Monday, November 12, 2012

Wholehearted

--

A little more than ten short months ago, I set out toward a cherished dream to become a teacher, and today I reached the first major milestone on that road. I clicked the SUBMIT button to turn in my final assignment in the final class of my freshman year of college. 

I love looking at the row of binders that hold all my textbooks from this year--each one represents a five-week chunk of my life that I spent on the way to achieving my big dream. Stacked up together, they feel solid, substantial, sacred. Not sacred because of their content (although every bit of truth they hold belongs to God), but sacred because this work is all an offering of love, given for God's glory. He is the reason I stay up late to finish papers. He is the reason I fuss over details. And He is the reason I step up to lead team projects with a commitment to excellence instead of letting someone else do it (or not do it) and just get by with minimum effort.

Last year, just before I started, I shared with you a line from Justin McRoberts who says that "every great work takes the shape of the cross." That line comes back to me again and again. In the quiet of the wee hours when I am falling asleep over my keyboard, it keeps me clicking away until the job is done. On beautiful days when my camera is calling my name, it helps me choose discipline despite the ache to go outside and play. When managing a team in an online environment is making me want to tear my hair out in great, desperate handfuls, it keeps me patient and kind (relatively, anyway).

My family might tell you that I could stand to work toward more balance sometimes, and I would have to agree--sometimes running off with them to have some family fun, or heeding the call of my lonesome camera are exactly the things that would most please my Heavenly Father right at that moment. But I feel His joy in what I am doing and in what I am working toward.

"Whatever you do, put your whole heart and soul into it, as into work done for God, and not merely for men—knowing that your real reward, a heavenly one, will come from God, since you are actually employed by Christ . . ."  Colossians 3:23-25 PHILLIPS

I wonder if you are now like I was for so many years? Are you dreaming a dream, but afraid it might always be out of reach? If that sounds familiar and you wonder if you should just give up on it, let me encourage you to keep praying, keep watching for your moment, and keep trusting that God's guidance and timing are perfect!!

This song by Amy Grant says it beautifully--I hope it encourages you like it does me!




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Joining Ann Voskamp in counting His graces for her Multitudes on Monday
I hope you'll join in if you haven't already!


In the counting of the endless gifts I say with C. S. Lewis,
"This also is Thou!"

Counting my next 1000 Gifts, joining Ann in The Joy Dare--like a scavenger hunt for graces, gifts and glory!! Wanna come along?  I dare ya!!

The continuing JOY DARE: 
#1927-1947 (November 4th through November 10th)

4. A gift gathered, given, good
People to play a trivia game at church last night
Words of encouragement
Five Guys burgers & fries (best fries on EARTH!) with my sweet family after church--what a treat!
5. 3 gifts acorn-small
Bits and pieces of potpourri that smell like spiced apples
Gummy vitamins
Brightly colored push-pins
6. 3 gifts government (could also double for "hard eucharisteo")
The privilege of voting
The Balance of Powers
That our government was established on a firm foundation
7. 3 gifts from your window
Deep red plum leaves making confetti on the green grass
Squirrels running back and forth along the top of the fence, their own personal freeway system
The flash of their ruby heads in the sunlight as hummingbirds flit from flower to flower
8. A gift sweet, salty, sipped
Homemade Peet's dark chocolate orange mocha
Homemade toasted acorn squash seeds
Cranberry juice for breakfast
9. 3 gifts harvest
The acorn squash the seeds came from, baked with butter and brown sugar--so yummy!
The sweet onions She So Sweet put in with the pot roast she cooked
The celery we are re-growing on the window sill
10. 3 gifts found in Bible reading
Renewed strength
Hope for tomorrow
Peace for today

   Beauty in His Grip Button
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A heartfelt thank you to these generous bloggers
who make these communities available!

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