I stopped the vacuum in the middle of the living room, shut it off and said, out loud, “Okay, Lord, I think You’ve made me a speaker.” I waited for a moment. Silence. I turned the vacuum back on and continued my chore. I didn’t hear an audible voice, but I knew that He was impressing something on my spirit and mind. I’m not sure why God spoke to me that day in that way, but I won’t forget it.
For one thing, I didn’t get out of vacuuming. One job isn’t better than another. I just knew that for whatever reason He wanted me to keep speaking for Him, and in the meantime, housework was part of the deal.
I had begun speaking for my church and for a few other churches at that time. God was confirming a path that took a ton of work but offered a ton of joy. Just because God gives a gift, doesn’t mean it doesn’t take effort, preparation, and practice. I even attended a women’s speaker conference but didn’t get a lot out of it since I suffered morning sickness the whole week. Who knew that I’d have a “surprise treat” arriving in my 43rd year? I thought I was going to be a speaker. Instead, I was going to be a mother, again. Who had time for speaking?
Was I getting mixed messages from God?
Should I put away my notes and get a better vacuum? I wasn’t sure.
But I was sure of this: God made me the way I am, He was growing me into His likeness, in spite of myself, and serving Him in any way, shape, or form – and my form and shape did change – was my lifelong privilege. I went on to mother three daughters and spoke at women’s events when asked. I started a blog, developed an encouraging online community, wrote some books and courses and began a podcast. Not all at once, mind you. One book took three years. But looking back, I see God’s hand and leading. I’m glad I didn’t know what was ahead. (I may have only vacuumed!) But note, I didn’t get out of vacuuming. One job isn’t better than another.
Pursuing God helped me know the pursuits for which I was made. I get into trouble if I reverse the order. Jesus was very clear about this order. Matthew 6 was written for a woman, at least this woman–a redheaded California woman married to a man from Iowa who wears plaid, mostly: “Stop being anxious. You don’t know what’s coming. You don’t need to know what’s coming.” Hmm. A great word to the wise (who said I was wise?)
“But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33, ESV).
What I love about this passage is that we are not just told what NOT to do – we are given something TO do: Seek first God’s kingdom. That’s it.
Seeking God’s kingdom first helps me figure out the pursuits God’s outlined for me.
What does that mean to you today?
It may mean to get out the vacuum (or your maternity clothes – bless you!) It may mean to get out of your comfort zone, or raise your hand when your Director of Women’s Ministry asks: “Who can teach this year?”
I’ve decided that “flexibility is next to godliness” – not cleanliness – although I need to be flexible enough to clean when it’s time to clean. By flexible, I mean, when God changes my course, I want to be ready to change with Him.
They say the older you get, the more rigid. I don’t want that to be me.Instead, the closer I get to Glory, the more fluid I want to be in God’s kingdom. Click To Tweet
And to be so close to Him that I hear what He’s saying, even when it’s only a whisper.
My favorite To-Do List helps me seek God’s kingdom first:
1. Relate well with God.
2. Everything else.
These are some of my favorite “seeking God’s kingdom first” resources:
Face to Face by Kenneth Boa (meant to be read in 5-minute increments)
Daily with the King by Glyn Evans
My Utmost For His Highest by Oswald Chambers
Seeking God by Fenelon
Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
So whether we are washing bottles, changing sheets, making tea for a neighbor, or writing an online Bible Study, you and I know God better when we seek Him first. And then we’ll know what to do next.
It’s all in the pursuit.
God, His kingdom, the next thing. And there’s nothing to worry about.
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:34, ESV).
(And its own dust in the carpet!)