Friday, May 29, 2015

On Showing Up



I was cooking dinner with a dozen different, semi-related, thoughts running through my head. I stood over the stove, fork in hand, turning bacon and trying not to get grease all over everything.

My thoughts felt scattered and disconnected. Over and over I went back to the story of Jesus telling the disciple to throw their nets over the side of the boat.

I am horrible at remembering details so as the bacon drained I pulled up Bible Gate way to search for the story. Turns out there are two similar stories recounting two separate events.

The first one is Luke 5. After fishing all night Simon is told to go put his nets into the deep water. Despite having nothing to show for a long nights work, Simon did as he was told and ended up with so many fish he had to call for help pulling them in.

The second story takes place after Jesus is resurrected. After all the miracles and amazing things they saw at his side, Christ's disciples have gone back to fishing. Again they have caught nothing when Jesus tells them to put their nets on the other side of the boat. And again the take is to plentiful the nets almost break.

I stand back at my kitchen counter assembling BLTS (or rather BLs for the girls and I and a BLT for Josh) thinking about these men. Things weren't really going their way. Work was rough, and unfruitful. They had put in hours and hours of labor and saw literally NO return. It would have been really easy for these guys to have called it quits. What would have been the harm in calling things early? The fish weren't biting. Why not clock out and catch a few extra minutes of sleep? But they didn't do that. They were faithful. Even when things seemed pointless they showed up. And as a result they saw miracles, but beyond that, they saw Jesus.

Showing up when things are going well is easy.
People want to be part of something big.
As a church it's easy to show up when babies or born,
when the church is putting on a big out reach event,
when funds are being raised after a natural disaster.

It is easy to show up when God is clearly moving and there is revival.

It's a lot harder to show up to serve in nursery,
to clean the toilets,
to mop floors,
to fold laundry.

We all want to be part of the harvest. But being part of the planting isn't as glamorous.

My daughter wants to read her princess books, but doing sight word flash cards is boring.

I want to have deeper community with the body, but chasing a toddler around at prayer can leave me feeling frazzled.

I want to be close to my husband, but the to do list is long and by the end of the day I am too tired to spend real time with him.

I want to be closer to God, but I struggle to make time to open my Bible daily when I feel like He is silent.

I think about those fishermen and their faithfulness. I think about them showing up in the mundane every day. I think about what they would have missed out on if they hadn't.

I think about where God is asking me to show up. Not in the big ways. The conferences, the out reaches, the dates nights, and the school programs.

But the small things. The letter written, the meal cooked, the home work finished, the questions asked, the verses read, the hug given.

I think about what I a might have missed by not showing up.... and what might be in store if I do.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Changing Seasons.

It has been pretty quite on here. Not unusual I know. But it seems like a very long time since I have been here. Five months to be exact. It doesn't feel quite that long, but dates don't lie. The last time I shared here we hadn't even had snow yet. And now we are in the middle of a heat wave. We have already hit 90 a few times this spring and we are due for a few more 90 degree days in the next week.

When I sat down at the start of the year one of my few goals was to write more. Granted this is always a goal of mine but I had a slightly more concrete goals this time. Write a rough draft in 2015 and grow readership here so when I finally go to a publisher I have a decent size platform to present.  (You can read about my 2015 goals here.)



Best laid plans and all that.

There are a lot of reasons it has been silent here.

* In February and even a bit of March we had a number of heavy snows that kept my kids out of school for nearly three weeks. Not a whole lot gets done when you have three stir crazy kids stuck inside all day.



* I forgot how absolutely crazy toddles are. Tacy is in that into everything stage. She is amazing and wonderful but doesn't leave me a ton of time to sit and write. If she isn't into the toilet bowl she in the cat food and if she isn't in the cat food she is in my lap informing me that she "Wana bye bye." My family demands (rightfully so) to be my first priority. In this season and in every season to come they have to be what I think of first. Even if I some how manage to achieve my goal of being published and have the chance to do things beyond my current reach, to be the kind of writer and woman I want to be I cannot let go of that. Too many writers now become successful and as a result can no longer write about every day life with any sense of genuineness because their every day life looks NOTHING like that of their readers. Lord willing I want to write in such a way that allows other woman's souls to say "YES! Me to!"



* God has been calling me to other things. He has been showing me small ways to serve and minister to other's in His name.(You can read about that here.) In some ways this is hard. While I love what He has been calling me to do and know with out a doubt He using me, I ache for something bigger.  And yet, isn't that the very point of my writing? That God uses us right where we are, in our life stage, with our gifts. That living out the great commission doesn't require this big crazy extreme life. That a quite life in the suburbs can have as big an impact for the kingdom as one spent in an orphanage in a third world country.

* And so I find myself living with a tension of peace and desire. Peace with knowing I am serving how and where He has called me. Desire to minister and share and encourage on a bigger scale. Not always knowing how to share both of these sides with genuineness and transparency. Not wanting to preach contentment and being used where you are at, while my heart pines for something bigger. Not wanting to share about my desires and dreams for bigger things, when I think that in many ways this notion of doing "big things for God" has bred a generation disillusioned with the path God has placed them on.



* So that leaves me here. May 27th with only a few pages and a hand full of blog posts written toward my goal. Seasons are changing here. From summer to spring and perhaps the season of silence is coming to and end it is time for me to write again. Only this time I am reminded that seasons don't always come the way would expect. Spring here was all over the place. Sunny and 85 degrees on a Monday and rainy and 55 degrees the following Saturday. We can't always predict what the weather will be. This season of writing may not look like what I expected. Leaps and bounds, pages at a time, readership growing. Living out the great commission right where you are means knowing when it is a season to sit on the sofa with your kids, and when it is a season to push yourself and pursue opportunities God is giving you. Even if they don't look like what you would expect.



Here is to the next season. Whatever it may be.