Say “Yes” Quickly, Part Two

Thanks so much to everyone who left encouraging comments about Friday’s post, and my new prayer class challenge! I thought I should give you a little update – it was one of my favorite weekends ever!

My new prayer class began on Sunday, but the pastor of our church encouraged me to attend the prayer event that was happening at church on Saturday morning, so that is where I headed on a chilly fall morning this last weekend.

I wasn’t outrageously excited about going – that whole comfort zone thing was getting in the way again, but I was trying to ignore it. Little did I know what was in store for me…

We started the morning off with some singing, and during that time, our pastor encouraged us to pray quietly, or for someone else, if we felt led to do so. Immediately, a lady’s name popped into my head. And like usual, I said to myself, “No way! I am SO not going to pray for her right now! She will think I’m weird, and everyone else will think I’m just trying to be extra spiritual because I’m leading the prayer class tomorrow. Nope. Not doing it.”

But the thought kept bugging me, and finally it occurred to me that the only thing holding me back from obeying what seemed to be an urging from God was my worry about what other people might think. It became crystal clear to me that this was between God and me, and no one else. I needed to stop caring what other people thought.

Before I could change my mind, I jumped out of my seat, and headed over to her.

Praying for her was amazing. No idea how it impacted her, but it was amazing for me, because I was obeying God.

I went back to my seat with this huge, incredible joy in my heart. I said to God, “Whatever you tell me to do this morning, I’ll do it. Even if I don’t know for sure that it came from You, I’ll do it. As long as it’s good and in line with Your Word, and not illegal or sinful, I’ll do it.”

Oh, my goodness. Those are interesting words to say to God. I did things that morning that I have never done before. Someday, I might tell you all about it, but for now, I have to say that if you want an adventure, tell God you’ll do whatever He says!

It was completely awesome. One of the best days I’ve had in a long time.

I started getting really excited about what He might do on Sunday…

But I was still really nervous before my prayer class began. I didn’t have a plan. I ALWAYS have a plan. I have never taught a Bible study or led a session without knowing exactly what my plan was. I kept feeling that God wanted me to STOP having a plan, though, and just follow His leading on Sunday morning.

So I did, and of course, it was amazing. People shared their stories of how God was speaking and leading them, and I loved hearing it all. I got goosebumps many times over. There is just something incredible about hearing a whole bunch of testimonies about what God is doing here and now, in the midst of our “ordinary” days. He shows up in the simplest things, and suddenly the simple becomes miraculous, and it’s awesome.

We spent time praying that God would show us what He has for us this week, and I can’t wait to hear everybody sharing their stories next Sunday.

Are you having any adventures with God this week? Keep looking for Him, even in the smallest things!


Leaving Room For Weakness

Ben once had the opportunity to meet a well-known pastor who preaches some of the best sermons we’ve listened to online. He’s written a great book, and whenever we listen to his messages, we continually find him to be full of wisdom and wit, with a very warm, approachable style. I always imagined he would be a very charismatic in person, and was a little disappointed when I heard that Ben would be meeting him without me.

But the most interesting thing happened. When Ben met this amazing, gifted pastor, he turned out to be quite socially awkward – not what Ben was expecting at all! They awkwardly conversed for a short time, and then the pastor had to go on stage to address the congregation.

Ben said it was the most amazing transformation – that socially awkward man turned back into the warm, passionate, charismatic preacher that Ben was used to listening to online.

I eagerly listened to Ben’s description of this transformation, not just because I would have loved to have been there myself – I drank it in because it gave me great hope.

I know what it feels like to swing from strength to weakness, and back again, wishing that those mountain-top experiences could just last forever.

Sometimes I feel confused about the balance of strengths and weaknesses in my life. Sometimes I wonder why God chose my combination of personality and giftings. I might have chosen differently!

And I was reminded of it again this week. I was invited to speak at a girls’ club event at my sister’s church in Altona. Although I have done that kind of thing often, I’ve never done it with a group of kids. But the whole thing was incredibly fun, and I enjoyed myself immensely.


