Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Change, and What I've been thinking

Last week was a week of many revelations for me. However, I must begin by giving credit where credit is due. I recently finished "Pathway to Purpose" by Katie Brazelton. It's a book about aligning your hopes, dreams, and unique giftings with the will of God, so that you can begin operating in the purpose for which you were expressly created by God. I've been thinking about what my unique "mission" might be in life - what great big, important thing I could be doing for God. I've been praying for nearly a slid 2 years that God would reveal His will for my life. I've even talked to several people about how I felt like my "something big" was just on the horizon, a hazy shadow of a picture that I could almost put my finger on, but not quite. I've asked for prayers and advice from many trusted friends and all I've gotten are answers that leave me scratching my head, wondering: "Is that it, seriously. That's all you've got."

Well, the revelation I got this week was really just what everyone has been saying to me my whole life.

ONE - start where you are. If I am not faithful in the little things, in the humble beginning I which I currently find myself, it's foolish to think that God would move me into some bigger role. See, I've been a mother since April 1994, and for as long as I can remember I have thought of myself as "just a mom.". And, as such, I've been looking for the great big, important thing that's just around the bend.

HELLO!!! I AM A MOTHER!!! Really, what more important job is there in the world than the preparation of a young person for entry into the world as a n honorable, contributing, Jesus-loving member of society, equipped for living successfully in the eyes of God!? And here I am, here I have been, looking for my purpose! DUH!

TWO - surrender. I must be willing to surrender my own plan for my life to Gods plan for me and be willing to follow Him obediently WHEREVER He leads me, even if - and maybe, especially if - it's not what I wanted or what I thought I wanted.

THREE - a little less talk, a lot more action. Regardless of whether or not I am currently operating in a grand mission in service to The King, there are still things I can do. For instance, on my Pinterest page, I found a pin that touched a spark in me. I immediately thought, I could do that. I should do that. That thing: blessing bags for the homeless. A gallon zipper-closed, plastic Baggie that contains various personal hygiene items, snacks, and such. I found that Pin a few months ago. Want to know what I've done about it? Yup, you guessed it! Not a thing!

Another thing I've been thinking about is sponsoring a child through Compassion International. After all , my oldest son sponsors a child on the money he makes working, FOR TIPS, as a bagger at the commissary.

For the last few months, on these very pages, I have talked, at great length, about how WE, as Christians, could be doing so much more to alleviate the suffering in the world. Yet here I am being shown up by my 17-year-old. WHAT??!!

So, why this post? Well, this week, my family's challenge for Lent was to write a blog post about what we think needs changing and what we intend to do about it. What I have decided needs changing is ME! More specifically, what needs changing is my actions. How can I get on here, posting blog after blog about things needing to be different without doing anything about it? You can't lead someone by pushing them from behind. You can't lead someone by standing in front of them, trying to pull them along. All any of us can do is what we've been told by God and leave he results to Him. Beyond that, I can only do what I've been given and you all can only do what you've been given.

Starting today, I AM going to be the change I want to see in the world. That's my challenge.

What's yours?

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Do we really have it right? When will we know?

 The ladies of Severn Covenant Church (myself included) are doing the Kay Arthur study of Amos.  I've been thinking a lot this past year about the state of things in the world and I'm concerned.

I've been wondering:  What if we are getting it wrong?  I've spent plenty of time in worship singing songs asking God to help me love others like Jesus, asking Him to give me eyes to see others like He sees them, and all I can wonder is:  do my actions reveal anything of the sort?

 The new song by Casting Crowns - Jesus, Friend of Sinners - mentions that there is no shortage of people who wonder was Christians are against, but how many really know what we're for?

Amos 5 is a funeral dirge in which Amos says that people are praying for "the day of the Lord" but he warns them that they might be disappointed when it arrives because they may find that they are not going to end up on the side they think.  If all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, then I have to think that these verses are too.

46.2 million people in the United States live in poverty.
     Over half of the world's entire population lives on less than $2.50 per day.
     About 1 billion people lack access to clean water.
     There are nearly 27 million people in modern-day slavery today.

 With these numbers,
 how can I sit back,
day after day,
drinking my nice, clean water,
in my nice, warm house,
with my children who nice and safe,
while we probably throw out
more food a day
than some people will see
in a week
and think that I
will not be held accountable,
to think that I will not have to
answer for this
when I stand before the Lord?

And in light of the Amos 5 scriptures, I ought to be humbled to my core, ashamed to let myself get so complacent, and so apathetic to the cares of so many of God's children. 

 If we are all created to be in relationship, if we are all really connected, since we have the same Creator, shouldn't it bother me that there are people not 30 miles from me, in the heart of DC, who do not know from where they will receive their next meal?

I have to wonder...  if we are all really connected, then shouldn't it break my heart that there are people in the world who don't have even half of what I have?

Just one of the things I'm thinking about today.......

As usual, thanks for your indulgence,


Monday, March 12, 2012

A Little Busy

Sorry for the shortage of posts last week.  Since Lent has started, I've been trying to limit my postings and my overall computer time.  It's entirely too easy to get wrapped up in the Internet and not accomplish anything.

Last week was our international food week, and I simply didn't have the time to be on here, and cook, and get my housework done.

I did accomplish something pretty major though!  I have bought a domain name for my future, charity-based, business.  I am going to call it "The Least of These."  There will be a line of cards, t-shirts and possibly book bags and the emphasis is going to be on raising people's awareness of the myriad opportunities available to get involved.  From the research I've been doing, it seems that there are plenty of organizations out there who are busy, trying to help the poor, and such, however...there's still so much that can be done.  This is just my attempt at putting my money where my mouth is, and being a good steward of the talents I've been given, in hopes of making a dent in the suffering in the world.  I've already got several ideas stewing.  Right now, all I need is a little bit more "know how" for some of the projects I want to tackle,and then, I'll be in business.

Until such time as I have products for you all to consider, why not hop over to the links page, or the shopping page and see if you can't find some other worthy cause to help out.  Remember, even Jesus left the taking care of His needs up to His Father.  Why not trust God with taking care of you and ask Him to show you how you can help take care of the rest of His children?

Until next time,