Sometimes I think writing notes that are personal and heartfelt can suck the words right out of me. Really. OH, and SPEAKING those words seems to leave my fingertips numb and empty too. Really.
Can I get an "AMEN" on that??
So, that's probably the biggest thing taking my words - a new friend that for a few weeks took every word I had. She held them near, listened intently, spoke affirming words into them and showed me where God was working, all while sharing her own story of life over these past 30 years or so (not counting many words on the first 15 more...). God working. Moving. Moving them. Around. Moving them up and down valleys and hills, deep ravines and mountain tops.
We've traveled them all, haven't we? And 50 rolls around and when we are sitting still and squirming in the uncomfortable that others are content to be in....and I'm wondering "why are we not moving, God? Why are my bags not packed, and dishes are on shelves and beds made up? Why am I HERE?"
I want to say "stuck here again" - meaning that although this looks different, it feels very much like the 18 years in the wilderness... and I don't want to write about that, so I'll stop and get back to writing about not writing.
So, in the painful seasons - the most painful, most hurtful, most tragic - my words run freely. And in the pain of stagnant, my words are stuck in my throat, my fingertips. And. they. can't. move. There's a guttural groaning that goes on, they want to speak out, want to find their voice - but they can't.
They spill out over tea, prayers whispered between meetings and drunk in deep over lunch. Secrets shared over health issues of being "middle aged" and longing to be HOME as in heaven, and nothing will satisfy as deeply as sitting at Jesus' feet and being a Mary...yet I Martha along... dilly dallying in keeping house and entertaining strangers during storms of life and always doing SOMETHING to keep me from doing that ONE THING He calls me to do. Write.
SO, a week ago, on a rushed, long, road trip - Mark and I had time to talk. More words verbally floating out of my soul (and not blogged, or written, but good, healthy, fun - to - finally - be - together - and - talk - way) and we got it all talked out.
Discontent. Over-worked and under-joyed. Distracted. Disconnected. It's how we feel about most of the things in our life. Besides our work, work. The jobs we get paid for. THOSE are fulfilling, life - giving, relationship building. Fun. Pointing others to Christ. Fruitful.
But everything ministry focused - the stuff that usually left us filled to overflowing. Was, well, leaving us incredibly empty. Suck the air out of our empty lungs empty.
Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Colossians 3:23
Now it's quite possible that we have been going to church with you over the past 9 months... and it's possible that you, in fact, don't suck the breath out of us. But you, friend, are the minority. And even then, have we done any life together? Have we broke bread? Done a double date night? Cried together in a hospital room? Because these are the things - REAL COMMUNITY - that we are missing.
I don't want this to be a downer post on how life is meaningless and that God's not moving - because it has GREAT meaning, and God is moving in BIG ways... in BRAVE ways. Giving me the ability to be SUPER BRAVE and let go of the good things He was doing in my life through Global Outfitters, and equip me to step out from that umbrella to do the INCREDIBLE thing of just writing. Ok, not JUST writing. But getting that Missionary Care handbook written. Not because my job depended on it - because it didn't have anything to do with the work that I was doing there (and although I get lots of encouragement in my "real" job - it has nothing to do with that either!). It's a God driven step that I need to take. NOW. I put it off since January - no one to blame but me. And it's long overdue. Getting this little pamphlet done. This give-away. And God used this new friend from a far-away place to push me back into my word writing again. After I spoke the God-sized dream to her...she stepped up into the role of (in)courager in MY life....and is holding me accountable to my words.
So many of you have been waiting for words from me...oh, not the book kind, but just the "what the heck is going on?" kind. Thanks for being patient. For waiting. Life's been changing and it's all good.
You remember when I wrote on the vision of "wHim"?? Well, it turns out - there's more to that than I realized. And it starts with this booklet, a user friendly guide to Missionary Care. It will be free. It will be online as an upload. It won't be too long before it's completed - end of summer TOPS. Along with that will come a logo for "wHim" and the description in more finite terms of what we will do there. Equipping for Missionary Care. Education. Resources to places for resources. Yes. Yes. Yes. But also, a year from fall, should God will, a trip. A journey - strategically placed around the world to prayer walk in places He wants to move...which is funny in a sense - because as I pray about this God-sized dream - I speak prayers into these places daily - so I know that God is at work already - preparing the way for us to walk and speak words of spiritual release in places of bondage. Pray with us??
OH - prayer - that other place that I'm getting more comfortable in doing it alone. I LONG for a friend that will pray for an hour - dance that prayer dance of silence, adoration, worship, meditation, truth, and supplication - oh, where are my Lori/Lorie/Laura's here?? :)
(side note: in KY I went to a church in Evansville, IN - Crossroads - and had 3 friends, Lori, Lori and Laura, that prayed with me fairly regularly - and also a longtime friend and fellow prayer warrior Lorie, who lives in AZ - who I DO get to pray with and for - but also miss very much!!)
Mark claims I collect Lori/Lorie/Lauras - but truth is - sometimes they are my life line. They speak truth and light into my life. They shake me up a bit and remind me who I am. They love me unconditionally. I love them. (and miss them!!) We cheer each other on in life, in Christ, in mom/grandma hood.
So, now they cheer me on towards the goal. The words. The writing of them, getting them out of my heart, my head, and pushing forward to the end. Of summer. That goal. And throw a Louise in the group, and that's who is hard-lining me, not just pushing me, but holding me accountable - because she can! She doesn't love me like the Lori/Lorie/Laura's do (yet) so she can push hard. And this is good. These words need to be counted, a clock set for more than 5 minutes and for me to show my work done - good and faithful servant. Because I've cast this vision before, and the people I shared it with were lacking drive, vision, and I was perishing. SO I'm grateful for the Louise in my life (and praising God there's only ONE!!) who will take time to know me, share my vision, and give me a little push. I've never had a dream before - never a God-sized one - and she's willing to push, pull and prod me to make a go of it!
Thank You God!!
So, my writing on not writing is about getting out those words on paper, on a screen, and seeing them printed up and chewed up and spit out, if needed. It's about taking a design in my head, impressed deep on my heart, and pushing it - laboring it- bearing it on the knees of a prayer - letting it take breath and live.
And blogging about it all was the first step - well, the second step...the first one was getting my room reorganized so I had a comfy place to write in...and I'll write from there all day!!
Yes, ok - not ALL day, but a lot of day, and a few days a week, every week, until it's completed. If God wills....