The Millennial Homemaker

The musings of a Stay at Home Mom

Shakers and Movers

I woke up this morning and stared at the clock, trying to remember what day it is. It is Sunday, March 20, 2011, 6:48 a.m. Got it. My second thought began to flood my mind so intensely that I had to get up right away. (Warning: this post will offend some of you, so bear with me if you choose to read through its entirety.)

My mind began to think about all of the people that I have known throughout my younger years, particularly those whom I met and began a friendship during the days of Calvary Church of Santa Ana in the 1980s. A lot of them are still my friends, and I thank God everyday that I have been able to reconnect with so many of them. But, I also began to think of how many of them are no longer going to church, or that they have chosen to live their lives separate from their former faith.

For a little history lesson I’ll back up and share what I remember. In 1982 I was ten years old. I was attending a church that boasted a whopping 1000 people. That is a big attendance number for a church, even back then. Then a new sheriff (pastor) came to town. He preached and taught the Word like no one else I have ever heard. He could tear apart the Scriptures and put them back together again in such a way that there was no doubt it was truth. In a few short years that little church of 1000 people grew to 7000 people. We were bursting at the seams. We couldn’t build the new buildings fast enough to house all of the growth. But just as we were starting to get too big for our britches, God did an amazing thing. He burst that bubble: people left the church in droves, scattered like seeds in the wind. Some of the die-hards stayed put. But most of the people I knew decided to leave. And, yes, I was one of them.

But, that’s not a bad thing to leave a church after a big bubble burst like that. At first, I was devastated because I felt like a goldfish that had been thrown out of its bowl of water. At 20 years old I was grasping for anything that I could to save me. I stumbled a lot. I fell into some serious sin. But, God, in his everlasting faithfulness, remembered me. He spared my life to keep moving forward and share with you today.

I think a lot of my old friends did the same thing. We all moved and went our separate ways. We started our own lives after the “post” Calvary bubble. Some of us strayed for a long time. Others just found new soil and planted their roots there. But, now is the time to not stray anymore. I see a new revival happening, and we need some shakers and movers to make it happen. Personally, I had been unable to write for a while. My voice had been silent for a couple of months. But, not now. I’m ready to shake things up a bit. Are you with me?

I began to see why I have been so silent for a while. I’d been praying for God to reveal something to me to write about; something that would stir my loins with fervor. Then, about a week ago, a huge earthquake and tsunami hit the shores of Japan. The world has been watching in horror as the photos and videos pour through the media to show the world the devastating power of Mother Nature. Some people are blaming God for this disaster. Others are in disbelief that such horrible things can happen to innocent people.

So, why am I connecting these two separate issues? Why is my little mind trying to associate the disaster of Japan with the thoughts of my wayward friends? I believe that the signs of the Earth are signals to each of us to get ready. We’ve been shaken by the news, so now it is time to move.

“Move where?” you ask. Just move. Get off your bottom and move. Let me ask a second question, “Have you had any crisis of significant portion recently affect your life?” If you can answer with a resounding yes, then I believe that Someone is trying to get your attention. That someone is not me. I’m just one person who is listening to the call. If you are reading this far, that Someone is God. He is talking to you. If you are feeling awkward at this point, that feeling is called conviction. Find out if it is true conviction. Put God to the test.

People, I am not taking this lightly. Just as each of us are individuals, I am only one seed. According to the Bible this one seed is going to die. When our time on earth is up, our bodies will be laid into the ground. The good news is: it’s that our lives can make a difference. Just as the people of Calvary scattered after the bubble burst, God allowed that so His seed (YOU) could scatter. You are one seed, but when you finally decide to “die” to yourself and surrender your whole life back to the Lord, you will produce many seeds. There is a verse that says it so perfectly. In John 12: 24 Jesus says, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.”

