Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Just do it

Some thoughts from last Friday night...

It's a beautiful night. Not hot, low humidity, a gentle breeze. I am out on the porch with a cup of coffee. Alone. Two boys are in the playroom laughing, giggling, playing something electronic no doubt. One boy is outside on the driveway cleaning his bicycle. The other boy and his daddy are at soccer tryouts.

So it's just me enjoying the serenity of my porch on this beautiful evening.

I am wishing for a girlfriend to sit with me. We could laugh and chat about everything and nothing. Maybe she would ask me what the Lord is teaching me this week; maybe I would ask her the same. I might confess to her my overwhelming feeling of helplessness as a mom; she might encourage me with the truth of Scripture. We could share our struggles and our victories both as we pondered the glories of the gospel.

I wish for it, but the truth is I am not that kind of friend. I wish to be. I am ashamed at how little I speak of the Lord and His gospel with my friends, even my family. When I do, I fear I sound fake or forced or, worse, like a hypocritical know-it-all.

True, there is nothing wrong with dishing on kids or fashion (living with a houseful of men I love every opportunity to dish on kids and fashion) but I also long to share the deeper things, to wonder aloud over the mysteries of God's glorious grace in Jesus Christ, to boast in the Lord, to assert our hope in the promises of His Word

I don't know how. I don't know how. I admit that with more shame than I admit my failings as a friend. I can write it, sort of at any rate. It is far harder to say it. I know it is like anything else that is uncomfortable but necessary: you begin by beginning. Just do it.

As I look for opportunities to just do it, to speak of the Lord despite my discomfort, I also ask for such an overwhelming love for my Savior that I must speak. To be like the two disciples who testified, "We can't help but speak of the things we have seen and heard." To boast with Paul that the love of Christ compels me. For my theology, what I believe and know about my God, to affect my reality, my day-to-day real life, my friendships, my relationships, and yes, my conversation.

13 comments:

  1. You can't see it. You're too close to the situation. Step back and look at your recent posts. And then look at the comments.

    The "You asked, I'm answering" posts, your "Going and coming" post, and especially your "Everything She Had" and "Who is Sufficient?" posts. Even your status reports.

    Your DO have a gift of mentoring and it is grounded in authentic vulnerability and a clear understanding that your struggles work for good solely because of God's grace.

    In your "Spiritual Mothering" post you seemed to be frustrated because you couldn't identify what you had to offer.

    Your testimony. Of faith. And of grace. Sharing what didn't/doesn't work for you is just as helpful as sharing what did/does work for you.

    Sometimes the testimony is relayed without wrapping up any conclusions borne from an experience. Sometimes experience seems like a big pile o' chaos, and then God will organize it in the mind and heart of those with whom we have the courage to share the chaos. Sometimes we get to know about it. Sometimes we don't.

    From your posts, you know how to share the chaos in such a way that it keeps me coming back to see what you're going through today. There's a reason you love leading Bible study. My reason is "Listen to what God taught me! Isn't this COOL? God is amazing!"

    You go girl. Let's have virtual coffee. I'll sit on my porch too.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oh, how I know what you mean! That's one of the reasons I approached my pastor's wife about her mentoring me. One of the things I told her was that I don't know how to do it, just open my mouth and talk about the Lord. My mouth just stutters and fumbles. My fingers, however, are a different story. I can write cards and letters and blog posts and boast about the Lord all day long. Seeing that we have a problem opening our mouths to speak of the Lord is a start, I think. I've been challenging myself to talk more about Jesus, no matter how terrible I am at it. I think the more I do it, the easier it will get.

    ReplyDelete
  3. 1. As we've established before, wish I were on that porch with you.
    2. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who struggles with this. And you are not alone.
    3. This is a beautiful post.

    ReplyDelete
  4. As a mother of all boys, I know I would love having you for a neighbor. We'd have no problem talking about the things of the Lord because I love to do that, too! It flows naturally.

    I wonder if, with friends and family, specifically, our testimony is more powerful to them by the way we live, rather than what we say.

    And for others, not to counter what you have said, but, perhaps it may add a bit of encouragement to remind you of I Peter 3:15, "Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have..." I Peter 3:15

    If I were able to here, I would underline the words "to everyone who asks."

    May we live such lives that people ask.

    One more thing. As a mom to only boys, would you be willing to visit my blog today? It's one of my sons' birthday today and I'm missing him so much.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Boy, I can so relate to this. I love the Lord. I hope I live for Him. And yet, the words don't come naturally for me. It feels fake if I mention something about the Lord to my friends because I know how sinful I am. Does that make sense? And yet, like you, I long to make talking about God in my speech (not just my writing) an easygoing, natural thing.

    Thanks so much for your honesty here. I loved it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I have to tell ya, your honest sincerity really comes out in this post.

    Very true words my friend. One of the things I have learned in my nearly 20ish years of following Jesus is that our walk with him is a process.

    What I considered to be impossible (with time we all learn that nothing is impossible with God) 20 years ago I now am able to do freely.

