with you.

there’s this gal who stands sentinel just inside our neighborhood grocery store, and she’s easily one of the best parts of my day. she smiles as big as christmas when she spots me coming, asks after my kids if they’re not orbiting my cart, dances sideways when she laughs. it’s like she’s been waiting all week for me to step through those automatic doors, and though i know her just a splinter i’d shop that place solely to see her.

and i got to thinking on that, on whether or not i’m the best part of anyone’s day. it’s harder than it looks, mostly ’cause i’m snared up in preoccupation-with-self. so today? today i’m starting close to home. on my own i’m pretty useless, but i’m asking God to help me be the best part of todd’s day, of the kids’, of austin-down-the-street’s who hangs with us after school.

crazy kid.

so this girl. she’s a buoyant one, and every time i witness her zany/crafty exuberance unleashed i see me but also Not Me, because at seven i was her but shelled up shy.

she’s got no such inhibitions. :)

last week i was reading an article about korr, kenya, and under the title stood the phrase author’s name withheld due to current ministry location. and that got my blood thrumming a bit, just thinking about the kingdom of God within grasp of a whole slew of awfully precious people.

and then i reread one of david platt’s old sermons, this one out of early exodus where God-via-flaming-bush tells moses to command a certain enslaving autocrat to let His people go. and moses is all, who am i to stand toe to toe with pharaoh? who am i?

and as dr platt points out, it’s interesting to see what God does–and doesn’t do–with this question. what He doesn’t do is answer it. He doesn’t say moses, just look at your resume: great in deserts, cut your teeth on the palace steps, a hebrew. nope, God doesn’t touch who moses is at all.

instead it goes like this.
m: who am i?
G: I will be with you.

isn’t that crazy, and beautiful? who am i to tackle this impossible thing? I will be with you. who am i to grow these kids, lead this class, put down roots in kenya? I will be with you.

In other words, “Moses, it doesn’t matter who you are, bro, I am with you. And this is not about you as much as it is about me.”

What if God – what if God actually chooses to call us to things in our lives not because of our qualifications and our abilities, but in order to lead us to a place where we are radically dependent on his presence? This is what we see all throughout scripture, isn’t it, all these heroes of the faith in the Old Testament? Joshua 1:5, “Joshua, I will be with you. I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Judges 6, “Gideon, I will be with you.” Jeremiah 1:8, “Jeremiah, I will be with you.”

Don’t miss it, the call to God’s service is always accompanied by the promise of God’s presence. [Platt, chapter 4: YAWEH]

boats

you, my friends. you are called to something big today.

and He is with you.

go.

About nic

yes: sandwiches, trail running, tacos, juniper, rain, books. nope: crawly things. sometimes: flannel, campfires, tea.

23 thoughts on “with you.

  1. oh how I love when you have a new post…great way to start my day! Your family is such a blessing to us. Aiden spied your photo on our fridge and has been carrying it around all morning talking about his friend, Micah, apparently your little guy has made a big impact on my little one :)

    1. oh man, i’m smiling just picturing aiden with the photo. :) you guys are an enormous blessing to US–so, so glad God brought us all together. praying for you today, my friend. can’t wait to see where God leads!

  2. Firstly, you are sometimes the best part of my day, for real. I love you so.

    Secondly, this spoke to me regarding parenting, which seems to be the most difficult of my callings. Don’t tell anyone, but I’m not really a kid person. It pains me, sometimes: the pushing myself aside for them. And I don’t think anyone who hasn’t experienced it would understand it: how desperately I want them when I feel completely ill-equipped to parent them.

    1. ‘how desperately I want them when I feel completely ill-equipped to parent them’

      oh yes. this has been me so many hours in the past fifteen months, and it’s a mighty good thing for everyone that He doesn’t leave me alone in this. so glad for honest friends to trek alongside. love you, my brandee.

  3. Oh Nicki, God is so good!! I cried when reading this post!! It so spoke to me and God used you to do that, for that I am thankful! I love seeing you and hearing that you, too; confirm my fears as a mom and at my attempts of following God!! Things seem crazy here and I worry that my worrying is discrediting the wonderful thing that God has done in our lives and continues to do! Thank you so much for reminding me that God is with me, and with Dwayne and our family during this time of change!! God bless you Nicki!! Love, Rebecca

    1. we are going to miss you dearly, but we KNOW God has beautiful things planned for your family, and we’re excited to see what unfolds for you. i’ve been praying for you all, especially this weekend as you celebrate dwayne’s birthday long-distance. love you guys.

  4. And one more thing, I love where you put “And this is not about you as much as it is about Me”!!! I love that, what a GREAT reminder for me too!!

  5. I needed this bit of Truth this morning. I’ve been drowning in a puddle of self-pity around here lately, but He is enough, isn’t He? I can tell myself 100 times a day that it’s not about me, but then a tiny sliver inside cries out, “Yeah, but I want it to be.” But this idea about being the best part of someone’s day? That’s something I can shoot for. There’s an old Waterdeep song that repeats the phrase, “You are with me”, and that sentence is so big and so small at the same time. Today I’m praying for understanding of this purpose, also so big and so small at the very same time. Love you, friend.

    1. so big and so small. love that. and yeah, if i’m honest i pretty much always behave like it should be about me even though academically i know it’s not. sometimes there’s a yawning gulf between my head and my heart. love you back, my kim.

  6. Oh Korr…gets my blood thrumming too :)

    David Platt’s influence makes it through the speakers of my car at least 3 times per week. All that truth and admonishment mixed in with grace and compassion. Can’t get enough.

  7. So thankful to have a truth-seer such as you. You have a gift for cutting straight to the heart of it all, to the heart of us all. Thank you so much for sharing that gift here.

    ps – Your vm last night? One of the best parts of my day. I couldn’t even delete it.

  8. What a beautiful daughter! Nic, I find that I can hardly wait to meet your kids face to face and have some days with them. This week is a big outgoing group – 13 kids here for two days, then on their way! Please pray for me, for us, to love them and send well. Looking forward to talking with you…could it be mid October?

    Blessings on you, Todd and family

    1. oh martha, i would love to be able to talk with you. and yes, i have been praying for the outgoing group, and especially for your time with the kids. God has placed you in such a precious spot of ministry–we are so blessed to have you!

  9. thinking of you this weekend, thankful for you and His Spirit shining through you. thanks for the intro to david platt. he has a way with words. “and this is not about you as much as it is about Me” is encouraging when it comes to God’s callings. His callings are huge: commitment, perserverence, love all,… thanks, lovely nic, for these words. your girl is adorable…and creative!

    1. you’re ever an encouragement, amy. bless you. if you have a few hours, listen/read through the radical experiment sermon series from late 2009. [i’ve been trying to get you a link but the site isn’t recognizing me this morning. when it’s back up, you should be able to access the series at radical.net.] have a beautiful wednesday, my friend.

  10. thank you, nic. if you have time and get that link, can you email me? also, like you have tons of extra time on your hands =)…but if you DO have time, would you provide a button for linking to “owenstoafrica” for any of us that would like to add it to our space/blog? i have been thinking about it, but finally remembered to ask.=)

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