Archives for May 2014

Fly a Little Higher

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It’s last February and my daughter and her friend come in the house with great drama, “Mom, you have to download this song.  We heard it on CNN Student News today.  This guy Zach Sobiech has cancer and wrote this song called Clouds.  It is sooo sad!”

I hear Zach singing the catchy chorus, “Up, up, up” and my heart bends to the joyful sorrow of the song.

A few months go by and we stop for a moment to grieve when we learn of his death.  So young, so talented, so joyful.

It’s a month ago and I get an email with an announcement that Zach’s mother Laura Sobiech has released a book called Fly a Little Higher and they want to know if I want to read and review it.  I jump at the chance.

It’s Tuesday and I’m on page 283 of a 325 page book and Laura talks in passing about the song being featured on CNN Student News, creating even more media attention that it already had.  By this time, Zach is very sick and they are near the end of their journey, this journey I’ve been traveling with them through the book.  At this time, they are ignoring much of the Internet buzz just because there are so many hateful people with unhelpful suggestions and they are intent on spending their last days in peace together.  Laura says,

Whatever was going on in cyberspace didn’t have much to do with what was going on in real life.

I wrote my post Tuesday and read this line late Wednesday.  It hits me hard.

I cry when he dies at the end.

I’ve known the end since the beginning, but experiencing it with them, it breaks your heart.

And yet.

They had so much hope, so much strength in Christ, so much love for one another.  It was beautiful to watch it unfold.

One of the only reasons the Sobiech family agreed to share the song and so much media was to raise awareness and money to help save others with cancer.  In fact, Laura’s prayer when she found out Zach was terminal was that if he did indeed take Zach, that God would do something BIG with it.  Given the success of the song and story, I’d say God is answering in abundance.

If you want to be a part of this answer to prayer, download the song, buy the book or donate to the cause.  And more importantly, heed Zach’s wisdom:

 

You don’t have to find out you’re dying…to start living. –Zach Sobiech

 

 

 

This post is part of the Fly a Little Higher Blog Tour with hundreds of bloggers raising awareness and giving hope to those with cancer. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!

On Not Hurrying

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I read a book last week called Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.  He quotes his friend (and author, philosopher, professor, speaker, Christian—after reading his bio, I’m feeling very left out of knowing much about him) Dallas Willard in the book multiple times speaking to how we take care of our soul saying,

 

“You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” 

 

Then I watched this video with over 2 million other people. I was convicted of the time I had begun to spend scrolling through social media.

I love social media and blogging, but there is an inherent “hurry” aspect to it.  There’s always something new and never a way to catch up. I knew these two ideas were connected for me.

And as much as I love writing here, many times I feel hurried and pressured to dole out posts. And then to Facebook and tweet about the post, and then check for likes and comments on the post. And on and on it goes.

So, I’ve been taking a break.  I took social media off my phone.  I’ve been leaving my phone in my purse.  I’ve been reading more and trying to enjoy what I’m presently doing instead of trying to read more about what others are doing. I’m sitting on my back porch and soaking in some Vitamin D. I’m playing school with my daughter. I’m sitting still at red lights.

Like so many things in my life, I have to pare back to nothing to figure out what, if anything, I can add back in.

I have one more review post I’m committed to here this week (ironically, very related to this topic) and after that, I’m not sure.  Maybe I just need this week off or a month off or the summer off.  I’m not sure yet.  I just know social media and blogging are tangled in this hurry and I’m ready to let some of it go.

Email me in the meantime if you want—maybe send me the really funny videos from Facebook I’m missing? amyjbennett AT gmail DOT com

My Yes in My Mess

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After visiting Kenya with Compassion several years back, Kristen Welch was led to make a difference for young, pregnant women in Kenya.  She founded Mercy House Kenya which continues to thrive and grow.  In fact, TODAY they move into a new house for the women.

Rhinestone Jesus is her newest book chronicling her journey from a Christian teen wearing her sparkly Jesus pin to the founder of a non-profit in Kenya.

As I read Kristen’s new book Rhinestone Jesus, I began questioning what my yes might be.

If you’ve been reading for the past 6 weeks, you might remember a post in which I wrote about coming to terms with my working mom status.  It’s been such a freeing last month to not carry the weight of the false guilt.  But still, even though I was coming to terms with working, I still didn’t see it as my YES IN MY MESS. 

God began pressing on me, though, that indeed my yes right now was to my job in that cubicle. 

But how could God ask me to say yes to that? Isn’t that the extreme opposite of any God-work?  Doesn’t that reek of the American Dream that Kristen wrote against in her book?  Aren’t I supposed to leave the cushy job and 401K to say yes?

As I continue to seek God, though, I realize he has been asking me to say yes all these years. 

Even without my joyful yes, he’s been using my job to teach me, not to embrace, but to let go of the American Dream. 

He’s taught me to live simply and give generously.

To let go of faith in income and benefits and understand it could all be *poof* gone in an instant.

He’s taught me not to rely on the security of a job and rely on Him. 

He’s taught me not to chase after fulfillment in a title, but my title as daughter of the one true King. 

He’s taught me to be a light for him, no matter where I go.

He’s taught me to have integrity and character in a place that at times is so very lacking. 

He’s taught me to work as unto Him and not to man. 

He’s taught me to put family first among so many other duties.

He’s been doing God-work all this time and I refused to see it.

God is not working in me and others in spite of my job, but directly through my job. 

My yes has been a very stubborn yes, but in the past month I have been whispering a joyful yes. Yes, Lord, if you really do want me in this space I’ll do it.  I’ll do it unto you until you move me. 

 

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And yes, there’s a mess in my yes.  There’s laundry that sits in baskets for days and dishes that sit in sinks.  There’s tired mornings and missed school functions. *I* am the mess most of the time.

I resonated so much with Kristen’s husband who wanted to leave his corporate job to devote more time to Mercy House Kenya but stays right now to make their yes possible.  And I realized, my yes to my job has in part made their yes possible as we’ve been able to support Mercy House Kenya over the years.  And there’s many more yeses we’ve said to help others say yes to their calling.

So, I suppose it is as they say–we can’t put God in a box. His plans sometimes don’t look like what we thought they should.  One person’s yes will look wildly different than the next.  Someone else’s wrong might be our exact right.  We are all different parts of the body working together.  Watching Kristen’s yes unfold has taught me how to let go of the American Dream while working and in doing so, my working has helped support her yes. How cool is God?

So what does your yes look like?  Is it something big or maybe a little yes with a big impact?  All of our yeses to God matter and make a difference.

 

Rhinestone Jesus is so much more than about calling.  It’s about faith and parenting and marriage. I was so encouraged and I know you will be too.

RhinestoneJesus_mockup-433x600 Pick up Rhinestone Jesus on Amazon or any major retailer.  For more posts about Rhinestone Jesus, check out the link-up over here.

 

I was provided a copy of the book for the review but all opinions are my own.