Are You Feeling Under-, Over- or Dis- Qualfied?

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unqualified:
1: not fit : not having requisite qualifications

Ever feel un or under qualified? Ever wonder, “How did I get here?”
I have. Lately I have often been reminded of my lack of qualification. The pressure of striving to make an “A” in every area of life leaves me feeling like Bilbo Baggins….

“I feel thin, sort of stretched, like butter scraped over too much bread.”

But…

Moses stuttered. God asked him to speak.
David led sheep. God asked him to lead a nation.
Abraham was sterile. God asked him to be the father of many nations.

It seems that in order to qualify for God’s work, unqualification is the number one qualification!

There are times that the opposite is true. We feel overqualified. We feel that certain work is beneath us or that we have grown past a season in life. “I’ve put in my time serving at the church,” we might justify. “It’s time for someone else to step in.

over·qual·i·fied adjective \-ˈkwä-lə-ˌfīd\
: having more education, training, or experience than a job calls for

Jesus is the epitome of over-qualification. The son of God came to earth as a man….and He came to serve.

Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. (Philippians 2:5-8 MSG)

When it comes to serving mankind, there can nothing be beneath us.

Disqualify

: to make ineligible for a prize or for further competition because of violations of the rules

But the most difficult station of qualification to find oneself in is disqualification.

Did Joseph’s lack of discretion in telling his brothers his dreams disqualify him from a position which would require great discretion? No! In fact, the consequences of his indiscretion led to bringing him into the very place where he would become the wisest man alive!

Did the fact that Paul persecuted Christians disqualify him from becoming the man who discipled the gentile? History shouts a resounding, “No!”

When God shares with you His dreams for your life, or when you find yourself on a road and accosted by His presence, remember…God prefers the under-, over-and seemingly dis- qualified.

Maybe it’s because through our frailty He is made strong. Or perhaps it’s because when we are forced to depend on Him we are forced to acknowledge His workings in us…

He uses the foolish things to confound the wise. I am certain many have been confounded by my doings. I know I have! I should not be surprised by their accusations and defeating words, or by my own deafening doubts.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
God never changes his mind when he gives gifts or when he calls someone

Calling
1
: a strong inner impulse toward a particular course of action especially when accompanied by conviction of divine influence

It has been often said,

God doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

It’s so easy to look at the people of faith in Scripture as qualified when we know the end of the story. But, how difficult it is to see that He has called us qualified in the midst of our own journey.

Sometimes He calls from a fiery bush, while other times He appears as a great light disrupting our plans, but most often He leads by a small, still voice saying, “This is the way, walk in it.” No matter which way calls, know that He who calls you also qualifies you.

Sharing at my friend Emily’s…

And Michelle’s

He Answers Me in Nehemiah 4

I’m weary-worn from a hectic week at work,

Feet on husband’s lap, tissue on tear stained face.

Who knew that there would be days like these?

People call and leave their burdens at my feet,

and I try to remember that I’m not Jesus,

and that ultimately it’s my job to point people to Him

not to solve all of their problems.

Yet, the Martha in me tries.

I can’t help but feel that I’m only a little girl

“pretending” ministry

and the shoes are way too big for me.

'Walking in my shoes' photo (c) 2011, Susana Fernandez - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Honeytree sang,

“‘I’m playing grownup and no one can see in me,

I’m just a child who is learning to hide inside,

Longing to live, but yet learning to die.”

Voices come, masquerading themselves as my own:

“Why did I think I could do this?

What was I thinking?

I’d better quit now before anyone sees…

that I’m not perfect.”

Husband listens, but his eyes begin to droop

because it’s been hours that he has heard me drone on.

I tell him to go to bed.

Thumb slides on phone

looking for His Words to me

on this matter.

Nehemiah Four:

“What does this bunch of poor, feeble Jews think they’re doing?

Do they think they can build the wall in a single day…

Do they actually think they can make something of stones from a rubbish heap…”

The voice sounds oddly familiar.

It’s the one that sounds like my own.

Then Nehemiah prayed.

Then I prayed.

Nehemiah didn’t listen to the voices,

and neither will I.

