Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Love Languages and Road Trips

This is the second time in the past few weeks where Moody Radio completely messed up my planned train of thought.  I was leaving lunch with a colleague when I turned to the middle of a program that talked about No More Nice Girls, in a Christian context.  A week earlier it was the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Chapman that set my kids on a dialogue that my love language was the hardest (Acts of Service!), but I digress.  As the announcer and guest went on to discuss the ever winding road of relationships, the analogy of driving became a recurring theme.  I know I need to say no, I have been saying no, I'm in a no season I thought to myself.  Have you ever been in a NO season.  It can be slightly overrated.  I haven't found fulfillment, contentment or excessive amounts of rest, yet.

The radio voices continued "Who is in your passengers seat, who are the back seat drivers, are there people you need to put out the car, life is a journey.... " all references that are fairly common when you think about the various twists and turns of life as a woman of God.  I would continue my hiatus from writing if I hadn't witnessed a scary car crash this morning on my way downtown that made the images of this "life journey" more vivid.  Images from earlier today haunted me as I remembered the truck that hit the guard rail, heard the sounds of shattered glass throughout the traffic lanes, and the angst that filled my heart on what seemed like a commute that would never end.  It isn't just the journey, or the drive - timing is everything.   As Christian women, timing really is everything.

Last Saturday I gave a message about Mary of Bethany, after planning a presentation about Martha in my mind for years.  I always thought that Martha had never received credit for her hospitality and role amongst Jesus' friends, but the Bible study taught me more than I likely taught anyone else.  In 5 words Jesus validated Mary's live, "she did what she could."  After years of feeling, being and living a life in pursuit of Martha's standards...I'm recognizing just how difficult it is to be driving the car on this journey, and feel very alone.  I have a group of amazing women around me and many have distinguished themselves as "ride or die" chicks, a term that has grown to warm my heart.  As I think about Thelma and Louise, my early life was filled with a desire to have that BFF relationship that books, movies and stories highlight as a life legacy.  My later years are filled with a desire to "be that BFF" vs. to have that BFF relationship.  As the guest on the show described, everyone should have those Godly women then look up to, the ones that are rock solid in their faith, the ones that are the friends to have and aspire to be more like.  Today, that message encouraged my heart in this NO season.   I'm driving dear God, but I am not there.

In transparency, trying to become more like God has been difficult.  (In the midst of writing this post I received an email from the worst teacher we have ever experienced and my patience was again tested.  To know that she has a teaching license still saddens me.  Know Justice, No Peace.) Being more like God requires action.

The idea that I will become the woman that He would have me to be has proven a much greater task than I previously thought.  In the busy nature of life, I thought I had things in moderate order.  One persons order is another persons chaos.  Or as life would have it, what I used to believe was order has given way to a new perspective.  I want to be "that woman of God." That set a part, that Word filled, that above the chaos kind of woman - I guess, more like Mary.  Mary was clear about her purpose, she wasn't afraid to go against the grain, she had loving relationships but was not defined by them, and she was a risk taker.  The concept of a years' salary on a prized possession being used to bless Jesus' feet is pretty daring.  The succinct validation Jesus offered, "..she did what she could" silenced the greatest of critics during a difficult season.  Oh, to be defined in such a way as to have the person that matters most simply say, she did what she could.

The No More Christian Nice Girl, Jennifer Degler conversation series, was a reminder today to be an intentional woman.  The type of woman who has made a difference in your life, or the woman you wish you had at various seasons of your life.  In any case, there is someone out there that needs the Mary in you, today.  The focused, praying, attentive, listening, self-sacrificing Mary....the one you want on your journey and who knows your love languages well.    The one who isn't afraid to ride alongside you, get out the car when necessary, give directions from a remote location, or as in the season I find myself, the one who isn't afraid to let you drive solo for a bit, until you get your new bearings.  Love Languages and Road Trips, the things that make you want to write after a long rest stop. 

What encourages your heart or gives you joy along the journey, when you don't see the final destination?  Share your thoughts, there is more to come.

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