Yesterday I read a book. A whole book. From front to back. It was wonderful. I hadn't even read a page from a book in a month. So being able to read a whole book, was amazing. The only thing missing was a Starbucks. But as Brayce would say, "But anyways... Anyhoo."
I read, ANYTHING by Jennie Allen.
Oh my! This book! Insert emoji face with heart eyes here. I loved it! I'm kind of sad I read it so quickly because things that good you want to last longer. I definitely recommend reading this one. It is currently on sale at Mardel's for $5.
This book has my brain going. I haven't been able to turn it off. And it's raising new questions making me think. (I love books that do that to me.)
So I wrote out some of my thoughts last night after reading this book at like 1 am... Some of it is in prayer form and other parts are normally something I would just write in my journal. But I am sharing some of my heart on here with you. I really would love to encourage you to read this book and wrestle with God about the questions that it causes you to ask. Are we willing to pray "anything"?
What does this all mean? Do I need to pray "anything"? Am I surrendered to You? We say we want to be weird and different but are we living this way?
What does different look like for my family? In what ways are you calling us to be "weird"? What am I holding onto that I need to release to You?
In the book Jennie asks, "What if Heaven and God and forever became our normal? Wouldn't that change everything?"
I want to be content in the mundane everyday. I actually love the mundane, lazy days with my family.
But Lord, are we actually living? Or are we numb? Are we where you want us to be? Or are we distracted?
Anything is a scary word to say. I will do anything. I am willing. Why does that make me want to hide under the covers? You are the all knowing. Your will will be done. You do not control us, but have given us free will, a choice. Have I made my choice or am I living in the lukewarm waters that you hate? Am I waking up each day living for you? Loving You? Using my gifts to love others and bring glory to you?
I know the answer to these questions and it saddens my heart. Lord, let it break my heart in a way that only you can heal and put back together. Let me long for you.
In all honesty my family's comfort and safety is my top priority. Why? We are your children and you want good things for your children, but You never said that means an easy life. Actually the opposite, you tell us to expect suffering and trials, that is where our faith grows. I know this to be true Lord. When the child you blessed us with was taken from us to instead know all of his days in your presence; Lord, you were my only hope. You were the only light I could see in that deep darkness where I wasn't sure I could escape. You carried me and I clung to you like a scared broken child. I FELT your presence then. But do I need to cling to you when life is easy? And life is easy. Life is comfortable. Is that what you want for us? Is that the challenge? Finding you through the comfort of living the American Dream. Or is there something more in store for us?
What are the good works you have planned for my life? I don't need to know the whole picture (as tempting as it sounds I think it would be terrifying to know. Would I be willing if I knew what was ahead? The ups and the downs?) I have to stay focused on what this is all about. You. Glorifying you. Telling others about you. This life is temporary. This life is short. And that is scary. But what is even more scary is the word FOREVER. But forever doesn't have to be scary if forever means with you.
Lord, I am only me. A wife. A mother. A daughter. A sister. A friend. An introvert. ... A child of yours. A friend to your Son.
Without you I am only me. With you I am able and capable. I am able to do what you have called me to do. I don't know what that is other than to bring you glory and to talk about you.
And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. (Deuteronomy 6:5-9 NLT)
Oh Lord, that's what you want from me. To love you with ALL that I am. My heart. My mind. My soul. My strength. To be committed to you completely. To be ALL IN. To know the commands you have for me. To talk about you. To train my children to become your children. To be someone they can learn how to follow from because I look like your son Jesus.
I must know You. You are forever. Free me from holding onto the temporary so that my hands and heart can be free to cling to the eternal, to You.
Am I willing? Am I ready? Will I pray: "anything"?