A Nobody from Nowhere

“But, Lord,” I argued, “I’m a nobody from nowhere!”                 silhouette - small

How many times did I say this to God as an argument against starting a writing/speaking ministry? I’m a nobody from nowhere —  just a country girl who prefers bare feet to Pradas, a cookout on the patio to dinner at Delmonico’s, and a vacation camping in the Ozarks to a cruise around the Greek isles. (Okay, maybe not that last one!)

The truth? I was so fearful that it was not God calling me to write but my own flesh. I knew my pride; I battled it daily. I taught college Sunday School classes and loved it, and I think my students loved me. I relished in my women’s Bible studies and they seemed to enjoy them, too. I truly enjoyed the strokes to my pride they gave me.

How embarrassing would it be to write something, submit it, and then get rejected? Or, what if it was accepted, published, and then no one but my family and closest friends bought the book? I mean, who would want to read, much less purchase, something by a common Jane like me?

“No, God, I can’t write. I’m a nobody from nowhere.”

When I finally stopped whining, I heard God speak. “A nobody from nowhere? My child, that’s all I’ve ever used! Jeremiah was one of the poorest of Judah’s poor.  David was the baby of 8 boys and relegated to sheep duty. Ruth was a widow and an alien in Israel. Gideon was the least person in the weakest clan of Manasseh. Moses was a runaway murderer. Joseph was a young, imprisoned slave.  Abraham lived on the other side of nowhere. And Adam? Just a pile of dust.

“You see, my daughter, your focus is all wrong. This is not about you; it’s about Me. You may well be a “nobody,” but I am God. And I will be with you.”

But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go…?”

And God said, “I will be with you…”

(Exodus 3:11-12)

When I picked my repentant self up off the floor, I knew He was right. I was too big in my own sight and God was too small. A “nobody” is “somebody” when walking arm-in-arm with God!

Let’s go, LORD!

“A Little T.L.C.”

Late one afternoon, I drove  into town to help my son drop off his vehicle for repairs. On the way, I turned off the radio and just talked to God. Lots of issues loomed heavily on my spirit.

One particular situation was requiring a great-faith action. I felt God had already made clear what I needed to do, but I was hesitating. Timing was the issue. I knew what to do, but when? I queried God: “Do I wait until You confirm this action before I move, or do You want me to take the step of faith first?”

As clear as if God were sitting in the passenger’s seat, I heard Him say, ” “TLC, Donna — a little TLC.” 

What did He mean? With my whole heart, I believe this was God’s word for me:

Trust Me.

Listen to Me.

Commit to Me.

I am not to trust a person, a possession, a paycheck — just God and God alone. Once I completely trusted God, then I needed to listen for and listen to His voice, discern it from all the noise and all the advice around me. Once I heard His word, I was to commit with my whole heart to what I heard.

Trust in the LORD and do good…

Delight yourself in the LORD…

Commit your way to the LORD…

Psalm 37: 3-6

Well, I did just as God said and gave Him “a little TLC” — I trusted, listened, and commited to Him. And you know what happened? He gave me “a lot of TLC” — some awesome tender loving care!

What a God we serve!
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The journey begins

“…You know with all your heart and soul that not one of all the good

promises the LORD your God gave you has failed.

Every promise has been fulfilled; not one has failed.”   (Joshua 23:14)

 

About 12+ years ago, God began dealing with me about writing. I wanted no part of it. I enjoyed teaching my college Sunday School class and women’s Bible studies. Write? No time. No talent. No way. But God kept urging and I kept dodging.

As I sat in evening worship one night, something the pastor said prompted the argument with God again. In my mind I reviewed all the reasons why I could not do it and finally said — in my mind, of course buy CBD products “God, if this is really You telling me to do this — if it’s You and not my pride — then You’re going to have to make it as clear as the spoken word.”

