"Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain." - Psalm 127:1
"We are ordinary people in the hands of an extraordinary God." - Jo Saxton, Lead Stories
Life update: I'm currently double knotting my laces in preparation for the upcoming weeks because they are on my heels. I've got a project I'm finishing tonight, two tests next week and more lesson plans to work on. In spite of the insanity, I'm enjoying this preparation process. Working ahead has put the stress below boiling and helped me to focus on the rewards they're leading to (ultimately, a loooong yoga session).
I was thinking about all of this work today and what keeps me going as I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts, Lead Stories with Jo Saxton and Steph Williams. They have these conversations to women about being all they are called to be and finding themselves as leaders emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically. I love them because they are hard-working women with large leadership roles who have given themselves entirely to be where they are today - and they have their eyes fixed upward. They are evidence of what God can do when you're pursuing His calling with passion for His glory. And I like their vulnerability: we can often forget that people who are living amazing lives are as fragile as we are. They are always telling stories about when they were unsure, insecure, and afraid but were led to rise up beyond those lies and live as they women they were called to be.
This is for women and men alike, for every person from every background: you are small, but God is strong. You can build a house and see it get knocked over time and time again, but God says "I have the tools for you" and completes it. "We are ordinary people in the hands of an extraordinary God," as Jo puts it.
It's funny how small our scale of hope is. We try to do it all ourselves - we may even find that sometimes it works - but it feels like there is something absent from our trying. This is not the best I could have done, we think. Do we ever stop to think that it's not the best God wanted for us either?
I was blessed to have seen July 4th fall on a Monday and have had three days to spend with my family. I could have had four, but I decided to get ahead on my school work that Friday, a day off from school for me. I worked the entire day, which tends to shed a few layers of sanity from a person. At around 2pm and halfway through my homework, I stopped. I needed a break and some good perspective to get through it, but I was also in the Zone (you know what I mean). I grabbed a Sharpie and thought: what will keep me steady? A million thoughts ran through my head; I have a lot to be thankful for and inspired by. I focused in on one as soon as I heard the chatter of my siblings downstairs, and wrote it on my hand.
Psalm 127:1 is ultimately a message about family but also about who we are choosing to be our watchman. As a family, we're called to be rooted in the one who sees ahead of us and knows more about us than we do ourselves. God is our heart; like a heart, He operates in ways we don't think about. A heart pumps blood through every limb, fueling every organ; we can't even physically feel all that it does. Life on our own is like trying to operate our heart on our own, like breathing on our own. It's too complex for us.
So we put our heart into His hands and say, "Use it; use me." He always does.
I realize now that the message on my hand was for more than one family, and nothing pushes me more.
Feeling the reward on a comfy couch.