Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Think God doesn't care about nail polish? Think again.

{Amy Sullivan asked us if we would #RiskRejection and try new things, even if we knew we might not succeed.  Amy did not know when she asked me to participate is that I do not even ask for extra condiments if I fear being told "no."  But what Amy does know is that if God relentlessly hammers me asks me to do something, I will, which is why I have been embarking on adventures off the designated trails and into the scary wilderness where I might emerge humiliated badly scratched refined.}
My One Word for 2014, if you don't know already, is FUN!  For a large number of you, you might think this word is very easy.  Or at least, a word to look forward to on a daily basis.  At the sound of FUN!, your eyes might start to glimmer with excitement and expectation.  You might slip into a child-like state filled with wonder.

Not me.  I'm panicking.  And while I might be in the minority, I do know there are others of you out there that are like me.  After my One Word post on Monday, I got this email from a friend:
"I think your word FUN is great for 2014…

Mine is PLAY, which I often forget to do in the midst of getting one more thing done.  I too would much rather work, I really didn’t know anyone else was like that.  Working is safe, you can see tangible results."   
Here's the thing: I know how to have fun at planned "fun" outings. I can laugh, tell funny stories, dress up like a pirate on theme night with my nieces and kids.  I can dance in the kitchen to Frozen's "Let It Go" while my kids are eating breakfast.  I know how to be fun at the appropriately designated times.

But I have a hard time letting fun in on a daily basis -- a fun that fuels me, that allows me to experience respite from the daily demands of life.  I am a work first, play later, where the playing doesn't happen often because the work never seems to get all done, kind of girl.  I don't often allocate many brain cells to thinking of fun things to do.  Never in a million years, would I have dreamed up something like this.  A doughnut tour?  I stand amazed at the brain who came up with that one.

What I'm sensing from God is that He wants me not only to have fun, but to have spontaneous, seemingly pointless fun.  Fun that happens outside the designated time and place.

But this is risky for me.  Because if I add in the fun, I risk not getting the work done.  And I really like to be on the ball, on top of things, ahead of the game.

Because it's there I find my security.  And if I'm honest, a little bit of my self-worth.  Who wants to risk security and self-worth?  Not me.

But God, He wants me to risk it.  For obvious reasons.  And, He's gone ahead and taken me seriously about this One Word. And He expects me to listen and participate when He puts fun ideas in my head.  His idea yesterday?  Go get a pedicure.  Here's how our conversation went:

The scene, Tuesday. I'm sitting in my chair, doing my morning devotions in the noon hour.  I'm exhausted from a busy weekend, bible study and a hospital visit on Monday, a husband out of town, children who weren't cooperating, and a meeting that morning.  My plan is to work, get ahead, power through until it's time to pick up the kids from school.  Suddenly, God interrupts my plan.

God: Go get a pedicure.

Me: No.  I have too much work to do.  

God:  Go get a pedicure.

Me: No.  I'll go get one on Thursday, after I've caught up on my work.

God:  Go get a pedicure today.  You always put off fun.  You need this.  Your word is FUN!  This is something fun for you.

Me:  I don't have the money.

God: Yes, you do.  Go get a pedicure.

I try to ignore Him and I am not successful, but I don't move from my chair.  My computer stays poised on my lap.  And then, my mind flashes back to the night before when I couldn't wait for the kids to go to bed (re: I was impatient and yelling) because I had nothing left in my tank.

God:  Do you want tonight to be a repeat of last night?

Me: I shake my head "no."  I call the nail salon.  Of course, they can get me right in.  Of course.

I take myself to the salon.  I don't look at my phone the entire time I'm in the chair.  At one point, I actually close my eyes and focus on the massage.  I soak up all this glorious fun and by the end, I feel restored.  Funny, God was right.  I really needed that.

However, I didn't realize just how much I needed that until 8:45pm when my youngest was having an 8 year-old meltdown and I had to keep it together.  And not only did I just need to keep it together, I needed to have access to Wisdom because after all the outlandish tears had finally subsided, she shared what had been bottled up in her little heart -- the hurts, the confusion, the fear -- she had been stuffing in for a few week's time.

I hate to think what I would have been like had I not risked getting things done in order to have a little bit of fun.  But in a short summation, I could have worked, but I would have risked my daughter's heart. 

And there is no contest between those two things.  Glory be to God that things like pedicures matter to Him.

Linking with Linking up with Amy for #riskrejection. And also with Emily for Imperfect Prose, Jennifer Lee for #tellHisstory, Michell for DYWW,  Women to Women , Sharita for Everyday Jesus, and Lyli for Thought Provoking Thursday.

photo credit: melloveschallah via photopin cc

30 comments :

  1. I love this story. So glad you listened to God's nudging and let go. :)

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  2. Great story and I know God wants us to have fun. I"m glad you had some fun and that reminds me about getting a pedicure. Thanks for stopping by my blog. www.mylifeabundant.com

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  3. I loved this, Jen! And I so love pedicures...love, love, ove. God doesn't need to ask me twice for that one.

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  4. LOVE this, Jen. I can so relate. What is fun to other people is often 'work' or necessity for me. Even pedicures! Long story, but I have to get them regularly (I know, sad, sad story) because of some foot problems, but sometimes I feel like, can't I just enjoy something for the sake of enjoying it? My one word for this year is similar to yours, celebrate. While I do love to celebrate, it doesn't come as easy as I hope too often. I asked my friend the other day how I could 'work' on celebrating. Kinda defeats the purpose, yes? :) Good for you for chasing the lighter side.

