Valerie Jones

{Live with Purpose. Lead with Passion.}

I am a blogger, worship leader, and speaker who helps worship leaders and team members connect with purpose and passion in life and leadership by offering encouragement, community, and practical resources so that they can thrive in life and leadership, both on and off the platform.

Thanks for stopping by!

{Five Minute Friday | Collect}

Yesterday was Five Minute Friday. That means unplanned, unedited, straight-from-the-heart-to-the-paper writing. Yep, you just write whatever comes out based on a word you're given. I'm a day late to the party, but I made it! If you have five minutes, you should give it a try!  Find out how here.

This week the prompt is {COLLECT}.

Ready? GO.

I came into my bedroom and found a pile of random papers, books, and pictures on the floor beside my bed. Sitting just off to the side was my ever-curious daughter playing with a few items that she chose when she rummaged through the drawer of my bedside table. She had a coin purse or pouch, a small notebook, an ink pen, and a satin ribbon. I sent her off with her treasures so I could clean up the mess. I did what anyone would do. I tried to shove it all back into the drawer. It barely fit. And, the drawer wouldn't close.

Somehow over the years, I collected all these things in the drawer that I didn't even know I had. As I sorted through it, I found some treasures. I also found lots of junk. I'm sure I started collecting things in the drawer with well-meaning intention. Eventually, I decided it was a good place to stuff cough drop wrappers and broken pencils. The good stuff buried among the not-so-good. I rarely opened the drawer far enough to see what was happening. I certainly couldn't see the good things buried in the mess. So, what was meant to be a collection of treasures turned into a collection of this and that. But, when I found those things in the drawer that I wanted, that I kept on purpose, well, you know . . .it's good for the soul to remember the sweet moments those treasures represented.

There have been seasons of my life that mirror the same thing that happened with that drawer. Days cluttered with dirty laundry, too many bills and not enough money, lost friendships, betrayal, heartache. The drawer of my heart and mind crammed full. God taught me a valuable lesson in those seasons. He showed me how to find and collect the life-giving moments in the midst of the mess. You know the kind. Those moments meant to be cherished. The ones where you find joy and hope. Contentment. Yes. And you can breathe. When you let Him show you how to do that, you learn to close the drawer in your heart and mind to the things that aren't so good and only collect and keep the things that matter. It makes a world of difference.

Scripture lays it out for us. I love how Eugene Peterson paraphrased it in The Message. 

"Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies. "  Philippians 4: 8

Yes, do that.