I owe a debt of gratitude to Gregg Harris.
Back in my young homeschooling days, when there were only a handful of “leaders” of the homeschool movement, Gregg Harris produced a seminar called “The Seasons of Life.” At a crucial time in my own life, I listened to that seminar. I’m thankful that I listened to it not in the middle of the dizzying overload of a homeschool convention, but on cassette tapes in the quiet evenings of my own home when my little ones were asleep and I was trying to organize my kitchen that never seemed to quite get organized.
As a visionary, I had so many things I wanted to do for God. Pretty much every brilliant idea that popped into my head, I wanted to do it. Every urgent need that I saw around me, I wanted to fulfill. Every compelling speaker I listened to, I wanted to be like. Every inspiring writer, I wanted to emulate. So much to do for God. So little time.
And here I was, at home raising my children and teaching them and trying to keep a house that I didn’t quite know how to keep. I knew, I KNEW it was the right thing for me to be doing, and I didn’t want to stop doing it, but I wanted to do everything else at the same time.
Gregg poured some perspective into my life, reminding me that the things I dreamed about doing didn’t need to be done all at once. God generally runs our lives in stages, usually around three or four of them: growing up and getting educated, raising our children and working a business, and finally, reaching out in a wider way to others, through the church and community. Of course there’s overlap, there are exceptions, but generally that’s the way it works.
It seems so obvious to me now, but at the time I had never thought about it.
Listening to this Seminar made a difference in my heart. I became content. I waited, and I prepared. I set a goal of the age of fifty for being a Ready Woman. Ready for what? Well, I was pretty hazy on the specifics, but whatever ministry the Lord had for me. So in the intervening years while I was raising my children and teaching them, I sought diligently to know the Lord, and to grow in Him, and to reach out to the people God set before me.
God still sets people before me, and that’s always extremely exciting and a tremendous privilege, but now, as I’m approaching the end of my child-raising years, I have the delightful opportunity to turn my attention more fully to writing and speaking.
Not exactly in the way I had anticipated. (Strange as it may seem, there was a time when I thought that someday I would speak on how to keep a clean house. If you’ve walked through my house, you may feel free to guffaw heartily.) But, rather, in a way that is exactly perfect for what He has called me to do. Storytelling and speaking to inspire and encourage and challenge Christians. And, to my joy, writing missionary books, one of my formerly back-burner dreams. Those are the opportunities He has so graciously brought to the forefront of my life.
There’s more, much more, that He’s doing even right now. And I know there’s even more ahead. Some of it seems cool and exciting, and some of it daunting and maybe even scary-looking. But His Spirit goes before. He prepares the way, as I keep in mind that the most important things in life are the things that are unseen.
And so I look forward to the unfolding Season of Life that’s ahead. And as I look, I’m filled with anticipation, and I’m filled with joy.