As I wrote in my last post, my Summer has a lot of empty space. I thought I was leaving this space for foster children to join our family and have been frustrated that "I rearranged my life" to help and not being utilized. (Yucky to admit, but true.)
Last week all three of my children were out of town and my husband was working long surgical hours--so I took advantage of the ability to leave the state without permission (a condition a foster child would have required.) I journeyed down to Florida to visit a dear friend who lives at the beach. I was feeling a bit selfish about it until I arrived and it became clear how much we both needed this visit. She had major life circumstances occurring and I was able to enter in fully and lend friendship, support, and a practical hand to share some of her burden.
On the long drive home, God spoke to my heart about being available for whatever He had in store for us-- even if it was not our plan. He reminded me that His Way was to yield my life to love and a robust schedule often doesn't leave room for the needs that crop up. That there are good works that He has planned in advance for us to do (Ephesians 2:10)--and they frequently don't look like our plans, lest we should boast. (Ephesians 2:9)
This change in perspective alone allowed me to see countless places my 'free time' could be used as a ministry. I was able to pause and really talk to neighbors along the way in my errands. In doing so, I became aware of a few needs that were relatively easy to meet thanks to my open calendar.
My prayer time in the morning has felt more consistent and less hurried thanks to fewer commitments. I have been prompted to reach out to people and actually let them know how the Lord has prompted me to pray for them.
It is no exaggeration to see God has put people and circumstances in my life multiple times a day that I would normally wish I had time to help, but during this season I really can.
I don't write any of this to elevate myself, but instead to record this lesson for future reference. There is a ministry of margin--when we live beneath our means in terms of time and financial resources, God will use both in ways we could not have expected.