Thursday, September 18

Time and a Woman's Highest Calling

When she was through, her chubby hands and face giving her smallness away were covered with a gooey chocolate layer. She'd just eaten an oatmeal chocolate chip cookie, still soft and warm from the oven, in that distinct way toddlers do, not caring about proper protocol or mess-factor. Miraculously, her golden curls were spared from goo.

As I toted my little bundle off to get her changed into pajamas, I saw that she desperately needed a bath. But it was too late, and this mama was tired. It had been a long day. Plus, I'd already supervised four showers just before passing out cookies. I didn't have it in me to attend to another. My chubby, gooey girl could take a bath in the morning.

As a substitute, we settled for getting clean with the help of some wipes. I took one and she took one. We wiped and giggled as we swept the sticky stuff away. Then she began to wipe my face, not understanding that her face had been the only messy one. In that moment, of course it didn't matter. What mattered was the freeze-frame worthy handful of seconds with my baby. My soon to be potty-trained, our family out of diapers forever baby.

And then all at once, I felt the desire to jump for joy and cry because time is fleeting.

Time. We're consumed with time. And for good reason. It is important.

Time seems to slip away when we're enjoying things. And at other instances, it doesn't move fast enough. We're always thinking in increments of time.

It's the hurry-up and slow-down-already juggling act we love to hate. I don't know if the pull to want time to be still or the push to want time to speed up will ever disappear from our way of thinking. I guess it's the way we're wired. But there is one thing I do know about time.

It's that we're to make the most of it.

Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.
Psalm 90:12 

I highly doubt that the psalmist meant for this to mean scratching the most items off our bucket lists, or being ultra productive to get ahead.

Unless we're talking about the sacred work we've been given to do. The work that is etched into our very beings. The things God had in mind for us to set our gaze toward.

How do we make the most of the time we have to do God's work? It's something I'm often pondering. My life is crazy. And it's not because I'm doing too much. Or going too much. Or taking too much on.

My life in and of itself, no artificial ingredients added, is plain crazy. And that's just the staying home, cooking meals, teaching lessons, giving baths, and making memories part. This is part of God's work for me. But there are other things too. Other important things.

I will never be a woman who will say that the highest calling for a woman is to be a wife and mother who stays home with her kids. I happen to do these things. And I'm thriving in it. But that's because I'm called to it.

You might not be. She might not be.

The Bible clearly states that our highest calling is to spread the Good News about Jesus. And God gives women different roles to play to that end. It can look a million different ways.

How about we agree to get out there and thrive in that part we've been given to play? That's what it looks like for you and me to be making the most of our time.

Friday, September 5

For the Writer, or the Anyone

I've sat down four six different times this week over the last two weeks to write a blog post that would signal my return to writing in this space after the launch of The Masterpiece Mom blog and podcast had me taking an unexpected hiatus. It's been hard for me to write a real post over here because I've thought it had to be momentous in order for me to show my face around here ever again. But that's crazy talk, I know it is. So here I am just showing up. I've missed you!

On my first attempt at returning two weeks ago, I made the mistake of catching up on a few posts of Ann Voskamp's first before working on my own writing. Big mistake. What can anyone ever have to say after reading her words? That night, I ended up with one sentence on a blank page. Then ate some ice cream. Terrific.

On my second try, I deleted the sentence I'd written the night before and tapped out a few paragraphs about absolutely nothing before giving up. Awesome.

The third day I actually typed out an entire blog post that I ended up saving as a draft. Nothing fit. Nothing seemed right. Maybe I'll use it later, maybe I won't. Another day gone by with nothing to show.

Fast forward ten days.

That big lot of nothing got me thinking. What is my purpose in writing at all? (Or doing anything I love, for that matter.) I definitely don't want to force it. I want to write, serve, mother, love out of passion and ministry, not obligation.

Plus, I'm not even sure it matters to anyone if I write or serve in the capacities I do. But it matters to my Creator, because He made me this way. He made it so that I'd love to write so much that I can't not. He made it so that you'd do that thing He created you to do for Him and for the benefit of others.

You must read THIS book, from which I basically stole the thoughts that make up that last sentence. Thanks, Emily.

So I wonder, what would He have me write if I could only write about one thing? If I could only do one thing? I know. Deep thoughts. Failure will do that to you. It'll cause you to rethink everything.

In the end, it's about sharing the unbelievably Good News about Jesus. Because that's all that really matters, isn't it? An eternity with Christ because of His great love for us. (And inviting everyone else to come too.)

I'm not trying to Jesus Juke you (but you really should follow that link and read all 793 comments), or give the Sunday school answer of "JESUS!!!"

I'm simply trying to remind us that we're here for a purpose. It's a purpose that blows a bubble around all our other purposes. And that's to point people to Christ. In whatever form, using whatever words, showing that love, in the way only you can.

On the job site.
In the kitchen.
To the husband.
At the pulpit.
Behind the register.
With the child.