Guess what is sitting in my lap this very minute?
Surprisingly, it is not a child.
Not surprisingly, it is not a puppy. (I don’t like to hold animals).
Unfortunately, it is not a tray with a piece of apple pie and a cup of hot coffee.
After a long year of probation in which I gathered funds while commiserating the mistake of drinking coffee next to my previous laptop, I was given the green light to start shopping for a new one.
And now it is finally here, and the timing could not be more perfect.
Shepherd is now almost nine months old…
and while he is still frequently waking me up in the night, I am getting back into the groove of things, and the book project that I had to shelve before I gave birth to him is back in the forefront of my brain and heart, itching to be finished.
And, by golly, I’m gonna finish it, Lord willin’ the crick don’t rise.
May in its insanity is kind of filled up, but I have a month-long date with June, and my hope is to at least have a rough draft by July 1st. You will undoubtedly be hearing more about this in the future.
In the meantime, I’m just sitting smack dab in the middle of a season of spiritual growth, something that fills me with joy and expectation. I’m doing lots of listening, and am asking God to make lots of changes in my heart that I honestly feel only He can bring about.
Last Saturday was Ms. Annette’s memorial service, and oh my, I was so inspired.
The common theme concerning her contributions to her friends and family was that she lived for others; the consensus was that, when you went to her house to check on her, she had a way of turning the questions back on you and how you were doing.
It caused me to contemplate the things we really stress over in this life…things like our girlish (or not-so-girlish-anymore) figures, our houses, our possessions, the perceptions that other people have about us…we can kind of obsess over any or all of the above.
But, at the end of our days on earth, do we REALLY want the following things to be said about us at our funeral?…
“She had a rockin’ body”.
“Her house was so clean”.
“She had the cutest clothes”.
“She threw Pinterest-worthy birthday parties”.
“She had all her ducks in a row. Her children were perfectly behaved, groomed and coifed and she was so put-together”.
I say it again, No!
‘Twould be a life wasted, would it not? Yet those are the things we sometimes chase after with all of our beings.
As I sat on the edge of my seat during the memorial service, my heart was yearning for more, and I realized with certainty that, at the end of my life, I desperately want one thing to remain: Christ.
“She lived for others”.
“She was such a good listener, and even when someone asked about her, she ended up asking about them”.
“She was generous and would give even her best things to someone who needed them”.
“She never held a grudge, but forgave freely”.
“She died to herself daily”.
“She was so kind”.
“She was so joyful”.
“She was so wise; she had a biblical answer to every question”.
These are the things that I want to cultivate in my life, and if I “stress” about anything, I want it to be that I am not looking more like the Savior quickly enough and that I am not redeeming the time while the time is mine.
And this is why a life hidden in Christ is so important; even in her death, Ms. Annette was inspiring the young women who followed behind her to lose themselves in the gospel just like she did. Every life counts, and the Kingdom is moving through every action, every word, and every remembrance of its inhabitants. MAN, that gets me fired up! God, be great in me! Change lives through mine! Don’t let me die worshipping the idol of ME!
And this is totally off-the-subject, but I can’t move on to the next thing without mentioning what Mr. J.L. said when a mic was handed to him at the service. In that rich, deliberate voice, he said (and go ahead and grab a hankie before you read this), “On May the 10th, 1940, 74 years ago, we went on our first date. And on May the 10th, 2014, we have our last date on this earth…”.
What a legacy. I also want to “stress” over protecting and cherishing my marriage in a world where it is so very easy and acceptable to throw marriages away.
You know you’ve lived a successful life when your memorial service changes futures; I pray that the things God convicted me of on Saturday will bear fruit in the days and years to come.
Later that day, I had the chance to take my kids to Mom and Dad’s house where we spent the afternoon and evening relaxing in the backyard and, before the night was up, I realized that I had received the best Mother’s Day gift I could ask for by being blessed with sweet, unplanned moments with each of my children.
Gideon and I got to talk about eternity and how God continues to fix his little heart.
Rebekah sat next to me drawing in the dirt while we had a lengthy and enjoyable discussion on true beauty and the fruit of the spirit.
Betsie and I had a tickle fight.
And Shepherd fell asleep on me in my favorite swing where we rocked for nearly an hour with a beautiful canopy of trees overhead.
What more could a Mama ask for?
Not a thing.
Except for maybe breakfast in bed and a $500 giftcard to Anthropologie.
And on Sunday, I was deeply moved and challenged by the preaching of the Word, and came home so eager to grow in the areas of evangelism and Christian unity and brotherhood.
I am realizing more and more that, though I have been driven my entire life to make much ado out of yours truly, the cry of my heart is no longer to become a household name. I understand now that, should God choose to allow my writings to spread and a book to eventually be published, it will not have anything to do with who I inherantly am, but rather about the assignment He has given me.
Isn’t that a beautiful thought? In God’s kingdom, there is no one more special and no one more annointed than someone else; we simply have different jobs to fulfill. I crave to fulfill mine in a way that brings glory and honor to God, no matter how big or small my task may be. If you want to hear more on this subject, take a listen to my husband’s sermon that so clearly laid out these truths.
And I hope it brings you comfort to know that, by the grace of God, I am not seeking to become the next Christian celebrity; that might have been a dream at one point in my life, but no longer, and with each day that passes, I just long more and more to be a voice of encouragement and truth and friendship in your ear. That’s why it means so much to me that you are here in the first place: you have received my offerings so graciously and with such enthusiasm that it quite knocks me over. Figuratively, of course.
Wow. In all honesty, I don’t really know where this rambling blog post came from, but thanks for listening all the same. I got to try out my new computer and jot down some thoughts that I really wanted to hold onto.
I’ll leave you now with my top 4 Mother’s Day photos. As usual, my kids were so obliging and photogenic. Good times.
Now how about you? Do you have anything to share? How is God changing you? What is He teaching you? What was your best Mother’s Day moment? It’s your turn! Feel free to ramble as much as I did. :)