This weekend as our daughter toasted her bread, it stayed down a bit too long. She likes her toast a golden brown, almost bread if you ask me. Anyway, she took the toast out and asked, "Mom, do I have to eat this? It's burnt in the center." I told she didn't have to eat it if she snapped a picture of it first. She laughed and said, "Of course, that's how all moms respond."
I told her there is a heart on the toast. I don't think she believed me at first until she looked at it again. Sure enough, she saw the heart.
Why do I share about burnt toast? I don't know what you thought of when you first saw it but I know for me, I thought about how much I am loved. On a deep level, God loves me.
"For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life."
John 3:16 VOICE
Of course the most obvious love is that of my parents for myself and Heidi, the love of all my family and friends. The love I receive is shared with my family, friends, co-workers, and I try to share this love with those I meet. I'm not always successful but my intent is to try.
I was going to attempt a little humor but when I searched for a quote, to read Teri Hatcher's quote above, I found my self more reflective than silly. In fact, my daughter's burnt toast might seem insignificant to most but when you think about the love it reminded me of...it was a chance this weekend to see the beauty and memories in my life.
This is my favorite burnt toast picture taken by my daughter. She has a great eye for unique pictures, check out her precious Naomi spying the toast. Another aspect of love, the love we have for our pets, and their reciprocated love to us.
What does a burnt piece of toast make you think of?
Last week our church held its annual meeting. In addition to some delicious food and quality fellowship, it's also an opportunity for church leadership, committee chairs, and others facilitating a group to share with the congregation of the previous year's happenings, with a look into the future. I find these meetings interesting and helpful. Our church strives to keep the congregation informed during the year yet it is nice to hear from everyone as the new year starts.
Part of this meeting is the pastor's message to the congregation. Our current pastor shares this during the church service as his sermon. I thought it was odd the first time but since I tend to live life with my feet over the edge, I liked the idea. Two years later, only positive feedback for his willingness to think outside the box. It allows everyone to hear the pastor's goals for the coming year. Don't get me wrong, to have this as part of the meeting works too but not everyone stays, and it keeps the "meeting" after church shorter. (which is nice on a Sunday afternoon)
What does this have to do with God tapping you on the shoulder? Are you wondering if I'll get to the point? Wait no longer, here it goes. The reason I share about our annual meeting is because as our pastor shared his goals and hopes for 2016 and our church, I felt God tapping me on the shoulder. I shared a blog earlier this month that started with "God's Leading" (to read, click here), then the following Sunday, God answered prayer and tapped on my shoulder. Actually, it was more like, "Are you listening? I'm leading, will you follow?"
This is the cool thing about God, when we ask, He answers.
“Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
See, it isn't just me, it's in the Bible. An aspect of these verses some overlook, when we are asking God, He does always answer and provide what we need when it aligns with His will. Sometimes we ask for things that are not something God desires for us but instead it's our own heart's desire, with the best of intentions, pushing forward. A friend told me years ago, when I pray to ask for God's leading and discernment so I could tell the difference. I find myself asking "Is this me wanting something or is it God tapping on my shoulder?"
This is one reason I shared my post about needing prayer to determine if it's God's leading or my own. Three weeks later, God answered. The pastor, unaware of the thoughts and ideas swirling in my head, startled me. I found myself asking again, "Is this really what you want God? Am I supposed to share this written idea with someone else? Should I move forward?" Then the pastor continued and referenced his letter to the congregation detailing how he envisioned us meeting the goals. I think the direction God has been leading and preparing me fits with this passion, yet I still haven't tidied up my notes to share with someone with the authority to say, "We like the sound of this Lisa, go for it, when will it start?"
What is holding me back? I'm ashamed to say that "nothing" isn't my answer but instead my list of excuses and reasons not to move forward to even present my ideas, outweighs the quick obedience God desires. This isn't the first time I've been slow to respond, and to be honest, it's probably not the last either. I am one silly, imperfect, over-thinking, and OCD-planner of a woman. But then again, God designed me so He already knows my weaknesses, thankfully He uses these imperfections to grow me, draw me closer to Him, and stretch myself to limits I might not dream of.
Instead of dreaming, it's time to transition them into goals. Goals I think that align with our pastor's message of hope, growth, and visible. I try to be a hopeful and hope-filled person. I have the mind and heart of a life-long-learner. Due to recent events over the past year and a half, or so, it is a challenge to be visible. To write the blog is safe. I write from the comfort of my home, Dunkin Donuts, and other "safe" spots. I struggled to determine what my other spots are so you didn't have an eternal list of writing spots but then it clicked, they all have a common theme...they are safe!
Hmm...a lot to think about, if God is tapping me on the shoulder to step out and share, then why do I doubt His faithfulness to provide, protect, inspire, and motivate? I shouldn't since the inspiration and motivation are never ending. When I weigh the items on the scale, one side might have more stacked on it yet the weight is much less, does this make sense to you? So I have some work to do, stay tuned and hopefully the next time I share, you'll learn the "what" driving these blogs, for good, bad, or indifferent.
When God taps you on the shoulder, how do you respond?
Lisa M Buske
P.O. Box 323