I’ve been a total wreck since IF: GATHERING (if you’re a little behind –catch up HERE-or just know it was a gathering of oh, about a million women around the world, 2500+ of them in Austin, TX whom I along with about a hundred other AMAZING volunteers had the privilege to serve. Each seeker came to worship the One TRUE God through song, truth and prayer, connecting across racial barriers, begging Him to lead them toward their next step of faith.
Jennie Allen, the founder of IF wrote a follow up post yesterday about how to dive back into the mundane of life after such a revival of heart.
I tweeted her and told her, “I’m shook up”!
So I’m going to write this post without abandon
I’m going to write to you as if you were sitting here in my living room and we were just having this crazy conversation about life and faith and the things that REALLY matter.
Things I am not going to worry about in this post…commas, complete sentences -verses fragments.
Also, a quick side note—>My editor (aka the cowboy who is the voice of reason in my head has since drifted off to sleepy town and is unavailable so I will do my best to be on my best behavior and not say all of the things that may or may not sound crazy to some)
Oh, and one last thing. I’m not going to worry about sounding crazy because faith stuff usually appears to many as- crazy.
Feel free to tap out now if you are scared
Otherwise sit back and hang on because this is where we are:
#1 The beginning
Jan 23 2012
I woke up thinking a)I was having a heart attack b)creeped out thinking someone was in my room
The realness of the moment was so heavy on my chest I could hardly breathe so I sat up, grabbed my Bible, prayer journal, a pen and headed for the living room
My heart and head were beating in sequence (much like it is tonight )
More like pounding verses beating
It was intense
I took a few deep breaths, sat for a moment before I began speaking out loud to myself while searching frantically for a clean page in my journal
The words, and questions, so many questions ….were flooding my mind like a tidal wave
Finally a clean page
I ripped it out and began writing the prayer the wrecked us.
A New Beginning
Lord is it you who beckons me? What is it? Is this the BIG thing we’ve been praying for? Will this be my last 100th Day of School celebration with the public school? Are you calling me to a different mission field? From the public school to home school? Who will you gather to pray for us? What curriculum will we use? Should I write a book? Start a blog? Speak at churches? Do you want us to move? Host days on the farm? Paint/refurbish old furniture? Contact lady from Lil Light O’ Mine blog ( a woman I had never met-with a list of questions about blogging)?
Father, I don’t know the answer to any of these questions but I know you do. You know the answer to these and the ones I haven’t asked yet. I rest in you. Where you lead me Father I will follow. Amen
Dear precious reader friends and family you should know..
I’ve never bungee jumped. I hate fair rides. I don’t do amusement parks and am scared to swim in water where I can not see the bottom. I believe it is true that one can truly be scared to death because I almost died last summer on the sky wing at Ponderosa Bible Camp. I’ve parasailed only once because my friend made me and I shake every-single-time I sit in the saddle on a horse even though I’ve been married to a cowboy for two decades.
I’m a nail biter and more of a chicken than I am brave.
But here’s the thing,
I believe that Jesus is God’s Son, born of a virgin, both God and man who led a perfect, flawless life and yet took my sins and your sins upon Himself, was persecuted, beaten, spat on and died only to rise 3 days later so we could live the life He intended us to live-
I believe He is coming back SOON
I believe God the Father is a creative creator who has a plan and a purpose for each an every one of us
I believe we are to love God and love people because God’s Word is true (His word is our plumb-line)
I believe many things He calls us to while we are loving Him and loving people is sometimes scary and lastly
I believe being afraid is a natural part of living an obedient life
Just as an unruly child pushes into another
Fear pushes us into faith
#2 the middle
Has been like a lot like teaching a child to read.
Our youngest son is six-years old. Just since Christmas he has begun to read independently.
Watching kids learn to read is much like watching a wildfire.
First the sound in isolation, then a blended sound that leads to a word. And then before you know it they’re two words become five words and just like that, he’s read his first book as he put it, “all-by-myself Momma!”
I must confess there were some (actually MANY, MANY days over the last two and a half years) in the middle of the teaching-my-own-children-to-read-process I thought, we’re not going to make it.
I’m out. I can’t do this. My ears are bleeding. This is bad. Have I forgotten how to teach?
