nursing mouth. (Ya know, corn land in Nebraska evades barely us, but we still wear the red t-shirts–come by & see.)

    Blessings.

    Reply
  5. alicia

    Great reminder, Jennifer. Thank you so much for sharing your words with us!

    Reply
  6. jasonS

    Love this post Jennifer. The blessings and abundance, whether material or spiritual, are there to be shared. It is for freedom He set us free. Thank you for the wonderful, well-written reminder.

    Reply
  7. Rebecca Ramsey

    Beautiful!
    Whenever I have the urge to hold tight to my blessings, I need to remember how good sharing feels! And tastes!
    It really does make life more delicious!

    Reply
  8. Linda

    I needed to hear this today Jennifer. I'm having one of those days where I'm focused on the negative and walking right past the abundance.
    Thank you for this. I'm going to go do the Gratitude Post I thought I would pass on today!

    Reply
  9. Beth E.

    Love this post, Jennifer. Despite the difficult time my family is going through, I do thank God for the abundance in our lives…physically and spiritually.

    And, might I add…that corn looks absolutely delicious! :-9

    Reply
  10. Linda

    I wrote my Gratitude post and added a link to your post here Jennifer. You spoke to my heart today!

    Reply
  11. sketchesofacommonlife.com

    thanks for the reminder

    Reply
  12. Missie

    you have such an amazing view on life

    Reply
  13. Karen

    So very good…blessed again!

    Reply
  14. Amy Sullivan

    I love that you used the words "fist bump". I always thought it was "fist pump"…I'm so not cool.

    I loved your pictures. I love how you can make corn look beautiful.

    Reply
  15. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Hey Amy!

    You make me laugh.

    I think there are fist-bumps AND fist-pumps.

    Fist-bump (n): The knuckle to knuckle version of a high five.

    A fist-pump — I think — is that sweaty fist in the air, like after winning the Boston Marathon or something cool. 🙂

    Or, at least I think …

    Oh, who knows? I'm such a dork. Can someone cooler than me please clarify? Is this accurate?

    Reply
  16. Connie

    I love how GOD blesses with a word, an insight, some food or money, then doesn't let us sit long before we're called on to share.

    Hold all things in this life with an open hand. Thank you for the lovely reminder Jennifer.

    Reply
  17. Ann Voskamp @Holy Experience

    You words help me to remember, friend….

    How I appreciate you…

    All's grace,
    Ann

    Reply
  18. Lyla Lindquist

    I hate to jump in here, because you prefaced this by requiring that the clarifying party be cooler than you. That, I will never be.

    But since I'm also pretty sure that nobody fits the bill as "cooler than Jennifer Dukes Lee," I'll give it a shot.

    Fist bump is correct for the fist-to-fist gesture. You might recall then-candidate Obama and Mrs. employing the gesture during the presidential campaign, followed immediately by claims from certain circles that this "terrorist fist jab" was further evidence of questionable ties.

    Not that you wanted to turn your comment box into a political forum. I just did that because I'm no much not cooler than you and I need to get attention somehow. 🙂

    Reply
  19. Lyla Lindquist

    And also because I'm not cool I have to double comment to correct my errors.

    Should read "so much not cooler."

    Perhaps now would be a good time to discuss the meaning of res ipsa loquitur.

    Reply
  20. Nathan

    Awesome Post!!

    Thanks again for sharing!

    Reply
  21. Nathan

    … I also have to add my 2 cents on the issue of the fist pump…

    Not that i'm claiming to be cooler than anyone else so here's my shot…

    fist pump (verb) the action of raising ones fist and pumping like at an event such as a rock concert!

    Ok, so i've definitely secured my place as one of the "non-cool" LOL

    Reply
  22. Lyla Lindquist

    But Nathan, does the fist have to be sweaty to qualify as a "fist pump"?

    Reply
  23. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Lyla,

    I think there has to be at least SOME sweat involved in a fist pump, or it's really not a fist pump at all. A non-sweaty fist pump would be the athlete's equivalent of a princess wave in a parade.

    Sweat: A must-have for the fist pump.

    Reply
  24. Angel

    I wish we were neighbors! I'd love to share a meal with you but I'm glad I get to dine at your table of words. I am grateful for that gift. Speaking of gifts, check out my post today at http://FindingTheInspiring.blogspot.com – I'm excited to celebrate my blog's first birthday and would love to share it with you.

    Reply
  25. Lyla Lindquist

    So then, just one more reason I can't be cool.

    The whole bodily fluids thing as part of a celebratory moment pretty well rules me out.

    🙂

    Reply
  26. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    I was fairly certain that might trouble you, Lyla.

    😉

    You're still cool in my book. (And we'll just stick to fist-bumps instead of fist-pumps.)

    Reply
  27. JC Dude

    Sharing is at the heart of the Gospel and with our Lord…thanks for sharing your heart!

    Reply
  28. Graceful

    I am thinking a lot on this topic of abundance — over-abundance, really — lately. And you hone in on the essence of it all so well here, Jennifer.

    I see David's comment about The Hole in Our Gospel, by Richard Stearns. I am doing a five-post series on Thursdays on my blog about my experience reading that book — it is truly changing my life, although I don't know for sure yet what the outcome will be. Check out Stearns' book if you haven't read it. Convicting is an understatement.

    Reply
  29. Graceful

    Oh…I just now saw your comment that you have read Stearns' book — ignore my previous suggestion! : )

    Reply
  30. Jennifer @ Getting Down With Jesus

    Michelle, Yes, the book is life-altering. I can't go a day or two without remembering something from that book.

    Reply
  31. richelle jean

    so nice to find another sister in Christ! and MMMMM i loveee corn!!!

    Reply
  32. amat

    hello…nice info..

    Reply
  33. shrinkingthecamel.com

    Sharing. Something so simple, so godly, yet so often we walk right past it.

    Thanks for the colorful, even festive, reminder.

    Reply
  34. Billy Coffey

    Your words always encourage me, Jennifer. We get so we can give.

    Reply

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