As I was walking the girls around a local park one early fall day, I heard this rich, booming voice. Coming around the bend, I saw a strong African woman leading a group of preschoolers from one side of the building to another. I immediately recognized the song she was singing, "Where is Thumbkin?" and as she began to sing, "Where is Lucas?" I saw a little boy raise his hand and timidly reply, "Here I Am." The woman smiled and continued down the line to a girl named Kirsten. When Kirsten was asked where she was she loudly exclaimed, "Here I Am!"
Walking through your daily life, do you find yourself more like Lucas or Kirsten?
One of the truths that I'd like to share today is how much I enjoy blogging. It really brings me such joy. Our sweet little blog began as a way for me to share my thoughts with others. I had no clue how it all worked. Thank goodness my techie husband showed me some sympathy. The first couple of months, those faithful few of you kept coming back, encouraging me to share. You don't know how much that meant to me. Then, we became pregnant and the twins were born so premature. That hard time brought a lot of you here and we have been so grateful of your support for our family. After that experience, the blog truly became a precious form of capturing memories. I love how a blog can document one's life through pictures and words. You can't get all of that in a scrapbook. I will forever treasure the raw documentation that we have left as a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
Other than memory-making, this place is a form of encouragement. For you and for me. One time somebody was telling me about another person's blog and they said slyly, "I don't think she should be sharing all of that." Choosing what to share is always a decision that I weigh before I hit the schedule button. I share the nitty-gritty on here because I truly love how simple truths can change lives and make us all feel a little more normal. It seems that the posts I fear the most of making public are the ones that y'all gravitate to. That is what I love about this generation - we aren't afraid to show each other our closets. The messy places of our lives. It helps us appreciate the prettiness a little bit more.
I struggle between being Lucas and Kirsten. Before I attended that writer's conference in July, I had been privately documenting some material that could one day be a book. I was in baby-land and wasn't really sure how the publishing world worked exactly. I was excited (like Kirsten) and timid (like Lucas) all during the conference. It opened my eyes to just how many women aspire to serve God through writing and speaking. To be honest, I felt lost in the sea of smartly dressed women. There are so many great bloggers out there that become published authors. While that gives me hope, it also makes me wonder if my blog will ever do that too? I wonder how I fit in, where I belong. When I came home, I questioned if anybody in the publishing world would be asking "Where is Christen?" Because, I so desperately want to raise my voice like Kirsten and announce, "Here I Am."
As all of these thoughts made their way through my over-analyzing mind, a beautiful image of God from the book, The Shack came to me. See the passage below:
*As he tried to establish some inner mental balance, the anger that he thought had so recently died inside him began to emerge. No longer concerned or caring about what to call God and energized by his ire, he walked up to the door. Mack decided to bang loudly and see what happened, but just as he raised his fist to do so, the door flew open, and he was looking directly into the face of a large beaming African-American woman.
Instinctively he jumped back, but he was too slow. With speed that belied her size, she crossed the distance between them and engulfed him in her arms, lifting him clear off his feet and spinning him around like a little child. And all the while she was shouting his name - "Mackenzie Allen Phillips" - with the ardor of someone seeing a long-lost and deeply-loved relative. She finally put him back on earth and, with her hands on his shoulders, pushed him back as if to get a good look at him.
"Mack, look at you!" she fairly exploded. "Here you are, and so grown up. I have really been looking forward to seeing you face to face. It is so wonderful to have you here with us. My, my, my how I do love you!" And with that she wrapped herself around him again.
Mack was speechless.
Sweet friends, I have discovered that I am so much like Mack and sweet little Kirsten when it comes to my desire to write. I want to bang my fists loudly, get everyone's attention, and have them all coming running to the door. But my Lucas-like behavior causes me to doubt and lose my confidence. What I love about this story is how God opened the door before Mack even got the chance to bang. God not only opened the door, but He embraced Mack and spun him around silly. There was no asking where Mack was. God called Mack by name. You see, we don't have to say "Here I Am" to God because God isn't looking for us. God knows exactly where we are. He loves us and encourages us to live fruitful lives. I believe that God wants to use all of us for His kingdom. Whether it is through writing or what lies deep in your own heart, God knows and He is listening. He is guiding us down the path toward our desires and when the time is right, we won't be worrying about whether we are Lucas or Kirsten because we have already been found doing what we were born to do.
I know when that time comes, I too, will be speechless.
Till next time, let your light shine!
*Excerpt taken from The Shack, pgs. 82-83. Young, William P.
Truth #1 – The Truth
Truth #2 – I hate laundry
Truth #3 – I’m bad at memorization
Truth #4 – My dogs drive me crazy
Truth #5 – I’m scared at getting in trouble
Truth #7 – I was nervous to start N2S
Truth #8 – I like to dance
Truth #9 – I enjoy a simple life
Truth #11 -I love a clean closet
Truth #12 – I am never satisfied with me
Truth #13 – I have a short temper
Truth #14 – I love things
Truth #15 – I sew to make memories
Truth #16 – How I define success
Truth #17 – I desire to be the best that I can be
Truth #18 – I love to decorate
Truth #19 - I feel shame daily