Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Over the Rainbow

Not too long ago, my friends and I were talking about our mindsets when it comes to accomplishments in life. Many of my friends are goal-oriented people. They feel valuable when they're getting stuff done and putting out important work. They have big goals in mind and are working toward them.

Then it was my turn to talk. I'm not really "goal-oriented" that way. Sometimes it feels like I just kind of dance through life, and whatever opportunities bump into me, those are the ones I take next. I'm not really aiming for anything in particular—I just take life as it comes.

Me. I'm the yellow one.
My friends' summation: "So you float on clouds and slide down rainbows."

Yep! That sounds about right! I'm apparently a Care Bear.

I don't really know how I came to be this way. There are some things in my life over which I feel the need to exert excessive control: the kinds of tennis shoes I buy, for example. I need to have the exact. same. ones. every time. I about had a coronary when they discontinued my Nike running shoes. And I've explained before that I don't really like surprises, so it doesn't appear to make any sense that I would be OK with life handing me surprise after surprise.

My Christian nature wants to say, "Yeah, this is totally me trusting God! I'm so awesome at trusting him!" But it doesn't feel like that, either. Sometimes I feel lazy that I'm not chasing goals like my friends. (Because, you know, I need to look for more ways I'm lazy.) Shouldn't I have gotten more done by now? I have friends who are awesome journalists and well-known writers and leaders in their communities. Some of them have had super cool careers with the Colts and other famous organizations. And here I am, just waiting for stuff to bump into me. Yes, I know—I shouldn't be comparing myself to other people, I have a different journey, yada yada yada. But I'm just so—stationary.

Here's an example: A few weeks ago, I realized that my walk with God was getting a bit—awkward. I was walking next to him but not with him. Not really talking to him. And the silence became a little uncomfortable. So I got out my prayer journal and I said, "Sorry, God. I've been overwhelmed with this pregnancy and feeling lousy and all that. And is it cool with you that I haven't been blogging much? I feel OK about dropping it for a while. How about you?" The very next day, I got an e-mail from Drew Marshall asking if he could interview me on his show. Of course I can't ditch my blog when I might get a new wave of readers. God knows that. So he sent me this opportunity. I took it, I restarted blogging (albeit not quite as vigorously as in previous months), and here I am. 

Now, could I be seeking out opportunities for interviews and whatnot? Sure. I probably should look for ways to expand my reach. I'm not sitting back in my La-Z-Boy all the time, though. When I went to She Speaks, I made sure my book proposal was top-notch, I designed some swanky business cards, and I perfected my pitch for my publisher meetings. Some people assumed God was going to lay a book deal in their laps whether or not they jumped through all the publishing hoops. He very well may have, but for that particular opportunity, he wanted me to do the work. So I did.

Maybe that's what all of this comes down to: listening to God. God said prepare, so I did. This radio interview popped up like an answer to prayer, so I did it. No matter what else I'm doing (or not doing, as the case most often seems to be), I always try to listen to what God's asking me to do. Listening for the Holy Spirit's prompting and then following up. I may not be good at a lot of things, but I seem to be a pretty willing subject as far as that's concerned.

I'm not sure which way is right, if there even is a right way. God can use us however we're wired, as long as we're willing. So whether or not you set goals and are out to achieve them, or if you're floating through life like me, it comes down to answering the calls God sets on your heart.

So what's your style? Are you a go-getter or a...a Care Bear? 

I really need to come up with a better term for that.


8 comments:

  1. I really like this, and especially appreciated this statement:

    God can use us however we're wired, as long as we're willing.

    It's so true and there isn't a 'right or wrong' way to do it, I don't think. We are different. Sometimes God asks us to step it up and get out of our comfort zone, but I reckon he sees all of us individually and speaks to us differently.

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    1. I'm glad God knows me inside and out. He definitely speaks to us individually and utilizes our gifts and talents for his purpose. He must have wired us all differently to that end, as well!

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  2. Hi, Rachel ... (I went to She Speaks with you) ...

    I love this. I don't know that I'm a Care Bear, and I really don't feel I have the energy to be a go-getter. But this post made me remember something.

    The day I graduated college, I thought I was a real big-shot until they hooded the master's degree candidates. And then they robed the PhDs, and I felt even smaller. I vowed to myself that some day I would be there. Some day I would earn a PhD.

    Well. Here I am, fifteen years later and I don't have a PhD and I don't even care anymore. The day I received my master's degree in the mail (I didn't bother to walk the stage), I put it in its already-purchased frame), then I sat in a chair and stared at it for a bit. And then you know what I thought? BIG FREAKIN' DEAL. And I totally thought more education would define me and make me awesome.

    I've learned the hard lesson that the things of God are eternal, but all these silly things we strive for are not. I may never write a book, but if my ultimate goal is to get my message out and spread His love (even if only through a blog that never makes a dime), then that should be enough.

    Glad you're blogging again.

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    1. You know, I've thought of that, too. I've got half a master's done, but it's in education, which I don't really want to pursue at this point. I just thought I'd have a career at this point, you know? But instead, I guess I have a calling. I have a calling as a mom and as a writer, and I'm listening to God at every turn. I think that's better, in the long run.

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  3. Hi Rachel,

    I just came across your blog for the first time and I absolutely love this post. I'm definitely a Care Bear (there's a sentence I never thought I'd say).

    I pray for opportunity every day, but as of right now I don't really have set goals that I'm working toward. And God's been good in providing opportunities at just the right times. Earlier this week I was going to give up on blogging because I hit a bit of a road bump, then an old friend sends me a message about how much my writing resonates with her. Now she started blogging as well. Things like that just tell me that there's purpose in what I'm doing and that God's opening doors for me.

    I'm still in school, don't care to be in school, and also have no idea what I'm 'aiming for' once I'm done school. Some days it's really a matter of trusting God with whatever the future holds. Other days, well, I'm just being lazy and screaming "but I don't wanna!" at the world.

    I love your blog already, can't wait to check out older posts.

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    1. So glad to meet you! :) It's amazing how God throws things in our path that get us to do what he wants us to do, isn't it? And my husband's least favorite thing that I ever say (and I've tried to say it less frequently lately) is, "I just wanna do what I wanna do!" Yeah, God doesn't really take that from me. And neither does my husband. lol

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  4. Hi Rachel,

    I didn't know you had gone to She Speaks. Which year? I was there last year (2011)-- my first time. Such a fun experience. I hope to go again in 2013.

    How did your book pitch go? What genre is it?

    I enjoy your posts.

    Jennifer Dougan
    www.jenniferdougam.com

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    1. Yep, I went in 2011! I'll miss it in 2012, since I'm having a baby this spring. My book is nonfiction and about spiritual disciplines. But, you know, for lazy people. :)

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