Traveling the last couple of months has given me so many opportunities to visit sweet ones and hear about the stories of their lives. Those who live by faith, trust God to bring light in the current circumstances of their lives, seek to "Love Him with all of their might," by being faithful right where they are, are those who have hope that today matters.
Faith sees each day as a place to bring God's reality, love and light into each day. However, often, in the past weeks, I have also talked with sweet ones who blame others or circumstances for their current difficulties, and these mamas live in places that bring darkness to their souls.
I have found that when I sow light, I reap light. When I sow darkness, doubt and anger, I reap the discouragement of that investment. All of us have times of great discouragement and difficulty in this world of ours. But when we understand that God wants to redeem our days, our family, our marriage story, our mistakes and move one day at a time toward pleasing Him by walking by faith, we begin to see that He is with us, His presence is gently, slowly leading us, and we do begin to see redemption and grace through the story of our lives.
Today, I am still on the road, this time with my wonderful Clay at a conference we attend each year, amidst friends and creative types.
But I have you on my mind. Praying for each of you that you will pray about what it means to Own your life by seeking to find God's reality in this day, this season, in this difficulty. May He give you grace and you seek Him in Owning Your Life by seeking to serve Him amidst the moments of your life today--without excuses, without doubt--moving ahead by the belief that He cares and that He rewards those who seek Him. Grace to you today.
One Wednesday as I was driving to physical therapy for my thrown-out back, I was already acutely aware of life’s ambivalence for my plans and expectations. I had scrambled around the house looking in vain for my purse, and finally just got in the car without it, excited to steal a quick breakfast with Joy before my appointment.
But the inconvenience didn’t end there!
Somehow, on our way to a cafe in Denver, we had been to many times before, we got lost in the labyrinth of downtown Denver crossroads. As I was turning down another wrong road, Joy was calling the theater where I thought I might have left my purse. No purse. Late for my physical therapy appointment if we stopped for breakfast. And then a traffic jam where we were at a standstill. My frustration made me want to throw my hands in the air with a dramatic, “This morning is wasted!”
But I knew it wouldn’t help, so I took a deep breath and we pressed on.
So often it can feel like weeks, months, and years of life can become an endless comedy of errors, rife with work, ear infections, bills, diapers, and a hundred other setbacks. And yet, when we focus on the chaos around us, we can forget to see the beauty and purpose God has for us in each stage of life.
There was a time in my life when my days were consumed in an endless cycle of mamawith-little-ones duties. It would’ve been easy for me to think during that season that my life wasn’t very important, and certainly didn’t rise to the level of radical Christian living.
I love the poster above that a friend made for me. One of my favorite quotes often attributed to different people, (Eleanor Roosevelt and a Chinese proverb), is
"It is better to light a candle, than to curse the darkness."
The wonderful grace and glory of a woman who walks with God by faith, is that she brings light into her darkness, and hope into the dark clouds of despair, and love into conflict. As those filled with the very spirit of Jesus, we have the ability to bring His redeeming life into every moment. It is our worship of Him to trust Him to live through us with His reality each day.
It was in those hidden years that God was building and strengthening a foundation of love, faithfulness, and fruitfulness. The books I read to my little ones planted seeds of courage and heroism in their hearts. The everyday, seemingly unromantic investments I made in my marriage became a rare story of a faithful partnership.
It is the unseen actions of obedience that shapes the story we will tell.
We all have landmark moments in our lives where God’s will is clear; the real work— and the real reward—is having eyes to see God’s work in all the normal days.
My challenge in that time was to look for God’s fingerprints in my life.
I began to realize that God’s purpose for me would not begin in five, ten, or twenty years. His purpose had already begun in my life and it took the form of the children, the husband, the community, and the work I had in front of me each day.
Instead of looking ahead for some unrealized hope for fulfillment, I began to see each mundane moment as a potential altar of worship before the Lord of the universe. Every meal I cooked, every neighbor that came for tea, every skinned knee I kissed—each was a brick in the foundation of the legacy I wanted to leave.
To begin to see beauty and purpose in your ordinary days begins with a heart that wants to engage with God. If you don’t trust that God is working, then your response to difficulties is despair or a choice to accept hopelessness, to live in meaningless existentialism.
This story is an excerpt from Own Your Life Bible Study and planner. There is a Bible study and application questions you will find in the study guide to help you plan your own unique life.