Have you ever done something for so long that you've forgotten what you're doing... or why you're doing it? Like driving on a long, deserted road... getting lost in your thoughts... only to arrive at your destination with absolutely no idea how you got there. Sometimes, we just get stuck in cruise control... no longer intentional... no longer purposeful. I know it happens to all of us, but lately, I seem to be a habitual offender. While visiting North Carolina last month, Jamie and I had a really hard conversation, finally admitting, for the moment, that God doesn't want us in Providence. An honest evaluation of my heart will reveal that I had hoped to be there by now. (My school calendar would also reflect that same truth... my wishful thinking has COMPLETELY ruined my Fridays.)
But, by the same token, God has still placed Providence on our hearts and CONSTANTLY confirms that we cannot remain where we are, for a myriad of reason. So we keep moving forward... even traveling to Providence this weekend to look at houses and meet with community leaders and non-profits. Yet, through all of this, God has also pressed upon us the need to "go back to the basics." Sometimes we get so caught up in future plans that we forget the tasks right in front of us... or, in my case, it's just an unwillingness to recognize them because... well, let's be honest.... sometimes they aren't that much fun. Starting my school day at 6:00 am with one child and not finishing until 6:00 pm with the last one is exhausting... on my best day. I literally feel like I'm living out the movie Groundhog's Day. Some days I don't get out of my pajamas. I don't put make-up on... I don't even brush my hair. (I stop short of not brushing my teeth because that's just down-right gross... but I'm sure I've even had a few days when I didn't do that either.)
In the monotony of my life, I've forgotten His presence. I've ignored His beauty... I've made things so complicated, when really.... it's so simple. (Not easy, mind you... SIMPLE DOES NOT MEAN EASY!) I've stopped being intentional in my relationships... putting my life on hold... waiting for something to happen... all the while, missing out on what's actually happening right in front of me. This weekend, I almost missed out on something AMAZING. Something our family has been praying for for years.
From the moment our eldest daughter learned about Jesus, she has wanted to share Him with her friends. We've always opened up the invitation to her friends... to come to church, to the Fall Carnival, to Easter or Christmas services. And, finally, after years... literally 5 years for one of her friends... two girls accepted the invitation. (Two girls that don't come from Christian homes.) Initially, the excitement was palpable... until I realized that it would mean not going to Providence for the next "Team Gathering." I'll spare you the rambling that went on in my head... and my heart... but I will tell you that EVENTUALLY... I submitted to God's will, realizing, in the bigger picture, that taking these two girls to church was where our family needed to be. Because we didn't try to cram everything in together... foregoing the Team Gathering... we went to second service... where there was a Baptism. I sat back as I watched these girls soak it all in. So incredibly excited that a seed was planted... completely humbled... yet AGAIN... at how God continually works it all out...
Today is Sydney's birthday. Jamie and I got up early to take her to breakfast... just the three of us. And we talked about Jesus the whole time. It's as if Jesus has... FINALLY... become a part of our family. God has a in temporary holding pattern... we understand that now. But, when asked last night if we still feel that God wants us to go to Providence, our answer was a unified YES. We still have a lot to learn. And because of that, we want to extend this invitation. We call it the L.I.T.E. Challenge. For 30 days, we are committing to push into Jesus by participating in a daily devotional and daily challenge to live out your faith and love for Jesus. If you're interested in the taking on the challenge, let me know. There's a bracelet waiting for you!