Sometimes, a lot of the time really, I get to this point in the month, when it's time to link up my "what I learned" post and, if I'm being honest, I just feel weary. It's just been another ordinary month. It all feels too trivial, or too intimate to share here. But sometimes I take a big deep breath and a look back at the month and sometimes I find a little spark, and I remember.
A week ago or maybe it was two, I was on my way home from the monthly prayer meeting we have at church just so aware of my own smallness and emptiness, the silence, the nothing I sometimes feel deep inside. I prayed out loud "God I'm just a broken vessel. I'm nothing but ashes. In my hands I have practically nothing." And God reminded me in that moment that He places His treasure in broken, ordinary earthen vessels, He is the One who makes Beauty out of ashes, He takes my practically nothing and turns it into something miraculous.
I got to watch that very thing happen this week - my best friend and I both lead small groups at my church and our groups teamed up to do a service project in our community (for #serveweek at my church). We chose a big project. My friend and I spent the next month taking turns freaking out. It took everyone in both of our (very small) small groups bringing a few things,but together, just a few, we fed a large group of faculty and staff at the elementary school around the corner from the church. We watched God bring it all together, in the end it was easy, with the ease that only the Holy Spirit brings. It ministered to those people and it grew my faith. If Jesus could take practically nothing and feed thousands - he can take my practically nothing and do something miraculous, easy peasy.
Another thing I'm continually learning is that there is always a way through. When we are walking in obedience but we hit that point where we feel we just can't. go. on. any. longer - God always gives us that spark of hope in the darkness, He always gives us a way through. He is always faithful. He is always enough. I thrash around in the pain, I scream into the silence, I cry for a way out but I have seen Him provide a way through over and over and over.
My word for the year is brave (it's also radical and deep, but mostly it's brave) during this season of Lent as I've tried to follow allong with the she reads truth lent devovotions, it's reminded me that sometimes being brave means being humble, and sometimes being humble means simply being quiet. Quiet can come out of every kind of place but sometimes it needs to come from a place of humility. I'm struggling with this right now - but I'm learning something here in this struggle.
I am a low energy person but today actually, I learned an important lesson about getting up and getting started on my day right away. I tend to ease into my day, starting slowly. I let me kids make their own breakfast because they are learning independence, right? And I'm generally a nicer person after I've had time to wake up, and drink a cup of coffee in peace (and on a really good day quiet) but after a night of staring at the ceiling, thinking about tomorrow I decided to start the day with a bang, make a simple breakfast for my kids and I'll tell you what that initial inertia has been amazing. My kids had plenty of time to get ready for school and I even put away my dishes too. I know all you type-A people are probably sitting in disbelief that I could have gotten this far along in my adult life and just now be discovering this - but this night-owl is a little late to the morning party.
The down side to this however is that I'm afraid that if I stop for even just couple of minutes I am going to fall asleep (and I totally crashed around 2pm). But it was worth trying again.
Another thing I learned this month is that I don't like it when kids do adult things. Lennon & Maisy are so adorable but I can't listen to their cover of "Boom Clap" without cringing. Same for "off the boat" the new comedy about the Chinese family who move to a new city. The main character of this show that is clearly geared for adults is a kid and I just couldn't watch it. I didn't feel that way about the book "Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie" which is a murder mystery in which the main character is an 11 year old girl. I loved that. I have no idea why one bothers me but the other doesn't.
One last thing - I learned that when my son and I start getting on each other's nerves the thing we both need the most is to go to the park. He needs to get that energy out, I need the sunshine and fresh air. It's been really awful weather lately but we found a day when at least it wasn't raining, bundled up and headed out. We had the whole park to ourselves but we had a much better day because of it.
What have you learned (or are in the process of learning) this month?