Posted in Faith

Acquainted with Chair Guys

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Although we may not think of them as such, we’re all acquainted with “chair guys”. 

You know, those precious people working behind the scenes.  Preparing meals, cleaning kitchens, running sound systems, sending cards, shopping for fundraisers, or perhaps actually setting up chairs prior to the big event. 

Yes, those who work hard for little or no recognition.  Those are the chair guys.  And without their contributions, the rest of us would not fair near as well. 

So what if you’re the chair guy, but you’re longing for a little spotlight?

What if you’re in the spotlight, but you find yourself -for whatever reason- searching for a chair to hide behind?

And what if you’re the chair guy who has always been a chair guy, who is quite comfortable being a chair guy, yet you feel God calling you – maybe even pushing you a bit – to step out from behind those chairs into the light? 

It’s difficult to step out of our comfortable areas.

Whether we’re most comfortable in the spotlight or behind the scenes doesn’t matter. When God calls us to tread into that unfamiliar place where our confidence and coziness are greatly lacking, He is actually inviting us to walk more closely with Him. To cross into a place which causes us to lean into Him a little more.  A place which challenges us to dig deeper, hold tighter, and linger longer.

Friends, regardless of where we fit into God’s plan, He sees us.  He loves us. We matter to Him.  We have a purpose. Every single one of us has a job to do, and every single job we do is noticed by Him.

The key is tuning in to Him well enough to know where we need to be, when we need to be there.  The beautiful thing is we don’t need all the answers up front.  We simply need to walk with Him one step at a time, even if those steps seem tiny and insignificant.

So whether you’re moving chairs or standing on stage, please realize your heavenly Father is watching closely, listening intently, and smiling oh so happily. Why? Because He sees you, and you’re making a difference.

Posted in Motherhood

Son, You Are Loved

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Dear Son,

Thoughts of you fill my mind tonight.

It’s your first night not living at home.  And although you’ve been away from home many times, you’ve never not lived here, in this house, under this roof, with your dad and me and your siblings.  Yes, tonight is different.

You packed up most of your favorite belongings -and a few necessities- and transported them to a new room, a new place, a new home.  College life has begun.

We helped you settle into your dorm not because you were incapable of doing so yourself, but because we needed to do so.  We needed to be with you, to linger there with you, just a tad longer. Thank you, son, for not being bothered by our presence.  Thank you for allowing us the privilege of being with you as you embark on this fresh, wonderful adventure.

And as you face the challenges that will certainly come, may I remind you of something profoundly important?

Son, you are loved.

We loved you in the months before you were born, even before we first laid eyes upon you.

We loved you through every sickness, every bump & bruise, every skinned knee and busted lip. Through times of correction and discipline. Through every failure and success. Through heartaches and difficulties. Through times of celebration and laughter.

Son, we have loved you through it all.

And that is what we so desperately want you to know. To remember. To never, ever forget.

You are loved.

No matter what your future holds.

You are loved.

Our love for you is not based on your works or successes, although we know you will have many.

It is not dependent on your ability to play ball or to obtain a college degree.

Our love for you is simply based on who you are – You are our son, and that makes you loved.

And as great as our love is for you, there is One whose love for you is even greater.

You know Him.

Son, don’t neglect spending time with Him. Taking your troubles to Him. Thanking Him for your blessings. Knowing you belong to Him.  You are his child, and that truly makes you loved.

 

Posted in Overwhelmed

Re-Thinking Our Juggle

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Friends, are any of you struggling?  Battling with the ever present to do list parked within the walls of your mind?  Determined to at least occasionally look as if you have it all together?

But despite your best efforts, you often come away with feelings of failure in one or more areas of your life.

Perhaps you visualize yourself as a master juggler, tossing balls into the air, a few at a time, until they all move in rhythm.  All is going well.  You are perfectly balanced, never dropping a ball.  Never growing tired. Never questioning your ability to maintain such perfection.

Yet your reality is quite different. 

Keeping those balls hovering mid-air has become a daunting task.  You can no longer sustain this pace.  One ball drops, and then another. And another. Until finally you realize they are all scattered.  Some only slightly out of reach.  Others appearing hopelessly lost.

You are pushed into a state of exhaustion, defeat, and shame.  Deep feelings of inadequacy begin to surface. You realize you are no longer a master of anything.

Oh sisters, can any of you relate?

This has been true of me at differing stages in my life, and I will likely experience it again at some point. Thankfully, I’ve developed a dab of insight through the years. 

I’ve discovered it’s alright to purposely loosen my grip on a few of those balls.  And it’s actually wise for me to use caution before adding another, regardless of how shimmery or glitzy this new ball may seem.

I’ve come to understand that simply because it’s good doesn’t mean it’s the right fit for me. 

I’m learning to seek God more often -and more quickly- as I strive to do what it is He has called me to do, and refrain from doing those tasks He has set aside for others. 

And while I am far from having it all figured out, I’ve found the closer I lean in to Him, the more clearly I recognize which balls are mine to juggle, and which are not.

My prayer for you, sweet friends, is that you will glance intently at what it is that keeps you so busy, so distracted, and so weary. 

Some of these, no doubt, are yours to keep. But could it be you’re also juggling some things that are not yours to juggle?

Perhaps it’s time to rediscover -or discover for the very first time- what God is asking of you. 

Perhaps it’s time to make adjustments.  To release a few of those balls, passing them on to their rightful owners, freeing up your hands a bit.

Perhaps it’s time to add to the mix those things you know you should be doing. Those things which give your life purpose and meaning. Those things which will undoubtedly make a difference in someone else’s life.

Those are the things we should be juggling. Perhaps, sisters, it’s time to re-think our juggle.