Category Archives: Send Me

The Year of the Yes

Very quietly last week Run and Be Still celebrated it’s 3rd birthday.  It’s amazing how fast time flies and how much can change in the span of a year.

Life is fluid.  Like the waters constantly meeting the shoreline, shaping and molding, so are our days.  Sometimes they pass gently and lazily.  Sometimes with such ferocity they steal bits of us as they go, washing them away, reshaping who we are.

This has been a majorly reshaping year for us. So many changes, forcing us out of our comfortable routine and into this grand new adventure.

Isn’t it ironic how the future and the passing of time makes us desperate for our memories? At least that’s where it finds me.  Milestone markers open the archive of memory banks and old photo albums and I try to hold on just a little longer, remind myself so I’ll never forget, the way things used to be.  I don’t want to go back, I really like the “me” I am becoming, I just want to remember.  And it would only be fair to admit that the memories I cling to are most certainly revisionist, glorified, and edited.  Even (probably especially) the bad days.  The passing of time has dulled their sharp edges.  Their bitter taste comes part and parcel with the sweet ones.

This past year has found me trying to answer the question, “What am I going to do with myself?”  I suddenly found myself with extended blocks of time on my hands. (No more kid shuttle bus duty.  It’s all very bittersweet and as you know I am working though it.) Then there came a deep desire to really make a difference.  Someway, somehow.  I needed to do something. There was a hole that needed filled.  I don’t think this is some mid-life crisis. (Although you may be reading this thinking, “Sister you are kidding yourself.  That’s exactly what this is.” I’ll just keep pretending, thank you.)

studio

Move. Touch. Share. Love. It’s my new mantra. Love in action has become my cure.  Love Runners and do Good have become the vehicle. They are my “Just Do It.” I have a tendency to become intense and obsessive when I am passionate about something.  One of the biggest lessons that I have learned in trying to get this off the ground is that this isn’t everyone’s dream.  This isn’t everyone’s cause.  But oh my, the opportunity to be God’s hand and feet in this endeavor makes my heart beat faster and I am not going to give up on that! And so it was with great anticipation that I launched the online studio last weekend.  We are officially Open online! Will you please check it out and pass the word? It would mean so very much to me! Love Runners and The do Good Studio.

do a little

Launching Love Runners and The do Good Studio reminds me of the days when Run and Be Still was brand new.  Stalking the analytics and statistics, wondering if anyone has visited and if anyone even cares.  And then here we are in the blink of an eye, 3 years later, and you’re here and I’m still here.  When I started out I didn’t know what I was going to write about, how long I could keep this up, or if anyone would even read it. To date, there have been 237 posts, 17,525 views, and 9,188 different visitors from across the globe!  It’s amazing to me.  Humbling. We’ve shared a lot of life together and over the course of those years the continuous lapping of the water has reshaped me and the course I thought I was on.

In Love Does, Bob Goff says, “Accepting the invitation to show up in life is about moving from the bleachers to the field.  It’s moving from developing opinions to developing options.  It’s about  having things matter to us enough that we stop just thinking about those things and actually do something about them  Simply put, Jesus is looking for us to accept the invitation to participate. Each of us gets to decide every time whether to lean in or step back – to say yes, ignore it, or tell God why He has the wrong person.”

That, has been in a nutshell, what the last year has looked like. From opinions to options.  From mere thoughts to real actions. Big family milestones. New house. New mission. New adventure.  I guess you could say year 3 was the “Year of the Yes.”

Happy Birthday to us!  Let’s do Good this year!

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More Than Good Intentions

send meLip speak…good ideas…to-do lists…plans…even our dreams.  Without actions what are they worth?  Not much really…

I confess, I am an idea generator.  I love talking and planning and dreaming about “someday.”  But lately something has been happening to my heart, it’s a desire to do something, an urgency for action. But at the same time my dreams, plans, and to-dos, these things that I talk about doing, have begun changing radically.  And these words from David in Psalm 39 were like throwing gasoline on a fire.

“Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.  Remind me that my days are numbered – how fleeting my life is.  You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath. We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.”

