Thank You for Lifting

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It is hard to believe that only a month ago, we brought our first baby girl into the world. It has been a wonderful journey and we've enjoyed every coo, smile and snuggle. Looking back on my birthing experience, so much is a blur. The one thing I knew when going to the hospital that early Saturday morning, was to expect the unexpected. Experienced moms had advised me that each birthing story was unique and mine was no exception.

I will never forget one moment in particular where Ella's heart rate dropped very low. Half a dozen nurses rushed to my side with worried expressions on their faces. They explained to me, quite hurriedly, that I had to be repositioned to reduce the stress on my baby. Due to an epidural I was completely unable to assist them in their efforts. With tears in my eyes, I prayed as they lifted and flipped me from side to side. After what felt like an eternity, my baby's heart rate rose and I saw the caregivers surrounding me, breathe a sigh of relief.

When the room returned to a state of peace and the nurses seemed content, I had a moment to reflect. I thought to myself, 'That must be what it felt like for the lame man mentioned in the Bible at the pool of Bethesda.'

When Jesus saw him lying there... He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up...

NKJV John 5:6-7

In that crucial moment of labor, I needed desperately to be moved, yet had no strength in my legs to reposition myself into a place of healing. My heart felt overwhelmed with gratitude for those six women who literally stepped in to be the hands and feet of Jesus. They lifted me when I could no longer lift myself.

How many fellow moms and friends do we know that are likewise numb from an injection of life's pain and disappointments? How many of our gal-pals need to find themselves in the healing waters of God's Presence, but no longer have enough strength to walk there alone?

My prayer today is to be the legs for those who have none. Maybe with an encouraging note or even a small smile, I can be a force of movement in someone else's motionless situation. Perhaps just by offering a humble prayer on my sister's behalf, I can be a lifter.

We can help to reposition our co-workers, church family and neighbors into a position of promise. Let us start each morning by asking God to open our eyes to "lifting opportunities." If we walk in this hope, it could be that one day someone will look to us with a heart full of gratitude and say, "Thank you for lifting."

Zoom In

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I have always wondered if it would be better to excel in one specific activity or to be mediocre at several. This is the conundrum of a creative soul that enjoys an array of pastimes. I love event planning. I am passionate about music. (Even have a degree in it!) I spend hours practicing hand-lettering and calligraphy. I enjoy fashion. I am decent at graphic design and social media management. But what do all of these innate talents amount to?

I've often been distracted by the possibilities. Should I start up my own local event planning company? Should I run a music studio? Should I create an Etsy shop and sell my hand-lettered artwork? Should I facilitate a fashion blog?

Just because you can, does not mean you should.

I feel I finally got my answer. To borrow from one of my favorite books, "The Best Yes," by Lysa TerKeurst, life is about reserving your time and energy to say YES to the best possible situations. I have come to the realization that HOBBIES are not always simultaneously CALLINGS. While I enjoy all of the diversions mentioned, I had to take a good look at myself and ask some hard questions. At the end of the day, what has God called me to? If I can uncover this truth, then the venture worth throwing myself into is revealed. Everything else is a fun distraction, but not meant to be my life's work.

Once I have this clarity, I can pursue. I can stay up all hours of the night and press towards that mark. I can pour my finances and resources into that field. I can zoom in.

When taking a photo, if you fail to focus your lens on the subject on hand, the entire picture is blurry. Suddenly your main object has lost its definition and potency. I have to give myself direction and learn to "focus in" on my passion... my calling. If I try to capture it all, surely it all will become a blur.

So during one of the busiest seasons of the year, I have a newfound commitment to focus. Yes, I am about to give birth to our first child in January. Yes there is a nursery to complete and presents to wrap for Christmas. Yes, there are parties to throw and a new year to consider. But my challenge to you and to myself, is to zoom in. Finish 2018 with a fresh mind. Consider 2019 now instead of later.

What is God calling you to? Maybe it is to start a new project or simply to refocus on an old, neglected one. Whatever it may be, let us both experience the power that comes from a focussed, zoomed-in mind. We can do it!