I sometimes joke with my family that I want my headstone to read, “She Tried.” This comment is usually spoken after an attempt on my part to quietly nudge or not so quietly nudge a family member to do what I have deemed is necessary/right/polite/fill in the blank. It can also come after an event I’ve worked super hard on only to have it not be as fun/exciting/thrilling/fill in the blank. Do you all know what I mean?
Now I also say that my husband’s headstone should read, “A Good Time Was Had By All.” He loves a good time. He loves when we are all having a good time. It makes him happy and that’s infectious.
Do you see that there’s a bit of a difference between my stone and his? One might argue that it’s due to the differences between men and women, moms and dads. It could be nature’s way of balancing out a relationship. Or it could be that my headstone bears a bit of a resemblance to a pity party. I desperately want things to be 100% perfect all the time. When it doesn’t end up that way, I throw my hands up and say, “I tried.” And yes, I did try…MIGHTILY hard, I tried.
So what went wrong? It was an epic battle of the wills. Not just my will against my people (the four that live with me) but also against His will. How well was I listening when I put my plans into action? Was there a message I ignored somewhere along the line? I’m betting there surely was a disconnect.
Consider this verse from John 3:27,
John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven.
I can’t tell you how excited I was when I heard that verse referenced when talking about how a writer receives a message (inspiration) for what she should write next. Can it be as simple as everything comes from above? Can it be applied to areas of my life other than writing? The answer is Yes!
So here’s how…
Yup, that’s it. Listen. Quiet your mind for a few minutes. Close your eyes. It’s in the very quiet spaces of rest that prayers are spoken, resolutions are evident, and we become less allowing Him to become more. Pay attention to the messages that come into your heart and mind. What is the message? What is that little nudge in your heart saying? What are you being called to do? Don’t brush those feelings and longings under the rug. Hold them up to the light and examine them a bit. Is action what’s needed? What is the action? The pity party of ‘I tried’ becomes what am I truly to do? How am I to do it? How can WE do this better than if I left it all up to myself?
The answers will come. Of course my timetable and yours might not be the same as the heavenly timetable and resolutions might not be wrapped up in a neat package with a tidy bow. This is where faith comes in to play. Sometimes the message is revealed in the waiting process. We need only to trust that it will come. And that message might come in an unlikely place such as a song, a scripture, a conversation, a long forgotten letter, a fortune cookie, almost anywhere…we just have to be open to receiving the message.
Are we ready to ditch this pity party? Let’s find a quiet moment this week and really listen. You might be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.