It’s been a busy few weeks in our household. We’re in the third week of school, and the routine is setting in for everyone. I’ve talked to a few other moms and we all agree – we feel like we live in the kitchen. Breakfast served, breakfast cleared, pack lunches, get everyone out the door, with lunches in hand. Clean the mess up, then think about dinner, clear dinner, and do it all over again! It’s definitely a new life for us – one that now includes gymnastics, flag football, and nightly homework. It hit me the other day that this is our phase of life for the next 13 years. It’s been fun to watch the kids grow so much in just a few weeks. Even our dinner conversations have grown as their little minds continue to expand and they begin to take more and more responsibility for themselves.
On top of all that, God has thrown open a few doors for me this year. I spent the summer praying, asking for wisdom for how to spend my (little) bit of free time this year. I’ve felt a stirring in my heart to begin to return to my creative roots. If you know my story, you know I spent the a good majority of the first 20 years of my life in front of people using the creative arts to teach. Over the past year, I’ve started to miss it.
I had an idea in my head of what I thought God wanted me to do – writing, speaking, and encouraging women. Then a good friend approached me about storytelling at church over the summer for the elementary group. I never thought of myself as a children’s worker. I thought it might be fun for the summer. So I agreed. And I loved it. Then they needed help this fall. So I prayed about it, and said yes. So twice a month on a Saturday night, I’m on a stage in front of 60-80 kindergarten through 5th graders. They are an awesome group of kids, and I’m excited to be a small part of their journey, encouraging them to dive into God’s Word and begin to understand how to make wise choices now and for the rest of their life.
Then Bible Study Fellowship called, and asked if I’d teach a preschool class. I was very hesitant. I took a week and prayed over it and talked to Ked about it. The time commitment for BSF is high. I really wasn’t sure about teaching preschoolers. I wondered why God kept opening doors to work with kids. At the end of the week I still wasn’t sure to how to answer them. I thought maybe I should say yes, but I told God it would be really nice if He’d let me know for sure if I should or not. A couple hours later, an email came that couldn’t have been a more clear Yes. I gulped, and committed. And it’s already changed me.
I haven’t been a storyteller in years, and now, every week I’m doing it at least once, sometimes twice a week. My heart is full and alive, and jumping around inside me with joy. The coolest part is that what I’m teaching is what both my kids are also learning (I’m storyteller in Little Miss’s class at church, and I teach the same thing that T-Rex hears in his class at BSF). I’m also more equipped than ever to have conversations and teaching moments with my kids at home.
The interesting thing is that I wouldn’t have said yes to either of these if they hadn’t come in the order they did. If BSF had contacted me before I’d been in the mode of storytelling at church, I wouldn’t have said yes. If church had contacted me after I committed to BSF, I wouldn’t have said yes. God knew what order my heart needed to be opened.
And then, the very week BSF started, I was contacted about a writing project – something I’ve felt called to do since I was in junior high. And I froze. I started to feel overwhelmed. I don’t know all the details and deadlines of the writing project yet, so I can’t share much. I prayed and prayed, and Ked looked at me and said, “You don’t need to pray about this project, because this is what you’ve been praying about for half your life. This is a very clear gift.”
But yet…I’ve already committed to these 2 storytelling projects this year. I wouldn’t have done either of those if the writing project had come along first. As I counseled with several people I trust, including Ked, they all said it seemed to be God’s leading. But I was fearful of being over committed and especially unqualified for the writing project. Saying yes to God can be quite scary. Then one friend reminded me, “He equips those He calls.” I started to see it. Every BSF lesson has pointed towards this writing project and trusting God’s work through the Holy Spirit. Every storytelling session at church has opened my eyes to something new. I went for a run and the ideas started to flow.
It’s not going to be easy. It’s all going to take an incredible amount of focus, discipline and endurance. I know it will be a battle, and I’d appreciate your prayers. I know I can’t do this on my own. Nor should I ever try.
My friend Susie told me one day, “If God has called you to all of this, He will enable you to get it all done.” The week after she told me that, I saw it happen. Preparing for BSF was a pure joy and didn’t take me near as long as I thought it would. I did some writing and it flowed. I prepared for the story at church and had time leftover. Not to mention, I spent an entire rainy morning building legos, long evenings helping with homework and had extra time in the mornings to snuggle, and managed to make dinner every night. It was like there was a magic time box that made every minute count for 2. It wasn’t me. My tag might be “supergirlamelia” but I’m really not super.
In the process I’ve realized some things will sit by the wayside, so I’ll be blogging here 1-2 times a week. I’ll still be at Circle of Friends every Wednesday. I will definitely post here once things are finalized with the writing project and I can share a few details, and would so appreciate your prayers. It’s an exciting and quite scary time. Everyday, I’m trusting God to lead.