'Wall' photo (c) 2011, fishhawk - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I will go back to work rebuilding the walls

delegating to others

and we’ll whistle while we work.

But not without the Sword of the Spirit

in our mouths,

to chase away words

that cajole and confront

that we are nothing and can not finish.

I am nothing.

I can’t finish.

He is everything.

He has finished.

I am in Him,

and He is in me.

It is done.

Giving thanks because I need to see:

289. Free leggings just when I needed them.

290. Beauty in every corner

291. Cozy corners to enjoy coffee or cocoa

292. Sunlight glitters in an autumn dance

293. It was a dark and stormy night…and I am in my very own attic bedroom.

294. My very own burning bush…what is the Lord saying to me?

295. Joy unspeakable! I’m living the life of Jan Karon’s Father Tim!

 

 

Painting Grace Graffiti or How I Almost Quit Blogging

A Little Piece of 80s
Photo by Twig_Is_The_Future

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.” Psalm 17 (The Message)

Recently, I questioned my place here in the Blogosphere. This test, is seems, is common to bloggers who remain. It is our Wilderness of sorts. Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and 40 nights to be tempted of the Devil. His temptations were, at the core, focused on keeping Him from doing what He was called to do.

And so it is the same with us. Our enemies, whether real, or in our own mind, are sent to keep us from doing what we were meant to do…and part of this test must be done alone. But I’m not writing about that part today. I’m writing about the part when strong hands pick me up when I am weak. I’m writing about community.

You see, as I went through my blogging valley, I received encouragement from the unexpected. I expected encouragement from my readers,…and I did get some. But the encouragement that blew my mind was from my blogging mentors. This wouldn’t be so surprising had they known that I considered them my mentors. However, I had admired them from afar, both in proximity and in anonymity. Sure, I left glowing comments on their blogs, but I never asked them for advice or let them know that I was watching their every move in order to copy their behavior in hopes that maybe, just maybe, I’d experience some of their success.

Within moments of posting my blogging woes, I received this comment from Jen:
I saw this on FB and came by to read and was I so surprised to see my name here. And then, my heart broke a little when I read the next few lines. And I know that you know, but I’m just confirming that the world would be a little less caring, a little less bright, and a whole lot less beautiful without YOUR words in it. You are a true original and I am so glad I know you.

This was so humbling and healing. Jen is possibly the kindest blogger I know. She was the first to invite me to join her blogging community, teaching me how to linkup with her weekly community Soli Deo Gloria. (Yes, I was that green at the moment.)

Then there was the Twitter mission started by Renee at Lessons from Twits and Teachers…she and the iconic Ironic Mom Leanne Shirtliffe decided that they were going to beat up the voice in my head that was telling me to quit.

A few days later, I read this Scripture in Psalm 17 from the Message Bible,

“Paint grace-graffiti on the fences;
take in your frightened children who
Are running from the neighborhood bullies
straight to you.”

It was then that I realized that this is just what my friends and mentors had done. They had painted grace-graffiti on my fences, telling my bullies to “KEEP OUT!”

Epiphany! What if I am ever ready to build a fence around those who need protection, even if it’s from themselves? And what if I, with pen or keyboard in hand, determine to ward off those bullies with grace-graffiti? What better place to write grace-graffiti than a real-life virtual wall on Facebook, or as a Tweet? Can I challenge you as well? Find someone who is needing a grace word, and paint some grace-graffiti on their fence. It might be just what they need to continue on!

Jen and Michelle thank you for your kind and encouraging words….and Renee and Leanne? Wow! You really went the extra mile. Keep painting that graffiti! Come to think of it, after Jesus finished with his temptation, two angels were sent to Him in order to minister to His needs…that’s who the two of you were, my angels. Thank you.

What grace-graffiti has been written on your fence lately?

Giving Thanks today with Ann:
and with Laura: and with Michelle:

56. for a husband who shampoos my carpets.
57. for the pattern the stark dormant trees make on the powder blue sky
58. for sunny skies despite cloudy news.
59. for the smell of banana bread in the house even if it’s not for me.
60. that I have enough groceries in the house that I can put off shopping. one. more. day.

and a brand new community at: GettingDownWithJesus