I have a stubborn and obsessive daughter. I won’t straight up call her out because that’s not fair, and it’s also not her fault that she is just like her father (that’s not fair either, but no one said life was fair, Sweetheart). However, if you know my family well, you will know which child I am speaking of. She decided when she was four that she loved horses and had to have one. Here we are five years later. Surely by now she would have lost hope in her dreams, faced reality and started thinking more logically, right? Thank God, no she hasn’t. So last week, she got the idea to set up a lemonade stand in our cul de sac to earn money for her horse fund. Her gracious daddy took her to the store so that she could buy her supplies (with money she had already saved up) and proceeded to help her with this exciting new business venture. Then the moment came. She made her lemonade, set it all up and suddenly looked at me, fear reflected in her gorgeous green eyes and said, “Nevermind, I don’t think this is a good idea.”
What?! I was so confused. I asked her why and she immediately began explaining to me that maybe people wouldn’t like the lemonade, or no one would want to even try it, and maybe we should wait and do this another day. I wanted to weep for her. I recognize those insecurities and that fear which grips even the most determined of hearts. It has held me prisoner for the better part of my life.
Confession. I really did not want to become a mommy blogger. The reason why it took me so long to start writing here is because I kept waiting to have something to write about that had not already been written to death about in the blog world. I didn’t feel that there was room for another organic eating, homeschooling, DIY crafting, motherhood is hard, mommy-blogger.
I was afraid of being white noise. I didn’t want to be just another mama writing about poo (see previous poo post) and bad attitudes. I felt that I had nothing to say that had not already been said. And I don’t. There is nothing new under the heavens, so we are told by wise King Solomon. I am not an original. In fact, I can thank a twenty-something, single, wanna-be hipster guy for making this fact very clear when he said to me, “You middle-aged white girls with your Starbucks cups and boots. You’re soooo typical.” I didn’t want to be typical. I did want to throw my hot Americano with an extra shot of espresso in his peach fuzz, baby face and say “How’s this for typical you made over hippie in skinny jeans!” Partially, because he was being a jerk, and partially because he was right. And a little bit because he called me middle-aged. But, I didn’t do or say those things because…I am soooo typical.
I was afraid of typical. I was afraid that I would put my whole heart out in the blog world, and it would be laughed at, trampled on, or worse, ignored. And so I continued to neglect the fire that was in my belly every time I sat down to write in my journal, hoping it would burn out and die. I continued to laugh at myself for writing articles in my head while I shampooed my hair. I kept telling myself that there are so many good writers out there, I really have nothing to say or contribute.
It turns out, I was missing the point completely.
It really truly is about drawing attention to the One who has created me, and the extraordinary work He is doing in my very typical life. I am so typical. I grew up in a typical, middle-class family. I had a very typical childhood with scraped knees and best friend drama. I did the typical college thing and then had a typical wedding where we played typical Jim Brickman songs and cut typical wedding cake. I am a typical stay-at-home mom, scheduling typical play dates and dentist appointments for my brood of typical kids.
This is who I am, and this is where I live, and this is what I have to say. In this skin, in this place, with these people. And honestly, I do love it. I love that my 6-year-old is sitting here with me marveling at how fast I am typing these words. I mean, really she’s kind of irritating me with her questions constantly breaking my train of thought, but I love that she is here snuggled up next to me. I love that lamb stew is slowly simmering in the crock pot and that my kids will cry in their bowls and refuse to eat Mary’s sweet little lamb for dinner. I love that tonight, I will sit on the couch with the man I married 13 years ago and sip wine and dream of our future. I love that the flower beds need to be weeded to make space for our butterfly garden and that the garage reeks from the moldy, rotten, borderline haz-mat team needed, food I cleaned out of the fridge earlier. I love all of it because when I look over this collection of typical moments, I see something amazing.
I see the hand of God at work, taking typical, ordinary life and making it into something new and beautiful. It is something that makes my heart beat faster, and my eyes burn with tears of joy. I can see Him, weaving His way through the small moments of my life, faithfully moving me towards Himself and calling me to worship Him with all of my typical self. And then I am no longer typical. I am transformed. I am His. Completely. Wholly. A daughter of the King, created in His image, paid for by the sinless blood of His Son. Called to walk with Him, daily. To move among the brokenness of this world, as His witness, speaking the truth of His Word that makes all things new and right again. It is marvelous. Even as I write this, I am in awe of Him.
And so when I see this uncertainty reflected in my daughter’s eyes, I want to hold her close and tell her how deeply I understand her fears. How many years have I wasted being afraid? Too many. And I can see the new things God is doing in her heart, and I am amazed by it. She has no idea what He has created her to do, neither do I. But when the time comes for her to gather her courage and worship with her whole self, I don’t want her to hold back like I have. I want her to run hard after Jesus and all that He has put her here to do. I want her to care more about the brokenness around her than she does about the rejection she may face when she offers Jesus as the solution.
What about you? What fears are keeping you hidden? What dreams have you ignored or run away from? What is keeping you from declaring the good things God is doing in your heart? Can you see the new things that God is doing in and around you? Can you see how He desires for you to love Him in a way that makes Him known? Maybe around the world, or maybe just to the people under your roof.
My prayer for you today is that you will find yourself incapable of hiding your light. That you would become salt, adding the flavor of grace and hope to people within your sphere of influence. May your life be a platform where the Good News of Jesus Christ will be seen by everyone who looks your way. I pray that today the perfect love of God would cast out all fear. Now go make some lemonade! Or art, or food, or clothes. Go educate your children, or a room full of someone else’s. Plant a garden, or plant a church. Paint a wall, or design a spreadsheet. Argue your client’s case or treat your patients. Whatever it is you do, let your light shine as you do it, so that they will see your good works, and glorify your Father.
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:13-16
By the way, my daughter did go through with her stand and made $40. She amazes me in the best way.