The Blame Game: Are you trapped in the maze?

 

Fall is here. Ok, autumn, really. But someone forgot to tell Texas that the temps can cool down now- the calendar says it’s October, not late August. We are still experiencing mid to high 90s in the day(high 30s for you centigrade folks). Some days we get teased with lower temperatures and then it’s right back to the dog days of summer.  Ah, but enough about the weather.

leaveschangingweb

I want to talk about the “coulda-woulda-shoulda” Maze – aka – the Blame Game. I find myself trapped in this game almost every day.  The phrases roll through my mind like wildfires through a forest on a hot, dry day in summer: look what you did with the time today; you could have helped someone;  you should have done that; you should find someplace to volunteer; God would want you to do this; if you could do anything you should be spending your time intentionally on a mission project instead of spending money on a vacation; there’s a Sunday school class out there with your name on it, you could teach it if you would.

And so it goes. Endlessly. Trapped in the Maze.

I waste time. We all do. Do you beat yourself up over it? I do.

I go from watching Netflix to Amazon to Apple tv.

I go to the grocery store for just that one thing and end up strolling the aisles for an hour and a half. {I know. How could anyone do that willingly?

Or I read through FB, email, blogs, other social media or shop the internet.  I could go on. I’m sure you have your own list.

What I could do, or would do, or should do I daydream about frequently. Those daydreams become grandiose at times.  Great things I could do, would do or should do for God.  Back in reality, I blame myself for not doing those grander things;  for not doing something more.

But-what God wants me to do has nothing to do with any of that.

His plan and purpose for me is fulfilled in how He designed me and where He has placed me.

I’m right where He wants me to be.

Here.

Not there.

Not off somewhere loving on orphans for a few days and then back home- broken hearted and wrecked (as some say), writing about them in the hopes that others will contribute to their welfare because they are touched by the words I write or the 4×6 glossy prints I post. 

Don’t get me wrong. I wish I could be Jesus’ hands and feet to the great big world out there. I am forever amazed and impressed by fellow bloggers that can and do travel and help in the way that they are gifted and purposed by Him. I love reading your stories and seeing the pictures, I pray for you and for the people you reach out to, I ask for blessings in the middle of the barefoot poverty that is the mission field.

But I know in my heart of hearts – down deep – there, where my spirit and His commune together that His purpose for me is here. That I’m right where He wants me.

Preparing the next generation to listen for His voice and recognize when He is speaking to them. I do that by loving on those littles; reading to them; singing –sometimes off-key, and pointing them to Jesus. 

I talk with friends and family. I pray for them. I help where I can. I am just being me. I’m the me that He made me to be.

No, I’m not a missionary anywhere but here. He has brought me to where I can help the way He wants me to help. I’m ok with that when I stop daydreaming and really think about it. 

And, those of you who can and do go to where He sends you? I will be here; praying for you and cheering you on. Knowing that you are just who and where He designed you to be.

He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:8 AMP

 

Be Who You Are

Do you, do any of us know who we really are? I’ve spent most of my life wondering those very words.  Am I a diva, a Martha, a Mary, a suffering servant, a leader, a teacher, an encourager, a mentor, just who the heck am I? 

According to me?

According to God? 

I was faced with this recently when an email devotion came through from Pete Briscoe. His focus has been on revolution not resolution at the beginning of this new year.

 I believe he has it right when he says “be who you are”.

He says this: You can make resolutions to try to become something different, but life becomes revolutionary when you rest, and simply be who He has already made you to be.”

Maybe we are fighting the wrong battle? I know that I have been most of my life. I fought the “me” that my mother wanted, I fought the “me” that I thought everyone else wanted me to be, I fought myself in projecting the “me” I thought I wanted to be, I fought and fought. And I was exhausted.

All the time.

Exhausted.

The only way we will impact this world we live in is to throw caution to the wind and to just “be who we are”. There is something incredibly rejuvenating and truly revolutionary in just resting in Him and being who He has made me to be.

This has not been easy. Not until I aged and mellowed and not until my mother died. I lived my life battling the grief of wanting a real mother-daughter relationship, yet knowing all the while, it would never come. Like a missing step or a piece out of a stained glass window our lives were “off”.  I could not be who she wanted me to be and she certainly would never be able to be who I needed her to be. No one else was as central to who I am in my life. I see now that because she was the way she was God used her to mold and shape my opinion of myself – to sand off the rough parts and sledgehammer the pointy bits. She was broken through and through yet He used her to show me – me. The me that He designed me to be.

And He didn’t use her design.

He used the unique design He planned for me all along.

The design that created the tender heart for babies and children, for understanding their hearts and hurts. The design that programmed in a deep love of hymns and classical music and a thorough enjoyment of a rock concert. The design that gave me a love of snow, mountains and winter. The design that gave me the ability to cook, to sew, to knit, to crochet left handed, to paint a wall, to ask just the right question, to appreciate beautiful art, other cultures, to love missions, to love being with young people, colors, sunrises and sunsets. The design that gave me an incredible identification with the English countryside, churchyards, evensong, the feeling that I get when I walk into a small village church- and know instantly His Spirit is there in those stones, bricks and pews. The design that gave me a love of wide expanses of pastures, fields, grasses blowing in the wind, brooks trickling along a path, and ancient ruins that once touched give reality to one’s heritage and oh the green, green grass that glows in the dark in spring. The design that placed in me a love of history that could tie me to a place I’ve never been. The design that placed in me a love of Him that made me want to be Mary-to never move from His feet, to soak in all He wanted to say to me.

This world is cold, hot, rough, cruel, pointy, craggy and broken through and through, but if we can just let go of those battles that hold us back and see through to the rest He has waiting for us, if we just “be who we are” wouldn’t that be so freeing to our souls? And if we could extend the same grace to others around us? Our spouses? Our children? Our friends? Our co-workers? After all, something or someone can’t be what they aren’t designed to be, now can they?  It would be silly after all for a shoe to suddenly try to be a glove. And it would be silly if we treated the shoe as if it were a glove.

Are you fighting God’s design for you? Have you considered becoming a revolutionary? 

Be Who You Are

“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’” Acts 17:24-28

The human spirit is the lamp of the Lord that sheds light on one’s inmost being. Proverbs 20:27