I started to write this blog post the other day–and then I completely erased it…feeling like anyone who read it might think Momma Young is…well–different. Or worse…not understand it and be offended by it. SO–if you get offended easily–please don’t read this and just get the supplies to make the cute candy corn tree I posted about yesterday instead. It’s super cute:) If you are game for processing with me though…you can read on.
The more and more I think about my Father in heaven…the more things come to my mind that I’m convinced that He puts there. Things I think He is asking me to do. And the more I listen–I hear His voice and know it’s Him–and such blessing follows each little yes. And in the yes’s to Him, the more and more I feel…THIS is not my home. Because the yes’s–they often mean…not fitting completely here.
“Andrea! How was Rich’s trip to Africa???” I start to answer the questions–and I realize there are blank stares in return as without thinking–I answer them honestly, whole-heartedly, passionately and truthfully. I have to pull myself out of real, and I realize I should have answered it more appropriately to the world’s pattern: “It was awesome! Thanks for asking! How are you? It’s so great to see you! Y’all have a good day…” I get in the car and feeling awkward and stupid–I remind myself, “Haven’t you learned??? Just say the happy, quick answer they really want to hear–and then you won’t have to walk away feeling like an alien from outer space. NOTED. Again. Again. And AGAIN. Haven’t you learned that yet?
I remembered. I tried that the NEXT time…and it was a charm. And it stunk. It didn’t feel right. It so wasn’t me.
Weren’t we made for SO much more?
Weren’t we made to go into deep community with one another? To be willing to be uncomfortable even if no one understands or cares…because you just never know how God might use what He is in the middle of to touch someone? To go there? To love one another? To engage one another? And in return–there WILL be fruit. Some where. The body of Christ will come into action. Some will go…some will send…others will pray for…and together–we beautifully live out the gospel together…with all believers…living as if heaven were really our home–BECAUSE…for believers…IT IS.
I think about the by Mercy Me…(turn music off up top to listen)…
Later, I get home and play with my sweet littles. All is quiet…I check my email. Not much there–I lurk on over to my google reader…and flip through sites on my reader. Not a good idea as compared to the hurricanes in my heart as of late. This just mixes in with it and it feels like it might burst. Where does this fit? Or does it? Maybe I just don’t fit.
The newest bedroom make-over, before and after pictures of a Veranda Home bathroom or the most recent vacation to Disney. It feels like SUCH a contrast. Where is the balance? Is there a balance? Am I weird? Because the crazy thing is…when I see the pictures and read the stories…it just looks really cool and I’m sure my daughter would flip to have breakfast with Cinderella…wouldn’t she?! I shake my head and the real of the world comes back to my mind…
A friend dying because across the world because medical care stunk…stunk being a ridiculous understatement. Talking to his precious widow on the phone today…when she laughed at my kidding around with her…I felt as if I’d won a prize…a moment of joy–the phone call so worth it. Hearing the giggles of the children over the line…there was hope. I close out my blog reader–tell myself I need to clear out my blog reader…I don’t think it’s good for the hurricane in my heart. I sit there. Where am I?? Who am I?? Why do I feel this way?? Is it just me? Or is it you too? Something must be wrong with me…because my heart is being pulled…and it’s so far from so many of the things I see around me in our world. And I remember.
WE WERE MADE FOR SO MUCH MORE OF ALL OF THIS.
Before anyone gets the wrong message—please know that I’m NOT saying you shouldn’t remodel your bedroom OR take the kids to Disney. In fact, feel free to send us tickets if your vacation ever gets rained out because we’d love to go. Please, please do not stop your planning OR think I’m writing this TO you or FOR you. Because I’m not. THIS IS JUST ME processing. There’s a pull in our hearts–and the desires are so, so different on each end. SO different. The result: it leads us to feel that we just don’t fit. And then I hear a faint whisper…this is not your home my child…I am…wait on Me…
YES! HEAVEN IS MY HOME.
And if heaven really is my home–then what does it look like to live…to REALLY live…for it? To live for heaven and for the kingdom…for what is eternal? To take risks even when it doesn’t make sense. To say yes…because you know the One who is asking you to trust and follow.
Matthew 6 says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eyes are unhealthy, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
How different would our lives be if we made decisions through a “heaven is my home” filter? How would some of the decisions we make change?
What eternal value does doing this, buying this, spending my time with, going here have? Am I storing up my treasures here or on earth?
When I do this…which I confess I, too often, do not–but when I do, something changes in me. I begin to forget how this puzzle of a mom doesn’t seem to fit in most boxes find myself in–and that’s okay. It makes me realize I’m being shaped differently–and that’s okay. It makes me willing to do things others have a different opinion about, think are crazy and don’t make a lot of sense to the world–and that’s okay. Because I wasn’t put here and called to please the world. In fact, I was called to not conform to it.
