Thursday, October 20
When God Answers Prayers
My MOPS (my mom's group) friend and co-newsletter creator (for our mom's group) knows a thing or two about design and took some time out of her very, very busy schedule (and despite being tired and pregnant with baby #2) to create this very cute blog banner for me.
So, Amy M., thank you, thank you.
If you caught my blog last night you would have seen the crazy orange background and new header font that colored these pages for all of 16 hours or so...I was wanting something new, but did not, technically speaking, (there is all sorts of html and crazy computer code stuff that I do NOT understand) know how to get from point A to even point B.
Enter Amy, my sweet creative friend...she's helped me get to point "B"!
That said, there are a lot of things on my mind for the direction I'd like to take my blog...points C, D, E and F....all good things, creative things, fun things. I will be sure to let you know as soon as I focus my thoughts and ideas...
So, this cute new header is a move in that direction...hoping to work with a blog designer soon to streamline some other things as well.
That said, God was very cool today and answered a prayer that I have been praying for six months now...Here's the story-- writing, communicating and teaching have been my passions and background for years now. I was a Secondary English Education major, then entered a Journalism M.A. program, then jobs in publishing, education and fund raising and writing for a Christian high school in M.A.
...then we have our kids. I say "we" because I know other mom's can empathize with this split in the road...
And all of those many dollars and hours spent on degrees and learning how to teach and write seem a little...well, not so useful for a while...
...then the stay at home momma with the degree starts to get a little antsy creatively and professionally speaking and wants to figure out how to balance a life home with kids and life of creative pursuits...
Except said momma feels a little non-relevant, non-edgy and non-qualified to do anything but change diapers and make mac n' cheese.
Is this the reality? No, not totally...but it is hard to find your way again...what does life look like taking care of kids and pursuing your creative and professional passions at the same time? I'm in the process of trying to answer that question.
3 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Don't you love that passage? I LOVE that passage...I may not know what motherhood and creative pursuits look like in a balanced way, but God does...
So lately I've been giving these ideas and thoughts over to him...these questions on my mind...really giving them over. Praying about them. Asking others to pray for me (something I neglect to do and which is a very cool and important part of faith for us and others that we often feel funny about and forget to do) and asking for wisdom and direction.
In the midst of all of this I heard about this really cool blog conference that I wanted to attend in Harrisburg, PA. It's called the Relevant Blog Conference...It just started a few years ago, but has grown rapidly and is boasting an incredible group of speakers and writers...and attendees with blogs WAY beyond my little corner of cyber space here...these folks/mommas/writers have like 2,000+ followers...I was tired of seeing my "20" google friends on the side of my page so I removed the "blog follow" gadget.
I felt like it would be a great conference to help guide me in the right direction, encourage me, focus my writing and hopefully inspire thoughts for my future blogging and writing.
I was so excited back in May when I found out about it...I didn't even hesitate to hit the "register" button...and then, guess what?
It was sold out!
With a waiting list of a 100+ people or something crazy like that...
So, I prayed.
Despite the conference being sold out, God put this expectant hope in my heart that I would find a way there.
I sent emails. I asked friends. I prayed. I entered contests.
Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.
Still, up until a couple of weeks ago, the expectant hope persisted.
But then we got to this week and that glimmer of hope got a little drab. Today is Thursday, the conference starts a week from today. I wasn't discouraged, I just started thinking, "ok God, maybe next year. You have given me such peace about this that I have no choice but to trust."
Despite the conference not seeming to be working out, God had sent these other little memos of encouragement in the last couple of weeks...no major open doors, or offers to write a parenting column for the NYTimes ( I wasn't really looking for an offer from the Times, just sayin'!), but these little tid bits...
I'd think..."really, this blog thing...maybe I'm done...I'm not sure anyone is reading it anyway"
And then someone would approach me at church and say "thanks for that post you wrote..."
Or someone from another state would randomly post a comment saying they had been reaading...
Really? I love you!
And this week, out of the blue, my husband happened to have a business appointment in the same building as an editor I have written for but never met. He happened to see this guy, stopped in to say "hello" and came home with some really nice compliments from this editor...
How cool is that?
So, here is the kicker...
A friend of mine from our church and my mom's group saw a post I had written about looking for a ticket.
There are some other details surrounding the whole thing, but basically she sent me a FB message last night saying "I have some good news for you."
I called her this morning and she told me she had an extra ticket for me to go!!
She already has a hotel room that we might be able to share, we get to carpool and we both have some very similar passions regarding motherhood and creative ministry pursuits that we get to chat about for hours in the car!
No. Stinkin'. Way.
I cried on the phone when she told me.
And then I called my husband and my mother in law and told my entire mom's group.
I think they thought I was a little nutty...but I HAD to give God praise. He TOTALLY opened that door.
So, tonight...as I sit here in Panera, enthusiastically anticipating what God has in store next, I continue to wonder, to ponder, but to feel encouraged... God is showing me SO clearly that HE has my plans in HIS hands.
The more intimately I allow that to seep into my heart, the more peaceful I begin to feel...
I'm hoping more joyfully...
Trusting more deeply....
Breathing a little more easily as my anxiety begins to melt away...