"Open up your lives. Live openly and expansively!" 2 Corinthians 6:13
That's how God has called us to live, to live with true freedom. Feeling free within to just be who we were created to be.
The day I am writing this happens to be my 51st birthday. And I am thankful. I am thankful for the place God has brought me. I am thankful He never gives up on us. He continues to lovingly guide us and teach us to learn how to live free. All the years it feels I wasted in worry or in fret, but life is a process. And nothing is ever wasted.
Do you want to do something for God? He loves that desire. Ask Him to give you an opportunity. He will. We don't have to fret that we aren't doing enough for Him. There are times in life that are quiet when it comes to activity. Our society is addicted to activity thinking the more stuff we do and are involved in means we must be important. This isn't God's way at all. Don't get sucked into that. Do what you know God has called you to do -- Love Him and People and let Him lead you in that love.
Okay, there have been times where I have gotten an impulse and followed it and it was definitely just Jane being weird and not God. In these times I probably felt a bit silly, but who cares. Life goes on and you can laugh about it later. Oh, I gotta tell you something that is hilarious I did that was so stupid it was funny. And it still makes me laugh (and unfortunately I am not a humorous writer so the funny might not come through). A couple of months or so ago a group from our church were at another church along with other volunteers packing up bags of food. I was in one of my very energetic moods (which usually means it is a hypomanic mood and I can get a bit crazy in a fun way -- at least for me). In these kinds of situations I talk to the people I don't know trying to help everyone feel comfortable. One young man was helping. He had a name tag on. I don't remember his whole name but it was something like "Elder Smith." So of course I called him Elder. What a cool name I thought. Every time I spoke to him I said, "Elder." When we use each other's names in conversation it makes things so much more personal.
After we left, Shannon informed me that the young man's first name was not Elder. That was his title (like Pastor). Here I thought I was being friendly. And I was. But I totally got it wrong in a very loud way. That young man probably thought I was just a crazy middle-aged church lady!
I don't know what is going on in your life today. You might be dealing with some really rough stuff. We all have rough stuff eventually happen. It is this life -- tragic, beautiful, frustrating, joyous, desperate, lonely. When we accept Jesus He doesn't take this stuff away. We still have to live this finite life. What He does promise is that He is with us in all of it and He will help us deal with anything this life gives us -- good or bad. He will be our best friend. I mean the best kind of friend. Don't you need a friend like Jesus? That is what it is about. In Him everything in our lives has meaning. Nothing goes to waste -- the bad, the good, the betrayals, the disappointments, the victories -- all of it God will use for His purposes and when He does it is amazing. He can even take your past and rewrite it in such a way that you can thank Him for those awful parts. The past isn't changed on the outside, but the past is seen with new eyes -- He can show you where He was right when something bad happened.
Last week Shannon and I traveled to see his grandma in Des Moines. She was dying. Oh, we had a glorious time saying goodbye to her. Before we left I asked if we could pray together. Shannon's cousin, his mom, his grandma, and we held hands and Shannon prayed out loud. After we said Amen (which means Yes -- maybe we all ought to start saying yes after prayers -- it would totally change things I think) his grandma said, "I never thought you'd ever be a preacher."
Neither did any of us! What a journey God takes us on.
This week we will travel back to Iowa for Grandma's funeral. She had a wonderful life. She was able to say goodbye to her children and grandchildren. And we know she's in heaven.
Thank you for reading! Sometimes even I sit in my house and wonder what God is doing. My days are often quiet with Hawken. Some days I see no one but my family. And that's just fine. Everything we do has great worth -- even changing diapers and holding someone when he has seizures.
You are wonderful (yes, you, the one who is reading this). You are loved. Father God is so good. He loves you so so so much. Talk to Him today. Talk to Jesus. Talk to the Spirit. Oh, He has plans for you. And they are very very good.