on rare moments

I blame Francis Chan.

And Amber in Honduras.

And all the other selfless souls so unlike me.

I most definitely blame Jen Hatmaker.

Inevitably, there are times in our lives when something is moving.  It is undeniable.  We are caught off guard, swept up in the moment.

We are stilled.

I’ve had a few of them in my life.  One came in 1999, when I was dating the wrong sort of everything.  One came when I had Grayson, my first child.  One came when marriage actually got hard & I had to search for love to give outside of myself.  Another came riding in the back of a dilapidated truck driving in the fume-filled air of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.  Sitting under mountains of wrapping paper one Christmas day, one such moment came along that promted the writing of this very blog.

And so they’ve come.  Knocked me over at hello and filled me with purpose and vision and conviction (and sometimes shame) that I didn’t know I had.  Some such moments led me to homeschool this year.

Through much failure & wrong-seeking, I’ve made my peace with the God who created us all, knowing it is simply not the wind that moves me so.  He is at the center of those moments and while I expect them to come,  they surprise and startle me still.

After I wrote about  how there’s no room for needing Him until we want for something, I was humbled and amazed at your responses through emails and messages.  The beautiful, restored souls of mama after mama & even a few dads shared with us their triumphs and their struggles.

Writing about having too much & wanting a simpler life for my family was one such moment.  But reading your comments & emails was another entirely.  Reading my friends’ story slowly morph from housekeeping to purposeful homemaking is another.

It could all be coincidence.  It could be that it’s January & we’re all in the mood to organize.

It could be a fluke.

But my wretched heart knows better.  It recognizes the swift hands of the Savior as it’s been scooped up time and time again.

For whatever reason, the Father is humbling many of us before Him.  I am on my knees, barely breathing, wondering just how He’ll use us.

We, too, like Ashley & so many others are simplifying.  Removing the clutter and unnecessary gives me some of that margin I’m fighting so hard for.  In food, clothes, junk, decor–just stuff–we are paring down.

It is a beautifully painful process.  Loading wasted clothes into bags humbles me and moves me to tears of guilt and shame.  And yet, the process is beautiful–freeing & exhilarating.

Perfect?  Well, you know what I think about perfection.

Closer to serving Him instead of serving ourselves?  Just a little bit.


Matt and I sat in worship this weekend, bowled over by the Message & the Praise.  I literally bit a chunk out of my cheek to keep from crying throughout the entire service.  Our speaker, Buddy Bell, spoke about how many of us spend most of our lives sucked into the game of Trivial Pursuit, rather than pursuit of the Father.  We are surrounded with stuff, comforted by stuff, inspired by stuff, and changed by our stuff.

I’m curious to see what He’s up to.  Seems like many of us are on the same page.

Do you feel it too?

One of those moments is about to knock our socks off.

I can hardly wait.


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22 Responses to on rare moments

  1. Lisa January 26, 2013 at 3:41 pm #

    Beautiful post! And hitting so close to home as I just got through sorting through a closet filled to the brim with my children’s high school stuff. With our youngest child graduating from high school this spring,we too are clearing out and sizing down. I too am excited about this next season of my life and thrilled at what God is doing. I appreciate your sweet heart and transparency. Thank you for this post!

  2. Connie Nikiforoff Designs January 26, 2013 at 4:06 pm #

    We moved one year ago. In that process, we paired down ‘stuff’ like you wouldn’t believe even though we moved to a larger home! A lot of our things went to our church rummage sale; some things we sold at our own rummage sale. I’ve never been much of a ‘saver’….more of a ‘thrower’. But pairing down (again!) a household from a home we’d lived in for 25 years, raised our two sons, etc. was wonderful!

    Every 6 months I go through my dresser drawers and closet and get rid of unwanted clothes. This time it all went to the thrift store for others to enjoy.

    Pairing down is not only essential but a Miraculous way to see what’s really important. For me I’ve always been more of a “less is more” kind of person. I find that’s when I really “See”.

    May your life be blessed! I love reading about your Faith as much as about your store, your decorating,etc.

