Five Minute Friday: Join

This past Sunday we had a guest speaker at our church. We’ve been going through a series called, From Our Family Room, where we have a discussion format rather than a traditional sermon. The topic for the week was leadership, and the guest speaker shared a word with our church. She said that we are a worshiping people and that when we sing the song of the Lord it glorifies Him and others draw near.

I’m not the greatest singer. I can carry a tune, but I am very timid if ever I need to sing something by myself in front of others. Get me in my car with the radio blasting and I’m a rock star, but that’s different.

The idea of the song of the Lord being within me translated more in my mind to writing. I haven’t been doing much of that lately. I feel all stopped up inside. A large part of that has been the fear that what I have to say has already been said by others in a far superior manner. That has kept me from allowing more than the faintest trickle of words out. I’ve even noticed that in my conversations face-to-face I’m more hesitant to open up my mind to others.

There has been a prompting as of late to reclaim my voice, hone my skills and not waste the talents that God has given me. Our guest speaker even referenced it on Sunday; that it doesn’t matter the amount of talent you have, it’s what you do with it that counts in God’s eyes. I’m not quite sure where to go with this, but I feel God prompting me to join my voice with others again and share the song He’s placed within me.

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I’m linking up with Lisa-Jo for Five Minute Friday at her place. Check out how others responded to this week’s prompt: Join

Five Minute Friday: Gift

I got my pastoral license in the mail last weekend. Staring at the official seal, and my name under the words “License to Preach,” I felt overwhelmed and unprepared. As I thought about Lisa-Jo’s prompt for today’s Five Minute Friday, the verse about children being a gift from the Lord cycled on repeat through my mind.

Can I be honest and admit that sometimes I forget my kids are a gift? When “mom, mom, mom” rings in my ears, my car is carpeted in goldfish crackers one day after I vacuum it, and “please just let me have one moment’s peace!” The constant need terrifies me, because I am human and I lose patience and fall short.

And now, I am a licensed minister, with an appointment in my church to oversee the spiritual formation of other people’s children and to build community. That’s a lot more need. This place I’m in is one I’ve worked towards for decades, and it truly is a gift! God dropped it in my lap and it’s the perfect type of gift: one you’re not asking for, but that so accurately meets your needs. Yet even here, I can forget for a moment what a precious thing I’ve been given.

That’s what came out of my mind today…

GO

There’s something about motherhood that triggers so many spiritual lessons in me. I think God gave me four children because He knew how much I had to learn, and that this was the only way of getting through to me.

When I first have a hint that I may be pregnant, that little question in my brain feels like a present. Sitting there, wrapped up tight, possibilities untold. The anticipation of new life is exciting; whether it’s the physical new life of an addition to our family, or the spiritual new life of roads less traveled and paths unexplored. Then the reality of the situation falls on your shoulders. Aches and pains associated with growth, uncomfortableness and strange cravings abound…and let’s not even touch those mood swings.

It all seems to be too much to handle, too overwhelming, never-ending. And it’s all out of your control! You begin to wonder how much of a gift this really is. And then the moment of delivery occurs. All is right with the world, and you can only stare in wonder at the amazingly perfect thing that God has brought forth. Those first few hours, days, weeks are spend basking in the glory that God would entrust something so special and fragile to your care.

Over time, the idea of your gift fades as the newness wears off and things get tough. You struggle and fail. Things seem out of your control. Pain happens, and it hurts more than you could ever have conceived. Guilt that you’ve destroyed God’s perfect creation, and shame that you would have ever tried to steward it in the first place.

But God reminds: I have chosen you. This is where I have you. Keep moving forward, and follow my lead.

Whether it’s with our children, our marriages, our ministries, our careers…whatever He has conceived and birthed in your life…it’s a gift. Sometimes it just takes some reminding.

STOP

Just in case there’s any question or confusion…no, I’m not pregnant and I have no plans to be pregnant again. I wanted to make that very clear, because I know sometimes my five-minute rambles can leave people wondering if there’s a hidden meaning.

Happy Friday!

What does “gift” mean to you?

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Five Minute Friday: Brave

Today is Friday, which means that the community at Lisa-Jo’s place (AKA The Gypsy Mama) are gathering together for Five Minutes on Brave.

The idea is to embrace spontaneity, and dump your words on the page. Kind of like how my kids dump all their stuff by the front door after they get home from school. There’s no real rhyme or reason, and it’s just a big jumbled mess.

Ready?

GO

Relational.

That’s the word God repeated to me as 2011 came to a close. Funnily enough, it’s the word that God gave our pastor for the church too. I guess I must be hearing something right.

Relational is hard for me. Apparently it is for a lot of other people too, because being an introvert is the next cool thing to be. In the past week I’ve discovered blogs, books, TED talks and more that help the introvert feel okay with themselves.

Unfortunately I’m not allowed to feel okay with that side of me. The one that wants to curl up in my big green chair all day, every day and be “social” on my iPhone (yes, I have another one). There’s something so appealing about sweatpants, Netflix and a warmed up cup of coffee.

Alone.

But God is challenging that in me this year. Asking me to step out of those sweatpants into presentable clothing and show up. For meetings, for play dates, for hard conversations where I feel like I can’t catch my breath.

And I’m doing it. And He’s guiding me.

This is part of the process of changing my name. From task-oriented to relational. I think at heart I’m still an introvert, but He’s helping me to see that I need others and (surprisingly) others need me.

STOP

There you have it! What does “brave” mean for you?

And, since it’s tomorrow…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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