Thursday, April 09, 2015
Dawn & Heather Read Together: Own Your Life (Chapter 1)
I have to admit I struggled a bit with Sally's description of heroes. I probably struggled a bit because I've never dreamed for myself along those lines. I've always wanted to be and do what I'm doing right now: a wife & mother. But I also struggled because I firmly believe that doing those two things IS being a hero if one is doing it for God's glory with all of their might. To be fair, Sally gets to this point in her chapter but I just want to add that being these things (or being a husband, garbage man, whatever) is not playing second fiddle to a supposedly "higher" calling of a missionary. God does call many to the kind of leadership that heroes embody (praise God for each of them!). But I love what we learned from Dr. Grant just yesterday about leaders:
"Often times, great leadership looks a whole more like playing the second fiddle... I pray for these students. Father, thank You for men of principle who were willing to stand in perilous times. Thank You for these examples of men who were willing to play a secondary role & still make a difference. I pray for these students. I pray that they would indeed be leaders, everyone in their own sphere. Not that they would be number one. God forbid! Enable us to aspire to work quietly, behind the scenes. To make a difference, change the world in our circles of influence, day by day, moment by moment. Make us, I pray, able to follow in the footsteps of the great almosts."
Let me be very clear: Sally Clarkson never says missionary work is a higher calling but she does share she struggled thinking that. And I think it's something that many in the church need to get out of their head! Sally puts it well when she says:
"I know now that heroes come with a variety of stories. A radical life for Christ is not always visible to outside eyes." (pg. 11)
The title of this chapter is "Seeing the beauty and purpose in your ordinary days." I LOVE this! I've wrote before about the mundane and I'll be very honest with you all in sharing that I've struggled recently with seeing the beauty in my ordinary days- kinda feels like I'm doing the same thing over and over and over. I love how Sally points us to Hebrews 12:11 and shares:
"God wanted to train me in holiness right where I was, in these circumstances." (pg. 8)
"So many of my own years had been poured into the mundane moments of life, yet I sought to make each one a celebration of His reality." (pg. 11)
I love the idea of celebrating in His reality! :) I have no idea how God will use my interaction with other people or the training of my children but the idea that it may please my Savior- that makes me smile! My ordinary is heroism in His eyes! And you know what, mamas? It's also heroism in your children's eyes. And I bet your husband's eyes shine too. Pretty awesome stuff!
It's also encouraging to reflect on how God is ordering our lives! It's not by chance or bad will that we meet trials or even the mundane. He wants so much more than our momentary comfort- He will see us refined into His glorious image that will last for eternity. I'm so glad He has this vision & that He is good enough to often withhold what my selfish, petty heart wants. I'm grateful that slowly but surely, He's molding my desires after His. Often that's come through something painful- death, sickness, loss, loneliness, judgment, misunderstanding. We can say it hurts. We can cry. We can be broken before Him. But we can not despair because we are not alone! He is with us, ordering all things for our good! He will help us and bring us through. Peace in the midst of pain. Sunshine at the end of a storm.
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified." (Romans 8:28-30)
"There I learned that life was not about my ease, but about God's desire to help me become mature. He wanted to take from my hands the very things that I was holding on to for security so that I could find lasting happiness in the simple things that could never be lost." (Clarkson, pg. 12)
You can read Dawn's thoughts here about chapter one! Plus, she has a fun little button for chapter one. She's the computer-savy one. :)