Y'all, I have started For the Love, and it is so, so good. Even the introduction is good, and you know that's the part you usually skip. But I'm gonna wait to talk about that until I'm finished.
I thought, especially if you're new here, that you might want to have a little history about me and my interest in being neighborly. So here goes.
A few years ago I found myself reading books about some pretty amazing real-life people. They were CHANGING the WORLD for Jesus, and I started feeling really left out. I wanted to change the world for Jesus, too! I started feeling like I was wasting my life and my talents. All I was doing was raising kids, supporting my husband, and dealing with the endless list of household responsibilities. But I wanted to save orphans, end hunger, stop human trafficking. I was born to do these things, I was sure of it.
And with that gentle, stern voice of His, the Holy Spirit spoke to my distracted heart in a way I couldn't miss. "I know you love me enough to do huge things for my Kingdom. But do you love me enough to do small things? Things that don't seem to matter outside of your household? Things that only I may know about?" And at the time, my answer was no. And it broke me. I wanted to love Him like that.
Remember when the disciples ask Jesus who their neighbor is, and he tells them the story of the Samaritan, and they're all shocked? Well, my story was the reverse of that. I told God I wanted to serve my neighbor! The poor! The marginalized! The sick! The orphaned! The widow! The refugee!
And God showed me that MY neighbor, the one I'm supposed to love and serve, is right there at home. He wants my kids. He wants my ACTUAL neighbors. He wants me to love the orphans in Haiti, yes. But that couple on my street with the awesome yard? He wants me to love them too. Now. Because of all the people in the whole world, these are the people I'm most equipped to minister to. Who better to minister to my kids than me? Who better to love on than the widow who lives directly across from me? I see these people every day.
Over the last few years, the Lord has kept a tight grip on my ministry, reigning me in over and over from pursuing GOOD things outside of His will for me. I don't help out with Donnie's youth group. I don't go to the Ladies Bible Study on Tuesday mornings. I stayed home from a missions trip I was DYING to go on (on my birthday!), because Eli wasn't ready to be away from me. It's so hard to say no to all of these good things. But I think maintaining a focus on the tiny things God has required of me has changed my family. It has strengthened my marriage. It has made me appreciate the intricate workings of the Church--the Body of Christ. I even love God more.
I still have big dreams. I still hope to have an influence for the Lord outside my immediate area. I have big crazy dreams that I believe are from God, but that I haven't been given the go-ahead on.
And I'm praying that I have the self-control to wait for His timing. So until that happens, I'll be at home. Teaching my kids, building our family business, loving on our neighbors, and 1,000,000 little things that I don't need you to know about, because He does. And I love Him enough now to do them (or at least try).
What small thing has He asked of you? The most profound thing I've been told on this journey was that we have no way of knowing which things are small, and which are actually going to change the world. We just need to obey.
If you have the time, I'd love for you to check out the original post about Doing Something Small. It was a major turning point in my life, and I am so glad I heard His call.
Also, the books referenced above that agitated my very spirit, and that I would still recommend to you are:
(those are affiliate links, just fyi)
See you tomorrow for day 4!