Hello whoever happens to be out there just waiting for new blogs to start up! Hello to friends and family that are kind enough to indulge my faith that God will enable me to write regular stuff worth reading—words to make you laugh, advice love, and learn. Welcome to my corner of the world. These days I often feel like I literally live in a corner of the world, a small island in Japan that lies between the Pacific Ocean and the East China Sea. By the way, did you know that if you are in the United States that it is tomorrow here? The current address in my corner of the world comes via the graciousness of the United States Marine Corps, and I truly love living in Okinawa, Japan. Here is a picture of one of my favorite spots,
More on Okinawa some other time…
Back to the corner thing.
We all occupy space on some corner of this earth and we want to make our days count for something of value—that’s just the way we are. If you are like me, you want to be the best you that the real you can become. I learned a long time ago, that when God is working in my life, I will grow forward in that process of becoming truly me. Conversely, I have discovered, rather painfully at times, that God’s ways really are higher than mine. When I am certain that I know best in my own imaginings, I am actually in danger of being at my worst: selfish, irritable, impatient, focused on the momentary rather than the significant, and on occasion, just plain wrong! Somehow, getting this truth through my sometimes thick head is where God meets me, a place where the spiritual meets the practical…my everyday life.
Okay, so we are back to where the spiritual meets the practical—can you go around the block and end up at the same corner? Sure can. I do it every day, multiple times as I taxi three teenagers to the activities that fill their corner of the world. So why did God plant this phrase in my brain? I am realizing that if I don’t let God show me how to put the spiritual and the real-life-live-it-out-practical together, spiritual knowledge has very limited value and quickly atrophies to dry, self-righteous religion with little heart in it. Understanding that the Bible is to be lived, not merely read, opens the door for the spiritual and the practical join up. This happens anytime I apply God’s ways in the moment to moment thinking, talking, walking, and whatevering I do with myself each day. Hear and act, know and do, show and tell…not just kid’s games for the playground. This is where the truth of God get’s worked out in my day.
Now I am not talking about the practical instead of the spiritual.
I’ve tried it that way….many times. And let me tell you, it ain’t what it is cracked up to be….Busy is not better. Frantic is not productive….necessarily. Although, when I really have to crank something out, a little bit of frantic can go a long way. Frantic can come in handy on occasion, but mostly it’s just miserable in a stressful, my-blood-pressure-is up-and –my-claws-are-out-kind of way. There are some days when the balance in my life flies out the window. When the duties of the day are running my schedule, the spiritual can get pushed to the side in favor of that next task on the “to-do list.” Ever feel like this is your life?
Times like these the spiritual can become a distant memory as my soul runs dry and yearns to slow down, to be still. To know God is good in my today, and to savor truth like a good cup of coffee that warms my bones and fills up my soul.
And it’s not the spiritual instead of the practical.
I realize many days that neglecting the practical with the spiritual gets a little old around dinner time. This has been known to happen on occasion when I get caught up with God, a good idea, and my computer. Yes, growling tummies and hungry teenagers aren’t happy about late dinners, overdone meat, and burnt French fries at all. Keeping up with it all can be a juggling act!
Here is dinner-making at my little base house last night. And yes, that’s the whole kitchen—a unique design not-so-affectionately called “The One Butt Kitchen.” The spiritual instead of the practical is certainly not appreciated when there is a lack of clean underwear in the house….just kidding; I don’t do that. In fact, Laundry (yes, with a capitol L) rarely stops in my house, and is definitely a continual part of the family. By the way, don’t you just love those few moments when the laundry is done? That, my friend, truly can be a spiritual moment in the practical—one rarely experienced in my house. Yep, the spiritual can’t take the place of the practical. Some things you should just NOT multitask; for instance, bible reading does not go well with driving carpool. Do you know what I mean?
That’s not spiritual…that’s dangerous…and stupid. So don’t do that.
I invite you to join me as I explore this process where the spiritual and the practical intersect in daily and family life, humor and real-girl mistakes, devotions and lessons, how-to’s on spiritual growth, and sharing life as it is. I hope you will have as much fun following this blog as I am going to have writing it because I am blessed—all day, every day, as the spiritual meets the practical in my little corner of life.
Here’s a sneak peak and some of the things coming up:
Notes and Tips from my workshop, My God Ears are on: the Quiet Time Guide—on location at the Protestant Women of the Chapel International Conference in Dallas, TX. Yes, I am traveling a really, really long way—about 29 hours. I’ll be hanging out with my new friends Priscilla Shirer, Kari Jobe, and Point of Grace. That’s a statement of faith—maybe I’ll get to meet them, but it will be a blast to hear from them.