The Next Best Thing

Today on my Facebook page I wrote this post…

 Prayer Request!

I would really appreciate it if you all could just take a few minutes to pray for my hubby. Last night while he was watching the news he saw a young lady that he was certain was a girl we had cared for about 12 years ago at our ministry. She was on the news because she lives in a very dangerous part of town and the government apparently is making all the people leave today because they did not have the proper permits to be there. She is a single mother with 3 young children and nowhere to go. 
He is currently on his way to this very dangerous part of the city to see if he can find her. If he is able to do so, we will then see in what ways we can help her find a new place to live and hopefully work. Can you please join me in praying for the following things?

1. Safety. He doesn't know this area very well and it is very dangerous. Please pray for God to protect him and give him wisdom on where to go.

2. That he can find this young lady. She is someone he and I both connected with many years ago, and we would really love to be able to help her. Please pray he can locate her without a real direction and only going off of what was on the news last night.

3. For wisdom for us to know the best way to help. We have some ideas running through our head but without knowing the full situation it is hard to make any concrete plans.
Thank you so much for praying friends!

Within in minutes of posting it, I had so many people “liking” it or writing below that they were praying.  It was really incredible and humbling at the same time.  For all the times that I have been annoyed with Facebook or with people on it, that moment kind of made up for all of it.  I was just so touched that so many of you said “Yes!  We will pray for you!”

Thank you!  What an amazing community God has given me.

However, something else happened that has since left me a little perplexed.  Some folks wrote about how much they admired Hubby and me and that they were really touched by our desire to help this young lady.

Of course I was so moved by those words, and I thank each and every one of you that wrote them for taking the time to tell me.  But, I guess what I want to just remind all of you is that Hubby and I aren’t any holier, better, nicer, kinder, or greater than anyone else.  We truly aren’t. 

We fight.  We get mad. We lose our patience.  We are selfish and prideful.  We choose ourselves way too often.  We get caught up in things of this world and lose sight of what is truly in important.  We are imperfect humans. 

We are just caught up by God’s incredible grace.  We have seen Him pick us up in our darkest hour and administer love and care in a way that only He can. 

He has saved us.  He has rescued us.  And he has set us free time and time again. 
So we look around at all we have, all we have been given, and all we have been rescued from, and we choose to say, “Let’s keep giving back and pouring ourselves out.”  We are unworthy and undeserving, but we know a God who loves us deeply and passionately, so that makes us qualified.

Shortly after I wrote that post asking for prayer, I saw a video on Facebook showing a nursing home that opened up a daycare on its premises.  It was so beautiful watching the little older ladies zip up jackets for the kids and some of the older gentlemen playing games.  Everyone looked so happy!

Yesterday I read a post about a lady who keeps extra purses and backpacks in her car filled with toiletry items and snacks, and when she sees a homeless person, she passes them out.

Last week I read about a family that owns a small restaurant in Greece, and every afternoon the owner takes sandwiches and drinks to one of the local beaches that continues to see a daily influx of refugees. 

All over this world, people are using their gifts, their talents, and their resources to just DO THE NEXT BEST THING.  That’s it.  They aren’t trying to save the world. They aren’t ending world hunger or rescuing every single person that is in trouble or in pain. 

They are just choosing every single day to do the next best thing. 

And that really is just what Hubby and I are trying to do too.  We are so imperfect and so inadequate, but we just keep pressing on.  We have hard days.  We don’t always like our lot.  We don’t always FEEL like doing anything.  I am certain there are days we don’t even like each other all that much.  But we just keep choosing to do what we can, where we can, with what we have. 

We just do that next best thing.

I don’t know what your life looks like.  I don’t know your story or circumstances.  Maybe today you are having trouble just getting out of bed.  THAT IS OKAY! No one is really looking for perfection.  Maybe today your next best thing is something so entirely small that it doesn’t even feel worth mentioning.

But please just DO IT ANYWAY!

Maybe for another one of you, your next best thing is cooking dinner for the family down the road that is going through a hard time and is having trouble making ends meet. 

