Friday, March 22, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Remember

It's Friday, woot woot! A day for cleaning and preparing and anticipating guests. A day for a fabulous Five Minute Friday with the Gypsy Mama and wonderful women all over the face of the earth. You are more than welcome to join us! Just scroll down and click the button on the right. But first, read this:)

Five Minutes- no edits, no givesies backsies. Writing on today's prompt: Remember


So this post could just be one giant "to do" list, right? Because I don't remember a thing unless I write it down.

And my children just wait patiently as I verbally scroll through my family roledex until I hit the name that belongs to them. It's hard to remember.

But I really should share this one. It's something I'm going to remember for a very. long. time.

A guest pastor preached the other night at our church. He compared confession and absolution to using the facilities.

I kid you not.

It was one of those sermons that had the kids sniggering, the adults dumbfounded ("Is he saying what I think he's saying?"), and all of us paying attention. After the service, my 7 year old ran frantically around the church surveying the parishioners. "What was your favorite part? Mine was the sermon."

So anyway, he goes through the processes needed to go, but then the craziest thing sticks in my mind. The word for forgiveness means "release." As in, "You are released from your sin, your debt, your waste."

Flushed down a spiritual toilet, I suppose, never to be seen again.

He remembers your sin no more.

Maybe this is a bit crude for our refined sensibilities, but in a world that revolves largely around the bowel movements of other people, it resonates with me.

It makes me think twice before I go swimming in the sewage of past sins.

And it reminds me that if I want to spend time remembering the consequences of my indiscretions, I can look no further than the cross and empty tomb. The cleansing waters of my baptism. And I am clean.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Messy Monday: Picture Perfect, Almost

I lift up my eyes to the hills.
From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 121:1-2

I clean my house for pictures. It feels good to get that out there. I straighten the house on birthdays, not just for cleanliness' sake. I know we will be taking pictures of the cake and the food and the presents and the faces.

I have this habit of looking past our smiling faces
and seeing the pile of laundry in the background.

I want to post the shots to the family blog, but, yikes. They might notice that we don't have it all together. In truth, it's laughable that anyone would ever think we do. It is in everyone's best interest to know- we don't. I clean my house for pictures. And to be honest, I'm not very good even at that.

See this? One of my favorite pictures of one of my favorite people:
Mama loves Baby. Mama loves Jimmy Johns.
Let me assure you, I don't see any of this stuff in anyone else's pictures. Just ours.
It is God's ever present reminder to me of how my entire life would look without Him.
I'm not God to my family, but I sure do try to be. It is one of the pitfalls of parenthood. Things have to get done. They just do. There is absolutely nothing wrong with owning our responsibility. But then we beat ourselves up when things don't just fall into place. We clean just enough to give the illusion of semblance. Or we deep clean because we just can't stand the mess anymore, all the while sacrificing our patience, rest, time with kids and spouses, or friends.
We just can't seem to manage to get something done without neglecting something else.
Cleaning isn't wrong in and of itself. (Unless you are looking for an excuse to NOT clean, to which I say you certainly shouldn't. It is very unhealthy.) It is the self-inflicted demand of perfection. It is using the cleanliness of your life as some sort of gauge to tell you just where you fall on heaven's list of godly parents. It is the unrealistic definition we have of a "good" parent, a "good" child of God.

Being good at what we do has less to do with what we "accomplish," and to what caliber our simple minds judge those accomplishments, but it has everything to do with relying on the only One who truly is Good.
A messy house is a God-given reminder that He is in charge and you are not. He can keep it all together when you are falling apart. He's got the whole world in His hand, Honey. Your whole world.
He will not let your foot be moved;
he who keeps you will not slumber.
Behold, he who keeps Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord is your keeper;
the Lord is your shade on your right hand.
The sun shall not strike you by day,
nor the moon by night.
 The Lord will keep you from all evil;
he will keep your life.
The Lord will keep
your going out and your coming in
from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 121:3-8

What a gift.
So when the mess consumes and I give up, I know what I'm going to do. I'm going to kick the toys and laundry and AWOL shoes out of my way. I am going to lay on the ground, and look up to the hills.
From there my help comes.
At least the ceiling is clean.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

