My hands freeze above keys.
I avoid even trying, because there is so much.
Maybe bullet points?
Maybe… a time line of sorts; something going through the last 6 months in a factual, concise way?
Ha! Concise? Riiigghht. That's me. *wink*
I know if I actually try to do this, to write it all and pick up blogging like I used to, It's likely going to be sloppy, overly wordy, emotional, and well, just long.
But this is me. Part of that knitting together of who I am.
I take a stand that our first ministry is always to our immediate family. God gave them to us for a purpose, and I refuse to neglect them by thinking that "bigger and better things" need me. There is a lie that can seep right in, which tells us that we need to be "in ministry" beyond our families in order to make a difference.
For the past several years there was an intuitive knowing of what my limits needed to be. At times I was very distracted by all of the things that cried out for my attention, and finding that intuition and wisdom was difficult. God impressed it upon my heart to guard my time with my family. To guard how much we got involved in. We still desired to be used by God, and we plugged in where He led. Mostly he led us to a sweet boy with special needs, a second born who needed much direction, a sensitive little Noe bean, and a baby boy.
We taught Sunday school, Dave served with his technical talents on power point and sound tech ministries, and I volunteered at the pregnancy center for a few hours each week.
And I learned to say "no". Alot.
For any mom with small children, I would highly encourage you to learn the art of saying "yes" to God, and "no" to too much. Saying no is hard and can be guilt inducing. As long as you are obeying God, there will be times when saying no is imperative.
Fast forward to our 2012.
I am no longer the mama to many babies.
No longer pregnant, nursing, littles all around, all day, every day.
Instead I am now the mom of 3 school aged children, and one 3 year old. This transition did sneak up on me a bit, and I still have to remind myself that I am not who I was 3, 4, and 5 years ago.
And God said, "okay, now say yes."
And I was all, "huh??"
And He impressed on my heart, that this is simply the year of "yes" for us.
Yes, we will still guard our family time.
Yes, they will know that they are gifts given to us from God. They are the measure of how faithful we will be with the goodness God bestows.
Yes, we will mentor, yes, we will give a ride to the guy who finds himself on our front deck after a night of partying too much, yes, we will teach Sunday school, yes, we will lead two Bible studies, yes we will teach the 3rd through 6th graders on Wednesday nights, yes, we will begin a prayer group on Saturday nights, yes, we will continue to volunteer at the pregnancy center in all ways in which we see needs, yes, we will be involved in video ministry at our church, yes, we will stop what we are doing and meet needs wherever we are at, yes, we will be involved in a small group, yes, we will start and run a business,
yes, we will work,
Like never before.
I was shocked really. Because saying "yes" to all of that went against where I had taken such a strong stand, just a short time ago! I kept asking, "are you sure? Won't we be running ourselves into the ground? Is this okay? Are we going to make it? Will our family be intact? Our marriage?"
There it was.
In the midst of what can only be described as "constant" - there was this beautiful peace.
In a soul quiet kind of a way.
And our marriage…
Never have we been so much on the same page as we are right now.
Because suddenly, it isn't about us.
God is doing this work, and it's oh-so-much-bigger than us.
I used to think that being fulfilled in marriage meant alot of time alone together. Just us. Focusing on…. us. And by us, I pretty much mean me.
But when we are serving together, I find a greater sense of fulfillment than I ever knew.
I catch his eye across a room, where we are working with kids, or helping in a worship service, or volunteering in the community, and there is that knowing.
Yes! You were brought together for this. To make more of an impact together than you did alone. To unite for God, not for your own fulfillment.
And so we say yes.
And sometimes we mess up. Sometimes we still do too much. Sometimes we misunderstand and we think that we are actually doing pretty good, and that we are the ones accomplishing things and that it is in our strength we are doing them. And then we fall down.
And we are learning that while we are down there, we will seek the face of our holy God. And we will not get up until we acknowledge that He is everything and we are nothing.
My lips whisper, "hide me behind you" when I feel the pride rising in my chest. "Please, just hide me behind you…"
Two weeks ago we returned home from church on a Wednesday night.
It had been a particularly busy 24 hours, stuffed with twists and turns, and some crazy thrown in for good measure.
We had experienced some God things that night as we taught kids. We saw increased interest. We noticed an understanding dawn in areas that we had prayed would be so.
And I dropped to the couch in a combination of exhaustion and adrenaline.
I remember saying, "I don't know whether I want to just collapse here and sleep for days, or dance and bounce off the walls".
That kind of sums it up for me. :)
Never in my life have I felt the sustaining energy of the Holy Spirit as I am experiencing it right now.
There is an unexplainable adrenaline running through my veins that is beyond me. Way beyond me.
I know it is Him, and I am humbled that He would meet me in such a way. Use me like this. Have His hand in my life in such an unmistakable and personal manner.
Along with the excitement, and preserving, and sustaining,
there is an intensely heightened sense of conviction.
Let me tell you friends, that's not exactly what I would call fun times.
It knocks me down. It renders me useless until I turn and change. Repent and obey.
Of course I felt conviction before. Eventually. When I would sit down, or clear distractions away, or seek God. Eventually.
But not like this.
Not this immediate,
Stops me in my tracks, and I am still getting used to all of this.
So, there it is.
We are all "yes" and
and seeking his face
and getting our own ugly shown to us.
And being held up,
by our loving God.
It's so good.