Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. ~Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV)
The above verse is one I’ve read and thought about many times since Sunday. A few days ago, I started participating in an online Bible study (OBS) called, What Happens When Women Say Yes to God through Proverbs 31 Ministries. The study is based on a book called What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. Deuteronomy 6:5 is the verse we’ve been focusing our time on during our first week and chapter of study.
How do I love the Lord with all my heart, soul and strength? I started by not turning away from or ignoring that uncomfortable urge or twinge, #YestoGod. You know what I mean, right? That feeling that tugs and says “do it”. “It” being that kind, loving, uncomfortable task, that you really don’t want to do, but know you should do. The tasks that make someone else’s life better. Selfless acts that share God’s love and grace, when you’ve already got enough to do. Sometimes it’s a simple task, like an offer to help someone, when you’re really in a hurry. It is wiping the snot off of someone else’s child while their parent is too busy talking to notice or eating a germy cracker (because they love you enough to share). Sometimes it’s a large task such as; committing to teaching preschool Sunday school each week, instead of attending your favorite service time or becoming PTC secretary and communications officer for the next two years. Or, going to nursing school because you feel drawn to be a patient advocate, treating them with dignity and respect as their body fails them.
What does this mean to me? Each time I say yes, I spread God’s love. Not in a fantastic saint like way, that will always be remembered, but in a way that helps make events, or routine happen. It means I give my time, energy and self to children in my community. I am not that parent that drops my kids off to a free activity and runs. I usually volunteer and work to help run that activity. I’m not perfect and pleasant on the inside always; I do get stressed, and have a crappy attitude, stomp around (in my head) during moments when I’d rather be at home. I sometimes practice “smile and fake it ‘til you make it”. Yet, after each task is accomplished, I feel closer to God. When I started volunteering, it was because I realized how few do, now I couldn’t imagine life without it. I don't enjoy every minute, but I know I'm working for the Lord.
One great thing about doing good, is the rewards. I have a great husband and children, and all our needs are met, Amen. I have children say “hi” and introduce me to their parent because I “work at their school” (1-2 hours a week I volunteer to help where it is needed). I get random hugs, and am called “teacher“ and “mom”. Other parents call or text to get info, when they lose their paper. I feel at home in my community, and like I contributed to it.
Now, I’ve grown to believe God is blessing me, with these job assignments. I view that twinge, that urge, that I feel from God as a growing pain and know I’m blossoming into the daughter he helped shape. #PalmsUp