On the past 3 months of crazy.
July 17, 2013
“Hey I saw you were speaking different places now…what is that about? Apparently I don’t even know what you do for a living.”
Funny you should ask. I don’t either.
For the past year or so, I’ve really been struggling with finding purpose. Being a mom (and a stay-at-home one, at that) is harder than I imagined in ways I didn’t anticipate. You go from people doting on your big ole baby belly, then on your newborn, then on your infant…aaaand then at some point that kinda wears off. Pretty soon you’re alone at Chick-fil-a with a screamy toddler who just spiked his water cup on the floor in protest, causing an embarrassing tsunami of ice and water.
I wouldn’t trade Beckett or my ability to stay home with him right now for anything, but it can be hard in the trenches of momhood (and toddlerhood). It’s not always the glamorous lifestyle I came to expect from Pinterest. (Turns out you actually have to make and clean up those cute, themed sensory boxes. Ain’t nobody got time for that.)
So, over the past several months, I’ve been praying for God to show me specifically how he can use me in my current stage of life. Yes, I’m responsible for a tiny human, and yes, it really is “the most important job on earth”. But still. I just felt weird about play dates and zoo trips and music classes being all we did with our time (even though they are important…and really fun). I felt a stirring to do more and to be more intentional with our time, instead of waiting until it fit into our schedule better (which is never). Volunteer somewhere with Beckett, maybe? Start a neighborhood ministry of sorts?
Enter: the blog. This here blog has been my outlet for the past several years – mostly stupid stories about every day life with the occasional serious thought. I never plan to do anything with it other than document my life for my own purposes. If I can make someone else smile and/or feel better about themselves in the process, that’s fantastic. And, the best thing about the blog is that I can maintain it all during those 2 glorious hours in the middle of the day: nap time.
Back in April I had a hankering for a serious thought post about social media. I really couldn’t shake the topic (more like God wouldn’t let me forget it), so I finally wrote a post about it. And, well, it sort of took off like wildfire. The first 10,000 readers were absolutely hilarious to me, the next 50,000 made me sweaty, the next 100,000 made me hurl into the toilet…and on and on. Obviously it was a hot topic for a lot of people.
The thing is – I know I can be the class clown and I’m confident in that. You need a stupid story to break the ice? Pick me. You need someone to befriend everyone in the room within 15 seconds? I’m your girl.
But someone who can teach on serious matters? Someone who can infiltrate thousands and thousands of homes with one blog post about Instagram? That’s a different story. You got the wrong person cause it sure as hack isn’t me.
Except that’s exactly what happened.
Suddenly I started getting emails from parents asking advice on how to handle their teens. I started getting calls from people asking to fly me in to speak at their events. I started … panicking.
Me? Seriously? Have you read the other posts on this blog? 87% of them contain the word “poop” and 65% of them contain an embarrassing story from yours truly.
…and then I remembered my prayer.
That’s the thing about God. You’ve really got to put asterisks on your requests or else he blows them way out of proportion. By “show me specifically where you can use me” I really meant “show me which homeless ministry Beckett and I can volunteer at for 1 hour per month”. He either didn’t receive that preference or ignored it.
Instead, he took it in a whoooole different direction which, oddly enough, gives me a strange kind of peace. Because what he has done in my life the past 3 months is so ridiculous, it can only be from him. (And, truly, it probably had to be outlandish to get my attention…I can be slow to catch on to these things.) I’d much prefer he be in charge of my life than me, anyway though. I, left to my own devices, am a train wreck waiting to happen. (Isn’t that true for all of us?!)
Separate and aside from getting to be Beckett (and #2’s) mom, here’s what I know to be true:
1. I love social media. I’ve always loved it. Like peanut butter loves jelly. Like an accountant loves Excel. Like Beckett loves skipping naps. I love using it, I love reading about it, I love the psychology of it and the marketing uses for it.
2. I love teens. I not so much of a kid person (my own excluded), but I love pre-teens and teens. As soon as they’re old enough to joke around with me, we’re golden.
3. I love parents. I love being friends with older adults and gaining wisdom from parents farther along in the parenting journey. For instance, I learn a lot about colonoscopies in my current multigenerational small group and that’s just fantastic. I’m storing all that information away for 30 years from now.
4. I love communication. I don’t know if this can be measured somehow, but I’m positive I was given extra words at birth. I just seem to have way more than the average human, and I’m ok with that. I’ve embraced my tendency to over-communicate.
Here’s what I also know to be true:
Over the past few months, God has shown me over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again the GIANT need for a bridge between parents and teens regarding social media. Parents don’t get it, teens don’t know any differently…and I happen to fit in perfectly right between those two camps. So for some crazy reason, he is calling me to help in some way – mostly in the form of speaking to groups of parents and teens.
Am I a qualified public speaker? Nope. Do I have parenting wisdom to bestow to older, more experienced parents? Click on pretty much any other post to find your answer. (hint: no)
Yet here we are.
I feel like Moses when he says about 15 times, “Are you sure? I can’t because _____.” and very patiently God says, “Yes. (For the millionth time, yes.) How many more times do I need to encourage and affirm you before you understand that I’m calling you?”
I’ve gotten the message loud and clear (mostly because it was painfully obvious and often times spoken or confirmed verbally through other people). I have no idea where this will lead, but I’m confident God does. I also know that I am nothing without him. So, if he thinks he can work with that, I’m game.
You know what? I’m also really excited about these opportunities because I am seriously passionate about this topic. Coincidence he is calling me to use some of the extra words he gave me talk about it? I think not.
There’s no way I would have or could have or should have planned any of this on my own…but isn’t that when he can work through us best? When we say, “Uhhh I’m terrified, I’m horribly unqualified, I’m hanging on for dear life, and I couldn’t do any of this without you.” That’s when he says, “FINALLY YOU GET IT. It’s never a story about you, it’s always a story about me. Funny how you forget that (every day). Now, let’s get to work young padawan.”
Up next: a teen girl’s conference in Louisiana and a PTA meeting in Mississippi. Wish them luck.