I’ve taught other people’s children to read. Why is this so hard? These are my kids. What am I doing wrong?
And then somewhere near the end of the middle of the hard, sometimes painful process
They could read!
And all the angels sang, AMEN!
Now they read together and it’s almost more than this teacher-mom can take.
Which leads me back to #2 -the middle
It’s been just over two years since my initial 3:25 am wake-up call to pray.
The beginning was AWESOME -because most beginnings are exciting and fun.
We were on the honeymoon of this new jump-off -the-cliff-take-a-crazy-leap-of-faith-during-a-recession kinda life!
God was moving. Showing up and showing out. Our farm camps were full and homeschooling was new and letters were easy and there was still money in the bank. People were sharing my blog posts (even the really early ones that were written in phrases. Bless you and keep you sweet, sweet early followers)
So many of the things from that night of prayer that wrecked us began to happen and then even more things happened.
As a family we began to pray the prayer of Jabez:
Oh that you would bless us indeed
And enlarge our territory
Keep your hand upon us and keep us from evil
That we may not cause you pain. 1 Chronicles 4:10
God enlarged our territory because we bought a feed store. So all of a sudden we were homeschooling, farm host, who needed to be at the store we had just bought and life got whack-o for lack of a better term.
The first year at the store was like a fair ride. Salesmen in and out. New products, new sign, new faces, familiar faces- everybody was excited about the new kids on the feed store block.
Two and a half years later…
THE MIDDLE is scary
The middle is a lot of waiting
The middle is a lot of unknowns
The honeymoon is over (*Here’s when I need the cowboy as a filter)
But since he’s asleep, Alan Jackson will have to stand in..
Are you familiar with his song, Little Man that came out several years ago?
It’s always been one of our favorites and now more than ever because we are one of the little men he speaks of in his song…
Now the court square’s just a set of streets
That the people go ’round but they seldom think
‘Bout the little man that built this town
Before the big money shut them down
And killed the little man, oh the little man
Now the stores are lined up in a concrete strip
You can buy the whole world in just one trip
And save a penny ’cause it’s jumbo size
They don’t even realize
They’re killin’ the little man, oh the little man
and the last line brings us to
#3 the end
who knows how this is going to play out??
It’s almost as if that 3:25 wake-up call to pray has served as a check list of major life events for us over the last couple of years.
Many of the questions I had for God coming to fruition and playing out right before our very eyes
We’ve been homeschooling with this year being our best year yet. It is the primary reason I left my career and it is good.
I obviously started a blog after the encouragement I received from Courtney DeFeo from Lil Light O’ Mine. Courtney has since released her first book, In This House We Will Giggle, (You must follow Courtney. Her stuff is G-O-O-D) Not to mention she has become a-right-on-time (just when I want to quit) cheerleader as I continue to work on my manuscript.
God has provided countless opportunities for me to speak of His faithfulness at churches, camp, women’s retreats and my favorite—the jail.
Still, with ALL of His goodness in answering so many of my questions so faithfully
I’m still scared.
I’m scared for the future of our little feed store.
I’m scared of the possibility of not living in this house on this farm
I’m scared of what our next step of faith may be and yet
He is good.
I believe when He calls and makes His way clear we will follow Him onto our next risky path of obedience
Because He’s worth it
And all of the things-
the exciting new beginnings of life,
the scary middle parts that are hard and full of waiting
and not-so-sure-yet-next-step-of-faith of the future
Because He’s good.
And with all of my heart I do believe
Keep seeking Him dear ones.
We’re in this together
Jenn Buell says
Amen my sweet conference friend (from She Speaks). Amen and amen, that stuff will preach. I believe and believing can be terrifying.
Nikki @ Monday Morning Mama says
Amen girl. I GET IT. I believe too! (And I call my hubs the editor-in-chief of my blog, so it cracks me up that other people do this too!)
Aunt Charlotte says
1. And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. Acts 16:31 (You guys are so passed that, no concern there)….2: The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding. Proverbs 9:10 (This comes with age if sought. You and Cowboy seem to excel there)… Which leads me to faith: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 ( i.e. T & J)… With that said, Keep seeking and ye shall find the next phase God has in store for you and your sweet family. Much love, prayers, & many blessings, Charlotte