Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Time Cools Resolution

This is the line that Jen Hatmaker uses often when speaking to others about missional living.  I have heard her personally say it twice now.  I have also found it to be very true. 

If you have read my blog before you know that I am a huge Jen H. fan.  I was able to go see her back in March and was completely moved.  If you don't know who she is, I highly encourage you to check her out.  She has had me rolling with laughter and sobbing in tears numerous times.  She has an amazing heart for Jesus and His people.

I had the opportunity to hear her speak again earlier this week as I was blessed with an amazing couple of days with some great friends.  While she shared one of the same talks that she shared in March again that night, I did not find myself the least bit disappointed.  It was so great to hear it again and be re-encouraged and find some new things that hit me just a little bit differently.

I came away, once again, ready to change the world, but not exactly sure how.  I have made some changes since the last talk I attended, but really found her words to be true.  Time cooled my "on fire" resolution to make a difference and reach out.  This is why I am so thankful I attended again.  The fire was re-sparked and my resolution is moving.

Want to know a few things brewing around in my brain???  Shhhh...nothing is definite yet so don't freak out and do anything rash like tell my husband (jk.  I mentioned these things to him but he still has some processing to do).

-Missions trip.  Our church does them for our youth but has only done a men's organized mission's trip for adults.  Watch out CCC I might be doing some organizing in the real future.  God has just pressed it on my heart and I just feel like as long as I am here in my comfortable little home and small community, I just won't get it.  I need the plight of the oppressed and the orphaned to be smashed into my face so much that it leaves me bawling for days.  For some reason, I actually am really wanting to see this.  To really have my heart broken by people I can see and touch.  (This makes me feel somewhat like a doubting Thomas, that I just won't believe its true until I see it.  I think it is that I know it is true, but it is too easy to ignore it here in my safe little world.)

-Adoption.  I am scared to death with this one, feeling way too overwhelmed with the 3 children I have and not wanting to start over with a new baby or have to deal with behavior/language issues that might come from an older child.  I have no clue what to do, but I really feel God pulling me here.  Oh, and there is that little thing called money. 

-MOPS.  Watch out any of my MOPS mom readers.  I am totally going to use you as a resource for fuelling my need to reach out to those in need.  Sorry for taking advantage of you in advance! ;)  We are going to be hearing from groups in our very own community that can use our help reaching the 'least of these' in our very streets and how we can help them.  Be ready to open your hearts, doors, calendars and arms to be His hands and feet.

-I seriously want to talk to one of our pastors at our church.  Our church is amazing and I love it, but I feel like we are really lacking in reaching outside our own walls.  We do a lot of great things inside our church but when it comes to being missional, I feel like we totally fail.  Problem with this one....I am totally too intimidated to say anything and have no clue where to start.  Would it be OK just to sneak Jen's book "Interrupted" onto their desks and hope God touches their hearts in the same way, or is that totally chicken?

OK.  I said it "out loud".  Hopefully, this will help the fire keep going and not just fizzle to embers. If you have any ideas for me on where to start any of these processes, please let me know.  I am clueless.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Defending the Faith

A line in one of my new favorite songs says "Jesus friend of sinners the truth's become so hard to see.
The world is on their way to You but they're tripping over me."

This entire song is chopped full of truths that speak to your very soul.  This line just happens to coincide with what I read today in 1 Peter. 

Verse 15 says, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.  But do this with gentleness and respect..." 

Sometimes our egos get in the way.  We have the answer and we want everyone else to have it too, but all too often we don't quite get there the right way.  We come across conceited, or like we know so much more than they do.  Like we have all the answers and they are just filthy sinners who don't have a clue.

OK, so we might not be thinking these things in our heads as we share our beautiful, Christian lives with them, but we have to be careful.  It can often times come across this way to them.  We have to make sure they know we are no better than they are.  The only thing we have that they don't is Jesus in our hearts.  We aren't any better, Jesus is. 

The other major thing that trips us up is our actions.  We go along our merry way telling people how great we have it with Jesus in our lives, but kind of forget to live our lives that way.  They might find us using the wrong words or losing our tempers with our kids.  Possibly no passing on some grace to a fellow driver on the road or being patient with a new clerk at the local superstore. 

Most of the times, these actions are what speak the loudest for us and our Lord.  Why would anyone want to live in such a double standard?  How can anyone even begin to understand how it all works?

We have an amazing hope people.  We need to make sure we live in such a way that people are breaking down the doors to get into it!  Gentleness and respect.  That is all it takes.  Can you pull it off?

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

God Speaks

I called my mother-in-law last week to see if she could help me out.  I have quite a few errands I need to run and it would be bliss to not have to drag three children along with me to do them.  Especially the few that involve stores that are far from child friendly (aka Hobby Lobby and Michael's).

Thankfully, she is awesome and is going to do it for me!  Yippee!!  But then I got selfish and started thinking, "Well, I am going to be in Lincoln today too.  What if I did some of those errands and then was able to just enjoy my time in Lincoln and be able to go to a coffee shop and sit and read a while?"  This is an activity I have not done in 6 years.  Not even joking. 

A friend of mine was telling me that she had the opportunity to do this recently and it made me miss this time.  I think I am going to try very hard to try and make this work.  A few hours to relax and people watch, sounds heavenly.  I am really looking forward to it!

As I was longing for this time to come sooner and more often today as I cleaned up the massive mess in my kitchen after lunch, God put a thought in my head.  I was just thinking to myself, "Why don't I schedule more times like these?  Why are they so hard to come by?"  God said to me, "Think about your grandmother, Shauna.  She is probably at home today by herself without much to do and would long for your children to come raid her."  (Don't get me wrong, my grandmother works as hard as anyone I know and keeps herself rather busy, but she can have these days whenever she chooses)

Sometimes it is hard to see through the fog.  It is hard to remove yourself from the craziness around you; to think through the tiredness; to clean up that spill for the umpteenth time today.  It is hard to remember that these years really do fly by when all you do is long for a trip to Wal Mart or Target by yourself or even a trip to the bathroom with no interruptions.  Believe me.  I know because that is where I am.  I don't even bother to shut the door anymore!

I'm not saying that time alone isn't merited or needed in the life of a mom and wife, but it is also great to have this little bit of perspective.  Everyone says, "Cherish these years they will fly by before you know it."  It is a cliche we have all heard so much we don't even pay attention to it anymore.  I know I don't.  But, if you really let yourself think about it in a context that can really touch your heart, like your own grandmother who has raised four kids and watched them all move on with their own families.  She has buried two husbands and one of those children.  She lives at home out in the country by herself.  She has lots of uninterrupted time on her hands and probably wishes she could give it all away. 

Enjoy every minute of it.  Every time you think your head will explode if you hear the word "Mommy" one more time, or have to pick up one more toy.  Make it real.  Think of what life really will be like in 50 years when they are gone and busy and you're not sure what you will do with your time.  Some of that down time, yes, will be wonderful but I bet we'd trade it all in a split second.

God knew I needed this perspective today.  What is a real life story that gives you enough perspective to move past the over-used cliches?