My life has looked a lot like this lately:
I’ve ignored my family, my friends, text messages, emails, and personal hygiene the past 11 days. I’ve also ignored phone calls, but that’s not new for me. I ignore phone calls whether I’m writing or holding the phone in my hand. It’s so bad my mom has replaced her normal, “Hi, how are you?” with “Hi, thanks for answering!” See, it’s not just you. I ignore phone calls from my own mother.
I have not ignored eating. That would be preposterous and ludacris (I actually like spelling ludicrous like the rapper–I feel like it gives me street cred with youngsters. Although since I just said “youngsters,” I’ve lost all street cred. It’s like one step forward and two steps back with that posse).
No wonder Miley is so confused.
Anyway, I found out 11 or so days ago that I got an appointment with a publisher at SheSpeaks. I also found out that I would need to present a book proposal and 2 to 3 chapters of proposed book.
(Thankfully, they emailed to tell me and did not call me.)
Needless to say, I was thrilled…for all of 12 seconds until I realized I had neither a book proposal nor chapters written for proposed book.
To say the past 11 days have been miraculous is an understatement. God proved faithful yet again! He woke me up early one morning with a book idea (He often speaks to me early in the morning. I think because I’m not a morning person and my brain doesn’t function in the morning, so when a coherent thought breaks through the brain fog, I have little doubt it’s God. It also helps me recognize it’s not me…I can be as prideful as I am insecure. So, that’s fun).
He equipped me with energy I don’t normally possess. He worked out details and time for my friends whom I asked to edit, proof-read, and constructively critique my work. He gifted grace to my children and husband as I barricaded myself behind a computer screen and they functioned without mama. He supplied Stefan with the exact words of encouragement and affirmation as I hit a wall on Tuesday and may have a had a slight breakdown in my big girl room; complete with tears, guilt, doubt, panic, and general craziness. God paved the road, meticulously going before me, so I could walk this journey of writing–His truths through my voice, verbiage, and my comprehensive vocabulary the hip youngsters use.
And, y’all! Right now, I sit in the conference hotel, just outside of Charlotte, NC, with a completed book proposal with two chapters of proposed book ready and waiting for God to do with it as He sees fit.
But, I have a confession.
This morning, I met Dana for coffee in the coffee shop downstairs. She in her workout clothes and I in my PJs (that should give you a good indication of how we spent our morning). Both of us wearing no make up (thankfully, I brushed my teeth and threw on a bra–because all things are optional when I have a day off!) As we stood in line, I started to assess the other women around us. They were fancy. And, I don’t mean Iggy’s fancy. They were Kate Middleton fancy. Well dressed. Perfect coiffures. And, if I knew what Jimmy Choo shoes looked like in real life, I’m sure these women were wearing them.
I am wearing PAJAMAS. Did you catch that? Oh, and my sweater is on inside out. Now, everyone knows I’m a medium. Great. I am to them what pre-adolescent, head-gear wearing, acne laden seventh graders are to popular, toothy smiling, car driving, fresh face donning seniors.
I wanted to run back up to my room, fall into bed, and ask God why I even came to this conference in the first place.
(Obviously, only after I received my white chocolate mocha.)
What is it with us women? Or, maybe it’s just me. One minute I am completely confident and comfortable in the skin God’s graciously given me; and, the next minute, I look around a coffee shop and doubt my value, my relevance, and my usefulness to the kingdom.
If God has taught me one thing over and over and over (clearly I’m bull-headed), it’s this: there’s room at the table for all of us.
There is an enormous amount of diversity, creativity, personality, passion, and ambition in the Kingdom of God. And, there needs to be. As long as the goal is the gospel, the course to the goal is different for everyone. We need diversity to reach all the peoples with the hope of the One who frees the enslaved, forgives the guilty, restores the broken, and loves the unloveable.
There’s room for the woman with the Jimmy Choo shoes. There’s room for the woman struggling with addiction. There’s room for the woman who’s depressed. There’s room for the woman who feel less than. There’s room for the woman who’s self-righteous. There’s room for the woman who’s afraid. There’s room for the woman with the secret sins and shame. There’s room for the woman who’s never had a bad day. There’s room for the widow, the married, the divorced, the separated, the whore, and the chaste. There’s room for the woman who wears a medium sweater inside out over her PJs feeling inadequate in a coffee shop. There’s room for you.
