Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Years

I had big plans. Yesterday was the three year anniversary of the blog, and in my mind I was going to write my 300th post on the third anniversary. I wanted to celebrate with my first ever giveaway too.

But the day passed, and the post count didn't make it. This post will be #293, seven posts short of my goal.

I did get a package in the mail for a giveaway, but it wasn't what I specifically solicited for, although still good. And so I will do a giveaway with it, just not today.

Instead, today I am pondering the process of planning. Funny how it doesn't seem to work out the way we want it to most of the time.

A man’s heart plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps.

Proverbs 16:9

There are many plans in a man’s heart,
Nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

Proverbs 19:21

The truth is, it can be pretty frustrating when things don't work out the way we want them to. Everyone likes enough control in life (even the non-control freak types) to be able to see plans come to fruition.

But often, they don't.

This "plan" of mine was just a little one. It's a slight disappointment that is not too difficult to overlook. I can look at the ways I spent my last couple weekends, one on retreat with a dear friend, the other hanging out during the day with several dear friends and an evening discipling my son and several of his friends, and say, "it was worth it" to pass on rushing to keep up the blog. Truth be told, I don't want to write here just for the sake of it.

I started this blog three years ago as an act of obedience. I was away at a very difficult women's retreat, and as I spent a great deal of time alone with just me and the Lord (that wasn't the difficult part) I sought Him, and more than once that weekend I heard Him say very plainly, "Write." As an unsolicited confirmation, the following week at church He sent a very revered friend and mentor to me with a more specific word. She said to me, "I was praying for you recently, and I felt like the Lord told me to tell you to blog." It immediately testified to my spirit that I really had heard God at retreat.

Saturday night, I was talking with the boys of Envision (our youth bible study with Jake and his friends) and we were talking about passions and talents and how God gives them to us for a purpose. I watch these young men all in the latter part of high school and all of them have the future on their minds. The truth is, even in Christian families, as we guide our kids, our inclination is to do so from a worldly view. If we look at our son and his two options for a future are either worship leader or engineer, we direct toward the engineer, where success is more easily defined and provision is more probable.

I wonder though, if that's how good looks at things. I know I have on many occasions taken stock of this blog, and looked at hits and comments and tried to determine if this blog would qualify as successful. The fact is, most of the time, the answer would have to be "no." But I realized when I do that, I am looking at things from a very worldly perspective, even if it is a Christian worldly perspective.

As I talked with the boys at Envision, we also talked about the challenge of hearing God's voice as He directs us. I do know there are times when the Lord is silent, but I suspect that far more often the issue of His silence resides more in our inability or unwillingness to listen more than in His lack of desire to speak. But sometimes it really is just hard to know.

My advice was to the boys that when that happens, you have to go back to the last thing you are certain you heard the Lord say. If you feel like you might have gotten off track or you're just not sure about the next step, go back to where you knew He was clearly directing. For me, that was three years ago, and I heard Him very clearly, He said "Write."

As nice as it is to get good feedback, it's not why God has called me to write. The Lord has given me a passion for disciplship and sharing His word. He has given me a gift with words and a talent for putting them down for a reader. And whether something I write ministers to one reader or 100 readers, it has value. And the beauty of it being here on the internet is that it could be something I put "on paper" today, and minister to someone 20 years from now or more. The important thing is that I use my gifts and talents for my God given passions and use it for His glory.

So although I still have dreams and aspirations, and I hope that this blog is the beginning of something rather than the end, I know the LORD directs my steps, and it is His counsel that will stand.

God is faithful to me, and I pray in some small way this blog can be an act of worship toward Him, for however long He sees fit.

As for now, happy anniversary to My Walk of Faith. I pray it blesses many.

1 comment:

Barb Winters said...

I needed to read this today. THANKS