up, in, and out

we have a little tool in our church community that helps us live balanced, productive lives.

its called up, in, and out.

when you observe the life of Jesus, you will notice that he invested his time into 3 really important areas.

1. he was very relational with the Father. he was always getting away from the crowd to talk with the Father. his eyes were always looking to heaven. (up)

2. out of his relationship with the Father, flowed a love for people. a love for his disciples, a love for his community.  he spent time loving and taking care of his community.(in)

3. he took his disciples, with that love, and showed them how to tell others, outside of their community, who the Father was. (out)

if we were to look at our lives through that lens, would we find balance in all three?

we use the shape of a triangle to gauge how balanced we are in all of these. to live in balance of the three is pretty fruitful. i find that it produces peace and joy. when things aren’t working that well, its usually because there isn’t a balance of the three.

when i was taught this triangle i was pretty baffled at how off-balanced i was. i was all up and a little bit of in….and no out.

trying to create balance in all three has been entirely life-giving for my family. as an example, i might step back and look at this week.

up: 4-6 days a week i’m waking up early and spending time a lone with God.

in: small group on sunday, community prayer wednesday night,

out: ??

no out.

so sunday we are taking some friends and going to kansas city, ks to paint over some graffiti in one of the friend’s neighborhoods.

it doesn’t have to be fancy. it just has to be a step. painting over graffiti is really simple. its not that grand, but maybe it might speak something to the neighborhood. maybe it might be speak hope, protection, and community. and maybe those things might point to God. and perhaps doing things for people might speak way more than words ever could.

we can be entirely creative with outs.

  • take some friends and go to a restaurant. look around and see if there might be anyone there that pulls at your heart. go pay for their meal
  • mow a neighbors lawn
  • offer to watch someone’s kids one evening
  • make dinner for a friend who might be hurting or experiencing loss
  • buy someone flowers
  • write someone a note
  • pray for someone
  • donate clothing or canned goods to a shelter
  • volunteer at a soup kitchen
think about our lives. what would be a small step to gain balance?? and you don’t have to do any of these alone. bring people into your journey. i love the thought of painting over graffiti with my daughter and my husband.

please don’t take this as a pious, “i’m so spiritual and balanced” type thing….because i really am anything but balanced yet. this has just simply, been a tool that my squirrely, little family has desperately needed.

its simple and huge all at the same time. so i thought i would share it.

you know when you aren’t getting enough water, your body will crave sugar or carbs? maybe it just craves food period. when in all actuality, your body needs water?
i feel that way about my life when it comes to balance.
i tend to let the media and the world tell me that i’m deprived.
that i need things i really don’t. you know?
like i’ll watch a victoria secret commercial or i’ll flip and flip through etsy, or click through shopruch.com and have a long list of things i desperately need to purchase. subconsciously, i feel insecure, and i start making a list of things to”help myself out”.
but in all actuality,
i really have plenty. i don’t need to go buy two hundred dollar jeans. i don’t really need to buy what i’m tempted to feel like i momentarily “need.”
i really just need to be with the Lord, be in community, and give to others. because i truly can afford it, contrary to what commercials might suggest.
and don’t get me wrong. i love buying. and i won’t stop looking for bargains and buying new clothes. or stop saving up for an expensive pair of jeans that will last for a long time. HOWEVER, i will stop and examine my longings to see what i really need, what my soul is really longing for. we were created in the image of God, and whether we realize it or not, we are longing to live like Jesus lived. we really want to give. we don’t really want to be off balanced-obsessive consumers. we have the imprint of God on our hearts and we will always ache until we live life balanced.


2 thoughts on “up, in, and out

  1. Oh dear friend – you said it so well. Wish I could paint graffiti with you all, but I’m having fun starting to dream how to pass on these wonderful shapes to my world here.

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