Can I just tell you how many days I have felt like a shadow? Rushing around only to sit down at the end of the day and wonder what actually got accomplished? To be fair, dinner does need to be made, the laundry absolutely needs done, and as much as I would love to just live in a paper-plate-no-dishes-to-be-done-ever-again-house it isn’t a real expectation.  Raising a family is a lot of work, and very important work too! But recently, my heart has begun to bear a new burden. The imprint of a new heartache has begun to take shape.

In March of this year I began praying in a different way.  I began asking God what He wanted for me, or from me instead of consistently the other way around.  This is a terrifying prayer when you realize that he has begun to move, that you heart is actually being changed.  It’s a terrifying realization when you accept that you would be willing to walk away from your current life, answering the call of “not my will, but thine, be done.” Because these are not my dreams, these are God’s dreams for me.  It’s when you look around and realize that there is so much that you haven’t seen before when viewed through the eyes of Jesus.  It’s when you realize the discontentment you, your husband, and children have been fighting could be for a bigger purpose and you pray for their eyes to be opened to all that you are now seeing.  You begin to pray that their hearts find rhythm with yours, a beat of love, because there is so much evil in the world, so much hurt, and you can’t save everyone but what if it’s just one?  Even just one would be worth it.  Andy Stanley said, “Do for one what you wish you could do for everyone.”

Current conditions on the Greece-Macedonia border are cold and rainy. Due to the situation on Lesvos in Greece, Samaritan’s Purse predicts that approximately 20,000 refugees will attempt to cross the border in the next few days. Infants are wrapped in plastic bags to protect them from the rain. Clothing is inadequate even for current temperatures, much less dropping temperatures that will follow in the next few weeks. Soon it will not be possible for people to sleep outdoors as they will be at significant risk of hypothermia, particularly infants, young children, and the elderly. (Samaritan’s Purse Responding to Refugee Crisis in Europe, 9/10/15)

Children are being wrapped in plastic bags to be kept dry and warm while we debate which coat to wear.  It’s so much easier to stick your head in the sand (I am great at this) and to pretend that if you don’t know it’s happening it isn’t.  However, a lack of knowledge does not alter the reality of the situation. If you have the stomach and desire, Ann VosKamp shares her experiences from her trip to Iraq in this post from May, 2015.  It broke my heart, sickened me, and has impacted me in ways I can’t even put into words. Basically, it has haunted me since I read it 4 months ago – consider yourself warned.

Into Iraq #2: What the News isn’t telling You & Why We Can’t Afford to Pretend It’s Not Happening [Sozan’s Impossible Choice — and Our Very Possible One]

This is but a drop in the bucket and it’s not just “out in the world”, it’s in our cities, our neighborhoods, in our very own backyards.

“When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father.” (Ephesians 3:14) And I feel compelled by an urgency.  I have to move beyond my good intentions to a life marked by action.  I don’t want my busy rushing to end in nothing.

And all of a sudden this afternoon I found myself singing an old Garth Brooks song,

This heart still believes
That love and mercy still exist
While all the hatreds rage
And so many say
“That love is all but pointless,
In madness such as this
“It’s like trying to stop a fire
With the moisture from a kiss”

And I hear them saying,
“You’ll never change things
And no matter what you do
It’s still the same thing”
But it’s not the world that I am changing
I do this so, this world will know
That it will not change me
(The Change, Garth Brooks)

Let’s start more than a conversation, let’s start a movement.  Shout to the world that you will not be changed, that you will not ignore the hurt, that Jesus through us, in love and mercy, will prevail.  Find your passion, grab hold of it, and use it to make a difference, if only just in one life! It’s scary amazing what God can do with a willing body!

This was the prayer that Abide delivered to my phone this morning.  It was amazingly appropriate…

Dear Jesus Christ,
I want to be a part of what you are doing in the world today. I believe you want to use me right now. I want to return to my first love, to you.  I want to be your hands and feet this very second.  Help me to believe and live by my convictions with every beat of my heart today. In your merciful name.  Amen

Here I am.  Send me.