Yesterday I booked a cabin in which to spend the last weekend with my kids before my oldest leaves for college, and the cabin owner said, "I feel like I have a celebrity staying in my cabin."
Me? A celebrity? "You heard I write books?" I asked.
She had. And she meant it as an honor, but celebrities aren't known for giving celebrities a good name. I mean, Chris and Anna are even separating now.
As for "celebrities" in the Christian community, I am constantly disappointed. I get something out of a sermon or a book or a movie, so I rave to others, then, before I know it, that pastor or author or producer is spouting non-biblical ideas and acting unChristlike. It's disheartening. It's human. And it's a warning for me.
Of course, I'm not a celebrity. I've written a few books that a few people have read, and I have a bunch of friends I've never met on facebook, and that's about it. But even this comes with a huge responsibility. Because my books have a message. And what if I get that message wrong? Or what if I stupidly do something that goes against my message then nobody wants to read what I have to say anymore because I've lost integrity? It seems to happen to the best of us.
We talk about this in my writing group. We talk about James 3:1. "Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."
I am standing on dangerous ground.
In the writing world, we call this a platform. And I'm supposed to grow it. So basically, I'm building a pedestal from which I can fall.
The truth is that I trip up all the time. I bump into people and hurt them. I scrape my own knees on the rough pavement of life.
But get this. "You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn." --Psalm 18:36
God is the answer. He knows I'm going to stumble. He's not the one digging the ditch on the side of the road; he's the one making a way for me to keep heading towards him.
That's the only message I can't mess up. Because it's honest about what a mess I am.
I'm not going to say: Let me tell you how to live!
I'm going to say: Check out how God saved me when I was headed for a ditch. He can save you too!
So I'm just going to be honest here. I'm booking a cabin with the kids for the same weekend I told my husband I'd go on a Harley ride with him to Yellowstone. I didn't realize it would be my last chance to have my kids all together. I had to make a choice between my husband and my kids, and I feel horrible.
This is the kind of choice that often comes with blended families. Sometimes, I refuse to make this choice. Jim will be in the living room and the kids are in the family room, so I go in the kitchen to bake a cake for everyone and let them join me if they want to. If I could have done that here, I would have.
Jim understands my choice. But he's still sad. And he probably can't trust me as much as he did before I broke my word.
I wish I'd done things differently. I should have planned ahead. Yet the story of life seems to be, "I thought I had more time."
I really tripped up here. And God is widening my path beneath me like he promised to. He's provided a place for me to take my kids. When I drive to that cabin, I will be driving under a sign that says, "Blessings." That's the owner's maiden name. It's in the scripture verse I shared yesterday.
"So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing with armloads of blessing." --Psalm 126:6
My post on Monday was about how much I love my husband. And as someone just wrote me, "You guys r soooo in love." We are. AND marriage can still be hard. We still get heavy hearts. It takes God widening our path to bring us home laughing with armloads of blessing.
May whoever out there reads my words know that sometimes my life will serve as a good example, and other times it will serve as a horrible warning. I pray it all points to Christ.
"You stoop down to make me great." --Psalm 18:35b
This has never been about me. It's about God using me in spite of me. Which is way better than being a celebrity.