When Janet exposed me to this pastor, a guy who put out amazing podcasts, she started something that has grown so big, so beautiful, it can only be from God. The study we led using this book, “Beginnings” by Steve Wiens has borne more fruit than we could have ever imagined. For me personally, it changed my concept of my purpose, something I had been chasing most of my life. Like my beasts who run after other dogs who walk with their owners just outside of our yard, along the street, forever out of reach, I knew there was something, it felt close, I just couldn’t get there. But I was searching for one thing, the big thing, the thing God had CALLED me to do, knowing if I just listened, if I was just obedient enough, I would know and then my life would all fall right into place. Like my beasts who forget they have plenty of squirrels right in their own yard, I missed out on years of seeing my worth waiting for the BIG GOD CALL. I didn’t realize the gifts that I share everyday were the ones that matter.
The holidays are often taken over with gift giving. This season when we have no funds to join in the rush and bustle of finding the right coffee mug or sweater for everyone we care about, we find ourselves more intentional about what we have to offer. Extra furniture to one child starting out in a new home, cleaning the home for another who is ready to have her second child, we are showing up. We can give gifts of ourselves this year, we have time and stored up resources. As I do extra laundry for Mama or take inventory in spare bedrooms, I realize my Big God Call has always been just to be present for these kids, to be steady, to be here. I thought I was supposed to be a mom, that role defined me. When they all left, I was lost and had to discover my more. I am more than a mom, I am still and always will be a mom. The gifts that I bring to motherhood don’t stop with the two that I birthed, the one I have nurtured for the last 7 years. A new generation has entered our home, now as a grandma I have an ever growing number I hope to shared my gifts with. Yet I have come to see fully that blood doesn’t define family, God doesn’t ask me to only mother in our home. The same gifts I use in mothering are the gifts I can use within the world. Listening, caring, nurturing, feeding.
The anxiety of wondering, wishing, feeling left out, like the only person at church who just doesn’t know who they are meant to be, all gone when I stopped looking and just was. The calm, the peace, like the silent night of song, has settled in, allowing acceptance and growth. I have not one gift, not one big call, but I have worth and gifts and calls for seasons. I am asked to show up and give what I have, who I am, on any given day to any given person in front of me. Maybe sometimes I have to seek out the recipients, maybe they knock on my door. Still, I am enough. I am finding ways to feed the many, the hungry, the ones I know and may never know. No longer chasing the big call, the dogs outside the yard, released energy to carry out the work God was asking of me, the squirrels right in my own yard, if you will.
During this season of gift giving, I pray that you see your own worth as a child of God, just as you are. I pray that you know you are gifted in small ways and large, that your very act of showing up means more than anything you could ever purchase. I know that God has called you to breathe in the turbulence of the world and exhale His serenity. His Spirit will transform our presents into Presence, beyond our comprehension. Let go of the need to find the perfect gift, the last minute rush to stores and long lines filled with agitated shoppers. Maybe you have a calling, a direction so clear you can see the lighted path ahead. If not, my friends, I offer you this gift: tranquility in being. Show up, share love, give yourself this year, you are enough. God will light your way.