I rush to put my shoes on as I am yelling to my children, “Hurry up! Get your shoes on and meet me in the car!” I grab my purse, turn off a couple of lights and fly down the stairs. Thinking to myself, We are so late! If we hurry we will just make it. . .
As I round the corner, I stumble upon my youngest sitting at the bottom of the stairs crying. Big crocodile tears stream down his face. He is half dressed and no shoes to be found. Oh no, I don’t have time for this. I gave the kids ample time to get ready . . .
My first instinct is to speak sternly and explain to him loudly that he has to get in the car, right now, or we will be late. Where are your shoes? Why aren’t you dressed?
A small voice barely audible over my own selfish expectations says, Slow down! Be patient! Extend grace!
AHHHHH! I don’t have time for this!
Truth is a person and He reminds me. Who are you dedicated to? Who do you follow? What is the right response?
Early on in my Christian walk, I learned the phrase “Being dedicated to Inconvenience”. In other words, it is a practical way to live out the Biblical principle “To die to Oneself”. This principle was much easier as a single woman. I have struggled ever since I got married and have had children. Mostly because the inconveniences come more often and they are right in my face, daily.
The disruptions in my day may look like . . .
A daughter who wants Mommy to come play house when I am busy doing housework
A son who wants me to throw the baseball when I am working on the computer
A husband who asks to talk (or other things) when I am tired in the evening
A child who wakes me in the middle of the night because they had a bad dream
A friend who reaches out for help when my schedule is full
An argument between my kids right when we are leaving to go somewhere
A need at church when we already have plans to do something else
Inconveniences arrive in all shapes and sizes. They are as different for each of us as the days are long. But I promise you one thing, they will happen.
As we are on a path towards Easter, I am reflecting on this verse.
"If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:23-24
Jesus calls us to die to ourselves, if we are his followers. For me, this death to self looks a lot like “dedication to inconveniences”. If I am committed to drop my own agenda, for others, daily, then this is an active way for me to die to myself. If I stop and spend time with my husband, meet my children’s needs at my expense and serve others in my sphere of influence, then I am “taking up the cross” on a regular basis.
I love our new book, A Royal Easter Story, as it is a perfect example of this principle of “Being Dedicated to Inconvenience”. The princesses are racing the newly-introduced knights. The girls desperately want to win (just like our kids do!) They happen upon a lost little girl who needs their help. They have to abandon their own plans to serve Alina. They have to be “dedicated to the inconvenience” God allows in their life. This is not only a lesson for us, but also for our kids during Easter!
Here is where I struggle. I am selfish. I have so many thoughts about me daily. I don’t like to be interrupted in my plans. Do you feel the same way?
I love the small still voice of the Holy Spirit reminding me daily where I can “take up my cross and follow Him”. I just need to strain to listen to it and not allow the loud voices of selfishness to drown out His voice!
How are you taking up your cross daily?
What is a story of inconvenience in your life?
When Jeanna is not writing, speaking, event planning, or homeschooling, she can be found scrapbooking her life, redecorating her home, loving on her husband, planning fun events for her kids or eating healthy to stay cancer-free!