This post is a part 2 or another perspective from my last post and even with both finally being semi-processed still feels incomplete. I honestly barely have the margin to go back and edit… I just know this is the best I could get it out, just for now, and yet there’s no doubt other parts 3 and 4 and so on still to learn and live.
Your passion is your WEAPON.
Moving past recent heartache, loss, trauma… thinking with my head here and my spirit instead of the emotional weight in my heart, there is another lesson that has become so very crystal clear to me lately… it goes beyond parenting tips to the very core of who we are as divinely crafted beings made in the image of a God who sees and does and times things so much more vastly, intricately than we do, and who creates with great, precise intention and power packed purpose exactly who we are, just as we are, for such. a time as. THIS.
That still small voice has been adamantly pressing through my lofty thoughts with His certainty about one thing. This is the voice I know and trust. He is my Maker, always after my heart, and always in opposition to an enemy that prowls around like a lion with his own precise intentions – to actually destroy me, wreck my children, my marriage and all things I hold dear and pray fiercely for.
He is the one who says this, “My child. There is a war. You’re under grave attack and like the crosshair in the eye of a sharp shooter, you are the target of mass destruction. In this war, you have your prayers, your obedience and your gifts. These passions are on purpose – these gifts I’ve intentionally given you have great purpose – and, they are your weapons.”
Your gift is your weapon.
Your passion is not just fun and empowering and brave, it’s not just an inspiration to others or therapeutic self care. it’s your grenade, your sharpest sword and your mediocrity machete.
This is important because we need to know that sometimes we may be doing the right thing and yet everything looks like it’s going to hell in a hand basket.
John 15 tells us that he cuts away anything not bearing fruit – *CUTS*
AND EVEN WHAT *IS* BEARING FRUIT – HE PRUNES – SO THAT WE CAN
BEAR ** M O R E ** FRUIT!
He’s pruning my parenting, y’all. I got about two years left with my whole double girl world, and we are honing in on the deepest guts of this mother/daughter life which is causing some serious cleansing – and I already did that, so just like you can go for a teeth cleaning or you can go for a teeth scaling, this is scaling to the depths, not for the faint of heart. What He’s calling me to is calling more out of me, and much more of Him in and through me.
He wants it all, my full potential. Everything He put in me, He wants it back. Just lie the parable of the talents, He is not having me bring back what He gave me, He wants triple His return and a pruned profit for his investment in me. He wants the same of you.
Check out that parable, camp there. I am, too, sister.
It may look at times like I am doing so much or giving so much or braving so much – but those who have a super close seat to my life know there is so much more in me I have yet to do and give and be. I have settled many times for less than. There are things I put off, things I talk about pursuing that I don’t follow through on. Just like you and every human in the world, I have untapped potential in me that I want to get to this side of Heaven. I’m not talking about just activity, it’s also and more importantly my heart, my presence, my stillness to truly listen and be what HE wants, not what I want or anyone else wants of me.
So, what does this have to do with parenting teens? Everything. When you realize that your gifts and passions are your weapons, you get a reality check of what’s rusting in your tool belt. If our dreams are our machetes against mediocrity then we can bet our unused weapons are exactly what’s leaving us defeated, slayed, and under repeated attack. THIS IS GOOD NEWS. It means that we have the superpowers to win the battle right within the reach of a holstered weapon, and that could be a pen, a baked dish, a kind word, a degree, a painting, a workout session, a great book, a therapy session, a healthy dinner choice, or even a little more time with your kids tonight. It could mean getting sober, letting go of that one He already told you no about – yes obedience brings the blessing bombs. BUT SO DOES ADVENTURE. So does dancing and running and hiking and nursing and creating. This is why in Screwtape Letters the grimy uncle schools his grimy nephew in demon training on the fact that every good and perfect thing is from above – not to even let his “subject” go on a walk because something as simple as taking a stroll on a beautiful day is just another way to experience God. The things we love, the things that make us feel alive – these are for both joy and war.
