Faithfully moving right along.
Updated: Dec 1, 2019
These are the days of movings.
Of moving everything out of the kitchen and dinning room to prepare for 37 people we love.
Of moving chairs and couches that have been nestled comfortably into the floors and carpets since last Thanksgiving and offer-up wondrous finds when you do so.
This one's pen they loved most, a few quarters lost and forgotten and always, always legos.
I can only imagine what condominiums "The Borrowers" of old could make with what's left behind these days.
And of course there's the moving to and from the store for pie ingredients and paper plates and better looking plastic forks than last year.
We don't say it out loud unless you are my son who weekly updates his Christmas list with new things like, "Clothes that will impress my friends."
I laughed so hard - but truthfully isn't that what we all want to do?
We move at the speed of light to clean the bathroom one last time because someone might look behind the toilet tank.
The older I get the more I understand how much stress I really can control.
I really can wait until late Black Friday to venture out for a twenty dollar savings on a dutch oven.
And it's really fine that way.
And it's stress free.
I remember writing to my "Hero," in High School. They were now in college and I wanted to be just like them when I grew up.
I wrote them and whole-heartedly told them that I wanted to be "great for God."
Looking back, I couldn't have wanted anything more.
I admired greatness I saw in many serving here and abroad and just wanted my own college training to begin already so I could get on with my own greatness too.
I now look back and wonder how this dear one found time to write this onlooker but they did and their response changed my life's trajectory.
My hero wrote back and asked me not to strive for "greatness," but for "Faithfulness."
I still remember their exact wording (cause I'm a word girl and all..)
"Don't seek to be great for God. Seek to be faithful to Him."
I remember reading their letter at the dinning room table and letting those words really sink in.
No doubt juggling college and work and ministries had this hero of mine learning the real meaning of faithfulness in their life. Even keeping up with my constant correspondence was an area of faithfulness.
Did I want to be great for God? Absolutely, but I was missing the mark.
My heart was moved, but in the wrong direction.
And honestly these words still sink in so many years later.
Ironically while cleaning the basement full of scattered books for company, I came across a book of testimonies of men and women used of God.
The title? "God made them great."
In my cleaning to look great I was reminded once again that greatness is up to God, faithfulness is up to me.
I cannot make myself great, no matter how hard I may try.
And a great pie, great turkey or even a greatly decorated tree doesn't stick around long.
Greatness equals stress.
Faithfulness equals freedom and lasting joy.
A lasting impression for God begins with my brushing my teeth and diving into my Bible once again.
And asking God to show me more of himself in Daniel because I can get lost in this book.
It then continues In making breakfast for littles turning teens turning around and creating their own paths of faithfulness.
Fast forward from a letter from a college friend to me moving as quick as I can to the Cleveland airport awaiting the arrival of my son, now the same age my hero was when the letter was written.
And I wait by the escalators and scan person after person with tennis shoes and jeans on as the moving staircase brings them close enough for them to descend beyond the ceiling to see their top halves and know it's not him again.
And then the unthinkable happens.
Someone sees THEIR person and the hug that ensues brings me to tears instantaneously.
My heart was so moved by their reunion that the flood gates could hold back no longer.
I think I had been storing some tears since he left in August.
And I try to hold them back but they just keep coming for the joy of knowing that my son is coming home.
I take a quick second to wonder if this is what heaven is like when we send a loved one on to finally meet with other family, and how Jesus will react when we see him for the first time- but then I realize that I will begin an even uglier cry if I let myself go there and snap back to watching more tennis shoes and jeans.
And then he came.
Little did I know that this male version of myself was walking to the escalators hoping someone would be waiting for him and thinking about how wonderful that would be.
I moved toward him, hugged his neck and cried as the Lord gave me wonderful truths to welcome him with.
My whole heart just opened for him and spoke all the love I could muster into his ear while I held him there.
We settled in again for a few days as a full-house and loved it.
He laughed and filled the house with joy as he does and I smiled when I heard him say to his siblings as I walked up the stairs to bed, "If anyone wants to have their devotions with me tomorrow morning..."
And then there we were in the midst of my first ever 5K.
Talk about moving!
Not sure who had the Turkey Trot idea but there I was in the midst of it.
The whole family minus the youngest was racing and I was bringing up the rear.
The rear was extra slow this year.
This was not even an attempt at greatness, and I half-wondered if I could even faithfully finish!
And mile one came and mile two and I heard a whisper that we only had a bit more to go.
I was hot and bothered and passed son number two now finished and cheering the crowd because I didn't want him to see how slow I was.
But when I rounded the corner there was son number one zeroing in on me. He wasn't about to let me out of his sight.
He didn't just cheer but ran to me and ran with me to the finish.
It was slow and I was beyond done, but he helped me faithfully finish.
And fires and games and laughter and singing reminded me this week that I can rest in just being faithful.
Proverbs 20: 6 says, "Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness: but a faithful man who can find?"
If I'm moving this season, I want to move hearts closer to the Lord and less to clean for company.
Right before the whole gang arrived I slipped upstairs after the race had us all worn thin and asked the Lord for a special word from Him regarding hosting such a crowd and how to love them in a great way.
He, knowing my frailties, pointed me back to that truth found in a long-ago letter, and now in His letter to me:
I Thessalonians 5:24- "Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
He is the one who calls us to service lowly or great and enables us to love as He loves.
And If I am great this season, I want to be great at faithfully showing the grace and goodness of the Lord to all who enter our doors.
Seeing him off this morning, back to college was good for me.
It reminded me to be faithful until his return home once again.