Monday, October 22, 2012

Drops of Living Water, where have you been?

This is the 2 year anniversary of the Drops of Living Water blog.

"As moms, we’re booked solid 24/7. The constant demands of motherhood tend to suck us dry and leave us feeling as prickly as cactus. Drops is designed to bring a little refreshment to your corner of the desert.

We provide a daily Drop for you to use as you wish: first thing in the morning, last thing at night or anywhere in between. Each drop and the accompanying Bible passage can be read in about 10 minutes.

The Drops are made up of original and borrowed writings directed specifically at helping busy moms discover abundant life through Jesus Christ.

'Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water,

welling into Eternal Life.' [Jesus]

John 4:14"

At first, I was posting 2-3 times per week. Andrea (my sister) was also contributing this much. It was a crazy schedule, but one we maintained for a year. Monday through Friday filled with encouraging words for moms striving to grow in their relationship with Christ. I wrote original devotionals for some, borrowed other people's writings (with permissions), excerpts from my favorite books for others. For the last year, I've written only once a week.

I would write, it took about an hour to get my thoughts down on the clicking type pad. The ideas came to me usually in the middle of the night and I wouldn't be able to sleep until I jotted down the thoughts. Or I would be in the midst of my busy day and a Scripture would come to me. Most often, the inspiration struck when I was having devotions and a truth would jump off the pages and I felt giddy with excitement as I explored what I learned... I couldn't wait to share what was on my heart. God guided what I should write about.

There were a few times that God was really not guiding what I wanted to write. I told myself that it was a necessary topic and good that I write about it. But more than likely, it was a grudge or a pet peeve that was bugging me and I found some nifty Scripture that went along with it. I would start to write and it felt like I was wading through quicksand. My words were stilted and bland, my point was elusive. Those are the posts that remain in "drafts" to this day.

Those topics weren't what was needed for me to share, for whatever reason.

When I felt clearly led to write, it was a different story. The words flowed from my fingers, I rarely had trouble with "what comes next" or ending a piece. 77 original posts that I can re-read now and tell myself, "I needed this reminder today!"

It might sound silly or even prideful to say that God guided my hand. I'm referring to the God of ALL Creation. Maker of Heaven and Earth. Yet it was as obvious as the nose on my face that He, as almighty as he is and as lowly I am, inspired and enabled me to write.

I never wanted my busyness or bad attitude to be the reason for me to stop writing. If God wanted me to write and I had a 4th baby who was nursing every 30 minutes day and night with thrush and colic and gas and an aversion to ME enjoying any delicious dairy, then he would supply the strength and the inspiration. And so often He did.

A few months ago, my busyness and bad attitude were taking control again and, like I have often done over the last two years, I prayed to God to let me be done with this commitment to Drops. "Please, I need a break!" This time I felt no guilt or compunction to continue. Instead, God gave me this verse:  "Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice" (Philippians 4:9).

I've been writing and as I did so, exploring so many areas where I need to change and grow. Often, I was convicted, "How can I write about this when I am still struggling?!" Summer's solo parenting, adding a challenging baby, and 3 energetic big kids took their toll on some of the areas of sin that I thought were safely kicked to the curb.

"Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice

(Philippians 4:9).

This was all happening at the same time I received an email from our other contributor, Ashley (from the Ugly Homemaker), that she would also be taking a break. For other reasons, like being pregnant with baby #4, starting a home business, and keeping up some big life changes.

When I shared with Andrea what I was feeling, we were left a bit flummoxed (confused!). We started this project under clear direction from God to write specifically to a target audience like us, busy, tired moms who wanted to grow as Christian women. Where did does this "break" leave the original calling?

As for me, I'm learning things in Scripture that I just keep to myself, thinking and praying about what I discover, without the desire or need to write it out and share it with others. God has a specific plan for this period in my life as I put into practice what I have learned or received or heard or seen in Scripture. When I feel the need to write, I know it will flow again with ease.

As for Drops, I wish I knew! God doesn't work on our time schedule. Andrea has taken some time to pray about this also and wants only what is best for this devotional project. We've been so encouraged by our regular readers (more than just our loyal mom). When I would feel discouraged, amazingly I would get a phone call, random text message, note from a friend, blog comment, or facebook message that said, "Thanks for writing that, it was just what I needed today." Andrea received these confirmations as well and so we knew we were doing the right thing.

Coincidence or God's perfect plan, I was writing this when I took a break to read a blog I follow (written by my cousin's wife and kindred tall girl): One direction at a time. It was such clear confirmation to how I feel about this particular stage in my life.

"But here’s the thing. I don’t need a five year plan; I only need one direction at a time. I know the hope to which he has called me, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18) so all the twist, turns, stoplights, detours, closed freeways, traffic, car accidents, and carpool lanes are just part of the drive; they don’t determine the destination." (Lesley Miller)


"Finally, sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble,

whatever is right, whatever is pure,

whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable

—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy

—think about such things.

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me,

or seen in me—put it into practice.

And the God of peace will be with you."

Philippians 4:8-9


Lesley said...

Alysun- I am so glad my words (which I really give credit to God for) resonated with you.

I have LOVED your posts here and know that God will use your words and wisdom in various ways in all the years to come. You are in a very busy season of your life raising four young kids. They won't be young for very long. Keep reading and learning from Him. I am sure you will be surprised at the new ways He will use you outside of this space.

Linds and Manda said...

Thank you for being faithful to the calling through the ups and downs of the last two years. I know it's not easy to juggle and balance everything well. On many more than one occasion your words...and those of Andrea or Ashley...hit me right between the eyes or where the "hug" of encouragement from Christ that I needed that day. I'm so proud of you that you seek the Lord for direction for this and so much more. I often find it easier at the outset to blindly say "yes" to something and then watch as I let it reek havoc in my life and my family. Thank you for your willingness to be used by God in so many ways. Love you.