Maybe you are a stay at home, homeschooling mama, and you could start taking your kids up to the local nursing home once a week and just have your kids learn how to love some of these forgotten folks. 

I don’t know what your next best thing is.  But, I can tell you don’t have to be some sort of saint or superhero to do it.  You don’t have to be rich or famous.  You just have to be you and do what YOU can do.

The next best thing…

Whatever that is, just do it.  Take a step.  It might be scary.  It may be so outside of your comfort zone.  But I can tell you it will make a difference.

I recently heard this Garth Brooks’ song again after not having heard it for many years. However after listening to it once, I had to put it on repeat like 3 times in a row because it touched me so much.  It may seem silly, but I think if you really read the words, it speaks so much truth. 

Read the lyrics and just let them sink in.  Then think about what your next best thing is going to be…

“Standing Outside the Fire”
Garth Brooks

We call them cool
Those hearts that have no scars to show
The ones that never do let go
And risk the tables being turned

We call them fools
Who have to dance within the flame
Who chance the sorrow and the shame
That always comes with getting burned

But you've got to be tough when consumed by desire
'Cause it's not enough just to stand outside the fire

We call them strong
Those who can face this world alone
Who seem to get by on their own
Those who will never take the fall

We call them weak
Who are unable to resist
The slightest chance love might exist
And for that forsake it all

They're so hell-bent on giving, walking a wire
Convinced it's not living if you stand outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

There's this love that is burning
Deep in my soul
Constantly yearning to get out of control
Wanting to fly higher and higher
I can't abide
Standing outside the fire

Standing outside the fire
Standing outside the fire
Life is not tried, it is merely survived
If you're standing outside the fire

Despite all the ugly and pain we see on a daily basis, there is still much beauty to be had and experienced.  If we start taking our small little portion and pouring it out as a love offering for others, I believe we will experience a depth of beauty and loveliness that is more than our minds can even imagine. 

I don’t know about you but I want to be a part of that.  I know there will be a cost and I know there will be sacrifice, but I believe with all my heart that is and will be worth it.

[Update on the young lady:  We have located her and her other siblings.  They are okay, praise the Lord, but we are still sorting through some details.  Thank you for praying and please continue to do so.  This family and so many families like this one need your prayers and our help!]  


My Lorelai and Sookie Complex

Recently I overheard my kids talking about their best friends.  My son has had the same one pretty much his whole life, but my daughter on the other hand, tends to give a different name each time she is asked. She is an introvert to the core so really I think that she would be perfectly content if her whole world was just her small little family and her dolls, but the pressure of needing to come up with a “best friend” causes her to share a name anyway.

It’s funny, though, how the word “best friend” still evokes strong emotion inside of me.  I can remember being a young girl and finding out that the girl I thought was my “best friend” had been calling someone else her best friend instead…or even worse she exchanged one of those best friend necklaces with her and not with me!  Oh the heartbreak!

I wanted so desperately to be someone’s best…someone’s favorite. 

It sounds so silly now, but I can remember the pain my little heart felt over this desire.  Even throughout my teen years and early adulthood, I still struggled with that desire to be someone’s best…someone’s favorite.

Why do we do that? 

I have mentored enough girls in life now to know that I am not the only one who has struggled with this deep desire.  I can’t speak for guys, so I don’t know if they battle this, but I can say with certainty that many young ladies and even women struggle with this constantly.

And while I certainly have matured since my days as a young college girl, I think deep down I still battle with that desire to be someone’s favorite. I put so much pressure on friendships or even family relationships to be exactly what I think they should be.  It may not look like some external pressure, but deep in my heart, I am begging this person to fulfill my expectation of who I want them to be in my life.

It sounds terrible, but I am pretty certain that many of you right now are doing the exact same thing in your relationships.  You aren’t as obvious as the 10 year old crying because her friend gave a best friend necklace to someone else, but deep down you are bandaging wound after wound because your friend, your spouse, your mom, your kids, your sister, your boss, etc. didn’t do what you expected them to do…didn’t love you the way you wanted them to love you.

