January is just about to pass us by, and I’m sure yours has been a flurry of activity (and perhaps snow?), as has mine. Hopefully, you have found some rest amidst the pressure to plan, dream, start fresh, and ‘prove’ this year will be different. As I’ve pondered the direction God might take us this year (which includes a sweet babe arriving soon!), I’ve been pleasantly surprised, and reminded, of the wealth I have in the people God has placed in my life.
I’ve been slowly working my way through this book, and considering new ways to turn to the people around me (whether in proximity or through the blessings of modern-day technology!) rather than simply depending on the ‘professionals’. Yes, a life coach, that pretty new planner, or the whole foods nutritionist are helpful, but have you/we considered the wisdom of the people God has intentionally placed in our lives? Are we opening ourselves up to them, or is the only solution to pay someone who studied the information, but has no idea about the shape of our souls?
It’s a tricky conversation, for sure, as I am certainly not one to deny or avoid the blessing of those gifted and skilled in various disciplines, as well as the resources and helps we find in good books, podcasts, webinars, and famous preachers and speakers. Perhaps, however, I might share a few examples from my own life, to spur your thinking in this direction…
January has always been an obvious time for me to search for a new planner, map out the course for the next season, or seek counsel for new ventures. I love dreaming, planning, and hoping for what might be around the corner. And so, as I’ve considered my new role as ‘mom’ that is fast approaching, I have been eager to refresh my vision for marriage, family, and home. Some resources I’ve enjoyed have been this podcast, this podcast, and this ministry for moms, but I’ve been equally encouraged by… sisters and friends who have explained the ins of outs of lovely things like cloth diapers, car seats, and what not to buy for baby, fervent prayers from family and friends, and recipes that will boost my energy and nutrition levels without breaking the bank. I’m sure I could have paid lots of money for all these ideas, but y’all… these people know me, love me, (and their hourly fee is quite reasonable 😉 )
Another example, which perhaps I should be embarrassed to admit? is that of the expert living in my own home – my dear hubby. For weeks, I considered various planners and printables online that would help me better harness my day, organize my home, and get on that cleaning schedule I’ve been desperately needing. But to no avail! Either the price didn’t suit, it wasn’t pretty enough, or the aspects included did not fit my needs. One day, in tears, I admitted to my husband over dinner that I just. couldn’t. figure. out. my. schedule – and can you help? In less than 15 minutes’ time, we had drafted a lovely but effective schedule, that included my work, home and volunteer priorities, self-care, and things that would bless him as well. What?! That was too easy, I thought, but it has been a huge help to me, and I was shocked to realize that the answer was sitting right across from me all that time.
I will also say that YOU are an expert in some way as well, you just might not know it or being giving yourself enough credit! Just a couple weeks ago, a friend called, discouraged about the list in front of her that day, and how she was not only going to get everything done, but also care for herself and her family in the process – so we spent 15 minutes drafting a list of priorities for her day, some important self-care, as well as a time management strategy I have found to be helpful (which she was already aware of…but some days – most days? – we just. need. reminders.) I was happy to hear her report at the end of the day that all had gone well – and she was going to bed with a happy and unburdened heart!
Let us not forget how much we need each other, friends… the question is, will we open ourselves up to one another in humility, be it for prayer, requesting a meal, needing a car ride somewhere, or seeking wisdom from God’s Word…among other things. The list of possibilities is long, you know what you need that I might have, and vice versa. Let us consider how we might spur one another on to love and good deeds, both by sharing the wealth of talents God has given each of us, and humbly making our needs known to those around us. Might we consider what is keeping us from living this way as well? Only you know. As I was reminded by Captain America only last evening, the only way we are going to get through the next crisis… is together.