3 Ways an Ordinary Mama Can Say “Yes” (and a giveaway)

Giveaway has ended… and the winners are Amy and Kristin!  Enjoy this wonderful read, girls! 

(…which also could be titled as “Ways the Lord is Working on my Heart”) 🙂 🙂 

Last week I blogged about a great book I’ve been reading called Rhinestone Jesus, written by Kristen Welch.  This book is about to hit store shelves, and you will want it.  Ever since I finished reading it, I’ve been contemplating its message.  This idea of being willing to say “yes” to Jesus, no matter what that means.  In the big, in the small, and in the not so pretty.   You see, I’m just an ordinary mama, with no major ministries going on or maternity homes across the ocean that I’m trying to build, and that means I could easily dismiss Kristen’s story in this book because it’s not mine. 
But I’d be missing the point of the entire book.  You see, no matter where we are in life, we are being called.  Called to offer our “yes” to a Father who knows what is best for His children when we don’t have a clue what tomorrow may bring.  And that’s a really scary thing sometimes.   In the midst of my own life mess right now, these three areas have stuck out to me as ways He’s calling me to offer my “yes”:
My time.  Oh, my time is so precious to me these days.  My time… that time when there is nothing that must be done and no one asking anything of me.  That’s because that kind of time rarely ever comes.   And when it does, I often want to be selfish with it.  I may refuse to spend time with someone who is hurting because I need some “me time,” refuse to play a game with my kids because I finally have the time to pick up a book I’ve been waiting to read,  or sleep in a little longer instead of waking up early enough to have some quality prayer time before the kiddos are roused. 
When I say “yes” to Jesus, I let Him direct my time.  And if my day ends up looking a whole lot different than what I planned but I look back at the end of it knowing Jesus was the one who directed it, than I can trust Him to also bring me the nourishment and down time He knows I need to keep functioning well.
My talents.  The Lord has given us all gifts and abilities, and sometimes, I want to use my unique giftings for my own purposes.  I want to rush opportunities and make them happen before God’s timing and fulfillment, or in different ways than He’d like.  Or, I want to ignore where I’ve been gifted and waste my time doing other things, instead of using it to refine my gifts and use them where I’ve been planted. 
When I say “yes” to Jesus, I give my talents back to Him for Him to use as He sees fit.  I choose not to get frustrated when it’s not the right timing to use them, or He uses them in a way that I may not have chosen.  And when He does choose to use them in ways that get me way out of my comfort zone, I am willing to “do it scared,” as Beth Moore says.
 My treasure.  A lot of people define this as their money, and rightly so, because the Bible says that “where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  So I take it a step further and pretty much sum up my treasure as everything I hold precious in my heart – including my desires, hopes and dreams. 
And when I say “yes” to Jesus, I choose to trust Him with my heart.  I choose to believe that He sees where I am broken, and is working to mend me in a more beautiful way than I can imagine, even when I can’t see anything but scars.  I choose to place all of my desires, hopes and dreams in His hands and let Him do with them whatever He wants. 

Much easier said than done, isn’t it?  That’s why I needed this book, and I believe every other woman does too.  I am one weak woman, fully dependent on the Lord and always needing to rely on His grace and strength to help me in my mess each and every day.  But when you read someone else’s story of saying “yes” and it’s presented as beautifully as Kristen’s, doesn’t it make you long to say “yes” more often?  And don’t you feel a little braver when you know that others around you have been willing to say “yes” too? 

Rhinestone Jesus officially releases on May 1stof this week, but I’m so excited that I have two copies to give away here on my blog!  Just leave a comment sharing something pertaining to your own “yes” story by 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 1st, and I’ll draw two winners on Friday!  

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Yes in my mess.

Saying “yes” may just make life downright messy. 
I’ve been reading an advance copy of Kristen Welch’s new book coming out, Rhinestone Jesus, and it’s been making me contemplate a lot. In particular, it’s been making me think about all the times I’ve made the choice to say “yes.”
Yes, to begin studying to be a teacher.
Yes, to further that study by going away from home and leaving what was familiar.
Yes, to student teach in yet another unknown area, living with strangers.
Yes, to come back home to accept a teaching job when I wanted to stay. 
Yes, to accept a marriage proposal from my high school crush.
Yes, to stop teaching in the classroom and begin on a long crazy journey called motherhood.
Yes, to promise to support my husband in every way as we walked the unexpected road of cancer.
Yes, to answer the call to adoption.
Yes, to commit to trusting God’s plan while I journey through a world now filled with loss.
None of my yeses have been big ones, especially compared to Kristen’s big choice to open a maternity home in Kenya.   They really are quite insignificant.  Some were exhilarating and some were downright painful.  I’m sure you could say the same about your own.  I’d love for my story to include my saying “yes” to something much bigger and have an exciting “big” story to share.  But He’s called me to a lot of little yeses, and I honestly believe that all of those little “yes” answers still add up to something bigger beyond them.  It’s the ability to trust God more completely as the choice to say “yes” makes life a little messier.  It’s the continual stretching of the soul that in turn makes me braver because it becomes a choice I just have to keep making even when I’m weak and scared, because I know without a doubt that there just isn’t a better alternative. 
Shortly after B passed, I remember my daughter asking me if I would have married him if I would have known I would lose him 9 years later.  Though I answered her with a “yes” at the time, I really reflected on that for awhile afterward.  At times, I absolutely hate the season we’ve been in.  But at the same time, what would have happened if I would have said “no”?  I would have missed out on an amazing marriage and three precious children who bless me every day with their sweetness.   I would have missed seeing my Savior’s love for me in huge ways through His body’s coming together and lavishing love on us.  I would have stayed planted in my own little safe world, afraid to take risks because I’m not sure of the outcome.  And what fun is that, especially when as hard as we may try to control life, there are always things beyond our control anyway? 
So, I believe that our “yes” answers make us braver.  When we say “yes” a few times, we are able to keep saying it.  We are able to see that God is bigger than the mess, and He sees way beyond it to something stunningly beautiful in His big picture story. 
Saying “yes” might be the scariest thing ever.   

But – it might be the best thing we ever choose to do.  

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A birthday letter to my son…

Dear Eldest Son, This week, we celebrated another birthday of yours. Why does it seem like they already keep coming faster? I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. They had set me up for an induction a week before my due date, because your older sister had come fast, and they didn’t have enough time to get all the medicine in me to fight the group B strep I carried that … {…Read More}