I am here to tell you that it needs to stop now. 

I recently heard someone say that expectations are nothing more than premeditated resentments.

Expectations are nothing more than premeditated resentments.

Hits hard, doesn’t it?

Time and time again we are asking people, EXPECTING people, to be more than they can or should be for us.  We are begging them to make us feel desired, wanted, fulfilled, happy, content, and a million other emotions. 

It’s not fair guys.

We are nursing wounds that were never meant to be ours.

Friends are drifting a part.  Marriages are breaking up.  Work relationships are strained.  Parents and their adult children are spending less and less time together.  All over the board, we can see relationships falling apart, and we are scratching our heads wondering what went wrong again.

But what I want to literally scream at the world is that we are to blame!

Time and time again we are secretly begging the other person, “Pick me first!  Let me be the favorite! Love me the most!  Tell me I am the best!”

And then they don’t pick us first or we aren’t the favorite, and we decide that must mean we aren’t enough.

Relationships are hard.  They are always going to be hard, but they also can be infinitely good if we decide to stop putting so much pressure on them. 

Stop expecting people to be more than you are willing to be for yourself.

You want a friend to make more effort?  Why don’t you start making more effort not just in that friendship but also with yourself? 

You wish your spouse were more attentive?  Why don’t you start going out of your way to do things he/she will like?  And then while you are at it, start making space and time for yourself…read that book that’s been sitting on the shelf, go for a walk, bake some cookies…do whatever it is that fills your heart with gladness instead of waiting for your spouse to do it.

I am just so tired, guys. I am tired of us whining and griping about wounds that we are bringing on ourselves.  It sounds harsh but its true.

I am looking around at the world, and I am seeing thousands of serious hurts and pains.  People are dying.  Young girls are being raped and trafficked.  Children are going without food.  Families are falling apart. Young adults are taking their lives.

And we are crying because the people in our life aren’t filling all of our emotional needs.

It’s absurd really. 

But, I am the number one offender. 

So today I am writing from a place of saying, enough is enough. 

I am choosing TODAY to stop asking people to be more than they are capable of being for me.  I am going to stop putting ridiculous expectations on the relationships in my life.

I am going to stop making it all about me.

Relationships are hard, and I am by no means suggesting that we shouldn’t put the work into them that needs to be done to keep them healthy.  Go to counseling if you need to.  Save your relationships.  This is not some call to throw them all out the window. Some of the most beautiful moments in my life have come through the relationships that I have with my people, with my tribe.

We were made with a deep longing for community and fellowship.  I personally think community is one of God’s greatest gifts.

I am just saying that we need to come to a place that we are not longer going to find our worth, our happiness, or our passion in another person.

We will always, always be disappointed if that is the case. God never meant for me to find my worth in someone else.  In fact, His Word is pretty clear that I am worthy because HE says I am.  He made me enough.

But as long as I keep begging others to do this for me, I will be left unsatisfied and broken hearted.  There are going to be seasons that I desperately will need people to come around me.  We all have those times in life and that is good and completely okay.

I just also want to be able to come alongside others. I don’t want to be so busy licking my own self-inflicted wounds that I am completely oblivious to those around me.

I don’t have to be someone’s best for her to be mine.  And I certainly don’t have to wait for someone to pick me first in order to get in the game.  I am in the moment I decide to start playing. 


Total Pageviews

Some bits and bobbits about this blog...

This blog is mostly just ramblings by yours truly. I talk about my ups and downs being a wife, mother, and missionary in Guatemala. I have a tendency to get off on "soapboxes" as those who love me say but it is my desire that this blog can be a place of encouragement in each of your pilgrimages with Christ. At any moment if this blog becomes more about me than about Christ, than it will be done and please help me stay accountable. To God be all the Glory, Honor, and Power!

Books I am currently reading...

  • Eight Twenty Eight
  • Interrupted
  • The Connected Child
  • This Momentary Marriage
  • Unbroken

  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP