Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Are you old and crusty?

Every day we drive through a little town on the way to my older sons school.  It is your normal little town; family restaurant, bank, laundromat, barber shop, the usual. But there is one building that has always intrigued me.

This building sits right beside the train tracks.  It is a big brick building with a long porch on the front facing the road.  It has large wooden doors flanked by windows.  One set of doors has a set of "store front" windows, the kind that would have displayed merchandise.  The roof is slanting, and you can visibly see where repairs have been made.  I look at this old, worn building everyday.  

I can picture a dirt road out front. Women standing on the porch crying over a loved one who just boarded the train. Men carrying trunks.  Young soldiers with their packs nervously shifting their feet.  Children jumping up and down excitedly anticipating the trains whistle.  People going into the general store buying the necessities. Women sharing stories, Men shaking hands. People moving in and out of the building.  Hustle.  Bustle.  Commotion.  Movement.  Life.

These old buildings were painstakingly built.  There were no heavy machinery to make the bricks or mortar.  It was done by hand.  Each and every brick of this building was placed one by one by a skilled laborer.  Every inch was carefully planned. The rafters were installed by hand.  The floor, the foundation, the walls.  Every nook and cranny has a real persons fingerprint on it. A skilled laborer.

Sadly, some of these old relics are now a pile of rubble.  Discarded, unnoticed. Unwanted by many. Loved by few. Today these buildings look old, run down, worn, even crusty. They are dilapidated, some look as if they could never find a new purpose....  I see inspiration.  I see bricks that can be reused as a fireplace mantle.  Boards that can be used as shelves. Windows, and doors used for home decor. I see revitalization.  This rubble may not ever be the same building it once was, but it can surely be used to bring joy in other ways. The pieces can be picked up and reused to tell a new story.  

We are just like these old buildings. Carefully and wonderfully made by a super skilled laborer.  God knows all of our dark places. He knows where you are crumbling. He knows where life has been a little crusty. He was there placing His skilled hands on you, guiding you, loving on you. We are not broken pieces of brick and mortar.  We are HIS CREATION! He lovingly created us out of his image.  I , you, we, are all made in the likeliness of God. God does not see us as a pile of rubble, discarded and unwanted.  He knitted us together, we are made wonderful by HIM! He can use us for His glory! Thankfully we can be picked up and  be reused in ways that we never thought possible.
Jesus sees us; beautiful, full of life, with a purpose.  A purpose to praise Him and bring Him glory.  I pray that you allow Jesus to pick up your pieces.  I pray that you allow God to use your crumbly,  crusty parts to serve Him fully.  Allow Him to repurpose your life into something new!

Psalm 139:13-15, "For YOU formed my inward parts; YOU knitted me together in my mothers womb. I praise YOU, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are YOUR works; my soul knows it very well.  My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth" 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

I've been spit out of the fish

I am nervous.  I am excited.  I am ready....

I have been waiting, and praying for this moment for almost a year. The moment when I could freely express myself.  The moment when my voice would be heard throughout blog world.  The moment when God says, "Yep, go ahead". The moment that I would have a blog..... (cue the Rocky music)

I have sat down several times to write this first post, but every time I chicken out.  Every time I get cold feet, or find something else to do.   But, every time, I am drawn back to this place.  It is now time. I have prayed over this blog, I have journaled about this blog, and the Lord knows I have talked about it. So why in the world could I not sit down and write?  Why couldn't I do what I wanted most to do?

Fear...Failure... The taunting familiar cries, "They're all gonna laugh at you." It is enough to paralyze someone.  Fear of having a voice.  Fear of being heard.  Fear of having an opinion.  Fear of standing up  for something or to someone.  FEAR....

No more will I have fear of something so silly like a blog.  If I say it out loud, it sounds kind of ridicules.  "Hi, I'm  Katie and I am scared of my blog". Really? 

I decided to turn to the one place where I could find an answer to this silly thing called fear. The Bible! There was one person who really caught my eye.  One story in particular that I found great comfort in.  Jonah.... He was so scared and afraid to go to Nineveh that he ran from God.  He tried to go to the furthest place he could possibly go.   What happened...He got swallowed by a giant fish! (Luckily I am not traveling by boat any time soon.) That is kind of what I have felt like.  As much as I wanted to blog, and write encouragement for others, I was still stuck inside my giant fish. So much so, that I was learning to talk like a whale (Dory, from Nemo.  Whose with me? Anybody?)  I didn't realize that I had placed so much emphasis on my short comings, and not enough trust in Jesus.  Just like Jonah, I began to doubt.  I didn't think I could be loud enough to make a difference. I mean, why would anyone read my blog?  Cue Satan. I was letting the fear overtake the Joy that I wanted to share.  The Joy that Jesus has given me.  The Joy that I want to be contagious. Jonah did make a difference in Nineveh.  That's the encouragement that I am taking away.  

Is blog world my Nineveh?  Maybe, maybe not.  God knows.   For now I have been spit out on the beach, vulnerable and excited waiting for what God has planned next. And from now on I am going to let Him take over!  For the sake of Jesus, I am putting it all on the line.

Ready or not blog world, Here I come!