I have a confession to make.
Sometimes I feel like a big, fat fraud.
I’m not perfect.
I’m in no way qualified to write a blog about parenting. About minimalism. About serving. Or (especially) about spiritual matters.
Because sometimes my heart isn’t in it.
Sometimes I’m not in the mood to serve.
Sometimes I volunteer for something and then it looms on the calendar.
Sometimes I secretly dread serving.
Sometimes I’m selfish.
Sometimes, if I’m completely honest, I’m just faking it.
I’ve considered quitting blogging for this very reason.
I love writing and I love sharing what I’m learning each week.
But with the platform comes the unwritten assumption that maybe I’m an “expert.”
Maybe I’ve got it all figured out.
When that’s not the impression I want to send out.
I’m just as messed up and questioning as anyone.
I don’t have it figured out.
I’ve read some good books.
I know some wise people.
I have a great community around me.
But I have plenty of questions without answers.
I have doubts.
I have times that it doesn’t feel “worth it.”
I have anxiety.
Sometimes I’m too mentally exhausted to focus on anything or anyone.
Maybe this makes me selfish.
Maybe this makes me a disappointment.
Or maybe this makes me human.
I don’t claim to be an expert of any kind.
I like to share resources and ideas.
I’m open to hearing from others.
I want to be available and teachable in all things.
I was thinking about giving up the blog. Or at least taking a break.
But this morning I had a revelation: maybe we’re all just faking it till we make it.
“Faking it” isn’t the ideal. But the work still gets done.
And maybe even if we started out faking it, by the end of the day we’re fully on board.
Do you know what I mean?
Sometimes I have to force myself to do things that are good for me.
To eat well. To go for a run. To take care of my kids when they’re being needy.
But I do it anyway.
I fake it.
I’m ashamed to admit this, but I think it needs to be said.
Sometimes our desire grows slowly.
Sometimes we need to act on our calling and our ideals even when it’s inconvenient.
We do it out of duty.
And maybe that’s actually okay.
Serving isn’t always happy feelings and Oprah-style “ah hah” moments.
Sometimes it’s very, very hard.
Sometimes I have to tell myself “just stay for two hours and then you can go home and rest.”
Just. Do. It.
The funny thing is that sometimes what starts out as a duty can become our purpose.
We just have to be willing to let it grow.
To let it become more.
And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.
Sometimes I force myself to cook a dinner for someone for no other reason than I said I would do it.
Sometimes that duty becomes a blessing later.
Either way, it makes a difference.
That hungry person was fed.
And maybe someday when I’m hungry someone will feed me.
We all have our moments of weakness. We’re all fallen, struggling humans. We all need one another.
And there’s something beautiful about that.
I’ve often heard minimalist and “simple living” blogs recommend that readers learn to say no to things.
Learn to not do things out of duty, but to only do what “gives you life.”
I say that’s great in theory, but sometimes our duties can grow into the things that give us life.
Think of parenthood. I clothe and feed my children out of duty, and it isn’t always fulfilling.
I don’t get positive vibes and happiness every time I change a diaper or cook a meal or clean a toilet.
But God is in the duties and grunt work just as much as he is in the transcendent mountaintop moments.
God shows up sometimes in the most unlikely places.
Maybe we go there with no expectations, but you never know what might happen.
Sometimes, as with children, it takes years to see the fruit of the work that is being done.
I lamented to Josh last night about how no amount of cleaning and visiting and grocery shopping will help one refugee friend get what she really wants: her husband who is still stuck in their home country.
“It feels so pointless. The one thing she wants is the one thing we can’t give her.”
Josh wisely and quietly disagreed. “Sometimes we’re just helping someone tread water to stay afloat. It isn’t fun but it’s important. And it is making a difference.”
Just help them stay afloat until the rescue comes.
Not fun, but so important.
And when the rescue does come, which I believe it eventually will, then we can all rejoice that much more – together.
Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.
I once read that Mother Teresa was to be honored at a banquet. She was given a seat of honor. But when it came time for her to take the stage, she was nowhere to be found.
They sent out a search party and finally found the guest of honor – in the kitchen, eating and visiting with the waiters, busboys, and dishwashers.
That’s not always where I am.
But it’s where I want to be.
It’s where I want to want to be.
Forget the fanfare. Forget the media. Forget the noise.
I want to be behind the scenes.
I believe that’s where Jesus would be.
I believe that’s where God can be found.
In the nitty gritty. In the duties. In last place.
I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.
So if you’re like me and feeling burnt-out, I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on.
Trudge through it.
Serve even when you don’t feel like it.
Fake it till you make it.
You will make it.
This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.