I might call this coming out of hiding, or out of a long snow. It's been a while since I've written here!
The sub-title I gave this blog 8 years ago: Living in East Africa—though the eyes of parents and two growing girls.
I’ve mostly written about the girls growing up, adventures we take, ministry and things we do that we are passionate about. Yes.
I have spent a few months reading many other amazing professional or trained writers/bloggers and been inspired by them. Laughed. Cried. Felt deeply touched. Compassion. Agreement. Outrage.
And also found myself unable to feel I have much to offer when there are so many amazing writers out there with thousands of followers.
I handed, this week, a stack of teaching books to someone else. I handed the particular stack in the subject I am most qualified professionally and have 18 years of doing, and learning, and experience in. One of the things I love. And while it felt like a weight was going along with the stack, I also felt like one thing I do well is literally walking out the door.
And I read again the newly familiar tune that, among many other recommendations, I should be sleeping 8-12 hours per day.
“I’m trading my sickness. I’m trading my pain. I’m trading them all, for…”
what is it?
“…the joy of the Lord.”
My meandering thoughts began with a page of a book I haven’t been able to get past. For two months. And it’s a borrowed book I need to get finished with and return! It’s a book with a cover that does not make me interested to read, but was recommended before a trip I took so thought I’d see for myself.
And here is what I have read over and over and not been able to turn to the next page:
“Your yes won’t look like anyone else’s yes; it will be completely one-of-a-kind, just like you. Beth Moore explains it perfectly: ‘Who are you supposed to look like in your calling here on earth and in the way you follow Christ? You’re supposed to look like the version of you that loves Jesus with everything in you.’
That’s the real you.
And that’s the road on which you will find what He put you on the planet to do. You don’t have to figure out what to surrender to. Just surrender your heart to Jesus. Every single ounce of it. Ask Him to give you a love for Him that surpasses anything in your human experience, a supernatural capacity. Ask Him for it every day until He does it, and then ask Him to do it some more.”
My word for the year that has filled my soul: Desperate.
Can I dare to be desperate enough? Can I follow through with not thinking about the what, but replacing it with Christ? Replacing it with the joy of the Lord. His joy. Not mine, ‘cause I don’t always feel it just because I should.
And, can I be desperate enough to make some major changes in my life for my health? I have the affliction of making sure to take care of things here and there, and people here and there, and often ‘run out of time’ to do anything out of the way to take care of my health.
Now I can’t open a new jar, can’t pour from a glass pitcher, can’t write by hand more than a page, can’t take a pot out of the oven without wincing…or even cookies. If I scrub the layer of dirt off my potatoes, then I can’t cut them up. I can’t choose to take the stairs, or walk barefoot in my home. I have to ask someone else to open my water bottle, to occasionally cut food on my plate. No more gum, ice, or biting into an apple.
I can’t write about a road like the blogger of “Mundane Faithfulness” either. (recent post is titled “By Degrees: Living and Dying” about her husband having to call hospice for her that day. That growing is a process, living is a process, and even dying happens sometimes in small degrees.)
What do we do when we feel stuck in the middle of kindof crummy personal circumstances that aren’t anywhere near the struggle of so many others?
Well, maybe it’s let go of my stack of books & responsibilities,
let go of our preconceived notions of how we thought it was suppose to be,
let go of comparing ourselves to others either above or below our own circumstance,
let go of wishing things were different either out of you or in your own soul,
let go of the sorrow brought on by others,
and trade them all for the Lord’s joy that can flow into us. And ultimately through us.
“ ‘Who are you supposed to look like in your calling here on earth and in the way you follow Christ? You’re supposed to look like the version of you that loves Jesus with everything in you.’
That’s the real you.
And that’s the road on which you will find what He put you on the planet to do. “