For me, the whole “live your best life” is not really an option. It’s critical for my sanity, my emotional stability, my mental health and anyone that lives with me. If I’m not doing what I love and pursuing my wildest dreams, I go to a bad place. And, yet, I can flake out on obedience with my expertise in procrastination on just about anything that I don’t feel I can trust myself with managing to its end. I freeze. I distract myself. I disobey. And it shows – in my attitude, in my home, in my organization, in my efficiency, in my growth, and especially in my heart. If you’re a mom – the healthier and happier you are, the healthier and happier those that live with you are. I’m down in a dark way when I’m not doing right, and my people don’t get the best of me. And not doing what I know God has called me to is the worst, because I know He’s got the best intentions, the best 20/20 vision of my future. I have lived the best life and it’s usually far from what it could be if I were walking in full faith, in total obedience and trust in my Maker.
But when I’m right – – when I’m on target and truly stepping out of my paralysis and into the wide open fields of faith, doing the great work and fulfilling the passions in my heart that He put there to the utmost of my ability, when I’m living against the odds I even put on myself, then it is G L O R I O U S – for errrrbody! I feel high on the thrill of faith and obedience, bursting at my spiritual seams with exhilaration and the weight of “almost” is released with the freedom that comes from “above and beyond”. I can hardly explain it, but I can tell you one thing for certain – the devil don’t like it.
When I write, It pisses him off something fierce. When I teach dance to a group of exhausted women, he’s livid. When I clean my office, and make dinner for my family, and read bedtime stories to my boys or memorize scripture with all my kids, that lion loses his roaring mind. And he comes after me.
Something very funny God has revealed to me immediately and clearly about a couple weeks ago. There was this crappy awful day that I got a call from my girls’ school, and that day led into about 5 days of my world, my head, my heart spiraling into chaos, disappointment, heartache, loss, and so much anger, pain, and sadness. The crap hit the fan in our house, and to be honest, I’m just coming off the ground crawling and finally getting back on my feet.
In all the mess, here’s what God showed me. The 5 days before that life-changing call, I wrote 5 days in a row. That seems like a simple statement, except a couple of you know that would be a major understatement. I have been “trying” to write 5 days in a row for about 3 years. It’s no small thing. It took a lot out of me and it unleashed all my weapons of mass destruction in the spiritual realm.
In addition to that – the 5 days after that spiral, I spent 4 days speaking at a Mother Daughter retreat in Wisconsin. I had originally cancelled that assignment because it was a day that I woke up and did not know where my daughter was after spending a long night with my husband driving down I40 – the human trafficking highway of Oklahoma, searching for MY CHILD. And after the debris settled just a tad, and much conviction from the Lord, I sent a text to say I’m coming to speak after all, and bringing my girls with me. It was tough and 4 of the most beautiful, heart wrenching days of my life, and it was my way of fighting back.
Do you know what God hates more than me writing and speaking?
Not a damn thing.
Oh, he equally hates me mothering and praying and dancing – but these things are easier for me – not easy – just easier, only because of daily practices and routines I’ve worked my rear off to cultivate. They don’t take as much courage or inconvenience as they once did. But, writing and speaking move mountains in my life, in my heart, and in my stubborn mind. They require more of me – like discipline and courage and preparation that don’t always come natural or easy for me – also things that slay the enemy. HE KNOWS if I’m writing, if I’m speaking -I’m walking in fierce faith and doing what only HE can do through me. That lion knows, that in spite of what I have failed to ever achieve, in spite of whatever I may believe about myself or have ever been capable of before, I’m trusting that God can take my little offerings of passion and do with it something only He can do. But, that’s none of my business. What He does with my words and my gifts is His business, I’m just called to trust the process and be fully what He’s created in me to be. And if I’m anything, I’m a writer, a dancer, an encourager, a wife, and a mother. I never said I was great at these things, but then that’s the point of cultivating your craft and sitting yourself in the seat of practice and more practice, like a good warrior.
Some of our passions are easy and convenient and have become sweat rituals, while other gifts are not easy – they are downright hard and require us to be really great at a lot of things that are actually weaknesses. They require tapping into our full potential, and they always require faith.
I’m not sure if you’re called to sing, teach, write, forgive, paint, or walk a dog – but I am guessing you may have a few things you’ve been procrastinating on, like I have. Maybe there’s something you would love to do or see or be – someday. Why not today? If you have experienced some attack on your body, your family, your dreams and your heart – take a dance class – or whatever is super scary but super powerful. You know what it is for you, and I know what it is for me.
I’m shutting down my schedule, I’m closing out my last few coffee dates and speaking appointments, I’m getting real clear about my time and margin, getting in the boat with my girls, and I am damn sure going to be doing some writing.