March 9, 2013

To Go or Be

 "Too often, Christians are more concerned about going than being."
Jeannie McCullough

When she speaks, I stand in her shadow and listen as if my ears might just shut up, and I'll never hear another word.  I hang on the syllables of her speech because I know they are a knot at the end of God's Word, the lifeline that she wraps herself in.  My Aunt Jeannie teaches every time she opens her mouth. She teaches thousands around the country, but here I am, her flesh and blood, and privileged with a front row seat.  As long as I can remember she has woven wisdom into every conversation, and when she spoke these simple words two Sundays ago, I knew she described me, or at least the me I have been and am overcoming.

In my pursuit of excellence in Christ I have battled with this desire for that one big call, that "thing" that God has for me. I always thought I'd be a momma, and I never looked past that.  A black hole formed when the light of that hope was snuffed out.  If it wasn't motherhood he had for me, what was it? So I began the pursuit of what it was that must be bigger than motherhood.  I was ready to go to Africa, but was I ready to stay and be who he had called me to be right here in the drudgery of dirty dishes, bills, and routine.  I would go to work where young minds come to me each day seeking wisdom, but was I looking past them and their eternal soul? Maybe he wanted me to put pen to paper and write a bestseller that would change hearts, but was I content to write on this blog to lead one to the One? I was willing to be his hands and feet in the emptiness of a memory support unit where Alzheimer's eats away at my Dad's mind, but what about in the emptiness of my own unfulfilled dreams?  What was I willing to be in that undesirable place?

So I have to continue to ask, am I still seeking the glory of a grand calling, a second best thing to being a mother, when his grand design is for me to bring glory to his name wherever I am?  Is it enough for me to believe and be radically obedient behind closed doors where no one sees but Him? 

When everything familiar and hoped for is stripped away, will I be His in all things, and in all ways?  Will you?

There isn’t one great thing you were made to do. There is one great God you were made to glorify.
 ~ Emily Freeman ~

 Pursuing excellence is a regular post prompted by a quote I've heard or read, one that gripped me and aids me in my pursuit of excellence in Christ.  What about you?  What have you read or heard lately that changed you or made you think?

Sharing with:
Spiritual Sundays
Weekend Brew
Still Saturday


  1. I love your heart. "When everything familiar and hoped for is stripped away, will I be His in all things, and in all ways? " I am asking this question tonight my friend.

  2. Great picture and reminder.

  3. It seems I struggle every day with my spiritual side. Sigh. But you definitely have the gift of inspiring others with your words. That quote by Emily Freeman is really thought-provoking. Hope you have a blessed day.

  4. "...but what about in the emptiness of my own unfulfilled dreams? What was I willing to be in that undesirable place?"

    Stephani, this speaks to me deeply, straight into my heart. You are doing a great work in this blog, bringing glory to His name. I'm blessed every time I read your words.

    Much love,

    1. Oh Peg, what a kind thing to say. I am so glad that God has spoken to you here. Sometimes I get in his way, but I'm glad he was able to use this space for you.

  5. Beautiful words! Thank you for sharing this today.

    P.S. - I haven't ignored your question about how I my relationship with missionaries in New Guinea. My computer crashed and I lost all of my emails and addresses. I've had not way to get in touch with you again. If you will reply to my comment I will be able to respond and tell you 'my story'. I love coming here. It's like a breath of fresh air!

  6. Stephani, this is so well said. I feel often the same way...I WAS a teacher, I WAS a mother...I guess they will always be part of me, but life changes and I need to change too. That last quote couldn't say it better....I love it. I will try to glorify God where I am today.

  7. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. Let me say it again. BEE-YOO-TEEE-FUL! How I love your heart.


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