Starting Over, Again

More than ten years ago, I felt God breathe a word into my heart. That my words would help to revive the spirits of many people. I’ve blogged for a long time, since my kids were little and I still really hated the word “blog” (I’ve come to terms with it since then). Because I didn’t know what the word meant exactly, I floundered. I waited for more explanation, I wrote what I felt like writing but rarely got serious because I just wanted to see the whole picture.

Two years ago, I had a similar experience, feeling God call me to a number of things all at once, writing (and possibly speaking) being one of them. I reacted to this calling in a very similar way: I was confused, overwhelmed, uncertain and clinging to perfectionism that demanded the full picture be visible before I ever started to draw, so to speak.

Last year, I felt a renewal of this calling with more added to it. I started off well in the fall, but yet again, found myself back to square one, unsure, doubting, feeling lost, and still waiting for more – more followers, more comments, more knowledge of what I was supposed to be doing.

Yesterday I heard a very personal message from someone I had just met. She talked about missed opportunities when we disobey or delay our obedience. But instead of drilling in how important obedience is or how much she had missed out on, she focused on the importance of accepting God’s forgiveness and forgiving ourselves. I realized right away that God was using her to speak to me. Reminding me that it wasn’t too late. That it might look different now than it would have ten years ago, two years ago or last year. But that it wasn’t a lost cause and I needed to let go of the perfectionism, turn over a new leaf, forgive myself and move on. I believe that God wants to use me to speak to people. Sometimes I think He just wants me to make them laugh, and honestly, that’s my favourite part. “A merry heart does good like a medicine,” and it is refreshing to me as well as the reader. Other times, I share what is on my heart and hope that it helps someone else to know they aren’t alone, that there is at least one person out there that gets it. Whether that is in relation to parenting, unschooling, the challenges of a big family, etc. I know that someone needs to hear it.

I am sorry if I had something to say that you needed to hear. I am sorry that I allowed perfectionism to speak to me and make me give up when I couldn’t get it all just perfect. It’s a battle I’ve been fighting for a long time and I really want to win. I can’t make promises but I do know that I want to be obedient and I want to follow where the Spirit leads. I have forgiven myself and have talked to a few people about this, hoping for the help of accountability this time around.

I don’t know what the future holds but I do know I cannot be silent when even one person needs to hear my voice. I cannot stand back in doubt or fear when one person needs my prayers for healing.  I pray now for grace to continue this task. For a multiplication of time and resources that will allow me to accomplish it.

If you have let something slip by because of fear or disobedience, it’s not too late to change course. The work might look different now – the person who needs prayer, discipleship or encouragement might be someone new – but it’s still worth it. God forgives when we ask Him and so forgiving ourselves is the crucial next step.

The Milk and The Meat

When we think of milk in modern times, I would guess that most of us imagine a cold glass of milk with a cookie, or milk we pour over our cereal – things we readily consume as adults. But when the Bible refers to milk, it is in the context of infants and therefore can be presumed to primarily mean breast milk. Breast milk and its alternatives are really incredible foods. Babies grow exponentially fast in their first year of life – if we continued growing at this rate, we would be a race of giants! It is high calorie, high fat, built for exactly what babies need.

I have been breastfeeding babies off and on for nearly fifteen years. In fact, with the majority of my babies nursing into the next pregnancy, I’ve only had a known break from either for about two weeks in 2009. I am very familiar with breastfeeding and the demands of infants and toddlers who are still nursing. New babies nurse around the clock and this is natural and to be expected. Most of my babies have nursed during the night until around sixteen months. Regardless of how you feel about that personally, I never questioned it and have just gone with the flow (no pun intended) in feeding my babies.

However, as my kids got a bit older and started eating more solid foods, even before weaning them from the breast, I started giving them their own plate and utensil to eat with, or giving them bite sized pieces they could feed themselves. This is expected as children grow up – we want them to feed themselves because it is a time consuming process to be feeding ourselves and also feeding a baby or small child. At least half of my kids refused to be fed by a year and only wanted things they could put in their own mouths. We applauded this even when it meant a mess would be made.

Something we often hear in the Church is that we are looking to be “fed” when we attend services. People leave churches because they feel that they were not being fed enough. “Feed me!” we cry every Sunday, and most never question it.

This is what the authors of 1st Corinthians and Hebrews were talking about. We need to distance ourselves from this language and the expectation that it is the pastor’s job to “feed” us. Maturity in Christ means giving up milk and moving on to meat – solid foods. It means that instead of someone feeding us around the clock on simple food – milk – we move on to meat that we feed ourselves a few times a day. These things take longer to digest, are more nutritionally diverse and are much more exciting than milk anyway. But how many in the Church are existing on milk that a pastor feeds them once a week? How many never move on to more interesting foods because they refuse to give up the comfort of around the clock (spiritual) breastfeeding?

I write this while literally breastfeeding my youngest child. He is thirteen months old now and still desires this comfort but also loves solid food. He loves to eat half a banana, mash some of it up between his hands and feed the rest to the dog. He likes to beg for whatever the rest of us are eating and if I wanted to, I could wean him at any time and he would be just fine. There is no harm in continuing to nurse him for the foreseeable future but I do so with the full expectation that he will eventually wean and move on to eating full meals that look just like mine, with no need for the nutrition or comfort of the breast.

While new believers need the milk of the Word – the simple food, life giving, full of fat and calories – we must expect that as we grow in Christ, we trade the milk for solid food. At first, we might split our intake fifty/fifty. The initial foods we eat are basic, maybe a bit bland and still consumed frequently. Over time, though, we need to move on to meat – the solid, diverse and exciting Word of God. The stuff that takes studying, puzzling over, questioning. The parts that require a Strong’s concordance or commentary alongside to understand the original meanings of words and phrases. The chapters and books that may even confuse us until we study the historical and cultural context of the times they were written in. This is the meat.

A friend recently made a statement about the Church as a whole that was painful, but I believe to be true. The Church, in many ways, is dying. Not necessarily shrinking, but dying. Many never move on to meat as they grow up, stunting their growth, and eventually killing them. They may never leave the Church but are forever babies in Christ. If I forced my children to eat nothing but milk beyond their infancy, they would become nutritionally deficient and would not thrive. The same is true in the Church and it is time we face this head on and start the weaning process.


1 Corinthians 3:2  (KJV)

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.

Hebrews 5:12 (KJV)

For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

Where Revival Begins

This is not an original thought. This is something that people say and mean all the time. But this is a thought that never penetrated my heart fully until very recently.

Revival begins in me.

Revival begins in me.

We are being revived, changed, transformed, restored. We are experiencing breakthrough and victory. We are living for the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and trusting God for some big things that would be completely impossible for us to do on our own.

We are waking up with worship songs in our minds and on our lips. We are reading Scripture that is suddenly made alive and new and beautiful. We are listening and acting on His leading and WOW. Wow. Life is exciting for us as we make a re-commitment to our saviour and what He has for us. The things of this world just do not have the same pull and I am finally seeing how I am having victory over battles I’ve been fighting – or not fighting – for years. I am seeing clearly when the thorns (Matthew 13:7) and wind and waves  (Matthew 14:30) are tempting me and distracting me from my calling.

Over and over, people have said that there is something special happening in Fort St. John and someone said that we shouldn’t expect revival here to look exactly as it has in the past. I believe that it is because it is really beginning in the hearts of individuals who are full of passion for the Kingdom and His righteousness. We will not be spectators anymore and we will not walk into a building looking for revival because we know very well that it is happening within us.