What I’ve Been Reading

I’ve read some really great books lately. As I’ve started to do more writing, I’ve also tried to do a lot more reading. It’s been incredible to learn from writers who have been able to reach people who may have not otherwise been reached through their writing.

We’re reading 1 Corinthians right now in our Missional Community. Considering the current situation in our culture and all of the craziness going on around us, we’re modern day Corinth, it is so relative to today. It has been transformative to come together as a community and to dig into Scripture to figure out how it is that we, as the Church, are to handle what’s going on around us. This podcast goes along beautifully with not only having the head knowledge but also having “watchmen” around to be able to pull you back in when wander too far.

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Love Does – oh man. I was ready to move cross-country at the end of this one, it’s what inspired my most recent post. It just made me want to ACT – do a lot less talking, and a lot more acting. I just loved it.

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Redeeming Love – I read this book last winter and it had me on a roller coaster. I cried and rejoiced and was angry and now it’s my all time favorite book.

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Seemless – Angie digs into parts of scripture that are sometimes hard to understand or tie in together as part of the big story. I’ve really enjoyed it.

I’m currently reading Sacred Marriage, I just started it last weekend and I am loving it so far. Y’all know how crazy I am about marriage, so I am excited to make my way through this one.

Stop Waiting On Paper Airplanes

We ask God to show His will – but don’t we already know it? We can live life on mission no matter where we are. In every country. Circumstance. Season. Age. Qualified by the world’s standards or not. If you follow Christ, God’s will for you is to live your life on mission for Him doing two things 1) knowing Him more and 2) making him known. 

I think Romans 12 so clearly lays it out for us.

I find myself asking God if he could throw a note down – paper airplane style – so that I could know exactly what to do or say to make my move accordingly and in the meantime I do nothing.

It makes me think of when I was younger and my mom would ask me to help her pick up the house and the first thing to come out of my mouth every single time would be the same: “what do you want me to do?” I’ll paint the picture: there are clothes on the couch to be folded, dishes in the sink to be cleaned, trash to be emptied, but instead I ask: “what do you want me to do?” As if I am blind to the disaster around me or unable to smell the stench from the laundry build up of a house of seven. And if I didn’t hear back from her or if she takes too long? I am back doing my own thing so fast. Then later, I’ll pull the ol’ “you never told me what to do.” My mom would often respond “so you didn’t do anything at all?” or “you’ve been here this whole time and that’s all you accomplished?”

I am brought to the painful realization that I never want to stand in front of Jesus and answer to why I hesitated in doing Kingdom work when I saw there was work to be done all around me. I don’t want to just push around the mess to make it like I am busy, ultimately accomplishing nothing. I’m left dreaming of what might happen if I didn’t always demand a who, what, when, where, why or how but just acted. Think of how much we could get done. Think of the reaction of our Father in Heaven – I’d imagine He would be pleased – a similar feeling to that of my moms (after fainting from shock, obviously) if we did the work without asking what needed to be done.

What if our prayers sounded a little more like that of a servant: “Heavenly Father, I see that this needs to be done so I’m going to step out in faith – would you use me here? Could I serve you in this way?” Then ACT. Sometimes the answer is no. Sometimes God’s got someone else assigned to that part of the house, using their talents there. Sometimes your role is to offer support, you hold the dust pan while someone else sweeps up the mess. Then sometimes, the answer is yes and it is more unexpected and beautiful than you could ever imagine. To be so unworthy. Sinful. Broken. Under “qualified”. Still learning. But still used to do His work. That’s the beauty of our Savior. Let’s embrace that. Let’s pray kingdom prayers. Do kingdom work.

“But how do I figure out where I am supposed to be?” The answer I’ve found most peace in: it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter where you on the map. Don’t miss out on the beauty of our call in trying to ‘find’ your call, it’s all the same: know God more, make Him known – you can do that wherever you’re at. If you’re at a point where you find yourself trying decide what to do or where to go in big life-changing decisions, invite your community to challenge your intentions with this question: “Am I doing this to make God known or know Him more?” If the answer is genuinely “yes” to both, I’d dare to say you can’t go wrong.

Because while the decision is life-changing, it only changes life on earth, it doesn’t change the call just the circumstances in which you know God more and make Him known.

You end up somewhere not so desirable? You share the Gospel. You end up in Hawaii? You share the Gospel. Don’t miss the opportunity to live out your purpose waiting on paper airplanes that just aren’t coming. God’s so much bigger than that.

Growin’ Groceries

I love to buy and eat locally grown, organic produce but it is so expensive. So, I decided to to try my hand at gardening. First, I started my compost with this handy guide. 

Then, I ordered all of my seeds from Southern Exposure Seed Exchange –  side note: scroll through #southerngardenclub on Instagram, it’s so fun to see a little community of people growing their own food -what I love about the Southern Exposure Seed Exchange is that you can choose from an extensive selection of vegetables, herbs, flowers, and more. Each option has what kind of temperature they do best in, their flavor profile, and when to grow them. I loved using this website from start to finish.
After some research (the University of Florida has incredible resources available for gardening in Florida – you can find the step by step guide here and info on soil preparation here), I ordered:

  • Calabrese Broccoli
  • Alabama Blue Collards
  • Scarlet Nantes Carrots
  • Perfection Sweet Pepper
  • Amy’s Sugar Gem Tomato
  • Speghetti Squash
  • Butternut Winter Squash
  • California Early Softneck Garlic
  • Granex Dry Bulb Onion
  • Bloomsdale Spinach

  
A little ambitious for a little beginner, I know, but I’m all in!

Up next, we are building a garden box (read: Justin is building me a garden box). We will share what we find works best. Then – we’ll be ready just in time to plant in early fall. I welcome any advice that you have for someone who has never gardened before and is diving right in!