And the more you have–the harder it is to take risks. It is so hard for us to say yes, pray about things that are uncomfortable and to be willing to do anything. The eye of the needle I guess can be more than just money–but other riches too I guess. We struggle with this so often. Just yesterday, I overheard Rico Suave saying, “If I was single or if it was just me and Andrea–dude, I’d be on a plane to Zambia right now. We’d just go there and stay–and do ministry.”
You know what momma was thinking:)
It made me raise my eyebrows–and I knew it was going to be a conversation for later. And it was: “So–you’d go if you were single. You’d go if we just got married. If you would say yes in those times, then why not now?”
He laughed–but had an answer that was clear and quick and right and good–and I could tell my sweet man had prayed about this. “Because the Lord hasn’t said GO yet.”
In his tone, I could hear that he would–and he will lead us to the nations the minute the Lord tells us to go. I heard a sense of joy and excitement that makes me smile…feeling like one day…just maybe I’ll get to walk my babies down an old dirt road on the mission field…a dream of mine. But I must confess–my other dream…on the other end of my rope–is just being normal right here, right where we are now…because part of me is scared to be any more different than we already are. (I can already hear a few say “But Andrea–don’t discredit what God can do with you here.” That’s not the point. The point is this: am I consistently surrendering my will to the Lord’s will and opening up my hands in willingness to do anything…ANYTHING…for His glory?? For kingdom living?)
In my heart–I catch myself telling the Lord again and again that I will go whenever to where ever. Weekly we challenge each other to pray about what God is asking us to do…and weekly the Lord puts some pretty amazing things in our paths–writing a story that only He could write. To Him be the glory! I love to pray about going, about different opportunities–whether we should stop this or continue with that…or open up a whole new can of worms…not so much because I feel the Lord speaking to me about specifics and I want us to pray and be on the same page–but RATHER, I have seen that being willing and ready to go and do anything brings perspective to live in this world but not be shaped by everything that comes with the world.
Romans 12…”Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
I love the 3 parts to this scripture. 1-WHAT TO DO: Offer your bodies as living sacrifices…as VESSELS to the Lord…this will be your worship to Him. 2–THE ONLY WAY TO DO IT: Be different. Don’t go along with that you see the world doing–and be careful what you let influence you. Instead–be changed by renewing your mind every day through the filter “heaven is my home”…ask: does this have kingdom value?? 3–THE FRUIT: LIVING HIS GOOD, PLEASING AND PERFECT PLAN FOR YOUR LIFE.
In this…there is peace. There is joy in not fitting. I rest in the future–knowing we could go across the world–and God would take care of us…ALL of us. Because–as I renew my mind–I realize more than Disney or a trip to the beach (both things I really do want to do) that I really want to live for Him…to follow Him to the ends of the earth or just next door…to love deeply those He puts in my path…and to ultimately live smack dab in the middle of His will for my life. Really–there is NO such thing or Biblical principle on living a balanced life of the things of the world and radically following Jesus–so I’ve gotta take my eyes off the world and just look to Him…following Him on whatever path He takes me on. And when I feel like I don’t fit…I need, to instead rejoice–that THIS place is not my home.
And I have a good feeling…that if you are still reading…I might not be alone in how I feel.
P.S. I hope you have a blessed day. On a really fun note sort of related to this post–my sister is taking me and the kiddos to their family’s beach house this weekend! We are going to be with my sweet grandparents for my granddaddy’s birthday! Thankful for this treat/retreat. Now…who wants to take us to Disney;)??? I’m JUST kidding!!!
P.S.S. I received another reminder today that I was NOT made for this world. I’ve got to do some blood work next week. My doctor thinks this momma may have a form of arthritis. When she told me I know I threw her off when I laughed. I don’t know why I laughed…I guess it threw me off and I was thinking something much worse–because I always think of the worst so whatever it is is not so bad:). While I know this can be bad, with what we’ve been processing from last week–this is okay. And through the filter “heaven is my home” it’s even better:). We are, however, going to wait on the results before turning in our home study. God’s timing is always perfect, and Momma needs to make sure it’s something easy to manage or miraculously nothing at all before we take the next step of faith.
P.S.S.S. Thank you for extending grace if you aren’t where I am right now. Remember momma is dealing with some reverse culture shock as daddy-io readjusts here. Reverse culture shock stinks…but it is so eye-opening and so, so good for the heart…and truthfully–reverse culture…not conforming to the world…is really where I want to be.