I live and worship on the fringes of a fishing economy. On the drive to church, I observe nets festooned and floating on the water, and my husband and I ask each other, “What’s running right now?” or “Is it time for alewives already?”
I’ve noticed that I need a translator for sorting out conversations between my two welder sons. My music major has reached a point in his studies where he’s far beyond my comprehension level. Too, whenever I direct an innocent question about work to the son who works as a cardiac cath tech, I’m fascinated with the answer–but completely snowed by the terminology!
At times, I’m alarmed to catch myself thinking, “I don’t really need to understand this…”
And it’s true. I don’t NEED to understand commercial fishing practices, pharmaceutical grade welding, diminished chords, or the ins and outs of invasive cardiac procedures.
This week I will celebrate my 60th birthday, and I’m well aware that there are entire mountain ranges of information I will never scale. However, I can’t afford to live my days on the fringes, and I’m not interested in standing there. That’s why my birthday gift to you is a challenge intended to pull us away from the fringes! (Read on…)
There’s something about this new eligibility for senior citizen discounts that makes me want to stop and assess the way I use my time and abilities. I have sixteen-hour-a-day energy even with Parkinson’s Disease vying for my time and attention–but sixteen hours doesn’t seem sufficient to do all the things I envision, the things I pin to the pages of my planner in scribbled lists with smudged pencil lead.
And then I remember this quote from Elisabeth Elliot:
There is always time to do the will of God.”
And the Spirit whispers this prayer:
My times are in Your hand.”Psalm 31:15
There’s something about this new eligibility for senior citizen discounts that makes me want to assess the way I use my time and abilities. I can’t afford to live my days on the fringes, and I’m not interested in standing there.Tweet
It’s Time to Choose Wisely
The word immerse keeps coming to mind, a dive-deep mentality that allows for comprehension BEFORE application. Going deep may require a narrower scope and a more focused approach to work, ministry, and relationships. An immersion mindset is all-in, leaving NO room for a life on the fringes.
I’m wondering if some of my recent decisions to be more immersive and less on the fringes have been driven unconsciously by this landmark birthday:
- I resigned from a leadership role I’ve held at my church for over twenty years. The young couple who has taken it on is doing a fabulous job– and it feels good to narrow my scope to Sunday school oversight and women’s ministry.
- I’ve decided to use a curriculum guide for my women’s Sunday school class instead of forging into Exodus with nothing but a stack of commentaries and a vague idea of how much we might cover in an hour.
- I’m sticking with part-time substitute teaching because grandchildren grow up so fast.
- We’re giving up our lawn mowing business at the end of this season.
- I started posting here just once a week in order to make time for building a community around my monthly newsletter. I’m still reviewing a book almost every week, though, and I’d welcome your input on how this is working for you as a reader.
It’s Time to Do Good
My family is mildly amused by my mid-life spurt of writing. They are happy for me when I get invited to speak at a retreat or a conference. Sometimes they read my articles, but the creative effort they really appreciate is a batch of whoopie pies and a huge bowl of Mediterranean pasta salad at a family picnic. More than my words, preserved on this website, they value the dilly beans, preserved on shelves in our furnace room.
Loving our people well requires a solid understanding of their definition of love. It’s becoming more important to me all the time to ensure that I am living my days to the fullest and doing as much good as I can for the people I love.
She does… good, and not harm, all the days of her life.”Proverbs 31:12
I know how my family defines “good”, but how does God define “goodness?” Rounding the corner toward my 60th birthday, I want to be sure that I’m paying attention!
In the Proverbs 31 classic laundry list of desirable traits for a wife and mother, doing “good” seems to pale alongside seeking wool and flax and buying a field, but it has grabbed my attention, because it requires that I know my people. What “good” can I do that will spell L-O-V-E for them? There are certainly worse questions to shape a life than “How can I do good today for those I love?”
It’s Time to Immerse
In a world where my dishwasher and stove know more than I do, where the music we listen to in the car is stored in the Invisible-Somewhere, and where having an online presence has become so complicated I can’t begin to make time to learn about all the things I’m not doing, I have to be selective about the things I can know deeply–and then go deep on those very few things.
Don’t be looking for a big splash, but I’m not interested in standing on the fringes, skimming the surface, and doing lots of things–but none of them very well.
How about you? Have you asked God to show you where you need to go deep?
No matter what birthday you’ll celebrate next, you’ve really got no time for a life on the fringes–so scroll down to the free resource I’ve created to help you begin moving toward the center of a living and powerful walk with God!
Holding you in the Light,
Have you asked God to show you where you need to go deep? No matter what birthday you’ll celebrate next, you’ve really got no time for a life on the fringes.Tweet
My Birthday Gift to YOU!
A Seven Day Challenge of Scripture and Prayer to Pull You Away from the Fringes
As my birthday gift to you, I’ve created a seven-day challenge intended to draw us away from the fringes. The challenge incorporates daily Scripture and prayer to help you begin moving toward the center of a living and powerful walk with God.
Last winter, I memorized John 15:1-8 and was struck and instructed all over again by the truth of God’s intense longing to be in relationship with me. He wants us! No question about it, but so often we behave as if we don’t want him.
Each day’s brief reading from John 15 is an invitation to abide with Christ, to pull away from the fringes and toward his heart. I’m committed to the truth that women can become confident followers of God and students of his word, and it’s my goal to provide resources to help you along that path. Subscribers receive them automatically, and you can receive your copy by simply entering your email and then clicking on the button below…
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