At the top of the administrative page for this blog, there’s a little comment icon to notify me when a reader has sent a message. I always acknowledge comments (public ones on the posts and in my personal email). I very much appreciate a reader’s time in encouraging me or asking questions, and consider it an honor and a privilege to have a more intimate “real life” encounter with a reader. It’s these one-to-one, written, or small group relationships that really energize me. It’s where I feel not only God’s presence, but that He takes over, and I step aside. Such a wonderful experience– it’s hard to explain.
Recently, I’ve commented on posts and emailed a few of the big names in the blogging world and an organization many belong to. No response. I think I let that get under my skin and hurt my feelings. But God is using them in a different way. Their gifts are His to bless, and these dear Christians are certainly glorifying Him and touching many people for His Kingdom.
My desire in blogging has never been to be results oriented; I felt God nudging me to write. I fight a tendency to want immediate personal affirmation (hearing that someone was impacted by my words), even if my greater motivation is for the good of others. I call this other more fleshly desire a glory hog. I don’t want to forget how unattractive it can be when I get my selfish needs mixed up with serving and obeying His leading.
I believe my God-given gifts are best used in a more intimate setting. My blog is a starting point. I am most fully alive face-to-face or in a small circle where I can share with others. I’ve been thinking the last few days about this, repenting again the glory hog tendency — and letting go of visions of being a mega-blogger! 😉 I want to be available to respond personally to those who relate to my story. In this light, I covet your comments.
Back to those tears — This morning I had 36 Spam messages associated with Pink Reflections, an annoyance common to many blogs. Robot generated “messages” from Vintage Mulberry bags, Tory Burch bags, Louis Vuitton, etc. all trying to sell me their goods — probably cheap, imitation knock offs of the real designers.
My eyes quickly welled up. I believe tears (especially when they come on the heels of time with God) are well worth investigating and listening to. What is behind mine this morning? I’ve deleted similar messages almost every day since my November launch of Pink Reflections. Why do I have burning tears today?
I haven’t written a post in a month. I haven’t felt inspired, or more accurately, nothing I have written has felt worthy of pressing the ominous “Publish” button. Could it be that I feel like a cheap, imitation knock off trying to schlep my words when what people really want and need is more sophisticated “designer” thoughts? There are plenty of women writing who are more insightful and more impactful than I. What can I offer that is real?
Yes, I think that’s part of it. I know myself and how much I struggle to surrender and live as God leads me in my real life. Lately, my prayer life has been somewhat lackluster, labored, distracted — as opposed to joyful and the best and most anticipated part of my day. The circumstances of life have been overpowering the Truths of God. I’m mired down — conforming to the world instead of giving God ample time and opportunity to renew my mind and transform me to more Christ-likeness.
Added to that, I feel compelled to pray for our business — something I have always found difficult to do — and in this I am “failing.” If anything is worth doing at all, it is worth praying about, right? God cares about our work. Intellectually, I don’t believe in a life segregated into the secular and the sacred. I want ALL I do and all I am to be about Jesus. But what does this look like? I get distracted and my prayers about our business quickly trail off into random thoughts…
What is God’s will in all our work decisions? We sought Him and His will in this; sometimes His outcomes don’t look good on the bottom line, right? Maybe there are other “lessons” we need to learn to deepen our faith? Certainly we have grown in faith in the last two years. I try to “spiritualize” our technology business. To justify its existence by acknowledging we enjoy giving away some of what’s earned.
While it’s true that God uses all circumstances for His purposes and good, the idea that our business is only about these “lessons” seems a little like a cop out on my part — a small-minded prayer with a healthy portion of unbelief in a good God and a lack of confidence in the fact that He would desire our financial success. I am not a proponent of the name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel, but am I also afraid to even mention financial success? Could it be there is merit simply in what we offer — that God sees the good in our services and has ideas he wants to share with us about our business?
His specific purposes and goals for our business are not obvious to me. Why is prayer so difficult in this area of my life? With my overall prayer life distracted by life’s circumstances and a sense of failure around praying for work — how can I write something that might touch another? I feel a little like the sketchy vendor of the fake $10 designer bags sold in the streets of NYC.
Lately, I’m scatter-brained in daily tasks as well as my prayer life. Fragmented in my roles as wife, business owner, daughter, mother, friend, writer, painter, gardener, operations manager of the home and kitchen — I have lost sight of my true identity as adopted heir, daughter of the King — my Abba who desires me to know Him intimately.
What I offer today is simply what He is saying to me in the midst of my messy life. And that He longs to be preeminent and intimate in all our lives. An honest admission of my struggles but also my faith that He is in control of my life and my faith. Lately — I’ve been most aware of my struggles. My prayer life needs a transfusion. A refocus on Him. In the coming months, as He grows my prayer life, I’ll share with you all I trust the great Healer will do along the way.
In a leap of faith that He desires my authenticity and transparency, today I’ll push “Publish,” and sheepishly let you in on the honest condition of my soul, as we approach Good Friday and Easter. I’ll commit to trusting Him and continuing to pray in all things, even when it feels somewhat empty. I’ll do something else that’s hard for me — I’ll ask for your prayers for me as you read. I don’t understand exactly how prayer works, but I know that the prayers of others give me peace and please God.
My post is not a “downer” but a reminder that God has a plan and I can trust Him in it — all the time! He WILL respond to my prayers — even when they are weak. His strength is made perfect in my weakness.
This is the day the Lord has made! Let us rejoice and be glad in it! He is risen and all things are made new in Him! I will trust Him to finish the good work He has begun in me and in you! As always, you have my feeble prayers to a strong and loving God.