  3. Marian January 26, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    What a lovely post. I am on the upswing of one of those moments, enjoying the blessings of following the Lord’s promptings. I love the idea of becoming “a purposeful homemaker” as “stay at home mom” has never really ever felt like it described me or what I do. And the idea of it all being “a beautifully painful process” makes such sense, as I struggle, despite being in one of the funnest stages I’ve had for a very long time. The Lord is teaching me to play again and be light-hearted after a long period of being controlled and focused. It’s so funny when we follow the Lord onto paths that are unlike how we see ourselves and then have to learn how to be what we are “like” again. It’s always an adventure, isn’t it?

  4. Janet Wehrer January 26, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    Beautiful, Shaunna. By the grace of God, you have been given such a powerful gift. The gift of writing so eloquently your own reflections. Your reflections make us pause and reflect. I have been reading about knowing your purpose and living it. For over twenty years I knew my purpose. It was being a wife, mother and a teacher. Now that I am retired my heart and brain thinks it knows my next purpose in life, but isn’t happening.

  5. TMT January 26, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    So true… life’s lessons have taught me that ‘having it all’ isn’t worth having at all. He alone is sufficient and so worth it.

    Love, hugs, and prayers for a beautifully simplified life, surrounded by what truly matters most.

  6. Denise T January 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm #

    A beautiful post! How amazing! Back then, I was not involved in the blog world or Facebook . I am very grateful that I got invovled in the blog world. and just joined Facebook But I am not a blogger ( it may lead me to the path one day). I am a reader and have enjoyed the blogs. If not for this, I am not sure what it will be like for me if I stay in the rut. I realize that we are not alone. As I am currently working for the corporation, I am struggling with my decision on career change. It is a painful and strange process of life but it helps me keep growing. I have learned to appreciate what I have and enjoy life. I am very blessed how the Lord has done for me . I am currently reading a book “believe you can” . My heartfelt thanks to all the bloggers!

  7. Laurie January 26, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    I too have been on the quest for a simpler, less chaotic life. We’ve been slowly putting our house back together since painting all of the house except the bedrooms and also installing hard wood floors last fall. I realized just how much “stuff” we have when it came time to put it back. We have also inherited much these past few years. FIL passed away 2 1/2 years ago and we had to put MIL in assisted living nearby (she has Alzheimers). Some of their things filtered to our house, some things sold and other things given away. My 89 yo mother lives with us and many of her things came here to combine with things we’ve had for 42 years. I felt overwhelmed by the “stuff”. I felt claustrophic. Suffocating in clutter. I’ve been weeding through it all and have given much to charity and some to my niece (who has the time and energy to have a yard sale). She can use the money. If it isn’t blessing my household and is no longer useful, why on earth hang on to it? I’ve learned to let go. I feel so much lighter.

  8. Jamie Samuel January 26, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

    Yep, maybe God is up to something! What I long for now is closeness and peace. Quality. Richness. Crying out to God for His direction in my life. Feeling like I’m nearing the end of a chapter and ready to begin a new one, but I haven’t gotten the details yet. Waiting…a lot of waiting along with intermittant frustration. I don’t know if it’s the waiting that is the hardest or the fear of waiting and seeking only to not have found anything on the other end. I think that is the hardest. Hoping that your waiting on God won’t in fact be in vain. Hanging onto hope that ideed, he is truly up to something, up to something so much bigger than I can conceive. Praying that it will come into existance. Praying that he is the one stirring your heart. I have found myself “nesting”. Organizing, simplifying, decluttering. Saving. Setting goals. Preparing. Maybe it’s more symbolic than anything. Maybe my way of offering what I have to him by letting go of it. Trusting that what he has is better…period. However better looks to him. To get rid of the old to make room for the new that he wants to bring in my life. I am often reminded of a truth that the Holy Spirt put on my heart may years ago and that is that I can’t embrace the future, when I can’t let go of the past. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I keep asking God to demonstrate how that looks in a life filled with chaos high deamnds. A full time job and a full time stay at home mom, housekeeper, cook and everything in between. A heavy and demanding workload from sun up to sundown with very little time to just be. Cause when I can just “be”, I just want to be sleeping. What I long for is pure simplicty. Not emptiness. Not lack of life. Simplicity. Fullness. Peace. Enjoyment. Is that bad?

