Spring Break is Spring Broke.
Spring Break is Spring Broke.
I rarely get sick. I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies. Even when the kids bring home bugs from school, most of the time I come out unscathed.
Apparently not this year.
I’ve been since twice this year already. It’s only the beginning of March.
I’ve been tending the sick in the house, already, which has cost me a few days of posting. Now, I’m in the trenches… down for the count… and only able to get this post out thanks to cold medicine.
Part of being Fearless in 2018 for me is not being afraid to take time out for myself. That it is ok to cancel plans, set things aside, order out four nights in a row… whatever it takes to get well, rested, and be at my best.
I had an article to write for this week, and it took all my brain power to muster up that piece. But as I write this… I am coming full circle. The piece was on equipping the body of believers in their Spiritual Gifting and engaging them into serving the body. I finished off the piece with 1 Corinthians 12:12-27… one body made up of many parts, each having it’s role and all of equal importance to the functioning of the body as a whole. I posed the question of what happens to body parts that are unused, which is that they atrophy. They waste away, shrink, shrivel, and become ineffective. So what happens to the people in the church body that go unused?
As I contemplate those words while writing this blog post… I also see the 2nd part to this topic.
What happens with the body becomes sick?
It doesn’t function as well. The body may heal itself with time and rest. Or, if left untreated it could get worse. If pushed too hard, the body can become so overworked in its fragile state it could die. There needs to be an intervention in order to become well again.
So what happens when the church body becomes sick?
We need a divine intervention to become well again, or else we risk the health of the body.
That’s some food for thought.
I’m still taking a few more days off to rest and get better. Share your thoughts on this topic… and let’s pick it back up after this body has rested & become well again.
For many of us there are times in our lives where things seem to be out of order, out of place, and not making sense. At the time, it may even feel chaotic or uncertain. Later, once all the dust settles, we can begin to see clearly how God was ordering things and preparing the way for the change.
After this happens so many times in our lives, when things seem in upheaval, we start to wonder what God is up to. We still don’t have the answers or what the long term result will be, we simply trust that whatever it is… God is in control.
For myself, when I find myself in this season… I look for how God is getting things in order. What little things have been changing? What opportunities have suddenly presented themselves? Has God brought someone new in to my life, or taken someone out? Am I seeing roots severed, branches being pruned… a preparation to be transferred out of the comfy place I am in now … into new ground? Have I been stabilized by what pops up around me?
I look for the fingerprints in the moment, and I always find them. It’s assurance to me that once again, God is in control. And… I find peace.
I’ve learned an interesting thing about myself and change. I’ve never feared change, in fact… I think it is something that should be embraced. I recently realized that much of those feelings are based in my ability to control change. I want to decide when change is coming, how it’s going to happen, and in the way in wish I like.
It’s easy to embrace change when you are in control, not so easy when you don’t get much (or any) say in the in the matter.
I knew that my 40th year would be a year of changes, I just assumed I would be making all of those decisions… on my schedule. I need to learn to embrace all sorts of change.
I’ve believed that my 40th year was going to be a big deal. That exciting things were going to happen. I claimed the word “fearless” for 2018, because I don’t like to live in a spirit of fear… and the Bible tells us not to. I was going to do bold things.
Sometimes our dreams expand, or our territories.
Bold changes don’t always come how we expect them. Changes can be just as exciting as they are hard.
It was years ago that I first heard of the Prayer of Jabez. In 1 Chronicles 4:10, we read: “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that Thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that Thine hand might be with me, and that Thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.
I’ve heard the Prayer of Jabez related to financial gain, physical growth, and even prayed requesting the Lord to enlarge their reach so that they may share the Gospel with more people.
My friend Jay Sharpe, author of Chicken Lyrics, said “money is not the only way to richness”. I couldn’t agree more. Expansion can come in many different ways.
Lord, expand my territory to the borders you have ordained. Let me tend to whatever expansion you put before me, in the manner you have called me to serve. My faith is in you.
I’ve been making art since I was a child, it’s a part of the very fabric of how God created me. However, it is also very vulnerable and personal. I’ve kept it to myself for a very long time. Sure, I’ve sold pieces here and there or posted pictures of things I have worked on for my own home or family members. I’ve just never gone the route of a public showing. The past few months I prepared to take that leap, fearless in 2018. This weekend was the culmination of all that work. So much anxiety and anticipation has now been replaced with relief. It is over. What next?
I was fortunate to have sold a few small pieces. In speaking with many of the artists in at the event, it was a very dry event. Most didn’t sell anything, those who did sold smaller pieces, and even the most experienced artists didn’t recuperate their expenses to be at the show. (Some traveled in to the area = travel and lodging expenses). You could feel it walking through the space as it seemed so many had just given up.
I try to be optimistic in life. To see the good through the bad. In this case, where many others were facing disappointment…
I was thankful for the opportunity to show. Not everyone was excepted into the show.
I was proud of myself for actually overcoming the anxiety and nerves, and putting out my work for the public to see.
I was grateful for the positive comments and encouraging feedback, even from those who never bought a thing.
My eyes were open to appreciate the uniqueness of my pieces, as there were not others even in the same ballpark. Great artists, but none like me.
From my own space, I was able to create a list of things I would do differently next time around.
From others, I was a willing student to listen to their wisdom and experience. Those who were kind enough to share their tips invested in me, and that doesn’t go unnoticed. I bought a piece or took their card for a future purchase.
I was even able to learn more about who my ideal customer and market is, and that in and of itself is beyond putting a value on.
Things don’t always work out like we think, for the better or worse. However, there is always an opportunity to learn and grow. Never take that for granted.
It is really hard to live each day when you feel out of alignment with God and His purpose for you life. While I love Women’s Ministry, I have been disconnected from it directly for some time. I equip other leaders, but I haven’t served in Women’s Ministry in a local church in several years. There were reasons for that disconnection, and there was healing that needed to happen. Knowing there were valid reasons didn’t help the ache of that void.
As I dip my toes cautiously back into the pool, my friend could see an expression or response that I didn’t even realize I was making. It was so evident, or she is so perceptive, that she asked me what the reaction was about. To really put towards how I was feeling seems impossible.
Joy and excitement about all of the things we discussed.
Relief that someone was willing to hear my heart, actually hear me.
Trepidation about getting too excited or my hopes up too much.
There is NO FEELING as good as when your are walking in obedience to His calling on your life, and living that purpose out. Even when it’s baby steps, toes dipping in the water, taking our time to get acquainted and build momentum. It’s like fresh breath in your lungs, a restart of your heart, and an energy charge to your mind.
I appreciated our openness with one another. Making sure we understood the similarities in our personalities and our differences. We were identifying potential obstacles before the presented themselves, so that we could understand each other better. Owning our strengths and even our weaknesses. We laid our hearts and desires, our truth (good and bad) out there to each other.
And we agreed to work with excellence in mind.
Thank you, Lord. I will not forsake this opportunity to serve once again. Whether little steps or by your leaps and bounds, I answered “here I am”.