You’re in for a treat with today’s Guest Author, Alyssa Gluck from the blog Revealing the Story. When I was an APU Freshmen, Alyssa was my RA- an authentic, faithful, people-loving soul with the best.laugh.ever and a heart to serve locally and internationally. She was and is the real deal and I know her words will inspire you (as they do me) as she shares her heart through her gift of writing.
A year ago, October I was at an event to listen to one of my favorite speakers. Dang. You know those times where you feel like a pastor or teacher is talking directly TO YOU? Yep. Me too. I won’t forget it. The topic was simplifying life…making room for “interruptions.” I was convicted from the start.
You see, once again, my pace was too frantic. I am a master of filling the hours of my day-aren’t you?
That night, God seemed to be asking me to STEP BACK. Step back from various activities, leadership positions, and even my master’s degree pursuit and slow my pace. Instead of creating a to-do list and schedule for the day and hurriedly asking God to sign off on it each morning, the challenge was to start with a blank slate and engage in the adventure of letting God orchestrate my days.
Reluctantly, January 1st (yes it took months to obey), I finally accepted the challenge. I said “no” and “sorry, I can’t” until I was blue in the face. At first I was just plain sad to have to back out of many “good” things. What had I done?
Little did I know that I had just embarked on the most amazing chapter in all my years of following Jesus.
I learned from my dad to start the day praying: “What do you have for me today, Lord?” Sometimes the day’s agenda unfolded in the ordinary: play tea party with my daughter, do laundry, make dinner, kiss my husband, or help the older boys with homework. God’s challenge to me was to be fully present.
Other days, the author’s agenda surprised me. (BIG TIME!) During these few months TWO of my friends began to approach me with questions about God. Uh…it was messy and I certainly didn’t have all the answers, but it was God revealing Himself to them. These are folks I have prayed to know Jesus for a long time. I was FLOORED! Let the record be straight: this doesn’t happen in my normal life. I wouldn’t have had the time for it! Conversations went long and I didn’t have to rush off to my next event. I was free to answer my phone when a friend called and needed a safe place to explore spiritual issues. We tripped over ourselves searching for truth. God began to transform the lives of my beloved friends and for some reason, He allowed me to be in the room and watch. #it.does.not.get.any.better.
This same semester a group of “moms who pray” began organically gathering at the public school where my kids attend. Women came together, prayed, and watched God work in our lives and among our kids. Community was formed. It was incredibly miraculous, and beautiful, and incredibly God. Had I not stepped back from other things, I would’ve missed out on being a part of what God did here.
The author also penned many opportunities to open the doors of our home. Having an open schedule allowed for spontaneous, “sure! Come on over”(s). Many precious ones filled the chairs around our family dinner table. We laughed, we cried, we learned. We broke bread together.
God’s agenda also included some really hard days. Sitting with friends in crises when deaths, illnesses, and broken marriages unexpectedly became part of their story. Heartache. God gave me the gift of being AVAILABLE. Conversations went longer, playdates lingered, naptimes sometimes got skipped, last minute dinners were thrown together, but it felt like the KINGDOM. My way=busy, God’s way=meaningful, purposeful, abundant LIFE.
My calendar was no longer filled with programs and routines that were beginning to suck the life out of me, and my perspective shifted to seeing what God authored for my days. And really, friends, it had nothing to do with me. I just functioned at a slower pace to where I could SEE GOD at work around me.
I don’t know what your day planner looks like-what responsibilities plague you in the nights. As women there is always more to be done. ALWAYS.
But I’d love to challenge you, challenge ME, again to take a deep breath.
Say “no” to what you sense you need to say “no” to.
Invite God to be the author of your day today. The greatest adventure may be just ahead.
Alyssa currently serves as a full-time wife/mom, part time substitute teacher, and part time writer/speaker. She is a lover of people and all things celebratory. She has a heart for the poor and has traveled broadly loving God’s kids around the world. God has opened doors for her to share at university chapels, women’s events, and retreats. Most recently she and a few writer friends launched revealingthestory.com, a blog dedicated to telling stories of transformation. She lives in Roseville, CA with her husband and three beautiful kids.