I’m back from a writer’s conference in the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina this week.
I came home refreshed in my mission and inspired to write beautiful words to the glory of God. I came home loving my writer friends and praising God for the non-writer friends who prayed for me while I was away. I came home ready to be a better writer, a better mom, a better blip on this dying and in-need-of-Jesus planet.
Then Nate slimed me with goopy graham cracker fingers, and I came home ready to go back.
Because no one had wiped anything disgusting on me for an entire week, and I did not realize how much I had not missed it. And the laundry… gracious, how did I produce such filthy humans?
And, seriously, are you purposefully spilling your drink? I couldn’t knock my cup over at dinner that consistently if I tried.
Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference 2017: 358 days away and counting.
I’m ashamed to type it, but here it is. I left the conference feeling, well, kind of important.
Because God has given me the opportunity to write books and because I remember being an overwhelmed newbie at my first conference a few years ago, I had many, many conversations with other writers in need of encouragement.
Look at what God did. I’d say. And look at what he can do! Have faith. He will do what he wants with you. He can use you for more than you could ever imagine. Don’t lose heart. God’s plans are good.
I said it with conviction, and I meant it. I enjoyed encouraging. I enjoyed cheering on. I enjoyed reminding them that God could use them for wonderful things, even when those things aren’t what they expected.
And then I stepped off that plane and into that messy house in my Nate-smeared shirt, and I had to make myself remember too.
That was fun, Lord. But, this. This is where you have me.
Help me to enjoy it too.
The things that happened at the conference were important, professionally and personally. I can write them down and learn from them and remember:
- Co-taught a writing practicum
- Discussed working according to publisher specifications
- Talked big publishers
- Stayed up late with amazing people
The things that happen at home, they are important too. Though the list looks less exciting:
- Cleaned filthy sink
- Cut triangular sandwiches to Christian’s specifications
- Talked big boy underwear
- Stayed up late with sick baby
Where we are and what we are doing is important. No matter what it is.
We must not believe the lie. It would not be better if we were somewhere else, doing something else. I can compare my lists with each other (or worse, with someone else’s list) and I can grumble. Or I can remember what Psalm 32:8 says.
“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.”
God is watching us with a loving eye. And if we ask him, he’s also teaching us, leading us, counseling us, directing our lists.
He sees what we do in the quiet of night with that sick baby and what we do bent over a computer or a broom and what we do behind the scenes or in front of a class or outside our comfort zones or inside our own heads.
Our roles vary, but if we are seeking to serve God with our lives, no list is better than another.
God has us where he has us. He wants us where he has. He loves us where he has us. His list for us is perfect. So we might as well just give in and enjoy it. Slime and all.
What about you? Where does God have you? What does your list look like today?