Send Me

Except please don’t.

In my devotional it talks about telling the Lord you are willing to go where He wants to send you.

Wherever He wants to send me it must involve the military since I married to a guy in the Navy. I don’t know where exactly God wants me, whether it’s another city or some place in town that I should be. Either way I don’t feel as willing as I should. Part of that is that I just like where I am. I like my life and routine. I like where I live. Truthfully I have no desire to do or live any differently.

I go through periods of time where I would be thrilled to step up and do something for God. And then I go through times like this, the spring and the summer and their problems, and I don’t want to be sent anywhere. Sometimes I wonder if there are things you’re supposed to do from your home. Or at least people very near to you. I don’t believe that God wants everyone to be a missionary. At all times though you must be willing to say “Here am I. Send me.”

God please keep me here. I am having more good days lately. I am willing to go where you want to send me. Please keep me here. Often times my posts on faith are my way of working through thoughts as much as they are writing down my opinions and scriptural interpretations.

Please, if it is your will, let me stay here. If it is your will that I go someplace new, please don’t crush me with it.

A Violet

Therese Lisieux was a Carmelite nun who lived in the latter half of the 19th century. Although she lived a very short life, dying at 24 from tuberculosis, the writings she left behind about flowers are compelling and influential in church thought. As Therese would meditate on flowers she would learn lessons about God. Her writings on flowers were compiled into a book called The Story of a Soul.

Sometimes she wrote about individuality and our place in God’s Kingdom. In one passage she wrote, “I realized that if every tiny flower wanted to be a rose, spring would lose its loveliness and there would be no wildflowers to make the meadows gay.”

What that really drives home to me is that whether you live your life in the Limelight among other people or not, you are important and God thinks you contribute to the beauty of creation. The violet is no less worthy than the rose. She goes on to say that the Saints are like lilies or roses and that we must be content to be the violets or daisies that God smiles at when He looks down. What I think this means is that while Saints’ souls have been perfected by fire, we are beautiful too. We can’t all be Saints, and we should not all be Saints. We may not stand out in a crowd of souls like they do, but if the world was filled with all the same kind of people everything would get very monotonous. Everyone’s variety and individuality is needed. It makes God smile, and anything that makes God smile is a necessary thing. God uses a macro lens when he sees us, examining our beauty in detail so that even the smallest of us flowers is gorgeous to Him.

Along those lines, Therese wrote that all of us can be perfect when we become that which God designed us to be. Popular culture seems to focus so much on perfection. And in Christianity we avoid the very concept because none of us are without sin, and to be truly perfect is to be sinless. But this is another, interesting idea of perfection that I like. God has designed each and everyone of us with a unique personality and temperament, with different skills and interests, and with different purposes. When we live out our purposes and function in the way He designed us, we are perfect. Obviously our souls are not perfect because we are sinners. Everyone needs Jesus. But our personhood can be perfect.

Then the question becomes, what are my gifts and what is my purpose? How can I fully live in accordance with my design, including my personality, temperament, and life circumstances? To what degree am I already doing this or to which I might have already fulfilled my purpose at least by and large?

I know that I was meant to be Craig’s wife. So day in and day out I fulfill that purpose. I was meant to be Angelica’s mother. God chose me to be her mother. So I try to fulfill that purpose to the best of my ability. God designed me to be very creative. So what is the purpose of that creativity? Although I enjoy making art I am by no means proficient at it. So what is the purpose? It could just be so that I can enjoy it. God wants us to be happy. He wants us to be holy first, but wherever possible we should be holy and happy. My life provides the opportunity to be happy and gives me chances to work on myself to be more holy. I should take advantage of both opportunities. What role is creating things or doing photography supposed to play in my life?

What about my writing? As a writer I sometimes feel so isolated. I always thought I would go to grad school, get an MFA and then a Ph.D, and start teaching at the college level. I thought that I would know other writers from my days in grad school and that I would be publishing books. But I was not destined to do that. God had other plans for me, better plans. But my passion for writing poetry remains, and I have very little opportunity to use that voice above a whisper, at a volume that other people can hear me. So what am I supposed to do with all my poetry? What is the ultimate purpose to me being a poet? I might get a book published but I might not. I may try to publish more chapbooks since I really enjoy chapbooks, but there is no telling if that will come through and I have not submitted in a very long time. Is God’s plan for me to have a book published? Or does He have other plans for me and my little poems? Do I need to start submitting again? Or am I supposed to take some other avenue?

Moving to Colorado with my husband has brought about tremendous change in my life. New place, new people, new schedule, new terrain, new opportunities. I am sure that this move was important. What am I supposed to be doing with it? I’m getting involved with my church and I feel like that’s the right direction to go in. I don’t know what will come of my involvement, but maybe my hands are needed. I want Angelica to really get something out of living in Colorado for 3 years, whether that is simply amazing and beautiful experiences, or a friend that she’s supposed to make, or maybe getting plugged into this church will make a big difference in her life.

Like everyone else, I have so many facets to my personality. I’m kind of a mixture of Victorian lady, 1950s housewife without the good organizational skills, and a dark, Gothic princess. God made me these things, and there must be a reason for each one of them. So how can I live out my life in such a way as to be authentically who God made me, fulfilling his design for me and reaching perfection in what He wanted me to be?

I may never be a rose, either in God’s eyes or the world’s. You never know, but probably not. But sometimes I don’t want roses when I go to the market. I want a nice bouquet of daisies, or maybe some violets. How does God want me to bloom?

Laziness and Sloth

Sometimes I open a random page in my devotionals instead of reading it in order, to see what message might be speaking to me.  It’s the same way I tend to read the Scriptures. Today I just happened to open to an entry about laziness and sloth.

“The path of lazy people is overgrown with briers, the diligent walk down a smooth road.” Proverbs 15:19.

“No matter how much you want, laziness won’t help you a bit. But hard work  will reward you with more than enough.” Proverbs 13:4

I could have opened to any page in the devotional. I had no idea what page was what and could have chosen anything. But my fingers and my eyes alighted on this. And I think there’s a reason.

I have been lazy. I’ve been lazy with the housework and lazy with the yard (I’m afraid of bugs), and lazy with my body. I’ve even been lazy with parenting. Angelica should be in sign language lessons and dance and piano. I take her to speech therapy, but that is it. Dance might have to wait until we move to Colorado and she can start a full year from beginning to end the following fall. Piano and sign language though I need to get started on. I’ve been lazy with my body by being sedentary. I don’t move much. This is not a commentary on my weight, as there are plenty of people as lazy as me who are smaller than me and plenty of people who move more than me who are bigger. But it is a simple truth that I don’t exercise. I should get an exercise bike.

I’ve been lazy with housework. Sometimes I don’t keep up with it because of my mood, sometimes because I’m just not very good at it, but sometimes it is because I am being lazy. I am very fortunate in that God has blessed me with a beautiful house and lots of things in that house. I need to take better care of them.

My devotional says that whatever it is I am doing, menial or great, I should do my  best. I am a homemaker and mother and writer. But am I being the best homemaker I can be? The best mother? The best writer? I’ve been slothful about submitting my work to magazines over the past year. Am I engaged enough with Angelica? How can I give her a leg up on education and self development? Am I being the best wife I can be? What can I do to make my husband’s life easier and more comfortable?

These verses and this passage in my devotional have convicted me today. I think I’m going to go fold laundry and organize the bathroom. Now. Right now.