Random, Writing

Someday…or Today?

I read a devotion by Shauna Niequist today. In it, she referred to how the word ‘someday’ can be seductive…

We can tell ourselves that someday we will get in shape, someday we will spend quality time with the kids, someday we will seek out our dream job, someday we will do ‘XYZ’.

Unfortunately, all too often, our ‘someday’ turns into never.

I didn’t want to write this post today. I wrote one yesterday and thought to myself, ‘eh, that’s good enough for now.’ When I read Shauna’s words, I knew I needed to put pen to paper (or words on a screen).

See, I’ve been wanting to do this writer thing for a while. And yes, I can technically call myself a writer because, well, I write…but I want to step up my game.

Here are all of the things I have ‘in the works’ right now that should be helping me up my game:

  • I am enrolled in an online writing class, with an author/teacher who is an incredible writer.
  • I am involved in several Facebook groups for writers.
  • I have multiple writing books on my bookshelves.
  • I have the encouragement of my kiddos and those closest to me.

While this is not an exhaustive list — it holds the most important list items.

And yet, I still struggle to make this appointment with my laptop to write and bleed words…

What about you? What are you putting off for ‘someday’? How can I encourage you to keep your appointment with whatever your goal is? Let’s do this today…and let’s do it together.

His Word, Kids/Parenting, Random

Hands…

Hands

I once read that things are different in the hands of different people.

For example, a paintbrush is much different when in the hands of Monet versus a child.

A basketball is much different in the hands of Michael Jordan than those of Babe Ruth.

A piano sounds much different when played by the hands of Mozart than when played by the hands of a first year piano student.

Clay turns out to be something much more inspired when molded by Leonardo da Vinci than when turned and shaped by a college student in an elective course.

One of the best examples I can think of to illustrate this is with the two fish and the five loaves of bread.

In Luke 9, there was a crowd of people surrounding Jesus and His disciples waiting and yearning to be taught. But, as Jesus repeatedly taught us, we need to meet people where they are before attempting to minister the Word of God to them.

This crowd was hungry, so Jesus told His disciples, “You give them something to eat.”

They replied, “We only have five loaves of bread and two fish-unless we go and buy food for all this crowd.”

If you are familiar with the story, you know that Jesus takes the bread and the fish, and, “looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke them.”

The story further goes on to tell us that everyone ate to their satisfaction and there was still plenty that was left over.

Two fish and five loaves of bread go much further when in the hands of Jesus than when in the hands of His disciples.

When I apply this to my life, I realize that my circumstances, my children, my blessings, my challenges are all different in my hands than in the hands of others. While I may long for an easier road, or different blessings, I realize that God can’t accomplish what He wants to in me and through me without giving me what is in my hands.

Only I can prepare my children for the life God has for them; no other mother could do that. Only I can share with others my struggles as a single parent and give them hope that they, too, will come out on the other side – and stronger for it.

Only my words will breathe life into an experience I’ve lived; one that will deeply move and touch the heart of another.

So, friends, on this day, instead of looking at your situation and wondering why this is the hand that God has dealt you, thank Him that He chose you for this great work. Work that only you and your hands can accomplish for His greater purpose.

Random, Soul Relationships

Dreaming…

The smell of coffee brewed by you even though you don’t drink it…just for me.

The cool, crisp, evening autumn air we enjoy on your patio.

The sounds of our silly girls laughing.

Your hand to hold late at night.

Watching you help him on the many 4-H projects to come.

The cookouts in your backyard.

The early morning sunrises enjoyed together.

Lounging on the couch together…reading or watching the latest DIY shows.

The country concerts in the dead of summer.

Sledding and snow men with all of the kids.

Shared meals around a table.

Late night pillow talks.

Early morning pillow talks.

Dreaming, laughing, loving…together.

