Thursday, April 30, 2015

Dawn and Heather Read Together: Own Your Life (Chapter 4)

I keep being a little afraid of what Sally is going to say in the next chapter, expecting that it will be the whammy chapter of "you're not doing enough for Christ you slacker." Even though I know she isn't like that and is all that is encouraging.  I suspect it is because I've known parts of her story (missionary to Eastern Block countries, homeschooled 4 children, written numerous books on mothering and educating, mentoring local-to-her moms, etc.) and, wow, I haven't done that.

But I haven't been called to all of that!

This chapter is about helping women to gain a vision of what they can accomplish when reliant upon Jesus' tender direction.  Reliant. Oh, that is a word I don't like. I'm a modern, independent American individual through and through. I've always had a little bit of "go your own way" (while looking for approval, of course) to me.  I will listen, not argue, then still do what I think.

I think that's my INFJ coming out.  I don't want to ask and follow, I want to intuit.

Clarkson tries to change my thinking. Rather than deciding on my own, I should pray for direction, for a vision.  I'm terrible at that. My vision isn't all that big to start with.  I have some big goals and ideas, but I remember when I was in college writing lesson plans hating to write Goals and Objectives for each lesson. It seemed so crazy to me.

Sally makes it easier.  She tells us to live our regular lives:
God desires to work supernaturally through normal people who are willing to follow Him wholeheartedly and reflect His glory.  Christianity is not just about giving on Sunday, yawning through church, or providing a special offering once in a while to the poor.  God's exceptional call on our lives may seem extreme to most people. yet the folly of believers has always been to trifle life away and ignore His calling. (pg 50)
God wants to work through our normal lives, in normal means.  The story she tells in this chapter of a woman who took the time to mentor 2 children whose parents were divorcing is poignant. It isn't about doing something huge, but doing little things well and consistently. Our pastor is beginning a series on Philippians and will be focusing on building community within the church, within Zion. Already, in the first sermon, I felt challenged to be better about reaching out to those in the congregation. Not just when I'm reminded of them after they've posted on Facebook, but to take initiative to call or write or email to check in on them because I love them.

That is a stretch to my comfort zone.  I've made excuses for years: I'm so busy. I don't want to interrupt them if they're in the middle of something. I hate to talk on the phone and am terrible at it.  I never know what to say.

Clarkson says, "List three practical things you can do to begin serving those around you who need encouragement, help, or guidance." Those don't really seem like big, scary things. I can do that.  Do you have ideas about three things your can do? They won't take all that long.

I'm 42 years old. Time to learn.

Clarkson's first epigraph in this chapter is from the author of The Little Prince. At first, I didn't read carefully. Look at rocks, cathedral. Argh. She's going to ask us to build cathedrals, I'm just not cut out for that.  But, no! The quote says we are cathedrals. We are the church, we are the place where the Lord resides, where He dwells. Because of that we are to see the world differently.

I chose the picture, an old one, on purpose.  I - not my children - am the one contemplating the rock pile.  But I am also contemplating the children, much greater than that pile of rocks at the base of the dam.  Do I see them differently because I bear within me the image of a cathedral? How? Do I see them differently because they bear within themselves that image? How can I serve my children rather than myself (or worse yet make them serve me)?

More questions than answers here. I hope Sally answers them in coming chapters.

Don't forget to check out Heather's post sometime soon! She always sinks right into the heart of the matter so Biblically.  She's an encouragement to me!


  1. Such great thoughts here!!! Praying for direction- why is so hard to "find time" to pray??? I've got plenty of time to do just about everything else! I think in part, I do not want to acknowledge how dependent I am on God providing the answers. I'd rather try & do something... on my own, in a holy-apearing way. :/

    And I love your contemplation of viewing our children as fellow cathedrals. WOW! Does that change how I react & interact with them! Thank you for your encouragement, friend! :) (And so sorry my post was so late in getting up!!!)

    1. I think it's hard to pray for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the seeming one-sidedness of it nor the seeming lack of accomplishment. I get holy-appearing, too.

      No apologies. I knew your contribution would be fantastic when you posted and I wasn't disappointed. I know you were extra busy last week, too. Take your time :)

  2. I've caught up with you all - well at least through chapter 4. Struggling with this book. :( I've got more questions than answers, too.

    1. I'm glad you've caught up. I'd love to discuss your questions and struggles. Let me know.


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