Every now and then we need sort of a family meeting concerning random bits that don’t fit neatly together. This is such a time.
1. This will be the only post of the week as a Messy Middld Newsletter will be coming out on Friday. I’m excited about it! … be on the look out in your inbox or spam and see how the ideas materalize. I think most of you are signed up, but if not and you have an interest, you can sign up here.
2. My friend Tanya Marlow published a short book last week you can get for free if you sign up for her newsletter. (OK, so maybe #1 and #2 fit together more than I realized.). It is fantastic and you need to get it :).
Coming Back to God When You Feel Empty: Whispers of Restoration From the Book of Ruth
Where do you go when you’re feeling empty, dreaming about the life you wish you had?
Where do you go when you’re disappointed with God, and you need some sort of path back to faith?
The Old Testament book of Ruth is a surprisingly good place to start, as Tanya Marlow discovered when she gave birth and lost the ability to walk more than twenty metres.
Here are two parts I’ve underlined so far:
“Although I reserved for myself the right to be bitter in the face of suffering, I didn’t want that for [friends in a hard spot.]”
“‘God has answered your prayers!’ a friend exclaimed, and I wanted to explain that, no, God hadn’t answered them. Instead, He’d ignored us and we’d been frantic with worry until I had plundered my connections in various churches to find someone good. Naturally, I didn’t say that, because it’s not the Christian thing to do. I smiled, but I muttered under my breath to God: ‘I gave you the credit for that one — you owe me.'”
Get it! I can almost guarantee you’ll thank me :)! You can get it here.
3. After a meeting at church last Wednesday, I was asked if I’d be willing to talk with the 4th to 6th graders on Sunday evening about China, but nothing about gauging out eyes or cutting off fingers. And we started laughing.
Wait, what? Gauging? Cutting? What.
Turns out a speaker shared about a country where this happens to children. Of the 4th to 6th graders hearing this, no one said anything to their parents when they got home. It came out the next morning when a girl told her mom she had troubles sleeping and at least now knew to pray for those kids and and no idea that could happen to kids. (It’s been handled, but kind of a nightmare experience for a youth ministry that’s trying to build a sense of M work into the kids! No pun intended!)
It struck me the pull we can each succumb to in making our lives sound exciting and important. God help us from using the gauging of others in our own lives to make ourselves sound interesting.
And though I’m teetering a fine line myself by including this, I trust you see yourself reflected in it as much as I am.
I steered clear of dramatic stories and stuck to teaching the kids how to write numbers 1 to 10 in Chinese and the ways they can be combined to write 1 to 99. It is a miracle more eyes aren’t gauged out as my Chinese pronunciation was corrected and questioned by young bossy boots who know squat. And I kept getting interrupted to translated very non-Chinese names into Chinese.
Lord have mercy.
May this week find you in the messy middle of knowing your story is interesting enough without having to embellish it!
What do you have going on this week?