Tuesday, August 30, 2011

No Waste In Jesus

I have struggled, at times, as a wife and mom. I suppose this crazy world we live in has fed me more than a few lies. Those lies, left unquestioned, burrowed inconspicuously into a crevice in my heart. Somehow, even in the shade, they grew.

I wish I could tell you they produced something beautiful, but they did not.

I believed that I had so much more to offer the world than being *just* a wife and mother. I had talents, gifts, abilities. Weren't they all going to waste while I changed diapers and scrubbed floors and rubbed my husband's tight shoulders?

Some days, my thoughts were not so lofty. I daydreamed about just checking into a hotel for a few days. To read, to write, to pray, to soak in a tub and light candles and listen to quiet music. To sleep.

I adored my family, but found myself feeling frustrated with my role. I was constantly exhausted. I frantically looked for something, anything, that would make me feel like my creativity was not drying up and dying.

I wrote. {Mainly in my personal journals.}

I sketched. {Mainly pictures that I have never shown anyone.}

I read. And read. And read.

I tried to get involved in Bible studies. Often, I was turned away because of my children. No childcare. I was told it was not my *season* to be in Bible study.

I cried. I wanted the fellowship so bad. I struggled to hear God. Sometimes I struggled with resentment. I felt isolated, alone.

I prayed.

Through it all, God was working something beautiful in me: Contentment. The thing is, contentment is a fragile flower, though beautiful. It is costly. It can easily be choked, and die.

The secret to contentment: Die to self. It's as simple and as terrifying as that.

Jesus gave hard words to swallow when He told His followers that in order to find your life, you must lose it. But those brilliant words are truth and life and freedom from a million ways to lose the one life He gives us.

I was thinking about all this today when I read about a fabulous opportunity to attend a writer's lodge. My first thought was that it would be so completely neat to go. What woman with a writer's heart wouldn't think that?

But then I began reading the comments. There was one in particular that hit me hard. Because I really could have written it a few years back. It sort-of-kind-of broke my heart. This precious woman is struggling with feeling like all the gifts, talents and creativity God has given her are being wasted while she mothers and loves her husband and cleans and cooks... But the truth is that her gifts are not only being refined through this daily dying, but that they are already so stunning I can hardly read anything she writes without crying.

I hope she wins the drawing. I'd rejoice to see her go. Yet more than anything, I pray for more of Him for her. Whether at retreat or in nursery or while she weaves words into pictures or pictures into words.

I don't believe God blesses us with babies and then stuffs our talents away until those babies are grown. I don't believe there are *seasons* for Bible study. Perhaps only Heaven will show how God uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise...

For now, may I gently encourage? So many of us do not realize that God never wastes our gifts. Perhaps the greatest gift of all is learning to find Him in every day washing and rocking and loving. In learning to die to self, to live to Him, and to be content in all things.

~amy danielle

1 comment:

  1. oh amy. you don't know how i needed this today. i had a discouraging and hard day. hardly sold anything at an art show. but this reminds me that over a year ago, i wondered if i'd ever get a book published... and now i have three in the works. you never know how God is going to bless you if you stay faithful. i pray he blesses you in a huge way. thank you so much for thinking of me today. i am so grateful. love you. xoxo

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