Summer vacation is nearly over; a new school year is only weeks away. I remember thinking in May that summer would give me so much more time to read my Bible, reflect, and write. The truth is, though, that I have squandered that time. It’s not that I’ve been unproductive; our list of completed household projects is quite substantial, and we’ve spent valuable time with our kids. However, I must confess that I have not spent nearly enough time with the Lord or on his “projects” for my life. No excuses – I’ve been a slacker, and I need to repent. Last weekend, I attended Women of Faith in Oklahoma City with my mom, aunts, grandma, and cousins. We had a wonderful time, and I am blessed to have such beautiful women in my life. The laughs and memories were refreshing, but the most rewarding part of the weekend was the rejuvenation of my soul. It felt so good to feel the Spirit move in me, reconnect with the Lord, and be motivated to write for Him again.
Last fall at the Women of Faith conference, one of the speakers asked everyone to shout out a word or phrase that could serve as a sort of motto for the upcoming year. I had just begun another year of teaching, and, though I felt God was using me at school, I still felt him calling me to obedience. The choice for my motto was yet another attempt to commit to following God’s will in all aspects of my life. I added, “He leads,” to the shouts coming from women throughout the arena. Throughout the rest of the year, “he leads” was my focus. Eventually, God led me to giving up the security of a full time job when I turned in my letter of resignation in the spring. My motto served me well throughout the year and is still important as I move forward, but I felt a new motto growing as I listened to the speakers this year.
Though I have quit my job in a leap of faith, I don’t think that is the end of my story. I lept, but I haven’t landed. Lately, I’ve been struggling with what’s next. I feel like I should have this detailed and outlined plan ready to go so that when people ask me what are you doing now, there is an answer. But the truth is, I haven’t had an answer. As I listened to the speakers at Women of Faith, a word begun floating in my head – available. We weren’t asked to join in shouting out our words or phrases for the year as we had the the year before, but I made a silent commitment to make the word “available” my new motto, my word for the year. The next time someone asks me, what are you doing now that you’re not teaching, I will respond with, “I am available for the Lord.” I want to be available to God so that he can use me however he sees fit. For several years, I’ve been hiding behind being too busy. I wasn’t available to God because I had too many papers to grade, lessons to plan, or clothes to wash. No more. I will not be able to discover what God has in store for me if I continue to hide behind excuses. I hear God asking, “Whom shall I send?” like in Isaiah 6. No longer will I respond with, “Find someone else, I’m too busy, or I’ll go later when I don’t have so much going on.” I want my answer to reflect Isaiah 6:8, “Here am I. Send me!” In other words, “I’m available Lord.” I want to be available so that God can use me to love and parent my children, be a loving and respectful spouse, and minister to those around me. I really have no idea exactly how God plans to use me, but I am committing to being a willing servant of the Lord, and I’m excited to see where he takes me. Each morning, my prayer will be, “I’m available, Lord. Send me!”