“Tense Time(s)”

Hello Blogosphere! As way of a brief introduction I am not Lauren... I'm the other contributor to this delightful blog. My name is Jennette & I'm currently completing my last 9 weeks of graduate school. I'm engaged to a wonderful man of God & am continually reminded of what a blessing Brian is in my life! To sum me up in a short amount of words - I'm an 85 year old stuck in a young person's body. My "old soul" can be seen in my love of organ playing, conversing with people of all ages, baking bread (& sharing it), knitting or sewing when I find the time to do so, etc. But those activities don't really matter. The thing I want you to remember is that I love Jesus & I pray that His love is shown to you through His power working in me.

Do you ever sit and ponder about time? How much time it takes you to run errands? What about how much time it takes to learn to master a new passion or hobby? Or how long it takes to complete homework or a big work project? Frankly, I don’t have much time to just sit and think about time. I usually find myself having inner thoughts and ponderings about topics I’d love to further study and learn to digest at a higher knowledge than what I currently have. And recently my thoughts have been driving me to hash out the topic of time in correlation to a few passages of God’s Word.

As humans, we are bound by time. In one week, there are 168 hours for us to fill. 24 hours to one single day. Do you necessarily fill all 24 hours in a day exactly how you imagine it to go at the beginning of the day? I know I don’t. Wish I did. But many factors enter into the changes—whether planned or unplanned—that affect how a person’s schedule plays out day to day.

I’m coming off a two week Spring break that was SO glorious to enjoy. Seemed like I had all the free time in the world. Because, for two short weeks, every day was a Saturday. Beautiful thought, right? Well, kind of. While I enjoyed the enormous amounts of “free time” I had, towards the end of break, I did begin to long for structure to my day. To help guide me in knowing how to spend the time God has given me to balance my vocations as fiancĂ©e, daughter, student, friend, and living out my life as a baptized, redeemed child of God.

I’m thankful that God is not bound by time. He is Alpha AND Omega. He is first and last. He is constantly present in my life in many and various ways. And the same is true for you. For everyone. God is present and knows the inner most trials and joys we each experience in our lives. God is forever. He is eternal. How do we know this? God’s Word tells us all of these (and many others) aforementioned truths about him. I’m especially comforted by these words from Hebrews 13:8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

Along with the beauty of knowing that God is forever, never changes, and is always there, we learn from the prophet Isaiah (40: 6b-8), “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.” Nothing else matters. Yep, that’s easier said than understood, but it is true. God’s Word survives amidst all the changes we deal with in this life. Just as God is beyond time, so also His Word is timeless.

And so we press on during this Lenten journey. We press on in living out our vocations. In spending time preparing for & living out our responsibilities which God has given to us. Being present as moms and dads in our children’s lives. Working. Studying. Forgiving. Loving. We press closer and closer to hearing and learning more about the journey to the cross our Savior took in order to save all (who believe in Him) from sin, death, and the power of the devil.

I’ll close with the beginning words of Psalm 78. Praise God for giving us His Word. May we never tire of inwardly digesting and sharing His living and active Word with those we meet in this world.

"O my people, hear my teaching;
listen to the words of my mouth.
I will open my mouth in parables,
I will utter hidden things, things from of old—
what we have heard and known,
what our fathers have told us.
We will not hide them from their children;
we will tell the next generation
the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD,
his power, and the wonders he has done."
[Psalm 78: 1-4]

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Rest

It's Friday and it's a little late, but I'm sure that will all be addressed in this Five Minute Friday!

The Gypsy Mama has another prompt for us (read: me and women all over the globe) who just want to write. Written in 5 minutes flat, I'm not sure what to tell you to expect- it has been a day. If you'd like to join us in the Five Minute Friday conversation, we'd love to have you! Just click on the button on the right.

Ok, here goes.



Let me tell you, I've already corrected this post once. Rest, the prompt is rest. Not home. We did that one already. Go back to sleep, Lauren.

And in the darkness we realize that yes, it is a school day, and no, we don't want to get out of bed, but the 7 year old is dressed and hungry and raring to go. And we just want to rest.

