It’s been a bit of bad news lately, but here is something that makes me smile. I’m sharing it with you because

  • it’s beautiful and a captivating illustration of the Bible study I shared with hundreds of wonderful friends in Kentucky
  • sometimes a picture is worth one million words I would use to describe my new book, Inspired.
  • the creativity here! It captures my urging to you: give yourself grace to make new things!
  • an intern from my publishing house drew it and I’m so honored that she took the time.

Here’s a Handy Description of What’s Going On in the Illustration

The Story of the Lost Luggage: The airplane symbolizes the story I told about my lost luggage. This happened while I was stranded in Chicago on my way to the convention where I was speaking.

Actually, there were quite a few of us who were stuck in O’Hare without our bags. The airline it would take three hours to get our luggage. “That would be midnight!” we all complained. It wasn’t midnight. At two in the morning, we still didn’t have our luggage and each of us was wallowing in bitter disappointment–and very dirty clothes.

This is a little what life has felt like this past year. So much loss. Everyone waiting & fighting. The hours outside that baggage carousel were like that, covered with self-pity, deep bitterness, and raging fear–and that was just me. :0

Except! There was potential for something else in the midst of all that disappointment. There was also deeper peace and electrifying hope that Jesus shared with His disciples (and us) when He announced the Holy Spirit was coming in John 14:27. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Live like this. Be confident of the deeper peace through Christ. Don’t be troubled by the hard times of this day and this life, but be confident that God’s grace will cover everything. Most of all, know you are empowered by the Holy Spirit to live differently than this world. Even when you’re sitting on the dirty floor of O’Hare airport at two in the morning.

Spiritually Hangry: That’s the low-grade frustration we all feel when we’re feeding the wrong parts of ourselves. Being spiritually hangry shows up as irritation, despair, anger, and hustle. This is the opposite of deep peace, and definitely the opposite of living an inspired life. Because we are spiritual beings and need connection with God. He designed us to live close to Him. When we don’t, we suffer, dear friends.

I absolutely sense I’m missing this when I’m expecting more money or success of experiences to give me peace and hope. Actually, what I’m looking for only comes from faith that I belong to God and He loves me.

The Four Habits: Do less of what makes you feel frantic and more of what connects you to the deeper truth of God’s love. Daily Bible study, intentional prayer, gratitude & praise to God, and spiritual kindness to all (especially yourself). These are the daily habits in Inspired. Live like this, Jesus told us. It’s different than the world and it’s everything.

You Crave Deeper Peace: The cover of Inspired features a dove and I love this image because of its reminder of peace. Stay grounded here, dear friends. More than anything else, trust that a life in Christ covers your life with the security of knowing who you and whose you are.

Thanks to Nora, the artist, for creating this beautiful illustration. It’s been such a gift to me–and I hope it is to you as well.

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