At that very moment, my middle child who was 11-12 at the time, elbowed me. When I looked down at him, he whispered, “You need to write a Bible.” I said, “Keegan, we already have a Bible. God wrote it so we don’t need another one.”

He replied, “I mean a book. You need to write a book.” I held my finger to my mouth, indicating he needed to be quiet, looked back up, and then it hit me, “…as clear as the spoken word”! And thus the journey began.      

And then you know what God did? He up and moved us to South Carolina — 4 states away from home! From there we moved to Texas.  Now we’re back at home in Louisiana. How wise He was. As long as I stayed here in Louisiana, I was too busy for anything new, so He cut me off. South Carolina was to me as the Kerith Ravine was to Elijah: I was cut off from people and busy-ness so that I could spend time with and be fed by God alone. Elijah stayed 3-1/2 years in his ravine; I stayed 7 ( I’m a slow learner). What wonderful things God did during that time and what glorious lessons I learned.

I used to whine about how long it was taking for me to learn, to grow, to write, to be published. “God, You promised! Where is it?” He lovingly led me to stories like Abraham who had to wait 25 years to receive his promised son; or Moses who had to stay in his “desert ravine” for 40 years before he could be the promised deliverer of Israel; or Noah who faithfully followed God”s instructions for 120 years before the promised flood came. So, in God’s economy, 7 years is not long at all.Journey

And now the day is here! My first book went into print August 7! To God be the glory. He always keeps His promises! Accept His promises for you and let your journey begin!

This, too, shall pass

My hip is hurting this morning after tripping over a box in the hall last night. My house seems to be riddled with booby traps these days since my son moved back home.

While going through a nasty divorce, he was laid off from work, his apartment lease ran out, and his dog (his child!) went missing. Physically drained, financially shaky, and emotionally bankrupt, he moved home to heal and to get a new start. After setting some ground rules, I encouraged him with his grandmother’s favorite saying, “Keep your chin up, honey, for this, too, shall pass.”

Whether it’s a son, a friend, or a coworker, sometimes the problems of others spill over into your own life. How do you deal with it? As a servant of Christ, how do you help troubled people remain functional and productive? How do you help without taking the burdens upon yourself?Small pic

Consider these four suggestions for handling this ticklish task:  

Determine the extent of your help. Whether it’s giving them space, getting a group to provide assistance, or referring them to counseling, be careful to help and not to hinder. Too little help can create more problems; too much help can actually prevent them from coping. The trick is to find the balance and that requires planning.

Specify the lifetime of the arrangement. For example, set a time limit on how long you should provide assistance. Deadlines may not work in all settings; however, setting some guidelines helps keep the person’s focus on finding solutions.

Spell out expectations. In other words, discuss your plan of action with this person. Be specific on what you expect of him or her, what you are willing to do, and how others will be allowed to help.

Communicate diligently. Talk regularly about their progress. Focus on whether or not the help you’re providing is achieving its purpose. Make adjustments as necessary.

Sometimes we have to make adjustments in order to help others get through rough times. The key is doing enough to resolve the problems without doing too much and prolonging them.

As for my son, he’s gotten a job, is registered for school, and is smiling again. My prodigal has come home and the fatted calf is on the grill. So what if my grocery bill has doubled? So what if my dining room has been converted into a bedroom? So what if the corner hutch that used to house my antique crystal is now home to his boxers, tees, and socks? He’s worth it. Besides…this, too, shall pass.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed…For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  (2 Corinthians 4:8, 17)

I’m Just a B.L.O.G.!

You’re witnessing a new experience for me: blogging!

A blog (short for weblog) is really nothing more than an online diary. It’s a chronological journal of personal thoughts and musings. I never was good at keeping a handwritten diary or a journal, but this electronic version might not be too difficult.

Please, feel free to peek into my diary as I pour out my heart to God and praise Him for how He works in the lives of His children.  And feel free to comment!

Come, let’s  be B.L.O.G.’s together —

Believers Lovin’ On God!

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