Five Minute Friday on Sunday

I have been struggling lately. I’ve been immersed in doing work and not so much worried about dreams or writing. I was recently catching up on some of my friends’ blog posts when I came across a few of them participating in Five Minute Fridays with Lisa-Jo. She gives a writing prompt and you are supposed to just right for 5 minutes. Well, I decided to join in though a few days late.

Check out what others have written and follow Lisa-Jo to see what her next prompt might be.

On Distance

GO

The distance between me and God seems to grow daily. I know He has not moved, but I have. I know what it’s like to have that distance seem much shorter which is frustrating to say the least. The distance between my head and my heart at times seems miles away. Why can’t I do what I know I need to do?

At times the distance between me and my friends-in-a-box seems really short. We chat every day … then every other day. For a few months though the distance has seemed huge. They might as well be on the other side of the world.

Then I think of my friend, Especially Heather. Losing her baby girl, Emma on Friday and distance seems unbearable. I want desperately to be near her … to give her a hug … to pray with her … to *do* something to help. But I know even if distance were not an issue, there’s nothing I can do to help. There is a huge hole in their lives now that only God can fill.

Are my friends-in-a-box really friends? Is it safe to even call them that? At times, yes, I’ve had very close friends who have physically been distant from me. Yet now I feel sort of alone. I don’t have any friends I really connect with. I get caught up in code and work so much so that my dreams even seem distant to the point of non-existance.

STOP

Mission Field

This post has been bouncing around my head for the past few days. It’s a hard post to write. It makes me uncomfortable and I hate to be uncomfortable.

I am a typical, spoiled, selfish American.

Ever since I’ve been saved and heard it preached that we need to go out into the mission field, I’ve said “Lord, just don’t send me to Africa.” You know the attitude. It’s not that Africa is the only place in the world that needs to hear about Jesus, but that’s typically people’s first reactions when you start talking about missions.

There were a few representatives from Compassion International at She Speaks last year. The rumor came to our table that they were looking for some bloggers to go on their next trip (at the time to the Dominican Republic). Robin got a light in her eyes — a passion burning deep inside her. She wanted to go on a trip with Compassion. She got excited and started talking about how awesome and hard it would be to go on a trip like that. I shrunk down in a corner thinking, “God, please don’t send me to another country. I have no desire whatsoever to go.”

Robin applied to go, but wasn’t chosen for the Dominican Republic trip, but she was chosen for the India trip. She’s there right now. Her writing is so awesome I cannot even describe it … my words fail. Her stories along with the others I’ve read are breaking my heart and bringing tears to my eyes.

In all honesty I have a bad view of India. Many friends and a few family members have been laid off from a big company around here that is sending all these jobs over to India. I know it’s not the people there’s fault, but it just makes me mad. I think the company is taking advantage of people over there and they are affecting our comfortable lives over here. Ouch.

From these stories I’ve been reading and pictures I’ve been looking at, it’s surreal. I cannot imagine being there. Being uncomfortable in no-air-conditioning and 110 degree weather.

I talked to a couple of good friends of mine a few years ago about missions. I told them my heart doesn’t hurt for people in other countries and I feel guilty about that. I know in my mind that we have tons more than they would ever have. But I don’t feel a passion … a huge desire to go to another country. My heart hurts for the people I see in this country. The ones who are walking around, dead inside. The ones who have all this *stuff* and still aren’t happy. They don’t know the peace of God.

“You’re just home missions minded,” they told me. The mission field is all around us … the people we see everyday … and even the people we don’t see everyday but talk to on the Internet. I may be selfish wanting to sit in my air-conditioned house and say the Internet is my mission field, but I desire to follow God’s will for my life. My talents and knowledge put me on the Internet … not in an office and not half-way around the world … at least not physically.

So back to my buddy Robin in India. Even though God chose not to send me and to send Robin (a wise decision indeed), there are many things we can do to help others who are passionate about international missions.

  1. The most important thing we can ever do is pray! Pray for the team in India; for their safety and wellbeing; for their minds and hearts to be able to process all they see; for God to give them the words and reliable internet connection to relay to us what they are seeing.
  2. Sponsor a child. I have been struggling with this one for quite awhile. I think we should sponsor a child, but then I get caught up in our “lack of money.” I’m going to talk to Duck about sponsoring a child through Compassion. I need to get Doodle into this too. She truly doesn’t realize how well she has it.

