What’s in your trashcan?

On Mondays, we fast and pray for the Lord to do a work in our generation: for Him to move mountains, raise up men to walk into relationships, soften women to allow God to work in our hearts, and to bring the gift of marriage for those who desire it.

I have not found a way to prepare for the randomness that fills my life. Although, I realize it’s the random that makes life interesting, provides for great stories, and keeps me trusting that God’s plans are way higher than mine; I’d still appreciate a heads-up sometimes.

On Wednesday, my sister stopped by to pick me up to go shopping for wedding stuff. Have I mentioned that my sister, who is 16 ½ years younger than me is getting married this summer? I’m the oldest member of the bridal party and the only one eligible for the title of Maid of Honor, but I digress. So before we head off to our shopping destinations, I rope my sister into helping me with a four-arm house project. We finish up the project in a matter of minutes, clean up and make our way to the back of the house with the trash. My sister gets to the trashcan first to discover it filled 1/3 of the way with water from the snow melt and rain. As she begins to tilt the trashcan to empty the water, I spy something unusual floating near the top. It had ears and fur! I gasped and ran as my heart raced! A squirrel drowned in my trashcan! Could you imagine the horror this story could have risen to if I had performed my usual nighttime take-out-the-trash routine?

On Saturday, my other sister was experiencing Braxton Hicks, as she is due with child #4 any day now. So in case it developed into anything more serious, I volunteered to take her 3 children for the night (all under the age of 4). The remainder of my weekend was spent asking kids if they needed to go to the bathroom, solving the problem of sharing, being drooled on by a precious 2 year old, and jumping on a trampoline with all 6 of my nephews and my niece. I’m just glad there wasn’t another heart-racing discovery of the expired animal variety over the weekend!

I was doing my Beth Moore study earlier in the week, and she was talking about our God-given ministry, basically the reason why God left us on this earth sucking air. As I reflected on what my God-given ministry has looked like in years past and what this looks like now, I realized somewhere in the background of my mind was playing this thought “when you’re married and have children, then your real ministry will begin.” When did that thought cement itself in my head? What in my world has reinforced the thought that my God-given purpose doesn’t begin until I’m married and have children? How does this mindset effect how I view my contributions now to God’s divine purpose for my life?

The truth is, our circumstances in life have NOTHING to do with our God-given purpose. Ephesians 2:10 tells us that God has prepared things for us to do. So it doesn’t matter if we are sick, car-less, physically fit, or have a diversified investment portfolio; God has good works for us to perform in spite of our circumstances.

If we remember, Jesus summarized the commandments into two: Love the Lord with all of your heart and Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30 – 31). Our God-given purpose has everything to do with how well we LOVE God and others.

The squirrel I discovered on Wednesday was only concerned with his own survival, he had no other purpose. He fell or jumped unknowingly into a deathtrap of water and was unable to tread water long enough to survive until help came. Morbid thought, I know. However, can’t the same thing happen to us when we become so engrossed in our own survival and pursuits? We can get caught drowning in a sea of pressure, responsibility, and bitterness. God is calling us to come follow Him, and live life differently… like “jump out of the boat and walk on water” kind of different.

Slap me across the face with a dead squirrel, but isn’t it slightly ironic that my one sister is planning a wedding and my other sister is having a baby, all while I’m working through my own thoughts about my purpose despite not having those things? I smell an awesome opportunity to Love God and Love and serve my sisters, because “’not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord” (Zechariah 4:6).

And in the closing words of Beth Moore (from Children of the Day, page 145):

Whatever area of service you are called to fulfill, if it is fueled by fiery love for Jesus Christ, you’ll be effervescent in the Spirit and effective. If you love Him with your whole heart and that heart bursts to sell everything and move to China, Girl, get your passport!

Who would you be if you loved Jesus with your whole heart, soul, mind, and strength? That’s what you’re meant to look like.

Let that person follow Him, and He will make you a fisher of men.

In His Strength,

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