“I’m twenty years old and have fourteen children and four hundred more who all depend on me for their care. The reality of it all can be a bit overwhelming at times. There is a common misconception that I’m courageous. I will be the first to tell you that this is not actually true. Most of the time, I am not brave. I just believe in a God that will use me even though I’m not.” -Katie Davis, Kisses from Katie
May I be completely transparent with you, my dear, dear blog reader family?
I’m no Katie Davis, living in Uganda with fourteen children, but we do share a common misconception. Most of the time I am not brave nor do I consider myself courageous. To be more than perfectly honest, there are a lot of things in this season of life that make me very uncomfortable.
I L-O-V-E the words BRAVE and COURAGEOUS unless you are speaking of me.
Just ask my closest people. They will tell you. I’m really a chicken. Like, so much that I should have feathers.
I’m ill-equipped as to what to do or say to situations like:
The kind woman, who stuck her head out of car window at the Sonic as my family and I were leaving to tell me how much she loves reading this space. Being complimented by one of the greats of this community during a study that I’m attending because I want to be wise like her when I grow up. My kids asking, “Mom, does everybody know you from your blog?”
Even typing these words hack me out because yes, extroverts get hacked out from time-to-time. I need you to know about of these feelings because like Jen Hatmaker says, “I can’t deal with ALL OF THE FEELS.” We need to discuss this because many of you are afraid to do what God is calling you to do because fear is scary and public opinions are often mean and envy is a real beast.
I don’t know what else to do with these scary, mean, beasty things except to give them straight to God.
As I’ve shared here many times, when we don’t know what to do I believe a great place to start is to focus on what we do know. SO instead of pretending like I am a turtle that wants to totally hide inside it’s shell until Jesus comes, we’re going to flesh this out together. Because surely I am not the only one who has ever been uncomfortable in my skin.
WHAT I KNOW:
God pierced my heart with his Word that night way back in January 2012 as I read Acts 4:13 “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”
I know God heard my cry, as I prayed to live with the same boldness that Peter and John did. To live in such a way that people would marvel at Jesus in me.
WHAT I DIDN’T KNOW:
What that would actually look like lived out in the details of my every day.
WHAT I WANT TO DO:
Retreat, not speak and not be noticed because that would be less awkward, much more comfortable and safe.
And yet that doesn’t feel quite right…
Because if Ephesians 5:16 is true, then we are to make the most of every opportunity because the days are dark, right?
And if Matthew 4:19 is true ..”Follow me and I will make you fishers of men” then we’re supposed to go and fish for the souls of men and women everywhere because that’s what Jesus did, right?
And actually, as it turns out, more than I’m concerned with becoming great, or being great, or (to quote Mrs. Bonnie) with being or not being popular I am called to be obedient.
and so are you.
To be obedient in the small moments of the everyday.
When we want to lose self-control and SCREAM LIKE LUNATICS because one of our kids just whacked the other.
We are called to be kind when being ugly would make us feel better.
We are called to forgive when we had rather stay puffed up.
We are called to make time for coffee with our lonely, frightened, anxious friends when we’d rather stay home.
We commanded to give even when we’re unsure if there will be enough money at month end to pay all the pipers.
We are beseeched to take risks and trust God to show up even when we can’t see around the corner.
We are called to little moments of obedience.
I can only process one at a time and that’s okay because that’s all He asked of us.
So here’s WHAT I’M GOING TO DO:
Keep going. Keep working through the awkwardness and the uncomfortable moments with grace. I’m going to keep giving God the glory for ALL of the crazy good things He’s doing in my life because He is worthy to be praised!! Keep depending on Jesus to guide my steps, to resist becoming prideful, to grow my faith, to strengthen my prayer life as I pursue wisdom and Christlikeness. Because I don’t want to miss out on ALL that God has for me.
Our pastor shared this quote yesterday. It is fitting and timely and reads like this:
Amy Carmichael once penned these thoughts: Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel I shall never be like that. But they won through step-by-step, little bits of the will, little denials of self, little inward victories by faithfulness in very little things. They became what they are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken. There is no sudden triumph or spiritual maturity. That is the work of the moment. -Tim Hansel
WHAT I’M ASKING OF YOU:
Because I don’t want you to miss out on one-single-bit-of-goodness that God has with your name on it!
Tend to your work of the moment. To whatever it is that God is calling you to: to be a good friend to your neighbor or coworker who is hard pressed on every side, to love your kids like crazy whether you’re a working mom or stay-at-home mom, to be intentional as you teach and invest in the lives of the students in your classroom, to be a good wife to the husband God has given you, to encourage the singles God has placed in your path, to pray for the lost loved ones in your life, to advocate for the poor and outcast.
Even when it’s awkward. Even when it’s scary.
May we tend well the work of the moment.
Much love and prayers,
Margaret Thacker says
As usual, you amaze me, Karmen!! I LOVE to read everything you write. You most certainly have a God given talent and you are using it wonderfully!!!!!!
Amy Wade says
Can’t wait to receive the emails!
thank you for signing up Amy!