Wednesday, February 10, 2016

From My Sick Bed

After two days of resting (or writhing in misery, rather) in bed with the flu, I think enough is enough. Adam leaves for a meeting after getting Jayci off to school, and both remaining children climb into my lap. My skin crawls at their touch and I sit in front of the heater to ward off the chills. I sip a mug of hot tea and lemon, trying to soothe a new tickle in my throat.

There is a pull within me to equate production with value. To believe I am only afforded a certain amount of me-time before I'm just being selfish (even if me time = in bed with the flu).

Its the first day of lent, and I don't have plans to give anything up exactly. Instead, I want to use these 40 days to remember my identity in Jesus. As Shane Claiborne says, lent is an opportunity to give up something that is sucking the life out of us so that we can be filled with God, with life, with love again. . . So whether it is giving up an old bad habit or take on a new holy habit, may we each use this Lenten season as an excuse to do something that empties us of ourselves so that our lives make better music.

This past weekend we had the (crazy) opportunity to share our story at a youth conference for a couple hundred middle and high schoolers. Besides being way outside of my comfort zone (Adam is the one who likes speaking to crowds), it was a really sweet time for our family and an amazing reminder of all the ways that God has called us step-by-step into this life we never would have dreamed up for ourselves. Also, I just wrote that it was a sweet time for our family and then remembered how many times I nearly lost it yelling at my children because they would not stop fighting for the love of everything. I only pulled it together because I thought "you are the keynote speaker, pull it together."
But seriously, I remembered some things I needed to be reminded of: that we didn't mentor Zack and Sabo because we wanted to start a mentoring program, but that God led us to mentor Zack and Sabo and that's why we ended up starting a mentoring program. Our end goal never skipped past the people who were right in front of us, and I want to keep living that way. To recognize the holy ways that God slips people into our lives (for a season or forever) who we will learn from and with.
Since I'm about to read some more and then perhaps nap while Isaiah naps, I leave with you with some links I love and a few books I'm going to preorder (and I think you should too).

First of all, Adam and I also shared a story with a friend of mine from UGA (which was apparently over 10 years ago, crazy). She came to our house and interviewed us about our lives and Blueprint 58 and shared the whole thing on her cool site (ATL 1X1). I'd love for you to pop over and read it if you're interested. And be sure to spend some time looking around the site, because she has shared lots of stories from really cool Atlanta change-makers, of whom we are beyond honored to be included. Its a great resource to find something you're passionate about in Atlanta and find out how you can get involved. Of course we would love that to be Blueprint 58, but really would be thrilled for you to find any way to let your passions meet the needs of our city.

I have rarely been as excited about a book as I am for these next two. Although if you've been around here long, I've linked to their blogs often enough that you've probably already preordered their books too (I hope!)

The first is my homegirl Shannan's book, Falling Free (Rescued from the Life I always wanted). Their story is so much like our story, and the time that Adam and I spent with Shannan and Cory cemented my love for them forever. Sorry guys, you'll never get rid of us now! But seriously, her story will inspire you for sure, and I've been meaning to tell her for days that I think her writing is only getting more beautiful and holy every single day. For real.

I'm also super-pumped to get DL Mayfield's new book Assimilate or Go Home: Notes from a Failed Missionary on Rediscovering Faith. I mean seriously, I feel like I need to read it right this very minute because I currently feel exactly like a failed missionary who needs to rediscover some faith, please and thank you. Her writing is some of my very favorite, the kind that leaves me ready to both love my neighbors better and hand over my pen, because I have read very few people who can write like she does.

A few more books I'm excited about:
Renovate: Changing Who You Are by Loving Where You Are - by our dear friend and pastor Leonce Crump (our story is tucked in there somewhere too!)
Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark - Addie Zierman
Winter (The Lunar Chronicles).  Confession: I got this book for my friend for Christmas and then made him let me borrow it before he even read it. I feel a little guilty like perhaps I basically bought myself a Christmas present? Oops.

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