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It's Simple

I have an incredible knack for complicating the very simple. Anyone who has known me for five seconds could confirm that. Beth Moore often says she is "blonder than she pays to be" and I cannot count the number of times that could have been said of me, too. I'm sure I have looked like an absolute fool in the simplest situations because of the way I analyze things. Taking something at face value is so hard for me to do. I'll never forget in my first year of teaching, as I was working toward a Master's Degree, doubting myself every time I tried to help students with third grade math. I would be smiling on the outside, speaking so calmly, while panicking on the inside. "Surely, I didn't remember that correctly. Do you measure from the end of the ruler or from the first mark on the ruler?"

I didn't even know who I was some days I questioned myself so much and so often. I want to know what I know with absolute confidence. Furthermore, I want to be intentional about teaching that information in a way that is individualized to the learner. I have an intense need to fully understand things, so, right or wrong, I've assigned that need to every student I've ever had, too. It matters to me. If someone else presents something to me as fact, I want to believe they're telling me the truth, but I have to see it proven thoroughly before I do. Whether teaching elementary academics to precious children or the Word to precious women, I want to be thorough, but I never want to stop looking for a clearer, more effective way either. I never want to dodge questions, but to dig for answers right beside the ones asking them. I want to be the teacher that never stops learning.

My kids would tell me I've already arrived since I've only stopped going to school now after thirty years. They know how ridiculous I am.

"At that time, Jesus declared, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things fro the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:25-30

The childlike faith Jesus speaks of and demands from us lets me exhale. He knows we are dust. There is no prerequisite to be wise and learned; instead, He calls us to come as little children. He knows that He is able to equip us to do anything - no task is too great, too complicated, too worthy for Him. It's when we try to go it alone that we should fret. He is not threatened by those who desire to learn more. He created all things. There is nothing we could ever learn about His creation that He does not already know. Jesus lived a very intentional, very simple life. I'd like to take a page out of that book.

I don't know about y'all, but life over here is some kind of busy. We are pretty confident we will not be caught up on our laundry for at least another decade. Somebody always needs to be dropped off somewhere or has an urgent request from one store or another. It's always somebody's birthday or snack day at school. Much to my dismay, all these people keep wanting to eat three times a day. (Mamas at home in the Summertime - do you feel me??? Sweet mercy.) Bills never stop coming due. Kids never stop outgrowing their clothes. It's just always something.

I once heard once Satan will settle for distraction when he cannot achieve destruction in our lives. I've never forgotten that and it seems more true all the time. We are so very distracted, friends. If we do not intentionally force ourselves to change our ways, to slow down and truly put first things first, we are always going to be upside down in this deal. Things will change when we change. Things will change when we ask God to change us and mean it.

"Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! You have said, "Seek my face." My heart says to you, "Your face, LORD, do I seek."
Psalm 27:7-8

I really wanted to wait until I knew all the ins and outs of Bible study and the Word before I stepped out to lead in ministry.  Does that make you laugh? Because it kind of makes me laugh. Who am I? I was never going to be ready! I'm still analyzing so much, but what I know is I will barely have a grasp on Scripture when my life here is through. It's the living, active Word of God, for crying out loud. I will mess up. I will fall short. I will never stop learning as long as I am drawing breath. But if there is anything I learned in education, it was that those were my favorite teachers.

The teachers who learned right alongside their students, who watched their class with crazy eyes, constantly analyzing who was catching on and who needed some extra 1:1 time were the ones I saw make the greatest impact. The ones who stay up at all hours of the night researching the latest way to make a subject come alive to a unique group of kids were the ones that taught kids to love learning. The ones who refuse to teach the first thing before they first know the little people they are teaching. Learning was so fun in those classes the kids rarely realized how much they were learning. I spent my brief teaching career striving to learn how to do that and something tells me that now that the content area is what sets my bones on fire, this is going to be really good. (Oh, it's going to be a mess, too, but man it's going to be fun!)

A skeptic at heart, I am so apt to miss the beautiful simple in front of me. I don't just want to stop and smell the roses. I want to stop and marvel at the Creator of those roses and the people passing me in the grocery store. Ministry opportunities surround every believer. People are drowning in the waters we've been swimming in all our lives. God is doing extraordinary work in ordinary places just like He always has and He's extended an invitation for us to join Him. Laundry is an opportunity to pray over those wearing the clothes and to offer thanks for the provision of seeing them clothed. Children healthy enough to make friends, to want to go and do and and dream are miracles we should not take for granted. I know too many who just pray for the privilege of this responsibility.

Lord, let me not be so distracted that I miss these moments that make up their childhood. Let me plant seeds in my community wherever you see fit. Let me be your hands and feet. Make it simple to this simple heart, Lord. Fill in all my gaps with all your grace.

Whatever you are facing today, my friend, seek His face first. Let's not make this thing complicated. Let's just let Him love us and show us the way. He not only holds the answer to every question we could never think to ask, He offers rest for our weary souls. I can almost see Him taking my chin and turning my face toward what really matters and away from what never did.

Oh, how I pray you let Him do the same for you.

**Thanks for sticking with me on this June blogging journey. I was laughing with a friend about how I don't think I've ever done anything apart from eating, sleeping, and maybe breastfeeding for 25 consecutive days. I'm tired since silence is required in my home for this to happen and that doesn't ever come before midnight, but I'm so in love with my Jesus and so grateful for these sweet nights together. June has been gentler than ever and I know that's no coincidence. Thank you for being His hands, feet, and words of encouragement to this weary soul of mine this June. You bless me so.**


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