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The Least Likely of Candidates: How to offer yourself to be used even when you are the least qualified

I straight up forgot he had school.

My four year old son was running around in his underwear while I was pulling out of the driveway to take my tardy kids to school, when his carpool ride drove up.

I slammed on the brakes mid-exit of driveway, put the car in park and sprinted into the house. I threw clothes on him, shouted to my homeschooled daughter to shove some random food into his lunchbox, and hunted shoes only to find the shabbiest of ones still available.  As I buckled him into his car seat, I spit on my hand to wipe his smeared breakfast off his face. Forget about getting teeth brushed. In shame, I couldn’t even look his carpool ride, my good friend, in the eyes.

One of my “empowered” days when my kid is actually dressed and ready for preschool on time

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Fifteen years ago, in college, I’m pretty sure I would have been voted “least likely” to be able to manage seven individual lives and schedules, in addition to maintaining a marriage, a home, and a life in the ministry. I was a flighty and existential English major. Not a business management major.

There are so many moving parts and so much activity in the home you would need an MBA in Hospitality and Management to keep it all going. You need organizational skills, strategic planning abilities and leadership gifting to execute even a day in this household.

None of which I possess.

So how do you keep going, and trust yourself to get the job done, even when you feel that you are the least qualified for the job?

What happens when you find yourself in a life position that seems far above your capabilities?

When I read 2 Corinthians 12, its seems that the answer is…

boasting

but it is not boasting in my abilities…but boasting in my

weakness

“I must go on boasting…but I will not not boast about myself, except about my weaknesses. …

To keep me from becoming conceited…there was given me a thorn in my flesh…

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. 

Therefore I will boast all the more about my weakness, 

so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

This is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. 

For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

2 Corinthians 12:1, 5, 7, 9-10

I have done my fair share of pleading with the Lord to help me be more organized, to come up with more manageable systems, to plan ahead better. My spurts of new resolve “to do better” are often short lived, and, still, those skills and abilities that I long to possess elude me. The “thorn” remains.

My LORD’s response to those pleas?

“If I gave you all those skills you desire, then you wouldn’t need Me.”

SO, instead of possessing the much-longed-for ability to strategically plan, manage and execute, I have found a much richer possessing.

The Holy Spirit and His empowering.

Christ in me, hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27)

In order to become qualified for the life role we find ourselves in, we must embrace a moment by moment journey of possessing. The goal is not to possess only the skills, talents or abilities, nor is it even to possess the Holy Spirit.  No, this journeying is about allowing the Holy Spirit to possess us.

When He is allowed access to all of who we are at any given moment in the day, we actually find that we, through His empowerment, become completely qualified for whatever the Father has ordained for us to do.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us according to His own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

I have found that a simple prayer of…

Holy Spirit, I don’t have what it takes to face this. But You do. I give myself to you. I surrender myself in this moment for you to think through me, feel through me, and act through me. Thank you for what you are about to do. (Acts 17:24, Hebrews 1:3, Ephesians 5:18, Acts 4:31)

can end up accomplishing far more than what I could accomplish in my own strength, even with years of training and study.

Which is the only explanation for why a scatter-brained, writer chick, adventure seeker and impulsive girl could be keeping things together** in this bustling household.

{**we use the term “keeping things together” loosely…i.e. no children have died, everyone gets fed every day, and everyone attends or “does” school on a regular basis.}

It is hope and confidence in God’s promise that He is an ever-present Help in trouble (Psalm 46:1) that keeps me going. No matter what He calls us into, HE IS ABLE and therefore I AM ABLE.

Because of His faithfulness and goodness towards us, Danny and I  joyfully and excitedly announce that……

the least qualified of candidates for managing a large family….

is now expecting to have…

an even larger family!!

By the end of April 2019 we will be welcoming our eighth child into the world.

The only qualifications required are…

weakness

and

availability.

For our Risen Savior’s power is made perfect in those places. (2 Cor. 12:9)

 

 

12 weeks pregnant with IverEIGHT

Already rockin’ a baby bump!

~~~~

And the forgetting school story?

Because I had been meditating on these truths, I was able, empowered rather, to text my friend, Judah’s carpool ride whom I made late, and simply confess my need for grace and the power of Christ fill me to stay faithful in (and remember!) all of my commitments.  Instead of the countless excuses of pregnancy fatigue and brain fog and all the neighborhood boys that had been at our house late the night before, and the 6 other children I was trying to get ready and prepared for the day (since Danny had a meeting), I could just boast in my weakness, and humbly ask for forgiveness. I could do it confidently and without shame, for the Lord Himself already took my shame, and gave me his empowerment (Hebrews 12:2)

 

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Danny and I celebrated 14 years of marriage with knowledge of our 8th blessing on the way

 

There is no other man on the planet that is brave enough to “do this life” with me. A life of multiple kids, mess, ministry, mayhem and many, many blessings.

 

Our secret? Prayer. A WHOLE LOT OF PRAYER. This tattered prayer guide has been my faithful companion since the wee hours of the night nursings of our very first child. Each child gets systematically prayed for by name, covering various arenas of their life and future. Sometimes my greatest prayer sanctuary is the elliptical machine at the YMCA while my young ones are occupied in the child care. Many a heart-pourings have happened at that spot. And many answered prayers have occurred afterwards.

 

For those of you who ordered Heirloom, you got sneak preview into our fun family news, with the announcement of this baby eight in the author bio.

Want a copy? Or one to share? Order it on Amazon today!

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