God is awesome that way. We do what we’ve been gifted to do, and He makes it so much fun!

So I go out, and do my speaking/teaching thing, and every time, I experience such joy, such an energy, and a feeling that I’m doing what I was born to do. And I always think to myself, “I wish I could do this for the rest of my life.”

And then it ends, and I put down the microphone, or my audience moves on to the next thing, and I transform back to the usual, little old me, with my feelings of insecurity, and my tendency to feel slightly socially awkward in large group settings.

Lots of the time, that’s the part where I wonder why God didn’t make me super outgoing and bubbly, with a ton of natural energy, fed by large groups of people.

Why did He make me an introvert, preferring one-on-one conversations, and needing a ton of down-time for every loud, people-filled event? It makes my own “transformation” quite jarring, most times.

I want to question His judgement, but then I remember that pastor, and I think to myself that if he can find his way through, so shall I.

And I realize that there is much wisdom in this experience of shifting from strength to weakness:

God is strong in our weakness.

Because these spiritual gifts come from Him, it is amazing to me how God-given strengths shine more clearly against the backdrop of our human weaknesses.

It seems so freeing to me, once I get past my desire to appear strong and perfect in all areas, to think that I don’t have be able to do everything, or know everything, or be everything. My weakness lets other people see what I would truly be like all the time, if I didn’t ever get some help from the Holy Spirit. I could start pretending that those moments of divine intervention were really me. How wonderful that God keeps it from happening!

We need others in our weakness.

If we could do it all on our own, we probably would. And God knew that. It must be so beautiful to Him when we help each other out, and work together in love and unity.

I think of how it makes me feel when my girls are playing peacefully together – life at home seems pretty much perfect. Multiply that many times over, and we probably still can’t ever understand how God feels when we work together, and rely on each other.

I went to that girls’ club event, and I absolutely loved every minute of sharing with them. And then I loved every minute of watching my sister using some of her strengths, as she headed up the crafts time afterwards – every detail in place, every ribbon and paper cut as neatly and precisely as could be imagined. She coolly and calmly sails through challenges, always efficient. I was so thankful to her for saving me from details. Details stress me out to no end, and suck the energy out of me.

She seems to thrive on handling details. Although we may be sisters, it is extremely obvious to me that we were made to fill different roles in life. And this week, that was wonderful. Every time we talked on the phone to co-ordinate things, I was so thankful for the way in which she took care of details so that I could focus on preparing my little talk.

And then the next morning, I did the same talk at our homeschool group, but this time it was my sweet friend Becky who took care of all the details. She did it in a completely different way than my sister had, and it was just as wonderful.

When we are willing to step out and share our strengths, we free others from having to work out of their weakness. Everybody gets to do what is life-giving to them, and the job gets done together.

I love the feeling of it. But I wouldn’t ever get to experience it if I didn’t have any weaknesses. I wouldn’t fully appreciate others’ strengths. I wouldn’t be reminded that “my” strengths aren’t really mine, anyway.

And that is what has been giving me joy and freedom this week.

So, tell me – What do you wish you could be freed to do for the rest of your life?

Speaking and Dreaming

Ben was asked to speak at a retreat this last weekend, and he was generous enough to let me lead one of the sessions! And I had so much fun doing it. Would love to do it for the rest of my life. But I don’t know if I could find people to listen to me for the rest of my life! Know anyone who needs a speaker?!

Anyway, we spent a chunk of time prepping for it, so over the next couple of days, I’m excited to share with you some of the things I talked about during my session.

Future Plans: We think it would be fun to speak and teach together, and get a house somewhere with a fantastic view, so that we can sit there in our office overlooking that inspiring view and write books. And we’ll also need a deck to sit out on with our laptops while we write. Ben will write fiction, and I’ll write non-fiction. We will be very happy together. Well, we’re already very happy together – we just have fun imagining our exciting future!