So this morning, I chanced upon this tweet…
I would probably laugh just the same at the silliness of that blooper but laughing was not my first reaction this morning. It was rather this…
Literally my face. Cause I mean, well.. it’s really nothing serious if you think about it. I just only happen to be the one responsible in handling this man’s schedule.
And when you handle someone else’s schedule, all you just want to make sure is that you never find out anytime of the day that he showed up somewhere he shouldn’t be at in the first place. Not especially when he had to make an effort of waking up that early, much more travel that far.
So I guess it was just right that I get a little concerned? NOT.
A lot concerned. I immediately reached for my phone and sent him a text message saying how sorry I was for confusing his schedule. I did not need to know further why or how it happened because I distinctively remember putting that speaking engagement in his calendar. I put it on a Friday and not on a Saturday where it’s supposed to be. I was sure I made that mistake.
He replied saying that the mistake was his and just again laughed at it. I might have taken it harder than he did. Or maybe he’s just really gracious.
Later in the day, I managed to forgive myself and just laugh at it too, knowing that this hiccup – along with many other bloopers we’ve had in the past (not that we’re collecting) – will surely go as one for the books. Then I took mental notes of where possibly the loophole was and how I can improve on the way I do my work so things like this won’t have to happen again.
It helps to think that whenever there is a mistake, it only follows that there is something waiting to be learned. I like that.
I like that there are days we get it right. And days we learn how to get it right. Better and right.
Today was the latter. I hold on tight while I ride along the learning curve turning sharp. Laughs will be gladly welcome in between.
On a regular Sunday, I usually attend the 5pm worship service at my church. Every once in a while though, I get to be given the wonderful and humbling opportunity to be one of the people who stand on the pulpit to do either the transition and announcement or the giving exhortation for our evening worship services.
Now, if you know me, I do events as a day job and working behind the scene is my main league. I’m the kind who is naturally more comfortable and more effective when I am not seen. So sometimes it’s still a huge mystery to me how I was EVER convinced to sign up for this. But nonetheless, I’m grateful. I’m grateful to be given an opportunity to be used by God in this capacity though I know my inadequacies.
And oh, speaking of that — my inadequacies. Sometimes I also wonder why our pastors would ever want to entrust a certain segment of a worship service to some awkward 22-year old girl like me. But I learned throughout the years of being part of this spiritual family that as a church, we understand and believe full well that training the next generation is always a worthwhile feat.
One Sunday ago, I was assigned to do the transition and announcement in our evening worship services. To say that I was anxious about it would be the understatement of the month. I was particularly feeling extra terrible that Sunday because I had planned to prepare in the afternoon but I was feeling exhausted that I decided to take a power nap first and apparently ended up falling into a deep sleep I woke up just in time for the service.
I remember standing at church that Sunday few minutes before I went up the stage. My knees were shaking and I told God in my most honest self, “Lord, I don’t know what to say to these people. I don’t want to mess this up. I feel so bad that I went here unprepared. I feel bad that I’m not giving You my best. I pray that you will still speak to me what You want to speak in their hearts.” Few moments after that I felt Him tugging in my heart, I listened, “You know Fiona, even before you say a word do something for me tonight, I have already loved you. Remember that.” I went up the stage banking only on that Love it overflowed from my heart and out of my mouth.
When I went down the pulpit and back to my seat, my pastor pulled a thumbs up for me and said “Good job.” “Was it too long?” I immediately asked for feedback. “No, it was just right,” he said and then gave me quick minor points on how I could do better in the next service. I don’t think it would ever be possible for me to get through every single Sunday that I’m given a speaking assignment apart from the grace of God and the support, impartation and correction of my leaders.
That night, after the two worship services were done, I sat at a coffee shop alone for a quiet time with God and literally the first words I scribbled on the page of my journal big and bold were “WHEW! Thank YOU for pulling me through tonight,” majorly relieved it was finally over. I sat there long and lingering, pondering on the day that was. Pondering mostly on the way I’ve been being given opportunities to speak like this, to be a “speaker” in little ways I know how even if it’s not my cup of tea – something that left to my own choices, I won’t considering doing. But it’s liberating to know that God, in His grace and mercy, can turn broken, foolish and reluctant people into living vessels He can use to speak life, to speak truth, to speak His word. And if God wants to use the most imperfect people to tell the world of His love, then I’m all in. I want to sign up and be part of the team.
