An Invitation

Hi Friends!

I have something new for you today…an invitation.

Your kids are headed back to school. Most of your life is narrowing into a straighter line, a tighter tunnel. Not so much less busy as it is just more focused: classes, ball games, practices, lessons, homework. Monday through Friday – wash, rinse, repeat.

So, I’m wondering, are you headed into deeper study of Jesus? While your kids are learning the fundamentals of arithmetic, literature and history, are you studying the one and only thing that will fundamentally prepare you to face each next chaotic day, each next difficult relationship, each new phase of parenting or married life?

Several months ago, a very dear friend introduced me to Good Morning Girls, a groud-breaking group of women who have harnessed the Internet in order to internationally declare Jesus and to bring to women everywhere a feeling of community as they study God’s Word.

I am finishing up the training to become a leader/facilitator for the next Good Morning Girls Bible study that starts on September 2. We will be studying in the book of Luke, following the theme, “Loving Like Jesus.” I’m inviting you to join me in this study!

The simplest of explanations: The study is conducted on Facebook. We will have a secret group once all of our participants have joined. Each day you will individually “SOAP” (Scripture, Observe, Apply, Pray) a passage of Scripture. Then, beneath a heading on the Facebook page, everyone will leave their comments about that day’s lesson. There will supplemental, short reading from Good Morning Girls and the authors of the study. The FB group will become interactive as we read each others’ insights, talk on a personal level and share our lives. I’ve done four studies like this now and I love it!

Again, the study starts on September 2, and enrollment, which will allow you to have access to the materials (reading guide and printable book) is from August 19 -September 1. Please let me know here by a comment or email that you would like to participate in my group and I’ll keep you informed with the details.

In the meantime, I wrote this poem today, an overflow of my study in Good Morning Girls, “Women of Influence.”

Faith is an unlikely thing,
In the trembling hands of a prostitute, a crimson cord.
Faith, unlikely in an ancient man to wait another year,
nine months, youthful years.
Faith, unlikely in a puny army,
To route the enemy at the hand of a woman.
Faith, unlikely in the sands of Egypt, the hungry woods,
After nine plagues, after forty years.
Faith unlikely, is an untimely thing.
Forever tardy, slipping in on the last cool breeze,
The dying breath of hope.
Faith untimely after 400 years of Heaven’s stony silence.
Through generations of sunrise, sunset.
Waiting on. Baited breath.
Past a wish. After hope. Often after life.
Faith slips in on the last cool breeze,
Hope’s dying breath.
And grips with one last talon,
The shred of light remaining.
Faith clings till sunrise, one more time,
And sees just a little farther, over the horizon,
And waits…

There’s the Rub

I really don’t have the energy to write long today. My emotional fuses are blown. I feel like I’m plugged into so many sockets (not just over-committment but too many “good” things) that my circuitry is fried. Do you know what I mean? In fact, Patrick and I have been discussing joining a small Life Group at church for more intimate connections and spiritual growth. Personally, I have several small group connections with Christian women, but Patrick doesn’t get any of that with other Christian men. However, as I look forward into the week or months and consider which group we can commit to, I panic. The last thing I want or can handle is another emotional connection. That sounds terrible, but it’s true.

That said, as I mumbled and humbled to God about this today, another training similarity came to mind. Somehow, I want someone to just give me the answer. I want someone I trust, or God, to just say, “Abby, here’s the group you and Patrick need to join. You’ll be so glad you did. You’ll both grow together and in Christ by leaps and bounds.” or “Abby, sit tight. God is working right now in your heart and life and marriage. Don’t try to assume one more thing that you think will be ‘good’ for you to do.” But no one is telling me anything – even if it isn’t what I want to hear.

There’s the rub. When it comes to working out, no one can do it for you.  You can’t ask you best friend to do crunches for you. You can’t lose weight and improve endurance by watching your husband go for a morning run.

There’s a gentleman that comes to South Run RECenter that has earned the nickname “Flash” by the front desk staff. Flash comes to the gym daily and contrary to his name, paces slowly up and down the aisles between the equipment and down to the water fountain. No one has ever seen Flash do a single exercise. And Flash looks like he’s put on a few pounds.

In the same way, unfortunately for me, no one can do the tough stuff for me. No one can say, “No.” No one can pick up the Bible study and attend on a Tuesday night for me. There’s the rub. For growth – muscular or spiritual – you have to put in the hours, the effort, the sweat and tears by yourself. However, there is the other side of the coin. You, Yes YOU, will also enjoy the increase – muscularly and spiritually.