revise: reconsider and alter (something) in the light of further evidence.
I have a confession. I am a writer that hates to revise. After I have written something, after I have said my piece, I don’t want to look at it again. It’s out there, it’s done, and it’s time to move on.
I am much like that in life too. I don’t often reconsider my past – I’m doing good just to remember it. Recently, though, I have discovered that to further my walk with Jesus, I have to revise my life according to his word. And that only happens when I look at how I have lived my life through the lens of Jesus’ instruction. Reconsidering where I have been through that lens will alter the way I am going, for the better.
Some days, all of life feels like work. Other days, even work feels like a joy, no matter what it is. I often wonder, especially on the hard days, what’s the difference?
When all of life feels like work – I am off kilter. Nothing is right about my day (or week). I keep trying to figure out how to get myself out of this funk. I look at the mountain of things that I need to do, and I feel defeated even before I begin.
On other days, work becomes a joy – whether that means cleaning the bathroom, teaching and training my children, or weeding the garden. Through seeing my work as service to others, I can find joy, and that makes whatever it is I have to do feel less burdensome. When I am serving God and others, I begin to delight in the mundane, even as I work for a higher purpose.
1 Peter 2:9 – But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.
Called out of darkness into His marvelous light. I can never get over the joy, the beauty, the grace of that phrase. I was chosen to be a carrier of this light – I was given the light to show that I am His. Now, I have to set out into the darkness to carry that light to others.
That doesn’t mean I have to go into the deepest, darkest jungle, although that may be the case for some. It means that I am to share the light wherever I am. And really, that just means letting the light shine. Hide it under a bushel? NO! I just have to live everyday looking at the face of the one who chose me, and that light will reflect onto everyone I see, wherever I am.
I have a friend who is very good at giving gifts. My mom is very good at giving gifts, but I didn’t inherit that ability. Giving gifts eludes me – I never think of the right one to give, I never go anywhere with good gifty things that catch my eye (hello, Amazon and grocery store), and I feel like I really don’t know what people want.
Even though store-bought, or even hand made, gifts are not my forte, I feel like I give in other ways. I give my time – to listen, to hang out, to serve, to pray. For me, time is something that is easy to give. I enjoy it – it’s how I love on people.
And that’s the thing here – lots of people give in lots of different ways, and we need them all. We need gift givers. We need time givers. We need money givers. We need love givers. What we have to give is just what someone else will need. We just have to be willing to give.
Paying attention. That’s how I discover things. Stopping. Looking. Listening. Discovery happens in the times that I am still.
Life goes fast. Trying to keep the spinning plates going and the juggling balls in the air. It feels like a circus. There isn’t always time to be still physically, but in the midst of all the hurry, finding times for the mind to still refreshes, creates a space to discover new. Like new awareness, new answers, new vision, new energy. Be still. Discover.
Life is better when you share. That lesson starts early – share the toy, share the cookie. But it isn’t something we outgrow. We just learn to share in other ways.
As we get older – out of those toy playing years – we find that sharing becomes a deeper process. It becomes a phone call in the midst of a traumatic day. It becomes a hug when I think that I am over my head with this parenting thing. It becomes laughter and excitement when sharing in life’s happy surprises.
Being able to live these things out together helps me remember that I am not alone in this world. I am blessed with people that I can call or visit or text when things are good and when things are bad. I am surrounded with people that are God’s hands and feet in my life – people to share my life with.
If I have learned anything from being a farmer, it’s that you have to have good dirt to grow. Well, that and the fact that you never know what you will wake up to any given day. But, even with that instability, growth has to happen for any good farmer to be worth their salt.
But I don’t stop with farming. I am also growing three little people. I tried, early on, to control everything that affected my first, but once number two came along, I realized that wouldn’t be possible. Then number three came, and we were out manned.
Through that, I began to understand that, like farming, all I can control is the dirt that I grow them in. I can surround them with beauty. I can cultivate a home filled with grace. I can shower them with unconditional love. I can speak life into their days. Growing them up is my task. They will encounter life, and like farming, I can’t know what the future holds, but I can know that my home, their home, is a place of love and growth.