Overwhelmed by that, I found myself writing in my journal repeatedly a prayer that at first in my head I didn’t know exactly what it meant, but in my spirit I was sure to be the cry of my heart that night, “Stir in me a message, God. Stir in me a message. Stir in me a message. STIR. IN. ME. A. MESSAGE.”
I think I pleaded more than I prayed that. Because I know I can never give what I don’t have. I’ve come to terms that more than eloquence or stance, I want to be someone who speaks with a message. And not just a message, message. But one that is out of my relationship with God. Message that I know to be true. Message that is deposited in my heart. Message that He stirs so violently I cannot afford to keep silent about. Message that I want to be sold out and not compromise. I pray that He stirs and stirs a message in me that it overflows not only when I am speaking but mostly in the way I live my life it will show undeniably.
I pray it will be a message of grace. Of love. And truth. And life.
As I have mentioned in one of my previous blogs, we’re beefing up our reading this year (yes, did you also notice? I just included you haha!). Once a week, as a practice, I’m sharing with you some good blogs/articles (and books later on) that I read over the week. Everything I write goes to the Good Reads tab up there on my menu bar. I’m excited to fill that tab with lots and lots of good stuff I’m getting smitten just by the thought of it!!
Soooo… time to get started and here’s my list for the week!
Be a woman who is known for what you stand for. Changed my life.
The New Church Lady by Sibi
Highly recommended for guys. Ladies, you can dig too!
How To Get the Girl three-part series by Joe Bonifacio
On taking our thoughts captive.
Sorting through the Mix by Em Gomez
“Sometimes the people who break the mold are the ones who aren’t even aware they’re there. I want to be more like that. As I’m constantly molded into the image of Christ I want to break barriers I can’t even see because I’m walking with purpose in my steps. I would love to break molds that I didn’t know were molds because I’m just walking in obedience to His voice. I want to dream bigger and go farther and not worry about stereotypes or ‘how it’s always been’ or the roles I’m expected to play. I want to walk in obedience and faith, breaking molds while saying, ‘What mold?'” A little back read but still ministers to me like the first time I read it sometime last year. Been thinking a lot about this blog all week.
Breaking The Mold by Lauren Clemons
“I realized that the purpose of life is actually not just to travel the world, to take photos, to write, to quit a job, to meet people, to fall in love, to get a new job, to get rich, to face dangerous things, and so forth. It dawned on me that the greatest purpose of life is actually to get to know the One who made me.. you.. us.” Inspiring and beautifully written.
Resonating with Walter Mitty (Not Secretly) by Kaye Sigua
“You don’t have to know if you have what it takes. You just have to know that you will take what you’ve been given and make something of that.” Timely read. Made me cry. Such a special treat!
Any good reads you came across this week? Feel free to share it here too! :)
Every once a month, our office gathers for an all-staff meeting. When we were still a small team of eight, we used to do this every week. But now that our team has grown enough to be divided into different departments and enough for each department to have a weekly staff meeting of their own, we decided to leave a day in a month where everyone sits across the table and we gather as one team.
Personally, this is one of the meetings that I love and look forward to for quite a number of reasons. Aside from getting to witness the unbelievable amount of nuts that we could snack on and finish together in one sitting, I love just being able to sit across men and women who I deeply respect and admire, do campus ministry with them and be reminded that, wow — this is my job? Gracious God. It humbles me in so many levels.
Today, over pistachio nuts that went all gone in no time, we sat together as a team for our monthly staff meeting. All thirteen of us. We had our agenda written down on the board to discuss. But before we touched on any of those on the list, we first looked on 2 Corinthians 9:8 together, took a brief yet significant time to munch on it and check for ourselves a part of our lives where we think we need to pull a 2 Corinthians 9:8 the most.
I appreciate this meeting for that one too. Because most if not all the time, before we go outward but inward first for some hearts that need constant checking, it realigns what needs to be realigned. And it ministers.
So as we flashed 2 Corinthians 9:8 on the screen for all our eyes to see, we identified a specific area in our lives where we feel like we’re running low in grace and looked at that situation in view of God’s promise as written in the verse. “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
And just as the word “all” means all and all never exempts, we realize that there is no place in our lives where God’s grace is not. And so in times we feel low in grace, we drink from this truth until we’re made full. Grace abounds.
When we have God’s grace, we have all. In every good work, we abound.
“You’re everything I need for you to be
You’re everything that shines inside of me.
And I will have a strength to do, all You ask of me.
I will always let You be everything I need for You to be.
I need You to be
You’re everything I need.”
– Everything I Need, from Joseph The Dreamer