We hit the ground running. Clothes on. I'll shower tomorrow. I hope. Toast in the toaster. Cereal in the bowl. Milk in cups. Homework in the folder. Spelling words read and spelled. We have the dance tonight, Mom. So I won't see you until tonight.

The other three are up. Go potty. Get dressed. Brush your hair. We'll get your teeth later, Lil has to get to school. She brushes her teeth, pulls a stocking cap on the hair I just carefully braided. Repeatedly. Puts on her coat, gives a hug and is out the door.

Hubs comes back in a bit. We load up the other three kids and take a road trip (literally 35 minutes) to the nearest Walmart. Shop shop shop. Stock stock stock. Another stop to get meat. Meat meat meat.

After home and unloading and putting away and making lunch I am well off my caffeine high, but I need to write my Five Minute Friday. No- I need to nap. So I manifest my writing in between the sheets.

And today I realize just how quickly the ST in REST invites his buddies to the party and I am STREST. Stressed.

Today I realize how important God's 7th day rest was to my life today. To be wired for a 7 day week. Could you imagine 8? or 9?

I realize that it's no accident that we stop to go to the bathroom several times EVERY DAY. Imagine, once a week... That would be the only time I ever SIT DOWN.

I realize my need for a God who calls me tro climb into the lap of HisWord and I relish every moment I get to rest in it. Let's do that now.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

There Will Be a Day

This post is actually the article I wrote for last month's church newsletter. A woman in our congregation told me it had her husband in tears of laughter, and since he is 30+ years removed from this stage of life I figured it might mean even more to those in the throes of it all...

Excruciating = this morning’s excursion. You ever have a plan and have that faint feeling that it’s probably a bad idea, but your agenda is so loud it drowns out the warning, and it isn’t until you are past the point of no return that you realize, yep- bad idea? And then your efforts all boil down to one word. Like excruciating.

To recount each offense against my psyche this morning would be to fill your next half hour with depressing minutia leaving you despairing that you’ll never get that brief time of your life back, so I think just the “highlights” will suffice.

McDonalds and Walmart with 4 young kids.  Now I know that there are moms who have gone through the fire with many more or less children than 4, but humor me. A 30 minute drive sprinkled with whining, crying, and occasional screaming just loud enough to overshadow the “positive” and “encouraging” message of KLOVE over the radio.

Eventually we see the McDonalds drive-thru line, which is just long enough that I feel compelled to drag all four children into the brisk air and into the equally busy restaurant where my kids apparently lose their hearing and sense of spatial awareness because I cannot simply tell them to move out of other people’s way, but I must physically move them (p.s. I am sick with a bug that’s stuck around for a week already), and in the process of getting the food with which ¾ of the kids are none-too-impressed, the oldest knocks my Diet Coke down to the ground and brightest spot of this whole trip is dripping from the counter and soaking her pants and the McDonalds employee looks at me with such heartfelt pity I don’t know if I want to laugh or cry.

And then a woman, a more experienced mother (of, say, 25 years) takes my tray and asks me if I’d like her to put my children in the booth. I nod in my stupor, look to the two new soda cups that have materialized out of nowhere, and despondently begin my refill. I want to cry. so. bad. But I don’t. I walk to the table, thank the lady and employee who is mopping my mess, and feed my spirited children. The sympathetic employee offers to take my trash (maybe thinking he’s pulling me back from the precipice of a mental breakdown) and we head to Walmart. The atrocities that await us there are numerous, but not so monumental as to warrant a retelling.

On the way home from what is undoubtedly one of the worst outings of my mothering life, the radio gets static-y and I flip adeptly to the other KLOVE station out of Omaha. It is only then that I really hear the song, But I hold on to this hope, and the promise that He brings. There will be a place with no more suffering. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears. There will be a day when the burdens of this place will be no more and we see Jesus face to face.   (“There Will Be A Day,” by Jeremy Camp)

In the big scheme of my life, I won’t remember those little calamities that drove me to walk away from the children in my cart today to recollect myself. I won’t remember the unkind words “good” Christian parents don’t think, let alone say. I do think I’ll remember the kindness of those around me, not simply as the examples of the “goodness of mankind,” but as witnesses to God’s constancy and provision. Through these angels of mercy He reminded me that He was still there for me. Even when my own agenda pushes me into a “bad idea” and I can’t go back and I can’t go around, but I must go through my trial, He gives me what I need and who I need. And then He points me to that day ahead where I will finally get to rest. Where everything won’t be so hard. Where I can be with my Savior at last.