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  5. There is a freedom that comes whenever we loosen up and have more fun. After all, God created us as human beings and I believe He desires us to live fully ... and have fun along the way. Kudos on your endeavor.

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  6. Oh I love this. I love that you had fun!! What a great risk, I totally get it. Being a mom I think takes the fun out of you, we are always the ones that have to have things planned!

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  7. Thanks for sharing! I too love that God does care about the little desires of our hearts! He's truly an awesome Father! We're new followers from Doing you Well Wednesday! Blessings!

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  8. Oh I so understand. God loves all the details and everything about you.
    Blessings,
    Janis www.janiscox.com

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  9. Oh wow. Simply just wow.
    What a beautiful, beautiful lesson.

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  10. oh I love your word for 2014 and have no doubts you will love it too in time. How cool that so early in 2014 you are hearing whispers from our God to put this into practice. Love it!

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  11. I understand those parenting challenges - that make you feel like just throwing in the towel - but we love too big to let that happen - and we love enough to make the changes. Maybe that's how we start understanding just how big God's love really is and how it feels. I'm learning how to have fun again - kind of like bringing myself out of the closet of tears into the sunlight - so glad I didn't give up - on me or them!

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  12. Such a lovely post, Jen and your word, fun, is wonderful. I know since Dave died, I've not had much, if any, fun. It simply hasn't been in my life but God has kept me in other ways. Perhaps 2014 will be the year He brings fun back into my life. My 2014 word is -favor-, as in God's favor. He starts with the breath in my lungs and then overwhelms me with His blessings.

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  13. God has been "nailing me to the wall" the past 4 months saying "You don't have any space in your life for the new things I have for you; you didn't ask ME if you should lead a bible study again...do you want what I have for you?...then make some space." Fun is part of what he has for me. He is showing me how much I have been living on autopilot and not really engaged in the present because I am so focused on getting things done. I am learning to stop and consider when someone asks me to go do something fun and not just say no because I'm too busy. I am making space --breathing room actually--and God is regularly bringing some wonderful new things to my life! PRAISE HIM! Oh, man, am I hard-headed!!??!?!? He is a loving Father who will not give up on me.

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  14. I love this - as moms we really have to take care of ourselves in order to lovingly take care of the others who need us. It's like filling our gas tank.

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  15. Oh, I wish I could see your toes! Jesus fills you up for just what you need--body, soul and spirit. Keep the stories coming. xxoo

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  16. Jen, I feel like you are talking about me here! I can so relate to enjoying "scheduled" fun. Ha! I'm not spontaneous and I have such a long list of things to do that I cannot imagine stopping to do something for (gasp) myself because then something else won't get done. Phew! It's exhausting just thinking about it. Your post is an encouragement to remember to consider myself and to look for ways for flexible fun to come into my life, whether I planned for it or not.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life
    www.ahearteninglife.com

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  17. Love this! Also, I wish God would tell me to get a pedicure. I could use one. ;)

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  18. Well now you have me in tears! Just beautiful how God prompts us at just the right moments with what we need. Love this fellow risker.

    http://positivelyalene.com

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  19. Jen, this is great! We so often think God is one continuous serious Dad, but a glance at nature can remind us of His playful, light side. So glad your word is "fun", and you most definitely will have fun in 2014. My word is "focus" so keep me in prayer to do just that this year. I can get pulled in a million directions quite quickly!

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  20. This is fan-frigging-tastic, Jen! I am SO encouraged by it and absolutely LOVE your word for 2014 (not because it's easy... but because it's risky and, well, FUN!)

    I pray that these little fun Jesus-y moments bring such a new joy into your life as you find Jesus in your everyday (even more than ever before.)

    Thanks a bajillion for linking up. You rock.

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  21. This is awesome Jen! What a great word! What an encouraging post!!! He truly cares about every single detail of our life!!! Blessings, Natasha

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  22. I love this story. Love your word. And I'd say I'm a little like you. Just today someone stopped me and said something like, "look-up and smile." I wonder how often I look like I'm having no fun. Great encouragement. I'm so glad you got your pedicure!!
    By the way, if all goes well tonight my new page will be ready tomorrow. I will be in touch.
    Much love,
    Beth

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  23. Beautiful! I love your #OneWord365 and I think it sounds like God was setting you up so that your #OneWord and your #RiskRejection all coincide. Cheering you on! x

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  24. I can relate to this big time. I can't tell you how many times I put more on my plate and force myself to push forward when what in front of me is already daunting. I think we are the same in that we both like that "on the ball" feeling. I must analyze this more...

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  25. Wow, it's kind of sad how many of us can relate to this! I was big-time like you when I had little ones at home, but have learned to loosen up a bit now that I'm in my early 50s. I'm glad you're learning the lessons -- and taking the risks -- sooner than I did. Your family will be, too! Thank God mine was so patient with me... :-)

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  26. Oh, Jen the blessings that come from listening to our Abba, Father! No matter what our "word" is, we can all probably benefit from listening to Him more and self-directing our lives less. So thankful to hear His voice through you this week. Blessings.

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  27. Wow ow. It's amazing what happens when we are obedient.

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  28. Jen, it's been a crazy week, and I am playing "catch up" tonight... so I am finally back to read this sweet post again and thank you for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday.

    The phrase that stuck out to me tonight is "fun that fuels me" --- I am praying tonight for God to help me make choices that fuel me, rather than burn me out.

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