His Word, Random

Sorry

Beauty

I’m tired…of trying to prove my worth and value to someone who refuses to see it…

I’m done waiting for you to acknowledge the gift that I am…

One day, someone will come along who treasures and cherishes the heart of mine that I will freely give…

I’m sorry that you can’t see the woman who stood before you, with all of the care and unconditional love that one person could offer…

See, this? This is not what I want my daughter to witness. I don’t want her to see me not valuing myself for who God made me to be…

I want her to see a strong, confident woman who knows she has her Father’s love and acceptance…no questions asked.

I’m sorry I expected more of you than you were willing or capable of giving…

I’m sorry that I thought – based on your words and actions – that we were on the same page…

I’m sorry that you can’t see past my exterior to my inner heart and soul…the part of me that loves with every. ounce. of. my. being.

I’m sorry that you feel like, because you’ve been hurt before – no wait, that’s not strong enough – you’ve had your world rocked to the core – you’ve had the bottom fall out on you – you’ve been crushed – devastated – destroyed – and you’re trying to put yourself back together by yourself…see, that’s not for you to do – that’s all God.

I’m sorry you feel you can’t trust and no one is there for you or strong enough to love you through the rough times…or to help you put the pieces back together again.

I’m most sorry that you don’t have the strength to open up – to allow someone in – to be brave and courageous to love again.

Because you see, that’s what life is truly about…loving and being loved…

I’m sorry – no, actually, I’m not – that I need to move on – I need to close our door – this chapter of my life.

See, I’m not honoring God by continuing to hold onto something He has removed from my life. He can close doors no man can open and open doors no man can close.

 

His Word, Random

Unacknowledged

Lewis Carroll said it best, “One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others.”

Have you ever done something for someone that you felt they really needed? That you felt you would appreciate if you were in the same circumstances?

Have you ever given them encouraging words when you knew times were tough for them?

These may have been things that weren’t really extraordinary for you, but you hoped that something you said or did made a difference in their life.

Recently, I offered encouraging, life-giving words to someone I knew was struggling. I could feel it in my soul, before they even shared what was going on, that they were going through a rough time. God laid them heavy on my heart. And I responded by lifting them up in prayer to Him.

I felt good about doing this. I felt like I had made a difference. I felt that they appreciated my uplifting words.

Until they weren’t acknowledged.

Then I began to feel all yucky inside. I began to feel inadequate…less than…not good enough…

This really made me start thinking about why we do things for others. And why others do things for us.

Recently, a friend of mine toted me and my kids to the ER when I was feeling terrible. I knew I couldn’t drive myself. I was in a position that I desperately needed her help. I think about how she had to rearrange her schedule to do this. I think about how she did it so selflessly and without complaint.

This same friend is picking up my son to take him to a 4-H meeting tonight because my daughter came home from school not feeling well.

I have another friend that has taken both of my kids on fun outings because she wants them to go. Or because I had something to do.

In turn, I’ve kept one of her kids for her because she had something to do.

My point is, this is what we do…we help each other out…we encourage and love and lift each other up in prayer and do for one another because God never intended us to live in solidarity. He made us to be relational beings. We were made to be in relationships with one another.

It takes a village, people. No matter if there are two adults in the household or just one – as in my case – we all need each other.

Proverbs 18:24 tells us that, “There are ‘friends’ who destroy each other, but a real friend sticks closer than a brother.”

We read in 1 John 4:21 that, “…Those who love God must also love their Christian brothers and sisters.”

Jesus tells us in Luke 6:29 that if someone wants our coat, we are to offer them our shirt too. Meaning, we are to withhold nothing from our brothers and sisters.

Someone once said, “If you give and regret the giving, your heart will be as empty as your hands.”

I say all of this to come to this point…it’s not my responsibility how people react to what I do for them. Just like I tell my kids all of the time, you have no control over anything anyone else says or does. The only things you can control are your actions and your words.

God doesn’t expect me to concern myself with how the other person responds to how I treat them. God wants me to be concerned with obeying Him and stepping out in faith and love to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I’m to come when He calls. I’m to pray when He places a burden on my heart for someone. I’m to give when I’m led to give. That’s where my responsibility ends.

How I react when He calls me out is what I will have to give an account for. Nothing more. Nothing less. Was I obedient to Him when He called me?