In just a few days, a good friend of mine and her family will be moving away. She has a little boy that is 2 1/2 years old and he and Caleb get along so well. We have been blessed to have some very fun times with this family and I would say have become better friends since having children. In fact, my friend and I were talking about how people change a lot when they have children.
Lately I have been reading a short book called "Loving the Little Years, Motherhood in the Trenches," which I would highly recommend. In Chapter 6 it reads,
"Think about yourself and about the things you do. Look at it like fruit. Are you holding yourself back on things, afraid that the end result will not be worthy of your labor? Are you afraid to fail? Is there some domestic activity that you would love to know how to do, but don't want to try in case it doesn't turn out? Are you afraid to try new recipes? Are you afraid to put energy or money into something that might turn into nothing?"
It continues ..."I think that in some ways we have let our cultural admiration for efficiency get into places that it doesn't belong. Speaking for myself, sometimes I am working away on something and just cannot shake the question, 'Why am I doing this?' Is this a ridiculous use of my time? Should I be doing something that matters, rather than (say) knitting a costumed mouse? But it is very freeing to laugh at yourself -- laugh when you know that apple you were working on may very well fall to the ground, and who cares?"
The start of the final paragraph of the chapter reads, "Some of those apples will fall to the ground and rot. But God uses rotten apples -- to fertilize the ground, to start more apple trees after little animals plant them, and just to make the air smell sticky sweet. You cannot know the depth of His plan for your fruit."
This whole chapter has really challenged me personally. We so easily try to control our day to day situations and outcomes without even knowing it. All of our time, resources and giftings belong to God and yet we try to figure out how they should be used, when they should be used and want to make sure they get used. I can think of many things that I have been afraid to try or do because either I know that I might not be so great at it (pride) or as it states above in the book, is it practical? What if it will amount to nothing?
I feel as if God is constantly reminding me that our life is to love Him and love people. All the rest of the details are really up to him. We are called to give generously and not wonder how what we have given will be used. That is again left up to God.
The desire that Matt and I have is to live each day with a hope and trust in God that frees us up to be used by him. When you don't hold onto fears, wants and expectations it is amazing how freeing your outlook can be.