Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

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.

Iiiiiiiiit’s…

myyyyyyy…

new laptop!

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…

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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”.

No!

No!

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.

Great(ish) memories.

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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. 🙂

7 thoughts on “Little Bit of This, Little Bit of That

  1. IT seems like I am constantly being pulled toward those things that will not matter at my funeral. There call my name daily, and many days, that is what I give in to. Nothing like an unexpected death though, to shake things up and slap me back to reality (happened this week). But even in a day, so quickly to forget. When it is all said and done, our bodies will be remade anew by Christ, and he is the only name to be hailed for eternity. AMEN!!!!

    What’s your book gonna be about?!

  2. Such an awesome post! I’ve been having this same longing in my heart for the past couple of months. I am not to live my life for myself rather for God. I must decrease so that He can increase (isn’t that in the Bible somewhere lol). I pray, “God, how can You use me?” Because I SO long to be used by Him.

  3. Our hearts beat to the same rhythm. I used to want to be a well-known Christian writer and blogger. Not so much anymore. I just want my books to change kids’ lives, and maybe even impact their parents, too. More and more, I just want to have people in my home and love them beyond all reason, especially the ones who live there, which are getting fewer year by year. All that’s left now is my husband and my 18-yr-old daughter. These are sweet times. I’m trying to savor every moment with my last child before she, too, flies the coop. And as people visit my home, I want them to leave feeling like Jesus was in our midst, loving them, healing them, changing them. I want to be generous, joyful, full of fun and life, laughter and light. You inspire me, Mrs. Gore. Truly.

  4. There are so many things He is teaching me, working out in me and making new in me. Specifically, though, He is renewing an understanding of pieces of my design and purpose that He gave me to share on this earth. And He is revealing the small, specific ways and places to pour those things out into. Simultaneously, He is speaking to my husband and I that we must slow down, recenter on Jesus, and prepare to pour ourselves out for the marathon that is this life (rather than the “sprinting jaunts” we’ve been accustomed to up until now).

    Mother’s Day: so many wonderful moments. I got to be with my mom on Mother’s Day…a rare gift since she and I live 2,000 miles apart. I got to be with my boys after being apart for four days while I was away at a conference. And at the end of the day, I got to be all by myself at a coffee shop while my husband put the boys to bed (best gift ever for this pregnant mama!!!).

  5. He’s teaching me to stop caring so much how I am perceived. If I am walking in obedience to Him I have to keep my eyes on Him and not get weighed down by the fear of man. I realized last night that I have spent the last 9 months of my life in anxiety over how I am being perceived in a situation that I KNOW I have been faithful in. I gotta lay that down, yo.

    My best mother’s day moment was when I cried like a sappy old lady through all of my kids’ handmade (at school) gifts to me. They were particularly precious this year.

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