Give us this Day

On Sunday, I bowed my head and began to pray as Our Father has taught us.  “On Earth as it is in Heaven,” I prayed with the remainder of the congregation.  “Give us this Day our daily rest,” I said.

After finishing and saying “Amen” I opened my eyes to see both of my teen kids staring at me wide-eyed.  They had me bookended in the pew and were more than happy to point out my gaff.

“Our daily what, Mom?” my daughter asked.  “Did you say Daily Breath?” asked my son.

I’ve prayed the Lord’s Prayer thousands of times.  As a former pew sitter in multiple denominations, I can get confused as to whether I am trespassing, sinning, or debting.  But, I’ve never just botched the prayer.

The thing is, that it is in Jesus that I do get my daily rest.  I find rest when I know that I am loved and protected.  I get rest when I remember that I am good enough and know that I am a child of the King.  I get rest when I’m snuggled by my sassy and snarky kids listening to insights on God’s word.  I get rest when I recall our example in Genesis and claim each day as good.  I get rest when I take a sip of hot cocoa while wearing fuzzy slippers. I get rest when I am living the purpose that God has given me.  I get rest when I remember that God has it in his hands.  I get rest when I remember that love wins in the end.

I need my daily bread.  As much as that, I need to set aside the world and gather into Jesus’ arms for my daily rest.

And, all things the same, a slipped up version of THE Prayer isn’t nearly as embarrassing as the time I turned up the Communion chalice and took a giant swig.

So, how about you?  How do you claim your daily rest?




A Journey on the Road Most Taken

A friend once gave me a great postcard.  “Well Behaved Women,” it stated, “Seldom Make History.”  Surrounding the quote was a list of amazing women who had changed the world.  Everything in me wants to be one of those women.  I want to open the world for rights of women, end human trafficking, eliminate poverty, stop war, provide social reform, bring education to girls being denied the right, equalize pay based on gender, basically I wanna change the world.  I want to stir things up and set the world on fire.  I want my name on the postcard.

Instead, I am a middle school teacher, married twenty-years to a teenage sweetheart, living in a small town thirty minutes from where I grew up, and raising two teen kids.  From all angles, I look pretty well-behaved. I’m a traveler on the road most taken for women.  I tithe and welcome people one-Sunday-a-month as a children’s area greeter at church.  I cook a great cornbread and drown under mounds of laundry.

So, how does that make me No Ordinary Women?  On my own, I am not.  There are two things that radically alter my life in the ordinary.

Number One–I am fruitful.  Yep, you read that right.  Not, I am busy nor I work hard nor I am overwhelmed nor I am driven.  I am fruitful.  As a Christ-follower, I know that He is the one that makes my life go beyond ordinary.  I stay grafted to Him and He produces fruit through my faith and work.  My weaknesses are overcome by His strength.

All too often, there’s a thought that we should fit a mold. We women should be quiet and thoughtful.  We should be kind and nurturing.  We should be some female ideal–bringing home the bacon and frying it up in the pan. All too often, it becomes a delusional story of the 3 Little Bears where we’re all trying to find some JUST RIGHT and keep thinking that we are too much or too little.  In the loving text that God gave us, I read that I was thoughtfully and wonderfully made.  I read that I was knit together by God’s skillful hands.  I know knitters–they love to create and love their creation.

And, that means that I was made with a loud voice and crazy hair and super long toes and really strong thighs by a Loving Father who intended me to be just that way.  My quirky sense of humor, desire to eat peanut butter by the spoonful, love of the beauty of math, and tendency to start five books at the same time were planted within me.  It is only by beginning to understand God’s loving creation of me that I can embrace fruitfulness and dance in the un-ordinary.  It is in allowing God to guide my path, and accepting that I am starring in my own role, that I move beyond the status of up in the morning, falling into bed at night, and then rinse and repeat the next day.

Number Two–I belong to a group of dedicated women partnering together to expand opportunities locally and globally for women.  “Through mentorship, education, and resources,” states our mission, “women will determine and embrace their unique purpose and values.”  I am not alone on this journey.  Instead, I am working with like-minded sisters who also know the world needs their talents and dedication to the call.  Each one of us has been given our instructions.  I partner up with the people who are making the world a better place. That partnership reminds me that love wins in the end.  Margaret Mead famously said that we should, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

So, what is the dream that God has placed in your heart?  What extra-ordinary thing has He planted within you?  What is He planning through your fruitfulness?  Join us.  We can’t promise you’ll be printed on a postcard or a bumper sticker, BUT we can promise that we won’t expect you to be well-behaved.