Authentic

I backed my car down our steep driveway and into the street.  As soon as I put the car in drive, I said, "Okay God. It's just you and me.  We've got a 30-minute drive ahead of us and I need to talk."  

I feel at a complete loss as to what you want me to do.  I feel like I am missing something.  What do you want me to be?  If all that I am supposed to be is my husband's wife and the boy and girl's mom, then place in my heart the burning fire to be the best wife and mother that I can be. God you know my heart better than I do and I don't want to pursue anything that does not come from You or that You haven't placed within me.  You are not an unfair God.  I believe this to be true with every particle of my being.  You are not unjust and You do not dangle carrots.  I'm reading in the Beth Moore book, "Breaking Free" that we try to humanize You and how you express love.  Our limited human emotions have no way to fully comprehend the vast amount of unconditional love You have.  You are love.  It IS what and who You are. At the end of almost every church service, our pastor says "may you come to understand how wide, how deep, Your love is."   I'm trying to get it.

So this writing thing of mine. I want to be a writer.  I want to do this for You.  I want to do this and every time I journal I want it to feel like I'm writing to one person no matter if one thousand might read it.  And if there are ever a thousand readers, then I want to remain as humble and grateful as when I had just the one reader.  I want to write for You through the gift of the Holy Spirit.  BUT if it is not Your plan for me, then I'm asking You, no I'm begging You, please take it away from me.  Take it all away, my thoughts about it, my dreams about it, my desire to sit at my desk and tap on the keyboard.  Take it all away.

I am sobbing at this point on my drive.  I reach into the glove box and hope for a tissue but manage a crumpled, yellow Wendy's napkin.  I blow my nose while I'm sitting at a stop light.  I stare straight ahead because I know that if I look at the person in the car next to me, they'll see a mess of mascara and phlegm and I don't need that kind of judgment right now.  The light changes and I start my dialogue again.

Remember when I went to that women's conference with my sisters and they said "Stand up if you gave up something that you wanted because of someone else. If you put on hold a desire of your heart for someone else, like raising babies, or passing on an opportunity for the benefit of the family."  I stood up.  The speaker continues, "You gave it to God.  Say this right now. I gave it to you, God and I know if you don't give it back to me, it means you will give me something better.

 Well, that's how I'm feeling.  I gave it away.  I didn't do it.  I buried the possibility of public writing because we have children to raise and bills to pay and I know as soon as I type this that it's a cop-out because if you really want something, you make time.  Nothing stands in the way of a real, honest-to-goodness dream.  But is it my dream or yours?

Oprah said once that you do what you have to do, until you can do what you want to do. 

 That's where I am.

You have been so faithful to me.  Time and again there are all those times where You came through for me big and I knew it was You. Lord, I am so grateful for how You watch out for me and my family, but I have friends who say they can hear You.  That You speak to them, not verbally, but they just FEEL Your presence and they have a *knowing* of what to do.  When I'm not talking, I really try to listen to You. I want to feel Your presence and to have that same confidence that some of my friends say they have.  I need to experience that from You. Please.

I want a burning desire to do Your will and have the life You want for me.  I don't want to feel like I'm missing it.  Like I went through my entire life and when I get to see Your face that You don't say, why didn't you do this thing for Me?  I don't want that.  I want to say I did nearly everything you asked of me.  No human is perfect but I want to come close to doing what you asked.  What is that?   What do you want from me?  I will follow.  I'm stubborn and my own ideas get in the way, but I will follow.

Jen Hatmaker warns "don't ask God for a burning desire" unless you understand that your life will be turned upside down.  I want to trust you.  I want to have that peaceful calm that you are going to work everything out but my fear is that I'm so thickheaded that I'm missing the piece that you need me to do so the end is delayed because I haven't done something You need.  You're having to rearrange the puzzle pieces until I figure it out. 

 Authentic & Excellence

Authentic & Excellence

I pull into the parking lot of my the kid's school.  I lower the windows and turn off the engine and pull my keys out of ignition and set them on the passenger seat.  I reach for my purse in the passenger side floorboard because I need to find another tissue and straighten out my face situation.  And that's when I see my key chain.  I've carried it around for the last four months but today it was like I saw it differently. 

In that quiet moment, I whisper to God that I want to be my key chain. I want to be *AUTHENTIC.*  I want to be what my key chain says I represent whether or not I feel like it some days.  Most days I don't feel like I am experiencing *EXCELLENCE* and I'm getting it all wrong, but every day I keep trying.  Authenticity and Excellence will be my new focused mantra.

I sit in my car and I am quiet.  I think about the drive and all the talking I did.  I think about how it felt good to release the tears and get it all out so I could hear what I was feeling.  I thought about how God knew all of this ahead of time and every time I have an "out loud train of thought" prayer, I know He's listening and His presence is comforting. 

I look at the clock and I have 15 minutes before the kids pile into the car.  I reach for my Beth Moore book "Breaking Free" which stays in the console of my car for times where I have a few minutes to read.  I open to Chapter 35.  THE FULLNESS OF UNFAILING LOVE.

And this is how God spoke to me.   Loudly.

Beth explained that Christians who are supposed to be fully satisfied with Jesus often still harbor an unidentifiable emptiness or need.  That she too couldn't figure out what the problem was and she knew it was her because it couldn't be God. No matter how she tried, she could not fill the emptiness she felt. She went on to explain that when you *acknowledge* every empty place in your life, every void and hollow place that you are inviting Him to fill up the emptiness with His Holy Spirit.  Beth pretty much said "HEY YOU with the Authentic Key Chain" make a daily practice of inviting His love to fill your hollow places and you will feel more fulfilled than you ever dreamed.  

Amen. 

 

Seeds to Share

Ephesians 3:14-21 - Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and Christ Jesus throughout all generations for ever and ever.