    Your desire to verbally share your faith is wonderful, you will with time be able to share what is in your heart.

    One tip I can pass along that really helped me is to spend some time writing out your testimony. It really helped me to have a plan in place in my head of what I would say if the situation ever presented itself.

    Even now at approaching the big 50, I still from time to time struggle with knowing what to say, I don't think that really ever goes away, however, I think the older I get the less I care about looking foolish or worrying about what others think of me.

    God is always good and He will alway provide the right words for any situation.

    Blessings
    Robin

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lisa, your honesty and your love and desire to please God and share His son is so evident in this post. I think you share the Lord continuously on your blog here.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow. You've struck a nerve with me. I feel SO very much the same way that you expressed.

    I read John 7:13 today "Yet for fear of the Jews no one spoke openly about him [Jesus]," and wrote the following in my journal:

    What's my excuse? I don't have enemies who would kill me for talking about Jesus. So why don't I do it?

    So I relate to what you're saying. I want to use our ladies' class at my church this summer to work on being more verbal about how much I love the Lord.

    Thanks for your authenticity and vulnerability. It helps all of us who struggle with this. The Lord is working on our hearts through your post... He will be glorified.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, Lisa! Can I come visit?

    I can so relate to this post. I wish I could convey how much your words cause my heartstrings to vibrate in sympathetic resonance. I find it so much easier to write and blog about the Lord than I do to speak about Him with my friends. I so LONG for that kind of friendship. I so LONG to BE that kind of friend.

    One thing I have found, though, that has brought me so much grief through the years is that even with 'church' friends, when I try to go deeper in the kind of conversation and to talk about the things the Lord is teaching me, often those friends look at me like I'm a little nutty - even in Bible study groups sometimes. I have a hard time finding a friend who wants that deeper kind of conversation, even among Christian friends. That is one reason I started blogging, because I don't have many real life friends to share these things with. It is also one reason I start feeling like maybe I'm a hypocrite or that others think I am trying to be more spiritual than I really am. But I so LONG for that kind of friendship.

    And I long to be the kind of person who will talk about Jesus to anyone - to share His love and gospel with the lost in a way that is real and genuine, and like Leslie said, so often I find I'm stumbling over my words or, worse, too afraid to say anything.

    Thank you for sharing your heart in this post.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Realizing you "want to" is half the battle. Now, pray for the strength to just "do it." I think you underestimate your capacity for deep kinship with humanity.

    peace~elaine

    ReplyDelete
  11. A while ago, I sat down to breakfast with a friend and I was feeling very much what this post reflects. I took a deep breath and asked my friend what God had been teaching her lately. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I cringed. It sounded so "pious," so fake, so awkward. But my friend smiled and jumped right into sharing. She was glad I asked.

    You'd think I'd learn from that...and ask friends questions like that more often, to bring up the deeper things. But like you, I stumble, I hesitate, I worry about how it will sound.

    But Lisa, you talk of the deeper things all the time on your blog -- you are such an encouragement and inspiration to me, and to many others. I think sometimes the written word makes serious conversations feel less intimidating than spoken words do.

    You minister to many right here.

    ReplyDelete
  12. A while ago, I sat down to breakfast with a friend and I was feeling very much what this post reflects. I took a deep breath and asked my friend what God had been teaching her lately. Even as the words came out of my mouth, I cringed. It sounded so "pious," so fake, so awkward. But my friend smiled and jumped right into sharing. She was glad I asked.

    You'd think I'd learn from that...and ask friends questions like that more often, to bring up the deeper things. But like you, I stumble, I hesitate, I worry about how it will sound.

    But Lisa, you talk of the deeper things all the time on your blog -- you are such an encouragement and inspiration to me, and to many others. I think sometimes the written word makes serious conversations feel less intimidating than spoken words do.

    You minister to many right here.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh, Lisa! Can I come visit?

    I can so relate to this post. I wish I could convey how much your words cause my heartstrings to vibrate in sympathetic resonance. I find it so much easier to write and blog about the Lord than I do to speak about Him with my friends. I so LONG for that kind of friendship. I so LONG to BE that kind of friend.

    One thing I have found, though, that has brought me so much grief through the years is that even with 'church' friends, when I try to go deeper in the kind of conversation and to talk about the things the Lord is teaching me, often those friends look at me like I'm a little nutty - even in Bible study groups sometimes. I have a hard time finding a friend who wants that deeper kind of conversation, even among Christian friends. That is one reason I started blogging, because I don't have many real life friends to share these things with. It is also one reason I start feeling like maybe I'm a hypocrite or that others think I am trying to be more spiritual than I really am. But I so LONG for that kind of friendship.

    And I long to be the kind of person who will talk about Jesus to anyone - to share His love and gospel with the lost in a way that is real and genuine, and like Leslie said, so often I find I'm stumbling over my words or, worse, too afraid to say anything.

    Thank you for sharing your heart in this post.

    ReplyDelete