 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Monday, March 11, 2013

Messy Monday: HELLO MY NAME IS... MUD

Our eyes awaken to a place so bright,
and this shock of white tells Doppler it'll be alright
because when her bark breaks into the dark
and the door is opened,
her hope is that her
pawfuls of indiscretion
will be wiped away
and she can play
in the glory of the
living room.
 Sorry, I've been watching a lot of slam poetry lately, and I wanted to play with it a bit.
 But it's true. Carefree, Doppler runs in glorious circles around our snow-laden yard and I let her and I laugh because I know what awaits, and I choose to ignore it: the muddy season.

We had a glimpse of it the other day, before the snowfall in which I now revel. And since muddy days with muddy paws create a mud masterpiece on my floor much like melted chocolate on the digits of a toddler hand, we relegate the furry sinner to the back porch until she is suitable for inside living.

She tries to avoid the mud. I'm not kidding. I have seen the dog bound over mudpits with the agility of a gazelle, but the mud is unavoidable and will continue to be so until sod is laid in the coming months.

So the pup is treated much like those poor souls too dirty for church. Surely we all must spend some time in the "back porch" cleaning ourselves up a bit before we can come into the church like respectable sinners.

Respectable sinners?

Cleaning ourselves?

And if you don't think you fall into the "let me just straighten myself out a bit before I let You have me, Lord" category of human, you are either incredibly honest with God or incredibly dishonest with yourself.

How often has Jesus been my last resort in fixing my sorry self? Hold on, Lord. Just gimme a minute to rub this filthy paw all over my soul and scrub the cakes of sin off, and then I'm all yours. 

Caked with sin. Howsabout we toss the paw, the sponge, the chisel, and go straight for the sledgehammer because these sins are clinging on tight.

Oh, I really avoided my dirty world a lot today, Lord. That pit of immorality- bounded right over it, Lord! Those wretched words to slay my child's confidence- I didn't speak them, Lord! I did really well. So well. In fact, why don't You come back tomorrow and maybe I'll need You to clean me then.

I stay isolated in a back porch of my own design.

Instead of living in the room prepared for just that, living.

And if by some miracle, or serious self-delusion, I am able to maintain that I am in fact clean by my own efforts, it just takes a speck of dirt colliding with the Water of Life to make a mud I didn't even know I was creating. Jesus, He uses that mud to make the blind me see.

I had a friend clean my back porch last week. She kneeled on my floor and washed my spiritual feet when she erased those pitiful prints.

Talking about blinding to truly be seeing.

The white was tremendous. My eyes retreated at the reflection of light coming off the white that I had forgotten was even there.

I believe I find that in the Bible under the word dazzling...

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. 2 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. -Luke 24

Those holy messengers with a message that dazzled love so deeply that even their apparel couldn't conceal it...
They came to confirm- No back porch needed. No self-service here. No rugs and mats to clean our dirty feet, but a Savior who kneels at these filthy calloused soles and this filthy calloused soul and washes us clean as we lay helpless and defeated.

Things have changed, and the brilliant robes of angels can't compare with the blinding robes of righteousness displayed on this wounded woman's heart.

Defeat isn't part of the equation. Battle's done. And you won. You're all sparkly clean and fresh and alive now. So get out of the back porch and getsta living.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Home

Five Minute Friday here! And the Gypsy Mama had a new prompt for us writers this morning. Written in 5 minutes flat. Here goes...



Ooooooo this should be interesting! You see, I do this for a living.

I'm a homemaker.

You can believe me- I have the unused college degree and scribbled walls to prove it.

I would LOVE to peak into the mind-windows of those who hear the word "homemaker." Would it jibe with the word "home"? I wonder.

And what if making homes, not houses, was considered a real "occupation." I think people out there try to accomplish that- and they sure do make some good looking "homes." All color coordinated and organized and a place for everything and everything in its place. Amazing.

