Hello! Long time, no type! I have missed you, my dear blog, but--and please take no offense to this--I have found that my conscious decision to make the most of the last days of summer has been more than just a tad bit liberating. You see, I typically have "bloggy" thoughts nearly all day long...thoughts I want to share, thoughts that seem like I should be writing them down, thoughts of how to make the mundane of life interesting enough to put in a blog post...you name it, if it is a thought, it frequently draws me to blog-thinking. But, having just come home from the most fabulous of weekends at She Speaks 2010 in North Carolina, courtesy of the amazing women at Proverbs 31 Ministries, I have honestly felt pulled away from the blog. That's new and different! (And rather freeing, I may add!) It's as if despite the fact that God delivered four blog post ideas to me during the days of the conference, once I got home, He released me from the weight of obligation to immediately post them.
Thank you, Lord, my brain needed the rest.
And so, this past week, since having returned exactly 7 days and 1 hour ago from a truly incredible weekend, I have let the rest of life consume me. I have worked on the household budget, paid the bills, and balanced the checkbook. I have prayed my sister through a fresh heartache of saying goodbye to her husband as he deploys for his second tour in Afghanistan. I have played on facebook, and added new and dear sisters-in-Christ to my facebook friends. I have been humbled by the all-too-blunt comments of a loved one, and have had the joy of turning to God yet again for His assurance and comfort. (I am honestly learning to trust and appreciate a good humbling, no matter how painful in the moment. I mean that.) I have been assisted in picking over 1000 ears of corn (yes, I meant to type 1,000), and the collective of the Story women and men have packed over 110 quarts of corn into the freezers for winter. (But we are only 60% done, according to the Head Nut.) I have loved on my children who start school in just 10 days. I have mopped my kitchen for the first time in over a month. (I had to, after all that corn.) I have helped the kiddos get their fair projects ready. I have taken five children back-to-school shopping. All five. At once. I have enjoyed a fantabulous "taco night" with two of the finest Girlfriends (and our collective brood) that anyone could ask for. I have been poolside with the kiddos four days in a row. And I have praised God for my life.
The way I see it, I have once chance to finish this summer well. I have one chance to throw off the sel -imposed stress and pressure of having so many projects, and make sure my children know that they are my number one. I have one chance to make sure the corn gets picked at the peak of ripeness...but even that is much less important than making sure my baby girl is ready for kindergarten, and her big brothers are ready for the adjustment of going back to school. And I have once chance to praise my God right now, in this moment, for what He is doing right now in this moment. I have one chance to run with perseverance the race set out before me.
So, while it is frequently my heart's desire to type and talk and study and lead, God has reminded me that before any of those desires were burned daily into my brain, He made me a Mom. He planted me in my life, in this family of corn-loving misfits, and if I am to do anything else well, I must be doing that well.
However, before I go, can I share with you one of the most beautiful things I learned at She Speaks?? I learned that I am not that nutty after all! I am not that different! I am may be a Nut, but I am not completely nuts! Woo-hoo! Who knew?? You see, I spent an incredible three-day weekend with over 600 other women, all whom either already have, or who currently desire to, add one more thing to their life. Women with husbands and children and dirty floors and busy lives, who also desire to type and talk and teach and lead, just like me. Women with blogs and four kids. Women with book proposals and seven kids. Women with brand new novels and six kids. Women with speaking ministries and five kids. Women with broken pasts and bright futures. Women who, despite a full plate at home, cannot ignore the burning passions they believe are placed in them by God to do more, teach more, speak more, and add more to their lives. It was one of the most liberating and invigorating feelings I have had in a long time, to realize that I am not that different.
I learned up close and personal that if God is going to use me, all the evidence to the contrary all around me is really no excuse. If God has truly placed a desire or passion or talent in me to do something for His kingdom, He will make sure it gets done. Sure, I still have to wait for His time and His way, but He will make certain that His will--whatever that may be--is accomplished in and through me, despite whatever earthly "obstacles" may lie in my path. I love the expression, "God does not call the equipped, He equips the called". If He wants to use me, He will equip me. No matter how many kids I have, no matter how empty the bank accounts get, no matter how little help I have at home sometimes, no matter how busy the enemy strives to make me, God has placed desires and passions and (dare I say it?) talents in me, and He will use them. In His time, in His way, and for His glory. I am stunned. And perhaps I am really not that nutty after all.