I've been picking up the pieces of life lately. Poor choices, less-then-stellar advice, learning curves and out-side influences have taken stabs and jabs at pretty much everyone in our household. I thought coming in out of full-time missions work was hard... this ranks right up there with it.
Somewhere in the midst of all the mayhem and mess I lost something: Spark. Passions and drives which once boiled inside have simmered and settled. At first I thought it was just a new phase of life, however, I have since realized it is something more. Thumbing through Pinterest to pass a few slow minutes, I saw this article: Rekindling Joy by Pursuing our Passions.
I want to say I am not needing to rekindle Joy, rather, I miss pursuing my passions... yet the more I thought about it, I believe a lack of pure joy is zapping the life out of my passions. Sure, life is in pieces right now, as a matter of fact, it seems there is a daily crisis lately. The kind of crises which make a SAHM like myself dream of a part-time telecommuting job so I can save for mission trips across borders just to serve the Lord in peace... and get some distance and simultaneous perspective on life and it's issues!
It isn't just the domestic dim-drum which drives me down though, it is also the general undercurrent of society and our country as a whole. Debates over who really won the election and resulting social injustices which make me ashamed to be a human... Arguments for the last 2 months over whether or not you can call yourself a Christian AND celebrate Christmas... The blurring lines of humanity when gender changes name and it isn't so simple to even ask "boy or girl" while big-money-movie tickets pay our favorite stars to be the mouth-piece of these movements.
Life is too complicated these days.
Christmas 2016 shoved that very truth onto center-stage in a much more personal role. I no longer have little kids. It is strange. And with all the complications which have persisted these past few months, HOW we celebrated Christmas had it's tweaks in order to accommodate the shifting situation. Through it all I reflected, not just on Christmases past, but on life past as well: The simple things which use to mean so much to people... the ways we use to be able to speak and reach and share and love. Even this blog came under scrutiny when I considered old topics and the early simplicities of being a mommy blogger. Now we are a dime a dozen, a virtual market flooded with us... do I really matter in the great big ocean of 1's and 0's?
I thought of all my little tips, simple recipes, heart renderings, homeschool sharing and Biblical beseeching... is it all a buzz? Old knowledge? Wasted space?
... I picked up a Woman's Day in the grocery line just after Thanksgiving. It and Family Circle were the woman's Bible of how-to-be-a-housewife before FlyLady, Family Fun and Rachel Ray hit the scene. To this day I use many-a-tried-and-true recipe I've held tight to. One flip through my holiday journals reveals carefully removed magazine pages from by-gone issues sharing organization advice and food-prep tips I still find priceless.
So, after groceries were nestled in my cupboards with care, I curled up with hot cocoa (yeah, I'm a big kid) and the fresh-pressed magazine across my lap. I was leery... it had been years since I last read one of these prints... would it be liberalized too? Did WOMAN's Day still apply?
Well, the issue I held was like a tall glass of fresh water. So many things I missed about those early years of housewifery came flooding back. I lamented, I laughed, I looked forward to trying some new recipes... and I dreamed. Passions were sparking. Like an engine that wants to die but won't sputter out because there is still enough juice left... if only the right spark could fully fire it up.
That holiday issue of Woman's Day tugged in my mind all month amidst the many other reflections. Some, at times, admittedly resentful that life was no longer so peaceful and simple anymore. But as the season drew to a close, other memories began to spark...
So many times I will talk with women or post tid-bits here and I feel like what I am saying or typing may be redundant, the information recipient is secretly rolling her eyes and thinking 'duh, everyone knows that'... yet instead I get overwhelmed with messages of 'really? I never thought of that!' or appreciations for encouragement. I realized... knowledge doesn't become common unless it is shared.
Once upon a time I was the doe-eyed, wet-behind-the-ears, new pup on the block. I didn't know the easy way to boil an egg or how to improvise ingredients. I once was clueless to managing multiple kiddos and conflict resolution that fosters Spiritual understanding amongst them. I didn't always comprehend the value of joint history lessons metered to grade or the value of tiered learning... oh, the list could go on but you get the idea.
So, tug and pull came to shove and I read Mandy's blog today, not because she shares my nic-name but because the title grabbed me, perhaps God shoved me... whatever Divine tugging was at work, I gave it a read and I was moved.
God has gifted me uniquely and individually... and in a life, and a world, gone a-muck, perhaps my passion towards the simple true things in life is just what God wants popped out there right now. I don't need to fear debates or disputes. I don't have to worry about redundancies... even Woman's Day is still publishing content I remember them publishing 25 years ago! They know readers will cycle through and need knowledge which becomes common... or just need the reminder and encouragement of simple things in life. Why would I choose to deny God's call to revive the un-common, common-ness of my knowledge base which He has blessed me with and grown in me so that I might share it with others?
Am I someone special to say and share all this? Not particularly.
But I am Chosen for a purpose and a time and a place. I may just be picking up the pieces of life around me right now... but I can put it all back together with Purpose in mind. I can submit myself to be used by God, to glorify God... even in the simplest things. I will NOT put my light under a basket in the midst of the broken pieces around. Let that spark rip into a roaring blaze that springs forth passion, purpose and (most of all) the One True Light that drives it all.
I pray, wherever you are today, whatever challenges (or joys) you face, that God is ministering to your heart through His Word to bring you to a place of purpose in Him because you are Chosen for a purpose too!