I can see it- people call 1-800-DRS-HOME and a well trained team of professional homemakers dispatches an expert to the house of a frazzled working suburban couple. They sweep in and with all the grace of Mary Poppins, sing a song as the dishes are again stacked neatly ("Darling, how can a home be a safe place when your child can't reach for a cereal bowl without the threat of a concussion?"), and the toys whisk away to their respective toy bins. Ahh.

Or how about I take a lesson from the Master Homemaker. After all, He made this home once- perfectly. And when the key element of home flew out the window, relationship, He prepared us another one.

Grace, that's what makes even this decaying tent feel like a home, not so that I can get comfortable, but so that I can see my relationship with Him shine through even my darkest days. Hope. Love. Peace. Joy. That's what makes a building into a home. Jesus. And each day I get to anticipate my true Home again.


And I feel I should note that in 5 minutes I wrote this little doozy in 4 different places. Because moms get followed and their brains have a hard time making the journey to blogging land with little voices clambering into the luggage...

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When I Bow to Fear

Because God has been up on that mountain just a little too long.
And it is lonely. In this wilderness.
And those Baals. They just make it so easy.
To fall away.
It takes just about a second of God's perceived absence and I bow down to the baals around me. I'm a stubborn people. I'm Israel. I attribute my gifts, triumphs, my very survival to the gods of my ego. It's not until I collapse in a heap of frustrated tears and biting words that I ask myself, Who delivered you from your slavery? Your doubt? Your fear? Your self?
No. It was God alone.
So God and I have these little conversations. They are never angry or cruel- at least not from God's end. He is so very patient with this wanderer. These frequent conversations may appear over the span the next few weeks, partly because baals of my own invention crop up every day, but more so because God's blessings are unnumbered. His mercies are new every morning. And because maybe you too have your own baals, and your own conversations...
When I bow down to fear...
It's not that I have a clinical phobia or anything, though I readily admit I can't handle spiders. At all.
It's just this fear that goes unrealized throughout most of my days. It's the fear that maybe I'm doing this whole "life" thing wrong, and perhaps God doesn't really understand the gravity of the situation.
I try to handle it like they say I should. I say:
God, I know I should believe in myself. I know I am stronger than I think I am.
That's what they tell me at least.
Just the fact that for even a moment you thought you could handle this on your own, without Me, proves the opposite is true. You do not underestimate your capabilities. You overestimate them.

The One you underestimate is Me.
Lauren, I created you to be like Me. Not to be Me. You are dust.
Believe me, I know that is true.
But you forget.
I know, Lord. And I am so so sorry. I'll never forget again. Please. I never want to forget again.
You will, you know.
I know.
I know that too.
You won't give up on me though... will You?
Who am I, Lauren?

I AM the One who stretched out the heavens.
Who spread the waters.
Who filled the earth.
Who created your first father and first mother,
and every father and mother and brother and sister and child after that.
And who still takes care of them? Who takes care of you?

You have read with your own eyes.

I AM the One who parts the waters.
Who calms the seas.
Who sends the fiery chariots.
Who protects the Nile's basket case.

O ye...
... "of little faith." I know.
Look around you.
Why do you doubt Me?
Because I am looking around me, Lord. Every day I am blindsided by more bad news.
Every. Day. It's too much.
Too much for me?
(I'd rather not answer that one.)

I AM the Alpha and Omega. Who will be here when all is said and done? Who?

Who cares for the abandoned?
For the fatherless?
The motherless?
The sick? The dying?
Does anything escape Me? My heart?

I AM the God who follows through.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all,
how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32

I AM the God who longs for His rebellious children.
How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! Matthew 23:37

I AM the God who loves lavishly.
And from His fullness we have all received grace upon grace. John 1:16

I AM the God who chooses to dwell in you.
16 Do you not know that you are God's temple
and that God's Spirit dwells in you? 1 Corinthians 3:16
I AM the Ressurection and the Life.
I AM the living water that quenches forever.
I AM the Door for the sheep.
I AM the God who takes the people who were not a people, and makes them My people.