  9. sarah k January 26, 2013 at 10:23 pm #

    Oh I did love reading your post…Your words were beautiful and well put..It is so true that we as humans love “stuff” and new “toys”, but I think with time we realize it doesn’t matter, only love for each other and for our Savior brings us happiness and peace. Have a lovely rest of the weekend.

  10. Caroline January 27, 2013 at 5:03 am #

    Shaunna you write so beautifully and your words ring true with me as a reader if your blog. Thank you x

  11. Tiffini January 27, 2013 at 3:00 pm #

    ME too…the funny thing it has been at least 10 years since i’ve known..timing
    a story…maybe a book…all its own:)
    He is squeezing our hearts and calling us forward. it won’t be easy
    but just like our God set a bush on fire and Moses had the eyes to see
    that day..God told Him to do something…He was calling Him…giving Moses a mission
    there are so many held captive shaunna..someone has to set the captives free
    and that doesn’t come without a price…anywhay
    i hear your heart loud and clear!

  12. Allison H. January 27, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    It is a common thread these days, and I think it is more than just the new year. I am drawn incredibly to purge these things, and lately I have been reminded of one of my favorite quotes from You’ve Got Mail. Meg is on the floor as her book store is closing and feels as if she has led a small life, and wonders is it because it is the life she has wanted or if she hasn’t been brave. That and a post from the Simple Mom blog about being brave, has rocked me.
    God is up to something in us all.
    BTW, I purchased Edie’s ebook, and we mentioned how much we LOVE YOU!!
    Thank you,
    For Everything, everyday.

  13. Kathy January 28, 2013 at 7:57 am #

    Wonderful,post. On this subject I think you might enjoy listening to Amdy Stanley’s latest sermon series called Breathing Room. I highly recommend checking it out. You can find it at northpoint.org. . I would love to hear your thoughts on it. Keep up the good job of inspiring your blog readers !

  14. Della January 28, 2013 at 10:08 am #

    You are a beautiful writer and a beautiful soul!

  15. Myra @ MyBlessedLife.net January 28, 2013 at 2:41 pm #

    Yes. Yes. Yes.

    Love you, friend!

  16. ZoeAnn Yussman January 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm #

    Shaunna your words paint pictures just as your hands paint furniture. Purposeful homemaking is to become my 2013 mantra. What a gift we can give to our children by teaching them that the STUFF we WANT will weigh us down. By living simply, we can simply live- and only then are we able to BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD.
    God bless you for your insights and for sharing.

  17. Mary Ann January 30, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Beautifully said. I am finding that the more of the physical I let go of, the more blessings seem to come into my life.

  18. sheri February 4, 2013 at 11:33 am #

    This is awesome – especially the past articles that explained the 3 gifts at Christmas. I’m so happy I found your blog through my sweet friend Tiffini :) Thanks so much for sharing – I will definitely be following along. xo

  19. Crystal Kirk February 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    What a beautiful and very raw post…thank you for sharing and being so open with your readers. I sure can relate to the feelings and moments you describe. I myself have had a very tough couple of years but am also so blessed by my children and husband, who always have my back and hold me up when I need it.

    It is these moments and revelations that have brought me to my new found love of DIY and furniture re-finishing and even starting my own blog. As mothers, it is very important to be present and not loose ourselves in life. I am slowly learning this and it is knowing there are other people out there (who are willing to be open), that keep me in the moment and help me to remember my personal importance too!

    What a perfect post for me to read today! Thank you again :)

  20. Lasso the Moon February 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

    I feel it. I have for about a year and a half. And I too blame Chan and Hatmaker for a lot of it. I love finding out that I’m not the only one. That all of us, who have never met, but who have the same Spirit dwelling within, will be working together to make some big (or small!) changes in this world, and in the lives of His people. Love it!

  21. Lemonade Makin' Mama March 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm #

    Came from my sweet friend Tara at Between you and Me…

    Girl I get it!! God is doing a big thing in so many of our lives… as we seek Him it’s like a revival is beginning in our hearts. Such an amazing thing to be a part of and how awesome that it’s happening everywhere. My man and I are on year four of a journey with this… we aren’t sure quite where it’s taking us yet but we know things are a changin!

    Please to have “met” you. :)

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