This is a question I’ve been asking myself for the latter few years of my thirties. It’s a question that I am learning through trial and error and realizing more and more that decisions I make leave me asking myself the cries of Solomon…
Is this meaningful or meaningless?
Yesterday, I dropped my F O U R girls off at VBS. Because this is so foreign to me and the baby has never left my side, I didn’t even realize that I had previously registered her, hence the reason why she showed up without any shoes. I managed to find 3 DIFFERENT shoes hidden under the seats of my car, but without any luck of finding a matching pair. So we went home, got her shoes and took the baby to “bible cool” cause that’s where the baby wanted to go.
With the foreign feeling of “now what” and the empty seat in the back, I didn’t have much time left so I decided to go to Target. I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket and since Starbucks now resides in all Targets, I figured this was a grand idea to spend my hour alone. I browsed Opal House and imagined some new bath towels hanging in my bathroom instead of the dingy makeup ridden ones. I picked up a few dollar items (that are now three and five dollars) for my kiddos because otherwise my mom trip would feel selfish and I found myself a new pot for a birthday plant my neighbor friend had given me. All in all, it was a peaceful hour in Target and I still had some money left to spend another day.
It wasn’t until I got back into my car and realized it was already time to pick up my kids that I noticed the empty feeling I had deep inside. As much fun as my trip to Target was… It was a short lived, momentary joy that wasn’t sustaining to this momma heart that really needed a quiet break for herself.
This feeling led to the question I’ve asked myself for several years…
What fuels me?
I learned a long time ago that design is fun. I love it. I love shopping and I love making my house beautiful, but it doesn’t fuel me. I love coffee and desserts and chocolate chips and buffalo dip, but they don’t fuel me. I love social media and messaging and seeing pictures of cute babies and their dimples, but it doesn’t fuel me.
I am learning the things that GROW me, fuel me.
Solomon was the son of David. David was the warrior who beat the giant but was once a shepherd boy. David was the one with the vision to build the temple but Solomon, his son would be the one to carry out that mission. David fought the wars so that Solomon could experience peace on every side in order to build the temple. While David got his hands dirty and worked hard for the legacy he left behind, Solomon seemed to have been given an inheritance. He didn’t earn it, it was a gift of his father who had done the work. It was a gift and a purpose that was MUCH bigger than himself. It would require devotion and dependance on God to see it through.
Solomon carried out this vision of building the temple and boy, was it spectacular. Gold, Gold, and more Gold. This temple was full of bling, grandeur and awe and it would soon be the home base for the Presence of God himself. The very central location to bring together the people of Israel to worship one God under O N E roof.
But it wasn’t that God needed gold. It wasn’t that he needed big. It wasn’t that he needed to be lavished with material things. He asked for it because he knew it would fuel their vision.
No one wants to build something crappy.
The gold, the extreme detail, the lavish instructions that were given in the blue print straight from Heaven was because God wanted Solomon to see the value in the process. The work. This lavish project gave the people a sense of purpose and because God knows we are all made in His image, He knows our deepest desires to create, build and give back to others.
Yes, the gold was a lavish sacrifice to give significance to the temple, therefore showcasing our NEED to worship. But I also believe that Solomon needed a lavish vision to keep going. A vision to keep him from perishing. Because those without vision, shall perish.
So back to my story… I knew today needed to be different.
I woke up, made breakfast and packed my backpack full with my Bible, my journal and my laptop. I wore my running shoes and we were on time to VBS. The baby resisted (because anytime you decide to fuel yourself, you will have obstacles), but thankfully a friend embraced my “Squishy” babe and told me that she had her taken care of. I am always so thankful for kind people who help when we need it. No matter how small it seems, it makes the world an easier place to be. (Thank you, Lisa.)
I headed to the water, decided I would walk the mile and run one back. It was overlooking the coastline that I would initially write the first draft of this blog post all in my head. It was the coastline where I would take a moment to sit and pray. It was the coastline where I would feel my deep breaths subside and take in the breeze of a hot summer day. It was the coastline that I would be overcome with thankfulness that God placed me here for a time such as this.
I ran the whole way back and as I approached my car, out of breath and out of shape (because its been a while) I would realize that the things that fuel me, grow me.
Even the hard things. Like Solomon, we need a charge. A vision, something to grow us and fuel us into being something we can’t be on our own. He needed a purpose to fuel him and his was building and overseeing the project of the temple. It was later in his life that he would determine the other things he collected (the riches, the women, the stuff) that would be meaningless at the end of his time.
Running today fueled me because deep inside under the thirty something year old blubber, something was happening that I could not see. A bettering of myself that even though it may be small, it would keep me pushing myself and running a little harder the next day. And possibly keep me on track with eating foods that fuel me too. Things happen when we take care of our body and it fuels us for the people who need us the most.
The Word of God fuels me. I may not understand it all but deep down I know its doing something inside of me even when I can’t see it, so I keep reading. I keep asking God for wisdom and revelation and I know that with time, He will grow me. Each word is nourishment to my spirit that I can’t quite explain but I can certainly taste and see the fruit from it in my life.
People fuel me. I keep putting myself out there, meeting people with awkward introductions and vulnerability that makes you want to turn the other way and run because I know deep down there is kindness and the deep desire for unity and fellowship. So I keep meeting new people and I know that it grows me by forcing me out of my own comfort into a place of readiness for whatever God has.
And lastly, I write. I put my words together to try and form sentences that hopefully encourage and give hope but also share my heart and express that I am right there with you… the struggles, the insecurities, the chaos, the unknowns. Because it fuels me. It fuels me to know that together we are all just trying our best to figure out life the best way we know how.
So what fuels you?
What will you choose today to grow yourself, better yourself for the people who need you to show up in their lives as your very best self?