I AM the God who removes hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh. I've done it before and I will do it again. And again.
I'm so sorry.
I know you are, Child. You are forgiven. And don't think for a moment that I grow angry or weary of reminding You who I am. It is for Your sake that I do.

Because I love you.


Do not be afraid.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

(In these conversations I am thankful that God brings to my mind verse after verse of His faithfulness. If you are looking for verses in the midst of your wilderness fears, or if He has brought one to your mind and you would like to share, please leave a comment.)

Monday, March 4, 2013

Messy Monday: It's a Paint Thing

Messy with a touch of emotional upheaval.
The first two days of last week were devoted to painting three rooms on the main level.
I didn't touch a brush.
So why was I so exhausted?
Because it is stressy mess.
Because it is rearranging, and reigning in, and... I don't know. It is just hard.
Death to my schedule. Death to my organized chaos. Death to my decor. Death to my comfort.
Little deaths to the little things that I am determined to cling to in an attempt to define my life.
"The more we get what we now call 'ourselves' out of the way and let Him take us over, the more truly ourselves we become." - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity 

Then there are all those opinions, and you know that when everyone tells you how much they like it then you have a good group of friends that knows that, in this case, it is probably best just to lie because, for Pete's sake, she painted the bathroom orange and she might be a little bit uncertain seeing it in the light of day and could even perhaps be on the brink...
Death to my self-confidence.
But it's done now. This level is anyway.  The comfortable colors warm the place up and my house is now a home, not an extension of a church building.
So the mess was worth it. The rearranging, and the taping, and the paint can lids and the blankets and the miniature nails and screws, and the pictures. Everything is where it should be. Even me. Home.
The deaths were temporary. Neccessary pieces of the process that makes this shell into a home.
I look at other choices. Other cans of color that God rolls onto the walls of other lives and I think Hmmm... that might be nice. Or Wow. That is just beautiful.
Or Never, Lord. Please don't ever EVER put that on me.
There is always upheaval when the Lord sets to making us home-y.
My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people. -Ezekiel 37:27
The rearranging. The reigning in. The inconveniences. The uncertainty in the light of day.
The opinions.
The deaths.
It is just hard.
Death always is.
Yet it seems the most beautiful walls, the richest hues that ring true in any light, are achieved in those lives that have been the hardest. When the Painter's tape is stripped from the wall and the coloring is complete and things are put in place little by little, you see that the Never, Lord color is precisely what you were intended to wear.
You find that for some reason it suits you because it suited Him too. And when people look at you they just know it:
The Lord lives here.
14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:14-19

Friday, March 1, 2013

Five Minute Friday: Ordinary

It's Five Minute Friday again, courtesy of the gypsy mama, Lisa-Jo Baker.

Writing about a prompt for 5 minutes flat- no editing, no revising. Just writing.


Today's prompt: Ordinary

... or Memoirs of a Former Diva

I wonder how many women will write about this... our glory days.

I'm about 10 years removed from the pinnacle of my glory days. When people wanted me, and not just to change or feed or play with them. Back in the days where I didn't really care if they knew who I was, as long as they knew who I was. And of course it was all done in the name of Jesus Christ, but didn't it feel goooood to be wanted? To be known. Even to be... envied.

And in the past ten years it's been a constant battle. Spiritual exfoliating as God scrapes layer after layer of ego off this poor, bedraggled, ordinary mom. People don't know who I was then. In the time that I jokingly (half) refer to as "back when I was awesome".

I am defined by my constant connection with the family around me. __________ mom. The "pastor's wife". And most days it doesn't bother me.

Only recently I was jarred from my contentment with a poignant reminder of the spotlight. I was called upon to perform. To be awesome once again. And to be honest, it really would be awesome. Just not possible.

I thought at first it was a messenger of Satan reminding me of who I once was, but now I'm not so sure. Because in the days since the invitation, I have been repeatedly reminded that God called me to something else. Something better. I'm not just a sack of potential flushed down the toilet of ordinary. I'm a mom, a  wife, a sheep.

And if there isn't anything more ordinary than a sheep. Don't they all look alike? Not to the Shepherd.

The manger. That was ordinary. But its value was based on the God it held within. God chooses the ordinary to make known the extraordinary, Himself.

And isn't it all about Him, after all?