I Am Missing an Hour of Sleep

March 17, 2010 at 3:21 am Leave a comment

Have you seen it?

I just KNOW I left it here somewhere.

I’ve found delirium, exhaustion, a little bit of nausea due to lack of rest, crankiness…but that one hour has vanished forever.

Man, I could have used it today.

The kids and I went to the Natural Science Museum in an effort to have fun! exciting! happy! times during spring break. We actually did have a lot of fun. The current exhibit is hands on and kid friendly, and they loved it. We also hiked/strolled the entire “blue” trail. It was labeled “moderate”, so I feel pretty dad-gum accomplished. We walked almost an hour, and even Paisley hung in there pretty well. Molly announced that she really “needed all this fresh air”, and Aidan was our fearless leader, making sure nobody strayed from the beaten path. Considering all the warning signs about straying, and the dangers lurking there in the fenced forest, I think he was pretty scared we could get eaten by a wayward turtle or something.

Then we went to Maggie Moo’s, and loaded up on ice cream. I adore their raspberry sorbet. It rights all wrongs and makes me sing happy songs. I totally did not mean for that to rhyme.


So can I tell you something that’s been on my mind? There’s actually been a lot, but I have to exercise supreme restraint on what I write about. I wish I could use the blog as a journal and just lay it all out there, but since it’s, you know, on the INTERNET and everything, I don’t.

I have been through a serious spiritual struggle recently.

That’s hard to admit. I am really good at the “church face”, and making sure you all know that we are doing so great, and things are so great, and life is so great. Now, I’m honest to a fault, and I have no problems telling it if things are not so great…but when it comes to my relationship with God…it’s hard to admit that I have been through a season of doubt and questions.

So…I’ve been through a season of doubts and questions.

It all started with Travis Cottrell. Yeah, I know. I don’t even know him. I mean, I know he’s a singer, I know he’s Beth Moore’s worship leader, I know he’s got an incredible ministry and God is doing some awesome stuff in his life. I read his blog, and it delights me. He’s hilarious, and creative and fun to pretend like I know.

So I’m reading his blog a few weeks ago and he has been going through an awesome adventure with God. I mean, learning things right and left about himself, and his ministry, and where God wants him to be, and what that looks like, and God’s been showing him things about himself (God) that have just blown their family out of the water. It’s a great story, you should read it.

It made me so mad.

I became so jealous (it really hurts to see that in black and white), and angry that God would do awesome stuff for someone who already had an awesome ministry, in my pitiful opinion. I know that’s lame, but I was so frustrated.

How do I write about this without sounding whiney and ungrateful? I hope I can, but if it comes out that way, I guess I deserve whatever criticism comes my way.

I have spent countless hours for over a year praying for a ministry. Praying that God would lead us somewhere to do something. I don’t even know what that is. All I know is that Michael and I want to serve. We want to be used by God to lead others to him. Michael is ready and equipped to do whatever God opens up for him to do. I have not turned down an invitation to sing or write or teach, because I want so badly for God to use me. I truly love doing those things. I know Michael loves to study and teach God’s word to people who may not care or understand.

And I haven’t seen God move. I’ve been looking for him, but haven’t seen him. In the selling of our house, in the furthering of a ministry, I haven’t seen him.

So I got mad, and wondered if God only does big things for those people who are “famous” Christians. It makes sense. He does big things in their lives, and they tell others and encourage and bless and draw people to him. I can see how that works out. But what about those of us in a small Mississippi town, who are driven by a passion for helping others see Jesus through music, or teaching, or even this random little blog?

I dealt with God a lot for a few weeks. I even got to the point where I told him I didn’t think he cared about me at all.

I am not going to rehash the process I went through to find peace again, but believe me, I went through it. I didn’t receive a huge word from God, just a reminder that he is there. I prayed specifically and asked him to answer a prayer that day, and he did. I know he’s here. I know he is very active in our life.

I am still confused about what work he has for us. We both feel called to something, and God is clearly using us in several areas, there’s just a nagging feeling in my heart that there is something more to do. Is it because God hasn’t allowed it to happen, or because we haven’t risked anything to make it happen? I have no idea. The idea of risk is okay with me, but I have to always consider the responsibility I have with three kids. I am the one responsible for their well-being. I know God will take care of them, too, but I have to do the job he gave me to do.

I no longer feel jealous of Travis, just to soothe the minds of those people who think I’m certifiably crazy. I have so much respect for him. I long for God to blow my family out of the water like he did with the Cottrells. I pray constantly that my motivations are pure, and my heart is right with God. Using music to serve God is a very difficult thing for me. It’s what I love the most. I am more myself when I am singing than any other time. I’ve developed a lot, and I’m better than I was a year ago. That’s not a bragging statement, anybody is better at anything with a year of practice. But the singing, and that usually involves people watching you and a microphone and all that stuff, concerns me that people will misunderstand my motivations and think I am doing it for me, which could not be farther from the truth. Yes, I love doing it, and I get into the sound of the music, but I would not sing if the words did not reflect Jesus and who he is in my life. So it’s a struggle for me, to want to be used by God in that way, but making sure that when I get to do it, that my focus is singular. I don’t want to be an entertainer. I don’t want the only reaction I get to be people getting warm fuzzies. I want someone, just one person, to see something in me when I sing that draws them to Jesus. I want whoever hears me to know that he is alive, and it is real, and it has changed me, and I am praising him for it.

None of that made sense, I’m sure. I know what I’m trying to say…so I’m leaving it.

God is good, and faithful. He is working in our family: in real estate, in ministry, in our desires and realities.

I’m so glad I get to see what he’s doing, and that he is gracious enough to show up in my life every day.


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