From Desperate to Hope--A process of Enlightenment

Monday, our new book will be launched. Words on a page that seek to bring hope and life and love to moms. I am so excited this morning about the possibilities of friendships being made, community being forged, women feeling loved.  But even for me, there is need for refueling, so that I can remember and cherish what it is all about.


It is 5:30 a.m. and I am up early sipping coffee in the lobby of a hotel near my home. Two days ago, Clay encouraged me to take a room so that I could work on messages for my conferences this year. With a house full of people all the time, food to cook, dishes to wash, conversations buzzing around, and the busyness of the holidays, I needed some time to center myself.

And yet, in the day and a half that I have been here, I have not gotten much accomplished. Even here, my sweet children have buzzed over to talk to me of life, decisions, had some tears, discussed love, jobs and people. My cell phone has buzzed incessantly with people having questions and needs for ministry, conferences, and for the launch coming on Monday.  Friends still need me. Clay has tasks for me to do. And of course, I had a different child come and stay with me each night because I do not really like to be alone in a hotel and my brain is dead at night anyway.

Joy came last night. "Mom, why did you and Dad get married to each other? What gives glue to your life?" "What is the essence of your message that drives your life?"

A little heavy for 10 at night, so I felt. There are moments when my brain is just empty and a flat line. But after a few hours of sleep, I awakened this morning early and my mind was just bubbling over from pondering her question and others she posed to me. I can't wait to have breakfast with her this morning to give her an answer.

Sometimes it is as though the Holy Spirit speaks to me best in the middle of the night when there are no other distractions or duties.

The scripture started flowing:

"Rule over the earth and subdue it." Genesis 1

"The wise woman builds her house, the foolish tears it down with her own hands." Proverbs 14:1

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." Matt. 7:24-27

The more I pondered my purpose, the more my excitement grew once again, to live, write and speak to what I have been designed to do.

The evening before, I had been weary to the bone with having spent myself in a thousand ways over the past months. A thousand ways people and life had required my time. Don't we all have lists of people and life issues that drain us on a daily basis?

If we are serving  others and living purposefully, we will become tired because we are expending our energy generously on a regular basis. It is why God made nighttimes to sleep. And Sabbath rest to celebrate.  Because He knew we needed rest and He provided for us to be refueled.

And yet, if we think we are just checking off a list of "to do's" and just completing mundane tasks that will have to be repeated again and again,  we will not have the fire in our hearts to complete the job. It is just too much work. Too much giving of ourselves and expending our energy. An endless stream of things to be done and people who drain our lives. If motherhood is just about keeping a child alive, fed and dressed, then why not give them over to someone else to raise so that we can have our own lives back?

In remembering the why of our marriage, our life work, our love and commitment of family, my heart became energized once again for the multitudinous tasks.

What if this is the work that matters for history? What if our shaping souls will be our investment in the kingdom of God? And if the mothers who have babies do not take care for their children's well-being and souls, then what hope does the future have? All of this once again filled my mind.

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." Hebrews 6:19

"If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied." 1 Corinthians 15:19

This labor of love that we diligently pursue is not about now. It is about investing in the kingdom of God, doing His work today, living our conviction that people have eternal value and that we are willing to be shepherds for their souls.

If there will be a resurrection, an accounting to God for our days and for our children--and there will; if He has entrusted us with this charge of raising our children for His glory--and He has; then we must complete our task with diligence. But we will only do so if we understand that some day, this story we are living will be told and our lives of faithfulness will be a testimony of our worship and belief in Him.

Our hope-- that is, our anchor--  is that our labor matters. Our hope is that our labor is not in vain. Our hope is that He sees us and has appointed us to steward the lives of little ones whose souls will have eternal impact.

If we connect to Him who is life, and listen to His words and admonition, and understand that we are about a work of the kingdom of God, our lives have reason for hope. We know that we are investing in eternity. We are shaping history. We are giving shelter and creating a place to teach wisdom, truth, and love in the stormy places of life.

Truth and purpose give us a reason to live this irrational life of giving, serving, exhausting ourselves for the sake of living a story. 

The difference between desperate and hope is that one life lacks meaning and is just filled with endless, meaningless work. The other life has the same amount of work, but is filled with the anticipation of working hand in hand with God for an eternal result that will truly shape and protect generations. This work fills a heart with the fire to live the impossible.

But, to be able to complete this great work, we need friends, people who care about our weariness and love us, women to live life with,

women who care enough to show us how and to pick us up when we fall.



P.S. SarahMae and I are hosting a Twitter party that night at 9pm! Don't miss it--you can follow us @Sally_Clarkson and @SarahMae!