Friday, September 17, 2010

Beyond My Wildest Imaginings

God does some amazing things. I was flipping through the stats on my blog this morning, and I was completely awed by God. Besides being able to see how many people clicked on the blog, there's this nifty, little feature that lets me see from what countries people are clicking on the site. Most of the hits on this blog are from people in the United States, but yesterday there were also hits from Japan, Germany, Singapore, France and Algeria. On Wednesday, someone from Saudi Arabia clicked on the site.

As I write this, I am sitting here grinning because who am I that God would use me to reach people halfway around the world? I have no idea if these ideas work as well in Singapore or Saudi Arabia as they do in the United States, but I'm in shock that God used me to reach out and touch someone in a faraway country with His word. Ephesians 3:20 says that God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine," and in the case of this ministry that is so true.

Today, I want to share with you a little bit of the journey that has brought me to this spot in my life. I spent some time this summer reflecting on how I ended up here, writing this blog and sharing the message that you can teach your kids about God's truths simply as you go about your lives. As I looked back on the experiences in my life I discovered that God has spent the past 20 years getting me ready to do this. As you read my story, take a moment to look at your own life, examine your experiences and see how God has prepared you to fulfill His special purpose for your life.

I've always loved to write, from the time I could pick up a pencil I've been writing stories. When I was in high school, I discovered journalism and decided that that was what I wanted to do with my life. I went to journalism school at the University of Missouri and spent five years working as a copy editor at a trade newspaper. When we had kids, I stayed home with them but continued to do some freelance work as an editor.

After my first daughter was born, I started teaching ladies' Bible studies. At first, I simply taught the video study or the used the leaders' notes to lead the discussion. After a few years, I decided I didn't always like the video or the notes, so I started creating my own. From there, I felt God calling me to write my own studies.

I've also been teaching in the children's departments of various churches since I was in high school. I love to teach Vacation Bible School, but the curriculum is often written for churches much smaller than ours. For years, I've been taking the VBS curriculum apart and creating new activities to fit our large groups. I had no idea that God was preparing me to share that skill with you.

All of these activities -- writing, leading Bible studies and teaching children -- are things that were good all by themselves. But in the last year, God has shown me that all of those things were a stepping-stone to this ministry. He put all those things in my path and asked me to do them, so that I could end up here, writing a blog that somebody in Japan would read.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what my life would look like today, I would not have been able to come close to picturing my current life. If you had said I would be ministering to parents, I would have thought you were a lunatic, but God had an amazing plan. He spent years preparing me to be able to fulfill my part in His plan, and I am in awe of His perfect timing.

I tell you all of this not to simply tell my story but to encourage you and your kids. God can use every one of your experiences to help you bring Him glory by filling your place in His plan. I'll be honest, there were some painful experiences along the way, but if I hadn't sat in the NICU with my newborn for a week, I would never have come face to face with the fact that every child is a miracle. Out of that thought came the idea that if I've been given a miracle, what am I going to do with it? Looking back, I know that the moment I asked myself that question 7 1/2 years ago was the beginning of Everyday Truth. It took 7 years for this ministry to take form, but it started with that question borne out of one of the most painful experiences of my life.

If you're not sure how you are supposed to be serving God right now or your child is confused about what his role is, remember that God may just be molding you to do something beyond your wildest imagination. Because God's imagination has no limits. Your job is to continue doing what God has called you to do -- whether that's changing 20 diapers a day or teaching 10 three-year-olds on Sunday morning. You never know how God will use those skills you have learned to change a life for Him.

1 comment:

  1. Konnichiwa!
    Yes you have made a huge impact on those who read your words everyday. I am a mother of 4 living in Japan for my husband's job. I am sure I am not the only one viewing your site but I do visit it daily. I have shared it with many of my friends here and they have then shared it with theirs. Being a Christian in a country that does not quite know God or his Word makes it very challenging to find other Christians. But in another since it has challenged me to show others Gods love and promises. We have lived here 3 yrs and I hated it the first 2. I felt like I was missing out on things back in my home country. It was not until last January that I gave into God and let him show me the reasons and blessings here in Japan. I love it here now and hope to stay longer than planned. As for my children, they have been challenged and tempted to keep the faith and walk with God everyday. But I feel they have weathered the storm and now stand strong with the shield God has given them to reach out to kids their ages and show how cool God is.
    Thank you for your words of encouragement and reminder of things
    that may seem small at times but make a huge impact on the teachings to our kids.