_The conversation with myself went something like this:
"Should I go back in and ask her?" I wondered.
"Nah, she will be offended and I'm certain she wouldn't need it." I reasoned.
"No, she might. You never know. I'm just going to do it."
I had stopped at Pizza Hut to pick up dinner and noticed a young woman bouncing her baby. She was standing beside a booth with two other children. As I walked back to the car with my pizza, I remembered my son's bouncy seat in the car. I had planned to give it to a friend along with a box of Austin's outgrown baby clothes. But when I saw this young woman, a thought popped in my head: I wonder if she needs a bouncy seat?
And so began my internally struggle. Like a tennis match, my thoughts went back and forth. Should I?
Or shouldn't I?
Over the years, I have learned to recognize God's voice. He often speaks to me through my random thoughts. Those times when I think about an old friend and consider calling or writing. I believe that is God's voice. He also speaks to us through his word: the Bible. I can read a particular scripture and think, "Wow, God is totally telling me to _______ (fill in the blank)."
My challenge is the ACTION part of listening – doing it!
It's never easy to step out of our comfort zone and make the first move. Whether calling an old friend to say hello, volunteering to help an elderly neighbor or... approaching a total stranger.
So, we may say a little prayer – or promise to help out next time. What keeps us from actually doing something - now?
Fear of rejection? The young woman will think I'm nuts.
Taking the time? I needed to get home with dinner.
Laziness? It was raining and I was already in my car.
We can come up with any number of excuses.
So with much trepidation on that rainy, Friday night I LISTENED. And made myself go back into the restaurant and approach this young mother.
"I know this is going to sound crazy but I am trying to listen to God. I think he's telling me to talk to you. I have an 8 mo. old who has outgrown his bouncy seat. It's in my car. Do you happen to need one?"
With tears in her eyes, she replied, "Yes, that was God. The only thing we need for the baby is a bouncy seat. But we're on a budget and haven't been able to get one."
My eyes began to fill and I was left speechless. Oh, the power of God. And how he works when we listen - and obey.
I recently shared this story with my Sunday School class and came up with an acronym for LOVE: Listen. Obey. Value. Everyone.
Let God use you to be a blessing to someone!
DO IT :)
_2012 - a new year. A time for reflection and a time for purpose.
Time for setting goals for the future (I don’t like saying ‘resolutions!’) and reflecting on the past. And while it’s easy for most of us to reflect, it’s not so easy to make those goals. Personally, I struggle with that dirty ‘P’ word: procrastination. I imagine a lot of us do.
Why is it so hard to begin? I make a ton of plans in my head and visualizing has never been a problem. I can ‘see’ how I’d look 20 lbs. thinner. And I can picture speaking to women’s weekend retreats and Bible classes. It’s the ‘DOING’ that trips me up. Have you been there? Do you struggle with starting a project or beginning something new?
__For me, starting something new is a challenge because I have to step out of my comfort zone. Making specific changes (goals and plans) requires me to change – another dirty word! Instead of looking at change as scary or uncomfortable, my ‘goal’ (!) is to look at change as opportunity. Opportunity to make a difference in the world. Well, in my little section of the world anyway. Beginning with my family and my friends. And eventually – in God’s time - reaching women who could be inspired by my faith journey.
So as another year begins, I am determined to make the changes necessary to realize my goals. My fear now is that I will be reflecting on 2012 in 12 months and be in the same place I am today! Totally unacceptable... and definitely uncomfortable.
Setting goals is like putting wings on your dreams. Specifying my goals in writing will help me stay focused and make them seem real and actually attainable. This is going to require discipline (ugh! Another one of those words) and ‘on purpose’ choices. Our choices should move us toward our goals, not away from them.
I'm a big fan of 'to do' lists. Mostly because of how I feel when I check off an item on that list. That sense of accomplishment. Do you get the same feeling? I am committed to making smaller, mini-goals that will help me accomplish my bigger ‘opportunity’ – and I have now put it in writing!
I am excited about writing down my smaller goals to support the bigger picture. Writing this blog is the first step to one of them: encouraging women.
Now about those 20 lbs…