I don’t want to look back on the faithfulness of God and doubt my present circumstance (hello, Israelites!). I experienced God’s faithfulness so clearly the past 11 days and I almost allowed a lapse of doubt and insecurity to paralyze me with fear all while questioning whether or not I have value to God and will He use me? Can He use me? There’s so many others who seem better qualified, but none can do the work He has prepared for me. And, none can do the work He’s prepared for you.
He has wired us uniquely, creativity, and passionately for the work He prepared for us (see Ephesians 2:10 if you don’t believe me). He’s marked out a course for us, the goal is the same, but the beauty is in the unique journey. Don’t let fear, insecurity, doubt, and comparison steal your resolve. Be you! Do the work! Remember His faithfulness.
I’m determined to cheer you on as you pursue the work He has made for you and made you for.
But, I won’t call you to cheer you on. Expect a text.
I know there are the organized, type-A people of the world who actually plan what they are going to write about before they sit down and start pecking away at the keyboard. I tried that once. Then, when I sat down to write what my “to-do” list said to write about, the rebel in me revolted and my inner dialogue went something like this:
“Don’t tell me what to do.”
And, that was pretty much the end of the conversation in my head. I don’t like to be penned in. I was talking with my favorite daughter last night about the power of words and commitments. Kendall actually brought it up and I had to laugh because as much as she is like her father, there is a substantial amount of Mama V in there. She was explaining how she is guarded with her words because she doesn’t want to be confined or committed to them. When she chooses her words, she thinks through them and says what she means, and means what she says. (side note…I’m pretty sure she’s going to be the girl that if a young man says, “I love you” to her, and she’s not feeling it, she may just say, “thank you.”) (second side note…if any young man is even thinking of saying that to her, don’t. Her daddy, who doesn’t use enough words sometimes, will find plenty of words for you.)
Anyway, Kendall and I want to leave room for options and not feel obligated by words we say, but don’t really mean. And, for me, I can take that concept even further. I want options in my commitments too. This is the reason I’ve never bought a “grown up” purse. I can’t bring myself to pay $300 (I don’t even know what they cost?!) for a purse because then I HAVE TO USE IT…forever. I will never be able to break up with it because it’s so costly. I like change, but more so, I like the freedom that all can be changed. As long as I haven’t given my word, or committed to it, all is negotiable.
So, I reached an all new low last night. After my family went to bed, I found myself on Pinterest (“found myself on Pinterest” sounds like there was an element of surprise; however, my nightly Pinteresting perusal is about as habitual and routine as my youngest child “finding himself” without underwear). Anyway, my new low. I actually searched pinterest for “WWE” and “John Cena” decorating ideas. I know, I’m embarrassed for myself. Let me explain.
While we all mourn the absence of Kaden, some of us are not too sad that he leaves behind a room waiting to be occupied by a loving, mournful sibling. Said sibling may or may not have thrown Kaden’s left over belonging in a trash bag and moved in some of her own items a mere 2 days after he went to college. Which means, we are engrossed in the game of musical rooms because now everyone has a shot at claiming his and her own territory…a luxury big families rarely have, unless, of course, they are fictional big families on TV.
And, it also means, all three children have a myriad of decorating ideas they want to implement (yesterday). The youngest one levying the greatest challenge in the history of all interior decorating in the history of all the world. He has asked for a “wrestling room.” Some of his ideas include, but are not limited to: ropes around the room with turnbuckles, several 7 foot fatheads of John Cena, Big Show, and Kofi Kingston, and two king size mattresses pushed to the middle of the room so tag-team wrestling won’t be so “crowded,” and the room painted black.
He’s a dreamer, that one.
So, a blog.
I realize some of you are channeling your inner Fergie and thinking, “she is so two-thousand-and-late.” And, you’re right. Blogging is so blasé. So five seasons ago. Thinking I missed some small window of opportunity to be first to the blogging party prevented me from coming to the party at all. But, as someone once pinned on Pinterest, “better to be late, than to arrive ugly.” (What? Where do you get your words of wisdom?) The truth is, I’ve been scared, friends. There is something to writing that is vulnerable and panic-inducing. But, there is also something to writing that is therapeutic and life-giving. So, I’m opting for life-giving therapy. Care to join me? I’m not exactly sure what I’ll say, but I promise I’ll be real.