Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Spectacular Ordinary: Day 6

This is my room right now.

I hate that it's such a mess--I like my bedroom to be at least some semblance of controlled chaos. My kitchen looks pretty much the same. And so does my laundry room.

But there's a good reason for this. Well, not such a good reason, but at least a reason.

I've taken on too much. I have said "yes" to one too many good things for a few weeks, and it has left my life with too little time to do the things I should be doing, like laundry. Or folding the laundry. Or putting any of it away. Or cleaning up my house.

Today I had three big projects to work on, so I needed to allocate my time carefully to each project. (Sadly, the cleaning up was not one of the projects.) 

The main thing that I really needed to spend some quality time on was preparing two talks for a retreat that's coming up in a few weeks. I have been praying and praying for just the right words, but it felt like God was silent or waiting or making me wait. So this morning, God and I had some serious time together. I knew that I had two hours exactly (I set my timer on my phone--that's how determined I was) to work on this, so before I started, I prayed. I told God that I was desperate for a word from Him, that I trusted Him to show up and give me just the right words at just the right time, but that it would also be nice if I could just get a start on this.

I had already been working on the talks, don't worry. I had notes and Bible references and thoughts written out, but today it was time to start taking the pieces and pulling them together.

I'm sure you can guess what happened next. God showed up. After I prayed for some direction, I just started reading through my notes--out loud!--and highlighting what sounded helpful. At one point I actually said to myself, "Ha! That's good! Did I write that?!"

After I had read through everything, I wrote down all the verses that were given as cross references to the main verses I'm using in my talks (Psalm 86:11-13, in case you're interested). It was good to just put my mind on those references. And after that, I tried to think of stories from my life that I could use as illustrations for my main points.

Soon, I was writing an outline, and before I knew it I had written probably a fourth of talk #1.

Yes, I stil have a lot of work to do, but at least I feel like I'm on my way. I learned today that when time is extremely limited, setting a timer and eliminating distractions is one good way to knock out a lot of work in a very short amount of time.

When I started this month of finding the spectacular among the ordinary, I said, "my life is spectacularly ordinary in so many ways, but what I do know is that God is here and He is in it and I'd like Him to use it somehow. . . ."

So, even though my very ordinary bedroom is a complete disaster, and even though I still have lots of work to do (and several papers to grade by Monday--ugh), something amazing happened today: God showed up. 
"I waited patiently for the Lord to help me,
and He turned to me and heard my cry."
Psalm 40:1
I think that's something spectacular.

1 comment:

  1. It is always a faith journey when we say yes to a speaking engagement, eh?
    I am right there now, too.

    The retreat ladies will love you ... just like I do.