It still blows my mind today when I hear people say, "I'm __ years old and I'm still not married. As if marriage is a bucket list item or a life goal. Don't get me wrong. I am not saying that it's not okay to plan to be married as a part of your life. However, that's kind of my point in this chirp session. Marriage is a character trait. It's your life.
When we were dating, my wife and I relied on texting for a sizeable part of our communication. Our texts, while not salacious, were certainly romantic. We let each other know how happy we were to have the other in our life. We conveyed our desire to spend time with the other. We shared things we encountered that made us think of the other. Because we were long distance for a while, each text was viewed as a message from heaven, to be cherished and reviewed with joy and happiness.
What a difference a year can make. Better yet, what a difference waiting on God can make! Being human, I don't always love those moments when you don't realize you're being taught a life lesson until the lesson is revealed. (Let the church say... Amen!) However, there are some lessons that are so filled with awe that you have to appreciate the revelation when it comes. Was this experience life-changing? Well... in the Body they would say – that this believer's small heart grew three sizes that day. (It's okay to laugh.)
Talking with the 15...16 yr old last night (the youngest and logical one) about relationship issues was yet again an interesting twist. (I think he is the one who values our insight the most out of all of them. LOL) We were talking about "the competition" and why they really are not competitors in the end. I remember getting to that place in the conversation when I realized this isn't about being a teenager but being new to "relationships". So, I ended up changing what I was about to say to actually explain that this is a life lesson, meaning not just to get him through high school dating. (If only someone had told me more things like this coming up. Everything in my life was RIGHT NOW... But I digress.) We explained that even though we are married, people still try to "come at us". His face at that moment was hilarious! (Like... my parents still got it?!) What I'm getting at this morning is moments like this remind me of why my last name was changed.
So, last week we talked about dreading the paperwork and providing Caesar with what belongs to him. Well, like all things with the Lord, here is some good news. Not all paperwork or writing is dreadful. At least not the part we are talking about today. Today, we can dream. Once you come to a place where your legal documents are completed, or at least there is a plan and schedule in place to complete them, you can get back to the fun stuff. It’s time to write that vision down, and here is why.
In today's society, it is not enough to have a calling. The call must come equipped with one of two options. Either you are called and have the skill set, or you are called and there are people around you who have the skill set you need and a desire to help you. If you have both, then you just may qualify for Ministry Hall of Fame. There are many of us in the Body of Christ who have a desire to do something to help the hurting and lost. Yet, most of us are not in the race or barely running at all because of what we believe it costs to participate. We have great ideas for ministry, and yet most of us find it difficult to get in a lane and run with great expectation. What's causing the spiritual athletes to fall by the way side or not even sign up for the race?
We would like to give a special thank you to one of our fr-amily members, Mrs. Linda Strickland, for taking a moment to share her words of encouragement in her guest blog for us today. After more than 40 years of marriage, you can imagine the amount of wisdom she has to share on the topic. We love listening to her stories filled with nuggets of wisdom, and we hope that you will as well.
There is a wonderful story about the great concert pianist Paderewski. One evening a mother took her young son (who had just begun piano lessons) to hear this master play. The stage was set simply, with a spotlight highlighting the beautiful grand piano and bench. The mother and her young son found their seats and were anxiously waiting for the concert to begin. As they waited, the mother became engaged in conversation with the person seated next to her and did not realize that her son had gotten out of his seat. Just as she noticed his absence, “chopsticks” filled the air of the great hall.
Last week I discussed the middle. Well, what is the middle? For me, the middle is everything that most successful people forget to tell us. I want to know. How did you complete your online orders with a teething toddler? How were you able to keep appointments with every kid needing to go to some after-school program every afternoon in different locations, of course. Never mind that no one wanted to participate in anything until you started your business. How many dinners did you prepare late, and I mean really late because you were busy being great, for once, in the public eye? Raise your hand if you typed your business plan in the sanctity of your en-suite because it was the only quiet place you could find? Who forgot to do laundry... for a few weeks... more than once? Most importantly, how did you survive the conflict it brought into your marriage?
I don’t know about you, but I am a part of several business groups via social media. In my attempts to scale down my commitments and schedule, I began to take a serious look at the many groups that I had been a part of. Needless to say, some were voluntary while the majority were requests from friends that resulted in memberships. I’m sure someone can already relate. As I was going through the groups, I began to look at their descriptions and admins. Some of the groups were pretty interesting and their admins were rock stars! Their posts and descriptions were so energetic and motivating. And then it would happen. That one post. The couple/family photo.
Those of you who are familiar with our ministry know that Fish and I (Bird) are very supportive of the being intentional in your relationships with others. It doesn't matter if you are friends, dating, or married. Being purposeful and deliberate with your interactions can really take relationships to the next level generating more benefits for all parties involved. Well, for married folks it can be a bit easier. Or not. If you find yourself in the or not category, here is a suggestion. Go home.
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Just a little birdy and fish about the Father's business. Helping to better the world one blog at a time.