I finally understand what it means to be a seed and to be scattered. I left my comfort zone of moist California air and moved to the desert. I have been uprooted and replanted in hot, dry soil. But, guess what… the desert is blooming, and it is alive!! I am doing everything I can to nourish and grow, so that when my time is up, and my seed goes into the ground, many seeds will sprout because of this one. It is not arrogant to say this for I know that this is truth, and it is purpose, and it is God’s will for me.

What about you, the one who has read all the way to the end? Will you join me in becoming a shaker and mover where you have been scattered? Will you come back with a new revival and zest for living for God? The disaster in Japan is just one sign that we don’t have a lot of time left here on Earth. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. If you have been called by God to step up and live for Him, then it’s time to come back. Stop living for yourself and start living for God. I know I am not alone in this adventure. Will you be bold, step up, and be on board? Just think… we are scattered across the nation now, we are not just in Santa Ana anymore. There is a reason for this, I’m sure of it. Anyone agreed?

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MLM (Mid-Life Mom)

I don’t like to say that I’m in my “late” thirties. If I calculate my age correctly, I’m just about half-way to where a lot of my older family members are now. But, I don’t want to view the glass of life as half-over, so I’m going to view it as a sports game: going into the second half to win! It’s all about perspective: finding the joy and the peace in the midst of everything.

After having numerous discussions with my spouse, I realize that I’m not the only one who deals with the whole mid-life issue. First of all, it shouldn’t be a crisis. It’s just a period of time; it’s a season of reflection and evaluation. Second, it should be a blessing that we’ve made it this far! We survived the awkward teen years; we stumbled through the transition of college and early 20-somethings. And, if we are blessed enough to have children during the roaring 20s, we are well on our way toward seeing the light at the end of our training ground tunnel. Still, a lot of folks hit the mark of mid-life and begin to panic.

What if I haven’t done it right? What if I made the wrong decision for this life choice? What if, what if, what if… This time in our lives shouldn’t be faced in fear. Yes, the future is unknown, but the path ahead has been paved by the friends and family who have gone before us. Someone we know, who is older and wiser, should be able to look back at us, take our hand, and say that it’s all going to be okay.

I think that a lot of men suffer from the MLM (mid-life man) syndrome more than their counterpart female companions. They start to reach the point where they question their place in this world. They question the choices they have made. They question the path they have chosen (or “settled for”). They begin to face the future with doubt. They create a fear inside of them that causes great insecurity. They feel like they are tossed like a leaf in the wind.

The answer to this great mid-life mystery does not lie with fear. As a lay writer I do not have all of the answers. I can only speak from my own experience. I only know how to navigate the waters I tread based on the wisdom I have gathered from the trials, errors, and small successes in my half-lived life.

One of the first things I would recommend is to find your purpose. Ask yourself, “Why am I here?” “What are my unique qualities that I bring to this planet to make a difference?” Second, I would take some time to reflect on where you have been. Start in your childhood memories – good or bad or both. Smile at the good ones, and do everything you can to forgive those who made the bad ones. You may have to forgive yourself, too.

Third, start planning out the second half of your life. Write down your short term goals (aka… be debt free in 3 years, lose 20 pounds in the next 5 months). Write down some long-term goals (aka… travel to Europe, finish that college degree). There are countless ideals, dreams, and pursuits that can be attained into reality if you really want to make a difference.

One more thing, try to remember that you are writing a new sentence to your life resume’ each day that you live, so that you will have a full legacy at the end. We are only guaranteed 120 years to make a difference. Most of us won’t even make it to 100 years. My grandfather lived to the ripe old age of 99 years. I heard it’s because he lived on a diet of fresh fish and rice. Not too shabby of a life, even though he lived through World War 1, The Great Depression, World War 2, and so on. He is resting in peace, and it’s because he was determined to have the best life he knew how to live.

May the second half of your life be better than the first half. You have the experience, and you have the knowledge. Apply both and you will gain wisdom beyond your years. Blessings to all who read this and find encouragement.

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