And if you are so inclined, say a quick prayer for me to be less me-minded and more others-minded. Thanks.

Here’s Duck singing a very relevant song … I think the name is “My House is Full” but don’t hold me to it.

Keep track of all that’s going on with the Compassion Bloggers in India this week:

Pray about sponsoring a child today!

What I Learned After She Speaks

I was almost afraid to write about She Speaks. There are so many of you who want to go, I’m afraid next year might be sold out before I can sign up again 🙂 And yes, I do think I want to go again. I’m going to work on growing closer to God, and I know He’ll make it obvious to me whether I should be there or not. (The dates are July 31 – August 2, 2009 in case you want to mark it on your calendar!) If any P31 women are reading this, any chance of allowing more people to come next year? Scary thought — I know 🙂

I learned a lot after She Speaks ended. The fashion trip with Shari on Monday was amazing. That stuff will come in a separate post — I promise. I have been working on pulling all my old clothes out of the closet, seeing that most of them are not in my style (coloring or style), and packing them up for Good Will.

Duck came to meet me at the conference hotel Sunday afternoon as the conference was ending. We went out to eat lunch and I have to tell you, I missed my man. It was so good just to feel rested in his arms. He already knows I’m spacey sometimes. He already knows my faults, but he loves me anyway. I didn’t have to worry about anything around him. So it was just so good to see him.

In the busyness of life at home, we have a tendency to not talk — well, not talk about dreams, long-term goals, or deeper meaning stuff. Since we were staying the night in Concord in preparation for The Great Shopping Trip, we had the opportunity to soak in a whirlpool tub and talk. I don’t know why a whirlpool tub makes it better. Maybe it’s the bubbles that get us all relaxed and comfortable.

Duck is really a great listener. He listened to me ramble on about the conference, and I began to process much of what I had been through that weekend — and even before that weekend. Doodle had been invited to a birthday party a few weeks before. I went to “check in” on her at Chuck E. Cheese, but really I went to talk to the mom. Amanda is a beautiful, funny, grounded Christian woman. I love talking to her about anything and everything. I wish at times, that we were closer friends but I know that’s going to be difficult now — her kids are all going to a different school than Doodle.

Amanda and I were talking about the problem with parenting today. My standard response is that children need to be beat more (don’t get in an uproar — by beat, I just mean disciplined and yes, spanked). She made the point that we have gotten lazy in our parenting. We tell Jr. to stop doing that or I’m going to get up and come over there — except we never get up. Her points really hit home with me because they described me. I have been lazy with Doodle this past year. I haven’t made her pick up her stuff. I haven’t made her listen to me — or rather I haven’t made her suffer the consequences of not listening to me.

All of these things came out during our deep discussion. I told Duck I have been lazy for too long in not only parenting Doodle, but in my duties of keeping up the house as well. I asked him to forgive me, and although he didn’t think I was being all that lazy, he forgave me.

We talked about speaking in front of people — something that he has no problems doing. He loves to sing and sings well — that’s his talent. We talked about writing and some things he said really surprised me. He loves to read my blog because he gets to see a different side of me — well, not really a different side of me, but he gets to see inside my head more. He gets to see more of me than he normally would during a typical day.

One thing he said really hit home. I’ve been trying too hard to write for other people. He said when I write for myself, and don’t worry what others will think, I write a lot better. I have been worried too much about other people — what you want to read as opposed to what I want to tell you.

I took that to heart. This past week, all these updates on She Speaks have been totally for me. I want to remember. I’ve written what I wanted to write — what I’ve felt is the truth. I seriously had a battle going on as to whether or not I want to say that She Speaks wasn’t “all that and a bag of chips” for me. I mean, Lysa herself might read it! But it was the truth and not at all because of anything the P31 ladies did — it’s because I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have my quiet time like I know I should. It’s not a bad reflection on them. It’s a bad reflection on me.

So when you are writing on your blog, or maybe you’re just writing your story, remember to write for you and God. Don’t try to sound like BooMama, BigMama or even Lysa. Because you are unique, special, hand-picked by God to be you. No one else can write like you, think like you or be you. Here’s to being me {raising Coke can high in the air for a toast} and you being you!