Do you mind?
I know it's been forever, but...would you care if I just acted like we've been chatting for hours and never skipped a beat?
I just need to get stuff out, you know? Stuff that's building and I don't know where it's going or what's happening really but to my heart it's feels big. And it seems to be big on lots of hearts around me...bloggers I read, friends, pastors, authors....I see threads all over the place that look slightly different from one another, but....I'm thinking God is knitting together some kind of big, wonderful, fuzzy blanket with it all. Except it's the uncomfortable, take-you-on-a-magic-carpet-ride-drop-you-in-the-middle-of-no-where-and-then-wrap-you-back-up-again kind.
I'll back up a little. This summer I read 7. It wasn't revelational in that it was a brand new message I had never heard before. It was more like the biggest spoon ever that stirred an already bubbling pot. I won't tell you everything about it, but I would encourage you to read it. (If video recaps are more your thing, Jen is doing that here.)
I've been restless for awhile...years. I don't know why exactly, but if you were to talk to me about adoption or giving to the poor or going overseas to love orphans or downsizing to give it all away to those that really need it for more than 5 mins, I would cry on any given day. And I'm not an easy crier.
Sure, we've talked about adoption. A lot. We dream about having all this money to give away, We used to be convinced that we would be living overseas right now. We went into teaching to have the summers off to do missions trips. We want to give and be givers as a way of life.
But then life happened, you know? And here we are. We live in a neighborhood, go to church, see our families, had 3 kids, teach middle schoolers, started a business. We don't live extravagantly by any means. Heck, we haven't owned a car made in the 21st century ever. Our budget is very tight and we have to be really careful. But we have a lot. And we are so distracted by all the moving parts that just keep life going. I feel pretty sure you know what I'm talking about.
So, I don't know what's going on, but if the Lord has someone else say the word "coasting" to me, I might faint. He's speaking very clearly to my heart that He doesn't want us to just coast. That message is everywhere. The message of excess is everywhere. The message of true fasting and praying before Him is everywhere. The message of having a heart that's in tune with His heart is everywhere. And if I put my ear to the ground, I hear hoof beats...and lots of them. There is this haunting feeling in my chest that He's bringing change to our little family. But it's bigger than that. This restlessness and conviction feels widespread and people are changing their lives...have you noticed that? They are downsizing and living with less. They are adopting. They are giving away what they have. They are caring for the poor. They are loving their neighbor. They are serving when it's hard. They are returning to the Word and examining their lives honestly. They are responding to Him calling. They are becoming more available. They are finding a richer life. They are opening their hearts. He's going in.
I want in on that.
The tension is between what I think that looks like and where I actually am. I struggle with that a lot. I don't feel set up to live radically the way I thought I would in college. Life feels very ordinary. Yet He brought me to this place.
For now, there are a few little tugs that I'm just going to be obedient and act on. The Lord has brought a few little opportunities to my shop that I'm cautiously excited about, but nothing big. I'm learning to just respond to the need put before me. They seem small and insignificant sometimes. Certainly doesn't seem life changing for anyone, but...I'm not God so I guess I don't get to write the blueprint on this life, huh?
Loving this precious nugget so much these days:
Seek the Lord while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.
"For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,"
declares the Lord.
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
(Isaiah 55: 6-9)
"If my people who are called by my name
and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin
and heal their land."
(2 Chron. 7:14)